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Google Play growing fast: survey
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Dec 20, 2012


Google's online Play shop of applications for Android-powered smartphones or tablets is growing fast, a report released Thursday by market tracker Distimo said.

The aggregate daily revenue at Google Play shops across the 20 largest countries where they are available climbed 43 percent during the past four months, while sales at Apple's online App Store increased 21 percent.

"Google Play is just starting to rival the Apple App Store in a few countries on a worldwide scale, even though it is still losing in terms of daily revenues," Distimo said in the report.

Apple's App Store catering to its iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices took in more than $15 million dollars a day in November, while daily revenue at Google Play was just shy of $3.5 million, according to Distimo.

"There were many success stories in 2012 about applications that became very successful in a matter of a few days and gathered millions of downloads and revenues," the analytics firm said in the report.

"Looking at the worldwide daily download and revenue volumes, the opportunity is really huge."

Smartphone game application "Draw Something" reached a million users in just nine days, while Asian publisher Naver launched five games in November that quickly became hits.

Naver game application Line Pop was downloaded 1.75 million times within three days of its release, according to Distimo.

A report released this month by research firm IDC projected that Android operating system will power more than two-thirds of smartphones sold worldwide in 2012, and will remain the dominant platform for at least the next four years.

IDC also boosted its forecast for global tablet sales for 2012 to 122.3 million, from 117.1 million, in large part due to demand for Android tablets and the new iPad mini.

Facebook to charge for some message delivery
San Francisco (AFP) Dec 20, 2012 - Facebook on Thursday began testing the feasibility of charging to guarantee that messages from strangers make it into inboxes of intended recipients at the social network.

The Facebook Messages test, limited to the United States, lets a sender pay a dollar to make sure an electronic missive is routed to someone's "inbox" even when the person isn't in their circle of friends.

Facebook messaging system was billed as being designed to deflect seemingly unwanted correspondence into an "other" folder that can be ignored.

Facebook said that it wanted to determine whether adding a "financial signal" improves its formula for delivering "relevant and useful" messages to members' inboxes.

Facebook already uses social cues, such as connections between friends, and algorithms that identify spam messages.

"This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient," Facebook said in a blog post.

"For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their inbox."

The Menlo Park, California-based social network in 2011 introduced "other" folders as repositories for messages of dubious interest to recipients.

The test was introduced along with updates that included "basic" or "strict" filtering settings for inboxes.

The strict setting limits inboxes to little more than messages from friends at the social network, while the basic setting opens the door to friends of friends.

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US toughens online privacy rules for children
Washington (AFP) Dec 19, 2012
US regulators unveiled new rules Wednesday aimed at strengthening online privacy protection for children, to reflect the growing use of mobile apps and social networks. The Federal Trade Commission said its updated rules require online services to get consent from parents if they are aimed at children under 13 or know that they are collecting personal information from young children. But ... read more


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