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Yo app logo image www.socialselect.net

A new app that lets you send an image of the word ‘yo’ or ‘yoyo’ has rocketed up the charts and was being downloaded faster than Facebook’s new photo sharing app Slingshot overnight in the United States.

The app has surpassed Facebook’s heavily promoted new product in Apple’s App Store and it’s been downloaded almost 10,000 times in the Android app store.

Invented by software engineer Or Arbel, the app is either an alarming indictment of the foolishness of the tech start-up movement or the ultimate testament to the power of focus and simplicity.

YO App creator Or Arbe image www.socialselect.net

App creator Or Arbel

Unsurprisingly, Mr Arbel claims it’s the latter.

“If you think this is just an app that says ‘yo’, you are getting it wrong,” Mr Arbel told Mashable. “It’s a new way to get lightweight, non-intrusive notifications. We are here to cut through the noise. We like to call it context-based messaging.

Mr Arbel said it’s a way to play with ‘context-specific’ communication, similar to how the word ‘mate’ can be a term of genuine warmth or a passive aggressive warning.

The app has already raised more than $US1 million from several investors.

The app was inspired by Mr Arbel’s former boss at photo sharing app Mobli, Moshe Hogeg, who wanted an app that functioned like a summons button for his assistant.

He scoffed and said it was a silly idea he could build in two hours. It took him eight and he launched it quietly on April Fools’ Day this year. Apple originally declined to list the app as they assumed it was an incomplete draft.

The app’s popularity skyrocketed after a blog post on The Financial Times tipped off the world to its presence.

While much of the commentary has been scathing, it has been well received by some, particularly in start-up hot-spots like Silicon Valley.

“There’s a fascinating aspect lots of people are missing,” tweeted entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen while outlining the potency of a “one-bit communication, a message with no content other than the fact it exists.”

“I’m not saying Yo will be the next $100 billion social media powerhouse. But instant dismissal makes little sense. Let’s learn and keep minds open.”

He also likened Yo to calling a friend’s phone and hanging up quickly so the notification serves as a free message.

Mr Arbel has moved from Tel Aviv to San Francisco. He’s seeking more investors, hiring a team and working on the app full time, although he’s already ruled out adding new features.

Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

TWITTER TO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO PERSONS WITHOUT ACCESS TO INTERNET

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in Warsaw

(Reuters) – Twitter Inc is tying up with a Singapore-based startup to make its 140-character messaging service available to users in emerging markets who have entry-level mobile phones which cannot access the Internet.

U2opia Mobile, which has a similar tie-up with Facebook Inc, will launch its Twitter service in the first quarter of next year, Chief Executive and Co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters.

Users will need to dial a simple code to get a feed of the popular trending topics on Twitter, he said.

More than 11 million people use U2opia’s Fonetwish service, which helps access Facebook and Google Talk on mobile without a data connection.

Twitter, which boasts of about 230 million users, held a successful initial public offering last month that valued the company at around $25 billion.

U2opia uses a telecom protocol named USSD, or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, which does not allow viewing of pictures, videos or other graphics.

“USSD as a vehicle for Twitter is almost hand in glove because Twitter has by design a character limit, it’s a very text-driven social network,” Menon said.

Eight out of 10 people in emerging markets are still not accessing data on their phone, he said.

U2opia, which is present in 30 countries in seven international languages, will localize the Twitter feed according to the location of the user.

“So somebody in Paraguay would definitely get content that would be very very localized to that market vis a vis somebody sitting in Mumbai or Bangalore,” he said.

The company, whose biggest markets are Africa and South America, partners with telecom carriers such as Telenor, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel Ltd. U2opia usually gets 30 to 40 percent of what users pay its telecom partners to access Fonetwish.

“For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience,” Menon said.

AAA

Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

NEW TECH SUMMLY & THE YAHOO BUYOUT TO A 17YEAR OLD

Cloud 9 for the young Nick D’Aloisio techie

At just 17, former Perth and Melbourne resident Nick D’Aloisio is now one of the world’s youngest self-made multimillionaires, after tech giant Yahoo acquired his firm for a reported $28.7 million.

His technology Summly aims to change the way we read emails, news articles or any other text on our computers and smartphones by using algorithms to summarise text in under 400 characters.


I-Tech - Computer Hardware and Software Australia

I like shoes, I will buy a new pair of Nike trainers and I’ll probably get a new computer but at the moment I just want to save and bank it. I don’t have many living expenses.

Summly founder Nick D’Aloisio.

Yahoo did not disclose the terms of the deal, but The Wall Street Journal‘s AllThingsD blog said Yahoo would pay $US30 million ($28.7 million), mostly in cash, with 10 per cent in stock.

Nick D'Aloisio.
Summly founder Nick D’Aloisio, 17.

Before the Yahoo deal, D’Aloisio received a collective $US1.5 million in investment funds from people including celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Stephen Fry and billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Speaking from his family home in London, where he has lived since leaving Australia when he was seven, D’Aloisio said he was excited about the deal with Yahoo, believing it would help assist in developing the Summly technology further and integrating it with Yahoo’s offerings.

His technology summarises text using algorithmic technologies, allowing for simplified dot point summaries of anything on the web such as search results. It has many uses and could even be used to summarise emails, social networking posts and product descriptions.

The Summly app.
The Summly app.

The deal with Yahoo will see his company’s iPhone app Summly shut down. D’Aloisio said the app had been downloaded almost 1 million times in the past five months and generated about 90 million summaries.

While active it received Apple’s Best Apps of 2012 award for Intuitive Touch and had a contract to display content from News Corp publications.
I-Tech - Computer Hardware and Software Australia

The purchase has led some in the media to question why Yahoo would want to acquire the technology. Technology news website Wired suggested it was so that Yahoo could be cool again.

The Summly app summarised news in under 400 words.
The Summly app summarised online news articles in under 400 characters.

“There’s no logical explanation for Yahoo’s reported $US30 million acquisition of Summly,” wrote Wired‘s Ryan Tate. “The team and technology are unexceptional and the app itself will be shut down. What Yahoo really gets for its big cheque is momentum and buzz. In other words, Yahoo bought Summly to appear cool again.”

D’Aloisio said it was “technically true” that he was now a millionaire after sealing the Yahoo deal, but added that he had no immediate plans to do anything with the money.

“Obviously the money is going to be in a fund and I’ll work with my parents to save it,’ he said. “I’m just focused now on working for Yahoo and kind of taking everything to the next level.

“I like shoes, I will buy a new pair of Nike trainers and I’ll probably get a new computer but at the moment I just want to save and bank it. I don’t have many living expenses,” he told the London Evening Standard.

D’Aloisio told Fairfax Media last year that he began his journey with computers when he was eight, using Apple’s movie making software iMovie before progressing to the more professional video software Final Cut Pro.

“I basically begged my parents for six months to get [an Apple] computer,” he said of his father, an investment banker, and his mother, a lawyer. “And when I finally got it, instead of using it for just watching videos or browsing the web, I kind of had an interest to create things.”

A lot of D’Aloisio’s coverage in the media has been positive, with some describing him as “telegenic” and a “wunderkind“. But the coverage wasn’t always so glowing.



In 2011 an app writer for technology website Gizmodo, Casey Chan, published D’Aloisio’s Trimit app (now Summly) as “worst app of the week” after D’Aloisio bombarded his office with emails.

“Over the course of a few days, D’Aloisio … barraged me with over a hundred emails about Trimit,” Chan said in a post entitled “How I made a 15-year-old app developer cry“.

“I saw him go from calm to excited to a nervous wreck …” (In comparison, Fairfax was sent six emails chasing up when last year’s article would be published.)

Asked for a response last year to the Gizmodo post, D’Aloisio said his actions occurred at a “very early stage of development”. “Obviously I’m still learning and really excited about everything that’s happened with Summly,” he said. “Dealing with the current media attention is something I’m unexpectedly going to have to get used to.”

In a statement, Yahoo said it was excited to share that it was acquiring Summly and that D’Aloisio and a team would join the technology giant “in the coming weeks”.

I-Tech - Computer Hardware and Software Australia

D’Aloisio will be based at Yahoo’s central London office.

“At the age of 15, Nick D’Aloisio created the Summly app at his home in London,” Yahoo said in its statement. “It started with an insight — that we live in a world of constant information and need new ways to simplify how we find the stories that are important to us, at a glance.”

Yahoo said most articles and web pages were formatted for browsing with mouse clicks and that “the ability to skim them on a phone or a tablet can be a real challenge — we want easier ways to identify what’s important to us”.

Former Google executive Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo in July 2012 as part of efforts by the struggling internet search pioneer to reinvent itself.

D’Aloisio said he was excited to be working with Mayer.

“The thing that’s really exciting me about Yahoo is the fact that Marissa Mayer is now their CEO, who is a product person,” he said.

With AFP
CardioTech

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

The billion dollar deal in under 2 years

App Instagram success team


AppsWiz - Mobile Apps For Every Business.

California has been famous since the gold rush for creating fortunes overnight. The Golden State was a dream factory for get-rich-quick schemes from pioneers with pickaxes to beautiful people aiming to be Hollywood stars.

But only in Silicon Valley can a couple of 20-somethings turn 551 days, or 78 weeks, of work into a $US1 billion fortune.

Kevin Systrom, 28, joined the long line of technocrats turned plutocrats on Monday in the US when he sold Instagram, a profitless photo-sharing app that’s less than two years old, for $US1 billion.

Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom.
Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom. Photo: codypickens.com

He sold it to that other wunderkind, Mark Zuckerberg, 27, the Facebook founder whose social network is now worth an estimated $US100 billion.

Systrom, a former Google employee, is understood to own about 40 per cent of Instagram, which is now worth $US400 million.
happylifebalance

His co-founder Mike Krieger, 25, is believed to have about 10 per cent, worth $US100 million. The rest will be shared with investors and the company’s other employees – all 11 of them.

Even by Silicon Valley standards, it’s a remarkable haul for a company that has been around for less than two years.

If Facebook had been paying Instagram from the start it would work out that Instagram was making roughly $US1.8 million a day from the social networking giant, or $US12.7 million a week.

Instagram was not the first, or the only, mobile app offering people a way to share their photos on Twitter, Facebook or Flickr. Nor was its use of filters to add visual effects to those shots a new idea. But what made it stand out was its success.

Last week Instagram raised $US50 million from venture capital firms, valuing Systrom and Krieger’s baby at $US500 million. Zuckerberg had reportedly already approached Systrom and asked to buy the firm but, after the funding, he came back with an offer that could not be refused: double the price.
Hogarth Associates - Businesses For Sale

Instagram might not make a cent but it is the hottest mobile app in the world and Facebook is preparing for the biggest IPO in tech history.

To date people have questioned Facebook’s mobile strategy. Zuckerberg started his social network in the days when PCs and browsers ruled the internet. Even 20-somethings can look a bit dated in these fast moving days. And $US1 billion is a small price to pay for new school cool, if you are worth $US100 billion.

Systrom, a Stanford University graduate like so many Silicon Valley multimillionaires, grew up in Boston but was an early witness to the dotcom boom. His mother, Diane Systrom, worked at Monster.com during the first internet era and is now an executive at Zipcar, the online car rental business.

The history of the billion-dollar deal goes back to his university days where he was studying for an engineering degree. Systrom, a big photography fan, started looking at ways to share photos online. His interest subsided as he looked for a job, ending up at Google, where he spent two years in product and corporate development.

Systrom’s next job was at Nextstop, a trip-recommendation site that Facebook bought for a rather measly $US2.5 million.
Marketing with no money

Systrom then started Burbn, named after his favourite liquor, a company that focused on the super-hot area of mobile but whose basket of services seemed to lack any clear identity. It had photos but also check-in capabilities, such as Foursquare, and other apps.

Along came Krieger, another Stanford graduate, and the two started talking about narrowing their focus.

On the Q&A site Quora, Systrom explained the genesis of Instagram: “We decided that if we were going to build a company, we wanted to focus on being really good at one thing.

“We saw mobile photos as an awesome opportunity to try out some new ideas. We spent one week prototyping a version that focused solely on photos. It was pretty awful. So we went back to … Burbn. We actually got an entire version of Burbn done as an iPhone app, but it felt cluttered, and overrun with features.

“It was really difficult to decide to start from scratch, but we went out on a limb, and basically cut everything in the Burbn app except for its photo, comment, and like capabilities. What remained was Instagram. (We renamed because we felt it better captured what you were doing – an instant telegram of sorts. It also sounded camera-y.)”

The rest is Silicon Valley history. Launched in October 2010, Instagram was an instant hit. More than 30 million people have downloaded the app now. When the firm launched an Android version this month, it attracted 1 million downloads in 12 hours. People love sharing their photos online and making them look like their dad took them in 1980 with a camera he borrowed from his dad.

And the app they want to do it with is Instagram.
Gold Company

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Pinterest Blogger captures stardom by pinning 5700 images on site.

Christine Martinez spent the past week frolicking on the Caribbean island of St Barts after becoming a star by sharing her sense of style at Pinterest.com.

Pinterest has become the web’s hottest young website, particularly among women, by giving people virtual bulletin boards that they decorate with pictures showcasing interests in anything from food to sports, fashion or travel.

“Gawd I love Pinterest,” fashion blogger Martinez said in a Twitter message fired off between flights on Friday as she made her way back to her home in the Californian city of Oakland

Nearly a million people have signed up to follow Martinez at Pinterest where people “pin” pictures they have taken or, in most cases, plucked from elsewhere on the internet.

“I have a penchant for pretty,” Martinez said in her Pinterest profile, which had a picture of her with her cherished dog ‘Miles.’

As of Saturday, she had 43 Pinterest boards with more than 5700 images reflecting her taste in jewellery, swimsuits, and more.

Pinterest is such an influential fashion venue that chic beachwear label Calypso St Barts took her to the French island territory for a week to “live pin” the label’s swimsuit photo shoot.

“Pinterest is the latest procrastination tool of the masses,” Avery Spofford of fashion website shefinds.com wrote in an online post citing Martinez’s adventure as evidence of Pinterest’s clout.

“Mostly, people just like to look at photos of puppies and cake and interior design,” Spofford continued. “Us, too!”

Pinterest was launched in early 2010 and has been growing at a dizzying rate in the past six months despite being invitation-only. The website reportedly has more than 13 million users.

Pinterest is driving more online traffic to retail websites than social networks LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ combined, according to a January report from Shareaholic.

The first investor to back in the venture, Brian Cohen, is delighted with its results so far.

“Pinterest’s traffic charts aren’t hockey sticks – they’re rocket ships,” internet tracker RJ Metrics said in an analysis released last month.

“Pinterest is the hottest young site on the internet.”

Brands are leaping onto Pinterest, setting up pages to appeal to prime shopping demographics or forming collaborations such as the one between Martinez’s MilestoStyle.com blog and Calypso.

“The amount of free advertising a brand gets on Pinterest is ridiculous,” blogger Kerry Sauriol wrote at WomenInBizNetwork.com.

“Without even having their own Pinterest boards, clothing companies, furniture designers, tech companies, and on and on have their products pinned and adored,” she continued.

“Think of the marketing power of a brand that does have a board.”

Other websites have begun adding “pin it” buttons inviting visitors to decorate Pinterest pages with images using a single click, according to co-founder Ben Silbermann.

“The last few months have been a whirlwind here at Pinterest,” Silbermann said in a recent blog post. “It’s humbling, and exciting.”

The small Pinterest team works in box of an office in single-story building in downtown Palo Alto in Silicon Valley.

About a dozen engineers were working at rows of desks in an undecorated room when an AFP correspondent visited.

Pinterest said it was too swamped with attention from users and media for interviews.

Rampant pinning of images snagged from the internet has raised concerns about copyright violations at Pinterest.

The website follows procedures set out in US copyright law and has a form at the site for reporting violations, Silbermann explained. Each “pin” has a flag icon for marking pirated content.

“We care about respecting the rights of copyright holders,” Silbermann said.

“Copyright is a complicated and nuanced issue and we have knowledgeable people who are providing lots of guidance.”

Pinterest fans include Dave Morin, a longtime member of the Facebook team who left the leading social network to start Path.

Morin sees Pinterest as part of a trend for people in “the world’s biggest club” Facebook to form sub-groups based on interests or close relationships.

“Now that the world understands how to be social through the internet people want unique experiences in different contexts,” Morin said, noting that Path lets people intimately share with family and close friends.

“Pinterest has a space where you can talk about your deep interests,” he continued. “In my case, deep interests in ski gear or photography gear.”

Sourcd & published by Henry Sapiecha

BRISBANE AUSTRALIA SPAWNS A NEW FACEBOOK LIKE CONCEPT USING LIVE VIDEOS AS THE COMMUNICATION MEDIUM

A first name isn’t the only thing Mark Cracknell has in common with Mark Zuckerberg.

Like the Facebook founder, Cracknell is a young man with big dreams and a background in computing. He also has a website, Kondoot, which, like Zuckerberg’s famous social network, enables users to share their lives online.

Mark C may not have emulated Mark Z’s stratospheric success just yet, but the comparison is already being drawn – by no less than the Wall Street Journal – after the 21-year-old Brisbane-based entrepreneur and partner Nathan Hoad returned from the US with $3.2 million in funding for their site.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

GOOGLE PLUS IS A SOCIAL GIANT MAKING LEAPS & BOUNDS

Google is a latecomer to social networking but its new site, Google+, is growing much more rapidly than Facebook, MySpace and Twitter did in their early days, technology experts said.

While Google+ may be the fastest-growing social network ever, it remains to be seen whether it can pose a serious threat to the social networking giant Facebook, which has more than 750 million members.

Andrew Lipsman, vice-president for industry analysis at tracking firm comScore, said Google+, which was launched by the internet search and advertising titan on June 28, had 25 million unique visitors as of July 24.

During a panel discussion on Google+ hosted by Wedbush Securities yesterday, Mr Lipsman said it took other social networks much longer to reach 25 million users: 22 months for MySpace, 33 months for Twitter and 37 months for Facebook.

“Obviously, this is a very strong growth trajectory,” Mr Lipsman said. He cautioned, however, that Google ”has a really large user base it can build off” with its 1 billion users worldwide.

And it still has a “really long way to go to be competitive with Facebook”, he said.

“Google+ is the fastest by a long shot but it’s important to realise that fastest may not always be best,” he said.

“Sometimes, that slow build can lead to a strong network effect that pays long-term dividends.”

Most Google+ users – 6.4 million – are in the USA, followed by 3.6 million in India, 1.1 million in Canada, 1.1 million in Britain and more than 920,000 in Germany, according to comScore.

Mr Lipsman said many Google+ users appear also to be users of Google’s email program Gmail and display a “very strong early adopter profile”.

He said the ratio of men to women was about two to one and that 60 per cent of Google+ users were between the ages of 18 and 34.

In the US, the highest numbers of Google+ users are in the tech-savvy cities of San Francisco and Austin, Texas, he said.

Steve Rubel, executive vice-president for global strategy and insights at public relations firm Edelman, said Facebook was not “vulnerable immediately” to Google.

“I don’t see [Google+] taking significant share from Facebook in the next 18 months,” Mr Rubel said.

At the same time, “what we have seen is that over the years there’s never been a social network or community that has had significant staying power”, he said.

“There’s always a shuffling every two or three years, a changing of the guard.

“We saw it with MySpace,” he said of the one-time social networking leader that has been eclipsed by Facebook and has been haemorrhaging users ever since.

Mr Rubel said Google was compelled to try its hand at social networking because Facebook was restricting the access of its search engine to Facebook content.

“What’s happening is more content is being created behind Facebook’s walls than ever before and a lot of that content is invisible to Google,” he said.

“Conceptually, at least, they’re building kind of an alternate web … There’s also an entire web that is app-based on mobile phones. That is also invisible to them.”

Mr Rubel said it was conceivable that more content would be invisible to them in five or 10 years than what the search engine can see today when created on Facebook or inside apps.

“So they had to make a play to get more people to create content on their site,” he continued. “It’s to get more people to spend time on Google.”

In unveiling Google+, Google stressed the ability it gives users to separate online friends and family into different “circles”, or networks, and to share information only with members of a particular circle.

One of the criticisms of Facebook is that updates are shared with all of one’s friends unless a user has gone through a relatively complicated process to create separate Facebook groups.

AFP

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

YouTube founders’

Delicious new venture

April 28, 2011 – 11:39AM

Yahoo! has sold Delicious to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who promised to continue and grow the popular social bookmarking site.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hurley and Chen, who sold YouTube to Google for $US1.65 billion in 2006, said they planned to integrate Delicious with their new San Mateo, California-based internet company AVOS.

“We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” AVOS chief executive Hurley said in a statement.

“We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web,” Hurley said.

The YouTube co-founders said they would seek to use Delicious to “develop innovative features to help solve the problem of information overload.”

“We see this problem not just in the world of video, but also cutting across every information-intensive media type,” Chen said.

Yahoo! said it will continue to operate Delicious until July, when users will transitioned over to AVOS.

Yahoo! said the sale of Delicious was part of a product strategy that “involves shifting our investment with off-strategy products to put better focus on our core strengths and fund new innovation.”

“We believe this is the right move for the service, our users and our shareholders and look forward to watching the Delicious technology develop,” Yahoo! said.

Delicious, which has millions of users around the world, was launched in 2003 and bought by Yahoo! in 2005.

AFP   Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Visa backs Twitter

co-founder’s mobile venture

LOS ANGELES | Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:57pm EDT

(Reuters) – Visa Inc has thrown its weight behind a mobile payments venture created by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

The credit-card company has made an unspecified investment in Square, a two-year-old service that helps businesses and consumers pay with credit cards on a mobile phone or Apple Inc iPhone, both companies said in a statement.

In return, a Visa executive gets to sit on the advisory board at Square, which is also backed by Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures.

Square’s service employs a miniature magnetic card-reader that plugs into a device, such as an iPhone or Google Android phone. CEO Dorsey in March returned to the microblogging sensation he helped create, taking up the post of executive chairman — in addition to his responsibilities at Square — to oversee product development.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

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