After doubling its university partner count to 33 and hosting over 200 courses for more than 1.3 million students, Coursera is launching a Career Services program to connect high performing students with postions “at companies of varying stage and size,” like “Facebook, Twitter, AppDirect and TrialPay.”
According to Coursera, this free, opt-in initiative has been pilot tested for months, and uses “sophisticated analytics to automatically find good student-company matches.” Coursera says it will only connect students and employers if it believes there’s “a reasonable chance of interest on both sides.”
Launching Career Services is certainly an interesting move for the free education startup, which also recently announced that it is working with third-parties to see if a portion of its courses can eventually qualify for college transfer credits. It seems as if Coursera is on track to becoming a full-fledged university, but hopefully will have better luck monetizing its services than free, on-ground universities like Cooper Union have had lately.
For now, Coursera’s Career Services program is limited to students studying computer science, but additional fields are on the way. If you fit the bill, you can opt-in to the program via the link below.
Image credit: Digital Vision / Thinkstock
It would be easy to assume that Facebook Messenger or Apple’s iMessage are in a natural position to reach global dominance in smartphone messaging. But the reality is that the landscape looks very different and is very fragmented — at least for now.
There are plenty of apps, WhatsApp included, that have tens of millions of users or dominant marketshare in their home countries of Korea, Japan or China.
I pulled some marketshare data from Onavo, a Sequoia-backed company that has data compression and usage apps that a few million users have installed on their phones. They’re able to see active usage for hundreds of thousands of apps, and the company isn’t beholden to the same confidentiality agreements that many mobile analytics companies have with their developer clients.
The chart above shows the percentage of iPhone owners in every country that are active users of different messaging apps. This isn’t just raw installs or downloads. This is actual monthly active usage, which Onavo can see because it compresses and analyzes data flowing in and out of every app if a user has Onavo products on their phones. They have a sample size in the “single digit” millions of iPhone users for this data.
As you can see, WhatsApp has dominant marketshare in most European countries and is far ahead of Facebook Messenger in active usage. In Asia, the picture is far more complicated. Korea’s KakaoTalk is actively used on 88 percent of iPhones in South Korea. In Japan, NHN’s Line app is actively used on 44 percent of iPhones. We couldn’t pull data immediately on Tencent’s WeChat app in China because they use a custom HTTP protocol. (But we can pull it by the end of the week if readers are interested. We can also pull Android data, but it will also take longer.)
The other thing to note is that the U.S. is also kind of an anomaly. If you’re an American or Silicon Valley reader, the reason you may have never recognized WhatsApp’s large footprint is because Americans frankly aren’t that hot on chat apps. With the exception of South Korea, Russia and China (for the obvious reason that Facebook can’t enter China), pretty much every other country in this sample has a greater percentage of its users on Facebook Messenger than the U.S. does. American users are far more likely to rely on SMS.
So what does this mean? Smartphone messaging is and will stay fragmented at least in the near-term. KakaoTalk and NHN Line have very strong networks in their home countries of South Korea and Japan. Tencent’s Pony Ma said in September that their chat app WeChat had doubled in six months to 200 million users and Facebook certainly isn’t going to China anytime soon.
Is it possible that this could change in the long-term? Social networking on the desktop web started out very fragmented. StudiVZ held notable market share in Germany, Google’s Orkut did well in India and Brazil, VKontakte dominated in Russia, Mixi held strong in Japan and so on. One by one, they began to fall thanks to pressure from Facebook.
Today’s launch of a Facebook Messenger app on Android that doesn’t require an account will go a long way toward attracting mobile-only users in the developing world. Many of them are starting to pick up cheap Android devices and are signing up for data plans for the very first time.
They’ll have a slew of options to consider beyond SMS.
Read more from the original source: The Reality Of The Global Messaging App Market: It’s Really Freaking Fragmented
I’ve been meaning to talk about App Map for iOS for a while now. It’s a clever app that lets you see the apps that other people around you are using, as well as check them out and install them.
It’s a clever kind of app discovery that I don’t think enough people are doing. By exposing you to the apps that people around you are using, you’re getting to see stuff that is regionally popular and location centric that may never get surfaced in a search of the App Store. If a clever indy developer makes an app that details restaurants in your city specifically, for instance, it may never trend on the big charts.
But, if you pop open App Map and see that another user locally uses the app, you might be more willing to give it a try.
The app sends info anonymously about what apps you’re running (but not any data associated with it) and only if you have location services enabled. It also uses a new low-power GPS mode introduced in iOS 4 to preserve battery.
Today, the app added Facebook and Twitter logins, letting you see which apps the people that you follow (who are also using App Map) are using. This is a pretty cool way to broadcast the apps you use the most and to discover ones that your friends like as well.
The app is well built and nicely implemented. I especially like the new horizontal view for the map that gives me a wider viewpoint for checking out apps. You can see worldwide trends or zoom down to just the apps used in your neighborhood.
It’s a super clever utility that I think hits on an area of app discovery that a lot of the big services out there don’t tackle. And it’s free. Well worth a spin if you’re interested in broadening your app horizons a bit.
Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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See the original post here: App Map for iOS now lets you see what apps your friends use, as well as people around you
Editor’s note: As Israeli startup BannerPlay rolls out its ‘banner ads for everyone’ service, this report originally published by Israel’s NoCamels blog looks at the story behind the company.
Successfully advertising on the Internet is not an easy feat for small and medium businesses with limited budgets. While Google and Facebook have opened the gates of advertising to small businesses, banner ads are still monopolized by larger businesses with strong buying power. Israeli company BannerPlay is now offering professional banner ads, using a pay-per-click (PPC) business model.
“BannerPlay is basically an end-to-end solution, a system that generates banner ads very simply,” BannerPlay Head of Marketing Niv Calderon tells NoCamels. “Instead of hiring a designer to create the banner, then buy the media and then use some sort of analytic tool to get statistics – we offer a one-stop-shop solution.”
The company uses a “Google-like” method, buying the ad space online and placing the banners created by customers on various Web pages. The customer is billed using a pay-per-click method, which means they allocate a certain budget for their campaign, which remains online until the budget runs out.
The company says that customers can make real-time adjustment to their campaign, according to the statistical data BannerPlay offers its users. In addition, customers can create as many banners as they like for each campaign. “We want to make our banner-creating system as accessible as Google Ads,” says Calderon.
The startup was founded last January by Rafi Ton (CEO) and Yoad Gidron (CTO). According to Calderon, the two were involved in creating banner ads for major brands, and decided to make the popular advertising platform more accessible to smaller clients. Calderon tells NoCamels: “They said: ‘let’s create this for everyone, so that whoever wants a banner ad could have it easily and not spend tens of thousands of dollars on a campaign.’”
What BannerPlay claims to achieve is quite ambitious. The six-employee Israeli startup wants to rival Google as a prominent tool for affordable, effective online advertising. Calderon tells NoCamels that the company believes its tall order is achievable by simplifying the user interface, so that anyone can create a professional-looking internet campaign. Once generating the banner, the user can decide whether to let BannerPlay choose where to advertise it, or embed it themselves using an embed code.
Although the process is pretty much automated, the company insists that users with special requests, such as limiting target audiences, will have control over where their campaign is displayed.
“Our interface is so simple it’s crazy,” Calderon claims, “you can design your banner ad within five minutes. We have dozens of ready-made templates and we also offer free tailor-made designs for people who buy $200 worth of media.” The company also offers ready-made in-banner game templates, such as wheel of fortune and crossword puzzles, which allow more interactivity with the user.
BannerPlay has some more advanced features, which are designed to increase engagement. “We allow users to embed YouTube videos, contact forms and Facebook ‘likes’ in the banners,” says Calderon, “so that you don’t even necessarily have to set up a landing page for your campaign.”
BannerPlay’s next step is developing a network of designers and game developers, who will be paid whenever their template is utilized. For instance, if an advertiser uses a certain designer’s template, whenever the banner ad is clicked, the designer will get a small share of the revenue. “A major focus of ours is developing a strong social community of designers and game developers,” says Calderon.
Eventually, the company wants to create a sort of advertising ecosystem that will bring together designers, developers, advertisers and end users. The company’s role in that ecosystem is buying the media, offering the banner-creating platform and advertising the banners online. “When you advertise with Google, you don’t really know where your ads will appear – but you trust them. That’s what we want to achieve.”
The BannerPlay dashboard is available for free online. The website currently only operates in English, but Calderon says that they are in the process of translating it to several languages.
Calderon says that BannerPlay’s initial funding comes from local angel investors, but would not elaborate further.
See the original post here: BannerPlay aims to make banner ads as simple as Google AdWords
Expanding the number of platforms that its video streaming service is available, Amazon’s LoveFilm today launched a dedicated app for the Wii, also teasing availability for the new Wii U console, which launched at the end of November.
It’s an interesting decision for Amazon, pushing the LoveFilm app to the Wii Shop Channel without support for Nintendo’s newest console. Its UK rival, Netflix, recently released its own app for the Wii U, offering GamePad support and full 1080p HD playback for its customers.
The LoveFilm app will allow the 8 million Wii owners in the UK to select movies and TV shows using their Wii remotes. Like the desktop and mobile apps, users can search, browse, rate and review directly from their console.
The only problem for LoveFilm customers is that most will have to enjoy playback via the Wii’s 480p/480i resolution, which is no way to watch your favorite films or TV shows. The Wii U app will end that, but all the company is willing to say is that it is “coming soon.”
That said, it’s still available on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, as well as the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and a number of Blu-ray players and connected TVs.
With Netflix, Now TV, Blinkbox and a number of other video streaming services gaining steam in the UK, it would be foolish for Amazon to let rival companies steal a march on them by not offering apps on the most popular consoles, mobile devices and set-top boxes.
In that sense, the Wii U app can’t come soon enough.
Image Credit: bng/Flickr