Mobile applications (apps) have been gaining rising popularity dueto the advances in mobile technologies and the large increase in the number of mobile users. Consequently, several app distribution platforms, which provide a new way for developing, downloading, and updating software applications in modern mobile devices, have recently emerged. To better understand the download patterns, popularity trends, and development strategies in this rapidly evolving mobile app ecosystem, we systematically monitored and analyzed four popular third-party Android app marketplaces. Our study focuses on measuring, analyzing, and modeling the app popularity distribution, and explores how pricing and revenue strategies affect app popularity and developers’ income. Our results indicate that unlike web and peer-to-peer file sharing workloads, the app popularity distribution deviates from commonly observed Zipf-like models. We verify that these deviations can be mainly attributed to a new download pattern, to which we refer as the clustering effect. We validate the existence of this effect by revealing a strong temporal affinity of user downloads to app categories. Based on these observations, we propose a new formal clustering model for the distribution of app downloads, and demonstrate that it closely fits measured data. Moreover, we observe that paid apps follow a different popularity distribution than free apps, and show how free apps with an ad-based revenue strategy may result in higher financial benefits than paid apps. We believe that this study can be useful to appstore designers for improving content delivery and recommendation systems, as well as to app developers for selecting proper pricing policies to increase their income.
1.1 What is mobile application ?
A mobile application is a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. They are usually available through application distribution platforms, which are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, and BlackBerry App World. Some apps are free, while others must be bought by Usually, they are downloaded from the platform to a target device, such as an iPhone, BlackBerry, Android phone or Windows Phone, but sometimes they can be downloaded to laptops or desktops. For apps with a price, generally a percentage, 20-30%, goes to the distribution provider (such as iTunes), and the rest goes to the producer of the app. The term "app" has become popular, and in 2010 was listed as "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society. In 2009, technology columnist David Pogue said that newer
smartphones could be nicknamed "app phones" to distinguish them from earlier lesssophisticated smartphones. Mobile apps were originally offered for general productivity and information retrieval, including email, calendar, contacts, and stock market and weather information. However, public demand and the availability of developer tools drove rapid expansion into other categories, such as mobile games, factory automation, GPS and location-based services, banking, order-tracking, and ticket purchases. The explosion in number and variety of apps made discovery a challenge, which in turn led to the creation of a wide range of review, recommendation, and curation sources, including blogs, magazines, and dedicated online app-discovery services. The popularity of mobile applications has continued to rise, as their usage has become increasingly prevalent across mobile phone users. A May 2012 comScore study reported that during the previous quarter, more mobile subscribers used apps than browsed the web on their devices: 51.1% vs. 49.8% respectively. Researchers found that usage of mobile applications strongly correlates with user context and depends on user's location and time of the day. According to market research firm Gartner, 102bn apps will be downloaded in 2013 (but 91% of them will be free) but they will still generate $26bn (£16.1bn), up 44.4% on 2012's $18bn. An analyst report estimates that the app economy creates revenues of more than 10 billion Euros per year within the European Union, while over 529 thousand jobs have been created in EU28 states due to the growth of the app market.
1.2 Development Of Mobile Application:
Developing application software for mobile devices requires considering the constrains of these devices. Mobile devices run on battery and have less powerful processors than personal computers. Developers also have to consider a lengthy array of screen sizes, hardware specifications and configurations because of intense competition in mobile software and changes within each of the platforms. Mobile application development requires use of specialized integrated development environments made. Mobile applications are first tested within the development environment using emulators and later subjected to field testing. Emulators provide an inexpensive way to test applications on mobile phones to which developers may not have physical access.
Chapter # 2 Smartphones
A smartphone, or smart phone, is a mobile phone built on a mobile operating system, with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than a feature phone. The first smartphones combined the functions of a personal digital assistant (PDA) with a mobile phone. Later models added the functionality of portable media players, low-end compact digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and GPS navigation units to form one multi-use device. Many modern smartphones also include high-resolution touchscreens and web browsers that display standard web pages as well as mobile-optimized sites. High-speed data access is provided by WiFi and mobile broadband. In recent years, the rapid development of mobile app markets and of mobile commerce have been drivers of smartphone adoption. The mobile operating systems (OS) used by modern smartphones include Google's Android, Apple's iOS, Nokia's Symbian, Blackberry Ltd's BlackBerry OS, Samsung's Bada, Microsoft's Windows Phone, Hewlett-Packard's webOS, and embedded Linux distributions such as Maemo and MeeGo. Such operating systems can be installed on many different phone models, and typically each device can receive multiple OS software updates over its lifetime. A few other upcoming operating systems are Mozilla's Firefox OS, Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu Phone, and Tizen. Worldwide sales of smartphones exceeded those of feature phones in early 2013. As of July 18, 2013, 90 percent of global handset sales are attributed to the purchase of Android and iPhone smartphones.
2.1 Buying Behavior of Operating Systems :
Regardless of the demographics based on operating systems, many campaigns use the iPhone as their choice of platform because it has more market awareness because phone and operating system are made by the same company while there are many manufactures for Android devices. Some of the larger manufactures are Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. Android has a higher repurchase rate of its devices than iPhone or BlackBerry (Zokem, 2011). Repurchase rate is relevant to marketers and advertisers because if they want to launch a long term campaign, it is useful to know if users are going to be switching devices for a competing operating system. With 89% of Android users coming back to. Android and 85% of iPhone users going back to iPhone, it shows that these two platforms are solid platforms in consistently keeping consistent users (Zokem, 2011).
Apple has higher brand loyalty, around an 84% difference in loyalty compared to Android (Zokem, 2011). BlackBerry is last in brand loyalty compared to the other two with 25% less brand loyalty than Android (Zokem, 2011). The iPhone was the first to enter the market with downloadable mobile applications which could explain the higher brand loyalty. However, Android and BlackBerry are creating similar products such Tablet computers in order to compete with product differentiation. Bottom line is that each of the three key competitors can do similar tasks, the main difference between them are mobile applications.
Smartphone Customer Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates
Apple 2010 Apple 2011 HTC 2010 HTC 2011 Industry Average 2010 Industry Average 2011 Samsung 2010 Samsung 2011 Motorola 2010 Motorola 2011 RIM 2010 RIM 2011 LG 2010 LG 2011 HP/Palm 2010 HP/Palm 2011 Nokia 2010 Nokia 2011 Rankings are based on a possible top score of 1000
The introduction of Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch in July 2008 popularized manufacturer-hosted online distribution for third-party applications focused on a single platform. Before this, smartphone application distribution was largely dependent on third-party sources providing applications for multiple platforms, such as GetJar, Handango, Handmark, PocketGear, and others. The iPhone's platform is officially restricted to installing apps through the App Store, through "B2B" deployment, and on an "Ad Hoc" basis on up to 100 iPhones. Through jailbreaking it can install apps from other sources. Other platforms may allow application distribution through additional sources outside of their manufacturer-provided app stores, such as third-party app stores and downloads from individual websites. Following the success of Apple's App Store other smartphone manufacturers quickly launched application stores of their own. Google launched the Android Market in October 2008. MiKandi launched the first adult app market for smartphones in 2009. RIM launched its app store, BlackBerry App World, in April 2009. Nokia launched its Ovi Store in May 2009. Palm launched its Palm App Catalog for webOS in June 2009. Microsoft launched an application store for Windows Mobile called Windows Marketplace for Mobile in October 2009, and then a separate Windows Phone Marketplace for Windows Phone in October 2010. Samsung launched Samsung Apps for its Bada based phones in June 2010. Amazon launched its Amazon Appstore for the Google Android operating system in March 2011. The relatively high revenue of U.S. $5782 million in 2012 for Apple's App Store compared to competitor's stores can be attributed to a combination of factors. In large part this can be attributed to having the largest number of apps available and the highest download volume of any mobile app store in 2010, but besides that only 28% of the apps in Apple's App Store were free apps, compared to over 57% in the Android Market. Similarly, Nokia's Ovi Store and the BlackBerry App World both had only 26% of their apps available for free, and both generated higher revenues than the Android Market despite having much lower download volumes. Another significant difference is the mobile applications available to each operating system. Apple has around 400,000 iPad and iPhone mobile applications, Android with 200,000, and BlackBerry with 27,000 (Spriensma, 2011; Empson, 2011). The Apple App Store has an application process for 3rd party applications for the iPhone, iPod and iPad. On the contrary, Android does not have an application process, just a registration of the developer and once registered, the developer can freely post applications without approval. It should also be noted the difference of the number of free applications available. Android has the most free
applications available compared to Apple; 134,000 and 122,000 respectively (Spriensma, 2011). But Apple has about three times as many paid mobile applications as Android (Spriensma, 2011). According to Pawan Kumar, a senior research analyst from MarketsandMarkets, marketers and advertisers need to be aware of mobile operating systems and how they play a huge role in reaching the target audience through mobile applications. Each operating system is different which causes fragmentation over operating systems and mobile applications (as cited in Tsirulnik G. , 2011). This fragmentation can make applications from one platform to another fail because they are not created the same. When problems occur between platforms over similar applications, it creates a barrier. Users with a certain platform will only use applications Furthermore, each of the three big competitors have discovered and refined their competitive edge with their operating system. For instance, Android diversifies itself through its personalization of its user interface. Apple, reliability, stability and simplicity. BlackBerry, slight a mix of both.
2.3 Different Application Store:
Amazon Appstore is an alternate application store for the Android operating system. It was opened in March 2011, with 3800 applications.
Apple's App Store for iOS was the first app distribution service, which set the standard for app distribution services and continues to do so, opened on July 10, 2008, and as of January 2011, reported over 10 billion downloads. As of June 6, 2011, there are 425,000 third-party apps available, which are downloaded by 200 million iOS users. During Apple's 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference in 20, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store has 650,000 available apps to download as well as "an astounding 30 billion apps" downloaded from the app store until that date.
BlackBerry World is the application store for BlackBerry OS and BlackBerry 10 devices. It opened in April 2009 as BlackBerry App World, and as of February 2011, was claiming the largest revenue per app: $9,166.67 compared to $6,480.00 at the Apple App Store and $1,200 in the Android market. In July 2011, it was reporting 3 million downloads per day and one billion total downloads. In May 2013, BlackBerry World reached over 120,000 apps.
Google Play: Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market) is an international online software store developed by Google for Android devices. It opened in October 2008. In April 2013, there were approximately 850,000 apps available for Android, and the estimated number of applications downloaded from Google Play was 40 billion.
An app store for Nokia phones was launched internationally in May 2009. As of April 2011 there were 50,000 apps, and as of August 2011, Nokia was reporting 9 million downloads per day. In February 2011, Nokia reported that it would start using Windows Phone as its primary operating system. In May 2011, Nokia announced plans to rebrand its Ovi product line under the Nokia brand and Ovi Store was renamed Nokia Store in October 2011. Nokia Store remains as the distribution platform for its previous lines of mobile operating systems.
Windows Phone Store:
Windows Phone Store was introduced by Microsoft for its Windows Phone platform, which was launched in October 2010. As of October 2012, it has over 120,000 apps available.
Windows Store was introduced by Microsoft for its Windows 8 and Windows RT platforms. While it can also carry listings for traditional desktop programs certified for compatibility with Windows 8, it is primarily used to distribute "Windows Store apps"—which are primarily built for use on tablets and other touch-based devices (but can still be used with a keyboard and mouse, and on desktop computers and laptops.
Samsung Apps Store:
An app store for Samsung mobile phones was founded in September 2009. As of October 2011 Samsung Apps reached 10 million downloads. Currently the store is available in 125 countries and it offers apps for Windows Mobile, Android and Bada platforms.
Chapter # 3 Mobile Applications
3.1 Native Apps vs. Mobile Web Apps:
There are two main types of mobile applications: native and mobile Web. Native applications integrate directly with the mobile device's operating system and can interact with its hardware much like the software on a personal computer. Native applications are also capable of taking advantage of local APIs in order to maximize functionality while preserving efficiency. Mobile Web applications are apps that run directly from an online interface such as a website. These applications typically cannot manipulate a device's hardware and are limited to the web application's APIs rather than the programming packages found on the phone13. A mobile website is a series of web pages created for the sole purpose of being viewed on a mobile device's web browser. These pages are often created using HTML, but some operating systems such as iOS or Android are equipped with a webkit. These webkits enable web page rendering that extends functionality far beyond that of a typical mobile Web application; they allow hardware manipulation, user interface scaling, and more.Some applications are hybrids that combine the interface and coding components of a web-based interface with the functionality derived from native applications. This allows developers to update the application remotely while still affording a large amount of programming functionality. It also extends the number of platforms which can run the application, as their web-based nature ensures the application must not necessarily be platformspecific Currently, the two dominant operating systems - Google’s Linux-based opensource Android Operating System and Apple's iPhone Operating System (iOS) - both support their own marketplaces where users can purchase mobile applications. Some apps are packaged with the operating system by default, but most apps must be downloaded manually from an app marketplace.
3.2 Consumer Preferences in Mobile Apps:
By the year 2010, the mobile apps industry became increasingly saturated as new competitors entered the market flooding it with numerous varieties of utilitarian as well as lifestyle apps. A survey conducted by Nielsen in 2010 revealed the types of apps that were in greatest demand by users. A breakdown of the various categories of applications used within a span of 30 days as emerging from the survey is presented in Figure 234. In addition, a chart of app popularity by users of specific operating systems is depicted in Figure 3. The survey revealed that games, including both free and paid, were the most downloaded application category. Facebook, Google Maps, and the Weather Channel were the most popular apps across all platforms. In social networking, Facebook was by far the most popular app, with MySpace trailing behind in part due to its continuing popularity with teenagers. LinkedIn also attracted a large number of users in the age group of 25 to 4435. The news and weather application category was dominated by The Weather Channel, which was downloaded by 58% of the users surveyed. Amazon and eBay led the shopping category with 57% and 41% respectively. Finally, the music category was fiercely competitive with iTunes, Pandora, Sirius-XM, and Yahoo! Music all Data collected by Flurry in May 2011 revealed that games and social networking apps,led by Facebook, continued to be the most popular app categories among users. Flurry also discovered that users not only accessed game and social networking apps more frequently but also for longer periods of time per session. That many users were accessing Facebook in order to play games available on that platform points to the overwhelming dominance of this category of smartphone apps.
Chapter # 4 Different application
4.1 Google Play:
Google Play, is a digital distribution platform for apps on Android and online electronics and digital media developed and maintained by Google. The service allows users to browse and download music, magazines, books, movies, television programs, and applications published through Google. Users can also purchase Chromebooks, Google Nexus-branded mobile devices, other Google-branded hardware, and accessories through Google Play. Applications are available either free of charge or at a cost. They can be downloaded directly to an Android or Google TV device through the Play Store mobile app, or by deploying the application to a device from the Google Play website. These applications are generally targeted to users based on a particular hardware attribute of their device, such as a motion sensor (for motion-dependent games) or a front-facing camera (for online video calling). On March 6, 2012, with the merging of the Android Market and Google Music, the service was renamed Google Play to coincide with the rebranding of Google's digital distribution strategy. As of July 2013, the Google Play store officially reached over 1 million apps and had over 50 billion downloads.
Google Maps is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google, that powers many map-based services, including the Google Maps website, Google Ride Finder, Google Transit, and maps embedded on third-party websites via the Google Maps API. It offers street maps, a route planner for traveling by foot, car, bike (beta), or with public transportation and a locator for urban businesses in numerous countries around the world. Google Maps satellite images are not updated in real time, but rather they are several months or years old. Google Maps uses a close variant of the Mercator projection, so it cannot show areas around the poles. A related product is Google Earth, a stand-alone program which offers more globeviewing features, including showing polar areas. Google Maps for mobile runs on smartphones with over 54% of users using it between AprilJune 2013.[ Satellite view Google Maps provides high-resolution aerial or satellite images for most urban areas all over the world. Most of the world's current satellite imagery is over 5 years old and updated infrequently, resulting in not showing the newer features and updates that have been made to various infrastructures. Various governments have complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks.[dead link] Google has blurred some areas for security (mostly in the United States), previously the United States Capitol, the White House, and the U.S. Naval Observatory area (where the official residence of the Vice President is located). Other well-known government installations, including Area 51 in the Nevada desert, are visible. Not all areas on satellite images are covered in the same resolution; less populated areas usually get less detail. With the introduction of an easily pannable and searchable mapping and satellite imagery tool, Google's mapping engine prompted a surge of interest in satellite imagery. Sites were established to feature satellite images of interesting natural and man-made landmarks, including such novelties as "large type" writing visible in the imagery, as well as famous stadiums and unique geological formations. Although Google uses the word satellite, most of the high-resolution imagery of cities is aerial photography taken from aircraft flying at 800–1500 feet rather than from satellites; while most other imagery is in fact from satellites.
Google Maps provides a route planner under "Get Directions". Up to four modes of transportation are available depending on the area: driving, public transit (see the Google Transit section below), walking, and bicycling. In combination with Google Street View, issues like parking, turning lanes, and one-way streets can be viewed before travelling. Driving directions are covered as follows:
Most countries of mainland Eurasia and Africa are covered contiguously, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Sri Lanka, most of Indonesia and Timor-Leste. China mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, Israel (including parts of the West Bank), Jordan, Lebanon and North Korea have directions available without connection to other states. Only public transit directions are provided for South Korea. All countries of mainland North and Central America are covered contiguously. All countries of mainland South America are covered. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela are treated contiguously, whereas Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname are not connected to other states. All inhabited countries and territories in the Caribbean are covered, though in general there are no connections between islands. Additionally, American Samoa, Australia, the Azores, Brunei, Cape Verde, The Comoros, The Cook Islands, the Faroe Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Philippines, Réunion, São Tomé and Príncipe, the Seychelles, Samoa, Taiwan, Tonga, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna are covered as stand-alone regions, as are Nuuk in Greenland, Sabah in Malaysia, parts of Papua New Guinea, parts of Solomon Islands and Socotra in Yemen
Facebook is an online social networking service. Its name stems from the colloquial name for the book given to students at the start of the academic year by some American university administrations to help students get to know one another. Facebook was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to students of the University of Harvard, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before it opened to high school students, and eventually to anyone ages 13 and over. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old to become a registered user of the website. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, and receive automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". As of September 2012, Facebook has over one billion active users, of which 8.7% are fake. According to a May 2011 Consumer Reports survey, there are 7.5 million children under 13 with accounts and 5 million under 10, violating the site's terms of service. Facebook (as of 2012) has about 180 petabytes of data a year and grows by over half a petabyte every 24 hours. In May 2005, Accel partners invested $12.7 million in Facebook, and Jim Breyer added $1 million of his own money to the pot. A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook as
the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users. Entertainment Weekly included the site on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers' birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?" Facebook eventually filed for an initial public offering on February 1, 2012, and was headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Facebook Inc. began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012. Based on its 2012 income of USD 5.1 Billion, Facebook joined the Fortune 500 list for the first time, being placed at position of 462 on the list published in May 2013.
4.4 Google Search:
Google Search (or Google Web Search) is a web search engine owned by Google Inc. Google Search is the most-used search engine on the World Wide Web, handling more than three billion searches each day. The order of search on Google's search-results pages is based, in part, on a priority rank called a "PageRank". Google Search provides many options for customized search, using Boolean operators such as: exclusion ("-xx"), alternatives ("xx OR yy"), and wildcards ("x * x"). The main purpose of Google Search is to hunt for text in publicly accessible documents offered by web servers, as opposed to other data, such as with Google Image Search. Google Search was originally developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997. Google Search provides at least 22 special features beyond the original word-search capability. These include synonyms, weather forecasts, time zones, stock quotes, maps, earthquake data, movie showtimes, airports, home listings, and sports scores. There are special features for dates, including ranges, prices, temperatures, money/unit conversions, calculations, package tracking, patents, area codes, and language translation of displayed pages. In June 2011, Google introduced "Google Voice Search" and "Search by Image" features for allowing the users to search words by speaking and by giving images. In May 2012, Google introduced a new Knowledge Graph semantic search feature to customers in the U.S. The frequency of use of many search terms has reached such a volume that they may indicate broader economic, social and health trends. Data about the frequency of use of search terms on Google have been shown to correlate with flu outbreaks and unemployment levels and provide the information faster than traditional reporting methods and government surveys.
Major competitors of Google are Baidu and Soso.com in China; Naver.com and Daum Communications in South Korea; Yandex in Russia; Seznam.cz in Czech Republic; Yahoo! in Japan, Taiwan and the United States, and Bing.
4.5 Youtube :
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and owned by Google since late 2006, on which users can upload, view and share videos. The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, Hulu, and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can watch videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users at least 18 years old. YouTube, LLC was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and now operates as a Google subsidiary
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, while Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.
According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, while Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was probably very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story that was very digestible". Karim said that the inspiration for YouTube came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was accidentally exposed during her performance. Karim could not easily find a video clip of the incident online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site. Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. YouTube began as a venture-funded technology startup, primarily from a $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo, and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005, six months before the official launch in November 2005. The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43 percent and more than 14 billion videos viewed in May 2010. YouTube says that roughly 60 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the U.S. The site has 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. Alexa ranks YouTube as the third most visited website on the Internet, behind Google and Facebook. The choice of the name www.youtube.com led to problems for a similarly named website, www.utube.com. The owner of the site, Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment, filed a lawsuit against YouTube in November 2006 after being overloaded on a regular basis by people looking for YouTube. Universal Tube has since changed the name of its website to www.utubeonline.com. In October 2006, Google Inc. announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock, and the deal was finalized on November 13, 2006.
Google does not provide detailed figures for YouTube's running costs, and YouTube's revenues in 2007 were noted as "not material" in a regulatory filing. In June 2008, a Forbes magazine article projected the 2008 revenue at $200 million, noting progress in advertising sales. In January 2012, it was estimated that visitors to YouTube spent an average of 15 minutes a day on the site, in contrast to the four or five hours a day spent by a typical U.S. citizen watching television. YouTube entered into a marketing and advertising partnership with NBC in June 2006. In November 2008, YouTube reached an agreement with MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment, and CBS, allowing the companies to post full-length films and television episodes on the site, accompanied by advertisements in a section for US viewers called "Shows". The move was intended to create competition with websites such as Hulu, which features material from NBC, Fox, and Disney. In November 2009, YouTube launched a version of "Shows" available to UK viewers, offering around 4,000 full-length shows from more than 60 partners. In January 2010, YouTube introduced an online film rentals service, which is available only to users in the US, Canada and the UK as of 2010. The service offers over 6,000 films. In March 2010, YouTube began free streaming of certain content, including 60 cricket matches of the Indian Premier League. According to YouTube, this was the first worldwide free online broadcast of a major sporting event. On March 31, 2010, the YouTube website launched a new design, with the aim of simplifying the interface and increasing the time users spend on the site. Google product manager Shiva Rajaraman commented: "We really felt like we needed to step back and remove the clutter." In May 2010, it was reported that YouTube was serving more than two billion videos a day, which it described as "nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major US television networks combined". In May 2011, YouTube reported in its company blog that the site was receiving more than three billion views per day. In January 2012, YouTube stated that the figure had increased to four billion videos streamed per day. In October 2010, Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as chief executive officer of YouTube to take an advisory role, and that Salar Kamangar would take over as head of the company. In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30 percent of videos accounted for 99 percent of views on the site. In November 2011, the Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface. On December 1, 2011, YouTube launched a new version of the site interface, with the video channels displayed in a central column on the home page, similar to the news feeds of
social networking sites. At the same time, a new version of the YouTube logo was introduced with a darker shade of red, the first change in design since October 2006. In May 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program to began offering some content providers the ability to charge $0.99 per month or more for certain channels, but the vast majority of its videos would remain free to view.
WhatsApp Messenger is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, video, and audio media messages. The client software is available for Android, BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Series 40, Symbian (S60), and Windows Phone. WhatsApp Inc. was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum (also the CEO), both veterans of Yahoo!, and is based in Santa Clara, California. Competing with a number of Asian-based messaging services (like LINE, KakaoTalk, and WeChat), WhatsApp was handling ten billion messages per day as of August 2012, growing from two billion in April 2012 and one billion the previous October. On 13th June, 2013, WhatsApp announced on Twitter that they had reached their new daily record of processing 27 billion messages. According to the Financial Times, WhatsApp "has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines." The service is free for the first year then costs $0.99/Yr. As of August 6, 2013, WhatsApp has over 300 million active users, and 325 million photos shared each day.
WhatsApp uses a customized version of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). Upon installation, it creates a user account using one's phone number as
username (Jabber ID: [phone number]@s.whatsapp.net). WhatsApp software automatically compares all the phone numbers from the device's address book with its central database of WhatsApp users to automatically add contacts to the user's WhatsApp contact list. Previously the Android and S40 versions used an MD5-hashed, reversed-version of the phone's IMEI as password, while the iOS version used the phone's Wi-Fi MAC address instead of IMEI. A recent update now generates a random password on the server side. Multimedia messages are sent by uploading the image, audio or video to be sent to a HTTP server and then sending a link to the content along with its Base64 encoded thumbnail (if applicable). Until August 2012, messages were sent in unencrypted plain-text format, making the system vulnerable to session hijacking and packet analysis. As of August 15, 2012, the WhatsApp support staff claim messages are encrypted in the "latest version" of the WhatsApp software for iOS and Android (not including BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian), without specifying the implemented cryptographic method.
In May 2011, a security hole reportedly left WhatsApp user accounts open for hijacking. Since May 2011, WhatsApp communications are reportedly not encrypted, and data is sent and received in plaintext, meaning messages can easily be read if packet traces are available. According to some sources, the hijacking hack was performed and later fixed by helping WhatsApp reproduce it on Android and Symbian, by Liroy van Hoewijk, CEO of CoreISP.net. In May 2012, security researchers noticed that new updates of WhatsApp no longer sent messages as plaintext, the cryptographic method implemented was subsequently described as "broken". In September 2011, WhatsApp released a new version of the Messenger application for iPhones, closing critical security holes that allowed forged messages to be sent and messages from any WhatsApp user to be read. On January 6, 2012, an unknown hacker published a website (WhatsAppStatus.net) that made it possible to change the status of an arbitrary WhatsApp user, as long as the phone number was known. To make it work, it only required a restart of the app. According to the hacker, it is only one of the many security issues in WhatsApp. On January 9, WhatsApp reported that it had resolved the issue, although the only measure actually taken was to block the website's IP address. As a reaction, a Windows tool was made available for download providing the same
functionality. This issue has since been resolved in the form of an IP check on currently logged in session. On January 13, 2012, WhatsApp was pulled from the iOS App Store, and the reason was not disclosed. The app was added back to the App Store four days later. German Tech site The H demonstrated how to use WhatsAPI to hijack any WhatsApp account on September 14, 2012. Shortly after a legal threat to WhatsAPI's developers was alleged, characterized by The H as "an apparent reaction" to security reports, and WhatsAPI's source code was taken down for some days. The WhatsAPI team has since returned to active development.
Privacy: Another issue was witnessed on November 28, 2012, and before (WA blog post about it is from January 12), though this is not a security concern at all but more a problem with "chain messages", when users got spam messages and ignorantly forwarded hoax messages to people on their contact lists. The WhatsApp team clearly mentioned on its website that all such messages are fake. This has not been the work of hackers, but simply the work of people randomly forwarding nonsense, a problem on any social media. A major privacy and security issue has been the subject of a joint Canadian-Dutch government investigation. The primary concern was that WhatsApp required users to upload their entire mobile phone's address book to WhatsApp servers so that WhatsApp could discover who, among the users' existing contacts, is available via WhatsApp. While this is a fast and convenient way to quickly find and connect the user with contacts who are also using WhatsApp, it means that their address book was then mirrored on the WhatsApp servers, including contact information for contacts who are not using WhatsApp. However, this information was stored as a hash and without additional identifying information such as a name. WhatsApp uses a timestamp feature, which allows the ability to view the last time a user was logged-on (or "Last seen"), unless expressly blocked by said user. This feature is considered to be a privacy issue. While iPhone users can choose to disable this feature, Android users cannot. WhatsApp allows you to view the profile picture and current "Status" of every user, as long as that user is enlisted in Contacts. On March 31, 2013, the governing body of telecommunications affairs in Saudi Arabia, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), issued a statement regarding
possible measures against WhatsApp, among other applications, unless the service providers took serious steps in order to comply with monitoring and privacy regulations.
Skype /ˈskaɪp/ is a freemium voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client that is currently developed by the Microsoft Skype Division. The name originally derived from "sky" and "peer". Skype was first released in August 2003; it was written by Estonian developers Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn, Danish Janus Friis, and Swedish Niklas Zennström, who had also originally developed Kazaa. Skype had 663 million registered users as of the end of 2010. It was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion. Microsoft's Skype division headquarters is in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of the division are still situated in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia. The service allows users to communicate with peers by voice using a microphone, video by using a webcam, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing. Competitors include SIP and H.323-based services, such as Linphoneand Google Voice.
Unlike most other VoIP services, Skype is a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system. It makes use of background processing on computers running Skype software, and this is reflected in Skype's original proposed name of Sky Peer-to-Peer. Some network administrators have banned Skype on corporate, government, home and education networks, citing reasons such as inappropriate usage of resources, excessive bandwidth usage, and security concerns.
Skype was founded in 2003 by Janus Friis from Denmark and Niklas Zennström from Sweden. The Skype software was created by the Estonians Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, and Jaan Tallinn The first public beta version was released on 29 August 2003.
Registered users of Skype are identified by a unique Skype Name, and may be listed in the Skype directory. Skype allows these registered users to communicate through both instant messaging and voice chat. Voice chat allows telephone calls between pairs of users and conference calling, and uses a proprietary audio codec. Skype's text chat client allows group chats, emoticons, storing chat history and editing of previous messages. Offline messages were implemented in a beta of version 5, but removed after a few weeks without notification. The usual features familiar to instant messaging users — user profiles, online status indicators, and so on — are also included. The Online Number, a.k.a. SkypeIn, service allows Skype users to receive calls on their computers dialed by conventional phone subscribers to a local Skype phone number; local numbers are available for Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A Skype user can have local numbers in any of these countries, with calls to the number charged at the same rate as calls to fixed lines in the country. The countries on this growing list are referred to collectively as the SkypeIn Countries.
Skype supports conference calls up to 25 people at a time. Skype also supports video chat between two people for free. Screen sharing and group video calling is available for Premium subscribers between a maximum of 10 people. Skype does not provide the ability to call emergency numbers such as 112 in Europe, 911 in North America, 000 in Australia, 100 Call Police in India and Nepal The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has ruled that, for the purposes of section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, Skype is not an "interconnected VoIP provider". As a result, the U.S. National Emergency Number Association recommends that all VoIP users have an analog line available as a backup. On July 14, 2011 Skype partnered with Comcast to bring its video chat service to Comcast subscribers via their HDTV sets. On June 17, 2013 Skype released a free video messaging service which can be operated on Windows and Mac OS, iOS, Android and BlackBerry. On August 12, 2013 Skype released the 4.10 update to the app for Apple iPhone and iPad that allows HD quality video for iPhone 5 and fourth generation iPads.
Client Application and Devices:
Skype runs on a number of platforms including Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8), OS X (10.6 or newer), Linux (Ubuntu and others), Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone. On 29 October 2007, Skype launched its own mobile phone under the brand name 3 Skypephone, which runs a BREW OS. Skype also offers a Skype Wi-Fi Phone, which is a wireless mobile phone that allows users to make Skype calls, using a wireless Internet connection. The Skype Wi-Fi Phone has an on-screen menu that lets Skype users see who is online and available to talk, similar to what is seen on a PC. It can also be used to talk with non-Skype users. SkypeOut minutes can be used to call any phone for a low price and no monthly fee. The Skype Wi-Fi phone does not contain a web browser and so can not access hotspots that require web-based login or authentication. Other platforms officially supported include:
The Nokia N800, N810 and N900 Internet Tablets, which run Maemo
The Nokia N9 and Nokia N8, which runs MeeGo, comes with Skype voice calling and text messaging integrated however lacks video-calling. Both the Sony mylo COM-1 and COM-2 models The PlayStation Portable Slim and Lite series, though the user needs to purchase a specially designed microphone peripheral. The PSP-3000 has a built in microphone, which allows communication without the Skype peripheral. The PSP Go has the ability to use Bluetooth connections with the Skype application, in addition to its built-in microphone. Skype for PlayStation Vita may be downloaded via the PlayStation Network in the U.S. It includes the capability to receive incoming calls with the application running in the background. Samsung Smart TV has a Skype app which can be downloaded for free. It uses the built in camera and microphone for the newer models. Alternatively a separate mountable Skype camera with built in speakers and microphones is available to purchase for older models. Some devices are made to work with Skype by talking to a desktop Skype client or by embedding Skype software into the device. These are usually either tethered to a PC, or have a built-in Wi-Fi client to allow calling from Wi-Fi hotspots like the Netgear SPH101 Skype Wi-Fi Phone, the SMC WSKP100 Skype Wi-Fi Phone, the Belkin F1PP000GNSK Wi-Fi Skype Phone, the Panasonic KX-WP1050 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype Executive Travel Set, the IPEVO So-20 Wi-Fi Phone for Skype and the Linksys CIT200 Wi-Fi Phone.
Third-party developers, such as Truphone, Nimbuzz and Fring, previously allowed Skype to run in parallel with several other competing VoIP/IM networks (Truphone and Nimbuzz provide TruphoneOut and NimbuzzOut as a competing paid service) in any Symbian or Java environment. Nimbuzz made Skype available to BlackBerry users and Fring provided mobile video calling over Skype as well as support for the Android platform. Skype disabled Fring users from accessing Skype in July 2010. Nimbuzz discontinued support on request of Skype in October 2010. Before and during the Microsoft acquisition, Skype withdrew licensing from several third parties producing software and hardware compatible with Skype. The Skype for Asterisk product from Digium was withdrawn as "no longer available for sale". The Senao SN358+ long-range (10– 15 km) cordless phone were discontinued due to loss of licenses to participate in the Skype network as peers. In combination these two products made it possible to create roaming cordless mesh networks with robust handoff
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read "tweets", which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has offices in New York City, Boston, and San Antonio. Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and by July 2006, the site was launched. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with 500 million registered users in 2012, who posted 340 million tweets per day. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. Twitter is now one of the ten most visited websites, and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet."
Twitter's origins lie in a "daylong brainstorming session" held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Dorsey, then an undergraduate student at New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams later ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The developers initially considered "10958" as a short code, but later changed it to "40404" for "ease of use and memorability." Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): "just setting up my twttr". Dorsey has explained the origin of the "Twitter" title:
...we came across the word 'twitter', and it was just perfect. The definition was 'a short burst of inconsequential information,' and 'chirps from birds'. And that's exactly what the product was. The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and contractor Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006. In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo, formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets—including Odeo.com and Twitter.com—from the investors and shareholders. Williams fired Glass, who was silent about his part in Twitter's startup until 2011. Twitter spun off into its own company in April 2007. Williams provided insight into the ambiguity that defined this early period in a 2013 interview: With Twitter, it wasn't clear what it was. They called it a social network, they called it microblogging, but it was hard to define, because it didn't replace anything. There was this path of discovery with something like that, where over time you figure out what it is. Twitter actually changed from what we thought it was in the beginning, which we described as status updates and a social utility. It is that, in part, but the insight we eventually came to was Twitter was really more of an information network than it is a social network. The tipping point for Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. "The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways, exclusively streaming Twitter messages," remarked Newsweek's Steven Levy. "Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters. Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, and the bloggers in attendance touted it." Reaction at the conference was highly positive. Blogger Scott Beale said that Twitter "absolutely rul[ed] " SXSWi. Social software researcher danah boyd said Twitter "own[ed] " the conference. Twitter staff received the festival's Web Award prize with the remark "we'd like to thank you in 140 characters or less. And we just did!"  The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010. By late November 2010, an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts' communal account, @NASA_Astronauts. NASA has also hosted over 25 "tweetups", events that provide guests with VIP access to NASA facilities and speakers with the goal of leveraging participants' social networks to further the outreach goals of NASA.
In August 2010, the company appointed Adam Bain from News Corp.'s Fox Audience Network as president of revenue.
The company experienced rapid growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications. As of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. As of March 2011, that was about 140 million tweets posted daily. As noted on Compete.com, Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site in January 2009 from its previous rank of twentysecond.
Jack Dorsey, a co-founder and the chairman of Twitter, in 2009 Twitter's usage spikes during prominent events. For example, a record was set during the 2010 FIFA World Cup when fans wrote 2,940 tweets per second in the thirty-second period after Japan scored against Cameroon on June 14. The record was broken again when 3,085 tweets per second were posted after the Los Angeles Lakers' victory in the 2010 NBA Finals on June 17, and then again at the close of Japan's victory over Denmark in the World Cup when users published 3,283 tweets per second. The record was set again during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final between Japan and the United States, when 7,196 tweets per second were published. When American singer Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, Twitter servers crashed after users were updating their status to include the words "Michael Jackson" at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour. The current record as of January 1, 2013, was set by all citizens of the Japan Standard Time Zone as the new year began, reaching a record of 33,388 tweets per second (and hence beating the previous record of 25,088, also set by Japan after a television screening of the movie "Castle In The Sky").
Twitter acquired application developer Atebits on April 11, 2010. Atebits had developed the Apple Design Award-winning Twitter client Tweetie for the Mac and iPhone. The application, now called "Twitter" and distributed free of charge, is the official Twitter client for the iPhone, iPad and Mac. From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out "New Twitter", an entirely revamped edition of twitter.com. Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter itself by clicking on individual tweets which contain links to images and clips from a variety of supported websites including YouTube and Flickr, and a complete overhaul of the interface, which shifted links such as '@mentions' and 'Retweets' above the Twitter stream, while 'Messages' and 'Log Out' became accessible via a black bar at the very top of twitter.com. As of November 1, 2010, the company confirmed that the "New Twitter experience" had been rolled out to all users. On April 5, 2011, Twitter tested a new homepage and phased out the "Old Twitter."  However, a glitch came about after the page was launched, so the previous "retro" homepage was still in use until the issues were resolved; the new homepage was reintroduced on April 20. On December 8, 2011, Twitter overhauled its website once more to feature the "Fly" design, which the service says is easier for new users to follow and promotes advertising. In addition to the Home tab, the Connect and Discover tabs were introduced along with a redesigned profile and timeline of Tweets. The site's layout has been compared to that of Facebook. On February 21, 2012, it was announced that Twitter and Yandex agreed to a partnership. Yandex, a Russian search engine, finds value within the partnership due to Twitter’s real time news feeds. Twitter’s director of business development explained that it is important to have Twitter content where Twitter users go. On March 21, 2012, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday while also announcing that it has 140 million users and sees 340 million tweets per day. The number of users is up 40% from their September 2011 number, which was said to have been at 100 million at the time. In April 2012, Twitter announced that it was opening an office in Detroit, with the aim of working with automotive brands and advertising agencies. Twitter also expanded its office in Dublin. On June 5, 2012, a modified logo was unveiled through the company blog, removing the text to showcase the slightly redesigned bird as the sole symbol of Twitter. On October 5, 2012, Twitter acquired a video clip company called Vine that launched in January 2013. Twitter released Vine as a standalone app that allows users to create and share six-
second looping video clips on January 24, 2013. Vine videos shared on Twitter are visible directly in users' Twitter feeds. Due to an influx of inappropriate content, it is now rated 17+ in Apple's app store. On December 18, 2012, Twitter announced it had surpassed 200 million monthly active users. Twitter hit 100 million monthly active users in September 2011. On April 18, 2013, Twitter launched a music app called Twitter Music for the iPhone. On August 28, 2013, Twitter acquired Trendrr, followed by the acquisition of MoPub on September 9, 2013. As of September 2013, the company's data showed that 200 million users send over 400 million tweets daily, with nearly 60% of tweets sent from mobile devices.
Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. Users are also able to record and share short videos lasting for up to 15 seconds. Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Support was originally available for only the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, support was added for Android camera phones. The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock.
Instagram began development in San Francisco when Kevin Systrom and Brazilian Michel "Mike" Krieger chose to focus their multi-featured HTML5 check-in project Burbn on mobile photography. On March 5, 2010, Systrom closed a $500,000 seed funding round from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn. Josh Riedel joined the company as Community Manager. Shayne Sweeney joined in November 2010 as an engineer and Jessica Zollman was hired as a Community Evangelist in August 2011. In January 2011, Instagram added hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other. Instagram encourages users to make tags both specific and relevant, rather than tagging
generic words like "photo" in order to make photographs stand out and to attract like-minded Instagrammers. In September, version 2.0 went live in the App Store (iOS). It included new and live filters, instant tilt shift, high resolution photographs, optional borders, one click rotation and an updated icon. On February 2, 2011, it was announced that Instagram had raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca (through Capital fund), and Adam D'Angelo. The deal valued Instagram at around $25 million. On April 3, 2012, Instagram for Android phones running the 2.2 Froyo version of the OS was released, and it was downloaded more than one million times in less than one day. That same week, Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company; the process valued Instagram at $500 million. In the next three months Instagram was rated more than one million times on Google Play and was the fifth app ever to reach one million ratings on Google Play—as of April 2013, it had been rated nearly four million times. In its largest acquisition deal to date, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep the service independently managed. Britain's Office of Fair Trading approved the deal on August 14, 2012, and on August 22, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States closed its investigation, allowing the deal to proceed. On September 6, 2012, the deal between Instagram and Facebook officially closed. On April 12, 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock. The deal, which was made just before Facebook was scheduled to go public, cost Facebook about a quarter of the cash-on-hand they had as of the end of 2011. The deal was for a company characterized as having "lots of buzz but no business model", and the price was contrasted with the $35 million Yahoo! paid for Flickr in 2005, a website which has since become among the 50 most popular in the world. Mark Zuckerberg noted that Facebook was "committed to building and growing Instagram independently", in contrast to its common practice of, as CNNMoney.com put it, buying "hot startups, kill[ing] their products, and redeploy[ing] their staff on other projects." According to multiple reports, the deal netted Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom $400 million based on his ownership stake in the business. The exact purchase price was $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock. On December 17, 2012, Instagram updated its Terms of Service, granting itself the right to sell users' photos to third parties without notification or compensation starting on January 16, 2013. The criticism from privacy advocates, consumers, National Geographic and celebrities like Kim Kardashian prompted Instagram to issue a statement retracting the controversial terms; regardless, the issue caused Instagram to lose a portion of its user-base as
On August 9, 2012, English musician Ellie Goulding came out with a new music video for her song "Anything Could Happen". The video only contained fan submitted Instagram photographs that used various Instagram filters to represent words or lyrics from the song and over 1200 different photographs were submitted. On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced 100 million active users, only two-and-a-half years after the launch of the app. As of September 9, 2013, the company has announced a total of more than 150 million monthly active users. Many celebrities have profiles on Instagram, sharing photos and videos of their personal and professional lives with fans. Some celebrities deleted their accounts in response to Instagram's proposed change to its Terms of Service, which would have allowed the photo-sharing app to sell images to advertisers without compensation to users. Instagram was listed among Time's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.
Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, California, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, which Dropbox then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are accessible through a website and mobile phone applications. Dropbox, Inc., was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a Y Combinator startup company. Dropbox provides client software for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS and web browsers, as well as unofficial ports to Symbian, Windows Phone, and MeeGo.
According to Dropbox, founder Drew Houston conceived the idea after repeatedly forgetting his USB flash drive while he was a student at MIT. He says that existing services at the time "suffered problems with Internet latency, large files, bugs, or just made me think too much". He began making something for his personal use, but then realized that it could benefit others with the same problems. Houston founded Dropbox, Inc. in June 2007, and shortly thereafter secured seed funding from Y Combinator. Dropbox officially launched at 2008's TechCrunch50, an annual technology conference.
Due to trademark disputes between Proxy, Inc. and Evenflow (Dropbox's parent company), Dropbox's official domain name was "getdropbox.com" until October 2009, when they acquired their current domain, "dropbox.com". OPSWAT reported in their December 2011 market share report that Dropbox held 14.14% of the worldwide backup client market, based on number of installations. In May 2011, Dropbox struck deals with Japanese mobile service providers Softbank and Sony Ericsson. As per the terms of the deal Dropbox will come preloaded on their mobile telephones. In May 2010, Dropbox users in China were unable to access Dropbox. Later, Dropbox confirmed they had been blocked by the Chinese government. Due to the fact that the censorship usually focuses on popular services only, many considered this evidence of Dropbox's rapidly rising popularity and international user base. As of January 2013, the website is still blocked in China, but locally installed applications are usable with some ISPs. As of October 2011, Dropbox had more than 50 million registered users. In April 2012, Dropbox announced a new feature allowing users to automatically upload photographs or videos from camera, tablet, SD card, or smartphone. Users will be given up to 3 GB (initially 5 GB) extra space to accommodate the photographs and videos uploaded in this fashion, but the space is permanently added to the user's allowance and is not restricted to pictures. It is viewed as a move against Google's recently launched Google Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive. As of 26 September 2012, Facebook and Dropbox integrated to allow group users to share files to Facebook Groups using Dropbox’s cloud-based storage system. The feature allows users to directly share inside Facebook's group pages without exiting the Facebook domain. This did not replace the built in Facebook uploading feature, but added to it for any files that were already uploaded to their Dropbox storage account. On November 12, 2012, Dropbox announced it had reached 100 million users. On December 19, 2012 Dropbox acquired the photo cloud storing giant Snapjoy, which allowed users aggregate, archive and view all digital photographs taken from cameras, phones, or popular photo apps and view them online, or via an app, in one location. Financial terms were not released at the time of the acquisition. As of February 2013, Dropbox was responsible for 0.29% of all worldwide Internet bandwidth.
On March 15, 2013, Dropbox acquired the email management application for iOS Mailbox. On July 20, 2013 Dropbox acquired mobile coupon startup Endorse.
Dropbox has received a total venture capital funding of US$257.2 million from several investors, including Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, and Accel Partners. In 2011, it was speculated that Dropbox's valuation was more than $1 billion. TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Business Insider, and Financial Post speculated that Dropbox's valuation could be up to $5 to $10 billion. Dropbox's 2011 revenue was expected to be $240 million. Dropbox is based in San Francisco, and is funded by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Amidzad. Starting in mid-2009, they began releasing new features gradually to help measure customer interest, a Lean Startup technique. On April 3, 2012, Dropbox announced Bono and The Edge, two members of the Irish rock band U2, were individual investors in the company.
Dropbox uses a freemium business model, where users are offered a free account with a set storage size and paid subscriptions for accounts with more capacity. The desktop client has no restriction on individual file size; files uploaded via the web site are limited to no more than 300 MB per file. To prevent free users from creating multiple linked free accounts, Dropbox includes the content of shared folders when totaling the amount of space used on the account.
Both the Dropbox server and desktop client software are primarily written in Python. The desktop client uses GUI toolkits such as wxWidgets and Cocoa. Other notable Python libraries include Twisted, ctypes, and pywin32. Dropbox ships and depends on the librsync binary-delta library (which is written in C). The Dropbox client enables users to drop any file into a designated folder that is then synchronized with Dropbox's Internet service and to any other of the user's computers and devices with the Dropbox client. Users may also upload files manually through a web browser. Dropbox client supports synchronization and sharing along with personal storage. It supports revision history, so files deleted from the Dropbox folder may be recovered from any of the synced computers. Dropbox supports multi-user version control, enabling several users to edit and re-post files without overwriting versions. The version history is by default kept for 30 days, with an unlimited version called "Pack-Rat" available for purchase. The version history is paired with the use of delta encoding technology. When a file in a user's Dropbox folder is changed, Dropbox only uploads the pieces of the file that are changed when synchronizing, when possible. Dropbox uses Amazon's S3 storage system to store the files; though Houston has stated that Dropbox may switch to a different storage provider at some point in the future. It also uses SSL transfers for synchronization and stores the data via AES-256 encryption, though this is done with Dropbox's own encryption keys, and not the users'. Dropbox also provides a technology called LAN sync, which allows computers on a local area network to securely download files locally from each other instead of always hitting the central servers. LANSync was developed by Dropbox Engineer Paul Bohm.
Line (usually stylized in all-caps as LINE; (Japanese: ライン Hepburn: rain?)) is a Japanese proprietary application for instant messaging on smartphones and PCs. Line users exchange text messages, graphics, video and audio media, make free VoIP calls, and hold free audio or video conferences. Line, launched in Japan in 2011, reached 100 million users within eighteen months and 200 million users only six months later. Line was originally developed as a mobile application for Android and iOS smartphones. The service has since expanded to BlackBerry (August 2012), Nokia Asha (Asia and Oceania, March 2013), and Windows Phone (July 2013). The application also exists in versions for laptop and desktop computers using the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS platforms. Line began in 2011 as the brainchild of engineers at NHN Japan, the Japanese arm of Naver Corporation (formerly NHN) based in South Korea. Today the popular messaging service is operated by Line Corporation, a spinoff company headquartered in Japan.
Line began as a response to disaster. Japan's devastating Tōhoku earthquake in March 2011 damaged telecommunications infrastructure nationwide, obliging employees at NHN Japan, a unit of Korea's NHN Corp, to rely on Internet-based resources to communicate. The company's engineers developed Line to facilitate this. NHN Japan released Line for public use in June 2011. The application proved hugely popular and by late October Line experienced an unexpected server overload. After concluding that the scalability process needed to be improved, NHN
Japan chose to adopt HBase as the primary storage for user profiles, contacts, and groups. Within eighteen months of its release Line reached 100 million users; six months later it reached 200 million. On July 3, 2012, NHN Japan announced the new Line features "Home" and "Timeline." The features allowed users to share recent personal developments to a community of contacts in realtime, similar to the status reports in social networking services. On 6 February 2013 the success of Line led NHN Japan to announce a new spinoff company named Line Corporation. Line Corporation, based in Japan, continues to develop Internet resources such as Line, the Naver Japan search portal, and the Livedoor ISP and blog platform. Games, including those for the Line Game brand, remain under the auspices of Hangame Japan. A new joint venture named Line Plus Corporation, also based in Japan, develops overseas markets. At launch the majority of Line Plus shares were held by the newly created Line Corporation (60%) with the remain shares (40%) held by its Korean parent NHN Corp.\
Line began in summer 2011 as a communication system for NHN Japan employees, then saw explosive growth when released to the public in June of that year. By January 18, 2013 Line had been downloaded 100 million times worldwide. The number expanded to 140 million by early July 2013 and to 200 million by July 21. At that milestone Japan claimed 45 million users, Taiwan and Thailand 15 million each, and Spain and Indonesia 10 million each. NHN Company representatives promptly announced plans to reach 300 million by further expansion in East Asia, Spain, and Chile.
WeChat (Chinese: 微信; pinyin: Wēixìn; literally "micro message") is a mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent in China, first released in January 2011. The app is available on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Symbian platforms. Languages supported include traditional/simplified Chinese, English, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Malay, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi and Russian. WeChat is supported on Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G, and 4G data networks. WeChat provides multimedia communication with text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, photo/video sharing, location sharing, and contact information exchange. WeChat supports social networking via shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins ("Shake", "Look Around", and "Drift Bottle") to chat with and connect with local and international WeChat users. Photos can be taken and embellished with artistic filters, captions, and placed into a personal photo journal for sharing with other users. User data is protected via an on-demand contact list backup and retrieval to/from the cloud. WeChat claims to provide a social networking platform that emphasizes user privacy and fast response performance. Registration is completed through Facebook Connect, mobile phone SMS/VM, or Tencent QQ. The application was initially launched as Weixin in China in January 2011, with international language support in October 2011, and re-branded as WeChat in April 2012. It is being promoted in India via gaming site Ibibo, in which Tencent holds a stake. The app is available in the App Store for iTunes, Google Play Store for Android, BlackBerry App World and Marketplace for Windows Phone.
History: WeChat began as a project at Tencent Guangzhou Research and Project center in October 2010. The original name of the app, "Weixin", was devised by Ma Huateng, Tencent CEO.
In May 2011, WeChat had 4-5 million users, and by the end of 2011, it had 50 million users. WeChat had more than 100 million users by March 2012. In April 2012, Weixin re-branded as WeChat for the international market. In September 2012, WeChat had more than 200 million users according to Tencent CEO, Ma Huateng. As of January 2013, it had 300 million. Today WeChat is the first mobile phone text and voice messaging communication application in the world by users and downloads in the world. It has influence in Mainland China, HK, Taiwan, South-East Asia, and Chinese People areas around the world. In April 2013, rumors online speculated that WeChat will charge a fee for the app. A poll showed that 90% of users strongly oppose this move. WeChat currently is free to download and use. In May 2013, it was revealed that Rainie Yang would be a product endorser for WeChat. To promote the app in India, WeChat roped in Bollywood actors Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra as brand ambassadors. In July 2013, Tencent announced WeChat has 70 million users outside China and Lionel Messi became the latest product ambassador of WeChat. In July 2013, Tencent announced to test Games within WeChat. On 5 July 2013, Tencent Wechat 5.0 for iOS. The new version has some new features: 1. 2. 3. 4. Download loads of new animated stickers from the Sticker Shop (every stickers $0.99) Save favorite content clippings from chats or Moments Add friends nearby easily with the new Hold Together function Swipe to the right to return from a chat. Double tap the Chats tab to cycle through unread chats 5. Scan bar code, cover of the book or album, street view and word 6. Play games with your friends in Game Center (preinstalled airplane war) 7. Bind credit/debit cards and mobile paying 8. Input by voice 9. Public Accounts divided two categories: Service (in your chat list) and Official Accounts (in independent list) 10. Double-tab the text to show full text According to GlobalWebIndex, WeChat set in fifth place of most used smartphone app worldwide and in August 2013 WeChat claimed set a 100 million registered international users
which it is achieved only in 3 months from 50 million registered international users outside of 300 million registered China's users.
Starting January 9 of 2013 reports arose that Chinese language searches outside of China were being keyword filtered and then blocked. This occurred both to China from foreign countries and from foreign countries to other foreign countries. WeChat already censors its communications within China. In this new international example of blocking that showed up on a users phone screen was ―The message ―南方周末‖ you sent contains restricted words. Please check it again.‖ The Chinese characters stand for a Guangzhou China based paper called Southern Weekly or alternatively Southern Weekend. The next day Tencent released a statement addressing the issue saying ―A small number of WeChat international users were not able to send certain messages due to a technical glitch this Thursday. Immediate actions have been taken to rectify it. We apologize for any inconvenience it has caused to our users. We will continue to improve the product features and technological support to provide better user experience.‖ WeChat has plans to build two different platforms to avoid this problem in the future; one for Chinese mainlanders and one for the rest of the world. The problem exists because WeChat's servers are currently all located in China and thus subject to its censorship rules.