Архив метки: Japan

Instagram to test hiding Like counts in US, which could hurt influencers

“We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health” says Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri. To that end, next week Instagram will expand its test of hiding Like counts from everyone but a post’s creator to some users in the United States. But there are major questions about whether the change will hurt influencers.
Mosseri revealed the plan at the Wired25 conference today, saying Instagram “We have to see how it affects how people feel about the platform, how it affects how they use the platform, how it affects the creator ecosystem.”
Instagram’s CEO explained that “The idea is to try to depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, and give people more space to focus on connect ing with the people they love and things that inspire them.” The intention is to “reduce anxiety” and “reduce social comparison”.
Elsewhere during the talk that also featured actor and CEO Tracie Ellis Ross, Mosseri discussed Instagram’s growing interest in shopping, and how it can provide new revenue streams to influencers. He also described Instagram’s three-pronged approach to well-being where it identifies and addresses acute problems such as hate speech, finds positions where it can lead as with fighting bullying, and rethinks fundamentals of how the platform works as with Like count hiding.

Instagram began testing this in April in Canada and expanded it to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand in July. Facebook started a similar experiment in Australia in September.
While it seems likely that making Instagram less of a popularity contest might aid the average user, Instagram has to be mindful that it doesn’t significantly decrease creators’ or influencers’ engagement and business success. These content makers are vital to Instagram’s success, since they keep their fan bases coming back day after day, even If  users’ friends are growing stale.
A new study by HypeAuditor reported by Social Media Today found that influencers across tiers of follower counts almost unanimously saw their Like counts fall in countries where the hidden Like count test was active. Likes fell 3% to 15% in all the countries for influencers with 5,000 to 20,000 followers.

Only in Japan, and only for influencers with 1,000 to 5,000 or 100,000 to 1 million followers did the change lead to a boost in Likes — of about 6% in both groups. Meanwhile, influencers saw the biggest loss of Likes in the Brazilian market. Those trends could relate to how users in certain countries might feel more comfortable Liking something if they don’t know who else is too, while in other nations users might rely on more herd mentality to know what to Like.

If Instagram finds the impact of the test to be too negative on influencers, it may not roll out the change. While Mosseri stated the company wasn’t afraid to hurt its own bottom line, impairing the careers of influencers may not be acceptable unless the positive impacts on well-being are significant enough.

Instagram CEO Announces Platform Will Test Hiding Likes in the US
WATCH: Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announces that the platform will start hiding likes for US audiences starting next week. It’s the latest step in Instagram’s quest to become the safest place on the internet. Learn more: https://wired.trib.al/nbNQ7nb
Posted by WIRED on Friday, November 8, 2019

Instagram to test hiding Like counts in US, which could hurt influencers

A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

Google Play has generated more than twice the downloads of the iOS App Store, reaching a 70 percent share of worldwide downloads in 2017, according to a new report from App Annie, released in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Android Market, now called Google Play. The report also examined the state of Google Play’s marketplace and the habits of Android users.
It found that, despite the large share of downloads, Google Play only accounted for 34 percent of worldwide consumer spend on apps, compared with 66 percent on the iOS App Store in 2017 — a figure that’s stayed relatively consistent for years.

Those numbers are consistent with the narrative that’s been told about the two app marketplaces for some time, as well. That is, Google has the sheer download numbers, thanks to the wide distribution of its devices — including its reach into emerging markets, thanks to low-cost smartphones. But Apple’s ecosystem is the one making more money from apps.
App Annie also found that the APAC (Asia-Pacific) region accounts for more than half of Google Play consumer spending. Japan was the largest market of all-time on this front, topping the charts with $25.1 billion dollars spent on apps and in-app purchases. It was followed by the U.S. ($19.3 billion) and South Korea ($11.2 billion).
The firm attributed some of Google Play’s success in Japan to carrier billing. This has allowed consumer spending to increase in markets like South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, as well, it said.
As to what consumers are spending their money on? Games, of course.
The report found that games accounted for 41 percent of downloads, but 88 percent of spend.

Outside of games, in-app subscriptions have contributed to revenue growth.
Non-game apps reached $2.7 billion in consumer spend last year, with 4 out of the top 5 apps offering a subscription model. The No. 1 app, LINE, was the exception. It was followed by subscription apps Tinder, Pandora, Netflix and HBO NOW.
In addition, App Annie examined the app usage patterns of Android users, and found they tend to have a lot of apps installed. In several markets, including the U.S. and Japan, Android users had more than 60 apps installed on their phones, and they used more than 30 apps every month.
Australia, the U.S. and South Korea led the way here, with users’ phones holding 100 or more apps.

The report also looked at the most popular games and apps of all time by both downloads and consumer spend. There weren’t many surprises on these lists, with apps like those made by Facebook dominating the top apps by downloads list, and subscription services dominating top apps by spend.

App Annie also noted Google Play has seen the release of nearly 10 million apps since its launch in 2008. Not all these remain, of course — by today’s count, there are just over 2.8 million apps live on Google Play.


The full report is available here.

A look at the Android Market (aka Google Play) on its 10th Anniversary

Blackstorm Labs and Rakuten launch R Games to build high-fidelity HTML5 games

 Blackstorm Labs, a startup that’s working to build technology that brings developers tools to get out games and apps more quickly through HTML5, today said it is working with Rakuten to build a new entity called R Games that will serve as a hub for games in Japan and Asia. Blackstorm Labs has been working with Rakuten for some time on the project, which was rumored last November, but it… Read More

Blackstorm Labs and Rakuten launch R Games to build high-fidelity HTML5 games

Tired Of Being Twitter For Voice, Bubbly 2.0 for iPhone Becomes “The Instagram Of Voice”


Singapore-based Bubble Motion, the company behind sound-based social network Bubbly, unveiled a new version of its app today. The version 2.0 of Bubbly introduces filters users can apply to their voice, much like those Instagram offers for photos. Bubbly has a lot of traction already, including 19 million members mostly from Asian countries like Japan and India where it’s found favor with a lot of different celebrities (premium access to some of those celebs via a $2.99 in-app purchase is one of the startup’s revenue plays), and the new features seem designed to help the service keep its existing users engaged while it seeks out new audiences in other markets.

The new filters are tied to that expansion strategy, since they’re only available to iOS users, who represent a relatively new market for Bubble Motion. Bubbly managed to gain ground quickly by being not tied to any mobile smartphone platform, and instead existing as a voice service that could work with ordinary feature phones. The new app offers more flexibility, of course, and these voice filters are a good indication of where Bubbly can start to get creative and build on its earlier model, which most closely resembled a Twitter for voice complete with profiles and the ability to follow other users.

“As we put audio into your Twitter feed and your Facebook wall, we thought there needs to be some hooks that make you really want to keep coming back to Bubbly to record your audio,” Bubbly CEO Tom Clayton explained in an interview, describing how Bubbly took cues from Twitter and Instagram about what drove major growth around photo sharing on those services.” One of those [hooks], besides the user experience and the quality and everything else, is the filters.”

Bubbly 2.0 also brings Twitter or Facebook single-sign on to the app, which should lower the barrier for entry as well as speed up social sharing; introduces Facebook Timeline integration, which includes recording and liking in addition to listening; post deletion from within the app; and localization in Korean, Thai and Russian to help the smartphone app reach a wider audience in some of the markets closer to Bubbly’s original success. The company recently raised $5 million from Japan’s largest VC, in part to focus on U.S. growth, however, so it makes sense that in general the updates are ones that cater to popular social networks among that audience.

Still, Clayton says that the app’s biggest growth, both in terms of engagement and user base (both of which he says continue to trend upwards) comes from different Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia. The difference is that where before celebrities where driving a lot of new user sign-ups, now Bubbly is seeing much more peer-to-peer usage, with prominent bloggers especially driving use and new registration.

Other apps have found an audience with a voice changing gimmick, including Voices 2 by tap tap tap, the sequel to an app that had 600,000 users when the sequel hit the App Store. but Bubbly’s main play is still its social network elements which set it apart from those kinds of apps. We’ll see if users are encouraged to share more thanks to the addition of filters, or if this is a model that applies well to social photo sharing but falls flat with the spoken word.

Tired Of Being Twitter For Voice, Bubbly 2.0 for iPhone Becomes “The Instagram Of Voice”

One Step Shy Of An IPO, Telco Friend Openet Picks Up $21M Series D Led By Japan’s NS Solutions

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 10.42.19

Waiting for the public markets to show a little more promise for tech IPOs, Openet has today announced that it’s completed a Series D round of funding totaling $21 million: $16 million in equity funds and $5 million in long term debt. Openet is a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of transaction management software used by 80 network operators in 28 countries — including AT&T, BT, Orange, Verizon and Vodafone — to do things like work out new ways to charge users for the amount of data they use.

The round was led by NS Solutions, a Japan-based IT solutions provider that is a subsidiary of the industrial powerhouse Nippon Steel. As a result, NS Solutions becomes a distribution partner of Openet’s, specifically to resell its services in Japan — and the first customer win for the two is a biggie: the mobile operator Softbank. Others participating in the round included Balderton Capital, Cross Atlantic and Kreos Capital.

Openet has also added a new person to its management board: Margaret Rice-Jones, the ex-CEO of Irish carrier Aircom, is now a non-exec director.

Openet says it will be using the funding to build out its distribution channels — that may include more distribution deals in addition to the reselling agreement with NS Solutions — as well as for product development, product management and deployent engineering.

Openet specializes in the kind of network management software — real time network engagement, insight, monetization, and control – that is behind the scenes for consumers, but is extremely relevant to how they interact with their carriers — and, crucially, end up paying for services.

The company got some attention a while back for a slide it was distributing detailing how it could nuance network charging in such a way that certain kinds of content could be charged at different levels than other kinds: for example, video from YouTube, which might put more strain on a network, costing more to use than access to a text-based news site.

That raises all sorts of questions about net neutrality and privacy and may not have legs on those grounds, but you could also see something like this potentially getting implemented by operators looking to, for example, develop incentives to use certain services over others, based on their own commercial relationships with certain content companies.

“It’s a very disruptive model in how it focuses on the use of data,” says Barry Maloney, a partner at Balderton who sits on Openet’s board. He declined to comment on when Openet might go public in the current climate, but he did add that this new injection of investment and business opportunity with NS Solutions gives the company “a good insurance policy and momentum going forward” as an ongoing private concern.

The company has been profitable for the last two years, and in 2011 had a turnover of about €90 million ($120 million).

The other area where Openet has had some attention of late is in an IP infringement case brought against it last year by its competitor Amdocs. But with the company continuing to expand — it grew revenues by 23 percent last year, Maloney notes — “Clearly the case hasn’t stopped corporate development and confidence in the company.”

One Step Shy Of An IPO, Telco Friend Openet Picks Up $21M Series D Led By Japan’s NS Solutions