Ronnie05's Blog

“Twitter”ing away (part II)

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 19, 2009
On January 17th,2009, Twitter beat Digg as the most popular pastime for people who like to update their thoughts and activities and voyeurs who enjoyed reading about people’s lives. The surge in volumes came when the crash of US airways flight 1549 was tweeted by Janis Krums. Krum became a celebrity, Tweeter a phenomenon and the site visit hits one of the largest for any events around the world. It also peaked during President Obama’s swearing in on January 20th, 2009. Not only is it now associated with micro blogging but there are strong refernces to its use as a tool for citizen journalism and the emergence of  crowdsourcing news and updates.


The increase in Twitter’s base of followers/users/Tweeters has gained maximum audience from the 25-34 group. The Numbers in other age brackets have also seen huge numerical increases, though the percentage contributions have definitely tilted towards the younger lot. See the chart below.


Twitter’s age distribution pattern in heavy towards the 25-34 age group. For Digg, it is mostly uniform across the age bands.


Also relevant are the clickstream data according to which, Digg relies heavily on Search sites such as Google for traffic. (The absolute number of Searches for Twitter is still higher than Digg). On the other hand Twitter recieves higher share of traffic from social networks. This is mostly due sto the applications which integrate these sites. For instance, Twitter application has 104,000 users on Facebook, where status updates can be linked to Twitter! 

twitter-upstream-1-17twitter-search-wms-1-17One dampener to these statistics is the fact that Twitter’s traffic is routed through a variety of sources. In fact 44% of its traffic are from sources which are not web based. This includes the text message, Instant message, RSS and Twitterific applications.  A significant amount of Twitter activity takes place through mobile phones, which is not measured and which could impact the Twitter statistics in a northward fashion. So the web based numbers actually tell a part of the story, the whole of which can only be guessimated by the buzz around Twitter during the Barack Obama’s  Presidential Campaigns and Swearing in.

“Twitter”ing away (part I)

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 19, 2009


Twitter has got more than its share of media coverage (if you compare it vis a vis other bigger sites like Yahoo, AOL and others. In fact if one were to create an index of the media versus the size/user base, Twitter would probably beat Facebook and Google at the indices.)
  • Twitter is being used by News and Broadcating Corporations like BBC, CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others.
  • The celebrity usage of Twitter is phenomenal. It starts with Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign, to Lance Armstrong, Stephen Fry, Britney Spears and loads more.
  • It created waves when the Janis Crums twittered the US airways flight 1549 crash at Hudson from his iPhone. (Coverage)
  • Twitter was forever on news regarding its $35 million venture capital funding from Institutional Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital. (Read News)
  • Tech blogs such as Tech Crunch and social networking blogs such as Mashable heavily tweet through this medium.
  • Firsthand Reports from California wildfires poured through Twitter in front of media and news agencies. (read Report)
Twitter now is world’s most popular micro blogging platform, a compelling social service and very soon to be a mainstream channel.It upstaged fellow rivals and web 2.0 rivals such as Digg, Flickr, Delicious in terms of Google Search querries (as reported by Google Trends). The indication here is the first time usage would have been impacted in this manner. (First time users use Search engines to locate the services). Thus presumably, more people are joining twitter than its rivals.


Alexa Ranks also indicatesthat its reach has grown 6 times over in one and a half years (from .05% in October 2007 to .32% in Febraury 2009). Its page rank has improved from 4309 in October 2007 to 233 currently.


According to Compete, Twitter’s month-to-month change is an upward trend of 32.7% whereas for the year-to-year change, it’s 964.5%. For the month of February, it states that it has 8 million unique visitors using the platform


Quantcast, a service that only tracks websites based on the number of US people who have visited them, Twitter was ranked #163 and its monthly US people has reached 6.1 million, a 600% boost from August last year. Other stats include US Demographics of which 47% and 53% are male and female group respectively. Also, the main bulk comes from the 18-34 age group.


Real time, Twitter user and client statistics, shows that an average of 2 million tweets are posted by users on a daily basis. AN indication of the success of Twitter is the Twitterholic, which indicates the folowwings per user. These numbers have gone up dramatically over the past year and half. An example in question is CNN which had a 1000 daily visitors now has 10000 visitors per day.


The growth has been dizzying and from the looks of it, Twitter has caught the eye of technology geeks, Technology Cos (Facebook, Google, Microsoft). The growth doesnot seem like it is going to slow down any sooner.

VAS: Increasing penetration and revenue

Posted in Revenues and Monetization, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 19, 2009
Covering a Linked in Discussion, on Increasing penetration and revenue of VAS services in India.
How to Increase penetrations and Revenue for various VAS services?
Given the present scenario, getting a bigger wallet share for VAS services from the consumer seems to be the biggest hurdle? How can the consumer be incited to use various new VAS services that come up? Is tariff discounting or offering Free Try n Buy the only way to let the consumer have a feel of the service?? 

Hi Anoop 

Your Q seems to have generated a healthy round of discussion and here is my take adding to the muddle 

I come from a Marketing related view guided by two basic tenets 

1. Supply and Demand 

Music, H/Bollywood, Games, Ringtones, Singtones, Cricket is what most of the VAS revenue is based up on (Currently). There is a healthy demand for this but supply is manifold leading to commoditization. Hence the need for innovation in VAS! (Think Medicine, Think Train Ticketing/ Think Fitness/ keep thinking..) 

2. The Age old Construct of the 4Ps. 
We have a Product/Service and currently we are trying to push mass usage through Tariff discounting (Pricing Strategy). A few Opinions beforehand have already mentioned Retail Push (Place) and Cross Selling/Up selling and Consumer Education(Promotions). Even more, we have spoken about Profile and Behavioural based Targetting (a very high order mechanism) 

My take on the VAS markets in India : 

1. We need more stakeholders in the ecosystem. Currently it is only the VAS provider and the Operator. Hence the scope in VAS development and deployment remains limited. 

2. The Indian Consumer is averse to Credit Card and Mobile Payments. I am not surprised about VAS ARPU of Rs.25 (as cited by Rahul). 

3. We are limited in content.Games + Music + Entertainment form 36% of VAS applications in US. The next 36% is Books, Utilities, Education, Lifestyle, Productivity, Travel, Fitness, Sports etc. Social Networking as VAS content has also been less exploited. 

Point 1,2,3 (More Stakeholders, Wider content, Paying Mechanisms) lead me to the end of my argument, which i will elucidate with an example: 

How about partnering with VLCC for beauty tips, reserving apointments, reminders etc etc? 
How about partnering with Apollo hospitals to provide a range of services on a VAS platform? 
Tie ups with Local Gyms to disburse mobile services to its members? 
Taxi services and Train/Flight Booking via VAS…. 
The possibilities are endless if you take the unconventional route to VAS and application monetization.The business model would be a win win win design for the consumer – Telco + VAS – Solution provider. 

Would consumers pay? They already do… and a minor addition in terms of taking services mobile will not hurt them if they are hung up on VLCC, Apollo and the likes… 

End points: 
1. Dont invent new needs and delivery mediums, instead tap the consumer needs at the right places and occasions 
2. There is a fundamental need to move away from Telco VAS provider (Duopoly mindset) to a tag along/second fiddle mindset with the solution provider. 

Hope this is somewhat leading to the right direction.

%d bloggers like this: