Groupon is on tear today for some reason.
The stock was up as much as 24%, and we’re not sure why.
The only thing we can think of is that there’s new news about CEO Andrew Mason, but we haven’t heard anything.
NPD research published some horrible news for Microsoft yesterday.
- Despite releasing an entirely new operating system on October 22 of this year, Windows PC sales shrank 21% between 10/21 and 11/17 versus the same period last year.
- Windows 8 tablet sales during that period were “almost nonesistent” – just 1% of all Windows 8 sales.
“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD, told the New York Times. “It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.”
Yesterday, we reported other bad news:
- Asus CFO David Chang’s comments that “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”
- Microsoft cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million.
This is a very scary time for Microsoft.
As you can see, subscriber growth has been just about flat for the last two years. This is good news because it means people aren’t ditching pay TV in droves. But it’s bad news because it means the industry is stuck.
Google search results are like the old beat up recliner of the internet. Your butt’s always there, and if anything changes, you notice. Well, Google changed the way its search results look. It’s a relatively small change, but you’re going to notice.
The biggest difference is that the bar along the left hand side of your searches is gone. This is where you used to break your search down into News, or whatever else. That function is now at the top of your results, along with the also relocated Search Tools. Search Tools moving means you don’t have those two butt ugly calendars with custom dates in your line of sight, which is a plus. This change has been live a day or two, and should only be a negative if you’re running a ton of searches (it’s been killing me).
Google is also featuring information from Google’s Knowledge Graph for popular searches, like “barack obama”, “mitt romney”, and “presidential election”, for example. So! Google’s a little prettier, and it’s rearranged the furniture a bit. Seems like a nice, small change, right? [BuzzFeed]
Facebook might have found a way to get people to use a long-neglected feature: check-ins, where you announce to your friends where you are.
It is testing a new service that offers local businesses free Wi-Fi through a router. To get online, customers must either check in using Facebook or get a passcode.
Facebook will provide the router for free, but businesses must pay for the Internet connection.
How does this help businesses? The check-in offers two chances for them to get free promotion on Facebook.
When users check in, they post their location with the business’s name on their Timeline and on friends’ News Feeds.
After they check in and get access, they’re directed to the business’s Facebook page. If they click Like on that page, that action also gets broadcast.
Facebook, in turn, can try to get the business to buy ads that make these check-ins and Likes more prominent in the News Feeds of customer’s friends.
In order to access Facebook Wi-Fi, customers must first check in to the local business. After checking in, the router directs you to the business’s Facebook page, which may have deals or discounts.
Facebook tells us this actually started as a hackathon project. That’s why they’re only testing the service at a few local businesses for now. Back-of-the-envelope math suggests it would take a lot of ad spending to earn back the cost of the router.
In theory, this might be a threat to Foursquare, whose mobile app centers around check-ins. A lot of people worried about Foursquare when Facebook first launched check-ins in 2010.
But the real problem that Facebook and Foursquare seem to face is apathy. Only 10 percent of adults use check-in services, according to a Pew Internet study conducted in May. For smartphone users, the number is a little higher at 18 percent. But so far, the prospect of deals and discounts hasn’t proved compelling for most people.
Even Foursquare has started talking about how people use its app without checking in to find local information.
Maybe free Wi-Fi will prove a better incentive.
According to the survey, 78 percent of likely voters polled had positive views of the way that the president has handled the “super storm” – a number that includes two-thirds of Romney’s supporters. In contrast, just 44 percent of those surveyed had a net positive view of how the Republican candidate responded to the storm.
The chart below breaks down those results:
It is too early to tell, however, if that support for Obama will affect his overall standing in the race. The results of the four-day tracking survey include only one night of interviews with voters after the storm hit, so we will have to wait for Thursday and Friday’s results to see if the storm has any real effect on the dynamics of the presidential race.
Overall, Obama and Romney are tied, 49% to 49%, among likely voters. Those numbers are consistent with the rest of the poll’s results, which have shown the race between one point since daily tracking began on October 18.
The reason Facebook tanked after its IPO is that revenue growth decelerated for the past several quarters.
That’s not good for a story with Facebook’s revenue and profit multiples. It needs to be growing very fast.
So it was very good news for Facebook today, when it reported earnings that showed the company has finally stabilized revenue growth – 32% last quarter and 32% this quarter. You can see this in the chart below.
What this chart doesn’t show is the even better news that Facebook has actually re-accelerated its advertising revenues – up to 32% y/y this quarter from 28% y/y last quarter.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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