Category Archives: US

Microsoft Offers Ad-free Bing Search for Schools

Bing has launched a pilot scheme in the US to offer all schools ad-free access to the platform. 

Bing for Schools also offers enhanced privacy settings and filters to block adult content, along with a digital learning exercise delivered everyday via the homepage at the right level for each student. 

This is the first time a service like this has been offered by a major search engine, giving schools the ‘choice to avoid the commercialisation of student web searches’. More than 800,000 students have already been signed up, from school districts in LA, Atlanta, Fresno and Detroit. 

Parents have the opportunity to earn Bing Rewards for participating schools by using the regular search engine at home – and no doubt a sweetener for the company as it seeks to increase its share of search users. Microsoft says that 30,000 credits will get the school a Mircosoft Surface RT  – which the company estimates would only take 60 regular users a month to do.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/microsoft-offers-ad-free-bing-search-schools#d8OAEVqk0mqVt3Zr.99

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Going OTT: Messaging Apps Stats Roundup

Following our roundup of the key features and user numbers of the most popular messaging apps around the world, we’ve gathered together some more detailed stats shared with Mobile Marketing by Onavo

Gender and age 

Using messaging apps, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a slightly more female-slanted pursuit than male, with highest usage among women seen on MessageMe, KakaoTalk and Snapchat. Men are slightly more likely to use Skype and Viber, while WhatsApp is an even split.

Messaging apps are nearly all most popular among 25 to 34-year-olds, particularly MessageMe, LINE and KakaoTalk. Snapchat was the only app that bucked this trend, being most popular among 18 to 24-year-olds, who take a 39 per cent share of the app’s global iOS audience. The most popular app among 55 to 64s and the over 65s is trusty Skype. Usage of MessageMe among 55 to 64s was the only instance where where activity exceeded those aged 45 to 54. 

US, UK and Canada compared 

When comparing the usage of messaging apps by iPhone users in the US, Canada and the UK, the largest stat is that WhatsApp is used by 49 per cent in the UK – the highest reach of any app in any of the countries we looked at. In contrast, it reaches just 12 per cent of US iOS app users. WhatsApp is followed rather distantly in the UK by Skype at 22 per cent reach and Snapchat at 21 per cent. 

In the US, Snapchat has the greatest reach, used by 26 per cent of iOS app users, followed by Skype on 21 per cent and Facebook Messenger on 17 per cent. This is the only time Facebook Messenger appears among the top three – and it has only been downloaded by 19 per cent of Facebook users worldwide. 

In Canada meanwhile, Skype edges into number one, with 22 per cent reach, closely followed by Snapchat, with 20 per cent, and WhatsApp on 18 per cent. Across the three countries, Skype enjoys the most consistent reach in all countries. 

WhatsApp is a success – whatever its limitations 

WhatsApp is clearly hit and miss, with a number of limitations, including a lack of voice calls, but does directly link in to Skype if both have been downloaded. That’s probably why, worldwide among these three apps, 44 per cent of WhatsApp users also using Skype as well. Viber supplements WhatsApp’s service for 28 per cent of users. Just 23 per cent of Skype users also have WhatsApp. 

Whatever WhatsApp’s limitations, among messaging app users on iOS worldwide, it is present on 99 per cent of handsets it Spain, along with 96 per cent in Hong Kong, Columbia and Argentina, showing it has achieved international fame.

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/going-ott-messaging-apps-stats-roundup#Kc1J7muol4QBaLe8.99

83 Per Cent of Facebook’s Daily UK Users are Mobile

In a bid to bring on more advertisers to add to the 1m plus on board already, Facebook has for the first time revealed daily and monthly users in the UK and US, as well as how many active mobile users there are in each country. Further country-specific data, promised at regular intervals, is also on the way, according to a spokesperson. We’ve pulled together all of the latest stats from Facebook to give you an idea of how mobile usage is growing worldwide, in each country and as a share of advertising.  

Global user stats Q2, 2013 

  • Monthly users: 1.15bn = +3.6 per cent q/q and +21 per cent y/y  
  • Daily users: 669m = +5.1 per cent q/q and +26 per cent y/y 
  • Monthly mobile users: 819m = +9 per cent q/q and +51 per cent y/y 
  • Daily mobile users: 469m = +10 per cent q/q  
  • Mobile-only: 219m = 20 per cent of total monthly users, more than Twitter has in total 
  • No. of mobile page impressions: 65bn per day 
  • Ad revenue: $1.16bn = 88 per cent of $1.81bn total revenue 
  • Mobile ad revenue: $656m = 36 per cent of total revenue, +10 percentage points q/q 
  • No. of advertisers: +1m worldwide 

US user stats Q2, 2013 

  • Monthly users: 179m  
  • Daily users: 128m 
  • Monthly mobile users: 142m = 79 per cent of monthly users 
  • Daily mobile users: 101m = 78 per cent of daily US users and 20 per cent of total global daily mobile users 

UK user stats Q2, 2013 

  • Monthly users: 33m 
  • Daily users: 24m 
  • Monthly mobile users: 26m = 78 per cent of monthly UK users 
  • Daily mobile users: 20m = 83 per cent of daily UK users  

Other  

  • Facebook for Every Phone users: 100m

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/83-cent-facebooks-daily-uk-users-are-mobile#9v1GseSETCLd3Vjk.99

“Banks are terrified that Amazon will be a formal bank”

“Banks are terrified that Amazon will be a formal bank,” Deborah Perry Piscione – Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author of Silicon Valley Whispers – told her audience at an event at the London School of Economics. “Amazon knows how its sellers are doing at any given moment at any given day.” She said that applying for a loan with them, therefore, could happen in just six questions. 

Piscione spent the early years of her career working in national politics and the media in the US, reaching both Capitol Hill and the Whitehouse. On moving to Silicon Valley, at a time when Google was just starting to take shape and Zuckerberg was merely a topic of conversation, she found a culture quite different to the corporate world she was used to. “In Washington, we were indoctrinated into this cult that you withhold information and don’t share it,” she told an audience of students and entrepreneurs at LSE. 


“Silicon Valley was a land completely of the unknown. It took me a long time to realise what made this place so unbelievably unique. It is incredibly open and you have to get used to information sharing – often sharing with direct competitors because they can help validate your platform or product.” 


In her book, Piscione discusses what makes the culture of Silicon Valley so different. She said it’s the kind of place that can take a 23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg seriously because, unlike the hierarchies of Washington or London, people there don’t care about your age, gender or the colour of your skin. “The perception is that you’re smart and what you’re building is growing really quickly.” 


Unlimited vacation and intropreneurialsm 


She highlighted Google’s Campus, where you can get a haircut, see a doctor and even get your car’s oil changed, as an example to other businesses around the world. “So you’re not thinking about all those other tasks that bog you down on a daily basis. Netflix gives its employees unlimited vacation time. How do you motivate people based on valuing them?” 


There is also a culture of intropreneurialism, exemplified with the story of Youtube, where its founders were working at PayPal during the day and then on the platform, which started out life as a dating site, at night. And, unlike in Europe, people are allowed to fail. In fact, it might mean they are taken more seriously. She added that there is nothing more important than what is going on in HR. Focusing on people makes a “greater difference between success and failure overall.” 


Comparing Silicon Valley to London, and not without highlighting the better weather and outdoors lifestyle, she said: “Traffic in London has just gotten worse and worse.” She suggests scattering work hours around rush hour to ensure staff are less stressed and so more creative. 


The Valley’s close links with Stanford, which was founded in the 19th century with a commitment to ensure that students, faculty and professors had a connection with the local community, as well the university’s great support for the next generation, have set it apart. The heritage of VCs, the opportunity to build relationship and the supporting infrastructure, likewise. “VCs do everything possible to make that entrepreneur a success.” But its bubble-based economy, Piscione said, tends towards get rich quick rather than value creation which means: “VCs have huge pressure on them to get a quick ROI.” She said she believes platforms like Kickstarter are changing the funding game but highlighted that Silicon Valley has the support system, the networks and the people to make it more likely that a business can succeed. 


Failing national education 


But, while the Ivy League prospers, she said that primary and secondary education, as in the UK, is not doing a great job of preparing its young people for the jobs of the 21st century. California is 48th out of 50 states in terms of spending per pupil. “I’m not sure Silicon Valley has the answer on that front.” 


An audience member highlighted the latest draft of the national curriculum, which will now prioritise advanced IT from an early age. “Computing is not even the future, it’s the here and now. There has been a massive shift in the economy but the education is not giving kids, particularly girls, exposure to STEM subjects. It takes effort and really thinking outside of the box in not continuing to do things you’ve done over the last 50 years, but asking what are you going to do over the next 50 years.” 


She highlighted that PayPal founder Peter Thiel has now started his own fellowship programme, which encourages young people to opt-out of college. On the issue of working visas, she added:  “We certainly have to stop educating people at MIT, Harvard and Stanford and then sending them back home.” 


IP issues 


Asked about growing concerns around intellectual property, Piscione highlighted that Cisco spent $59m (£39.7m) last year defending their patents from “patent trolls” and suggested the need for a new international governing body on this. While many complain that the stealing only goes one way, she also pointed out that eBay “kind of copied a company out of China. Who takes it on, I don’t know – that’s got to be the conversation and the dialogue.” 


Will Apple really have the next new new thing? 


Asked about the future of some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies, she said: “There’s lots of conversation in Silicon Valley around will Apple have that next generation – what that new new thing is?” On the current ubiquity of services like Facebook and Google, she said: “You can’t imagine it being in your life – I just got a smartphone not long ago – you continue to resist and then can’t imagine life without it. But there will definitely be something else after Facebook and twitter – and soon.” 

Piscione questioned how much tech we really need, and whether younger generations will suffer from burnout, although she did highlight support from some in Silicon Valley towards biotech. She also warned against focusing on whether it’s web 2.0 or mobile: “because they’re all in there, we now need to look to continue to diversify our economy.”

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here:
http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/%E2%80%9Cbanks-are-terrified-amazon-will-be-formal-bank%E2%80%9D#Q1zC3BL6d06YlRTA.99

18 to 25-year-olds in the UK Send 225 Messages a Week

While SMS is still the most widely used messaging service both in the UK and the US, at 96 per cent and 92 per cent respectively, multiple messaging services are now used by 75 per cent of people across both countries.  

Users of BBM send the largest volume of messages in the UK, an average of 110 per week, according to the survey done by Acision. SMS is second highest, at 75 message per week, Whatsapp at 74, with iMessage and Facebook Messenger on 64 per week. 


Young adults in the UK, not surprisingly, send 22 per cent more than any other age group – 225 every week. SMS still rules in the US however, with 111 messages sent on this channel every week. Young people aged 12 to 18 send 150 texts on average every week here.


Most people message more than 24 people on average across all these platforms, with many seeing SMS as more appropriate for work and OTT for friends. Women also send more SMSs than men. Many of the 1,000 people asked in the US and UK say they prefer OTT because these apps have richer features, like confirmed deliver, speed and cost, which was particularly important in the UK.   


On the launch of the results, Glen Murray, SVP and GM of Acision in Europe and Russia, took these results as another warning to mobile operators to up their game. “Operators have to be able to monetise five or six different things to compete today,” he said.  


The research, perhaps necessarily, did not look at all of the OTT apps used in both countries, which have evolved to services like Snapchat, Skype and MessageMe. 


Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/18-25-year-olds-uk-send-225-messages-week#zcDjEpvkFd14ovTf.99

FTC Tells Google: "Don’t be Evil"

Written for and first published here: http://mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/ftc-tells-google-stop-being-evil

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices following a large-scale investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into the company’s operations.

The FTC criticised Google for breaches of licensing agreements on patents essential to the development of the industry. The agreement could spell the end of the wave of costly class actions over patent infringments between technology companies.

Google has also promised to stop using content from other companies’ websites for use on its own vertical offerings, and will also give advertisers more flexibility to manage ad campaigns on Google AdWords, along with other rival ad platforms simultaneously. While Google was investigated for manipulating search algorithms to favour its own vertical websites, the FTC concluded that this ‘could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product and the experience of its users’.

Standardised patent ruling

Motorola, bought by Google in June, is accused of reneging on commitments to give competitors fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access to patents needed to develop products including iPhones, iPads and Xboxes. Google continued this, seeking injunctions against companies that wanted to license these patents, which ‘constitute unfair methods of competition, as well as unfair acts and practices’, the Commission said.

Should the terms be accepted following a period of public comment, this could set a precedent for similar disputes across other industries where companies amass patents for ‘for purely defensive purposes’. The judgement should prevent firms from performing a ‘patent ambush’, where the cost of royalties incurred by businesses can be passed on to consumers, or prevent products from being developed at all.

“The changes Google has agreed to make will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of competition in the online marketplace and in the market for innovative wireless devices they enjoy,” said FTC chairman, Jon Leibowitz. “This was an incredibly thorough and careful investigation by the Commission, and the outcome is a strong and enforceable set of agreements.”

Some members of the Commission criticised the FTC’s use of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act as an abuse of the its authority and claimed that this judgement is in conflict with a previous ruling concerning Apple and Motorola.