Monetizing the Social Platform

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Articles, Blogs, Industry

How many people do you know who don’t use Facebook or anyother form of social media platform – Xing, Google+, Instagram…etc? I think you can count them on your fingertips, and I can’t discount parents and grandparents because my folks are on Facebook too!

Over the last few years, these platforms found a way to integrate into our social scenes, and I find them to be BRILLIANT tools. A bit intrusive at times, but mostly very useful. I recently found out through Facebook that one of my favorite professors from my business program was visiting Dubai. That was a reunion worth a million bucks. Thank you, Facebook. And I’m not the only one who believes that. Daniel Kirkpatrick’s book about Facebook is littered with success stories of how people have met or found each other after several years.

But this blog entry isn’t about general social media reunions. Instead I thought I’d discuss how companies are moving beyond setting up these platforms – more specifically, the monetization of social media and how to make money off the very popular platforms.

It is akin to the government first providing us with roads and then installing toll gates to monetize them. Another potential example could be of how some hotels provide Wi-Fi to differentiate but then charge for it at a later stage. As a frequent traveler I expect Wi-Fi to be a utility like water and electricity – included in the room rate.

Facebook (used as an example purely) introduced several new features since its IPO that seek to make money from the platform. I was both amused and disappointed when I found out about the Pay to Promote mechanism where corporate FB pages have to pay for a message to cover 100% of their existing fan base. Amused and disappointed because companies spend a lot of money advertising to build a fan base only to learn that they have to pay several times to reach out to the same fan base.

Games by Zynga and other developers have become a very popular pastime (I find it quite irritating to see my newsfeed littered with play requests from my friends) and they embody the monetization of the platform spirit. Initially the games start as free-to-play, but once addicted, players are asked to fork out real cash to get extra bonuses or advantages.

I recently read about Facebook testing a system where users pay $1 to message people not on their friends list – as a trial, users could send Mark Zuckerberg’s inbox a message for $100!!! But isn’t Facebook about messaging YOUR Friends, i.e., the existing ones? Maybe there is a business sense in messaging strangers?

This is similar to Linkedin’s Inmail service, which I profess that I use as a valuable business tool, but I wonder if Facebook will start charging to even see the profiles of people not yet in my friends list. Or ask users to pay to download high res pictures from your friend’s profile to print on a 4×6 inch photographic paper. The funniest thing would be if Facebook (or any other platform) started charging for every time you login. I bet that would be a natural dampener for anyone using office time to log on to check his/her FB status.

Manish Punjabi, Marketing Manager (MENA) at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied

Samsung Galaxy Camera

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Product of the Week

The Galaxy Camera combines high performance photography with the Android platform and mobile internet connectivity. The result is a powerful point and shoot camera with a familiar, intuitive user interface. It’s a whole new kind of camera that doesn’t just capture smiles, it lets you use voice commands, share images and videos instantly and take full advantage of the Android 4.1, Jelly Bean platform.

Check out our review of Samsung Galaxy Camera to see what makes it so good.

Apple could get $1bn from Google next year for being default search engine

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Apple, News, Smartphones, Software

Having Google as the default search engine on Safari in your iOS device means a lot of money trading hands. And despite Apple and Google being fierce competitors  if someone is paying you up to $1 billion just to allow their service to be used on your devices, it’s hard to say no.

Financial analyst Scott Devitt from Morgan Stanley, is reported by Tech Crunch shwoing the amount of money Google gives Apple for being their default search engine on Safari on all iOS devices could be $1 billion for the next year. It seems that the price is calculated on the number of units sold. From 2011 to 2012 the charge per unit went from $3 to $3.2, and for this year and the next the estimate is a marginal increase going from $3.3 per unit in 2013 to $3.5 per unit in 2014.

Of course, this rate can go up or down depending on how well Android devices, Samsung in particularly, are going to do this year and the next. And companies paying for search engine defaults is nothing new. Google also pays Mozilla for being their default search engine, estimated to give them $400 million for 2014. Meanwhile Microsoft also has deals setup with Nokia and BlackBerry to use Bing as their default search engines.

BenQ unveils world’s first full-HD short-throw projector

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under News

At a press event yesterday in Dubai, BenQ unveiled its full lineup of projectors available in the region, in addition to focusing on two new models, the W1080ST and W1070. The W1080ST is the world’s first full HD short-throw projector, that is capable of projecting a 100-inch screen from a distance of just 1.5 meters. It also supports multiple connectivity options and is powerful enough to use during day and night time lighting conditions. Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East & Africa, commented that this year will mark an increased push from BenQ to highlight their projectors in the market, in a time where a lot of consumers are looking at investing in a home cinema experience.

Press Release: Dubai, UAE, 12th February 2012 – BenQ, the global leader in DLP® projector market introduces their latest creation, the world’s first Full-HD short-throw video projector, the W1080ST and the W1070. BenQ which is currently at No. 2 market position with a 13.23% market share in the Middle East and Africa region is a most trusted name in short-throw projector segment as well as has a complete home entertainment and cinema product line-up.

“BenQ has always been at the forefront in bringing more enjoyment to users’ viewing experience. This year, our R&D has combined short-throw technology with Full-HD video projector to level-up home cinema entertainment,” said Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East & Africa.

“The launch of W1080 ST and W1070 will strengthen our 3D Full-HD video projectors in the region. We are optimistic that BenQ will continue to lead the projector market in the Middle East as we bring new products with digital lifestyle innovations,” Bakshi added.

The BenQ W1080ST, the first short-throw Full-HD video projector is able to project 100 inch big screen in just 1.5meter which gives big screen fun in any limited space. With ISF certification, supporting multiple 3D forms, a brightness of 2000 ANSI lumen, and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, W1080ST presents an excellent image quality. Together with Rich connectivity including 2 HDMI ports, built-in 10W speakers and SmartEco power saving feature also make W1080ST a perfect home entertainment projector. The W1070 entails all the superior specs as the W1080ST minus the short throw capability.

The world’s first Full-HD short-throw video projector
As the world’s first Full HD short-throw video projector, the BenQ W1080ST provides a 65” image at a distance of just one meter, and a 100” image at a distance of 1.5 meter, without image obstruction or shadows on the screen, ideal in any situation, but particularly important when for use with motion sensing games.

Brilliant Image Performance
With a brightness of 2,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, the W1080ST & W1070 showcases Full-HD content in a sharp, 1080p definition image. Blu-ray video, console games and HD broadcasting are displayed in beautiful, high-contrast quality without any downscaling or compression. The two models have ISF Certified Calibration Controls with Day & Night modes and can adapt to the layout and size of any room and any ambient light level. Moreover, the projector also supports different 3D formats and with an HDMI connection, consumers can easily experience the virtual reality of 3D movies and games.

Easy setup
There is no need for setting up with Hi-Fi or external speakers. The W1080ST & W1070 have a built-in 10W speaker that makes setup easy and is free of annoying wires or cables. However, rich connectivity (HDMI x 2, Composite Video in (RCA), S-Video in (Mini DIN 4pin), Component Video in, Audio L/R in (RCA), USB, RS232 (DB-9pin), DC 12V Trigger, etc.) meets all the demands of the home user for different Audio & Video devices.

World-Leading SmartEco™ Technology, Green up your living room
BenQ’s SmartEco technology has provided a perfect DLP projector for use in home entertainment. This special innovation, can save up to 70% of lamp power consumption and lower maintenance costs through its dynamic power saving features while still bringing an ultra-vivid picture quality to your living room.

Among the BenQ video projectors already available in the market are W7000+, the first projector in the world to be accredited with the TUV Rheinland 3D Full HD Certification; and W710ST, world’s first short throw HD-ready home theatre projector. The W7000+ is also compatible with the latest HDMI standard allowing to directly play 3D movies from a Blu-ray DVD player, live sports via cable or satellite and 3D video games on PlayStation 3 without additional setup. It is also packed with BrilliantColor™, Texas Instrument’s DynamicBlack™, and Philip’s VIDI™ lamp technology to deliver a 50000:1 high contrast ratio, and 2000AL to render high quality images.

Meanwhile, the W710ST projector’s unique lens design can deliver 63-inch of cinema quality projection at just one metre allowing users to view any movies or enjoy any motion-control game even in small spaces. It also has a built-in 10W big speaker and can transform any audio-visual entertainment with industry-leading 3D technologies, DLP Link™ and NVIDIA 3D® Vision™.

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