3/27/11 Industry RoundupPosted: March 27, 2011
1. Announced this week: the complete Integration Of Google Voice and Sprint’s 50 million US customers, where their Sprint phone number is also now a Google voice number. It also allows Sprint users who already have a Google voice number to use that on their Sprint phones without extra software. Essentially, it takes your Sprint phone and turns it into a Google Voice phone.
2. AT&T announced plans to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion. Top new FAQ: Will T-Mobile offer the Iphone?” Released on the T-Mobile website:
Q:Is T-Mobile USA getting the iPhone?
A: T-Mobile USA remains an independent company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in approximately 12 months. We do not offer the iPhone. We offer cutting edge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and coming soon our new Sidekick 4G.
So Verizon and AT&T will still be the only US carriers to offer the IPhoine and service to the IPad.
3. Social Vibe announced it had secured $20million in equity funding from Norwest Venture Partners. SV is a company that specializes in “engagement advertising” which is deemed less disruptive than display ad during the playing of social games. Eg: Farmville players who interacted with Kia’s 2011 Superbowl ad received free Zynga game currency.
4. Yelp has added “hipster” as an option to allow reviewers to assess the ambience of restaurants, bars, etc. According to the NY Post, a hipster ambience “as one that caters to the “skinny-jeans-wearing, Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling, somber-and-ironic crowd.” Reviewers are already starting to use this tag in Portland, Oregon and Brookyln, NY.
5. Amazon opened its own Android App store – which seems to be a more selective list than the default Google Android Market. For consumers Amazon is offering trust and ease of use. For developers, Amazon is offering their huge consumer base. Does this mean an Amazon Android phone is in the works?
6. AOL has announced it plans to close 30 online media brands as a result of the Huffington Post merger. Many of AOLs sites will be rolled into existing Huffington Post verticals (ie Popeater into HuffPo Entertainment.)
7. In its first day of release, Firefox 4 was downloaded over 5 million times, twice that of IE9 after their debut. Within the first 35 hours, Firefox had surpassed 8 million downloads.
8. Showtime has renegotiated the terms of its contract with Netflix and pulled some its most popular shows from the Netflix streaming service. Shows such as “Dexter” and “Californication” will only be available on Showtime’s subscription stream. Some Showtime shows will remain on Netflix, but critics point out that these are shows that have been cancelled. In addition, Netflix announced plans to airs its own original series “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey.
9. Myspace’s decline is accelerating – between January and February 2011 unique visitors to Myspce dropped by 14.4% (from 73 to 63 million visitors). This information will slow down their sale as any interested buyers are looking to see how bad it is will get.
10. 3 million people are using the Starbuck mobile app to pay for drinks. It is also the top brand on Facebook with 29 million fans, and is also a top brand on Twitter and Foursquare.
11. Google has launched a quarterly online magazine which is based out of the UK. The first issue looks at the world of data and business with articles from a variety of freelancers and contributors. The jury is still out whether this is a sign that Google will be entering the media business or if this is just a project to feed the sites intellectual curiosity.
12. Facebook is trying to purchase 21 domains that include the word “facebook” in them – including “killfacebook.com” and “facebookcheats.com.” All of these domains are currently for sale, some for as little as $4,000. In addition, a recent study reveals that over 50% of American’s over the age of 12 are on Facebook.