Mobile internet, promoted Twitter accounts, virtual worlds

Predictions of mobile internet’s coming dominance over its desktop-bound cousin continue to mount up, the latest from a former advisor to US president Barack Obama.

Professor Manuel Castells told the Royal Society’s web science conference he expects the number of mobile internet users to overtake those browsing on a desktop by 2014.

Price is still something of a barrier for wider uptake of smartphones or other web-enabled devices, though Moore’s law suggests it won’t remain that way for long, and the continued rise of social networking with its under-used mobile potential could help tip the balance.

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Having put 140 characters up for sale in April as Promoted Tweets and in June offered Promoted Trends – the first of which went to infinity and beyond, Twitter this week went one step further by announcing Promoted Accounts.

Promoted Tweets and Trends are reportedly selling for $100,000, so the new accounts – which will automatically be recommended to a relevant audience – could be a big step forward in the company’s monetisation plans.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports Twitter, having shelved its EarlyBird experiment of tweeted special offers, will next year launch “a self-serve platform for anyone to buy advertising”.

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For the first time more people have a passport to a virtual world than actually live in Europe and the United States combined, but despite their impressive growth sites like Second Life and Habbo remain a destination for the young.

Registered accounts for online virtual worlds exceeded one billion in the third quarter of this year, according to KZero, who say the numbers have risen by 51 million since the previous quarter and over the last 12 months have shown an increase of 350 million.

The UK consultants said 10-15 year olds have most interest in virtual worlds, accounting for 468 million registered accounts, with 15-25 year olds forming the second largest group with 288m accounts and then the over-25s trailing all other ages with ‘only’ 34 million accounts.

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Found: business jargon translator (via Skoko)


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