The iPod as an app, Facebook raises $1.5bn, Google does Offers

Say what you like about the evils of illegal downloading, but all those people with enormous music collections they probably didn’t pay for don’t seem to care about actually listening to it, certainly not on the move.

I’ve come to this somewhat hasty conclusion after looking at Apple’s latest quarterly figures, which show another step in the iPod’s relegation to mere app status. Sales of the once-revolutionary music player dropped 7%, not its first nor its steepest decline in recent years, but over half of the 19.5 million iPods sold in the three months to 25 December 2010 were for an iPod Touch.

But the iPod Touch (whose capacity goes up to 64GB),  iPad (64GB) and iPhone (32GB) pale next to the iPod Classic’s 160GB’s worth of storage, suggesting that the music junkie’s dream of having your whole record collection in your pocket no longer cuts it in today’s app-fuelled world. Clearly the power of Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump are not to be underestimated as Apple’s App Store celebrates its 10 billionth download.

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Social networking sites may be a “modern form of madness”, according to one sociologist, but for the market leader it’s an increasingly lucrative type of insanity.

More than 500 million people regularly use Facebook and the social network continues to capitalise on this, most recently by raising $1.5 billion from investors (which values the site at about $50 billion).

The company said the cash injection would give it “greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead”, but added that it has no immediate plans for new funds.

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As crazy as it sounds, stone cold monetisation may be the next big thing as Google prepares to do for group discount purchasing what Facebook did last year for location sharing.

It’s only two months since Google’s unsuccessful $6 billion offer for Groupon, which offers users discount deals once a certain number of people sign up for a particular offer, but the search giant hasn’t given up on the concept just yet.

The existence of Groupon competitor Google Offers was confirmed earlier this week by Mashable, which reported Google was enlisting local businesses for “a test of a pre-paid offers/vouchers program”. A offering actually set up to make money – whatever will those crazy online kids think of next.


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