72% Of Online Adults Are Using Social Media

72% Of Online Adults Are Using Social Media (Pew Research)
According to the latest Pew Research study, social media usage has proliferated among online adults; 72% use social media today, compared to 67% in late 2012, and just 8% who did so in 2005.

What’s more, the percentage of Internet users who are on Twitter has more than doubled since November 2010, currently standing at 18%. It’s shortsighted to think of social media as a playground for the Internet’s youth, and time to view it as an opportunity to engage with people of all ages and demographics. Read >

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, And Amazon Thrive Among Mobile-Only Audiences (BI Intelligence)
How are the top Web properties performing in the mobile sphere?

Let’s take Facebook as an example. In June, Facebook had 39 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. who accessed the site solely via mobile devices, according to comScore data shared with BI Intelligence.

That’s a huge pool of mobile-only usage, but to really understand how that impacts Facebook’s audience its useful to make sense of that number as a percentage gain over the desktop audience. *This content is subscriber-only, but click through any of the links in this item for a two-week trialRead >

Users Can Now Apply For Jobs Directly Via LinkedIn Mobile Apps (TechCrunch)
Job seekers can now submit their profile for jobs directly via LinkedIn’s iOS and Android mobile apps. This move will raise the visibility of LinkedIn profiles as default CVs, and also boost engagement on the app, as well as the efficacy of recruitment ads. Read >


BII prestige socialL2 Think Tank

72% Of Small And Medium-Size Businesses Use Social Media For Promotion (BIA/Kelsey)
The latest study from BIA/Kelsey also found that 52% of SMBs have a Facebook page for their business and 25% have a Google+ Local page. Most importantly, 66% said they are “extremely engaged” or “very engaged” with customers on social media. Read >

The Average ‘Prestige’ Brand Is Present On Seven Social Media Platforms (L2 Think Thank)
More than 75% of prestige (or luxury) brands have a presence on five to nine social media platforms. Facebook is the most popular, followed by Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. Read >

Facebook Pays Out More Than $1 Million To Security Researchers (Economic Times)
Over the past two years, Facebook has paid out more than $1 million to security researchers who report bugs on the social networks’ site. Researchers in the U.S. were the largest recipients of these payments, followed by those in India. Read >

The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest For Every Brand (FastCompany)
FastCompany breaks down the social network’s terms, features, metrics, and use cases.


BII 3015203 inline i 1 the ultimate guide to pinterist for every brand

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How Retailers, Sports Teams, And Brands Have Made Apple's Passbook Ecosystem Work For Them

Apple’s Passbook is already the fourth-most popular mobile commerce app among U.S. consumers. It ranks just behind giants like eBay, Amazon, and Groupon in terms of user adoption.

One-fifth of iPhone owners already use Passbook to download “passes”— coupons, gift and loyalty cards, airline boarding passes, and movie and event tickets. It’s Apple’s attempt at a virtual wallet.

Large retailers — from Sephora to Target — and restaurant chains and Major League Baseball are already using it as a channel for acquiring and retaining customers.

So why don’t we hear more about Passbook?

In a new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s paid subscription service, we look at the trends and numbers behind the Passbook ecosystem.

Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>>

The report includes over a half-dozen charts and datasets — and an ecosystem graphic — examining the intricacies of the Passbook ecosystem. Subscribers receive full access to the BI Intelligence library of over 100 in-depth reports on the mobile industry, and hundreds of datasets you can put to use.

In our report on Passbook, we also look at some misconceptions and underrated opportunities:

We also discuss Passbook’s relationship with the burgeoning and competitive mobile payments space, and the uncertainty surrounding its future as a payments platform. 

Will Apple add a payment-processing capability, so that users can make “walletless” credit card payments with Passbook? Will it be joined with fingerprint-reading technology, the rumored authentication feature to be included in iPhone 5S?

Apple has over 500 million credit cards on file. We review what brands and retailers are doing to hook into the ecosystem and prepare for the possibility that Apple will one day leverage these credit card relationships and turn Passbook into a real transactions platform.

It also includes an examination of the top barriers to widespread Passbook adoption: namely, the chicken-and-egg problem that ties relatively low app publisher adoption to a lack of wider consumer awareness.

For full access to the report on Passbook sign up for a free trial subscription today.

The Largest American Companies Aren't Mobile-Ready

A substantial minority of the largest U.S. companies do not have a mobile or mobile-compatible website, even as consumer usage makes a dramatic shift away from the desktop PC, and mobile accounts for 26% of search traffic globally.

According to a recent study from Pure Oxygen Labs, 44% of the Fortune 100 have no mobile content strategy.

Only 56% served mobile-optimized content: 45% had dedicated mobile sites, while 11% deployed responsive design.

This is important because Google is revising its rankings to favor sites that are optimized for mobile, placing a renewed importance on mobile search engine optimization. Not to mention, Google recommends responsive design as a best practice.

At BI IntelligenceBusiness Insider’s paid subscription service, we recently analyzed over 15 datasets culled from a variety of sources to probe the reasons why it’s vital to have a real mobile strategy, and we examined the advantages and disadvantages of one: responsive design. We published our insights in a recent report, “The Rise Of Responsive Design As A Mobile Strategy, The Pros And Cons.”

mobile site breakdownBII

According to the same study cited above, only six companies in the Fortune 100 (the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500) were well-prepared to meet Google’s best practices criteria.

The changes to Google’s rankings are expected to go into effect in September and October. Unless they comply with Google’s recommendations that sites be mobile-optimized , a substantial number of major companies could see their search results adversely affected.

Meanwhile, mobile accounted for 26% of traffic to search engines last quarter (up from 24% in the first quarter), according to a study from RKG. (See chart, below.)

Android Dominates the Tablet Market in 2013 Q2

Strategy Analytics: Android Dominates the Tablet Market in 2013 Q2 with 67 Percent Share of Global Tablet Shipments.

Boston, MA – July 29, 2013 – According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units in the second quarter of 2013.  Android secured a robust 67 percent global share, while Apple iOS declined further to 28 percent.  Windows also fell back but secured a 4.5 percent global share.

Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global Branded Tablet shipments reached 36.2 million units in Q2 2013, up 47 percent from 24.6 million in Q2 2012.  The branded Tablet market had a rest period as very few new products came to market during the quarter.  When we add in White-Box Tablets, shipments reached 51.7 million units, up 43 percent from 36.1 million in Q2 2012.  Android is now making steady progress due to hardware partners like Samsung, Amazon, Google and White-Box tablets which, despite the fact that branded OEMs are lowering price-points and putting pressure on the White-Box manufacturers, are still performing well,” King added, “Apple iOS shipments were 14.6 million iPads in Q2 2013 which declined 14 percent annually.  In the same quarter a year ago the first Retina display iPads were launched which could partly explain the decline as there were no new models in this quarter.  However, to compensate that, iPad Mini which was not available a year ago, now freely available was expected to take the figure higher than 14.6 million.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Microsoft captured a niche 4.5 percent global tablet share in Q2 2013.  There may be an uptick in Windows RT shipments in Q3 following savage price cuts by all the partners still involved in the RT Market.  Microsoft has reduced prices by $150 and other vendors even more; they are still not cheap, but are much more where they should be to compete.  The shortage of apps continues to be a problem, with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform.
Exhibit 1:  Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2013 (preliminary) 1

Global Tablet Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2013

How To Help Your App Stand Out

The mobile app ecosystem has seen explosive growth as consumers flock to app stores linked to their mobile platforms and devices. There’s plenty of money in the app economy: ABI Research predicts that mobile app revenue will reach $46 billion by 2016, up from about $8.5 billion in 2011.

But app markets are also becoming incredibly competitive. That means many companies and app developers invest in apps only to see them lost in the “swamp” — the murky, messy, and cluttered app markets.

From a consumer perspective, app markets are difficult to navigate. App search is still primitive. App stores are still grasping for technologies that will put the most relevant apps within easy reach.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine the current difficulty in navigating the App Store, analyze the best solutions for ensuring your app gets a good rank, and detail the important considerations for an app owner – including app consumer insights, app pricing, app marketing, and app store optimization – that could impact whether an app remains visible in the app store.

how iOS, Android and others stack up on Mobile OS loyalty

When a customer switched phones in June, if they had an Android or an iOS device, they mostly stayed committed to that OS. But, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners’ latest research, iOS users in general were just a bit more likely to stick with the iPhone than and Android users were to pick another Android smartphone.

Here’s CIRP’s chart calculating the loyalty rates of smartphone users by the mobile OS they choose. It shows 78 percent of iOS users chose another iPhone, while 67 percent of Android users stayed with Google’s OS. There is some switching among those though: 14 percent of former iOS users went Android, while 27 percent of former Android users crossed over to the Apple mobile ecosystem.

You can also see how iOS and Android are continuing to decimate the previous era’s smartphone champ, Blackberry: 34 percent of former Blackberry users switched to Android, while nearly half, 48 percent, moved over to iOS.

CIRP mobile OS loyalty June

But the real battle that that Google and Apple need to focus on now is winning the feature phone users who have yet to upgrade to a smartphone. So far, Android is winning, gathering 50 percent of basic phone users, while just 39 percent chose iOS. This fight explains why Apple is pushing its iPhone 4 and 4S so heavily (and having pretty good success). It wants to lure in users who don’t mind upgrading to a fancier phone as long as it’s cheap, like the free iPhone 4 or $99 iPhone 4S with carrier contract.

In this chart, you can see a more granular break down of Android device makers and how their individual loyalty rates compare to the iPhone:

Smartphone brand loyalty CIRP June

Just as the previous graph showed, iPhone owners are pretty loyal, with a 78 percent retention rate — though if they are going to switch, they mostly end up choosing a Samsung device, which speaks to Samsung’s aggressive recent ad campaigns against the iPhone. Samsung performs next best, with 52 percent loyalty to its brand of smartphone. But HTC (27 percent), LG (18 percent), Motorola (9 percent) and Blackberry (10 percent) performed miserably when it came to keeping their customers.

Mobile Payments Security Efforts – Expected to a big Climb in 2014

2014 is poised to be the most important year to date for mobile security. For many consumers, however, mobile security is already among the highest priorities when engaging with apps and services that require the input and potential storage of sensitive personal information.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the unfamiliarity and complexity of the mobile device and associated technologies create security concerns for consumers who want to be confident that their personally identifiable information and actionable financial information (e.g., account numbers, PINs, security codes, and passwords) are protected in storage and while being used to process a mobile payment transaction, whether that storage is on the mobile device or in the cloud.

“Consumers aren’t the only ones who need to be mindful of mobile security,” an independent business analyst recently told Yahoo news. “The business owners on the other side of the mobile transaction need to be just as cautious.”

With online and mobile shopping having a banner year in 2013, retailers are rapidly adopting new strategies – and technologies – to make shopping easier for consumers. But with this effort comes the need for retailers to choose carefully the software, technology, and associated vendors that will make this transition to mobile as seamless and secure as possible.

According to countless experts in the field, there are important steps retailers must take to ensure mobile payments made via smartphone credit card processors are as safe and secure as possible in 2014, which is expected to be a turning point year for the growth of mobile payments.

Ensure Your PCI Compliance is Up to Date

Even though security measures are already built into mobile credit card readers, there are extra precautions retailers can take to ensure cardholder data is protected. In fact, retailers that use merchant accounts for processing credit card transactions are contractually obligated to safeguard customers’ credit card information. Every business dealing with credit card processing must meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards in order to continue accepting cards from their customers.

PCI standards are not laws, but rules that retailers must follow. If they do not retailers may face fines from PCI or lose the ability to accept cards, according to CreditCardProcessing.net (CCP.net), which provides how-to guides and tips about credit card processing for small businesses. Retailers with merchant accounts can review CCP.net’s checklist to ensure they are PCI compliant in order to accept credit cards from customers as payments.

Be Sure to Select Only Encrypted Card Readers

Look for a partner that supports the highest form of encryption technology, preferably end-to-end. All top-of-the-line mobile credit card readers today will have some form of mobile encryption. The top two, PayAnywhere and Square have slightly different security measures in place. PayAnywhere, North American Bancard’s mobile POS solution is Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliant and has end-to-end encryption. While industry competitor Square Inc. also follows PCI and DSS standards the company offers reader encryption mainly for stored and public transmission of data.

With end-to-end encryption, personal data processed on a credit card reader is essentially wrapped in protective security layers until it reaches the processor. Much like shipped products are bubble wrapped so as not to be broken until they reach their destination, end-to-end encryption certifies credit card data is protected so it cannot be accessed until it reaches the processor destination. This encryption ensures personal data safe from a swiped credit card remains safe and secure in the transaction process.

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

When retailers use credit card processing, it’s important to remember the android or iPhone suddenly becomes much more valuable. Retailers, quite frankly, need to ensure they keep their phone to themselves. Phones processing credit cards should be used by the only by the retailer and dependable employees. Since customers have now come to trust digital computer registers are secure, retailers can begin to instill the same confidence in mobile credit card processing by taking reasonable steps to ensure their card reader is used responsibly for business, as opposed to their child’s YouTube toy.

Work Those Review Sites to Ease Customer Worries

It’s a known fact that when in doubt, consumers tend to look online for reviews. Some studies now suggest customers trust reviews as much if not more than friend recommendations. This provides a unique opportunity for retailers to diminish holiday shopper fears once and for all this year.

Merchant Account Reviews, a Web site that reviews merchant account services and equipment, acknowledges that customers might have concerns about giving out credit card information to be entered into iPhone credit card readers. Retailers can ease customer worries by letting them know that none of their credit information is actually stored on the iPhone via review sites. Explaining that all transactions are transmitted directly to a secure payment gateway will put the customer at ease knowing that the transaction is secure.

Then there’s your general review site such as Yelp.com or Google Places where customers self publish reviews. Use these spaces as an opportunity to address the fact that you are using a credit card processor and why this makes you the best retailer around. Whether it’s a speedy checkout process or a tech savvy staff, retailers can use these review sites as a place to not only emphasize the convenience and safety of using mobile credit card processors, but also to attract customers into their stores and brand themselves as the hippest new retailer in town.

It’s an exciting and promising time for the mobile payments space, experts agree. And as long as consumers and retailers remain educated on best practices and optimal mobile security efforts, this industry is going to see unprecedented growth next ear and beyond.

Wearbles: The Next Big Thing in Mobile

This survey has been released in association with the Open Mobile Summit. The Open Mobile Summitwill explore the new connected device ecosystems from connected car through to connected TV, kitchen, smart meters, health and wearables. Download the brochure on the right for the full conference agenda. >>

Looking Ahead in the Mobile Industry The Open Mobile Summit will look at the future of mobile in more detail. Expert speakers, previously including Google, Sprint, eBay and Nokia, will discuss:

Network Futures: From HetNets to small cells and WiFi offload, how are advances in wireless network infrastructure changing the business dynamics and service possibilities?

Connecting everything: Exploring the new connected device ecosystems from connected car through to connected TV, kitchen, smart meters, health and wearables

Mobile commerce: See how ecommerce is extending across smartphones and tablets – and how mobile is transforming the in-store experience, helping brands and marketers close the local loop

Google’s Chromecast lets you beam video from ‘any device’ to your TV

Google’s $35 Chromecast lets you beam video from ‘any device’ to your TV Google’s $35 Chromecast lets you beam video from ‘any device’ to your TV Google Chromecast connected July 24, 2013 10:02 AM Tom Cheredar 11 Comments inShare819 Google just debuted a new streaming media stick called Chromecast that beams what’s happening on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to your television. The search-and-media giant debuted Chromecast at a press event this morning in San Francisco. The new device brings Apple TV’s Airplay-like functionality for both Android and iOS mobile devices. Oh, and instead of charging $50 to $100 like the cheapest Roku model or Apple’s Apple TV, Chromecast is only $35. That’s insanely cheap for what it does.

Location-based mobile coupons tempt consumers in-store

According to recent research by the U.S.’s largest digital coupon website, particularly when those consumers are in the vicinity.

by Helen Leggatt

When RetailMeNot partnered with The Omnibus Company to survey 1,067 U.S. consumers over the age of 18 during April this year, they found what ever coupon website wants to hear – coupons are popular with mobile users.

More than three-quarters (78%) of those surveyed had done some sort of research on their mobile during the month preceding the survey, and 54% had made a purchase using their mobile device during the same period.

Of interest was that mobile coupons are effective at driving consumers in-store. About half (51%) of respondents said they would be more likely to buy products in-store if they received a mobile coupon while in close proximity to the store. Younger mobile users (18-34) were more likely to do so (63%) than those age 35+ (43%).

Furthermore, respondents indicated that if they were already in-store when they received a mobile coupon they would be 61% more likely to make a purchase.

“There’s no doubt that today’s consumers are more empowered than ever by smartphone technology, and retailers can recognize and enable those behaviors or lose business to competitors who understand the power of mobile marketing.” says John Faith, senior vice president of external affairs for RetailMeNot.

Today, the number of U.S. smartphone users using mobile coupons is 29.5 million, a significant rise from 2010 when 7.4 million used mobile coupons. By 2014, this figure is expected to rise further to 47.1 million, according to a recent BI Intelligence report.

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