On Twitter Usage

According to comScore, Twitter reached 91.5 mn* monthly unique visitors in March, up +216% yoy, which implies 1Q average monthly uniques of 59.2 mn (+95% yoy vs. 4Q growth of +31%). For reference, in February comScore reported 43.2mn monthly mobile uniques (+38% yoy) versus 86.8mn uniques (+177% yoy) under the new methodology which now includes secure connections. On Twitter mobile app traffic alone, uniques reached 34.4mn in March, up +49% yoy, which implies 1Q average mobile app uniques of 33.9mn (+50% yoy vs. 4Q growth of +42%). For reference, the 4Q comScore monthly mobile uniques was 38.3 mn, which compares to Twitter’s disclosed 54.0 mn monthly active users in the US in 4Q, of which 76% or 41.0 mn users accessed from a mobile device. (From Goldman Sachs research report.)

Earlier this morning I tweeted that “according to @comScore, @Twitter had 91.5 million monthly active users in Mar’14 up +216% yoy vs Feb 2014 43.2mn MAUs.” Actually that was not correct. It was 91.5 million monthly unique visitors and I mixed things up. Apologies for sending that erroneous tweet.


* mn = Million

[Video] The Age of Experience

A few weeks ago, when clearing out my Pocket read/watch list, I ended up coming across Aral Balkan’s wonderful talk, Superheroes & Villains in Design. He was speaking at UK’s Thinking Digital Conference. His talk was focused on the concept of experience design, something that is very near and dear to my heart. We even made it the main focus of our Roadmap conference in 2013 (and this year we are going to take the next step — stay tuned for details.)

Aral is currently working on IndiePhone, an entity that is building an operating system (indie OS), a cloud (indie Cloud) and an indie Phone. He plans to get this out into the market by 2016. (Check out his Free is a Lie talk as well.) If you are too impatient to sit through the entire video, below the fold you are going to find seven slides (from the talk) that sum-up essentially Aral’s sentiments. I tell you, you are going to miss out on a good one if you try and be hasty.

Read the rest of this entry »

Running a business is very simple

“Companies don’t die because their business model is flawed. No, they die when they stop wanting to improve, or stop being aware of the needs of their customers. Running a business is actually very simple.”

Brunello Cucinelli, the king of cashmere on his company, business ethics and what makes it all tick. This is from an old interview (2003) and no web link to the original source.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, R.I.P.

The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.

Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away at the age of 87. A wonderful writer, who influenced many of us in other parts of the world before there was the Internet, Marquez was a true internationalist before that phrase actually had a meaning. More importantly, he was a man who clearly knew that words are work, and work is words. He might be dead, but he lives with his words. His one quote is something I often think about: “No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing.”

Marquez was a great journalist and let’s pay homage to him by reading this wonderful interview with him in The Paris Review. There is more from The Paris Review, that is worth reading, but start with the interview.

Photo is an artwork by WorkbyKnight via Deviant Art. It perhaps is the best depiction of Mr. Marquez and words.

Single Author Blogs

“You see all these sites coming out that are basically just recreating the old newspaper or magazine model. It used to be when I saw a 538 link I would click on every time, because I knew what to expect — but that’s been diluted now. There’s something really powerful about single-author sites that you don’t get anywhere else.” — Ben Thompson


The Great Facebook Unbundling

“I think on mobile, people want different things. Ease of access is so important. So is having the ability to control which things you get notifications for. And the real estate is so small. In mobile there’s a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences.” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO & co-founder in conversation with The New York Times.

The great unbundling has finally arrived on the Facebook shores. Full marks to Mark for being willing to self-unbundle versus letting others do it for them. I wrote about this in my Fast Company column, The Facebook Backlash.

The retail industry as a whole vacillates between complex and simple, evolving from the single-product peddler to the general store, from the opulence of the department store to the curated experience of a specialty boutique. The Internet and its social services, like shopping, are supposed to be about more than just a transaction; they are about fun and emotional gratification. If Facebook is Bloomingdale’s, then Snapchat and Instagram are the new boutiques. Expect this trend to continue for a few years—because that’s what we want from the Internet. For now! (From Fast Company)

So far, despite their gargantuan size and massive audience, Facebook had to resort to buying Instagram and WhatsApp in order to prevent them from stealing attention (minutes) away from Facebook.

Paper and Home were new introductions and have flopped. Graph Search is something I have never even considered using — forgotten. Messenger is an app based on existing behavior that they are forcing people to shift to a separate app — not such a bad thing. In other words, Facebook has failed to invent any new behaviors or even innovate on the behaviors that were commonplace on the service. For instance, Poke is a grand-pappy of Snapchat.

The big challenge for Facebook like all big companies — and yes it is a really big company now — is that it has many conflicting demands and as such it doesn’t have the luxury of a singular focus like a startup has.

The new Facebook Creative Labs — a euphemism for let’s throw everything at the wall and see what might stick so we can keep our design/creative/product teams happy — is not such a bad way for the company to try new things, but can they continue to keep people in a world where an app like Secret can go from zero to raising almost $9 million in a few months. If it works, the payoff is pretty huge for the app starters. If they fail — acquhire is a nice safety net.

Here is what Mathew Ingram has to say about the unbundling: “Facebook is one of the few large companies that seems to have taken Steve Jobs’ approach to heart: namely, the need to disrupt yourself before others do so (as Apple did with the iPhone and iPad). It’s true that most of Facebook’s experiments have failed to set the world on fire, but that doesn’t make them not innovative. Innovation also means trying and failing.”

What I am reading today

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