Why won’t someone develop a decent Twitter client for the Blackberry?

November 30, 2008
Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image by via CrunchBase

On the trip to the parent’s house this weekend, I was bemoaning the fact that Twitterberry is not exactly a stellar Twitter client for the Blackberry.  And I appear to be in good company since Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures complained about the same thing on Friday.

So why is a smart developer not paying attention?  After all, RIM announced in September 2008 that they have over 19 million Blackberry subscribers.  Compare this to the Nielsen estimate that there were 3.6 million iPhone users in October 2008.  So while there are 5X as many Blackberry users, the only decent option is Twitterberry while iPhone users have Hahlo, Tweetie, Twitterific and a whole bunch of others.

And this lack of options is coming out clear in Google as well.  If you search “Twitter for Blackberry” you get 4.2 million results.  But if you type “Twitter for iPhone” you get a staggering 10.3 million results.

Blackberries (not iPhone) are the tool of the trade for most marketers and Brand Managers out there.  If Twitter is going to catch on with this group, it would help to have a solid Blackberry option for them.  As Twitter’s popularity grows, Blackberry themselves would be smart to develop a killer Twitter app and stop giving corporate users any excuse to switch over to the iPhone.

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Social Media doesn’t show any signs of slowing down

September 18, 2008

The good folks over at Mashable just put together a nice post on the growth of key social media sites over the past 12 months based on Nielsen Online data.  Facebook and MySpace get all the love in the space but there are some other key stats that Brand Managers need to pay attention to:

  • “Twitter recorded 2.3 million unique visitors in August (US-only), an increase of 422% from the same period last year.”  More importantly, I would say this is a highly concentrated group of influencers, especially in the technology and media world.  There has been a ton written about how you can start using Twitter for business so I highly advise you start listening.
  • “LinkedIn grew 146% year-over-year to 10.8 million unique visitors.”  If you are in the world of business, you need to join LinkedIn asap.  And send me invite in the process.
  • While massive in the tween set with ~4.5MM users, Club Penguin only grew 15% year over year.  More importantly, average time on site dipped 22%.  Not good numbers for Disney’s purchase.
  • MySpace growth seems to be flattening and Facebook is rapidly playing catch-up

Yet another area the US is falling behind in

April 18, 2008

A new global study on social media use by Universall McCann shows the US is falling behind in participation rates.  A couple of highlights directly from AdWeek:

  • A little over 60 percent of Internet users in the U.S. said they read blogs, but just 26 percent had created one, compared to over 70 percent of Internet users who blog in South Korea and China.
  • Consumers in Asian countries are also much more likely to read blogs: 92 percent of South Koreans and 90 percent read them. In China, 88 percent read blogs
  • While 30 percent said they watched video online in UM’s initial survey in September 2006, over 80 percent said they had this year.
  • Less than 30 percent of respondents said they set up a social network profile in 2006; over 60 percent did two years later.
  • Social networking is still growing worldwide, but is reaching a “saturation point” in the U.S., while countries like the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico more avidly use it.  The Philippines, Hungary, Poland and Mexico all boast participation rates over 75 percent, while just 43 percent have joined social networks in the U.S

UPDATE: I finally found the presentation for sharing since the AdWeek link is down

AOL buys Bebo for $850MM…did they get a good deal?

March 13, 2008

Lots of talk this morning about AOL buying Bebo for $850MM.  My favorite post was over at Silicon Alley Insider where they made a comparison of the per user cost of Bebo versus other deals.  Here is the snapsot:

News Corp (NWS)/MySpace deal, July 2005: $580 million, or $21.80 for each of the network’s 27 million uniques.

Hi-Media/Fotolog, August 2007: $90 million, or $9 for each of the network’s 10 million members.

Microsoft (MSFT)/Facebook, October 2007: MSFT invests $240 million at a valuation of $15 billion, or $300 for each of the network’s 50 million members.

Everyone knows that News Corp made a steal when they bought MySpace back in 2005.  Could it be AOL (the most unlikely of companies) made a similiar deal for what is essentially the MySpace of the UK? 

 UPDATE:  A couple of numbers show the deal was pretty pricey and caused others to pass:  “Bebo’s revenues for 2006 were only $7 million with $3 million in EBITDA…In 2007, the results are still small, with $20 million in revenues and $5 million in EBITDA. Based on these numbers, AOL (NYSE: TWX) paid a huge 42.5 times revenues and 160 times EBITDA. Even looking at projected numbers (which of course may or may not materialize)–$50 million in revenue and $10 million in EBITDA in 2008; $117 million in revenue and $48 million in revenue in 2009 and $193 million in revenue and $92 million in EBITDA in 2010.”