Summary of the key stuff I bookmarked in the last month and that I thought worth sharing.
A new study has found a “staggering” amount of people are accessing piracy websites. Anti-fraud firm MarkMonitor said there were more than 53bn visits a year to the 43 file-sharing sites it studied.
The BBC is launching a higher quality audio stream for online radio, initially for live events but ultimately to be incorporated into iPlayer and Radioplayer. BBC Audio & Music director Tim Davie said: “HD Sound is an exciting development and a signal of our commitment to innovate in digital radio for the benefit of our listeners.”
UK Radioplayer, will be made available on joint venture YouView and other internet-connected TV platforms.
Facebook tops Google as most visited site in U.S. – Facebook surpassed Google for the first time as the most visited website in the United States for most of 2010.
In a speech to the British Venture Capital Association, Facebook’s Europe VP and managing director Joanna Shields said she believes “the most important word on the internet today isn’t ‘search’, but ‘share’”, insisting the rise of social features represents a massive commercial opportunity for most businesses.
Facebook is temporarily disabling a newly launched feature which would have granted app developers access to some users’ home addresses and telephone numbers, saying it was making amendments following customer feedback.
The Wall Street Journal reported Facebook is breaching privacy rules as many applications are sharing personally identifiable information about their users with advertising and internet tracking companies. The report said the problem is allowing at least 25 ad and data firms to access users’ names and, in some cases, names of their friends, and the top 10 applications, including Zynga’s Farmville game, are transmitting user IDs to third parties. Facebook said it was taking steps to “dramatically limit” the exposure of personal information, adding the company would introduce new technology to eliminate this issue.
Google announced a reshuffle of its top management that will see Eric Schmidt hand over the title of chief executive to co-founder Larry Page in April. The leaders said the changes were prompted by challenges brought by Google’s continuing growth. Brin said: “Every time we double in headcount the whole company changes a lot.”
Google posted a fourth-quarter net profit of $2.54bn, up 29% on a year earlier, on revenue 26% higher at $8.44bn.
Only 1% of Google searches get past page one of results. Ref: Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein
Google has increased its dominance of the US search engine market, growing its share to 66.6%, according to data from ComScore. The figures for December also show that Microsoft increased its share to 12%, though Yahoo! saw its share fall slightly to 16%.
The number of apps available at Google’s Android Market has increased six-fold in a year to almost 130,000. The research by Distimo also showed that the Apple App Store for iPhone doubled its total number of applications during 2010 to almost 300,000.
Apple posted first-quarter net profits up 78% on a year ago to $6bn, on sales up 71% to a record $26.7bn.
Swiss-based Paper.li has raised $2.1m in a funding round which will allow it to set up operations in the US and Asia. Paper.li lets users transform social media news streams from Twitter and Facebook into personalised online newspapers.
Amazon is to take full control of movie streaming service Lovefilm, in which it already has a 42% stake. Terms were not disclosed, but the FT said the price was close to £200m.
Groupon has completed a $950m financing deal with investments from a number of firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. The company now has 50m subscribers.
Pandora CEO Tim Westergren credited the rise of smartphones with transforming the US radio streaming group, which was close to bankruptcy four years ago, into an “anytime, anywhere service without us doing anything”. Registered users at the site have grown from 40m to 75m over the past 12 months.
50% of UK children aged 5-9 and 75% of 7-15 year olds now own a mobile phone. Ref: Manchester University Social Attitudes Study (UK)
Only 3 out of 220 US students were able to turn off their cell phones for 72 hours. Ref: Fox News (US)
Research by video traffic management firm Bytemobile revealed just 10% of mobile users account for 90% of all networks’ data traffic, and suggested that by 2011 60% of all traffic will be video.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has revealed the number of posts made via mobile phones has risen 25% in a year, with two out of every five Tweets now made through handsets.
New research suggested a growing trend among consumers to use their mobiles to shop, with almost a third having used their phone to access a retailer’s website.
Games and Gaming
Nintendo said it expects to ship around 1.5m units of its 3DS console in Japan after its launch at the end of January. Hailing the new 3D-capable handheld game player, president Satoru Iwata told the Nikkei business daily: “It’s important that we ensure a continuous supply.” The 3DS is scheduled for a European and US launch in March, with the Japanese company targeting 4m worldwide sales before the beginning of April.
Predictions for 2011
Just some of the many of the navel crystal ball gazing articles produced around Christmas time…
10 Predictions for the News Media in 2011 – in 2011, the focus on mobile will continue to grow with the launch of mobile- and iPad-only news products, but the greater focus for news media in 2011 will be on re-imagining its approach to the open social web. The focus will shift from searchable news to social and share-able news, as social media referrals close the gap on search traffic for more news organizations. In the coming year, news media’s focus will be affected by the personalization of news consumption and social media’s influence on journalism.
Eleven Digital Trends to Watch in 2011 – Edelman presentation
95+ Predictions for the Web in 2011 – from Mashable
30 Social Media Predictions From 30 Social Media Pros … – Social Media Examiner
10 Ways Social Media Will Change in 2011 – ReadWriteWeb
Top Ten Trends for 2011 from Moxie – with excellent downloadable PDF
2011 Staff Predictions – more from ReadWriteWeb
Gartner Predicts 2011 – business angle
Seven Technologies That Will Rock 2011 – TechCrunch
10 Websites to Watch in 2011 – Mashable
Summary of Trends for 2011+ – Futurist, Richard Watson
Deloitte predicts that in 2011 social networks are likely to surpass the breathtaking milestone of one billion unique members. Also, they may deliver over 2 trillion advertisements.
Giving its top predictions for 2011 in its annual ‘Year in Review Briefing’, search marketing specialist and technology firm Greenlight said it expects Google and Bing to offer app search before the end of the year