While it is a big deal — to both developers and consumers — for Apple to remove AppGratis, in many ways, in the long-term view, it does not matter. And that is the key point.Dan Porter: App Non Gratis - Dan Porter - Voices - AllThingsD
There is no doubt that Apple’s vigilance makes the app store a friendly, clean and amazing place for consumers. But the fight to keep it that way is tireless and never-ending. As long as there is money to be made, app developers and app marketers will find new angles to lay siege to the charts.
But the win for Apple, and ultimately the loss for the app developers, is that in the end, the App Store really is a democracy, and no amount of cheating ever truly wins. What I mean by that is that there is a hidden meritocracy in the App Store charts. By hook or by crook, you might find a new angle to drive your app to the top, but at the end of the day, if consumers don’t like it, your app is going to fall.
What matters more than hitting the Top 10 is the ability to stay in theTop 10. That is the secret. There is tremendous movement in and out of the chart rankings, but the apps that stay there day after day and month after month — games like Candy Crush or Words With Friends, or apps like Instagram — they are the true winners. And staying there just cannot be gamed. The other apps are like shooting stars. They hit the charts via AppGratis, but there is ultimately something not sticky or fun or compelling about them, and they quickly slide back down.
So AppGratis may be gone, but companies like it will continue to crop up to take the app developer’s money. A hit is always going to be a hit, and that can only be achieved by creating an amazing product that people truly love.
The Joy of Tech :: If Facebook made a real Facebook Home…
A lesson from well-being research is that people’s happiness depends on whether they meet benchmarks that they set themselves. The French, it seems, set themselves high standards. Maybe they evaluate their lives against the idea of French “grandeur” – the expectation that France should be a cultural superpower. This makes for a stimulating life. But it is not making us happy. The French need to lower their expectations if they want to cheer up.What makes the French so unhappy? - FT.com
The Facebook data team maps support for marriage equality based on the geography of those who changed their profile pictures to the Human Rights Campaign’s pink-on-red equal sign.
Juxtaposed here, for some striking correlations on the geography of open-mindedness, with a map of passport ownership.
But that’s hardly the entire phone market. It’s actually only a fraction of it.
What about those millions of people who have bought Android phones — and some iPhones, probably — who don’t really care that they’re Android phones, or even smartphones?
The types of people who, every couple of years, go into the Verizon or AT&T shop and walk out with whatever newish thing the store rep says they should buy? (All those people who buy Android phones but don’t really show up in usage logs.)
Or even first-time smartphone buyers?
My guess is that many — most? — of these people are Facebook users, and could easily see some utility in having Facebook features highlighted on their phones. And — bonus — Facebook’s software looks good. Much better than the junk that ships with typical low-end Android devices.
Boom. Done. Easy, defensible purchase, assuming the price is right.
Facebook isn’t likely to MySpace Android or iOS any time soon. But this is a smart, ambitious project for Facebook. I like it.http://www.splatf.com/2013/04/facebook-phone-potential/
Still, I think today’s maneuver was a very smart one by Facebook. They’re not forking Android because that implies something bad. They’re spooning with Android, which is fine — nice, even. Never mind the fact that Google probably won’t be too fond of either eventually for the same underlying reasons.
These days, Samsung doesn’t seem to mention Android too often even though they’re so reliant on the OS. But Google seems okay with that as the Search and Play revenues continue to flow in. Similarly, Facebook didn’t mention the Android-maker too often today, and I doubt they will going forward with this and future Facebook Phones. And Google should be okay with that as long as the Search and Play revenues continue to flow in.
But what if Facebook Home eventually swaps out Google Search for the search engine of their investor and close partner, Microsoft? Or what if they put Facebook Search front and center instead? Or what if people search less in general because they just use this device for Facebook services and little else? Or what if Facebook decides to use their own app store instead of Google Play?
Or what if Google, sick of seeing Samsung, Amazon, and now Facebook fondle Android, decides that they want to own the branding of their creation? Again, what if they want to be the “soul of your phone”? There are a lot of variables here going forward.
“It is possible that they go back on their commitment to openness. But I don’t think they will. And it would take a lot of effort,” Zuckerberg said when asked about Google today. That reeks of one of those statements that will come back to haunt. Or maybe he’s just being disingenuous, feigning naiveness — because, again, maybe he’s the thief to Google’s joker.http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/04/there-is-no-fork/
There’s a store in Australia that really hates it when its customers walk around the store without buying anything.Stores Charges Customers $5 ‘Just Looking’ Fee - Business Insider
Redditor BarrettFox posted a pic of a sign informing shoppers of a new fee at a specialty food store in Brisbane.
It’s $5 for “just looking.”
The fee exists to stop people from “showrooming” — which occurs when a customer looks at items in a physical store, then makes the purchase online.
The sign assures that you’ll have the five dollars deducted from the final purchase price, so you’ll get your money back if you buy something.
Vine’s ready for its close-up. The first footage of new Marvel comics superhero film The Wolverine was released today through a Vine “tweaser” tweeted by director James Mangold. That’s a big departure from the modern tradition of first releasing a trailer on a film’s website, Apple’s trailer page and YouTube. Seems Hollywood has realized nothing leaves people wanting more like a great Vine.
Swordplay, samurais, gun fighting, love, adamantium claws, and Wolverine hurtling through the air are all squished into the six-second video. There are zero lines spoken, few plot clues, and no titles shown except for the film’s logo. Which is perfect. Wolverine, the X-Men, and Marvel already have such a rabid fan base, so this will be plenty to get them salivating. Pushing the clip to the mobile video sharing startup owned by Twitter seems brilliant to me.Big Moment For Vine As First Wolverine Movie Footage Comes Via 6-Second “Tweaser” Instead Of Trailer | TechCrunch
Twitter has made some small mistakes over the years, and has fixed them. But it hasn’t made any really, really big ones yet. Twitter is shipping. And it has grown its feature set, employee ranks, and user base while staying mostly true to its original concept. There was never a foolish plan — that we know of, I guess — to bump the character limit to 280, or to buy a headphone company, or to start manufacturing Twitter-branded VCRs. Twitter’s acquisitions mostly seem to have gone well, and Twitter even turned on advertising without a revolt. Today with Vine, Twitter is now taking on an extracurricular, but I think it’s complementary enough (and small enough) to be digested. This isn’t to say that Twitter shouldn’t dream big or think of ways to maximize its brand and impact. Something involving Twitter and TV actually probably makes a lot of sense. But it also needs to stay focused on what’s made it work so far. And Twitter has generally done that well.7 Things That Could Have Killed Twitter, But Didn’t
The Web, in short, has led every wired person in your organization to expect direct connections not only to information but also to the truth spoken in human voices. And they expect to be able to find what they need and do what they need without any further help from people who dress better than they do. This has happened not because of a management theory or a bestselling business book but because the Web reaches everyone with a computer and a telephone line on her desk.
So, the gulf opens between those who are connected and those who think an office with a door is a sign of success. The gulf is one of expectations, and expectations always guide perception. As a result, the company thinks it’s doing one thing while accomplishing the direct opposite with its connected employees. For example:
The company communicates with me through a newsletter and company meetings meant to lift up my morale. In fact, I know from my e-mail pen pals that it’s telling me happy-talk lies, and I find that quite depressing.
The company org chart shows me who does what so I know how to get things done. In fact, the org chart is an expression of a power structure. It is red tape. It is a map of whom to avoid.
The company manages my work to make sure that all tasks are coordinated and the company is operating efficiently. In fact, the inflexible goals imposed from on high keep me from following what my craft expertise tells me I really ought to be doing.
The company provides me with a career path so I’ll see a productive future in the business. In fact, I’ve figured out that because the org chart narrows at the top, most career paths necessarily have to be dead ends.
The company provides me with all the information I need to make good decisions. In fact, this information is selected to support a decision (or worldview) in which I have no investment. Statistics and industry surveys are lobbed like anti-aircraft fire to disguise the fact that while we have lots of data, we have no understanding.
The company is goal-oriented so that the path from here to there is broken into small, well-marked steps that can be tracked and managed. In fact, if I keep my head down and accomplish my goals, I won’t add the type of value I’m capable of. I need to browse. I even need to play. Without play, only Shit Happens. With play, Serendipity Happens.
The company gives me deadlines so that we ship product on time, maintaining our integrity. In fact, working to arbitrary deadlines makes me ship poor-quality content. My management doesn’t have to use a club to get me to do my job. Where’s the trust, baby?
The company looks at customers as adversaries who must be won over. In fact, the ones I’ve been exchanging e-mail with are very cool and enthusiastic about exactly the same thing that got me into this company. You know, I’d rather talk with them than with my manager.
The company works in an office building in order to bring together all of the things I need to get my job done and to avoid distracting me. In fact, more and more of what I need is outside the corporate walls. And when I really want to get something done, I go home.
The company rewards me for being a professional who acts and behaves in a, well, professional manner, following certain unwritten rules about the coefficient of permitted variation in dress, politics, shoe style, expression of religion, and the relating of humorous stories. In fact, I learn who to trust — whom I can work with creatively and productively — only by getting past the professional act.
Something’s gone wrong. Or maybe something now is starting to go right.
What’s wrong isn’t trivial. It isn’t fixed with dress-down Fridays, health food in the cafeteria, or learning to pretend to look into the eyes of the trembling subordinate you’re condescending to chat up on the way in from the parking lot. The power structure, the politics, the sociology, even the spirituality of work has a sick, sour smell to it.
But you don’t need big words. It all begins with pictures. That’s why our hairy-backed ancestors were sketching bison on the wall: they were learning to see.the cluetrain manifesto - chapter five
The way people consume content is changing. For the first time, an entire generation has grown up watching content on their own terms. This generation is defined by the Internet, mobile, and social - consuming content when and where they want. Nielsen calls this group Generation C because they are not just defined by their age group, but by their connected behavior. On YouTube, this generation thrives on 4Cs:AdWords Agency Blog: How does Gen C watch Youtube? On all screens, all the time
Connection - Gen C watches YouTube on all screens, constantly switching between devices.
Creation - Gen C is deeply engaged with online video, watching, creating and uploading videos on YouTube.
Community - Gen C thrive on community, defining what’s popular on YouTube by sharing videos with friends and family.
Curation - Gen C is made up of expert curators who care about finding content that matters to them.
Our long, slow slog towards ubiquitous mobile payments isn’t getting any shorter, and today comments from Visa show that it’s going to get more contentious before it gets better. Visa’s CEO Charlie Scharf said that “it is totally appropriate” to charge companies like PayPal and Google a fee when their digital wallets get used. Both PayPal and Google offer something called a “staged wallet,” which means that those companies act as a kind of intermediary between you and your credit card. That theoretically helps make your wallet easier to use — since it can contain multiple cards — but Visa and Mastercard really hate this approach because it means they can’t collect as much data about your purchasing habits.The knives come out: Visa, Mastercard will charge PayPal and Google for their mobile wallets | The Verge