Archive for the ‘platform’ tag
The service has built tools to help developers focus on the front-end of their product, while handling all of the messy back-end things like cross-platform compatibility and testing. Naturally, Facebook integration is easier than ever for mobile developers thanks to the acquisition. Its been six years since Facebook’s Platform launched, and during a whiteboard session at its Menlo Park headquarters, the company discussed just how far its come.
Doug Purdy, Director of Product Management and Mike Vernal of Facebook Platform led the discussion. Ilya Sukhar, recently joining Facebook with Parse, sat in on the discussion as well.
Purdy set up the conversation about next steps by saying: “We’ve been thinking about how we can provide tools to developers to enable a more cross-platform world. We’re trying to create a platform that developers can build something that spans over devices and makes people the center. Regardless of the device that you or your friends are on, everyone can have a rich experience.”
Ilya Sukhar, co-founder of Parse talked a bit about Parse’s beginnings and day four at Facebook:
If you think about applications broadly, there’s the front-end, and below the hood there’s a lot. The data side, how you sync it back to the server, the databases. None of these things bring value to the users or differentiate apps. Our SDKs make this dramatically easier for everyone.
I was originally building mobile apps myself. I was spending a lot of time building things over and over again, things that were quite hard and painful. It’s time that I could have spent on the actual user experience or the utility of my app. So I decided to build Parse. We’ve grown from one person to 24. Since day one, we’ve had 80K apps, 200M installed apps.
Generally, the community is very excited. All of our metrics are up and it’s been a really fun time.
It’s good news that things are going smoothly, and it’s clear that Facebook sees Parse as a huge part of its developer ecosystem push for the future. As far as new services, Sukhar says the team, which is still operating independently, speaks to developers about what should come next. One of the top features that gets requested is functionality around push notifications and offline mode.
The clear value for Facebook is that Parse’s platform could be the easiest way to urge developers to use Facebook ads. Once you get rid of complexity of building out a back-end for an app, you can pay attention to promoting your app more. Hopefully that promotion will come via Facebook, as Purdy mentioned Comscore’s findings that the site is the top way to discover new apps.
On whether less back-end worries will lead to more promotion, Sukhar said: “This is something we’ve heard: “Parse has done well for me to get things out to market, but now I need users.” We don’t have anything specific to announce today, but it’s clear that Facebook has the solution.”
Days after finalizing a $1.1 billion Tumblr acquisition, Yahoo has bought yet another company.
PlayerScale, a cross-platform game infrastructure startup that provides tools for games played by 150 million users on platforms such as iOS and Android, announced the acquisition on its site today. And — unlike recent Yahoo acquisitions like Astrid, CEO Jesper Jensen said that the company would continue to operate as it has, supporting over 2,600 developers and 4,000 games.
In fact, he added, PlayerScale is adding 400,000 users a day.
“With Yahoo’s backing, we can crank out awesome products and improvements to our platform faster than ever before,” Jensen said.
That would be a major change from recent Yahoo acquisitions such as Stamped, OnTheAir, Snip.it, Alike, Summly, Jybe, and Astrid, all of which have been shuttered or put on notice. But it makes sense, given PlayerScale’s volume of business and growth rates.
And, presumably it makes sense given Yahoo has now signaled a move into casual gaming on iOS, Android, Facebook, the web, and even Xbox.
PlayerScale’s platform helps game developers with pretty much everything they need to make their game platform work, except the game itself. It includes payments, chat, analytics, virtual currencies, distributed caching, authentication, social sign-on, leaderboards, localization, and more.
Here’s CEO Jesper Jensen’s announcement in full:
Today is a great day — both in our journey with PlayerScale and for users of our Player.IO product. We are happy to announce the next big step toward our goal of building the best possible gaming infrastructure platform: we have been acquired by Yahoo!. And don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. Our platform will continue to support the same great games that you love playing today … and in fact, it will only get better from here!
Our goal has always been to help developers build the best possible games, without having to worry about building and scaling the infrastructure required to operate today’s biggest successes. In working with the folks at Yahoo!, it has become clear that we share this passion.
We have spent the past four years growing a three-person startup into a product that powers games played by over 150 million people worldwide and we are adding over 400,000 new users every day. In the last four months alone, we have increased our daily user growth rate by almost sixty percent. With Yahoo!’s backing, we can crank out awesome products and improvements to our platform faster than ever before. We will continue to support our existing product and deliver new services to help you grow and manage your success in cross-platform gaming — whether it’s casual, social or mobile.
Today marks a milestone for PlayerScale and I want to sincerely thank the team, our developers and millions of users for the adventure so far and can promise there will be more to come.
- Jesper Jensen
Image credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat
Jawbone is doing something a lot of developers will probably be interested in, by opening up the UP fitness tracking wristband as a platform play, with an open API coming soon. Jawbone’s new version 2.5 update for the iOS UP app allows you to integrate with IFTTT, MapMyFitness, Withings, Sleepio, Wello, RunKeeper, Notch.me, Maxwell Health, Lose It!, and MyFitnessPal.
The new integrations mean that data gathered from those apps and devices like the Withings Smart Body Analyzer can now be pulled into the UP app itself, and combined with information gathered from the Jawbone wristband to provide a more complete picture of a user’s health. The IFTTT integration can be used to help you create your own motivational alerts when you’ve been inactive for too long, or to brag when you’ve blown past your daily step count goal.
The information from the UP can also go out to some specific apps, providing them with data on your sleep patterns and daily movement activity. And this is just the start: Jawbone is starting things off with a few select partners, but after that it intends to open up the API for any developers interested in building Jawbone UP integration into their own apps.
“We are now unstoppable in terms of leadership in today’s market,” explained Hosain Rahman, Jawbone CEO. “The platform we see the API is the first step of that; a limited set of partners with unique experiences, but the whole experience is much deeper.”
Jawbone made its reputation on building Bluetooth products like stereo headsets and earpieces, but then moved into audio equipment like the Jawbone speakers and health monitoring devices like the UP. Other competitors in the space have already moved to open up third-party integrations, like the Nike+ Fuelband, which plugs into Path and Lose It! Jawbone’s platform plans are much broader and deeper than the ones of some of its competitors, however, according to Rahman.
“A lot of these platform announcements like API releases are more PR than they are actual real developers on a platform building value for users,” he said. “We spent a lot of time sitting with developers, looking at what they can enable, what their data structure was, how to pull their experience back into UP, how you really create robustness around them, how to build APIs that work dependably and how we can make sure users can get this stuff.”
This should open the door for a much more holistic picture of personal health, available across a wide range of devices. Individually, these devices have been doing well, but the real opportunity is when apps and hardware start working with one another. Jawbone is taking a great first step towards that end with this API release, but it’ll be interesting to see how the UP platform handles normalizing a huge volume of data from a wide variety of partners in a way that doesn’t overwhelm individual users.
So, what do you think of my thought leadership?
Ugh. Really? When you speak or write in a forum that has audience and attention, the people who are giving you the platform have to sell you. In that, you have to be able to sell yourself to those people as well (so that they feel like you are worthy of their platform). It’s a strange balancing act between being humble about what you – as an individual – can bring to the table and your ability to self promote. Have you ever given a presentation? Have you ever sat in the audience (or to the side of the stage) and had everybody look at you while the host reads out an extended and self-promotional bio on you to hype up the audience? It has to be – without question – one of the hardest things I have to do. I just find the whole experience… embarrassing (or awkward). In those instances, I have been called everything from a guru, innovator, futurist, genius and yes, even a thought leader.
What is the point and value of thought leadership?
Candidly, if you ask me what I do, I say that I am President of Twist Image – a digital marketing agency. If pushed for more, I will say that I am a writer and a public speaker. No, that’s not my elevator pitch, it is the professional titles that I am most comfortable with. I can’t imagine ever calling myself a thought leader. On April 15th, 2013, DigiDay ran an interesting news item titled, Do Agencies Really Need ‘Thought Leaders’?. The article states: "’Thought leadership’ means different things to different people, of course, and the expectations of those in such positions vary from agency to agency. But ultimately, their responsibilities tend to boil down to a mix of research, education, and PR and marketing for the agency itself. Many see their roles as formulating and filtering information and ideas, and packaging them in a way that’s of value to the organization and its clients, or at least makes it appear like it’s up to speed… While agency staffers might not see specific value in it, the fact of the matter is that it’s always been there in one form or another. And based on that fact it looks like its here to stay.."
Well, I guess we’re thought leaders after all.
This DigiDay piece came at an interesting time. I had just finished reading Steve Woodruff‘s blog post titled, We Do Everything…Just Like Everybody Else!, where Woodruff chastises digital marketing agencies for rattling off a similar list of services in an attempt to be everything to everyone. His concern is valid because if everyone offers similar services, then it all becomes highly commoditized. The truth is this: unless you are a specialty shop – focused on one thin slice of the marketing pie – digital marketing does become (somewhat) commoditized. It’s hard not to look at a list of services or agency websites and not feel like you could toss these lists and all of the agency logos into the air and wherever they fell on the ground, it would still sound about right. We work in a highly technical space, but that technology is driven by three things: strategy, creativity and innovation. In fairness, without the thought leadership component, every agency is a commodity. What clients are buying when they engage a digital marketing agency is piece of mind. They are buying a new way of thinking and doing their digital marketing and, if the thinkers at the agency aren’t doing this from a position of industry leadership, then all is lost. In essence, there is no strategy, creativity and innovation without a deep layer of thought leadership.
Are you a thought leader?
The biggest reason why thought leadership has now become so serious (in terms of it being desperately needed by clients) and such a joke (in terms of people self-identifying themselves as thought leaders) is because of social media. Sure, we always had thought leaders in the marketing industry, but these people were, typically, the secret sauce/secret weapons. They were only trotted out to interface with clients and give them the confidence that the work that the agency was doing was their best work and that no other competitor had access to this type of brainpower. Occasionally, these individuals would appear in the industry trades or at events, but – for the most part – they were client-facing only. Now, with social media, these thinkers are blogging, podcasting, tweeting, on Facebook and more. They are public. They are sharing how they think (look no further than the work of Avinash Kaushik, Bryan Eisenberg, Nilofer Merchant, Charlene Li and many more). They are now "giving away the goods", as it were. And, by doing so, are building not only their practices but their personas and platforms. They are becoming celebrities within their industry. They are commanding significant speaking fees and still attracting impressive advances to write books, while helping their clients get results. In a sense, the uncoupling of these people may come off as bravado or chest thumping when, in reality, all of this publicness has led to a much steeper growth curve for their respective agencies and businesses.
There’s nothing wrong with thought leadership.
Finding comfort in these strange and awkward titles is never easy. If, as an individual, you are truly helping your business, your clients and the industry think, learn, grow and become more, then the title may just be applicable. My experience has been this: I could never call myself a thought leader, but if someone else feels like that’s what I am, I am flattered by it because it means that part of the work that I do (the work that is published and broadcasted) is finding an audience and connecting to it. The challenge comes when self-anointed thought leaders arrive, because it’s hard to be a leader if you are truly not leading anybody except a small group into believing that your resume is more impressive than it truly is.
What do you make of thought leadership as a professional designation in marketing?
Pinterest is continuously becoming a famous online platform to various brands, including non-profit organizations. They can use the online pinboard to connect with other people based on their “shared tastes and interest.”
Know Your Audience
Before you take the waters of Pinterest and start your campaign, it would be ideal to know who uses the service. According to MDGadvertising, 87% of Pinterest users are women with an average age span between 25 and 54.
Take advantage of this information by outlining your organization’s profile based on this demographic. This will enable you to provide an inviting content for Pinterest users. That way, it’ll be easy for you to get personal with your followers.
Give Your Organization a Face
Pinterest is an image-heavy platform. That being said, you can use this to give your organization a face and identity. Pin photos and videos that shows your staff, volunteers and the people who benefit from your organization. That way, you’re showing your followers that something can be achieved through your group, and that you’re more than just a name and a logo.
Connect with Other Non-profits
Since Pinterest is also considered as a social media, it means that this is not designed to hard sell your organization. Working with relevant non-profit groups is one way to build your online presence on the virtual pin board. This will help you connect with their followers, thus increasing your fan base too. Moreover, letting other people contribute on your board adds diversity on your content.
Start a Fund Raising Campaign
Having a Pinterest makes it easy for your organization to start a fund raising campaign. After pinning the image, just type the “$” sign with the price on the description box. The online pin board will automatically add a banner on the to-left corner of the image, and it’ll be added on the Gifts tab on the homepage.
Videos may not be that popular on Pinterest, but it can also provide a strong call to action for your campaign. It also adds emotion to your campaign that images sometimes can’t give. Your followers are most likely to help your organization if you have a compelling content like a short video presentation.
Using Pinterest may be a solitary action, but it is also a great tool to create a community around your orgranization. When used properly, it can serve as an extension for a non-profit group. What’s important is that you can create an online presence that’s inviting for your followers to share their stories, not just on your board, but also with relevant people.
Source: Pinterest Home Page
YoYo Games hopes to revolutionize the way that game developers make money from their games by making it easy to tap monetization and analytics services from within its cross-platform game development tools.
The integration of new services is part of a plan to promote GameMaker: Studio, the company’s cross-platform development tool which it sells to developers, as a lingua franca for making games. Those tools make it easy to publish games on any system and have them run at native performance speeds as if they were authored specifically to run on that particular platform. On top of this advantage, Dundee, Scotland-based YoYo Games also says it has taken the hassle out of adopting monetization and analytics services.
Now it’s a simple matter for developers to choose different monetization options and publish their games in a variety of app stores. That makes the process of making money from games more accessible, efficient, and scalable than ever before. It effectively lowers the barriers that stand in the way of making money on games.
“The challenge associated with monetizing games is one of the biggest concerns facing developers,” said Sandy Duncan, chief executive officer at YoYo Games. “In GameMaker: Studio, we’ve removed the technical limitations so that games developers can focus on creating great games and selecting the best monetization strategy with no additional resources required. It’s a win-win situation for developers as well as service providers who now have access to GameMaker: Studio’s large and rapidly growing community and the treasure trove of new intellectual properties they are creating.”
YoYo Games launched GameMaker: Studio as a $99 package for professional game developers in May. The tools are based on free versions of the GameMaker, which were originally released in 1999 by game creator Mark Overmars and have been downloaded more than 10 million times. For the past six years, YoYo Games has been working on beefed-up versions of the development tools so that they can be used to make games that can easily run across many different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Facebook, Android, iOS, HTML5, and Chrome. GameMaker has a community of half a million registered users and is offered in more than 5,000 schools.
YoYo Games has around 20 or so employees, including a number of people who previously worked at Realtime Worlds, creator of All Points Bulletin. Duncan said recently that the company would begin a new round of fundraising soon. Rivals include Spaceport.io, Z2Live, and Unity Technologies.
The free services upgrade will be available in GameMaker: Studio’s 1.1 Update coming in September. The company is showing the service at the Game Developers Conference Europe this week in Cologne, Germany.
“The integration of MoPub Marketplace into GameMaker: Studio is groundbreaking in that it gives thousands of developers easy access to the critical resources needed to successfully monetize their apps,” said Jim Payne, CEO and co-founder of MoPub. “Our real-time bidding exchange and scalable ad-serving platform are designed to give publishers the ultimate in control and transparency while tapping into new sources of demand which can ultimately result in more ad revenue from games.”
Filed under: games
Some consolidation up in the clouds: Colt Technology Services has bought ThinkGrid, an enterprise cloud startup that has created a platform for channel partners and small and medium businesses for them in turn to become cloud service providers.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it looks like it was a decent one for ThinkGrid’s investors: a spokesperson for Runa Capital, a VC backer of ThinkGrid, tells TechCrunch that it has made back 4.5 times what it invested in the company in October 2011 (that investment itself was for an undisclosed amount). The RNS statement for the deal notes that Fidelity Telecom (the non-trading name for ThinkGrid) had unaudited gross assets of £600,000, although this “does not reflect the transactional value of the acquisition,” a Colt spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The deal underscores the potential strength of the cloud and managed services business specifically in the area of SMBs, but also how Colt needs to focus more on that area to try to capitalize on it. Colt says this market is set to grow “15% annually during the coming years.” But in its last earnings statement, Colt also noted that “economic headwinds” were leading to lots of churn in data and voice services among its small business customers.
For the last six months ended June 30, Colt noted that its enterprise services revenues declined by €3.2m (1.1%) to €298.8m, “with declines in legacy Data and Voice services, particularly more commoditised offerings to smaller enterprise customers.” That was in turn offset by strong growth in Managed Service revenue, it said.
Services covered by the ThinkGrid platform include hosted virtual desktops, email, file sharing, cloud backup and voice services. ThinkGrid’s partner ecosystem already has 300 partners delivering public, private and hybrid cloud services and solutions for over 35,000 users. The deal will help ThinkGrid grow its business further. Publicly-traded Colt operates some 20 data centers and a business network across 22 countries in Europe, and has been around since 1992.
UK-based Colt has bought ThinkGrid to strengthen not only its cloud-services portfolio but the professional services it offers around it, specifically in the area of small and medium businesses.
Colt says ThinkGrid’s training programme, which helps develop resellers’ cloud capabilities, will be rolled out to Colt’s indirect sales team and channel partners. Colt says the deal will add 200 resellers and software vendors to its network in the UK.
“The acquisition of ThinkGrid further strengthens our position with the addition of a complementary range of cloud-based services,” noted François Eloy, EVP at Colt, in a statement announcing the deal. “We also gain a reseller-oriented management platform and portal which will reduce our time to market across our European markets. This acquisition allows us to extend our channel community to include skilled managed services resellers who will help us to accelerate our growth.”
LetsLunch.com is een nieuw online businessplatform, dat professionals aan elkaar koppelt om vervolgens een lunchafspraak te stimuleren. Op deze manier hoopt het platform professionals te helpen hun zakelijke netwerk uit te breiden. Katherine Kucherenko, betrokken bij de website, vertelt. Lees meer
There was a large amount of tweeting including the word ‘Farah’ before, during and after the 5000m race – this graph from (free Twitter tool) Twitscoop shows the spike:
|‘Mo Farah’ Twitscoop graph of related tweeting|
This became even more pronounced when TV screens around the world saw Usain Bolt joining in with the fun and ‘doing the Mobot’ to celebrate after his own race:
|Usain Bolt Mo Farah mobot tribute|
Twitter aggregated all of the Mo Farah content and highlighted it for users by including ‘Mo Farah’ in the list of Twitter Trends, but rather than being a standard Trend, ‘Mo Farah’ was highlighted at the top of the Trend list as a ‘Trending Event’:
|Twitter Trending event ‘Mo Farah’|
Clicking on this Twitter ‘Trending Event’ opened a page that pulled in Twitter content around ‘Mo Farah’ – images, videos, people and (of course) tweets:
|Twitter Mo Farah content|
Highlighting the different types of content relating to an event makes Twitter more useful / relevant, but also further fuels the conversation – people talk about what other people are talking about and the effect of ‘the rich get richer.’
Trending Events is clearly a Twitter development / experiment driven by the mass interest in the Olympics, but it will be interesting to see where this goes afterwards – does it mean Twitter becomes even more of a content aggregator / platform as well as a platform for conversation?
(and well done Mo Farah!)
DaWanda is een online marktplaats voor unieke, handgemaakte producten.Sophie van Rooij, country manager van DaWanda, vertelt. Lees meer