A Great Year for LinkedIn | statista.com


This chart shows the stock performance of selected newly public tech companies in 2012.

So far, 2012 has been a great year for LinkedIn. While the stocks of other high profile newly public tech companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Zynga cratered, LinkedIn’s stock has been on a tear for good parts of the year. Carried by solid financials and decent user growth, LinkedIn’s stock is up around 70 percent since January.

The only flaw in LinkedIn’s otherwise great track record was the leakage of user data in June, when hackers reportedly gained access to the passwords of 6.5 million users, because the data was not sufficiently protected. LinkedIn issued an apology and ensured users that no login data had been leaked alongside the passwords. Further damage was successfully averted and the issue could be put away as a minor hickup in an good year.

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The 5 W’s of Social Game Purchases [Infographic]


The first wave of the social gaming bubble may have popped. I’m not the first one to say it, and I won’t be the last. Zynga is at an all time record low, and traffic is declining. Playdom and Playfish, two giants of yesteryear, have seen their player numbers fade out.

The infographic provided by Arkadium, looks at the who, what, where, why and when about the way that social gamers purchase. A few tidbits:

Leer más “The 5 W’s of Social Game Purchases [Infographic]”

Camera +Turned Down Acquisitions From Adobe, Google, Twitter; Also Says “F*ck The VCs”


Camera+ …the-ultimate-photo-app-e1292981987493

http://techcrunch.com

Two years ago, app developer tap tap tap launched Camera+ onto the App Store. For only a buck, users could get way more mileage out of the mobile photography experience, bringing 27 color effects and granular controls to their iPhone cameras. These features have made it one of the most popular camera apps out there. So popular, in fact, that Camera+ rang in its second birthday today with its 8 millionth download, tap tap tap founder John Casasanta said in a blog post.

As part of the celebration, Casasanta reflected on his company’s journey over the past two years. In his post, he reveals that tap tap tap received a handful of acquisition offers from several notable names: “It started with Adobe, then went to Zynga (for The Heist, not really for Camera+), then Google. And most recently, Twitter.”

The startup has also apparently had plenty of interest from VCs and was recently close to the finalizing its first round of financing. However, the team decided against closing the round, Casasanta says, because they “didn’t like the direction the investors were trying to push us in,” and instead chose to remain independent.

In a rallying cry for all those who forego outside investment, the founder then exposed his middle finger to the world’s venture capitalists, saying, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … f*ck the VCs!”

In a post from 2008, which he links to, Casasanta outlines his quarrels with VCs, saying:

In a nutshell, VCs will give you just enough money to get the ball barely rolling, but then repeatedly force your hand in later funding rounds (if you even make it that far). They’ll have you by the cojones and you’ll have no choice but to give up more and more of what you’ve built through your blood and sweat. And what’s worse, VCs typically bet on a large group of startups with the expectations that one will hit big (the 1 in 10 guideline).

So what about the ones that don’t make it? Well, the founders may very well care about their creations deeply. But the VCs will be

quick to amputate and cauterize. They’ll cut their losses in a heartbeat no matter how this would affect the people who’ve poured their souls into their babies. I’ve known many people who’ve been in this predicament over the years and it’s unfortunate to say the least.

He sounds bitter, like someone who’s been scarred by a deal or two with investors turning sour, but his note of encouragement are words for all punk and indie developers to live by — although it’s probably not advisable for all to follow the same path. Clearly, there are more than a few startups that would kill to have been in the same fortunate position, and would have gladly taken the money. Leer más “Camera +Turned Down Acquisitions From Adobe, Google, Twitter; Also Says “F*ck The VCs””

La “pérfida” psicología del social gaming

Las acciones más simples son recompensadas, dando lugar a lo que los psicólogos llaman el state of flow, un estado de fluidez en el que hacemos clic de un éxito al siguiente. La relación de estímulo-reacción se compara habitualmente en círculos académicos con la Caja de Skinner. El experimento conseguía queratones o palomas realizaran determinadas acciones, como subir una palanca, a cambio de un premio. Ya en 1983 Elizabeth y Geoffrey Lofthus presentaron las paralelas de los juegos de ordenador y la Caja de Skinner en su libro “Mind at Play”. Hoy en día se han añadido algunos elementos a la relación. Así los jugadores ven a sus amigos como recursos y los juegos se monetizan mediante la venta de accesorios para sus mundos virtuales, lo que se traduce en ventas millonarias.

Ian Bogost afirma que los juegos se han convertido en servicios y para demostrarlo creó “Click the Cow” (haz clic sobre la vaca). Un juego absolutamente ridículo en el que hacer clic sobre una vaca cada seis horas genera puntos y menajes en el muro como “I’m clicking a cow” (estoy haciendo clic sobre una vaca). Contra todo pronóstico, llegó a tener hasta 50.000 jugadores al mes, que pedían nuevas vacas y funciones. Bogost acabó accediendo, creandofunciones de pago que fascinaron a los usuarios. Durante el verano de 2011 decidió terminar el experimento, para alargar el juego, los usuarios debían abonar una cantidad y con esto se retrasó hasta septiembre de 2011.

Desde el verano pasado Facebook también obliga a los desarrolladores de juegos a utilizar su propia moneda virtual y se hace así con un 30% de comisión en los social games. Zynga también se ha convertido en un anunciante, de ahí su importancia en los ingresos de Facebook.


http://www.marketingdirecto.com

El éxito de Facebook sería impensable sin los social games, juegos gratuitos que funcionan con una psicología pérfida, según recoge zeit.de. Estos juegos sociales suponen más de uno de cada diez dólares que gana la red social Facebook. De hecho, el12% de sus ingresos proviene de Zynga, el creador de Farm Ville, Mafia Wars o Café World. Zynga es el líder en su segmento pero hay muchos más como Electronic Arts o Wooga. Sus productos son juegos que han sido programados para redes sociales y de los que depende literalmente Facebook para sus ingresos.

Los juegos son ampliamente conocidos, banners y mensajes invaden nuestros muros. A esto hay que añadir que el jugador en redes sociales tiene un potencial enorme. Frente a las 215 millones de consolas en uso existen 850 millones de personas conectadas a Facebook. Farm Ville, Monster World o Brain Buddies tienen muchos adeptos. Christoph Klimmt ha realizado un estudio que demuestra que también la demografía es diferente. En primer lugar son un 70% son mujeres de entre 35 y 45 años. Los usuarios quieren evadirse de la realidad, buscan vinculación y además una satisfacción rápida. Leer más “La “pérfida” psicología del social gaming”

Zynga en números – infografía

Zynga responsable de juegos sociales tan famosos comoFarmville, CityVille o Mafia Wars, es responsable del 12% de los ingresos que obtuvo Facebook en 2011, según informó la propia red social en suformulario S-1. Y es que la compañía tuvo unos ingresos de 1.140 millones de dólares a lo largo del año pasado.

Esto lo consiguió gracias al aumento en los ingresos por usuario, que pasaron de 0,51 dólares en el último trimestre de 2009 a 1,76 en el mismo período de 2010 y 2,03 dólares el año pasado.

Además, la compañía consiguió sumar 153 millones de usuarios únicos al mes(240 millones de usuarios activos) y 54 millones de usuarios activos al día, según muestra esta infografía realizada por Statista.


Farmville Zynga Facebook infografía

Zynga responsable de juegos sociales tan famosos comoFarmvilleCityVille o Mafia Wars, es responsable del 12% de los ingresos que obtuvo Facebook en 2011, según informó la propia red social en suformulario S-1. Y es que la compañía tuvo unos ingresos de 1.140 millones de dólares a lo largo del año pasado.

Esto lo consiguió gracias al aumento en los ingresos por usuario, que pasaron de 0,51 dólares en el último trimestre de 2009 a 1,76 en el mismo período de 2010 y 2,03 dólares el año pasado.

Además, la compañía consiguió sumar 153 millones de usuarios únicos al mes(240 millones de usuarios activos) y 54 millones de usuarios activos al día, según muestra esta infografíaLeer más “Zynga en números – infografía”

LinkedIn Revenue Surges Over Analyst Expectations; Stock Jumps

The non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $13.3 million which represents an increase in profitability. For the fourth quarter of 2010 the net income was $5.2 million. LinkedIn earns it’s revenue from a variety of products. They have Hiring Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions. Looking at the fiscal report, we can see that revenue increased in all three areas. A promising factor here is also that they are a diversified company: they are increasing revenue on all fronts.

Hiring solutions, which are their tools which help recruiters find solid candidates using the network, increased over Q42010 by 136% to $84.9 million. Marketing solutions increased 77% to $49.5 million. Revenue from Premium subscriptions increased 87% to $33.3 million.


http://socialtimes.com

LinkedIn has announced that revenue has more than doubled in the last quarter and they’ve increased their 2012 revenues, and the stock has jumped accordingly.  The social network reported $167.7 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of $159.8 million in the quarter.  The good news also comes at a time where people are piling into social media stocks, with Zynga hovering around 30% higher than it’s IPO price and LinkedIn now almost 200% over it’s $45 IPO price, placing it’s market cap at $8.67 billion.

The non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $13.3 million which represents an increase in profitability.  For the fourth quarter of 2010 the net income was $5.2 million.  LinkedIn earns it’s revenue from a variety of products.  They have Hiring Solutions, Marketing Solutions and Premium Subscriptions.  Looking at the fiscal report, we can see that revenue increased in all three areas.  A promising factor here is also that they are a diversified company: they are increasing revenue on all fronts. Leer más “LinkedIn Revenue Surges Over Analyst Expectations; Stock Jumps”

The business of gaming

The console-makers are well aware of this. Nintendo helped to pioneer the idea that games could appeal to a much wider audience. Its Wii console has sold 89m units over the half-decade since its launch, outdoing both Sony’s PlayStation 3 (56m) and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (58m), largely thanks to a games catalogue aimed at casual fans. It features titles like “Wii Fit” (a fitness game) and “Wii Sports”, a version of sports like golf, tennis and ten-pin bowling. The Xbox, PlayStation3 and Wii all have their own online shops that allow consumers to download games directly to their consoles, and all three are encouraging developers to make casual games for them. Mr Merel thinks the console business will remain a smaller though mostly profitable niche within a games industry that will range over a wide variety of platforms and attract a much more mainstream audience.

Categories such as “casual” or “online” games are not always neat and tidy. Not all online games are aimed at casual users. “Minecraft”, developed by Mojang, a tiny Swedish firm, is an online adventure game that mixes the building qualities of Lego with the social appeal of “World of Warcraft”. Despite its basic graphics and intricate gameplay it has sold over 4m copies. Conversely, some recent smartphone games have almost console-quality graphics and involving storylines. Development costs are already ticking up. The only safe bet about the future is that it will be more fragmented and more diverse than the past.


Thinking out of the box

Consoles are no longer the only game in town

THE IDEA BEHIND video games used to be simple. Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Sega and others sold consoles at a loss and made their money from the boxed games they produced for them. The punters, mostly young technophile men, bought the games from a shop, played them for a few weeks and then put them away.

Those customers are still around, but they have been joined by a plethora of others. New, more casual sorts of games are being picked up by a mass audience that would previously not have played at all. “In the past few years two things have changed,” says Mr Moore of Electronic Arts. “The first is the proliferation of platforms [on which to play games], and the second is that it’s become so much easier to call yourself a gamer.”

So the industry has branched out into a bewildering variety of sub-sectors and niches. At one extreme, companies in the traditional sector are still charging $50 or $60 for high-end console games with ultra-realistic graphics and cinematic game play. At the other, a shoal of smaller firms is developing simpler, more casual games aimed at a much larger and more diverse group of customers. In between, a mix of established firms and start-ups are testing new ways to develop games and new business models for selling them.

One of the biggest changes has been the rise of the mobile phone as a gaming device. Games specifically designed to be played on mobile phones already account for $8 billion of the $56 billion global games market, even though they typically sell at less than a tenth the price of a traditional console game. Such mobile games are simpler to play and require less time and dedication than the console titles. Their relatively low development costs and the fact that they can be downloaded over mobile networks bring them into impulse-buy territory, says Mr Harding-Rolls at Screen Digest.

Playing on the move

The potential market is huge. The number of mobile-phone subscriptions worldwide is over 5 billion. Last year 1.6 billion handsets were sold, a 31% rise on 2009. That is attracting attention from big, established firms such as THQ, an American publisher and developer of video games, and Square Enix, a Japanese publisher and developer that has a dedicated mobile division.

But many games for mobile phones are made by small start-ups, attracted by low entry costs. The best-known example is “Angry Birds”, released in 2009 by Rovio Mobile, a Finnish firm with just 55 employees. It is a light-hearted affair in which vengeful player-controlled birds hurl themselves at fortifications built by a group of egg-snatching green pigs. In terms of sales, it is among the most popular games ever made, with total downloads of more than 500m (the game is available in a free but limited edition as well as in a standard, paid-for version). By contrast, a console game is reckoned to have done well if it sells a couple of million copies.

Games are proving a popular application for mobile phones, and especially for the latest generation of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone. PwC expects the market for such apps to grow from around $7 billion last year to $35 billion in 2015, and much of that growth is likely to be driven by games. They accounted for more than half of the 100 most popular apps for the iPhone in 2010 and make up a large chunk of the software market for other brands of smartphone too (see chart 1).

Online orcs

Thanks to the spread of high-speed internet connections, the web has emerged as a games platform in its own right. Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft”, an intricate online fantasy world filled with orcs and dragons, attracts around 9m regular users, each of whom pays a monthly subscription fee of around $10 to play.

As with mobile games, much of the interest in online gaming revolves around attracting a new, more casual kind of player. Again, the potential market is vast. Companies such as PopCap, a Seattle-based games studio, specialise in easy-going games that run in ordinary web browsers. PopCap’s most successful game to date is “Bejeweled”, an abstract puzzle game in which users have to create patterns in a grid of coloured gems. It is easy to pick up but difficult to master, and can be played for a few minutes at a time. In 2010 sales of the full version, which sells for about $20, passed 50m. Leer más “The business of gaming”

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