Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Watch The Google I/O Developer Conference Live...HERE!

Watch Google I/O as it happens right here. You can find a detailed schedule of the events you want to watch or just start off with the keynote below. The event kicks off on May 15th, 2013 at 9AM PST.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Future Of Mobile Is Summarization Tech, Says Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer, a proponent of Summarization Tech spoke at the Wired Business Conference. She predicted that “summarization will be a core technology on mobile.” Mayer put her money where her mouth is with Yahoo!'s acquisition of Summly, a news reader app based on summarization technology.

If you want to know about the trends in Summarization Tech and the reasons why it's the next wave on Mobile, read my blog post about Summarization on Google Glass.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The '3rd Mobile OS' Keeps Popping Up Again

The WSJ posted an article about the battle to become the 3rd Mobile Operating System. The article talks about the contenders, ranging from BB10 and Windows to new entrants such as Firefox and Ubuntu (both based on HTML 5).  A couple of months ago I blogged about the 3rd Mobile OS.  In my view Ubuntu has a good chance to make it to numero tres, and maybe even challenge the top dogs who, together, own close to 90% of the smartphone OS market.

Needless to say, the 3rd placeholder is vying for the emerging market.  Currently, close to 2 Billion people are yet to come online

Source: Enders Analysis via ben-evans.com

A vast majority of potential onliners will connect to the internet via inexpensive smartphones as opposed to laptops or desktops, which have anyways been disrupted by Mobile. However, the race to capture the emerging market is an even more competitive one than the one to be crowned 3rd place. At the moment, the Mobile OS that has captured the number one spot (in terms of overall market share) AND the emerging market, is Android. iOS, on the other hand, is not (yet) an emerging market player due to its marriage with the iPhone hardware, which makes it a high-end smartphone. With a cheaper iPhone, the emerging market place is going to intensely heat up!

It's a long race and the player positions keep changing with new players entering the arena from different directions. May the best horse win.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

What's The Deal With Acquiring News Reader Apps?

LinkedIn started the trend by acquiring Pulse news for around $90 Million. Then Summly was purchased by Yahoo! for $30 Million and Google gobbled Wavii for around the same amount.

All three acquisitions have been in the news reader space. Summly and Wavii are especially noteworthy acquisitions because of the summarization technology these news readers are built on. Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing are the underlying  coding technologies that summarize a news article into a short paragraph; perfect for mobile snacking. But lets not leave Pulse behind. This news reader app lays out news headlines in a tile format for quick browsing and reading. The usual sharing and favoriting are built right into all three apps. I wouldn't be surprised if LinkedIn builds some kind of summarization technology into Pulse to bring it on equal footing with Summly and Wavii. In fact since its acquisition, LinkedIn has already added its latest 'LinkedIn Influencers' as a news source to Pulse. Now, instead of logging into LinkedIn to read your favorite influencer's updates, you can do so directly in Pulse - in that concise tile format.

So lets come to the meat of this post. Why is an internet search company, an internet media company and a professional networking company snapping up mobile news reader apps? In a word, content. In 3 words, content in context. We are slowly but surely realizing that mobile is the future - that's the context - mobile. Accessing news is one of the top tasks we perform on our smartphone, so that's content. So you take news (content) and shove it down mobile's throat (context) and you get Summly, Wavii and Pulse at the other end (hmmm maybe this analogy wasn't the best. don't get me wrong, I am not comparing these apps to waste matter!).

In a Mobile world, you have to keep users engaged; have them keep coming back to your app to consume your content. Increased engagement means more eye balls, which mean better advertising revenue. For LinkedIn, more eyeballs means a larger professional network.

As per comScore, accessing news on smartphone represents 49% of usage while on Tablets, it represents 59% of usage.

Source: Mobile Future in Focus 2013, comScore
Top Mobile Media Activities by Share of Smartphone & Tablet Users
Source: comScore MobiLens & TabLens, U.S., 3-month Avg., Ending Dec-2012

So this takes care of content. How about context?

Source: Mobile Future in Focus 2013, comScore
Share of Total Time Spent Online for Selected Properties
Source: comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform (Beta), U.S., Dec-2012

We can see that mobile is growing, but not only in terms of replacing desktop usage but also creating net new usage as mobile can be used at times and places that a desktop cannot create 'usage.' Companies are realizing this trend and creating ways in which we can snack on content in the mobile context. Simplified and summarized are driving mobile engagement. We're seeing this happening in front of our eyes with news and social media updates. Google can use Wavii's technology and apply it to Google+. You'd be able to get summarized versions of updates. In fact I see Google's purchase of Wavii as a stepping stone to summarization on GLASS.

Is it too late to acquire a news reader app? Facebook, AOL, HuffPo, Business Insider, NYT, are you guys shopping around? If you haven't come across a French startup called Mobiles Republic, then let me point you in its direction. Mobiles Republic has some pretty neat and simplified news reader offerings.

What's next? How will we consume other forms of content on mobile? Videos? Let's cover that in another post. Is anyone using an app to read this blog?

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