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Vodafone spurns Facebook appeal to provide ‘zero rate’ content

Britain’s Vodafone has snubbed a request from Facebook to ‘zero rate’ its content in certain emerging markets, the operator’s CEO Vittorio Colao has revealed.
Speaking in New York where he was addressing Vodafone shareholders before the sale of its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless later this month, Colao told how he had been approached by Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s chief operating officer – to exclude the cost of access to the social networking site so that, in poorer countries, it didn’t count towards a subscriber’s data plan.
But Colao said he declined the request because “it does not make any sense . . . there is no reason why I should give my network capacity for free.” Continue reading

motorola_lenovo Google sells handset division to Lenovo for bargain basement price

Loses billions as it sheds Motorola biz that it acquired in only 2012

Google has agreed to sell its handset division to Chinese giant Lenovo less than two years after its foray into mobile phones, ostensibly surrendering to a market that proved too competitive. Under the deal, announced last night [29th January 2013] Motorola Mobility will be sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, vastly less than the $12.5 billion Google paid to buy the business in May 2012 when the smartphone patent battles were at their height. Then, Motorola’s trove of 17,000 patents was the main attraction for Google, though its hardware business was seen as an extra incentive, giving Google the chance to make its own branded devices against the likes of Apple, Nokia and BlackBerry. Continue reading

Christopher_Austin Guest Post: Apps and games we can’t live without

by Christopher Austin, a freelance writer who sometimes works with Army Games 365

Who doesn’t love a good app on their smartphone? Those beautiful, colourful squares have become vital tools to our daily existence. Shazam, MyFitnessPal, Instagram, Twitter, and numerous others, are keeping our lives in motion. Social media is now more powerful than ever, and with the advent of technology there’s no better way to stay connected with your friends than through a good app. Games should not be overlooked either because they’re just as valuable and engaging as the most popular apps out there. Continue reading

Juniper_in-app_spend Spend on in-app ads will increase fivefold by 2018

Latest predictions for spend on in-app advertising from Juniper Research

According to a new report from Juniper Research in-app mobile adspend should reach $16.9 billion by 2018 – up from $3.5 billion in 2013. The report says growth will be driven by several key factors including: – improved targeting capabilities plus a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising. Plus tablets will close the adspend gap on smartphones. Continue reading

adblocker_facebook Debate over what data can be mined hots up for Facebook

Latest move is a class action in California

The battle between pragmatic mobile advertisers and the Internet libertarians has taken a new twist. Those who feel that the web must be ‘free’ have taken steps against social media giant, Facebook, over what they view as a case of “intercepting communications for profit.” What Facebook is trying to do is being a highly accurate profile of its readership, of course. So any information it can glean is highly prized. However, Matthew Campbell of Arkansas and Michael Hurley of Oregon have filed suit against Facebook in a Northern District Court of California seeking damages. Whilst this is currently a US based spat, its implication do, of course, have global implications. Continue reading

snapchat_photo Fear of advertising could be behind the Snapchat attack

Gibson Security’s exploits behind 4.6m Snapchat user exposée

The perils of failing to heed warnings from mobile security experts have been brought home to Snapchat – the popular photo sharing service. An Australian based operation, Gibson Security, published details for the company’s private API on December 24th [2013]. According to reports on the BBC, a hacker group calling itself SnapchatDB promptly published 4.6 million names and phone numbers with the last two digits obscured to prove the point. The group told TechCrunch here, “We used a modified version of gibsonsec’s exploit/method.” When GoMo News saw Gibson Security’s Press release here, we realised that fears that Snapchat was on the verge of introducing advertising could have motivated the revelations. Continue reading

Mark_davis_citrix Guest Post: Video advertisements will drive data growth in previously bandwidth-light apps in 2014

by Mark Davis, senior director of product marketing, Citrix

Mobile Advertising has already seen significant growth with three out of ten mobile subscribers served ads. However, whilst to date users have typically been twenty times more likely to be served an image-based ad compared to a video ad, the impact of these video ads is ten times that of its image-based counterpart. As video advertising becomes more commonplace on social networks, so the volume of video traffic will be driven up. I predict that in 2014 video ads streamed to mobile subscribers will double the volume of data produced through mobile advertising. Plus the launch of video ads on Instagram and Facebook will transform the mobile advertising market and its impact of the mobile network. Here are the rest of my predictions for 2014. Continue reading

Influx of local smartphones is troubling Big Brands in emerging markets

Spice mobile brands curry favour with Indian consumers
by our Indian correspondent, Asif Shaik

Since the inception of Android, we have seen dozens of new smartphone brands emerge. Some of the most popular new brands are Xiaomi in China, Micromax in India, Smartfren in Indonesia, Ninetology in Malaysia and Tecno Mobiles in African countries. Combined, all these local brands, are providing tough competition to established international players like Samsung and Apple – especially in emerging markets. Neglecting the importance of dual SIM smartphones has cost international brands a huge chunks of their emerging markets share. In India we’ve also seen the dominance of the ‘spice mobile’ phone makers. Continue reading

Xiaomi 's Lei Jun China Mobile is China’s Top Brand says WPP’s Sorrell

He bigs up smartphone maker Xiaomi which didn’t list coz it’s private

It’s taken us a couple of weeks to notice because WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell was writing on LinkedIn – rather than a blog or on Twitter. Anyway, GoMo News has just noticed that Millward Brown, the global research firm, has published its definitive annual BrandZ list of China’s Top Brands. And right there at Number One is the world’s largest MNO [Mobile Network Operator] – China Mobile.  Significantly, Sorrell highlights smartphone maker Xiaomi which didn’t make the list. That’s because it is a private company and is therefore ineligible for this survey. He describes its CEO, Lei Jun, as the Steve Jobs of China – a moniker which he apparently dislikes. Continue reading

mms is popular on valentine's day Popularity of ‘selfies’ and videos expected to drive a spike in MMS this Xmas

MMS remains a popular communication platform with over half of USA and UK mobile subscribers using the technology in conjunction with OTT apps

Press release

December 19th 2013. Research from the global mobile messaging leader, Acision, confirms the ongoing popularity of MMS as a habitual messaging and content sharing service in both the UK and the USA. The annual findings, now in their second year, show 51 per cent of British and 58 per cent of North American smartphone users currently use the platform. This makes it the second most-popular messaging tool after SMS in the USA and third behind SMS and Facebook Messenger in the UK. MMS is more popular with transatlantic women, with 54 per cent of UK and 61 per cent of US women using the platform compared to 47 per cent and 55 per cent of men respectively. Continue reading

no black-box or managed-service - davies Twitter set to move into mobile advertising ad space

Industry reaction from Adbrain

The recent news that Twitter is trying to move into the mobile advertising ad space comes as no surprise to the established players. “Twitter’s recent acquisition of MoPub and its need to keep its new shareholders happy meant it was only a matter of time before it started retargeting on mobile,” observed Gareth Davies, CEO at Adbrain. But it isn’t going to be all plain sailing even if Twitter is a massive player in the social networking sector. Continue reading

MNOs offer the only ubiquitous messaging service - Amedume IM services like WhatsApp overtaking Facebook

And MNOs are ideally positioned to take advantage says Acision

Recent research by On Device here found that IM [Instant Messaging] app leader, WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook in terms of being the leading social messaging service on mobile. The report also confirmed that social messaging apps – including WeChat, Twitter, BBM and Skype – are the dominant way in which people communicate on their mobile phones. This ties in neatly with Acision‘s own research which revealed that 80 per cent of UK smartphone owners are now using Over-the-Top (OTT) or IM services, with 76 per cent of these using both SMS and OTT/IM messaging services together. “Multi-channel messaging is a reality and consumers are utilising different messaging platforms to fulfil their different messaging needs,” claimed Koby Amedume, global director of communications with Acision. Continue reading

MNOs offer the only ubiquitous messaging service - Amedume Guest Post: Monetising mobile messaging in an OTT world

by Koby Amedume, global director of communication, Acision

It is no secret that recouping significant infrastructure investments, including deployment of 4G spectrum is a priority for mobile operators globally. In the race to differentiate service offerings to acquire and retain customers, identifying the technologies and services that will enable operators to be more agile will be vital in boosting customer loyalty, service innovation and revenue assurance. Operators are also looking to reduce costs, minimise customer churn, and respond to outside business threats such as revenue leakage on their networks and challenges presented by OTT apps and internet players. Continue reading

Jose_Garcia tyntec Guest Post: How mobile operators are tackling the rise of OTT services

by Jose Garcia, vp for sales & carrier relations with tyntec

Latest research by mobilesquared, sponsored by tyntec, has revealed that mobile network operators (MNOs) are looking to protect their voice and messaging revenues from the rise of over the top (OTT) communication services. The OTT communications market is set to be worth $53.7 billion by 2017 and have 2.1 billion smartphone users communicating via OTT players like WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype. mobilesquared’s research confirmed that the number of mobile operators that are partnering with OTT providers has risen from 32 per cent in 2012 to 36 per cent in 2013. Operators have become less keen to block OTT services, impose surcharges or charge for data. But, how have they adapted their strategies? Continue reading

distraction-free iphone -knapp Anti-distraction apps to beat information overload

Why is Google Ventures man disabling an iPhone anyway?

A very intriguing article in the London Evening Standard here entitled ‘Get your devices in order with apps to help you switch-off’. It’s basically about the latest fad amongst Londoners who are basically dumbing down or turning off their smartphones in order to beat the effects of information overload. We suspect that the author, Phoebe Luckhurst, is a bit of an Apple iPhone fan because she seems to have missed a massive irony. What is a design partner from Google Ventures doing with an iPhone in the first place? Frankly we are not remotely surprised he decided to dumb down an Apple device. Continue reading