INSERT IMAGE IN BACKGROUND MAKE SURE IT FILLS THE SCREEN 100% A MONTHLY SNAPSHOT OFMOBILE NEWS, VIEWS, EVENTS & DEVELOPMENTS LOCALLY AND ABROAD
HOW TO USE THIS REPORT This report is intended as an easy-to-reference tool It is a resource that allows you to easily flip through in yourown time – and not to necessarily read it from front-to-back
CONTENTS» Executive Summary» Section 1: Highlights from Mobile World Congress» Section 2: Mobile Landscape» Section 3: Mobile Marketing and Innovation» Section 4: Mobile Devices and Operating Systems» Section 5: Mobile Networks» Section 6: Social Networks» Sources and Contacts
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY» Angus Robinson, NATIVE’s Director of Mobile, attended this years Mobile World Congress (MWC). As a special feature, we highlight some of his key insights from the 4 day conference in Barcelona.» Several announcements were made at MWC 2013 including Visa and Samsung’s global alliance to boost NFC payments adoption, and GM to rollout 4G LTE-embedded vehicles in 2014.» Smartphones for emerging markets are becoming a popular topic of discussion with the launch of Huawei’s low-end Windows Phone, and the release of Samsung’s new line of low cost touchscreen phones called the REX series.» Rumours included the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S IV being launched in New York on 15 March 2013 and Google’s plans to open its own retails stores.» The wearable device market i.e. smart watches and Google Glass, is set to explode and definitely a market to keep a close eye on.» One of Kenya’s biggest MNO’s, Safaricom, will soon be phasing out the sales of feature phones to increase smartphone adoption.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY» JoziHub officially opened at 44 Stanley in Milpark, Johannesburg with the aim of connecting potential entrepreneurs and developers with the critical resources they need.» If you’re an advertiser you would be interested to know that a study showed that a lack of understanding on mobile by brands and agencies is still a huge hurdle to developing mobile strategy.» A survey conducted by Accenture revealed that South Africans spend more on consumer tech that its US counterparts.» In an effort to differentiate itself from rival WhatsApp, Blackberry is testing a mobile money transfer app that will be integrated into BBM.» Cell C challenges consumers to find out what they are paying their networks in its new campaign, while the price wars continue to blaze. Vodacom has stepped up the challenge with its new ‘Red’ offering.» Facebook celebrated its 9th birthday this month, while Instagram passed 100 million active users, just two and a half years after its launch.» In a first for Mxit , or any social platform for that matter, a full length feature film call A Lucky Man premiered on the platform.
INSERT IMAGE IN BACKGROUND MAKE SURE IT FILLS THE SCREEN 100%THE MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS IS THE WORLD’S PREMIER MOBILE EVENT HOSTED IN THE MOBILE WORLD CAPITAL BARCELONA MORE THAN 72,000 ATTENDEES FROM 200 COUNTRIES WERE EXPOSED TO A WEALTH OF LEARNING AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES; PRODUCT SHOWCASES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS; AND INSPIRATION AND INNOVATION
1. THE STATE OF THEINDUSTRY» The migration from 2G to 3G to 4G has been the fastest technology adoption in history, pushing MNO’s to battle with new marketopportunities before the previous generation’s ones have been fully realized.» Randall Stevenson, AT&T CEO, said that we are moving from the mobile era to the LTE and cloud era, for which he doesn’t really have an appropriate name yet. – The mobile cloud is one of the biggest business opportunities (and challenges) that businesses face in the next 3-5 years.» The investment in 4G/LTE is now a reality with rapidrollout planned this year in both infrastructure, devices and services» Data growth continues to cause network management challenges, with more data consumed in 2012 than in all the previous years combined.» A thought to ponder: if only 15% of the mobile subscribers have smartphones and this is the amount of datatraffic being consumed, imagine what will happenwhen the other 85% are smartphones. No wonder we need so many undersea cables.
2. MOBILES ROLE INVERTICAL DISRUPTION» There is no doubt that many industries are primed for significant transformation and disruption, largely driven by the access to reliable high- speed mobile broadband.» Nancy Brown from the American Heart Association, viewed mobile tech as the game changer that puts healthcare in consumers hands and encourages taking control of their own health.» Traditionally the relationship with a healthcare giver was limited to a few minutes with poor communication and non-existent follow-up. Then the internet happened: – Searchwasthefirstwaveofdisruption inhealthcare,whereinformationmovedfrom pushtopullwhereconsumersareempowered recipientsasco-creatorsofhealthissue relatedcontent. – Trackingisthesecondwaveofdisruption. Smartphonesandsensorshavemadeiteasy totrackeverythingfromcountingsteps taken,toheartratemonitoringandevenmeal types. – Gamificationinhealthcarehasdeliveredamazingresultsinareallyshort timeframe
3. 4G/LTE CONNECTIVITYEMBEDDED IN CARS» General Motors madea bold announcement that all its future cars will have 4G/LTE connectivity embeddedin them from the design phase of model development, and not as a brought-in afterthought. I loved his comment that General Motors has always been a mobility and technology company,and now its closing the loop with other mobile and technology companies. It has the General Motors Developer Portal which provides details of the APIs (applicationprogramminginterface) availablefor appand service development. Developers now have an entirely new platform to innovate for.
4. MOBILE PREMIERAWARDS» The MPA’s are like the world cup for app developers. Countries around the world have app development competitions with the finalist coming to Barcelona every yearfor their 3 minute pitch to a panel of judges.» The winner was atooma.com which is an ITTT (If This Then That) Development Platform that allows anyone, yes anyone, to develop a series of commands that tells the platform to perform certain tasks basedon triggers.» Other interesting apps: – Blindsquare -handsfreeGPSforblindpeopleusingFoursquaredata – Circleme–aninterestbasedsocialnetworktoconnectwiththingsyouloveandonlythen connectwithpeople – Grabbity –acrazyaccelerometerbasedgamethatmakesyoulookmadwhileyouare playing – TheOne-TheHighlanderforsmartphoneswhereyoufightusingyoursmartphoneasthe sword whenyoumeetachallengerinthestreet. Awesome. – MyPrice–helpingfreelancerschargetherightamountfortheirservicesbasedonskills, location,expensesandscarcity. Clever.
5. THE NEXT FEWBILLION» There is no doubt what the impactof internet connectivity does to change the lives of people, and its clear that this access has to be via mobile broadband. Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia was optimistic about the pace at which this rollout is going to occur, "Connecting the next billion will occur much more quickly than the first billion, of that we can be certain.”» Gary Kovacs who is CEO of Mozilla Corporationsaid: “The first two billion people took 20 years to connect to the internet, the next two billion will take five years and will be coming from emerging markets. Its the next generation”» Its clear that offering services is one of the most importantthings to the next few billion as they are younger, urbanpeople and not rural people as assumed. By creating services that improveliteracy and healthcare, the overall marketfor connectivity and commercewill lift mobile connections past the nine billion mark.The same holds true for bankingas existing financial institutions cannot offer branch networks to all. It must be mobile.
6. BIG BRANDS MAKING ADIFFERENCE» As always, a marketingdiscussion cannot go far without Unilever being close. As the worlds second largest advertiser,it has done some amazing work across the globe using mobile in smart and simple campaigns. Keith Weed, Unilevers CMOstated that "he wants to get to the future first and wants Unilever to be the best mobile marketerin the world." He shared their approachto integrating mobile into their marketingefforts: – From360 to365 Fromtryingtosurroundthecustomerwithmessages,tobeingwiththemallthe timeintherightcontext. – Sevenbilliontoonepersonalization Usingthepowerofpersonalisationtodeliverthevalue,notmessages,that customersexpect. – Digitaltorealworldintegration Mobilehasthepowertoprovide enhancedexperiencesbytranscendingand combiningthedigitalandphysicalworlds. – 1+1=3-howpartnerships arethefuture Unileveracknowledgesthatitcannotofferglobalsolutionsandcampaignscentrally andthatitneedstopartnertodeliver localrelevance.
7. THE OPEN MOBILE OSECOSYSTEMS» It was the open source communitys big entrance into what is generally considered to be an unhealthy dominance by the two As’.» South African, MarkShuttleworth, delivered exceptionally articulate arguments about the Ubuntu OS Mobile. Considering that his projects could impactthe connectivity and therefore lives of so many people is a humbling thought.» Mitchell Baker,the founder of Mozilla didnthold back when describing the state of the mobile and internet industries. Her view that central control destroys quality was demonstrated in this comment, "when products are managedby large, dominantcustomers, they will decline to irrelevance. At one time even Internet Explorer was a good high quality product.” – Decentralised,web-based platforms arewhatshebelievesarethefutureformobileand istheonlyapproachtobeabletodeliverwhattherest oftheworldrequires.» It is going to be tough for the open source movement to gain traction and distribution, however, with the mobile operators fighting the dominance of Apple and Android,and throwing their weight behind FirefoxOS, they might just be ableto makea difference.
8. THE CHALLENGESWITH LOCATION» Its clear that location is a complex concept for marketersand has not lived up to the many years of hype and high expectations. Thankfully there are a number of initiatives that are starting to really understand the location opportunity and deliver solutions to supportthem.» Qualcomm Labs, with its thousands of researchers, has launched a contextual relevance platform,Gimbal (www.gimbal.com), that allows app developers to include geo-fencing and relevance into appswithout having to try and solve these challenges themselves.» When developing the "Star Trek: Into Darkness" application,Paramount Pictures used the Gimbal API to deliveradvancedreal-world game experiences, exclusive content and competition rewards based on geo- fenced locations, image markersand audioscanning.» Peggy Johnson, EVP for MarketDevelopment at Qualcomm, when asked about her view of the future, said "Im not going to predict whats going to happenin the next 10 years,but I do know that its going to be magical.”
9. THE MARKETER ANDINNOVATION DISCONNECT» A theme that emerged from the conference as a whole and was reiterated by one of the panel discussions was how the rate of innovation and change has resulted in a number of challenges that agencies, media owners and marketers are facing: – Howdoweoptimiseallthenewmarketingchannelsandtechnologieswhenwehave traditionalmindsets? – CMOsneeddashboards andproofpointsforeverything,butmanyofthesetechnologiesand platformsaretoonewtoprovide comprehensivedata – Wehavethemostadvancedadvertisingmediuminhistory. Butwecantdelivereffective adverts throughappropriate targetingandoptimisation – With20-30 metricsitisnotpossible toevaluatetheeffectivenessofcampaignsandwemust ratherunderstand afewkeymetricstoassess success» This year, CMOs should have experimental and R&D budgets and plan to learn from failing so they can innovate on a small scale, find out what works and ramp up over time. Constant innovation must occur with small trials because innovation has become a factor of survival
10. INNOVATION,INNOVATION, INNOVATION» This years MWC word-cloud is going to be dominated by the word innovation. And surprisingly, the mobile operators are the ones calling for it and driving it.» Clearly, MNOs have not been easy to do business with and have often not been open enough to innovate freely with. Carlos Domingo from Telefonica Digital was emphatic in his view about how this needs to change.» Introducing Lean and Agile methodologies, rolling out the OpenAPI initiative, and partnering with entrepreneurs to take advantage of disruptive new applicationsof mobile computing are all necessary to deliver on the promises that the future holds.» To quote Douglas Gibson: "The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed", is clearly evident when seeing the vision that this industry has. Its now just a case of delivering on this promise
11. THE RISE OF THEPROGRAMMABLEENTERPRISE» The early days of the internet were aboutstand-alone, closed environments. This sounds very similarto the isolated enterprise computing and data environment that corporates around the world currently have. If this can be changed, a whole generation of new corporate-driveninnovation will occur.» Chet Kapoorfrom Apigee (apigee.com) presented a compelling case for open, API-enabled enterprises that encourage developers to innovate by using the infrastructure that they would not usually have access to: – Walgreens,alargepharmacychain,hadanunderutilizedonlinephotoprintingservice thatwasdeclining.Itexposeditswebsites functionalitytothedevelopercommunity throughAPIs.» This allows services like Instagram to offer real-world photo printing, and a new revenue stream,without having to concern itself with distribution or infrastructure.» The opportunities in this spaceare endless. With the MNOs launching OneAPI exposing their data,services and billing platforms to developers,we can expect some very interesting innovation during 2013. Imagine a programmableretailer, bankor airline that allows developers to create alternative user experiences, services and value based on data and infrastructure that has never previously been available.
12. APPLE LOSING ITSLUSTRE» This is the first year at MWC that there has been such an evident shift in sentiment towards Apple. Across all four days, swipes and snipes have been taken at Apples approachand general arrogance. Success often garners jealousy and Apple has clearly been a victim of its own success.» The mannerin which it controls its ecosystem has been a brilliant and deliberatestrategy to ensure a better user experience, however, this may also be a noose around its neck.» The Android and Apple duopoly is a concern for MNOs, developers and handset manufacturers. There is a strong call for cross platform interoperability so that a hardwaredecision does not force someone down a path that excludes them from makingtheir own choices in the future.» There were repeated discussions about how after creating the new mobile interface paradigm,iOS has become stale and risks falling behind the new gesture-rich, flowing, integrated interfaces that have emerged from Windows Phone, FirefoxOS, Ubuntu OS Mobileand even Blackberry10.» A classic chirp, The wow factor for the iPhone 5 was that there was no wow factor.’ A bigger and better screen, lighter device and new, enhanced iOS are all calls that were madeto keep the next generation of iPhones appealing.
13. WHATS NEXT FORDEVICES?» Nokia is back. Its Lumia 920 at the high end is a great product and if partnered with a possibleLumia Tablet could do good things in the enterprise market. It also showed off the excellent Nokia 105, a Euro15 phone for emerging markets.» New technologies like graphene-basedbatteries may finally provide the breakthroughthat this marketneeds in orderto power these mobile computing powerhouses.» Wearabledevices are being mooted as the next major direction that this industry is taking. From smart watches and glasses (spectacles and not beer ones), health monitors and even gesture sensors are being seen as the natural extension to improve information consumption, data capture and device control.» It becomes particularly interesting when these concepts are combined. Imagine combining voice control with gesture control and integrating these with in-home operating systems that manageentertainment, security and access control.
GSMA: DATA REVENUES TO OVERTAKE VOICE BY 2018 » Mobile operatordata revenues will overtakevoice revenues globally by 2018 as we move towards a fully connected world. So said the GSM Association (GSMA) at Mobile World Congress .The mobile dataexplosion is being driven by a surge in demand for connected devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and is transforming the socioeconomic future of people in developed and developing countries. » A new GSMAreport, The Mobile Economy 2013, developed in collaboration with PwC, reveals how innovative mobile connected products and services will revolutionise people’s lives over the next five years. » “Mobile datais not just a commodity,but is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things,” said Michael O’Hara,chief marketingofficer at the GSMASource: Mobile Marketing Magazine, 27 February 2013
MOBILE GROWTH COMES FROM BEING ON 24/7/365 » Mobile usage is big and it’s set to be even bigger. Twitters latest report highlights how smartphone and tablet users arethe most engaged consumers. Mobile users are 96% more likely to follow 11 or more brandsand 58% more likely to recall seeing an ad on Twitter. » Google even predicts in three years mobile will overtake desktop as the most common way to go online – makingmobile marketing more important. » The infographic shows why this trend will happen.It shows how the time of day determines what device a person is on: » Firms with enough data,like Paypal,Tesco Clubcardand Nectar (to name a few) can mine into these patterns to create specific and targeted mobile marketing campaigns. » An exampleof this is Domino’s Pizza.It uses data,combined with personalisation to target mobile users to increase conversion rates. It’s click through rates are huge, for example,on the “4 for 2” offers that are sent to a specific demographic on the afternoon of a premierleague football match.Source: eConsultancy, 14 February 2013
THE STATE OF MOBILE ADVERTISING, Q4 2012 » Opera’s State of Mobile Advertising report provide insights to mobile ad monetisation by device, geography and publisher category, based on data from the OperaMediaworks mobile ad platform during the last quarter of 2012. » The report also investigates several indicators of changes in the market,as a way to identify three emerging trends to keep a close watch on in 2013: – ThegrowthofAndroid asaplatformthatisdrivingtheaccelerationofadrequests and impressionvolume – TheemergenceoftheRussianFederationasavibrantmobileadmarket – Therapid adoptionofmoresophisticateddevicesdrivingequallyrapid innovationinadunits » The fourth quarter represented more than a two-times increase in impressions and revenue to publishers comparedto any other quarterin 2012. This reflects the magnitude of marketingand advertisingspend during this quarter,associated with the seasonal impactof holiday shopping.Source: Opera, 7 February 2013
GOOGLE TO INTEGRATE DESKTOP AND MOBILE ADS » If you buy ads on Google, you may soon be a mobile advertiser— whether you like it or not. And you could be paying for the privilege. » Google announced that it is "enhancing" and "upgrading" AdWords for a world where people increasingly use mobile devices. » The changes will takeplace by the middleof this year. » In fact, Google is eliminating some ad-targetingcapabilities— in particular, the ability to target specific mobile devices like tablets. » In addition, it wont be possible to run strictly mobile-only campaignsin the future. Instead, all campaigns will run on both desktop and mobile, according to a weighting factor set by advertisers.Google will "upgrade" campaigns previously created as mobile- or desktop-only to run across all devices.Source: Business Insider, 6 February 2013
ONLY 16% OF MARKETERS HAVE MOBILE STRATEGY’ » The CMOCouncil’s latest mobile advertisingreport reveals that mobile relationship marketing(MRM) was “the single most investigated, tested and piloted” marketingactivity of 2012. » The majority of marketers (77 %) report a key impedimentto investing more on mobile is the lack of case studies demonstrating best practice availableto them. » Other problems include the ongoing fragmentation within mobile media,such as devices using different operating systems like Android and iOS, as well as the lack of a common technology platform for mobile analytics. » The findings tally with an IAB study launched earlier this week indicating a “lack of understanding” on mobile, among both brands and agencies, was still the largest hurdle to bigger mobile advertising budgets.Source: Marketing Week, 6 February 2013
S.A SPENDS MORE ON TECH THAN U.S » A new survey finds that South Africans spent more on consumer technology in 2012 than the averageUS consumer, also beating many countries in Europe including the UK, Germany,France, and Sweden. » According to Accenture’s 2013 Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report, South Africans spent $940 (R8,352) over the past12 months on consumer electronics in 2012, and intend on upping that spend to $1,164 (R10,340) in 2013. » US consumers in comparison,spent $848 in 2012, and they intend on increasing that spend to $970 over the next 12 months. » The survey questioned 11,000 consumers across 11 countries with South Africa representing 9% of the sample. » Download hereSource: BusinessTech by MyBroadband, 14 February 2013
ZUMA PUNTS BROADBAND FOR ALL » President Jacob Zuma delivered his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in which he stated that government plans to achieve 100% broadband penetration in South Africa by 2020. » “Broadbandpenetration” is often used to refer to how much of a population has a broadbandInternet subscription, but to date government has skirted around what it means to providecitizens with access to a broadband connection. » In October 2012 the National Treasury further indicated that the communications departmentmadeno progress on meeting its broadband penetration targets. According to the treasury’s report the DoC achieved 0% (zero percent) of its 7% target for the “percentage of broadbandpenetration per year”. » This means that government has madeno progress in its goal to provide 100% “broadbandpenetration” by 2020. Concrete plans as to how the Department of Communication will achieve this goal also remains sketchy.Source: MyBroadband 14 February 2013
JARRED CINMAN TO HEAD DMMA 2013 » Jarred Cinman,Managing Director and one of the founders of NATIVE, has stepped up to assume the role of Chairpersonfor the DMMA for 2013. » Previously the Deputy Chair,Jarred has been involved with the DMMA for over five years being one of the first to register his agency prior to the renaming from the OPA in 2009. “Over the years the DMMA has built its reputation as being a truly representative body of the digital industry in South Africa. The team has gone from strength to strength and we aim to continue the good work the DMMA has done over the years as well as build on that this year,” he says. » "It is a great honour to be leading this importantorganisation this year. I think digital finds itself at an important inflection point. We have gone mainstream but, in doing so, find ourselves in a complex landscapewith many traditional players also wanting a partin the digital world. My hope is that together, the committee and I can assist our members to maximallybenefit from the shifts in spend toward digital marketingin South Africa," he says.Source: Advantage Magazine, 5 February 2013
DMMA UNPACKS SOUTH AFRICA’S DIGITAL NATION » The internet has indisputablydisplacedother media. A study by Columinate commissioned by the Digital Media and MarketingAssociation (DMMA) revealed that newspapers were used 62% less, followed by magazines (59% less). Television and radiowere also impacted to a lesser extent, with a 45% and 28% decline in audience » The majority of internet users (95%) used the internet mainly for email, followed by web browsing (84%) and social networking (78%), with respondents citing their home as their preferred location to access the internet. » Unsurprisingly, of those who were surveyed that made use of social networks, Facebook proved to be the most popular,with 88% admitting they were members. This was followed by Twitter (50%) and business networking site LinkedIn (36%). 72% of users follow brandson social networks, and 60% of the content created by pagemembers or followers about brandswas said to be positive. » It was found that positive comment had greater impactthan negative comment on other users potentially looking for more information on a brand.It was also revealed that one in five users spent five or more hours a day on Facebook!Source: The Media Online, 7 February 2013
JOZIHUB INCUBATOR OPENS FOR BUSINESS » JoziHub, a technology incubatorwith high-profile backers,including Google and Internet Solutions, has opened in Johannesburg. » Based at the 44 Stanley complex, in Milpark,the centre is intended to encourage young technology entrepreneurs, particularly in the mobile space, to share ideas,learn, and develop products. » JoziHub was founded by the PraekeltFoundation, a mobile-focused South African technology incubator, with support from funding backersincluding IS Labs, the innovation arm of Internet Solutions; the Google Entrepreneur programme;and the OmidyarNetwork, a philanthropic organisation set up by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. » “Technology hubs can play a pivotal role in fostering the emergence of a new generation of African tech entrepreneurs,” says Gustav Praekelt, founder of the PraekeltFoundation. “By providingthe training, support, facilities and networks required to enable entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into sustainablebusinesses, incubators such as JoziHub can make an immediate and lasting impacton local innovation and development.Source: ITWeb, 22 February 2013
MOBILE BANKING APPS – SURVEY » VaroliiCorporation,a marketleader in customer interaction management, today announced the results of a national survey of more than 600 consumer adults across the United States about mobile bankingapplications. » The survey revealed a surprising disparityin what consumers want in a mobile bankingapp and what they actually get from their bankinginstitution. Americans increasingly want, and expect, to be able to conduct more advancedfunctions like depositing checks and receiving real-time notifications on account activity from their mobile bankingapps. » Nearly two in three consumers believe its their banksresponsibility to immediately alert them when they have a low balance or insufficient funds to pay a bill. In fact, nearly 70 percent of consumers believe that a banking applicationcould have helped them avoid a financial problem in the pastsuch as a costly and embarrassingoverdraftor bounced check.Source: Finextra, 5 February 2013
FNB OPENS APP TO OTHER BANKS’ CLIENTS » First National Bank announced that non-FNB customers can now make use of its smartphone bankingapplicationto perform transactions through the inclusion of an e-wallet. » Users of the bank’s“eWallet” can perform transactions such as buying prepaid airtime, dataand prepaidelectricity. They can also send money using the app. eWallet users can makepayments to any SA bank account or make selected bill payments. » “The eWallet service on the appand also for existing eWallet users is akin to carrying a real wallet around in their pocket. The eWallet sits outside of login,” he says. » The banksays the move is “strategic” and is viewed as a “means of attracting non-FNB customers through unique features availableon the FNB app,which alreadyhas more than 400 000 active users.Source: TechCentral, 18 February 2013
NEDBANK REVEALS MOBILE POS SOLUTION » Nedbankhas unveiled a mobile point-of-sale solution aimed at small and medium businesses, dubbed PocketPOS. » The PocketPOSdevice can acceptcredit and debit card payments securely when connected via Bluetooth to a mobile applicationon a smartphone. » “As long as there is a cellphone signal, the NedbankPocketPOS mobile applicationand secure card readerwill allow transactions to be completed securely,” says Nedbank,addingthat the solution is EMV-certified. » Group managingexecutive of Nedbankretail and business banking,Ingrid Johnson, says: “Small to medium-sizedbusinesses are importantto Nedbank, which is why we are delighted to introduce a solution that talks to the heart of any business operation: receiving payments in a safe, convenient, mobile and cost- effective way, as an alternative to cash.”Source: ITWeb, 8 February 2013
TABLETS HELP BOOST JOBURG TOWNSHIP STUDENTS’ SCHOOL MARKS » Pretoria-basedHouse4Hack is paying it forward by teaming up with non-profit organisation, African Schools for Excellence, to bring technology into the lives of Grade7 students in Tsakanein Johannesburg’s East Rand. » The African Schools for Excellence is basedon the internationally regardedKhan Academy model where scholars use tablets and laptops to view online educational videos. » In this model, a student will review a video as many times as necessary in order to grasp the material without fear of ridicule by the other scholars. » According to Kurien, the results of the two projects have been jaw-dropping: “Just within the recent three week accelerateprogram the scholars participate in they saw massiveimprovements including a 120% improvement on math scores.” » While many challenges exist in bringing technology and education together, the work being done by House4Hack and the African Schools for Excellence can only signpost the way for future collaboration between the two spaces and continued success for scholars.Source: ITWeb Africa, 4 February 2013
MTN CONNECTS STUDENTS TO DESIGN INDABA » Design students at the Tshwane University of Technology, in Pretoria, were connected to the happenings at the Design Indabathanks to the MTN “Connector Bot” programme..Thebots ran live, two-way uplink, streaming footage from the event to students over 1 000km away. » SerameTaukobong,chief marketingofficer at MTN SA, “At this year’s event, we will showcase how digital innovation can enable South Africans to connect to the rapid technological change.” » Developed to connect the disconnected, the Connector Bots were engineered by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The bots were able to rove around the convention centre, attend lectures and interact with other delegates and speakers. » For Taukobong, the programmeshowcases how mobile telephone networks can be used as a vehicle to advancethe African continent by connecting those in need through innovation.Source: ITWeb, 28 February 2013
VISA, SAMSUNG TEAM UP ON MOBILE PAYMENTS » Credit card giant Visa announced a global alliance with Samsungat the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to let shoppers make payments by waving their smartphones near a special reader. » The deal could significantly boost the long-touted use of smartphones to pay for goods worldwide without any physical contact, and without the need either for credit cards or cash, it said.The system could be used by owners of Samsung smartphones equippedwith NFC, which lets a phone transmit information to a nearby readerwithout touching it. "A Samsung device equippedwith the Visa contact-less paymentservice is a powerful proposition and will allow us to makemobile payments a reality for people around the world," Visa Europe vice president MarianoDima said in a statement. » The success of the new system agreed between Visa and Samsung, the worlds leading smartphone manufacturer,will still depend on whether banks can be persuadedto use it.Source: Bizcommunity, 27 February 2013
BLACKBERRY TRIALS MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER » BlackBerry is testing a new mobile money transfer applicationintegrated into its signature Messenger chat service, a move the beleaguered device makerhopes will keep customers from defecting to rival over-the-top messaging services like fast-growing WhatsApp, Bloomberg reports. » The BBM Money app,developed in partnership with m-commerce services firm Monitise and availablefor download from the BlackBerryWorld storefront, enables consumers to create and access accounts from their BlackBerry smartphoneand makereal-time payments to BBM contacts who have also signed up for the service. Users can also transfer money to bankaccounts. » BlackBerry(formerly Research In Motion) is kicking off the pilot in Indonesia in partnership with PT Bank Permata,which will issue BBM Money mobile money accounts, process financial transactions and manage bank-gradesecuritySource: MobileMoneyAfrica, 27 February 2013
IBM ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR WINNER FROM AFRICA » The founders of Mo De, a mobile micro finance company from Kenya, won the IBM SmartCampentrepreneur of the yearaward in New York. » Julian Kyula and Josphat K. Kinyua started Mo De to fill a need that impacts the millions of African customers who buy mobile service by the minute. Often, peoplewill run out of minutes at night or over the weekend and can’t refill until the local telecom company reopens for business. » Mo De loans minutes to the customer on behalf of the telecommunications provider. It then charges the customer a small service fee for the loan. To get the minutes, the customer sends a short code asking for minutes. Mo-De, which integrates its technology into its telco partners,then facilitates the transaction. » Mo De says it has facilitated more than 200 million transactions in the five African countries where it has operations: Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.Source: TechCrunch, 8 February 2013
CALL FOR $30 SMARTPHONES » The priceof devices is still a barrierto getting the next wave of mobile users using the mobile Internet. At a keynote session on connecting the “next billions”, taking placeat the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona ,Manoj Kohli, CEO of carrierBharti Airtel – which operates in India and Africa — said the price of smartphones needs to come down to $30, and mobile data dongles to $10, to breakdown the affordabilitybarrier. » “Smartphones at $30 arevery important,” he said – echoing comments made late last year by Wikipediafounder Jimmy Wales, who talked up the disruptive potential of $50 smartphones that are alreadyselling in Africa. » Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop, argued that it’s not just the cost of the device that’s important– but the total cost of ownership, including factors such as network costs and electricity. The company’s strategy for emerging marketshas been to beef up its feature phones, in its Asha line and other Series 40 handsets – such as the Nokia 301 .Source: TechCrunch, 26 February 2013
MOBILE PHONE SALES DECLINE » A new report from Gartner has shown that global mobile phone sales droppedin 2012 – the first decline in 3 years. » According to Gartner, worldwide mobile sales totalled 1.75 billion units in 2012 – down 1.7% from total sales in 2011. » Even so, the fourth quarter of the year(2012) saw a record figure of 207.7 million units sold – up 38.3% from the same period in 2011. » The last time the worldwide mobile phone marketdeclined was in 2009, accordingto Anshul Gupta, principalresearch analyst at Gartner. » Demand for feature phones was weak (declining 19.3% year on year), with Gartner expecting to see the trend continue into 2013. » Looking at 2013, Gartner is more bullish, expecting smartphone sales to hit 1 billion units, and overall mobile phone sales to top 1.9 billion by year-end.Source: BusinessTech by MyBroadband, 16 February 2013
WEARABLE DEVICE MARKET SET TO EXPLODE » A new research report suggests wearablecomputing could become the norm for consumers within the next five years.This comes amidrumours of smart watch devices from Apple and Samsung, while Google Glass also edges closer to mainstream release. » ABI Research forecasts that by 2015, 485 million wearable computing devices will be shippedannually. Currently, ABI says about 61% of the wearable technologies marketis attributed to sport/activity trackers. However, the research firm says a new category of smartphone-compatiblewatches are beginning to emerge. » “Rumours have materialised regardingApple releasing a smartwatch some time this year. Furthermore, we will see the arrivalof the much anticipated smart glasses later this year,” says ABI.Source: ITWeb, 22 February 2013
GOOGLE GLASS WILL TETHER WITH ANDROID & IPHONE » Google opened up a sort of pre-ordercontest for civilians (i.e., non- developers) for its new augmented reality headgearthat should ship before the end of 2013 for $1,500. » The other significant news is that both CNET and The Verge report that “Glass will be ableto connect via Bluetooth to both Android phones and the iPhone. Glass can pull down data from wifi or use the 3G or 4G feed from a connected phone, but it won’t have its own cellular radio.” » It’s nice to see that Google is not escalating the platform wars by locking iOS out of the Glass ecosystem. In truth, that would not have been in Google’s best interest. The whole point of Google’s strategy is to increase the flow of information as many ways as possible. Also, as with the rumored iWatch, squeezing a cellular radio(and another data plan) into the device doesn’t makemuch sense, especially since the entire target audience alreadyhas a smart phone.Source: Forbes, 23 February 2013
GOOGLE HAS ‘NO PLANS’ TO LAUNCH RETAIL STORES » Rumours that Google was set to launch a series of retail stores are false. At least that’s the impression Google’s head of Android Andy Rubin gave. » “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce,” he is quoted as saying by AllThingsD. » In fact, Rubin reckons that there’s no reason for the internet giant to ever do so because so many peoplenow decidewhat devices they’re going to buy based on conversations with friends and online reviews. » “They don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore,” he said. » He addedthat Google’s hardwareprogrammewas still very much in its infancy: “For Nexus, I don’t think the programmeis far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store.”Source: Memeburn, 26 February 2013
GALAXY SIV SET FOR MARCH 14 RELEASE » Samsung will unveil the next-generation of its flagship Galaxysmartphone on Apples turf with a March14 launch event to takeplace in New York City, it emerged today. » The SIV will bring the fight to Apple in its home market,where the Cupertino, California-basedfirm overtook Samsung as the top mobile phone seller for the first time in the fourth quarterof 2012. » It will be the first U.S. launch for the Galaxy in three years, company spokesmanChenny Kim said,and comes amid an advertising blitz there that has taken jabs at Apple fans. » Apple investors have grown anxious about the companysprospects amid intense competition from Samsungscheaper, Android-poweredphones, and signs the premium smartphonemarketmay be close to saturation in developed markets.Source: Daily Mail, 25 February 2013
I.B.M. TO TAKE BIG STEP INTO MOBILE » For I.B.M., mobile computing has come of age. At least, smartphones and tablets may be popularenough to makeI.B.M. several billion dollars. » The companyis announcing a major mobile initiative involving software, services and partnerships with other large vendors. I.B.M. plans to deploy consultants to give companies mobile shopping strategies, write mobile apps, crunch mobile data and managea company’s own mobile assets securely. » “Mobile is the next big growth play that I.B.M. is going after,” said Michael J. Riegel, the head of mobile strategy. He said his company had made10 mobile-related acquisitions already,and would have a global research and development team of 160 people dedicatedto mobile technology. In 2012 alone, he said,I.B.M. won 125 patents related to mobile. » Despite its roots in computer hardware,I.B.M. long ago moved from the business of selling things like personal computers. Much of its business now comes from higher-value work like software creation,Source: The New York Times, 20 February 2013
EXCLUSIVE WINDOWS SMARTPHONE IN AFRICA » Chinese telecoms giant Huawei launched a Windows smartphone tailored for and exclusively availablein Africa. The device, a customised version of the Huawei Ascend W1, was created in partnership with Microsoft as part of its new 4Afrika initiative. » The phone’s initial rollout will be in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa » Prices have not yet been announced, but Gustavo Fuchs, director of the Microsoft Windows Phone division in the MiddleEast & Africa, told the BBC that “our aim is to be the most affordableWindows phone in Africa.” He estimates that there will be “tens of millions of smart devices available across the continent in the next couple of years.” » “Affordability is important but without the right local content we believe a lot of users will not see the benefit in the change from a basic feature phone to a smartphone,” says Fuchs.Source: TechCrunch, 4 February 2013
SAMSUNG LAUNCHES PHONES FOR EMERGING MARKETS » As excitement builds ahead of the launch of the next Galaxy smartphone Samsung has quietly released a new line of low-cost touchscreen phones, signaling its intent to dominate both ends of the mobile market. » Samsung’s new feature phones, dubbedthe REX series, come in four different models: REX 90, REX 80, REX 70, and REX 60. The phones were first introduced in India this week, and are planned for release in Russia, Africa and South America. A person familiarwith the matter said they are likely to be sold at a price range of $50 to $100 each. » Mobile phone makersare increasingly targeting emerging markets,where low-cost handsets remainpopularand penetration rates for smartphones and feature phones are low. By launching the REX line, Samsung looks set to compete not just with Apple and Google but makersof low-cost handsets as well.Source: The Wall Street Journal, 15 February 2013
HP MOVES TO ANDROID- BASED MOBILE DEVICES » HP plans to switch to Android for its smartphones and tablets, ReadWrite Mobile reports citing sources familiarwith the matter. » HP launched its first consumer tablet Slate 7, which is the first of many Android offerings. The company is also reportedly considering launching an Android-powered smartphone,though HP CEO Meg Whitman said the company has no planto launch a smartphonein 2013. » HP at one point even considered abandoningits breadand butter — the PC business. HP droppedthat plan, but still seems out of step with the mainstream computing business, which has made a radicalshift to mobile computing. Can HP regain some of that marketwith Android-based smartphones and tablets? Were not sure, but the company has to do something if it wants to stay relevant.Source: Mashable, 14 February 2013 Moneyweb 26 February 2013
BLACKBERRY COULD LICENSE BB10 » BlackBerryhasn’t ruled out the possibility of licensing its new operating system, BlackBerry10 (BB10), to other smartphone manufacturers if the business model and timing for such a move were right. » “Licensing is partof our strategic review and we’re looking into this,” Heins tells TechCentral at BlackBerry’sCanadianhead office. The move could makelow-cost BB10 devices a reality without compromising BlackBerry’s own devices. » Although BlackBerrycould potentially increase the impactand reach of its new operating system if it were to go the route of Google, with Android,and allow rival device manufacturers to build phones using the platform. » “It’s a question of the business model and timing,” Heins tells TechCentral. “When does the mobile computing marketmature so much that it crosses the mobile communications market? That’s the trigger point when you could move to a licensing model.”Source: TechCentral, 14 February 2013
UBUNTU FOR TABLETS ANNOUNCED » Taking another step towards realising its vision of Ubuntu on every device, Canonical today unveiled its Ubuntu interface for tablets. » According to Canonical, a key feature of the new tablet design is its real multitasking. "Uniquely, Ubuntu allows a phone app on the screen at the same time as a tablet app. The Ubuntu side stage was invented both to enable efficient multitasking and to improve the usability of phone appson tablets." » Canonical and Ubuntu founder, MarkShuttleworth says: "Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. Thats unique to Ubuntu and its the future of personal computing." » Canonical says the tablet interface is presented by the same OS and code for its phone, PC and TV interfaces, in order to enable true device convergence. "Ubuntu is uniquely designed to scale smoothly across all form factors."Source: ITWeb, 19 February 2013
KENYA’S SAFARICOM OPTS TO STOP SELLING FEATURE PHONES » One of Kenya’s biggest mobile network operators has announced that it will soon start pushing smartphone adoptionin a big way: by phasing out the sale of feature phones. » Speakingat the Mobile Web East Africa conference in Nairobi,Nzioka Waita, Director or CorporateAffairs at Safaricom,said that “Safaricom is soon going to stop selling the cheap feature phones in all our retail outlets, as we try to skew the Kenyan market towards smartphones”. » He addedthat as much as the company understands the importance of feature phones in the African market,as a leading telecoms providerit took it upon itself to ensure smartphonepenetration increases. The declining cost of smartphones has madethis possible. “You will now see the feature phones replaced by the cheap smartphones that are now readily availablein the country,” he added. » Nzioka explained that the move will not only ensure customers switch to smartphones, but that the marketfor Kenyan-madedigital content will grow. “Developers will now have an increased marketto consume the content they produce, thereby developing the local tech scene further,” Waita added.Source: Memeburn, 22 February 2013
MTN CLEARED OF TURKCELL GRAFT CHARGES » A year-long investigation has found that allegations of bribery by Turkish cellphone operator Turkcell against MTN Group are unfounded, the South African company said on Friday. » The probehad cleared MTNs former group president and CEO Phuthuma Nhleko and its former commercial director Irene Charnley, said MTN chairpersonCyril Ramaphosa. » "Allegations of complicity against the chairpersonand the group presidentand [current] CEO Sifiso Dabengwa were similarly found to be without substance," he said. » The Turkish mobile operatorTurkcell filed a $4bn (about R35.5bn) lawsuit against MTN in a United States court last year.Source: Fin24, 1 February 2013
CELL C DENIES IT IS OUT TO PITCH » It has been widely speculated in the ad industry that Cell C would be ill pleased to sit in the samegroup (WPP) as Vodacom(with Ireland/Davenport) and MTN (with MetropolitanRepublic)and that the account has gone out to pitch. » This follows Vodacom’smove from Draftfcb to WPP controlled Ireland/Davenport.Ogilvy Johannesburg, also a WPP company,retained the Cell C account last year after CEO Alan Knott-Craig pulled the plug on a pitch won by FoxP2 and King James. » Knott-Craig, during his tenure at Vodacom,worked closely with Draftfcb, which had held the Vodacomaccount for more than 19 years. Draftfcb has retrenched 40 staff members since the account loss was announced last week.Source: Marklives.com, 13 February 2013
CELL C UNVEILS R175M MARKETING CAMPAIGN » Cell C is looking to rile up the competition with a new R175 million marketing campaignchallenging consumers to ask their networks some tough question. » At a media presentation in Sandton) Cell C lifted the veil off a new marketing campaignwhich the operator promises will shake up the market. » The campaignfollows the introduction of Cell C’s Supachargeproduct offering, which offers 1000 free on-net SMSes,talk time and 1GB of data to prepaidand top-up customers, when they recharge with R500 or more. » According to dos Santos, a new campaignkicking off this week is aimed at educating consumers as to what they actually pay on networks. » Cell C has issued a challenge to consumers through it’s new marketing campaign,indirectly calling out other networks on their prices.Source: BusinessTech by MyBroadband, 8 February 2013
MOBILE PRICE WAR TO HEAT UP » The mobile price war, instigated by Cell C when former VodacomCEO Alan Knott-Craig took control of the company last year,is about to heat up. » This comes as the final reduction in wholesale interconnect rates under the Independent Communications Authority of SA’s (ICASA’s) mobile termination rate (MTR) glide path is about to set in, in just over a week’s time. Interconnect MTR is what operators pay each other to terminate traffic on their networks. » As of 1 March,MTRs will drop to 40c (peak and off-peak),down 30% from the previous rate of 56c - and 68% down from a high of R1.25 three years ago, when ICASA instituted the sliding scale that saw MTRs droppingby 16c annually.Source: ITWeb, 21 February 2013
MTN REACTS IN PREPAID PRICE WAR » MTN has finally reacted to the price war that erupted this month between Vodacomand Cell C with a new prepaidproductthat promises free data and SMSes. » Offered as a new starter packcalled MTN Mahala,the operatorsays it offers “addedvalue, including free airtime, Internet bundles and free SMSes for the first six months of use”. » Calls using the Mahalastarter packare billed at per-second rates — unlike Vodacom,which charges per minute — and “guarantees” 20% free MTN-to- MTN airtime value backfor recharges of at least R10. » MTN’s move comes after rival Vodacomcut the cost of prepaidrates to R1,20/minute (billed per minute) to all networks. Vodacomalso announced that users who call other Vodacomnumbers for three minutes will get the next 57 minutes free of charge. » Vodacom’saggressive move came just a week after smaller rival, Cell C, moved to offer prepaidcustomers free value for recharging.Source: TechCentral, 19 February 2013
VODACOM GOES LIMITLESS WITH RED’ » SA’s largest mobile operatorhas madeanother move in the mobile price war with the introduction of new “holistic” pricing plans for contract customers. » This morning, Vodacom outlined its new smartplans, which include unlimited voice calls, unlimited SMSes,more dataand a range of new value- addedservices. The new offer will be availableto contract customers as of 7 March. » The operatorsays the smart plans will introduce customers to a “Smart Lifestyle” that it says is simple and easy to understand,and helps customers to get the most out of their new smartdevice and mobile Internet lifestyle. » The proposition introduces tariff plans that include Red, an offer comprising three plans with unlimited voice, unlimited text, data and other services.Source: ITWeb, 1 March 2013
VODACOM PLANNING SIMPLER DATA BUYING » Vodacomis currently investigating more convenient ways for their customers to purchase data,and will announce details about this initiative in the near future. This is according to Mostafa Elbeltagy, Vodacom’smanaging executive for pre-pay. » Numerous Vodacomcustomers have been askingfor pre-paiddata vouchers, removing the need to convert airtime into data for more affordable data rates. » It is understood that many Vodacomcustomers are still payinghigh out-of- bundle data rates (R2.00 per MB), despite the fact that they can save lots of money by purchasing a databundle. » A simpler data bundle purchasing method may therefore help to move consumers away from expensive R2.00 per MB datacharges.Source: MyBroadband, 15 February 2013
SA LTE MOBILE GROWTH PREDICTIONS » New data from Cisco finds that Long Term Evolution (LTE) is expected to support 6% of all mobile connections by 2017. » According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2012 to 2017, mobile data traffic in South Africa is set to reach 98,347 Terabytes per month in 2017 – the equivalent of 25 million DVDs each month, or 271 million text messages each second. » In the MiddleEast and Africa (MEA), Cisco predicts that there will be approximately849.23 million mobile users in 2017 with the number reaching 54.24 million in South Africa. » Mobile data traffic, it adds,will account for 15% of South African fixed and mobile data traffic in 2017, up from 11% in 2012. The same proportion of all cellular traffic will be off-loaded to fixed or WiFi Networks, the technology firm says.Source: BusinessTech by MyBroadband, 15 February 2013
MEGA MERGER FOR AFRICA’S TELECOMS MARKET » A mobile service providersimilarto the UK’s Everything Everywhere (EE) could emerge in South Africa and Kenya’s telecoms markets in 2013. » This is according to predictions madeby International Data Corporation (IDC) in its report, titled the ‘African Telecommunications MarketTop 10 Predictions for 2013. » The report says that Africas first major consolidation transaction in the telecoms space could occur, similar in model to the UK’s EE. » The Communications Commission of Kenya says that from October 2012 to January 2013, the number of mobile subscriptions grew over 2% from 29.7 million to 30.4 million. According to BuddeCommresearch, South Africa - which has a population of 50 million - has a mobile penetration rate of just over 100%.. » The IDC says that companies in the right position to consolidate their operations could stand to gain more customers.Source: ITWeb Africa, 4 February 2013
FACEBOOK TURNS 9 YEARS OLD » Nine years ago Facebook was a Harvardsocial network with a few hundred users and a nerdy creator. Today,its taken over the world. » An article about Facebook in the HarvardCrimson from February 2004 gives a few insights into just how far Facebook has come and how different it could have been. » “At one point I thought about makingthe website so that you could upload a resume too, and for a fee companies could search for Harvardjob applicants.But I don’t want to touch that,” Zuckerbergtells the Crimson. What if Facebook had been a glorified LinkedIn for Ivy Leaguers? » Zuckerbergalso told the Crimson that Facebook members can "search for people accordingto their interests and can create an online network of friends." Members can search for people according to their interests? Maybe we shouldnt have been so surprised by GraphSearch.Its features are in the original site description, after all.Source: Grant Thornton, 13 February 2013
INSTAGRAM PASSES 100M ACTIVE USER MARK » Instagram has revealed it has surpassedthe 100 million monthly active user mark,nearly two-and-a-halfyears after its launch. » This follows Instagram’s first release of user numbers in January,amid speculation that the outcry over its new terms of service resulted in users droppingthe service altogether. At the time, Instagram said it had 90 million monthly active users, and that it was continuing to see strong global growth. » By way of comparison,in December last year, Twitter announced it had surpassedthe 200 million monthly active user mark– six years after its launch. According to an Instagram engineering post last month, the service processes 10 000 likes per second at peak. » In recent months, competition has heated up between Instagram and Twitter, the micro-blogging service that formed an integral partof Instagram’s early success. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 as it rampedup its photo- sharing services, and as Instagram has continued to grow, so too has the rivalry with Twitter.Source: ITWeb, 27 February 2013
MAPPING TWEETS IN AFRICA » Who uses Twitter in Africa - and where are they based? MarkGraham and the team at the Oxford Internet Institute have looked at Tweets from key African cities - and the variationtells you a lot about access to technology across the continent. Just look at the variationbetween Johannesburg and Mogadishu. The data is not normalised for populationbut it still provides a unique insight » To see more go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/gallery/2013/feb/14/africa- tweets-mapped?CMP=twt_guSource: The Guardian, 14 February 2013
TWITTER UPDATES MOBILE APPS » Twitter has announced an updatefor its iPhone and Android appsthat offers an improved experience when viewing the Discover tab and adds a new persistent search button (iPhone version). The new Discover tab aggregates tweets, activity, trends, and suggestions of accounts to follow into one stream, while the search feature has been similarly upgradedto surface tweets, accounts, and photos all in the same stream.The iPhone app also gains a persistent search button next to the tweet compose button, letting users initiate searches from wherever they are in the app(the Android version has had this feature for some time). » Finally, Twitter has enabled the ability to directly go to a URL from your timeline with one click, eliminating the need to expandthe tweet first. Overall, these updates are pretty minor, but they should make it easier for casual users to search the service while on the go. » Its new search feature has an additional update— while previously search would only displaytweets from up to a week ago, you should now start to see older tweets show up in your results.Source: The Verge, 6 February 2013
AMEX LAUNCHES PAY-BY- TWEET SERVICE » The service uses American Express’ proprietaryCardSync technology, which launched in 2011 allowing customers to connect their Facebook,Foursquare, Twitter and Xbox Live accounts to get access to discounts and deals. » The updateoffers American Express a marketingopportunity each time a customer tweets to purchase a product and the possibility of the associated hashtags trending on Twitter to increase the brand’s reach. » American Express will also promote the new programmewith its own paid- for Promoted Trends and Promoted Tweets as well as emails to card members. » Leslie Berland,American Express senior vice president of digital partnerships and development, says the company took learnings from the initial launch around offers to enhance the service and introduce “a seamless solution that redefines what’s possiblein the world of social commerce”.Source: TechCentral, 14 February 2013
PISTORIUS HEARING BY THE SOCIAL MEDIA NUMBERS » The case surrounding paralympicicon OscarPistorius, who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp,received massive social media attention from day one. » In the early hours of the day on which the actual shooting took place,Twitter took up the role of news breakerwith each new piece of information retweeted and dissected by a hungry public. Then when the presiding magistrateordered that there be no cameraspresent during the ensuing bail hearing, it became a crucial means of getting the latest facts coming out of the courtroom. » According to Acceleration Media,there were 1 306 313 online posts about the incident between 14 and 20 February 2013, averaging out to 186 616 posts per day,7776 posts per hour and 130 posts per minute. Each day,of course, came with its own hot conversation topics.Source: Memeburn, 22 February 2013
MOVIE PREMIERS ON MXIT » A Lucky Man,a film aboutErnie ‘Lastig’ Solomon, the legendary ex-gang boss, is the first full-length feature film to premiere exclusively on a social network. » Mxit users can download the movie using the newly-launched Cinemo app. Lucky Man has been brokeninto 18 four-minute episodes. A new episode will be uploaded every weekday at 10am from 18 February 2013. » Cinemo is an appwithin the Mxit Reach ecosystem, the platform for social good within Mxit. MarlonParker,VP of Mxit Reach says, “We know the power of video and want to use this to encourage conversations about social issues such as drug abuse,HIV/Aids and gangsterism. Cinemo has three content streams. It has movies, of which A Lucky Manis the first, public service announcements on issues such as condom use, and music videos like Freshly Ground’s popular,‘Take me to the dance’.” » Since Cinemo’s launch in January, the app has attracted over 90 000 subscribers.Source: Web AddiCT(s), 18 February 2013