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Facebook News Feed Changes: Social Network ‘Bumps’ Older Stories !!! (REPORT)


The following excerpt is from the Huffington Post!

The next time you log in to Facebook, you may notice slight changes to your news feed.

The world’s largest social network announced on Tuesday that it’s adjusting the way it determines what posts you see when you visit Facebook. Now, instead of seeing the latest photos, links and status updates, you’ll see a mix of the latest posts as well as older — but relevant — posts you missed the last time you checked Facebook. The change will come to Facebook’s mobile apps soon.

“Our main goal is really to make the best personalized newspaper for our users,” Lars Backstrom, a news feed engineering manager, told journalists on Tuesday, echoing comments by CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year. To put “the best stories at the top where you’re most likely able to engage with them.”

The typical daily Facebook user could see as many as 1,500 distinct posts from connections and organizations and brands each time she logs in. To show members relevant updates, Facebook uses thousands of “signals” to determine what you see on your news feed and what you don’t. These signals include your relationship to the people you’re connected to, what type of content you’ve engaged with before, what your friends like and comment on, and what pages and posts you’ve liked.

Despite Facebook’s algorithm, the typical Facebook user sees only 57 percent of that content in a news feed, Facebook said. The company tested the news feed changes, which it’s calling “story bumping,” on a group of users and found that when older stories were inserted at the top of the feed, members saw 70 percent of the posts in their newsfeeds.

Because Facebook relies on advertising, the company needs to make sure it gives members new and relevant content to keep them coming back and spending more time on the site.

“It’s just another step to make the site more useful,” said Nate Elliott, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. “Users aren’t going to go, ‘Wow, they’re bumping posts.’ But the fact that they’re doing it is going to make the site more useful. That’s Facebook’s game now.”

Twitter lets brands reach viewers of their TV ads

Twitter lets brands reach viewers of their TV ads


Twitter lets brands reach viewers of their TV ads

For those inclined toward social media, using Twitter while watching television has become a ritual, with viewers commenting on everything from sports events to nighttime dramas.

On Thursday, executives from Twitter discussed how they planned to capitalise on that activity by allowing advertisers to send ads to people who are watching specific programming.

The new product, called Twitter Amplify, will help brands match advertisements with Twitter commentary by viewers. Brands can then send messages to selected Twitter users who have already seen their ad on television.

“When people turn on TV they turn on Twitter,” said Matt Derella, the director of brand and agency strategy, who led a presentation on Twitter Amplify in Manhattan.

Twitter also announced it would work with a number of media companies, including Time Inc., Bloomberg, Discovery, Vevo, Vice Media, Conde Nast Entertainment and Warner Music Group, to sell advertisers content, which probably will be digital video or television content like clips from shows.

The content can then be shared on Twitter, and advertisers can run ads before the videos are viewed.

The format is similar to a partnership Twitter announced last year with ESPN and Ford, which embedded replays from football games in posts sent via Twitter.

ESPN and Ford post to people who had been identified as being interested in sports based on the accounts they followed on Twitter and the subjects of their posts.

Jim Nail, an analyst at Forrester Research, said Twitter would have to be careful about the number of advertisements it allowed on its platform. By injecting too many ads into a user’s feed during a television show, “they risk driving those fans away and having those fans unfollow the show,” Nail said.

A representative from Twitter said that the company already had limits on how many advertisements users would see in a day.

“This will allow us to really align much more of the work we’re doing day in and day out,” said Tim Castree, the chief operating officer at MediaVest USA, part of the Starcom MediaVest Group, of the new advertising offerings.

Instead of focusing advertising during major events, advertisers can now “extend the time period for the spot we already had planned.”

Last month, Twitter signed a multiyear deal, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, with Starcom to, among other things, allow the companies to combine some of the resources they use for measuring and tracking data and advertising.

(VIA. Economic Times)

Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, discusses the Xbox One uses for television viewing during a press event in Redmond

Microsoft unveils Xbox One with Spielberg, Activision tie-up


Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, discusses the Xbox One uses for television viewing during a press event in Redmond

(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp unveiled the “Xbox One” on Tuesday, its first new gaming console in eight years, and its strongest push so far to dominate consumers’ living rooms with an array of exclusive media content.

The Xbox One took four years to develop and will be the launchpad for a “Halo” live-action video series produced by Steven Spielberg.

It will be sold worldwide “later this year,” games unit chief Don Mattrick told reporters at an event at the software company’s campus near Seattle, without providing details on timing or pricing.

The device will also be the first platform to release the next installment in Activision Blizzard Inc’s blockbuster shooter franchise, “Call of Duty”.

Microsoft hopes its third-generation Xbox console will attract video game fans who are increasingly sampling games on mobile devices, while also becoming a hub for living room entertainment.

The new device interacts with a television, responds to voice and gesture commands, includes group video calling on Skype, 15 exclusive game titles and original programming content.

The Xbox One will chiefly compete with Nintendo Co’s new Wii U and Sony Corp’s forthcoming PlayStation 4 for a bigger slice of the $65 billion-a-year computer game market.

Microsoft did not refer to the new gadget as a “console” but rather an entertainment system, signaling its renewed focus on making the Xbox a sort of window for media and entertainment content, said Forrester Research’s James McQuivey.

The software giant is “trying to break out of the category” and risks having to battle not just Sony and Nintendo but Apple Inc, Google Inc and others to control consumer entertainment in the age of Smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, he said.

Acclaimed movie maker Steven Spielberg will be executive-producing a television series based on Microsoft’s blockbuster sci-fi game “Halo” — one of the game industry’s largest franchises by revenue — for the Xbox One.

The new console will also offer exclusive National Football League content and eight new game franchises, executives said.

Yusuf Mehdi, SVP of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business declined to put a figure on the company’s investment in exclusive game and video content, but called it a “very serious commitment,” in an interview with Reuters.

CONSOLE TO MOBILE

Console gaming still accounts for the largest share, of about 42 percent, of the $65 billion world gaming market, according to Microsoft. But playing games on smartphones and tablets is gaining ground.

Videogame publishers have moved towards integrating their games across consoles, PCs and mobile devices to keep gamers engaged. Microsoft said it will have an updated SmartGlass app that connects the Xbox One to tablets and smartphones.

“This is what we needed, a machine that could connect all the possibilities the devices that exist can bring,” Yves Guillemot, CEO of games publisher Ubisoft, told Reuters.

The device will have 8 gigabytes of memory and comes with a new-generation Kinect sensor that communicates a user’s voice and gesture commands to the console.

The original Kinect was launched in 2010 and sold separately. Bundling the Kinect — which costs $100 in the current version — may inflate the Xbox One’s overall price tag.

Mehdi said Microsoft is still “evaluating” sale price.

“As a gamer, I wanted to see the additional features to make the gaming experience better,” said Dennis “Thresh” Fong, a former professional video gamer and now CEO of gamer network Raptr.

Sony had touted the new PlayStation 4′s live streaming of games and social features like a “share” button on its controller when it announced its new console, Fong said.

Despite its strong brand and ‘cool’ factor, the Xbox itself is not a key financial factor for the world’s largest software maker. Its Entertainment & Devices unit is set to break $10 billion in sales for the first time this year, but that’s half the sales of its Windows unit, and a lot less profitable, averaging less than 15 percent margin compared to 60 percent or higher for Windows or Office.

The company has more than 46 million users of its online gaming and digital entertainment service Xbox Live. That is still a fraction of the people who pay for its software.

Microsoft’s stock closed down 0.7 percent at $34.85.

“Xbox is not going to move the revenue needle but it might change the business model for the better as Microsoft tries to learn how to have the kind of relationship Xbox does” with consumers, McQuivey said.

(Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dan Grebler, Nick Zieminski and Andrew Hay)

Twitter #music service makes public debut

Twitter #music service makes public debut


Twitter’s new #music service made its public debut Thursday when the app appeared on iTunes and the company pulled back the curtains on music.twitter.com.

Twitter #music service makes public debut

The service, the latest offering from Twitter that aims to give its 200 million active users a more engaged multimedia experience, uses Twitter activity to highlight popular tracks, introduce new songs and emerging artists, and connect fans with their favorite musicians. According to a company blog post, users can tweet songs directly from the app and view suggestions for new tunes. A #NowPlaying feature lets users view and listen to the same songs their friends are tweeting about.

The official launch ends a week of speculation after Twitter released the service “by invite only” and posted a static #music Web page April 11. A select group of celebrity Twitter users got first access to build hype, and “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest did his part by promptly tweeting that he had used the app to start a dance party.

The free service is now available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. While the app is currently only for the iPhone, Twitter said it has plans to bring it to Android as well.

The service was welcomed by musicians, who get another platform to promote their work. Other big winners are music services Spotify and Rdio, which Twitter has integrated with for the music-playing portion of the service. Users have the option to play either a few-seconds clip of a song on iTunes, or to use the service with Spotify or Rdio to play the full track and an entire playlist.

Anthony Mullen, an analyst with Forrester Research, said the new service is “an astute move” and will appeal across the board to music newbies, DJs and performing artists.

“Twitter’s ability to personalize has always been there, but with the music recommendation service they can really begin to get going,” Mullen wrote in a statement. “Twitter has the big data skills to do something good here.”

But Russ Crupnick of The NPD Group cautions that the music service landscape is already pretty crowded. From Pandora to Grooveshark and Rhapsody, consumers have plenty of options, and Twitter may have a battle to pull ahead of the competition.

(VIA. Mercury News)

Foxconn

How Much Are You Willing To Pay For A New Apple Television?


Currently, if you were to surf Best Buys online store for smart televisions in the screen range between forty two inches and fifty five inches, you may notice the average price range for such a television is anywhere between eight hundred dollars and seventeen hundred dollars. With rumor to believe an Apple smart television is on its way, the retail price is suggested to be anywhere between fifteen hundred and two thousand dollars which means you will be paying a much larger amount solely for the big Apple logo slapped on the Television set.

Now, the reason why Apple has not yet tried to make way into the Television business just yet is because, well, it is simply not the companies forte nor something they desperately need to focus on. However, with this being said the rumored Apple Television is still just that, a rumor and until we hear more from Apple directly we must cross our fingers and hope Apple will come out with something genius to set them selves apart in the Television market.

Jame McQuivey gave his own opinion on his Forrester Research Blog stating the following:

“Here’s me putting on the record what I’ve been telling clients behind closed doors for more than a year: Apple should sell the world’s first non-TV TV. Instead of selling a replacement for the TV you just bought, Apple should convince millions of Apple fans that they need a new screen in their lives. Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates for planning, talking, or eating — in more and more US homes, that room is the dining room or eat-in kitchen. By pushing developers to create apps that serve as the hub of family life — complete with shared calendars, photo and video viewers, and FaceTime for chatting with grandma — this non-TV TV could take off, ultimately positioning Apple to replace your 60-inch set once it’s ready to retire.”