PayPal will stop allowing personal payments in Singapore on February 20. It said in an email to members that this was due to “regulatory instructions”.
People will still be able to make commercial payments for goods and services with their accounts, such as at online merchants, or receive funds, but we can expect that fund transfers between personal accounts will be halted.
They’re not clear on exactly what sort of fund transfers will be stopped, but this seems in line with what happened in other countries. According to reports, PayPal Japan’s personal account holders stopped being able to receive or send money to individuals in 2010, and now have to pay a business fee for transactions. The same year, users in Taiwan and Brazil reported that they stopped being able to send personal payments.
PayPal’s wording seems to suggest that users will still be able to receive payments from “sales and trading”, so this shouldn’t hurt individuals selling on eBay (which owns PayPal). However, many of the smaller blogshops in the region are run by individuals, and those transfers are to personal accounts. Blogging platform, LiveJournal, has said it has a global pool of over 50,000 blogshops. It said that the transaction volume of Singapore blogshops was $80 million in that year alone.
Update: PayPal responded to say that personal payments such as cash gifts or living allowances won’t be allowed. Underlying goods and services will be permitted, and this extends to commercial payments made and received by Singapore users covering personal, “premier” or business accounts. Users can also still receive funds from PayPal users outside of Singapore, and that is dependent on whether personal payments are allowed in the sender’s country. Blogshops, you can rest easy.
Read the rest here: PayPal Stops Personal Payments In Singapore
Storm8, a bootstrapped mobile game maker co-founded by early Facebook engineers, said it just crossed 10 million daily active users — which would put it among the top handful of mobile app makers in terms of reach. Zynga most recently said it had 33 million daily active users in July.
“We’re not a one-hit wonder. We never were and we are not a one-trick pony,” said CEO Perry Tam, who says their network encompasses about 200 million devices. “This is what has allowed us to grow steadily, consistently and remain profitable.”
Like many of the casual game developers that were early to Android and iOS, the company isn’t known for having the most unique titles. They’re all takes on proven genres like iMobsters (a mafia game) or Pet Shop Story and Fashion Story from the company’s casual label TeamLava.
But they were early to market — to both Android and Amazon’s Kindle platform — and they create games quickly and aggressively. They moved into social casino and arcade games recently with games like Bubble Mania and Slots. They’ve continued to grow headcount and reach even as younger gaming companies like Finland’s Supercell have emerged and crowded others out of the very top of the grossing charts. App tracking site AppAnnie, which compiles rankings and revenue, said they were the ninth biggest game developer by revenue on iOS with about 40 apps.
The advantage of having such a large reach means that the company won’t have to spend as much to acquire new users. They can just funnel players from one game into another. They could also pursue publishing, and help smaller third-party developers find audiences.
“We have taken the network approach,” Tam said. “That has allowed us to be sustainable and stay in this game for so long.”
The company hasn’t taken funding to date, which isn’t that unusual for the space. There are several either bootstrapped or lightly-funded mobile gaming companies out there like Temple Run-make Imangi Studios and Backflip Studios. The funding market has changed dramatically over the past year with Zynga’s poor performance on public markets scaring some investors away from the space. Plus, the cashflow from a successful mobile gaming business doesn’t make venture backing all that necessary. There were rumors though that the company was looking at a big $300 million round back in 2011, but it has not yet happened.
Tam said the company is focused on continuing to grow its network. Its also looking abroad toward international opportunities where they can localize games for different markets.
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The clock has already struck midnight in some parts of the world and the new year has begun. As the rest of the world catches up, why should we have individual celebrations when we can participate in a global one to ring in 2013? Instagram has launched a New Year’s Eve website where anyone can keep take a look at the New Year’s celebration as it happens in a specific timezone.
Those interested can go to instagram.com/nye and navigate throughout the many time zones to see what people are doing to ring in the new year. Photos from Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, Yangon, and others are already on the site. Mouse over any one of them and you’ll be able to see who took it and by clicking through, you can favorite or comment on it.
According to Instagram, the site will be displaying photos from where you’re at as the clock strikes midnight. We’ve looked at the different photos posted and a common hashtag doesn’t appear to be used. So post whatever you want on midnight and it could be curated and posted on the site when the year changes to 2013.
The launch of this New Year’s Eve photo slideshow is pretty new for the service. Previously, the service allowed users to check out similar services through the use of a similar hashtag, but it wasn’t displayed in this type of elegant design. Could this be a sign of Instagram launching a more curated feature around events, thereby making discovery easier?
Photo credit: Brian Harkin/Getty Images
Today, Google has launched a new dedicated shooting and sharing app called YouTube Capture that it says is designed to allow people to snap videos and get them up on the service as quickly as possible.
The new app is a clean and simple capture experience that launches you right into recording your video and provides you with a native experience that allows you to caption, name and publish your video. Location data is attached, which often gets lost in translation with other apps. You’re also able to share videos out to Twitter, Google+ and Facebook with one tap.
The interface demands that you rotate the app to record video, eliminating the ability to record crappy vertical videos (unless you dip into settings to turn it on, which most people won’t do). This is fantastic.
These features of the app may sound like no-brainers, but they’re major additions to iOS, as the YouTube app does not let you shoot and upload video. Unfortunately, the app appears to only allow you to shoot up to a maximum of 720p.
I’m a big fan of the way it filters your photo library to only show your videos, which alights well with the ‘quick and easy’ theme of the app.