Of course, if you just can’t get enough — there’s always more Gaga. What’s your prediction for the next video to secure the top viewed spot: “Telephone?” Or Kanye West’s next awards show interruption? Let us know your pick in the comments.
The biggest difference, Gross says, lies in the search results themselves. For a long time, Twitter’s search engine would only show results in reverse chronological order, with new tweets flowing in in the order they were created. This is great for keeping tabs on breaking news, but it also has a relevance problem — the best tweets get lost in the noise. Twitter recently made a major improvement by pinning up to three of the most popular tweets matching a given query to the top of results pages, with the real-time stream filling in below them. That’s a big step, but the focus is still largely on the most recent tweets as opposed to the most interesting ones.
TweetUp, on the other hand, puts less focus on the most recent tweets and instead reorders the entire page of results based on relevance, using metrics like retweet frequency, popularity, and how popular links in each tweet are. The site also has an authority ranking for each user on each topic — if you’ve previously tweeted a lot about the iPad over an extended period of time, you’ll probably have a higher authority than someone who is mentioning it for the first time.
Another difference Gross points out lies in how the sponsored tweets themselves are displayed: on Twitter, they’re at the top of the page (for now). On TweetUp, bidding on a sponsored tweet doesn’t guarantee that it will be the top result on a given page. Bidding does boost your authority on that topic and makes it much more likely that your tweet will appear in results, but if a well established expert in the field is tweeting about the same topic, their tweets might appear above your sponsored tweet. This is meant to help the results feel more organic, so that tweets don’t feel “forced” into your feed. Twitter’s official ad platform uses a metric called resonance to get rid of bad ads, but it doesn’t have an impact on the ad’s position onscreen (it’s either at the top of the page or it isn’t).
The last difference Gross highlighted was the market he was trying to address. He believes Twitter is going after the bigger brands and agencies with large CPM buys for its Promoted Tweets, whereas TweetUp is meant to be more of a self-service model, allowing users to bid on the long-tail of keyword matches. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Twitter will offer its own self-service tools, so this may not be a difference after all. What Will Actually Matter
Ultimately, I don’t think many of these differences will last for long if they are proven to be advantages for TweetUp. Twitter is almost certainly working to further improve its search results using relevance algorithms. Likewise, if Twitter sees that TweetUp’s self-service model is working well for a long tail of local businesses looking to run their own ads, then I can’t see a reason why it wouldn’t launch one itself.
What will matter is how much distribution TweetUp can get in the next few months. Remember, Twitter is only offering its Promoted Tweets on its own site for now, which means that third-party Twitter clients (which many people use exclusively) are left to their own devices to integrate ads themselves. And TweetUp is making a very tempting proposition: it’s giving developers who integrate the service 50% of the ad revenue. Likewise, publishers can integrate a TweetUp widget that uses AdSense-like technology to display sponsored tweets relevant to the content on their site. TweetUp is also paying some developers up front to integrate the service. Its roster of partners already include Seesmic, Twitdroid (a popular Android client), twitterfeed and Answers.com.
And, in a much-needed nugget of good news for TweetUp, Twitter COO Dick Costolo said earlier today that Twitter would not require developers to exclusively offer its Promoted Tweets, so TweetUp and Twitter’s own ads could potentially co-exist in third-party clients.
That said, once this window of opportunity ends and Twitter does open Promoted Tweets to third parties, there won’t be much reason for a Twitter client to include both TweetUp and the official Twitter search unless TweetUp brings something extra to the table. Which means TweetUp will need to keep its own search engine significantly ahead of Twitter’s, and/or continue to tempt developers with revenue sharing agreements that are better than what Twitter offers.
I still think the odds are stacked against TweetUp. But Gross is an industry veteran — he’s responsible for the search advertising model that turned Google into a giant (his own company, Overture, went public and was acquired by Yahoo for $1.6 billion). So while it’s never surprising when a startup executive claims that their company will survive apparently insurmountable odds, Gross may have what it takes to pull this off.
Now, once you’re addicted to a game, the only thing that can really save you is work or school, as this is the time when you simply cannot play. Luckily (or unfortunately, depending how you look at it) for Football Manager fans, this is no longer the case, as the mobile version of the game has arrived on the iPhone. As one of the customer reviews on iTunes puts it, “Please tell my wife & children I love them.”
The game is called Football Manager Handheld 2010, and while it’s not the same game as the PC version, it does have most of its features (and, hopefully, its addictiveness). You can manage clubs in any of 34 leagues from 11 countries, and control your tactics, formations, team, individual player instructions, as well as training and transfers.
The game is available here, and it costs $10 in the US, and €10 in Europe.
It’s an all-around refresh of the MacBook Pro roster. All MacBook Pros now start with 4GB of RAM and on bigger models you can choose between the i5 and the i7 processors, namely the Core i5 2.4GHz, Core i5 2.53GHz and Core i7 2.66GHz. The smaller models come with NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics, while the 15.4″ and the 17″ Pros bear NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics with 256 or 512 MB of video RAM.
What else is new? Perhaps the most interesting is the screen options for the 15.4″ Pro. You can now choose between three different screens: Glossy Widescreen Display (1440×900 pixels), Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen Display (1680×1050 pixels) and Hi-Res Antiglare Widescreen Display (1680×1050 pixels). If you’re looking at a 15.4″ MacBook Pro as a good compromise between size and power, lack of screen options shouldn’t be a problem any longer.
Also interesting is the battery life: Apple now promises 10 hours on a single charge for the 13” models, and 8-9 hours for the 15.4” and 17” MacBook Pros.
As far as pricing goes, the 13″ model start at $1199, the cheapest 17″ version now starts at $2,299 — $200 cheaper than before — and the least expensive 15” model is now $1799.
It’s unclear exactly when the offers will be rolling out or which startups the social network is partnering with in the offers, but we’re assuming the Facebook offers will make an appearance in games on the social network. And we hear that the offers platform will be a test at first.
So why would Facebook get into the offers game? The virtual goods and currency market has heated up with the immense popularity of social gaming on Facebook, MySpace and other sites. The space is expected to grow into a $2 billion industry within the next few years and it makes sense that Facebook would want to open up a new revenue source for its new currency platform.
Another reason that Facebook might do this is to have increased control over the types of offers that are served to users on the network. Facebook came under fire last year following the Scamville scandal, in which virtual currency monetization platforms were serving up scammy lead-gen offers to users. Shortly following Scamville, Facebook revamped its enforcement efforts around app advertising and offer scams.
Twitter is going to launch its much-anticipated advertising platform on Tuesday, one day before its first-ever developers conference. The ad platform is called “Promoted Tweets” and will start rolling out Tuesday afternoon, beginning with promoted tweets within Twitter Search results.
According to AdAge and The New York Times, the platform will allow businesses to insert themselves into the Twitter stream in order to rise above the noise. It will start with search results, but later on will enter both Twitter.com streams and third-party apps such as TweetDeck and Tweetie (acquired by Twitter last week). Only one ad will be displayed at a time.
Initial customers of the platform include Virgin America, Bravo, and Starbucks. Advertisers will bid on keywords based on a CPM basis initially, but later on Twitter intends to launch a “resonance score” metric that will judge how much reach and impact individual sponsored tweets have, based on favorites, retweets, and views.
In a lot of ways, it’s like Digg Ads, the social media company’s successful advertising model. Both use user interaction with ads in order to determine the price and longevity of specific ads.
The rollout will begin with search and should expand at the end of 2010, depending on how users react to the Promoted Tweets platform.
[img credit: AdAge]
Microsoft is expected to reveal a line of social networking-centric phones during a live webcast tomorrow. The launch is the culmination of a long-running project within Microsoft called “Project Pink”.The webcast carries the slogan “We’re For Sharing”, while press invites to the event read “It’s time to share”. Leaked marketing materials, meanwhile, include the message “Make Your Network More Social.”
We also know what two of the phones look like — the “Turtle” (top right) is square with a slideout keyboard, while the “Pure” (below) is rectangular. (Images courtesy Gizmodo.) The phones will run on the Verizon network.
As Barb Dybwad wrote of the launch earlier this week:
The “Pink” line will reflect Microsoft’s taking a more hands-on role in developing the hardware side of the mobile spectrum, as opposed to their more typical strategy of handling the software operating system and letting partners design the phones themselves. They’ve also designed some undetailed “online services” for Pink phones in addition to the software and hardware, while Japan’s Sharp Corp. will handle the actual manufacturing.The question is: can Microsoft win over the Facebook () generation by marketing its own handsets? And can the Redmond giant take the sheen off the iPhone?
Mashable () will be live at the launch event in San Francisco tomorrow to find out!
[Hat tip - Andrew Lim]
Bloomberg writes of the sale: “Taiwan’s HTC Corp. and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. have looked at the company and may be potential bidders…Dell Inc. also looked at Palm, though it decided against an offer”.
As they do with any major new iPhone OS release, people have been tearing apart the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK from the very second it was available. Almost immediately, someone noticed that bits and pieces of iChat had found their way into the new software.
By itself, it didn’t really make sense. The iPhone has plenty of incredibly solid third-party IM applications — some of them being amongst the App Store’s best sellers. Why would Apple be sneaking any parts of iChat onto the iPhone? Then the first mentions of a front facing camera were unearthed, and it all started coming together in the form of two little words: video chat. Alas, there was no concrete proof that Apple was following the same train of thought.. until now.
You see, much of iPhone OS’ underpinnings can be revealed through tricks called “class dumping” and “string dumping”. Through class dumping, you can take a peek into which frameworks and APIs are being used by any given application. (Ever heard of an application using “unpublished” APIs? This is how the developers found those APIs in the first place — and how Apple caught them, for that matter.) Through string dumping, all of the various bits of text pre-programmed into an app can be ripped out and displayed.
When the guys over at 9to5Mac started using the above techniques to explore the innards of the new SDK, it all came spilling out. There they were, in good ol’ plain English: references to video chatting, ranging from inviting users to terminating calls. More digging unveiled that Apple appears to be testing video chat on four servers: three privately located on Apple’s own intranet, and one which is (currently) open to the world (albeit mostly useless).
We spoke to our own sources, many of whom were tight-lipped on the matter. Of those who did pipe up, they were able to confirm 9to5’s findings, along with at least 30 other references to video chat support that went unmentioned. All of them — and us, for that matter — seem to be wondering the same thing: why the heck did Apple leave this in (semi-private) public view? Apple’s known for shrouding even the most minute details in secrecy; here, it’s seems as if they’re almost intentionally throwing many dozens of hints about an unannounced feature in a place where tinkerers were almost guaranteed to find it. Is Apple learning to love the rumor mill?
My current educated guess based on everything that has been whispered to me so far: I don’t think iChat, as an IM client that would compete with the third party apps, is coming to the iPhone — but that Apple will be using bits and pieces of the iChat core to power their video chat service. I’ll keep my ear to the ground for more.
The new site speed criterion isn’t weighted as heavily as something like page relevance, however. Google says less than 1% of actual search queries performed are being affected by the site speed dimension in the current implementation.
Do you think web site performance should affect search result rankings?
Here’s a piece of that blog post:
“This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to Apple’s devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D.”While it’s unlikely that Brimelow speaks for the entire company, it is still a very powerful attack on Apple. It’s a change in tone from just a month ago, when Adobe told us in an interview that it did not believe there was a battle between Apple and Adobe.
However, it’s the last paragraph that is the most striking, although Brimelow makes it clear that he’s speaking as his own man, not as a representative of Adobe:
“Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.”Apple has essentially neutered the core feature of Adobe CS5, which is launching in less than a week, so we can understand why Adobe’s team is incredibly upset. We also understand the logic behind why Apple made this change. That why we believe this war is going to escalate, as neither side is going to back down.
MSFTKitchen seems the think the free edition is closer to reality than ever before, especially with businesses pushing to move software into the cloud. After a little digging, he discovered that an actual ad-based version of Windows has actually been created.
The latest finding stems around the LinkedIn profile of a senior program manager at Microsoft. In her "resume," she lists a prototype for advertising model in Windows called "Project Madision," and is supposedly not the same code name used for SQL 2010. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley added her two cents to the speculation, pointing out that Madision (and yes it's misspelled, probably on purpose) may be derived from Madison Avenue in Manhattan: the name of this street is "synonymous with the American advertising industry," says Wikipedia.
If Microsoft is still pursuing the ad-based version, this could alleviate some of the problems with Windows-based piracy, or consumers intent on spreading their one license across multiple computers (via crack). But how would this work? How would Microsoft make revenue out of a free edition? "In theory, you could use a "Windows Ads Edition" or something where you’ve basically opted for ads to stream to you in exchange for your usage of Windows," Chapman surmised.
The idea isn't farfetched. Businesses would certainly scramble to get their ad on millions of Windows-based desktops, and Microsoft would simply float in a sea of money. Naturally, consumers who actually purchase a version of Windows wouldn't receive the ad-based input. Instead, it would be locked on to those individuals who can't afford-- or refuse-- to purchase a copy of Windows, but still want to use the OS in a legal, non-pirating sense.
Would you use a free, ad-based edition of Windows?
On Thursday, Apple will unveil iPhone OS 4.0. It’s not the only thing the company is expected to reveal, though. As we wrote last week, Apple is slated to launch its iAd mobile advertising platform, based off of its acquisition of Quattro Wireless in January.
If true, the move would place Apple into direct competition with Google (), whose acquisition of AdMob is still pending regulatory approval. Online advertising is Google’s bread-and-butter, perhaps even more than search. It has millions of advertisers, endless streams of data, and seasoned advertising talent at its disposal.
So does Apple, whose specialty isn’t advertising, stand a chance in a duel to the death with the Google juggernaut? The answer is a surprising “yes”, depending on what shape iAd takes and how the iPhone vs. Android () battle plays out. It’s fighting a more experienced competitor, though
Apple Has a Head Start
While Google may have the talent and the experience in advertising, Apple has the head-start in mobile, which could make all of the difference in this battle.
While very few details have been revealed concerning iAd, there are a few assumptions we can logically make. First, it will be based around the iPhone OS (and thus it’ll be designed for the iPhone and iPad, at least initially). Second, it will incorporate features that made the iPhone App Store () a smash hit, likely including a 70/30 revenue split or something similar. Finally, it’ll incorporate a great deal of Quattro Wireless’s ad delivery technology.
What does that mean, though? It means that Apple has a larger user base for launching its mobile platform and has greater access to mobile advertising technology than Google. The search giant can’t utilize its AdMob acquisition yet, while Apple’s had several months to integrate Quattro’s technology into its own platform. And while Android is growing, the iPhone still has much more market share.
Even if and when the AdMob deal is finalized, Google will have a lot of catching up to do. It also won’t have the scale of the iPhone for its launch.
How Will Google Counter?
How Will Google Counter?
Google threw the first punch by acquiring AdMob, but now Apple has thrown a nasty left hook and an uppercut with its Quattro Wireless acquisition and the likely launch of iAd this Thursday. How will Google counter these blows?
First thing’s first: Google needs to convince the FTC that its acquisition of AdMob isn’t anticompetitive. The result of the FTC’s review is anybody’s guess.
Second, Google needs to move quickly to create an advertising platform for apps based off AdMob’s technology.
Finally, Google needs to use both its technology and AdMob’s technology to create a stronger web-based advertisement platform. Whoever gets ad optimization for iPhone, iPad, and Android right is going to be in a far better position than its competition.
Google’s greatest advantage against Apple is that it has more relationships and experience with web-based advertising, and it already has the technology to back it up (in fact, AdSense has been mobile for years). It’s unclear how aggressive Apple’s iAd platform will be, but my bet is that it doesn’t really focus on web-based advertising, at least initially.
So, Can Apple Win? Absolutely. But Will It?
In the end, I think you’re going to see two dominant mobile ad platforms, one around the iPhone and one around Android. However, the key to this battle will be based around who can expand their reach onto other platforms (BlackBerry, Symbian, etc.) the fastest and can expand the most effectively onto the mobile web. Unless Apple has some tricks up its sleeves, Google’s experience in advertising and its relationships with advertisers gives it an edge that even Apple’s head start doesn’t beat.
I believe that this will be one of the most interesting technology battles of 2010.
A magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook Baja California this afternoon. It was felt from San Diego to Mexicali to Phoenix. There was some damage, but thankfully, casualties were low.
We turned to Twitter () for a closer look at the earthquake’s impact on the communities along the Pacific. These photos of the damage in Mexicali and other locales were shared via Twitter and TwitPic () this afternoon by people who experienced the earthquake first-hand.
We saw it (perhaps more aptly) after the Chile earthquake, too: Social media can make personal experiences universal. Twitter advocates like to talk about how much more quickly news and images can get out through the service, but that’s not the only thing that’s changed in today’s world as a result of social media.
By comparison, it took Apple more than 70 days to sell 1 million iPhones after the initial launch.
Brainstorm Tech writes:
In a report to clients issued Saturday night, Munster’s estimated that by midnight Sunday, Apple will have sold 600,000 to 700,000 iPads, including pre-orders — more than double his relatively conservative pre-launch estimate of 200,000 to 300,000. (Other analysts had published estimates of 300,000 to 400,000.)It took Apple 74 days to sell its first million units of the original iPhone, and three days each to sell a million units of the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3Gs.
The estimates were made after Munster’s team put in calls to Apple stores around the country, although it’s worth questioning how accurate that method might be.
The Federal Communications Commission has publicly posted a series of images and documents sent to it by Apple — they are documents ranging from calibration tests to photos of the internal components. Apple requested that these pictures not be posted for 180 days, but clearly that request was denied.
iFixit used the opportunity to analyze not only the WiFi iPad, but the 3G version as well. They’re still posting the results of their analysis of the teardown, but here are some of the highlights:
- The battery isn’t soldered into the iPad frame — it’s removable and replaceable by technicians in the same fashion as the iPhone
- Wi-fi and Bluetooth () are integrated into a single board
- Dual speaker system: aka stereo sound
- The most expensive part of the iPad is likely the display assembly, specifically the in-plane switching technology and the LED backlighting. The display is most likely made by LG-Phillips
- The battery is a 24.8 watt-hour (6.5 Amp hour) battery. For context, the iPhone 3GS has a 4.51 watt-hour battery and the MacBook Air has a 40 watt-hour battery
- The iPad model’s number, according to the FCC, is A1337. Before you discuss Internet speak, the casing also sems to say that its model number is A1219, which would date the development cycle of the iPad all the way back to just after the beginning of development for the 1st gen iPod touch
“The iPad is completely portable — even more so than a laptop,” said Westergren in a call today. “You can imagine taking it all over your house or passing it around a group of friends. And it has a lot more real estate than a smartphone to accommodate the lean-in user. It’s not passive, in the background; you’re engaged with it.”
“In the long run, we want to do all the things you’d ever want to do while listening to the radio. Getting more info on the artist, sharing content socially. It’s a radio/interconnective tool hybrid… That device is tailor-made for videos.”
Don’t expect to listen to Pandora and use other iPad apps simultaneously; the hardware simply isn’t set up for that yet. “We cross our fingers for [multitasking],” said Westergren, “but that’s a decision for Apple to make.” Perhaps the lack of multitasking is Pandora’s best reason for marketing the app as an “immersive experience” rather than as an in-the-background Internet radio station.
Pandora will be free to download on the iPad, although users can also choose to subscribe to the service for a fee. But Westergren said nothing in the app is especially designed to drive subscriptions. “Our approach is that we want to make it easy for someone to subscribe, but not to force them to,” he explained.” We’re not trying to channel them to that decision, but making them aware of the benefits and making it simple to choose if they want it.”
The technology that kicks this e-ink watch into overdrive is its active matrix display — the same type of screen technology behind your typical LCD panel. Using active matrix, all of the legibility and low-power consumption benefits of e-ink are combined with a much richer range of imagery and data display. Compared to earlier e-ink watches — whose displays could only render a few hundred individual segments in black or white only — the “Future Now” watch renders 80,000 pixels in four shades of gray, providing 300 dpi resolution for intensely sharp and clear images even within the restricted dimensions of a wristwatch screen.
For those of you who still wear watches, would you want one of these on your wrist? Check out a video of the “Future Now” in action below and let us know what you think.
In terms of both traffic and revenue, Facebook has been leaving other social networking sites in the dust for some time. Yet in terms of web search – the terms people use either to find information or navigate to websites – Facebook is just now topping the bill.
For some perspective, consider the fact that “Facebook” as a root search term commands 2.8% of all brand-related searches, while MySpace () accounts for around 1.1% of them. Sites such as YouTube () and Twitter don’t even rank a tenth of a percent of searches, according to Hitwise’s metrics.
Part of what makes these results so fascinating is that many users still prefer to search for the term “Facebook” rather than typing “Facebook.com” into their browser address bars. What this could mean is that, even with less web-literate users, Facebook is still growing significantly.
It’s also interesting to note that Hitwise’s data takes into consideration more than 10,673 unique variations on the “Facebook” root term over the past week alone.
Furthermore, by offering storage capacity of 1 GB per user, Gmail () dwarfed the competitors which long held the notion that free webmail doesn’t deserve decent storage. It was a one-two combination that made Gmail one of the most popular Google () services, and solidified its reputation as a kind giant, which offers free stuff where others charge for it.
Right now, Gmail is one of the most popular webmail clients in the world, and besides the giants of old such as Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, perhaps the only one worth mentioning. It offers over 7400 MB of free storage to users, and it has been the foundation for other Google services such as Google Talk (), Google Apps and Google Buzz ().
Today, Gmail is six years old and it’s still one of the most important services from Google; many thought that email was dead ten years ago, but today, it doesn’t really seem like it’s going away any time soon.
The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg calls it “pretty close” to being a laptop killer. the New York Times’ David Pogue takes a unique approach by reviewing the iPad for two audiences: techies and non-techies. How do you know which camp you fall into? If you “have more e-mail addresses than pants” (us: check!) then you’re a techie, according to Pogue.
For techies, Pogue says the iPad is “basically a gigantic iPod touch.” The review for everyone else? “Basically a gigantic iPod touch.” Beyond those two identical takeaway points though, Pogue’s review is a good drilldown into how the device may be perceived and appreciated (or not) differently by the two camps.
PC Magazine also has their review up with some nice video walkthroughs, and USA Today’s Edward Baig also has posted his take on the device: “it’s a winner.”
Check out the ABC News video hands-on with the iPad below too. As the hype machine shifts from light speed into ludicrous speed you’ll have to let us know: do you want one of these things or not?
ABC News Hands-on with the iPad
It comes as a shock to no one that Hulu is most probably working on an iPad app, as four different sources have told the New York Times. Those sources also say the company is interested in testing out a subscription model in the iPad version.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, who has been traditionally tight-lipped about the topic of subscriptions, seems to have recently warmed to talking about the idea. He told the NYT, “Our mission is to help people discover the world’s premium content, and we believe that subscriptions can help to unlock some of that, including sports and movies and premium cable shows. We’re certainly open to subscriptions as a complement to an ad-supported model.”
Apparently some of Hulu’s () content partners are putting a significant amount of pressure on the site to explore the subscription model. And since moving Hulu’s content onto a new platform like the iPad requires a huge amount of effort not just technically but also with negotiating licensing deals, it would make sense to defray some of that cost with additional revenue streams from something like subscription. One Hulu employee likened the effort required to port Hulu to other platforms like the iPad or mobile devices to “trying to pass the health care bill.”
Kilar also confirmed in the same interview that the site has been profitable for the past two quarters. He said 2009 revenue was over $100 million, and the site could reach that figure already by summer of this year. Still, with content partners clamoring for an even larger revenue slice, subscription might be a logical next step to consider — especially if consumers show a willingness to open their wallets for content on the new iPad platform.
Would you be willing to pay a subscription fee to watch TV on your iPad?