The shine appears to be fading on the daily-deals marketing model.
On the heels of Facebook's announcement last week that it would abandon its Facebook Deals, which offered discounted coupons for local businesses, Yelp announced today it is trimming the number of employees working on its Deals product. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp's chief executive officer and co-founder, wrote in a blog post that while daily deals have been a hit for certain types of businesses, the model is struggling to deal with issues raised by both consumers and participating businesses:
The space faces some real challenges... while consumers love … Read more
When a team of cardiologists wanted to better understand an extremely rare heart condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), they reached out to possible participants on patient-run social-media sites dedicated to women's heart health.
It was something of a shot in the dark, but Mayo Clinic cardiologist Sharonne Hayes says that in doing so, her team stumbled on a novel way to recruit participants who are notoriously hard to track down.
"This is a completely different research model than Mayo Clinic is used to," said Hayes, whose findings appear in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. "Investigators here typically rely on the stores of patient information from the clinic. This was truly patient-initiated research."… Read more
Mobile-browser maker Layar is about to make augmented reality all that you thought it could be. The company has added visual search to its augmented-reality browser. Point your phone's camera at an object in the real world and an appropriate digital activity will occur on your handset.
For instance, point your phone at a historic house and a video clip will play; point your phone at your friend's new shoes and a buy button will pop up; or point your phone at an article in a paper magazine and a social-media button will pop up asking if you want to share the digital version with friends.
Layar's augmented-reality browser for iPhone and Android runs apps written for it. Layar also offers a player that software makers can embed in iPhone and Android apps. Both will gain visual search. The browser app upgrade will be in app stores at the end of the third quarter. The player upgrade will be available in the fourth quarter.… Read more
Electronic Arts is having unprecedented success on Facebook, thanks to the Sims.
According to The Sims Social Facebook page, the game now has more than 22 million monthly active users. In a tweet today, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that by reaching that milestone, the game is now "EA's most successful Facebook game."
Reaching the top wasn't all that difficult. EA has a host of Facebook games, but none can match the popularity of The Sims Social. Madden NFL Superstars, for example, has less than 600,000 monthly active users. Monopoly Millionaires has a little less than 3 million monthly active users, while Restaurant City 4.7 million monthly active users.
The Sims Social, which launched on Facebook earlier this year, allows users to create their own Sims and basically live their lives for them. In a press release announcing the game in June, EA said the title lets users "engage with every aspect of their Sims social lives from the intense emotion of a first kiss to the flawless execution of a hilarious prank."
Although The Sims Social is becoming quite popular, it has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook favorites FarmVille and CityVille. FarmVille currently has more than 34 million monthly active users, while CityVille has nearly 76 million monthly active users.… Read more
Hurricane Irene might have wreaked havoc on the East Coast over the weekend, but it wasn't powerful enough to overcome Beyoncé's pregnancy announcement.
At its peak, Hurricane Irene found itself the topic of 3,000 tweets per second on Saturday. Pop diva Beyoncé Knowles' big news Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, however, was included in a peak of 8,868 tweets per second, according to Twitter.
With that many tweets tallied per second, Beyoncé's pregnancy has become the biggest event on Twitter, beating out the former tweets-per-second leader, the Women's … Read more
Google isn't out of the woods just yet over its federal violation for displaying ads from online Canadian pharmacies.
The search giant yesterday was sued in the U.S. District Court for Northern California by Patricia McKenna, a shareholder, claiming the company's financial statements between 2003 and 2009 were "misleading," according to Bloomberg, which obtained the court documents. The issue with the financial statements, the plaintiff argues, is that Google didn't include the revenue it generated from Canadian drug ads that it displayed to U.S. customers, thus not delivering the full financial picture of … Read more
Sprint is holding a special event in early October that it's dubbed "a strategy update," prompting speculation as to what strategy the carrier will discuss.
The invite sent out to the media says the event will take place in New York City on Friday, October 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. But the agenda teases only presentations by senior management and a Q&A session with no details as to the topic.
So far, speculation is pointing to Sprint's 4G future as the potential subject.
The Chinese government can't stand online rumors, and in a commentary today from state-run media organization Xinhua it made that abundantly clear.
According to Xinhua, a mouthpiece for the country's ruling party, the growth of microblogging services, as well as blogs, is helping to fuel "toxic rumors" that, the government says, could lead to the rapid disintegration of the quality of the Internet.
"The rapid advance of this flood has also brought 'mud and sand'--the spread of rumors--and to nurture a healthy Internet, we must thoroughly eradicate the soil in which rumors grow," … Read more
Barnes & Noble's traditional business model is lagging, but its digital focus has helped buoy its financial performance, the company said today.
During its fiscal first quarter that ended July 30, B&N generated $1.4 billion in sales, representing a 2 percent increase over the same period last year. Its slight revenue increase becomes more impressive when one considers that the core of its operation--book sales in stores--were down during the period. In fact, the company reported that store sales decreased 3 percent year over year to $1 billion.
However, the company's Nook operation, led by … Read more