They have 1 billion users, but that’s not Facebook’s only amazing statistic. There are a lot more, starting with a staggering 1.13 trillion likes. One point thirteen trillion likes, people. It’s crazy. Here are the rest of their stats, compiled since the first day of Facebook:
Over 1.13 trillion likes
since launch in February 2009. Wow.
140.3 billion friend connections
to one billion total users. Is everyone connected to everyone or what, Kevin Bacon?
219 billion photos.
These are photos actually in the system, not including the deleted ones. They believe they have had 265 billion photos in their servers since fall 2005. Flickr is weeping.
17 billion location-tagged posts,
including check-ins as of September 10, 2012—since August 2010.
210,000 years of music played so far.
62.6 million songs that have been played 22 billion times. The most staggering fact about this: their music-listening app only started in September 2011 and this data is from September 11, 2012.
More useless but neat facts:
• Facebook says that the median age of the user is about 22 years.
• The top five countries, in alphabetical order, where people connected from since the 1 billion user record was achieved: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.
• Of that 1 billion, there are 600 million mobile users. Not bad.
Retailer Urban Outfitters had its first ever annual analyst day today.
You can listen to the whole presentation here, but about halfway through CIO Calvin Hollinger makes some interesting comments about the future of point-of-sales systems in retail.
Specifically, the company is going all Apple devices for its stores. Sales people will have iPod touches, and cash registers are being phased out in favor of iPads on a swivel.
In fact, he says: “Two or three weeks ago, we placed our very last register order… once we make sure this ipad works.. all stores will be equipped with iPod touches and iPads.”
iPads, he explained, cost about 1/5th as much as a cash register, and can be used for so much. As shown in the picture, they can be turned towards the customer, who can view content, put in personal information, use it as a gift registry and so forth.
What’s more, it makes a lot more sense from a space usage standpoint. An iPad on a swivel that’s not in use can quickly be taken off, with that space being used for packing or more merchandising or anything else.
Zappos Labs, the research arm of the Zappos online apparel site, has been experimenting with Pinterest—and the results are not encouraging.
Will Young, director of Zappos Labs, told Bloomberg that Pinterest users are far more likely to share a purchase than Twitter or Facebook users—but that shared items generate far less revenue than Twitter or Facebook.
This is a big problem for Pinterest, because the whole idea of the site is that it’s supposed to be better at monetizing social activity than Twitter or Facebook.
Young told Bloomberg that Zappos customers were 13 times likelier to share an item they bought with friends on Pinterest than on Twitter, and 8 times likelier than on Facebook.
But a post on Twitter generated far more revenue—$33.66 an order—than Facebook, at $2.08 an order, or Pinterest, at 75 cents an order.
That’s great news for Twitter, which will surely tout these figures as it makes a push for retail advertisers.
But it’s kind of bad news for Pinterest, which recently raised $100 million at a $1.5 billion valuation on the premise that its site—which is all about sharing beautiful images of things to buy—should be good at this kind of social commerce.
It’s not great news for Facebook, either, which has ambitions to make commerce a bigger part of the site than it is today.
A Pi nterest spokesperson whom we alerted to the study promised to look into it. We’ll update if we hear more.
One note: Amazon owns Zappos and Amazon.com is a rival of Rakuten a Japanese e-commerce giant that is also is an investor in Pinterest.
Startup Hipmunk is taking legal action against i2z Technology over a patent dispute.
The patent in question, No. 5,345,551, is one that allows for content to be displayed on numerous windows.
Hipmunk is suing the company after i2z initially stated Hipmunk was infringing on its patent and demanded a licensing agreement.
The other company, i2z Technology, is a shell business located in Texas and run by a lawyer based out of California, according to GigaOm.
The company doesn’t appear to provide any service or product but instead gathers patents in order to make money through licensing or litigation—what’s known in the business as a “non-practicing entity,” or, less politely, a “patent troll.”
This request came right after Hipmunk secured $15 million in funding.
The travel startup, which allows users to search for flights and hotels, didn’t take the bait. It says that i2z Technology has tried to pull this stunt with other companies, including Yelp, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and many others.
In its lawsuit, Hipmunk states, “the products and services on its travel search site do not infringe, contribute to the infringement of, or induce others to infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the ’551 patent, either directly or indirectly, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.”
Hipmunk’s lawsuit shouldn’t come as a surprise to people familiar with the startup. One of the advisors, Alexis Ohanian, is an outspoken advocate for internet freedom and in the past has protested against SOPA. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him take on patent reform.
Check out the lawsuit in its entirety:
Gesture control as we know it is rudimentary at best. But a new San Francisco startup called Leap Motion has just announced a new 3D motion control system that its claims is 200 times more accurate than anything else on the market—and it’s set to cost just $70.
CNET reports that Leap Motion’s technology uses a small USB input device—though the company doesn’t reveal what kinds of sensors it uses—and some sophisticated software in order to provide accuracy of around a hundredth of a millimeter. That means that their gesture control system can handle touch-style gestures, like pinch-to-zoom. Leap Motion plans to launch the device early next year.
The device monitors a space four cubic feet in size, and can deftly track individual finger tips, the whole hand, or inanimate objects. It’s well worth watching the video to get a feel for how it works—because it’s really impressive. In particular, the gestures we’ve come to expect on touch-screen devices look incredibly smooth.
It’s immediately obvious that there are some applications that it would be well suited to—for, say, the likes of surgeons or engineers—but at $70 it will no doubt land in a lot of homes. Including mine. Michael Buckwald, Leap Motion CEO, explained to CNET:
“We want there to be world-changing applications that fundamentally transform how people interact with their operating system or browse the Web…. The goal is to fundamentally transform how people interact with computers and to do so in the same way that the mouse did, which means that the transformation affects everyone, both from the most basic use case all the way up to the most advanced use cases you can imagine for computing technology.”
While Kinect piqued the world’s interest in gesture control, it’s always been relatively clunky. Whether it’s Leap Motion or some other manufacturer that finally releases a fine-grained system to market, at least this evidence suggests that it won’t be long before it’s actually useful. [CNET]
PepsiCo’s plan to increase profit margins for its Tropicana orange juice is simple: Just add water. Apparently some consumers are already doing that on their own, in order to get a less-thick or lower-calorie beverage. “They themselves add water before drinking OJ,” a PepsiCo exec tells Bloomberg. “So why not add the water ourselves and charge for it?” Tropicana lost market share to Coca-Cola Co.’s Minute Maid and Simply Orange brands after PepsiCo repackaged its juice three years ago.
Now, instead of continuing to compete in the 100% juice category, PepsiCo will focus on different products with higher profit margins. One such product—Trop50, which contains 42% orange juice and uses a low-calorie stevia-based sweetener—has already been successful. Says the exec, “We have lost perspective here on the primary reason we are in business, which is to make money.” Consumers will always know what they’re getting, thanks to strict FDA juice labeling guidelines.
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Amazon just kicked off a new TV campaign for the Kindle Fire, which it doubtless hopes will further dent sales of Apple’s iPad. But Kindle has a long way to go before it starts threatening the iPad as a device for serving online ads to consumers.
Data from Rimm-Kaufmann Group, an online marketing agency, show that the iPad maintains its total dominance of the tablet market when it comes to ad traffic. Kindle is slowly making progress, but it only has 3.48 percent of the market to iPad’s 88.1 percent.
iPad had a 93.44 percent share of the market late last year, so share is being traded quickly in this category.
With iPad 3 on the way, even those small gains for Kindle may be in jeopardy.
When it comes to ad performance, the iPad also has a significant edge. If you index the data to the average ad displayed on a desktop computer, ads on iPad get 10 percent more revenue per click, the same level of overall clicks, and a greater average order value.
All the other tablets, including Kindle, perform much worse than ads displayed on PCs.
iPad dominates ad traffic on tablets, but its dominance is slipping.
The Kindle is gaining share of ad traffic the fastest against the iPad.
But the iPad is still the most effective tablet device by far, for advertisers.
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The banking industry often employs two-step security measures—similar to Google Authenticator—as an added layer of protection against password theft and fraud. Unfortunately, those systems have just been rendered moot by a highly-advanced hack.
The attack, know as the Man in the Browser method, works like this. Malicious code is first introduced onto the victim’s computer where it resides in the web browser. It will lay dormant until the victim visits a specific website—in this case, his bank’s secure website. Once the user attempts to log in, the malware activates and runs between the victim and the actual website. Often the malware will request that the victim enter his password or other security pass into an unauthorized field, in order to “train a new security system.” Once that happens, the attacker has full access to the account.
Luckily, the method is only a single-shot attack. That is, the attacker is only able to infiltrate the site once with the user-supplied pass code. But, once in, the attacker can hide records of money transfers, spoof balances and change payment details. “The man in the browser attack is a very focused, very specific, advanced threat, specifically focused against banking,” Daniel Brett, of malware testing lab S21sec, told the BBC.
Since this attack has shown that the two-factor system is no longer a viable defense, the banking industry may have to adopt more advanced fraud-detection methods similar to what secure credit cards. When compared to having your account silently drained, standing in line for the teller suddenly doesn’t seem like that much of a hassle. [BBC News via Technology Review]
Image: jamdesign / Shutterstock
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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