Facebook’s Incredible Growth Story In Charts

From over at ReadWriteWeb – a visual analysis of the growth information which was placed in the Facebook IPO.

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Worldwide, you can see that 57% of the people who use Facebook within a given month also use Facebook on an average day, up from 47% in early 2009.

This varies, of course, by region, which gives an idea of how “sticky” Facebook is in different parts of the world. In the U.S. and Canada, it’s 70%. In Asia, where Facebook isn’t as established – but is growing fast – it’s only about 50%.

Facebook is increasingly a global story. Its user base is now almost equally concentrated in the four regions it breaks out. That’s a pretty big change from 2009, when it was primarily focused in the U.S. and Canada.

fb-global-growth.gif

In 2011, about 30% of Facebook’s new users came from Asia, and about 40% in the “rest of world” category. Only about 10% of its new users came from the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook’s IPO filing also brings us new access to its finances. Here, we can see one reason why Facebook’s revenue growth (88% in 2011) is outpacing its user growth (39% in 2011) – because Facebook is bringing in more revenue per user than it did in the past.

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How did that happen? Significant growth in both Facebook’s ad business (85% of its revenue) and its payments business (part of the 15% of “other” revenue).

Facebook’s future success, of course, relies on both its ability to attract new users and its ability to generate more revenue per user.

For the full article, click here.

Study: 91% of Gen-Ys Use Their Phones in the Bathroom

From 11Mark via ReadWriteWeb, apparently 3/4 of Americans use their mobile phones in the toilet.

From the press release:

Three-fourths of Americans with mobile phones report they use their phones in the bathroom, according to a new study by 11mark, a new integrated marketing agency. Americans are texting, emailing, and yes – as you may have heard – talking on the phone in the bathroom. Approximately one quarter of Americans report they don‟t go into the bathroom without their phone. The new report, “IT in the Toilet,” uses the “bathroom benchmark” to examine just how connected we have become.

The survey of 1,000 Americans reveals that neither men nor women are going to the bathroom alone today – 74 percent of men and 76 percent of women report they have used their mobile phone in the bathroom. 63 percent report they have answered a phone call, and 41 percent have initiated a phone call. Many (67 percent) have read a text, and 38 percent have surfed the Internet. Men are a bit more attached, however, with 30 percent reporting, “I don‟t go to the bathroom without my mobile phone,” versus 20 percent of women. Men also work more from the bathroom – 20 percent say they have participated in work-related calls versus 13 percent of their female colleagues.

As expected, Gen Y respondents are the heaviest IT in the toilet users. Ninety-one percent use
their phone in the bathroom, but older generations are not far behind. Eighty percent of Gen X
report they use the phone in the bathroom, as well as 65 percent of Boomers, and 47 percent of
the Silent Generation (guess they are no longer silent.)

For the full press release, click here

For the ReadWriteWeb article, click here

The rise of in-store mobile commerce

From Pew Research via ReadWriteWeb, a study looks at in-store mobile usage.

More than half of adult cell phone owners used their cell phones while they were in a store during the 2011 holiday season to seek help with purchasing decisions. During a 30 day period before and after Christmas:

  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to call a friend while they were in a store for advice about a purchase they were considering making
  • 24% of cell owners used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store
  • 25% of adult cell owners used their phones to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store, to see if they could get a better price somewhere else

Taken together, just over half (52%) of all adult cell owners used their phone for at least one of these three reasons over the holiday shopping season and one third (33%) used their phone specifically for online information while inside a physical store—either product reviews or pricing information.

Other interesting outtakes were:

One in five “mobile price matchers” ultimately made their most recent purchase from an online store, rather than a physical location

When asked what happened on the most recent occasion where they used their phone to look up the price online of a product they found in a store, these mobile price matchers point to a range of outcomes:

  • 37% decided to not purchase the product at all
  • 35% purchased the product at that store
  • 19% purchased the product online
  • 8% purchased the product at another store

Since one quarter of cell owners looked up the price of a product using their phone in the 30 days preceding our survey, that works out to 5% of all cell owners who purchased a product online this holiday season after looking up its price online from a physical store. An additional 9% of all cell owners searched for the price of a product they found in a physical store but ultimately purchased it at that store.

For the full report, click here.

For the ReadWriteWeb article, click here.

Entertainment apps rule Android store downloads, not games

Another interesting post from over at Memeburn looks at the app downloading habits of iOS and Android users according to mobile app search company Chomp.

iOS users have fun, Android users get down to business, according to mobile app search company, Chomp.

In its first ever annual app search analytics report, Chomp has revealed search data from the one-million-plus app searches per month which outline what the top apps are, what the trends are in apps and what the average price per app is.

Chomp begins with the category share trend. Gaming, it seems, is on a downturn in the Android market. For iOS though, gaming is on the rise. In December 2011, games accounted for 36% of all iTunes downloads. For Android, only 22% of downloads were gaming apps.

 

What we like

What are the defining apps in the Android market? Entertainment apps. This includes apps such as Gigbox, Flixster, Pandora and Qik.

Onto iTunes and apps focused on fitness and music have seen a rise in popularity. Utility apps though, are on the decrease. Apps such as Soundhound, Spotify, Magic Guitar and FitnessBuilder are all the rage.

 

What we pay

App pricing is predictably dearer on iTunes. Chomp notes that the average price of an app has increased by 50%. Again in December, an average app cost US$0.67 while on the Android store, the average price per app was a mere US$0.09.

Itunes app prices remain ahead of the curve due to its barrage of US$0.99 apps. This pushes the average price of paid Android apps to US$3.17 and thrusts the price of iTunes apps to US$2.41. Itunes paid apps account for 22% of all downloads, while Android remains “open-source” with only 5% of all downloads being paid-for.

For the full article, click here

 

 

Wifis.org – the Wi-Fi social network

From over at Gearburn, an interesting concept coming out of Germany called Wifis.org.

Founded late last year in Berlin, Wifis.org aims to help neighbours get in touch. The free service connects people through a unique URL that replaces your current Wi-Fi network name (SSID).

Wi-Fi network names have been used in a number of creative ways:

Instead of generating a chuckle, wifis.org allows people to get in touch without revealing their email addresses.

The process is simple. Go to wifis.org and generate a unique URL. Replace your SSID with the URL. That’s it.

Why is this useful? Wifis.org figures you can “share your Wi-Fi for a monthly payment” or meet your neighbours. The service is intended for the home user who wants to meet people, but it could also be useful for businesses who’d like to advertise their services.

For the full post, click here.

We don’t talk about brands online — so what are we talking about?

An interesting post from over at Memeburn. looks at how we talk about brands on social media.

Firstly, we generally still discover brands offline rather than online.

In a US survey by eMarketer, 30.1% of respondents said that they have heard about new brands, products and services from these offline sources, as opposed to the 6.5% who had first heard about them via their social media platforms.

This points to the fact that offline brand discovery is still a very trusted way to engage with new products and services. Generally speaking, humans still like hearing first-hand accounts of people who we know well in person and whom we can trust — this accounts for the large percentage of word of mouth referrals.

The offline media percentage shows that this form of marketing is far from dead. Brands are having to be far smarter with how and where they position their ads to ensure that they are cutting through the clutter of all the other offline advertisers. Arguably the best offline ads are the ones that encourage their audience to move to an online platform and further engage and interact with the brand, product or service.

Second, when we do engage with brands online, we often don’t directly talk about the brand itself, but rather the experience:

According to the same eMarketer survey; 57.8% of the US respondents said that they have never mentioned a brand in their Facebook status or in a tweet; while a far smaller section (25.3%) said that they have mentioned brands in only a positive light, as opposed to 0.5% saying that they have only ever mentioned a brand negatively.

When we look at some of the major brands online, the ones who do have a large social media following, do not necessarily mention the brand directly. It’s more about experiences associated with the brand.

For example, looking at the Coca Cola Facebook page; the top 25 posts had only a few mentions of the brand’s name. Most were referring to an experience around the brand.

Which leads to the real power in social media for brands – experiences.

This is where the real power lies and it is something that a few major brands are beginning to pick up on. The power of your brand online is in tackling people’s experiences. Products and services are a commodity — in theory anyone can do what you do — it is the experience that is the differentiator.

Finally, some recommendations:

There are a few things that brands need to keep top of mind when engaging with social:

  1. Keep the experience top of mind — your audience is not as engaged with your brand as you are — they are far more interested in the experience they will have with it.
  2. Find the social influencers within your specific industry and ensure that you are well positioned to “use” them to the benefit of your brand.
  3. Don’t try and sell.
  4. Engage in conversations that are already happening in your industry or sector. Don’t always think that you have to start a conversation. Some of the best brand interaction can come from a conversation you didn’t start.
  5. Don’t forget about LinkedIn. The groups on LinkedIn are excellent sources of information and can act as gateways to other social networks where your audience is conversing. This is arguably a real B2B action point but, depending on your market, you can still find your target audience here!

For the full post, click here

YouTube hits 4 billion daily video views

From Reuters via Memeburn, YouTube has now reached over4 billion daily video views, a 25% increase between April 11 and Jan 12.

The jump in video views comes as Google pushes YouTube beyond the personal computer, with versions of the site that work on smartphones and televisions, and as the company steps up efforts to offer more professional-grade content on the site.

According to the company, roughly 60 hours of video is now uploaded to YouTube every minute, compared with the 48 hours of video uploaded per minute in May.

YouTube, which Google acquired for $1.65 billion in 2006, represents one of Google’s key opportunities to generate new sources of revenue outside its traditional Internet search advertising business.

Last week, Google said that its business running graphical “display” ads – many of which are integrated alongside YouTube videos – was generating $5 billion in revenue on an annualized run rate basis.

Still, most of the 4 billion videos that YouTube now streams worldwide every day do not make money. Three billion YouTube videos a week are monetized, according to the company.

For the full story, click here

4 non-mobile tech trends to look out for in 2012

From over at Memeburn – everyone has been talking about mobile trends, however here are some non-mobile tech trends.

1. Cheaper hardware

In a similar vein, if you’re into electronics, the Raspberry Pi is due to be released and we should see the boards in the general public’s hands early in 2012. What does this have to do with cheap hardware? Well, at around $25 per board, it’s probably one of the cheapest functional computers around on the market. For people who have toyed with Arduino a bit, the Raspberry Pi is interesting because it includes so many useful chips already built into the board, and its comfortable running a standard linux kernel.

 

2. Operating Systems

With Windows 8 coming to market midway through 2012, it’s time to start thinking upgrades again. New versions of the major operating systems are always interesting because they often bring a bunch of new features (and bugs) that create good news stories. I promised I wouldn’t get into mobiles and tablets, so I won’t spend any time talking about the fact that Windows 8 will be the first Microsoft operating system to have support for ARM processors. More interesting is the new Windows-To-Go feature, which will allow you to boot the operating system off a USB stick. To be fair, the Linux community has had this sort of functionality for a while, but it finally means that you won’t need a Knoppix install to attempt to recover things on a faulty Windows hard disk. It’s also a blessing to Windows users, who will be able to carry their chosen Operating System around with them when they travel.

 

3. Games Consoles

For gamers Sony plans to finally release its next hand-held games console, the PlayStation Vita, globally early in the year. The device has already been launched in Japan, but has received an initial slew of complaints suggesting that the global launch may turn out to be a bit of a damp squib. Don’t panic, the new Nintendo Wii U is due to launch in March soon after. Nintendo is also moving toward greater portability, and the new Wii U will feature a hand-held console that connects to the main set-top box wirelessly and includes its own screen. Currently, Nintendo is keeping pretty quiet about what other features we can expect from its next console, but that just leaves us with more to look forward to next year.

 

4. Quantum Computing

2012 also looks ready to herald in the era of quantum computing. Early this year, the world saw its first commercially available quantum computer, D-Wave One, hit the market thanks to Canadian company D-Wave. This 128-qubit workhorse came onto the market with the budget price-tag of around $10 million. As a general purpose computer, D-Wave One is likely to be outpaced for most user operations by your standard PC, however its quantum processing capabilities are designed to tackle heavy-duty optimization and complex number theory problems, commonly used for AI applications. To be fair, D-Wave has been heavily criticised by some scientists working in the field of quantum computing, who have pointed out that their computer is only doing a single operation, called discrete optimization. Physicists argue that D-Wave’s claimed speedup over classical algorithms is based on a misunderstanding and that their computer is likely to be no more powerful than your average mobile phone.

For the full post, click here.

Study: Why Do People Use Facebook?

An interesting post from over at ReadWriteWeb which looks at a number of studies on why people choose to use Facebook.

What Types of People Use Facebook? A Cyberpsychology Approach

A 2009 study by Ross et al. found that personality types that ranked high on neuroticism claimed the Facebook Wall as their favorite component. People who were low on neuroticism, however, said photos were their favorite. A 2009 study by E.S. Orr, et. al. found that while shy individuals had fewer friends on Facebook relative to nonshy people, the shy individuals spent more time on Facebook and liked the social network more overall.

A 2010 study entitled “Narcissism and social networking web sites” found a positive association between narcissism and Facebook use, especially in relation to profiles and photos, both features that allow users to promote themselves. The study found that people with a high level of narcissism and people with low levels of self-esteem spent more than an hour per day on Facebook.

 

We All Want To Be A Part…Of Something: Facebook and the Dual-Factor Model

This last part of the study looked at Facebook use in individualistic versus, which emphasize individual achievements and success, versus collectivistic cultures, which focus on harmony within the group. In these cultures, individual gain is less important than the social group. The study hypothesizes that “members from individualistic cultures are more likely to share private information with their Facebook friends and more likely to raise potentially controversial topics as compared to Facebook users from collectivistic cultures.”

People in collectivist cultures are more likely to stay in troubled marriages and jobs than people in individualistic cultures according to a 2000 study by Diener. As such, Facebook can serve as a support system for those people in collectivist cultures, who have frequent interactions and a close circle of Facebook friends.

A study called “Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook wall: Effects of exposure to Facebook on self-esteem,” looked at the results of being exposed to information presented on one’s Facebook profile, suggesting that it can help enhance self-esteem. This proved especially true when a person edited information about the self.

 

The Bottom Line: Facebook Fulfills Our Need for Self-Presentation

Studies have found that on Facebook, the self you portray is not idealized – it is the real you. But a 2008 study by Zhao, Grasmuck & Martin found that the Facebook selves appeared to be socially desirable identities that individuals aspired to have offline but do not have – yet. Furthermore, identities created on Facebook differed greatly from those constructed in anonymous online environments.

 

So, Why Are We Really Using Facebook?

Facebook currently has 800 million users worldwide. According to the study, people use Facebook to fulfill two basic social needs: the need to belong and the need for self-presentation. Facebook use is also influenced by outside factors, such as cultural background, sociodemographic variables and personality traits.

For the full post, click here

China now world’s largest online population

From over at Memeburn, China now apparently has the world’s largest online population at 513 million.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s online population rose to 513 million in 2011, which is a 12.2% increase from 2010.

In 2010, 63.1 million users had a Weibos account. By 2011, 250 million people (or 48.7% of the online population in China) had either signed up or continued to enjoy a personal or corporate microblog. In a country subjected to fairly brutal online censorship laws, the government will face an uphill battle to control them.

Weibos can be compared to Twitter in terms of function. Twitter is banned in China, therefore the weibos become the most-used medium for online users who were desperate to voice their opinions.

For the full post, click here.

To visit the China Internet Network Information Center, click here.

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