The route to answering the big questions these days—like, soda or pop?—is to grab a bunch of data from Twitter and analyze it. Which is exactly what Edwin Chen, a data scientist at Twitter, decided to do.
In the map above (click for a larger image) blue is soda, green pop and red coke. Chen explains how he went about the task:
To make this map, I sampled geo-tagged tweets containing the words “soda”, “pop”, or “coke”, performed some state-of-the-art NLP technology to ensure the tweets were soft drink related (e.g., the tweets had to contain “drink soda” or “drink a pop”), and filtered out coke tweets that were specifically about the Coke brand (e.g., Coke Zero).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the word “soda” is dominant on the coasts, “pop” in the midwest, and “coke” in the southeast. What’s interesting around the world map, however, is seeing that outside the US—particularly in Europe—the word “coke” has penetrated culture in a way that the words “pop” and “soda” haven’t. While that not only shows consumerism is alive and well, it’s also a nice little reminder of the power of Twitter data to not only provide hard numbers, but cultural insight, too. [Edwin Chen via Flowing Data]
In case you somehow missed it, today is an important milestone in technology nostalgia: it’s the fifth anniversary of the original iPhone’s launch. We’ll let you explore the memories of that insane day on your own terms, but ComScore has produced a visual breakdown of just how ownership has grown and shifted over the years. It’s not hard to see that adoption has been on an accelerating curve, especially after the 2010 launch of the Retina display-toting iPhone 4: as of this past May, about three quarters of owners have either the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S. And the 2007 edition? Only two percent of all iPhone owners are still actively holding on to the aluminum-clad debut model, which suggests most would rather have Siri than reminisce. Whether you’re a fan or have since moved on to a competitor, the chart is a reminder of just how far one of Steve Jobs’ biggest projects has come.
Social image-sharing site Pinterest, which is the toast of Silicon Valley and the VC world, has passed 10 million users after only 9 months.
TechCrunch reports that it got exclusive stats from ComScore showing that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in January 2011. That’s up from only 7.5 million in December…and a scant 418,000 last May.
That’s the fastest growth ever for a standalone site.
Users aren’t spending that much time at the site — about 90 minutes a month, compared with 7 hours for Facebook. But it’s clear that Pinterest is a huge phenomenon.
Most interesting, it took off among non-techies first. That’s a great reminder for startups trying to stand out — the world is a lot bigger than your friends who work at tech companies. Sometimes, you have to get outside the bubble.
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Gift cards are the laziest, lousiest, most convenient, popular and widely given present. And this is your yearly reminder of just how much they stink. Since 2005, we’ve tossed out more value in gift cards than the entire GNP of Ghana.
$41 billion is pretty hard to defend. We’re lazy; we have things to do; we… didn’t really want the damn things in the first place. Things have gotten a little better over the past few years, since the Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act passed in 2009, but in 2011 there are already $2 billion in unused cards. That’s down from $8 billion in 2007, but still, $2 billion a massive amount of waste.
According to TowerGroup, which provided the gift card data, 85 percent of gift cards are used within 65 days. After that? Not so great. So do yourself a favor and get out there and actually spend the money your generous but highly inconsiderate family members gifted to you this holiday season. [ABC News]
This chart from The Economist shows just how correlated popular interest in gold and market craziness are.
A great reminder that market data has a broad definition and comes from diverse sources.
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Sure, Microsoft may have given away its lead and legacy in mobile and probably jumped into too many hyper-competitive sectors, but they still have the widest reach in technology. And they’re still pretty damn successful.
In recent years, Microsoft may be a step or two behind, but they’re relevant in nearly every sector. And with Office 2010, a new Xbox 360, Kinect, and perhaps most importantly, Windows Phone 7, all receiving substantial upgrades this year, 2010 is shaping up to be absolutely huge for them. And that’s coming off a 2009 where Windows 7, Bing and the Zune HD were introduced. We’re just so used to Microsoft being around that we sort of take them for granted for all the good that they do.
So Microsoft revealed some numbers to serve as a reminder:
• 150 million Windows 7 licenses sold
• 7.1 million projected iPad sales in 2010
• 58 million projected netbook sales in 2010
• 355 million projected PC sales in 2010
• less than 10% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2008
• 96% of US netbooks ran Windows in 2009
• 16 million subscribers to the largest 25 US daily newspapers
• 14 million Netflix subscribers
• 23 million Xbox live subscribers
• 173 million Gmail users
• 284 million Yahoo Mail users
• 360 million Windows Live Hotmail users
• $5.7 billion Apple net income for fiscal year ending in Sept 2009
• $6.5 billion Google net income for fiscal year ending in Dec 2009
• $14.5 billion Microsoft net income for fiscal year ending in June 2009
Yes, they’re patting themselves on the back a bit but the numbers are just staggering. If you’ve forgotten, now you know: Microsoft will always be a very, very big deal. [Official Microsoft Blog via Bits]
They don’t come as much of a surprise, but with all the talk of Android’s surging popularity and explosive app growth, Nielsen’s numbers do serve as a reminder that Apple still has a comfortable lead. Versus Android, that is—nationally, the iPhone’s still in second place, with a 28% market share compared to RIM’s 35% (Android has 9%; Windows Mobile has 19%).
But it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the course of the year. With the new iPhone dropping in a matter of weeks, prospective smart phone buyers (23% of U.S. mobile customers now have them) will be faced with the choice of hopping on the Apple wagon or exploring the multitude of Android options. As Matt noted in his Froyo review, Android is as polished as it’s ever been and is likely to improve even more in coming months. And while it’s hard to top the iPhone hype machine, reception to early versions of iPhone OS 4 hasn’t exactly been rapturous.
Another Nielsen graph shows that both platforms enjoy loyal users—80% of iPhone users want another iPhone; 70% of Android users want another Android phone—with Android’s group slightly more curious about the iPhone than the other way around. But in my experience, it seems like things are trending to the opposite. With Android’s app offerings increasingly matching up with the iPhone’s, I’m seeing more and more people considering Android a viable option for themselves, as well as one they can recommend to others.
Though still on top, Blackberry’s loyalty is only 47%, and as current Bold owner, I’m definitely of the 53% that’s planning on jumping ship when it comes time to buy my next phone. I’m just not sure what ship I want to jump into. [Nielsen via CNET]
Whether or not you think the iPad is in and of itself a worthy purchase, let’s not forget the investment doesn’t end at the retail counter or online shopping cart. Two little newsbits have popped up to serve as a helpful reminder to just that effect. The first comes way of verbiage from the iPad end-user licensing agreement dug up by MacRumors; in a nutshell, it suggests that while iPad OS 4.x updates will be provided gratis, subsequent releases (5.x, 6.x, and so on) could be offered at a premium, à la how iPod touch handles firmware. This is far from a confirmation, but it’s well within Apple’s right to do so. The second bit is derived by The Consumerist by way a supposed leaked app store video. Comparing the prices of iPad-optimized software with the iPhone equivalents showed quite a hefty uptick in consumer cost — e.g., $4.99 Flight Control HD vs. $0.99 Flight Control. The pool of eight apps seen in the video would cost $53 in all to purchase, while the same set for the iPhone is $27. That screen real estate don’t come cheap, y’know — that is, should the prices seen prove legit. At this point we can’t confirm, and more than likely, we won’t know for sure until the eleventh hour.
Update: The BBC has word direct from developers that iPad apps will indeed be costlier than their iPhone / iPod touch brethren. Multiple devs are cited in the Beeb‘s article saying that their 99 cent apps will grow in price to $1.99 and $2.99 price points for the slate device [thanks, Ben].
iPad’s trailing costs: like the iPod touch, only bigger (updated) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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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