Earlier this week we reported on how Backupify was closing down TweetBackup, a free service to back up your Twitter account that it acquired in 2010; now we have confirmed that, as we’d heard, this is part of a bigger plan at the company to phase out consumer services altogether, as Backupify focuses its efforts on paid services for enterprise customers. From today, it will stop accepting new sign-ups for its free tier of back-up services for personal files. It is also discontinuing by the end of this year support for certain sites, including Facebook personal profiles, Blogger, Picassa and Flickr.
It will continue to offer services to back up Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter and personal Gmail accounts, but it’s likely that these will be moved to all-paid services over time, as part of its personal backup products, which it will continue to support “for the foreseeable future” (even if only as paid, not free, products). Rob May, CEO of Backupify, tells us that the timescale for free support is around two more quarters.
The moves are a signal that some startups that began with consumer social media services in mind have found that market hard to monetize. On the other hand, as enterprises become increasingly social, they are proving to be willing paying customers for many of the same kinds of offerings.
Rob May, CEO of Backupify, tells us that this move has been a long time in the making — some two years in fact.
“We started Backupify as a consumer-facing business but we quickly realized there was money in SMB and enterprise, so when we raised money the intention was to use it to go after the B2B market. And this is now a bigger chunk of our revenue — over 90%,” he told TechCrunch. In a blog post on the news, May also notes that enterprise was only a small percentage of revenues three years ago.
The company is not revealing total user numbers currently but when it announced a Series C round of $9 million last year, it had 170,000 users, and didn’t break out how many of those were free or paid.
He notes that in fact there is nothing of TweetBackup getting left behind in the closure. Over time, as Twitter has changed its own APIs, the company had to rebuilt its product from the ground up. It’s that rebuilt technology that has also gone into Ditto, the Symantec service for backing up Twitter accounts, which turns out was co-developed with Backupify (one by-product of the strategic investment that Symantec made as part of that most recent $9 million round of fundraising).
In the meantime, Backupify is working on developing services to back up other platforms and sites. It’s currently in testing with Apptivo, Freshdesk, Mavenlink, Nimble and Pipeline Deals to provide backup services to their users, and with the increasing move to cloud-based enterprise services, you can see how and where something like that could develop further. May says it’s not currently working with Evernote — a company with an ethos of saving your data for the rest of your live and beyond — but that he would love to.
Read more from the original source: Backupify Is Phasing Out Free Consumer Products; Drops Support For Facebook Personal Profiles, Blogger, Picassa And Flickr
Google is expanding its Google Offers service, which reminds users via a mobile app or email whenever there’s a limited-time deal at a nearby business, so that users can now see, save and share promotions from within their Google+ stream.
Only a select number of brands and companies will be able to share Google Offers through their respective Google+ accounts to begin with. NOOK, Hello Kitty, Art.com and Adafruit Industries have already started sharing exclusive deals through the service, although there could be more waiting in the wings.
Restaurant-rating group Zagat is also on the list of early adopters, which is notable given that Google recently unveiled support for Zagat listings and ratings throughout its refreshed Google Maps service.
“You can save these offers directly from the post,” Dennis Troper, Product Management Director of Google+ said. “Once saved, you can use the Google Offers app or simply follow the email confirmation on how to easily redeem the offer online or in-store.”
Google needs to give potential users as many reasons as possible to log-in and explore the Google+ social network on a regular basis. The company recently unveiled new photo features at its I/O developer conference, including automatic enhancements and album selections, to entice users back to the service.
The company is pitching Google+ today, however, as a counterpoint to Twitter, Foursquare and numerous daily deals sites whereby users can follow brands and discover deals about their latest products or services.
Businesses have been keen to sign-up to Google+, but the perceived engagement with users is much lower than that of Facebook or Twitter. That could be due to the overall userbase of each social network, but regardless, the addition of Google Offers should give companies, brands and users another reason to keep one eye on their stream.
Google Offers was launched in May 2011 and is available as a dedicated app for both Android and iOS devices. It shares many of the same traits being adopted by Foursquare at the moment, whereby users are shown timely offers based on their location, preferences and order history.
Neither company has managed to amass the sheer number of users needed to make the concept a well-known and instinctive part of people’s daily routine, but Google arguably has the infrastructure and track record to get there first. Is this an indicator that Google will be giving Google Offers some renewed focus and attention moving forward? We’ll have to wait and see.
Image Credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO for AFP / Getty Images
SocialBro is a really useful app when it comes to analyzing your Twitter community, but until now it’s only been about people. Now the Spanish startup behind the app is taking a step towards offering a more well-rounded analytics product by presenting data about your tweets too.
The new Tweet Analytics feature is a little hidden in a UI that has arguably outgrown SocialBro’s featureset, but once you find it in the Tools menu, you’re presented with a graph that shows information about how your tweets have performed over time.You can see the relative popularity of each tweet in terms of the number of Favorites, retweets and replies each one got – the larger the circle representing a tweet, the more popular it was.
You can break the data down into tweets and replies, and you can adjust the date range covered. I noticed that only the past eight days’ worth of tweets was accurate, with a big chunk of data missing before that – although as this is a new service released today, I’d expect it to start logging the data more accurately from now on.
SocialBro is particularly aimed at businesses wanting to monitor their Twitter presence, and the introduction of analytics for tweets in addition to its strong suite of audience data tools certainly makes it a more attractive proposition in that regard. It follows the recent introduction of DM-based marketing campaigns to its toolset. However, its lack of profile in the face of well-established competition like Salesforce’s Radian6, Topsy and SocialBakers Analytics Pro is a challenge the company needs to tackle.
Yahoo and Twitter have partnered to bring tweets directly into Yahoo homepage’s newsfeed on web and mobile, the company announced this morning. The move follows the February relaunch of the front page. At the time, the company debuted a redesigned site with an increased emphasis on personalization, as well as a more modern design.
The Twitter partnership expands upon this earlier mission involving personalization – a key focus for Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer – noting that Yahoo will now ”seamlessly include relevant and personalized tweets alongside stories from Yahoo! and our other sources.”
These tweets will now appear directly in the Yahoo news feed, which offers an endlessly scrollable stream of content, divided into sections like “All Stories,” “News,” “Local,” “Entertainment,” “Sports” and more. The headlines that come from Twitter accounts will be indicated by referencing the source by its Twitter handle (e.g. “@ABCWorldNews” as opposed to “ABC News”) and there will be “Follow” buttons to the right of the stories, allowing users to click to add the news organization to their Twitter feeds.
“Updates direct from politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and other publishers have become an important source of real-time news and information,” Mayer explained in the official announcement today. “140 characters can connect athletes with their fans, capture live chatter from the red carpet, and inspire global debate.”
Though the post did not detail how the addition of tweets specifically ties into Yahoo’s overarching personalization goals, that refers directly to changes that took place following the homepage revamp earlier this year. The front page’s selection of news articles now starts out as a generic grouping of stories, but as users click on content that interests them, the site adapts. The more it learns about a user’s interests, the more relevant and personalized the surfaced stories become. (At least in theory). This technology will now also apply to the tweets.
Yahoo has been moving to reinvent itself under Mayer’s leadership, gobbling up startups, paring down its scattered lineup and launching well-received apps like a revamped Flickr and its new Weather app for iOS, the latter of which may be one of the highest rated iPhone applications we’ve seen, with 4,206 5-star reviews out of 4,832 ratings.
It’s worth noting, too, that the revamped Twitter-powered homepage has a mobile component as well. The update is rolling out to U.S. desktop and mobile users over the next few days, the company says.
See original here: Yahoo Partners With Twitter To Further Personalize Homepage Newsfeed
Yahoo on Thursday announced a new partnership with Twitter that will see tweets brought directly into the company’s homepage newsfeed. The new integration will be rolling out “over the next few days” on Yahoo’s US site, available to both desktop and mobile Web users.
Yahoo says it plans to include “relevant and personalized tweets” alongside its stories. If the partnership bears fruit, however, it’s fair to say Yahoo will look to expand it to its mobile apps as well as overseas.
If you’re in the US, here’s what to look for on the Yahoo homepage (notice the third item in the middle column):
Yahoo’s justification for the inclusion of tweets is fairly straightforward. The company sees the social network as a source for news, and since its homepage is still largely centered around delivering just that to its users, adding Twitter support is just one of many steps in its attempt to become relevant again.
“Updates direct from politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and other publishers have become an important source of real-time news and information,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in a statement. “140 characters can connect athletes with their fans, capture live chatter from the red carpet, and inspire global debate.”
Details of the deal were not disclosed, though if money was exchanged it’s very likely Twitter was on the receiving end as Yahoo has more to gain in this case. If its editors can keep up with the constant stream of content on the social network, and choose pertinent ones in a timely manner, Twitter might be able to give Yahoo’s homepage new life.
That being said, Twitter also gets quite a bit from the deal: Yahoo users will not only be exposed to more tweets, but they can also discover interesting people and publishers to follow on Twitter. Details on how the integration will work on Yahoo’s homepage were not revealed, though it’s likely Twitter users will be offered more personalized content if they’re signed in.
Top Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images