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Apple Sinks Its Teeth Into Bitcoin
June 05, 2014
Apple this week updated its App Store Review Guidelines with a change that signals a loosening of its restrictive policies against bitcoin and other digital currencies. The change now allows apps to "facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions."
Facebook Wants to Eavesdrop on Your Entertainment
May 23, 2014
Facebook is rolling out a new feature that encourages users to share their entertainment experiences on mobile devices. The new audio identifier uses the gadget's microphone to listen in on any content playing. When posting a status update, a Facebook user will see an audio icon on the screen, searching to identify a song, TV show or movie. If it finds a match, the user can choose to share it.
Google Picks Up Appetas
May 12, 2014
Google last week acquired restaurant website builder Appetas, a move that could strengthen its relationships with small businesses and ratchet up competition with Yelp, which currently dominates the restaurant review scene. Appetas helps restaurants increase their online presence by building out professional websites that can be integrated with locally focused services.
Mobile CRM May Widen the Big Data/Privacy Divide
May 06, 2014
The White House last week added to the ongoing national discussion about online privacy and tracking with the release of a review counselor John Podesta conducted on Big Data and privacy issues. Among other things, privacy advocates hope the findings will spotlight the role of mobile in the gathering of consumer data by companies. Mobile technologies have a particularly voracious appetite.
Snapchat Adds New Features to Keep Users From Disappearing
May 02, 2014
Snapchat built its popularity on pictures that disappear, but new features added to the latest version of the app show its creators want it to be more than a one-trick pony. Both text and video chatting on Thursday became available in the mobile app for Android and iOS devices. "Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence," reads the company blog.
Pinterest's Guided Search Finds Needles in Haystacks
April 29, 2014
Pinterest last week announced Guided Search, a new search engine for navigating its particular type of content -- user-provided pins, which now number around 30 billion, and an array of around 750 million boards. Guided Search is designed to help users discover pins they were not necessarily looking for, but that might interest them. For now, the feature is available only on mobile.
Google This: Yahoo Wants Apple's Search Business
April 18, 2014
Google has dominated the world of search for years, so much so that "Google" is not only synonymous with searching -- it's a verb, too. Who hasn't told someone to google something? That's awesome mindshare, and its power is translated to billions of dollars of ad-related revenue for Google. Where will search grow in the future? Mobile. And rumor has it, Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer wants it.
Twitter Makes Bold Moves in Mobile Ad Game
April 17, 2014
Twitter has announced new ways for advertisers to connect with targets both on and off the site. The new ad offering is the first integration between Twitter and MoPub, the mobile advertising exchange that Twitter acquired last year. With the partnership, advertisers will be able to launch ad campaigns that run across the entire Twitter Publisher Network.
Mobile, Local Ad Spend Zooms Down Runway
April 11, 2014
After years of surprising the industry with its middling adoption, it appears that location-based mobile advertising is poised to come into its own. U.S. mobile local advertising revenues will reach $4.5 billion in 2014, up from $2.9 billion in 2013, according to BIA/Kelsey. Mobile local ad revenues will have more than tripled by 2018, reaching $15.7 billion, it projected.
Facebook Mixes Up Mobile Messaging
April 10, 2014
Facebook is ditching the private messaging function in its main mobile application in favor of having the entire messaging experience take place inside the dedicated Messenger app. The company launched the dedicated messaging app on iOS and Android in 2011, and later debuted it on Windows Phone. Facebook last year redesigned the app to focus on aiding those who want to be reachable at all times.
Which Screen Comes Second Now?
April 08, 2014
Which came first, the mobile device or the television? OK, that one is easy -- but which comes first now -- the mobile device or the television? The answer is probably television, but it's not quite as obvious, is it? Television is the dominant screen for most consumers today, but signs are growing that the mobile screen might well supercede it at some point.
Google Adds Some Serious Oomph to Play Games
March 17, 2014
Google on Monday announced a number of new features to the Google Play Games platform that are intended to boost discoverability and cross-platform multiplayer gaming while providing developers with deeper analytics. Three out of every four people who use the Android operating system play games, according to Google. There are more than 1 billion activated Android devices.
Marketers, Start Your Engines
March 13, 2014
The connected car may be zooming into the mainstream: Apple has officially entered the market. The debut of CarPlay comes nearly a year after Apple first previewed iOS in the car, tweaking the platform to move Siri, Maps and other services to the dashboard. Apple showed off CarPlay and announced new partners Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo early last week at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Bad Ads Outstrip Porn as Mobile Phone Infection Vectors
March 11, 2014
Trawling porn sites used to be the best way to pick up an electronically transmitted disease on your phone. That's changed. Every one in five times a mobile user is redirected to a malware site online, it's done through a malicious ad, according to a new report. That's three times what it was two years ago. One reason malicious ads have been able to outperform porn is they can get more traffic.
Mayer Moves Search Higher on Yahoo's To-Do List
February 12, 2014
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been more active than a kid on a sugar high. The company on Wednesday announced a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University to advance personalization and mobile technologies. On the same day, Mayer told employees that Yahoo would be partnering with Yelp. Mayer on Tuesday said she was keen on contextual search, speaking at a conference in San Francisco.
Flappy Bird Flutters Into the Sunset
February 10, 2014
Popular smartphone game Flappy Bird has been pulled from Apple's App Store and the Google Play app marketplace by its creator. Independent Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen released the free-to-download game last May having spent only a few nights creating it. Flappy Bird remained under the radar for many months. However, it suddenly soared up the rankings in recent weeks to take the top spot.
Twitter Struggles to Stay Aloft on Wall Street
February 06, 2014
Twitter on Wednesday announced Q4 2013 revenue of $243 million, up 116 percent year over year, and a 30 percent YoY increase in average monthly active users. Wall Street reacted by sending its share prices down 21 percent, and analysts promptly downgraded the company. That could be because Twitter's forecast was less than sanguine. It expects next quarter's revenue to decline.
Facebook at 10: All Mobile Systems Go
February 03, 2014
This week in 2004, Harvard undergrads became the first group to use Facebook -- the social network launched at the college. Fast-forward a decade, and the company is a technology mammoth, with 1.23 billion users and profit of $1.5 billion for 2013. Facebook is by most accounts a gargantuan success, and it is putting the pieces in place for its next decade and beyond.
On Paper, Facebook's a Different Story
January 31, 2014
Facebook on Thursday announced next week's launch of Paper, a free app for iOS that combines user and curated content into a personalized news medium. Users can create stories as well as receive stories based on their interests and organized into sections. The sections cover everything from sports, world news and animal pictures to business, photography and food.
Mobile CRM's Great Big Internet of Things Challenge
January 30, 2014
Shortly after Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest was announced, Nest CEO Tony Fadell felt obliged to clarify something for its users: Any changes to the company's privacy policy would be opt-in. Also, Nest would be transparent about those changes, he said. It's questionable whether Fadell can keep such a promise, though, unless it's written into the deal.
Smart Marketing in a BYOD World
January 21, 2014
Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, is an established trend at many U.S. enterprises, and it's likely to continue to grow. Mobile marketing is an established channel through which many U.S. companies reach customers and prospective customers -- and it also is expected to grow. Is 2014 the year the twain will meet? Will marketers begin targeting consumers at work?
Huge Growth in Store for In-App Mobile Messaging
January 16, 2014
In-app mobile advertising is expected to jump significantly between now and 2018, according to new figures from Juniper Research. Ad spend in this category will reach $16.9 billion by 2018, up from $3.5 billion last year, the consulting group found. Smartphones currently account for approximately 70 percent of in-app ad spend, Juniper said, but that ratio is expected to change.
Twitter Nearby Could Trigger Major Marketing Opportunities
December 17, 2013
Twitter reportedly is testing Nearby, a new timeline feature for its mobile app that displays tweets from people who are geographically close. Both the users viewing the tweets and those tweeting must have their location tagging option enabled for the feature to work. The Nearby service will display tweets from people within a certain range, whether the user is following them or not.
The Emerging Real-Time Business Traveler Market Takes Flight
December 17, 2013
The Federal Communications Commission last week voted to reconsider the ban on mobile phone calls during airplane flights, unleashing a collective cry of angst from travelers not wishing to be forced to listen to the tedious conversations of neighboring passengers. The move suggests a new opportunity may open up for mobile marketers targeting business travelers in real time.

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