TECHNOLOG - June 20 - Facebook is now adding another element that might keep you on the site longer, or never leave it all: music. Facebook’s musical ambitions go beyond Spotify and include other music services and apps. The company is currently working on lining up more partners for the 2011 edition of f8, its annual developer conference, which is most likely to be held in August 2011.
TECH CRUNCH - June 20 - According to mobile app analytics firm Flurry, the average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet. In June users spent an average of 81 minutes daily on mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes on the web. This compares to 66 minutes on mobile apps daily in December of 2010, and 70 minutes spent daily on the web. Games and Social Networking categories dominate, capturing 47% and 32% on consumer time spent daily, respectively.
This post also appears on OnlinePersonalsWatch.
READ WRITE WEB - June 17 - European music streaming service Spotify has closed a $100M round of funding in anticipation of a launch in North America. The round comes from DST, Kleiner Perkins and Accel. The funding values Spotify at $1 billion. Free U.S. music streaming service Pandora, which has been going through the IPO tumult this week, is valued at $2 billion.
THE HILL - June 15 - Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) unveiled a bill that would require firms such as Apple and Google along with app developers to obtain consent before collecting or sharing consumers' location data.
by Guantam Nagesh
See full article at The Hill
TECH CRUNCH - Jun 17 - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved Microsoft’s $8.5 billion cash takeover of Skype. Microsoft officially announced its intent to acquire Skype back on May 10 and, since then, users have been taking to Twitter to blame Microsoft for Skype’s intermittent service.
TECH CRUNCH - June 17 - It is one thing to be inspired by Zynga games, but it is entirely different to copy all of our key product features, product strategy and branding. Zynga just filed a lawsuit against a well funded Brazilian startup – Vostu – for copyright infringement. Vostu has raised $45.9M from Intel Capital, General Catalyst, Accel and others. According to the lawsuit, they exist almost solely to copy Zynga games. Not just the idea, but nearly every game mechanic, virtual item, and storyline. Zynga even included a side by side video comparison of a number of the games in the lawsuit as an exhibit.
MACRUMORS - June 16 - Social networking has been the biggest trend in the recent years. Apple has already tried delve into this market with its iTunes network Ping, though with limited success. Based on a new patent app published today, it seems Apple has been exploring far more ambitious attempts using the iPhone, location-based services and interest matching. iPhone could find you your next friend, business partner or date. Common interests and experiences of two or more users located close to each other can be identified from content, including automatically created usage data of the mobile devices. (e.g., songs downloaded), a trajectory of the mobile device (e.g., places traveled), or other public data available from the mobile device (e.g., pictures shared).
by Arnold Kim
See full article at MacRumors
This post also appears on OnlinePersonalsWatch.
WSJ - June 15 - Mail.Ru was set up in 1998, and now, as Mail.Ru Group, is the largest internet company in Russia. The company is now valued at ~$7 billion. It owns the mail.ru email system, a couple of large Instant Messengers, several social networks, gaming sites, a dating site, and also has investments in Facebook, Zynga and Groupon. CEO and co-founder, Dmitry Grishin, explains how the internet is changing Russia.
Q: How fast is the internet growing in Russia?
A: There are now 50M unique users in Russia. We expect it to become the number one country for users within two to three years.
Q: How is it changing Russian society?
A: It's giving people new ways to communicate with each other. Some people in the Russian regions might have had very little access to information, or ways to entertain themselves. Now they do.
Q: How is the internet changing the news media, and is that an area you'd like to expand into?
A: In general, the internet makes information more accessible, particularly in the regions. We have a news portal business, but it's not our main focus.
Q: Does the Russian government try to control the internet at all?
A: The internet in Russia is fully open. We don't see any interference by the government.
Q: How easy is it to be an entrepreneur in Russia?
A: The internet has definitely helped to improve entrepreneurship in Russia.
Q: What problems still exist in the Russian investment climate?
A: The legal system is one thing that could be improved.
Q: Do you think emigration of talent is a problem for the Russian high-tech sector?
A: Emigration was a big issue in the 1990s, for sure. We hope that will help to bring some of the smart young Russians back to Russia. They can now see that you can build a big Russian technology company and monetize it.
Q: Do you plan to make further investments abroad?
A: In general, we are more focused on Russian-speaking markets.
by Julian Evans
See full article at WSJ
PRESS RELEASE - June 15 - WhoIsNear.com has passed the 1M install milestone. WhoIsNear.com launched in Public Beta in February of 2011.The latest version of WhoIsNear.com, launched in the iPhone App Store earlier this week, enables easy sharing of activity with a user's friends in a variety of ways including text messages, emails and posts to social networking profiles.
NEWSWIRE TODAY - June 15 - Stefan Heeke from Siemens will present at the Social Networking Conference (SNC2011) taking place on June 23-24, 2011 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Stefan Heeke, the Director of Online Communications and Interactive Marketing at Siemens, will cover how social networking is changing corporate communications in fortune 100 companies. The presentation will discuss both intra-corporate communications as well as company communications to the customer.
TECH CRUNCH - June 15 - Music streaming service Pandora has priced its IPO at $16 per share, valuing the company at $2.6 billion. Pandora’s stock will begin trading tomorrow morning on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “P.” The company expects to raise as much as $235M in the offering.
MARKETWIRE - June 15 - The University of Southern California will present at the Strategic Communications Conference taking place on June 23-24, 2011 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Philip Seib, the Director for the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School and Professor of International Relations, Journalism and Public Diplomacy at USC will join government panelists from the Middle East to discuss how social media is affecting policy in the region.
TECH CRUNCH - June 14 - As part of the partnership Twitter says that “Tweets will be integrated into various services on Yahoo Japan, beginning with real-time results pages. This partnership will allow Twitter content to reach even more users in Japan, one of our biggest international markets.” Twitter also recently struck a deal with NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest carrier, to include Tweets and Twitter content in NTT DOCOMO i-mode portal search results.
RESEARCH AND MARKETS - Jan 11 - Media is an “attention economy”; every product - book, television show, website, etc. - vies for attention, and tries to derive financial benefit from it – through advertising, subscription, etc. And, users' attention has become the scarce commodity. The word “viral” hardly existed in our vocabulary before social media. The Social Web is not just a fad; it is a fundamental shift in how humans communicate, interact, collaborate, create, inform themselves, prioritize, organize, buy, sell, and play. This market study is designed to help you understand this transformation, how it affects you and the world around you, and most important, how to use the changes it brings.