Damian Radcliffe

Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links: mid-April 2011 to mid-May 2011

In Monthly round up: Top Internet, Technology and Social Media Stories, Facts and Links on June 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Social Media: General

Social Pr Guide Series – Set of articles / user guides on Facebook, YouTube et al.

How Twitter Could Bring About World Peace

People have twice as many virtual friends as real ones

Twitter said confirmation that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed had generated the “highest sustained rate of Tweets ever”, with an average of 3,440 messages posted each second on the micro-blogging site between 10.45pm on Monday and 12.30am on Tuesday.
 

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are buying web bookmarking service Delicious from Yahoo! for an undisclosed sum.

Yahoo!has bought US start-up IntoNow, a TV “check-in” specialistwhich lets users identify and share TV shows with their friends.

Social Media: Facebook

Facebook admitted it had hired a PR firm in the US to generate news stories questioning Google’s stance on consumer privacy. 

Half of UK teenagers are not aware of location-based social networking services such as Foursquare and Facebook Places, with 58% of those who had heard of them saying they “do not see the point” of sharing geographic information.
 

An Enders Analysis report said Facebook is poised to leapfrog Google and Yahoo! to become the largest online display ad group by revenue, with its revenues on track to grow 95% to $3.5bn in 2011.
 

US websites including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post have added a new Facebook ‘Send’ button, which enables users to privately forward stories to groups, individual friends, or email addresses.

Loaded founder James Brown dubbed his Sabotage Times web venture, which takes content from about 300 contributors, many from outside the media, as part of the “democratisation of written media”, adding: “I do think we will get to the point where everyone will be on Facebook. Everyone. It will just be like being in the phone book in the Seventies.”

Google

Google announced the launch next month of its new range of so-called Chromebooks – laptops running its Chrome OS software. The machines, which offer access to cloud-based applications, will go on sale in seven countries including the US and UK from June 15, and will be available to businesses through a $28-per-month subscription fee.

Google showed off technology dubbed Android@Home, which allows the mobile device operating system to control appliances such as light switches and washing machines, at its I/O developers’ conference. The platform’s head Andy Rubin said: “Everything should be Android-ified. We should just take it to new levels. It’s no longer something that people will go to the store to buy and then bring to their home or bring to their office. It’s something that will actually bridge those things.”
 

Apple
Apple has leapfrogged Google to take top spot in the BrandZ Top100 survey, with the iPad maker ascribed a brand value of more than £153bn, up 959% since 2006.
Apple almost doubled its year-on-year quarterly profit to $5.99bn, a 95% rise, on revenues up 83% to $24.67bn.

Apple has pledged to fix a ‘bug’ that meant data on the rough location of iPhone users was being stored for a year.

Privacy

Will There Ever Be An “Internet Erase Button”? – a growing group of privacy advocates in the U.S. and abroad want the Internet to be written in pencil.

Facebook Launches New Safety and Security Tools

Sony is contacting the 77m global users of its PlayStation Network to warn them hackers may have accessed their credit card details. The Japanese giant this morning said that personal details, including names, addresses, dates of birth, passwords and security questions had been stolen.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, a security and data protection service, said: “This certainly ranks as one of the biggest data losses ever to affect individuals. This is not just a nightmare for Sony, but also worrying news for the millions of people who use the network. Once again users will have their confidence shaken by a major company losing their personal information.”

TV

Microsoft is in talks with TV networks about the possibility of delivering live channels via its Xbox games console in the US.

Research specialist IHS iSuppli predicted the global 3DTV market is set to grow more than five times this year, with shipments climbing to 23m units from 2010’s 4.2m. It expects 159m units to be sold in 2015.
 

ITV is to widen distribution of its ITV Player, adding an app for Google Android phones in the next few weeks before launching on Apple’s iPhone in Q3.
 

ITV has relaunched its website homepage as the “first step” in its overhaul of online services.

Video

YouTube has revealed that about 30% of videos uploaded to the site account for 99% of total traffic, implying the vast majority of content generates minimal ad revenue.
 

Tesco has acquired an 80% stake in UK VoD group Blinkbox.

Google is closing its Google Videos website, advising existing users to switch their content to YouTube.

US DVD sales plummet 20%

Vevo, the online video service backed by music labels Universal and Sony in a partnership with Google, has launched in the UK.

Technology

Worldwide shipments of WLAN-enabled devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2011, up over 35 per cent from 2010’s 880.4 billion units. By 2015, a study published by IHS iSuppli predicts that 2.2 billion of the devices will ship.

Cisco is to close its Flip video camera business. Flip was the biggest-selling camcorder in the US last year. Cisco also said its Umi video conferencing equipment would no longer be offered direct to consumers.
 

Personalised iPad magazine Zite, which aggregates content based on user interests, has released a new version of its app following a cease and desist letter from groups including Dow Jones, Gannett, and the Washington Post Co.

A YouGov survey found price remains a barrier to mainstream adoption of tablet devices, with mass-market sales likely to take off when devices retail around the £250 mark, the research suggested.
 

Spotify has halved the amount of free music available to its 6m UK and Europe users to 10 hours per month, with non-subscribers allowed to listen to individual tracks a maximum of five times, from May 1.
 

China has announced the formation of a new agency to supervise the internet. The State Internet Information Office will “direct, co-ordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting,” state news agency Xinhua said.
 

Gartner claimed that “digital media will cannibalise print media” after a study of consumers across six countries, including the UK and US, found more than half of tablet users preferred reading text on screens to print, with older demographics expressing the most attachment to paper products.
 

Mobile

45% of FT.com subscribers access FT content on mobile devices.

One in five smartphones NFC-enabled by 2014, Juniper research has predicted. The analyst claims that mobile operators will drive the sales of NFC-equipped smartphones up to the 300 million mark by 2014.

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett told analysts that the group has been conducting tests of wi-fi technology, with a view to establishing its own network to launch a mobile TV service.

Nokia announced plans to cut its global headcount by 4,000, including 700 jobs in the UK, as part of plans to cut operating expenses by €1bn over the next two years. The group also announced it was outsourcing development of Symbian, transferring the 3,000 staff working on the operating system to Accenture, with the consultants in turn becoming a key smartphone development partner.

An Ofcom survey found 16-24 year olds no longer view TV as the most important media, with 28% citing mobiles and 26% the internet as the media they would miss most, against 23% for television.
 

Vodafone is launching a service in London enabling smartphone owners who are short of cash to pay black cab fares by texting the car’s licence number to a central database. The group is also installing chargers for devices including the iPhone and BlackBerry in 500 Vodafone-branded cabs.
 

Using Data to Design Government Services – Cities are trying to tap into information generated by mobile phones, but that approach threatens to leave poor people behind.

Newspapers

Newspapers and a changing audience – blog post mapping ABC newspaper circulation figures, ABCe online circulation figures and social media fans and followers of named publications

Slimmed-down Independent spin-off i launched i Saturday, a single-section weekend news digest selling for 30p, from May 7.

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