Tag Archives: than

A smart object to help you through grief might be less dumb than it sounds


The exhibition floor at SXSW offers a mixed bag of experiences, from smart motorcycle helmets to devices that induce stuttering (true story, I tried it, it didn’t work). But one of the more intriguing products was to be found at Canada’s stand: Fragment, a smart commemorative object that helps grieving relatives get through their pain. At first glance, the object caught my attention because it looked like something straight off the internet of shit twitter. A smart urn, really? But after talking to founder David Beaulieu, it actually started making sense. The Quebecois entrepreneur told me he had been in…

This story continues at The Next Web


The Next Web

Facebook’s video strategy nets 1,055% higher share rate than YouTube

facebook-youtube


Native video is becoming hugely important. With 25 percent of U.S. users adopting an ad blocker last year, native content is how marketers are avoiding the cut.

And native video is one of the reasons influencer marketing and user-generated content has become so important.

In a study released today by social media analytics company Quintly  — that took in data from 6.2 million posts from 167,000 Facebook profiles throughout 2016 — one thing is clear. Native video has not only taken over Facebook, it has done so by design.

Facebook is determined to catch and pass YouTube in the video wars. In 2015, VB Insight studied both platforms and found that YouTube was still 11X bigger than Facebook. At the time, Americans spent an aggregate of 8,061 years on YouTube, compared to 713 years watching video on Facebook.

But with automatic video plays in the feed by default, and a design that downplays the importance of other video platforms, Facebook has been clawing away at YouTube’s dominant position.

“Our last video study already showed that Facebook native videos have been dominating the social network,” Nils Herrmann, digital communications manager at Quintly, told me. “But this study gives a more detailed understanding of this trend and just how substantial it is. It might not come as such a surprise that Facebook’s native videos are outperforming other formats, but what’s interesting is how those native videos performed on average 109 percent better than even YouTube videos. And that number rose as high as 186 percent in December 2016. Also that same month, we found that FB native videos held a 1055 percent higher share rate than YouTube videos. Given how popular YouTube remains on its own outside of Facebook, these numbers raised a few eyebrows!”

Facebook’s tactic of downplaying other formats has seen Vimeo shares almost disappear from the network entirely — only 2 percent of profiles included a Vimeo link in their feeds. And video is now so prevalent on Facebook that 53 percent of all Facebook profiles share video content on their feed.

quintly-facebook-native-videos-study

The performance of native videos suggests that influencer marketing could be a big winner for marketers who want to win on Facebook. However, that is a double-edged sword for Mark Zuckerberg’s social network, since it isn’t monetizing these videos in the same way YouTube does.

“At the moment, Facebook native videos simply increase your share of voice through a higher reach than other formats based on the results of our study,” Herrmann said. “This is a good start for both companies and influencers to optimize their strategies, to measure and then adjust. After professional Facebook users build a more grown-up video strategy, Facebook is very likely to do something comparable as YouTube.”

The study includes a few other surprises and further indications that Facebook’s strategy around video-sharing and viewing is allowing the company to catch up with Google’s YouTube.

“For starters, over 90 percent of the analyzed profiles used Facebook native videos — that is 3X more than the use of YouTube videos,” Herrmann said. “And it’s consistent in nearly every analyzed group of different profile sizes that FB native videos were a strong player. We also found that the biggest profiles (with 10 million+ followers) are increasingly likely to use Facebook native videos — a 35 percent growth rate in usage was detected for this profile group alone between July and December 2016.”

With Facebook now pushing video to Samsung and Apple TVs via its new app, the message is clear — video is important.

“Facebook really has succeeded in having their native video format take precedent on their own social network,” Herrmann said. “While it would likely never fully replace the use and shares of YouTube and other formats, in the long run, we might see those become even more rarely used, while Facebook native videos will continue to dominate users’ news feeds everywhere.”

The full study, which also details video performance, share rates, and growth statistics, is available today.

Social – VentureBeat

Snap’s Evan Spiegel is now worth more than two Oprahs

Evan Spiegel in gold tie.


Media tycoon Sumner Redstone turned his ownership of theaters into an empire that controls MTV, Nickelodeon, and the movie studio that put out last year’s Arrival, Fences, and Zoolander 2. And he’s worth nearly $ 2.5 billion less than Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old who founded Snapchat six years ago, when Redstone was 87.

On Thursday, investors bid up shares of Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc. from its IPO price of $ 17, to nearly $ 25. That gives Snap Inc a market value of $ 33 billion. All for a company that lost $ 515 million last year, leading some to suggest that Snap buyers should take the rose-colored filter off their investments. (Signs of a bubble? This Uber driver bought a single Snap share for $ 25. He’s already nearly $ 2 richer!)

Shares of Snap rose to just under $ 27 on Friday.

Snap Inc.’s booming IPO made a number of people quite a bit wealthier, including a number of venture capitalists and at least one high school. Perhaps the best measure of how well the IPO did, and perhaps a commentary on how exuberant investors are for the company, is just how much it boosted Spiegel’s net worth. Here’s 5 really, really wealthy people who are now poorer than Snapchat’s co-founder. (The net worth figures besides Spiegel’s are from Bloomberg, unless otherwise noted.)

Evan Spiegel
Net Worth: $ 6.0 billion

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 08: Bloomberg LP Founder Michael Bloomberg and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel speak onstage during "Disrupting Information and Communication" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

Above: SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 08: Bloomberg LP Founder Michael Bloomberg and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel speak onstage during “Disrupting Information and Communication” at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 8, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

Image Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Spiegel cashed in $ 272 million worth of stock in Snap’s IPO. Most of his net worth is tied up in the photo sharing company. At $ 27, that stake is worth nearly $ 5.7 billion.

Ralph Lauren
Net Worth:
$ 5.4 billion

Ralph Lauren greets the crowd after presenting his Spring/Summer 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week in September.

Above: Ralph Lauren greets the crowd after presenting his Spring/Summer 2016 collection during New York Fashion Week in September.

Image Credit: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The fashion designer has spent decades building an iconic brand that will likely outlive him. He’s got a very nice house, and he’s worth $ 600 million less than Spiegel.

Richard Branson
Net Worth:
$ 5.1 billion

Sir Richard Branson conducts a television interview at Perth Airport on May 7, 2013 in Perth, Australia. Virgin Australia purchased Perth-based regional airline, Skywest adding another 32 planes to it's fleet to expand the airlines regional operations in Australia.

Above: Sir Richard Branson conducts a television interview at Perth Airport on May 7, 2013 in Perth, Australia. Virgin Australia purchased Perth-based regional airline, Skywest adding another 32 planes to it’s fleet to expand the airlines regional operations in Australia.

Image Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Branson is buds with Obama, and working on getting people into space. He’s worth $ 900 million less than Spiegel.

Donald Trump
Net Worth:
$ 3.9 billion

President Trump.

Above: President Trump.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Trump says he’s worth “over $ 10 billion,” but the last time Fortune computed the figure we came up with a number that is now $ 2.1 billion less than what Spiegel is worth.

Oprah Winfrey
Net Worth:
$ 3.0 billion

Oprah Winfrey on stage during her An Evening With Oprah tour on December 2, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

Above: Oprah Winfrey on stage during her An Evening With Oprah tour on December 2, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

Image Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Oprah, who is rich enough to give away garages full of cars, had a good day in the market on Thursday as well. Shares of Weight Watchers, which Oprah now owns 10 percent of, rose 36 percent on Thursday. Oprah’s stake in the company, which she paid roughly $ 40 million for, is now worth nearly $ 115 million. That’s not enough to keep up with Snapchat’s co-founder, though. The queen of media is worth $ 3 billion less than Spiegel.

Tim Cook
Net worth:
$ 785 million

Apple CEO Timothy Cook testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Investigations Subcommittee about the company's offshore profit shifting and tax avoidance in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. A Congressional report released Monday said that Apple, America's most profitable technology company, used a complex system of international subsidiaries and tax avoidance efforts to shift at least $ 74 billion from the reach of the Internal Revenue Service between 2009 and 2012.

Above: Apple CEO Timothy Cook testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Investigations Subcommittee about the company’s offshore profit shifting and tax avoidance in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill May 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. A Congressional report released Monday said that Apple, America’s most profitable technology company, used a complex system of international subsidiaries and tax avoidance efforts to shift at least $ 74 billion from the reach of the Internal Revenue Service between 2009 and 2012.

Image Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Cook is the CEO of Apple, which is the most valuable company in the world, worth nearly $ 700 billion more than Snapchat’s owner. It is also the maker of the devices on which most Snapchat user take their pictures. Cook, however, is worth over $ 5.2 billion less than Spiegel.

This story originally appeared on Fortune.com. Copyright 2017

snapchat IPO bannerforjordan

Social – VentureBeat

Apple might secretly start iPhone 8 production earlier than expected


Apple might be gunning to begin building its upcoming iPhone 8 earlier than usual this year, Barron’s Tech Trader Daily reports. John Donovan and Steve Mullane from BlueFin Research Partners told the outlet there is “some indication” the Big A is ramping up production for its next-generation smartphone ahead of schedule, with plans to start supply chain as early as June. The sources further say that, while Apple could indeed begin putting together its revamped iPhones in advance, this might not necessarily lead to any changes in the usual fall release period. Here’s what BlueFin wrote in its report: The most intriguing…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: iPhone,Apple


The Next Web

Samsung might drop a limited batch of Galaxy S8 earlier than expected


It appears the much-awaited Galaxy S8 might hit the shelves earlier than expected. A new report suggest Samsung is considering releasing a limited batch of its upcoming flagship handset ahead of its official launch. Citing undisclosed “industry” sources, South Korean news outlet The Investor speculates the smartphone could start shipping as early as February or March. “There is a possibility of the S8 phones being showcased a month or two ahead of the actual release date,” an anonymous insider told the publication. The report runs counter to previous rumors suggesting the S8 could make its debut at Mobile World Congress in February as well as more recent gossip…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Samsung


The Next Web

ONE DAY SALE: The Complete Machine Learning Bundle is your chance to master AI and it’s now priced lower than ever


Speech and image recognition, shopping recommendations, improved search results, even Google’s self-driving cars — all products of advances in machine learning. The process of teaching machines to learn as they work is an exploding field, and you can learn how to be a part of that tech revolution with the Complete Machine Learning Bundle. This package with over 63 hours of training in AI basics is worth $ 780 and is normally discounted to $ 39. But now’s your chance to grab it for a one-day only price — just $ 29 from TNW Deals. Across 10 courses, you’ll get the full Machine…

This story continues at The Next Web


The Next Web

With more than 800,000 apps using Facebook Analytics, focus turns towards education

facebook.shutterstock_316850861


Developers are given a plethora of tools which can be used to build and grow their mobile apps. Platforms release APIs and SDKs with the hope apps will be built upon them, and there are even resources dedicated to increasing exposure amongst the masses. But in this data-driven world in which we live, having all the bells and whistles, marketing magic, and so-called growth hacking isn’t enough — it’s necessary to be able to track the people actually using the app.

Last year at its F8 developer conference, Facebook introduced Facebook Analytics for Apps, a tool that might draw comparisons to Google Analytics, but for apps and provides data around the audience, which device has the most usage, and other pertinent information for marketing campaigns. At the time, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg shared that 95 percent of apps in the App Store and on Google Play were integrated with Facebook. Today, more than 800,000 apps are powered by the social networking company’s solution.

Facebook Analytics for Apps Funnel Chart

Above: Facebook Analytics for Apps Funnel Chart

Image Credit: Facebook

“It’s more than getting an app installed,” said Facebook product manager Josh Twist. “We can help drive installs on mobile apps, but that’s not the end of the journey. Facebook knows the way to drive retention, engagement, and conversion hangs on understanding people.”

Facebook isn’t unique in the analytics space, as there are several competitors, including Google, Localytics, App Annie, Adobe, and Mixpanel. However, what it prides itself on is not only have an extensive user database and the expertise around producing scalable mobile apps that have a lot of usage. “We have a deep understanding of audience demographics and can share that with developers in an anonymous and aggregated way,” Twist remarked.

One of the selling points Facebook is selling to developers is that it’s less about ambient signals and more about being deliberate. In other words, Twist said that competitive solutions are collecting information to try and understand what’s going on versus Facebook’s approach of prioritizing information based on the user. When apps connect to the company’s social graph, they’ll be able to gain insights into who you are, what your interests, friends, and other pertinent information is. Through this, developers can make more targeted campaigns.

Facebook Analytics for Apps In-app notifications

Above: Facebook Analytics for Apps In-app notifications

Image Credit: Facebook

“A number of players in the space have demographics, but can’t go into the depth and accuracy of Facebook,” Twist shared. “We can understand age, country, language, job title, education, relationship status, and can tell you what [Facebook] pages customers like.” With more than 1.7 billion monthly active users, Facebook has shown that it’s one of the few companies that can demonstrate such growth — just look at WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as examples. The company thinks leveraging this shows developers that it has the wherewithal needed to help developers achieve similar success.

Twist also boasted about Facebook’s ability to be fast, saying the company “thinks you should be able to see the data in the various funnels in a couple of minutes, not overnight, especially when making changes on the fly and want to see if it’s having an impact. [Developers] want to see information very quickly.”

It might seem obvious to some, but app tracking is not only different between the web and on mobile devices, but by geography. In fact, not every environment is the same, so developers will need to be very targeted depending on whether they’re examining usage in the U.S., Europe, China, India, Australia, or some place in Africa. Differences between markets can vary, but Twist posits that it might be because of varying levels of excitement users have, experiences, or the fidelity of the devices.

This has been something Facebook has been working on for a while. While those in the U.S. are often dealing with advanced technology and connectivity, those in other countries like India are dealing with more complex issues, with many not even thinking about unlimited data usage. “We see all sorts of behaviors where people with high-end devices in those communities behave more like people in the U.S., but a significant portion will use low-end devices and this changes everything, including how they interact with the apps,” Twist explained citing that those with little storage on their device, may tend to just uninstall apps they don’t want rather than keep them around.

Facebook Analytics for Apps sharing insights

Above: Facebook Analytics for Apps sharing insights

Image Credit: Facebook

“It’s a very mixed space and is challenging,” he added. “It makes it harder to build a tool like analytics.” And this is especially important to Facebook since it’s a global company. Twist revealed that 85 percent of developers using the company’s analytics solution are from outside the U.S.

Now, after more than a year in service and powering analytics for 800,000 apps, Facebook feels it’s time to provide additional support. And while it continues to offer app building resources, largely through its FbStart program, and can continue to add additional insight features, its impact won’t truly be felt unless developers actually understand what it all means and how to take advantage of Facebook’s Analytics for Apps. This is why the company will be launching education courses in the next few weeks.

“People spend a lot of time in their analytic tools and want to make it more effective so they can spend more time on higher-level activities,” Twist said. “We’re passionate about making life better — we’re going deep into core business intelligence capabilities to make it better so when people use [Facebook Analytics for Apps], productivity goes through the roof.”

He acknowledged that analytics is a complicated space and most developers and marketers may not be able to pick up on it right away: “It’s very easy to misunderstand the situation just by looking at the numbers.”

When launched, Facebook intends to offer developers, marketers, and anyone else tutorials on its product, while providing additional guidance on how to make the most out of the tool. It’s one thing to see how many people used an app on Android devices from Germany, but it’s another to be able to combine that with additional metrics and events tracked to make informed decisions about future development or corrections that are needed.

In fact, it’s likely an area that’ll be covered is around misconceptions in using Facebook Analytics, dispelling notions that you need to login with your Facebook account, and other restrictions. “We still provide demographic information with the fidelity and quality if you don’t have any other association,” Twist remarked.

He also shared that there’s been discussions around expanding analytics to other app classifications, such as those in the virtual reality, Internet of Things (connected objects), and perhaps even bots in the future. No firm plans have been made, but it’s certainly not something Facebook is discounting.

“We’ve seen an evolution where ten years ago, it was largely web, then it was web + mobile web. Then web + mobile web + apps. Now we are seeing it’s all of those plus bots. What we are seeing is that today, that platforms are additive and people are having to develop more additional platforms as consumer behavior has evolved to using different platforms based on the context,” he stated. “We think the journey is 1 percent finished.”

Get more stories like this on TwitterFacebook

Social – VentureBeat

Twitter shares jump more than 20% on reports of possible acquisition by Google or Salesforce

At the Twitter Flight developer conference in San Francisco on Oct. 21.


It’s no secret that Twitter is open to acquisition offers, but a new report suggests that the social network has received expressions of interest from at least two notable tech companies — Google and Salesforce.

According to CNBC, Twitter may receive a formal bid “shortly,” with Twitter’s board keen to strike a deal. Though no actual sale is imminent, according to the report, CNBC cites a source as saying that talks are gaining momentum, and something could materialize by end of the year.

Twitter has been suffering growing pains of late, both in terms of user numbers and revenues, which has fueled speculation that an exit to a larger company would be a likely outcome. Twitter’s shares have pretty much been in perpetual freefall over the past couple of years, dropping from a $ 69 high in early 2014 to about $ 14 in May this year. At close of markets yesterday, Twitter’s shares were sitting at $ 18.49, but at the time of writing they’re at more than $ 22, a rise in excess of 20 percent on yesterday. Notably, it’s also the highest Twitter’s shares have been since January this year.

TwitterShares20

While companies such as Google and Microsoft have long been touted as potential buyers, the addition of Salesforce to the mix is interesting — it doesn’t seem like a natural fit on the surface. Why would an enterprise SaaS company wish to procure a platform synonymous with bite-sized nuggets of information and trolls? Well, Salesforce is known to have missed out on acquiring LinkedIn — which went to Microsoft — so Twitter could offer a way for Salesforce to become more active in the real-time information realm. Of course, it would have to focus any product on business use-cases. Long story short, Twitter is a tempting target due to the masses of data it holds, and this pretty much means it’s an alluring proposition for any firm that feeds on data. That said, it’s hard to imagine a world in which Twitter is owned by Salesforce.

While Twitter’s shares are gearing up to reach their highest point in 2016, Salesforce shares actually hit a six-month low after this news dropped. Make of that what you will…

Get more stories like this on TwitterFacebook

Deals – VentureBeat