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As TV Falls Apart, Tumblr And Twitter Aim To Pick Up The Pieces (Original)

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For years, it’s been said that Internet use would cut into the time U.S. consumers spend watching television. Today, those premonitions are beginning to reach the tipping point. TV ratings have dropped by 50 percent over the last decade. Goldman Sachs recently called the decline “the sharpest pace on record.”

The firm found that ratings in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic – the key group targeted by advertisers – fell by 17 percent last winter compared with the winter before. ABC, NBC and Fox were most affected, with decreased ad revenues cutting into profits. (Fox had to get distributors to pay higher subscriber fees to pull a profit). But even highest-rated CBS lost 3 percent of its 18-to-49 audience this season, The New York Times reported in April.

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne had released charts at the beginning of the year showing the ratings drop, claiming declines are a function of income level.

But it’s not just that.

The writing has been on the wall for some time.

Back in 2004, for example, studies indicated that television viewing would be one of the first leisure activities to be hit by Internet use and online socializing. (Other activities supposedly affected were sleeping and real-world socializing.)

Though today, TV continues to remain the dominant medium, the emerging generation of so-called “digital natives” – the first to have been born into a world where consumer adoption of the web was already mainstream – seem to prefer other behaviors.…

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Resigns As Director Of Twitter U.K. After TweetDeck Dissolves As Standalone Business (Original)

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Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has quit his position as a U.K. director of the company, days after Twitter subsidiary TweetDeck was dissolved as a separate U.K. business by business registrar Companies House, according to Sky News. We’ve reached out to Twitter for confirmation and comment and will update this story with any response.

Costolo stepping back from the U.K. directorship role appears related to the dissolution of TweetDeck: a U.K. startup which Twitter acquired in May 2011 for a price-tag that we reported as $40 million. Late last year TweetDeck failed to file U.K. accounts with Companies House, and continued failure to file ultimately led to the dissolution of the company as a separate entity earlier this month, on May 7.

TweetDeck’s failure to file accounts was part of a process to wind up its status as a separate corporate entity to its parent company. Earlier this month a Twitter spokesperson told the Guardian: “TweetDeck the product continues to thrive as part of Twitter, but the old company has been dormant for some time, with no outstanding liabilities; hence our agreement with the move to dissolve it.”

Once TweetDeck became a part of Twitter, with product development and other business processes moving in-house, there was no longer a need for it to exist as a standalone business in the U.K.…

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Sina Weibo, China’s Equivalent of Facebook and Twitter, Gets $586M Investment From Alibaba (Original)

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Sina Weibo, the micro-blogging platform that took root among China’s white-collar class, may be worth more than $3 billion today after Alibaba agreed to pay $586 million to buy preferred and ordinary shares in the company.

The deal creates a strategic alliance between Alibaba, which runs the eBay of China, and Sina Weibo, which is kind of like a Facebook-Twitter hybrid. Weibo grew to 46 million daily users and earned $50 million in advertising revenue last year, according to an SEC filing last week from parent company Sina. It was 12 percent of parent company Sina’s total advertising revenue.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Sina Weibo has gotten a lot more aggressive about pushing in-stream or news feed advertising. Last week, they announced a new product called “Window Recommendations” in partnership with Alibaba’s Taobao. In that integration, about 3 to 5 ads featuring Taobao goods get pushed into a Weibo stream.

The two companies say the deal happened so that both companies could better connect Alibaba merchants to their Weibo users and followers and experiment with new ideas in social commerce. The partnership could bring $380 million in advertising and e-commerce revenues to Weibo over the next three years, Sina said.…

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Reliance Communications Partners With Twitter To Offer Free, Unlimited Access To The Service In India (Original)

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For those in the United States and other locations that are lucky enough to be able to purchase huge data packages for their smartphones, thinking about deciding to “tweet or not to tweet” based on the cost that it could incur is a foreign concept, pun intended. For cell customers in India, it’s a very real situation, and Reliance Communications has partnered with Twitter to bring free, unlimited access to the social network to its prepaid GSM subscribers.

This is yet another example of how important Twitter has become in our daily lives and how integral the communication platform is to locations all over the world. The service will be bundled with live cricket match updates, the most popular sport in the country.

A customized version of the Twitter app has been created, reminding customers that they’re getting free access thanks to Reliance Mobile. If someone taps a link to an outside site, they will be reminded that doing so might incur extra charges.

Reliance is the first operator to partner with Twitter in India, and its Chief Revenue Officer of Wireless, Nilanjan Mukherjee, had this to share:

We are delighted to be the first operator to partner with Twitter in India on Twitter Access and offer the first of its kind unlimited Twitter access on our superior network.

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Twitter gets in the TV biz, partners with BBC America (Original)

It seems like everyone wants a piece of the rapidly evolving media landscape that is television, and apparently Twitter is no exception. A recent tweet by BBC America indicates a partnership with between it and Twitter for a new kind of in-Tweet video.…

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Why Twitter Music Is Totally Going to Work (Original)

At first glance, Twitter?s entry into the music business today may be a bit of a head-scratcher. The service had barely launched before people were questioning why Twitter would even want its own music app. But really, it?s simple: Twitter Music is all about getting you to spend more quality time with Twitter. It?s about everybody?s favorite buzzword: engagement.

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BBC America & Twitter Announce Content-Sharing Partnership (Original)

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BBC America has announced via a tweet that it will partner with Twitter to offer the “first in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” News of the deal comes after a few days after a report that Twitter is in talks with Viacom and NBCUniversal to host TV clips and sell advertising on the site.

BBC America’s tweet didn’t offer any specific information about the deal or which of its TV shows would be involved, but it did namecheck hit series Doctor Who and Top Gear.

This has been a busy week for Twitter as it seeks to move beyond being a microblogging platform.In addition to the TV network tie-ups, the company also just launched Twitter Music on Good Morning America.

As Jordan Crook notes, the decision to debut the standalone app on network television is a sign that Twitter is aiming directly for a mainstream audience, instead of seeking to first build an audience of early-adopters.

The company has been building out its site as a multimedia platform with a series of acquisition: Twitter Music was built by startup We Are Hunted, while video-sharing service Vine was launched in January after Twitter bought it in a low-profile buy out.…

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Where’s Twitter Music For Android? Why Today’s Tech Companies Are Still Going iOS First (Original)

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Where is Twitter Music for Android? With today’s launch of Twitter’s new music discovery platform, the company has again made a move to sideline the install base of around half of the U.S.’s smartphone audience by failing to deliver a native application for users of non-Apple devices. It’s a strategy that still remains prevalent among tech companies today, both large and small. The companies’ reasons vary: for many smaller startups, there simply aren’t enough developers to build for iOS and Android simultaneously. Meanwhile for others, the iOS-first decision is more of a strategic play.

Twitter Music is now the second major new mobile application that Twitter has brought to Apple device owners first. The company previously launched its Vine video-sharing application as iOS-only in January, and it still remains exclusive to that platform today.

The interesting thing about Music’s launch – a move announced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” –  is that Twitter is attempting to reach a mainstream audience with the app. In the U.S., that audience is just as likely to be on Android as iOS – if not more so, in fact. Google’s Android platform now accounts for 51.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, while Apple’s iOS reaches 38.9 percent.…

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Twitter who? New app turns Wikipedia into a real time news source (Original)

Twitter and other social networks have become our de facto platforms for discovering breaking news, but add Wikipedia to that list thanks to a new app called Wikipedia Live Monitor.…

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WhatsApp “Bigger Than Twitter” With Over 200M Monthly Active Users, 8B Inbound And 12B Outbound Messages Daily (Original)

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WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum was on stage today at the AllThingsD Dive Into Mobile conference in New York City, where he said that the app is now larger than Twitter by monthly active users. He wouldn’t say exactly how many the company had, just that it was north of 200 million users.

Koum also noted that the messaging app now sees an average of 8 billion inbound, and 12 million outbound messages per day, and with less than 50 engineers, the highest ratio of active users per long-term employee today of any active tech company.

Twitter noted that it hit its own 200 million monthly active user count back in December, while WhatsApp noted in January that it had reached the 7 billion inbound messages per day milestone. To some extent, comparing the two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but recent evidence suggests that social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter are losing the attention of younger users, who are turning to platforms like WhatsApp instead.

Koum said that the company has yet to see any drop off in user numbers or engagement resulting from their recent decision to start charging $0.99 per year, which means that right now WhatsApp has a pretty ideal combination of user growth, user activity and inbound revenue.…

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