Ronnie05's Blog

The rise and rise of Facebook

Posted in Internet and Search, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on February 16, 2010

Social Media is fast coming of age, given that Facebook has eclipsed Google as the biggest referral site on the Internet. The “friend-casting” of information has helped propel Facebook into a major force in directing traffic around the Web according to traffic analysis firm Compete. This is just another sign of how the “social web” is becoming an increasing dominant force in terms of driving traffic flows on the Internet making it a big threat against web giants such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. 13 percent of the traffic to major web portals like Yahoo, MSN and AOL came from Facebook. Traffic from Google generated just 7 percent, which Compete said actually put it third in traffic sources behind eBay, which accounted for 7.6 percent. Facebook’s prominence positions social media as Internet’s next search engine.

In an earlier post, i had blogged about Google and Facebook on a collision course with Facebook entering the web mail space, while Google integrating Google Buzz on GMail.

Stumbled across a set of stats on Facebook’s increasing influence.

Company Figures

• More than 400 million active users
• 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
• More than 35 million users update their status each day
• More than 60 million status updates posted each day
• More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
• More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
• More than 3.5 million events created each month
• More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
• More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
• More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
• Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans

Average User Figures
• Average user has 130 friends on the site
• Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
• Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
• Average user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month
• Average user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month
• Average user becomes a fan of 4 Pages each month
• Average user is invited to 3 events per month
• Average user is a member of 13 groups

International Growth
• More than 70 translations available on the site
• About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
• Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

• More than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
• Every month, more than 70% of Facebook users engage with Platform applications
• More than 500,000 active applications currently on Facebook Platform
• More than 250 applications have more than one million monthly active users
• More than 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect since its general availability in December 2008
• More than 60 million Facebook users engage with Facebook Connect on external websites every month
• Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have implemented Facebook Connect

• There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
• People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice more active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
• There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

Facebook and Google on Collision course

Posted in Internet and Search, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on February 15, 2010

Facebook celebrated its 6th birthday on 4th February and they had mettle to show: 400 million subscribers. To top the 400 million number, Facebook also did some cosmetic job on its website to commemorate its 6th birthday. The latest 50 million addition to subscribers came in 2 months as against the last 50 million users which happened in 3 months. This thus negates the view that Facebook growth is hitting the plateau and is beginning to slow.

Reports otherwise suggest that Facebook is apparently working on an full featured web email service under its project Titan. The Facebook email, when launched is likely jump to a spot in the top three email services the moment it starts – Facebook has 400 million users or thereabouts. So while Facebook extends itself into a webmail and unofficially and over-enthusiastically readying the Gmail killer, Google is doing the opposite – turning the (current) number one in email into a social networking site.

Google is launching Google Buzz – a social networking tool that integrates into Gmail and taps into a lot of other sites, like Twitter, Picasa, Flickr and Google Reader. With Google Buzz, the search giant is playing to their strengths. Updates and comment goes straight into a dynamic entry in the Gmail Inbox. Positioning is an important part of Google Buzz – but it’s not just the current coordinates.It uses Google Places – users can post a comment about the place, check out information about it and other places near it, look through comments of others about the same place and so on.

Google Buzz has a quick and easy to use photo browser and video player and has made posting images and videos simple. It imports content from Flickr and Picasa and it even pulls the images from a link posted by the user. Clicking on them would embed them into the post.

Buzz also shows the Twitter streams of contacts and recommends posts by friends’ friends. By selecting which ones the user likes, Google Buzz gets even better at recommending comments that are interesting to the user. For now however, it can only display Twitter feeds. Buzz also integrates the news feeds from Google Reader to push the brink of information overload.

Google Buzz will be heavily used as a mobile app – Apple iPhone and the Android are the first to get it, because they have HTML5 support for location-based services.

India: The Internet Habit

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on February 14, 2010

While 47% of India is “mobile”, a study of Internet Users in India released by JuxtConsult has put the internet penetration of India to be 4.2%. The bad news is that this number has actually declined versus 2008, the good news is that within the regular users, Internet is fast becoming a Habit. Refer to the pressentation for more interesting details.

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A business case for Nokia’s Rs.500 ($10) phone

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on February 9, 2010

Reports suggest that Nokia readies a made in India Rs.500 ($10) phone for showing in the Mobile World Congress (Barcelona)

In 2004, Nokia changed the rules of the mobile handhelds game by launching the Nokia 1100. The Nokia 1100 was a true “fortune at the bottom of pyramid” waiting to happen for Nokia. This opened up Asian markets and Nokia took unassailable positions in emerging markets. The rules of the game changed to cost of ownership formulas for the less privileged. Mobiles became the common man’s device. Combined with falling tariffs, the Nokia 1100 was the start of the Telecom revolution in Afro-Asian countries. The Mobile was a now a device available to 60% of the world population.

A few years later, Motorola tried to change the rules of the game by introducing the F115. The thought was that the ultra low cost F115 would redefine the market for Motorola which was already doing well (remember the Razrs and Slivers?). However the move backfired for Motorola and they were stuck with escalating inventories and the decline is well documented.

Now after 4 years, Nokia under pressure from cheap OEM brands will attempt to redefine the market with a $10 phone. I am assuming that this phone will be a basic communication device only: No frills, no extras. It is also safe to assume that Nokia will have to bet on huge volumes on such costs and razor sharp margins. I am expecting a 1” or even lesser screen. Here’s a critical analysis of what such a device means for Nokia and Industry as a whole:

1. There is a considerable risk in such high volumes. This is a bet Nokia “must win”. The product and its launch cannot afford failure. A few News reports mention this to be a “limited edition” effort. A rs.500 limited edition effort actually doesnot make any sense apart from a few PR releases.
2. Again Nokia “goes alone”. No eco-system or Telecom operator partnerships. Nokia had a few partnerships with operators but this effort is clearly in line with Nokia core thought of doing it alone on big projects.
3. Nokia actually competes with itself in this category. The seconds market of Nokia is what it is trying to cannibalize in order to promote its customer base.
4. One thought that flashes my mind is a reverse logistics system that could reuse old Nokia phones exchanged for new Nokia handsets. Clearly, this is not considered as a viable option in the African and Asian markets by Nokia.
5. Nokia also faces a threat from “Zero cost” handsets. OEMs and Telecom operators are mulling the viability of a Zero Cost/Free Lifetime Call options on handsets for luring subscribers.
6. Nokia is steadily building a platform, Nokia Life Tools for services to the rural economy. This platform is gathering strength. The Rs.500 basic phone may drive this effort. The Rs.500 device may also be subsidized by the service charges in the long term.
7. By my estimates, the minimum costs of manufacturing a basic device is $12. Assuming a total expense of $5 on other incidentals (Marketing, Logistics, Overheads etc), Nokia would take an initial hit of $7 (~Rs.350).
8. If the Nokia Life Tools ARPU is Rs.35-40 per month ($.8-.9 per month), the break even would be 10 months or so. (These are very basic calculations, but knowing the minds behind the initiative, this Math looks to be the rational driving the effort)

My final thoughts on the Rs.500 Nokia Phone is that the first launch is likely to be a Pilot (hence the Limited edition release). Nokia would study the sales of the device and the distribution of its services through the phone. The cost of the phone would initially be a negative for Nokia but increasing absorption of its Nokia Life Tools services may provide the platform to subsidize the costs. I guess we will have to wait and watch this one.

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The Increasing Influence of Internet: 2009 stats

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on February 7, 2010

In an earlier post, i had published a graphic from Creative Cloud about the impact of Twitter in terms of what it would mean to print Twitter. This post is about the state of Internet use and adoption in 2009.This is a successor to the earlier post Internet in Numbers.

The focus is on exactly who uses the Internet, and how often. It breaks things down by gender, age, income level, and nationality. It even serves up average broadband speeds for both landline and mobile users at the bottom. Some of this stuff surprised us a bit — For example, desktop computers are still much more common than laptops. You wouldn’t guess that in day-to-day life in the developed world — at least not when it comes to personal use.

Here are some of the other points (the image itself is farther down):
– There’s no gender bias when it comes to the Internet; 74% of men use it, and so do 74% of women.
– The older people are, the less likely they are to use the Internet. 93% of people ages 18-29 use it, but only 38% of people 65+ do. 65 is where the big drop off happens, though; 70% of people 50 – 64 are online.
– As you might expect, the higher their income level, the more likely it is that someone has broadband access.
– Education is correlated as well. 94% of college grads are online, while only 39% of people with less than a high school education are.
– Internet use is up significantly in just the past five years. In 2005, 27% of people surveyed used the Internet “several times a day.” Now it’s 38%.
– 58% have a desktop computer. 46% have a laptop.
– Ages 25 – 44 make up the majority of people who blog. Only 7% of people under 25 do — that’s an even lower percentage than people 55 – 64! Have the youngsters latched on to other new media?
– 54% of bloggers consider themselves experts on whatever it is they’re blogging about.
– Norway is the country with the highest level of Internet penetration. The United States is in fifth place.
– Japan has the fastest Internet connections on average. No surprise there.
– The average mobile Internet connection clocks in at around 700 Kbps.

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Twitteriffic Twitter: An interesting graphic on the scale of Twitter

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on February 4, 2010

Here’s reproducing Twitter in a very innovative manner by CreativeCloud.

The graphical conclusions sum up the printed Twitter mathematical figures in real-life ways and highlight just how much paper and money it would take to print out the entire microblogging site.

The graphic measures up Twitter’s influence in the blogosphere.If all the tweets in Twitter were to be printed on paper:

– … the seven billion tweets to date are composed of 104,860,000,000 words, as many as 133,000 copies of the the King James version of the Bible.

– … it would cover 350 million sheets of paper, which is 37 times the number of pages used in bills introduced in the United States Congress since 1955.

– … the paper would weigh three and a half million pounds, the equivalent of 82 school buses fully loaded with 84 happily tweeting kids.

– … and did nothing but read tweets throughout the entire work day, it would take 2,912 years to get through it.

– … and laid the pages end to end, they would stretch 60,763 miles or two and a half times around the earth.

– … on an average HP Inkjet printer, it would cost you $24,500,000 to print in black ink or $55,606,250 to include the Twitter blue.

– … keeping up with the 26 million tweets daily would require 30 inkjet printers working around the clock to print more than 1,300,000 pages every day.


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Q4 Smartphone shipments signal end of recession

Posted in Industry updates, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on February 4, 2010

Global smartphone shipments grew 30% year-over-year, to reach a record 53 million units in Q4 2009, from 41 million units in Q4 2008, reports Strategy Analytics. This is the strongest period of growth since Q3 2008, effectively leading the handset industry out of recession. Sales are being driven by stronger consumer demand and a stream of attractive new 3G models tempting buyers into retail stores

• Nokia shipped a record 20.8 million smartphones worldwide in Q4 2009, rising 38% from 15.1 million units a year earlier. Key models included the E71 and E72.
• Another record setter is RIM, which shipped 10.7 million units in the quarter.
• Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones worldwide.
• In total, global smartphone shipments reached 173.8 million units in 2009, growing 15% from 2008.

Internet in numbers (2009)

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on February 3, 2010

Internet in numbers.Internet stats for 2009 as reported by

• 90 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2009.
• 247 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
• 1.4 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
• 100 million – New email users since the year before.
• 81% – The percentage of emails that were spam.
• 92% – Peak spam levels late in the year.
• 24% – Increase in spam since last year.
• 200 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 81% are spam).

• 234 million – The number of websites as of December 2009.
• 47 million – Added websites in 2009.

Web servers
• 13.9% – The growth of Apache websites in 2009.
• -22.1% – The growth of IIS websites in 2009.
• 35.0% – The growth of Google GFE websites in 2009.
• 384.4% – The growth of Nginx websites in 2009.
• -72.4% – The growth of Lighttpd websites in 2009

Domain names
• 81.8 million – .COM domain names at the end of 2009.
• 12.3 million – .NET domain names at the end of 2009.
• 7.8 million – .ORG domain names at the end of 2009.
• 76.3 million – The number of country code top-level domains (e.g. .CN, .UK, .DE, etc.).
• 187 million – The number of domain names across all top-level domains (October 2009).
• 8% – The increase in domain names since the year before.

Internet users
• 1.73 billion – Internet users worldwide (September 2009).
• 18% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
• 738,257,230 – Internet users in Asia.
• 418,029,796 – Internet users in Europe.
• 252,908,000 – Internet users in North America.
• 179,031,479 – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
• 67,371,700 – Internet users in Africa.
• 57,425,046 – Internet users in the Middle East.
• 20,970,490 – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.

Social media
• 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
• 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
• 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
• 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
• 4.25 million – People following @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher, Twitter’s most followed user).
• 350 million – People on Facebook.
• 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
• 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.

• 4 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (October 2009).
• 2.5 billion – Photos uploaded each month to Facebook.
• 30 billion – At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.

• 1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day.
• 12.2 billion – Videos viewed per month on YouTube in the US (November 2009).
• 924 million – Videos viewed per month on Hulu in the US (November 2009).
• 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
• 82% – Percentage of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
• 39.4% – YouTube online video market share (USA).
• 81.9% – Percentage of embedded videos on blogs that are YouTube videos.

Malicious software
• 148,000 – New zombie computers created per day (used in botnets for sending spam, etc.)
• 2.6 million – Amount of malicious code threats at the start of 2009 (viruses, trojans, etc.)
• 921,143 – The number of new malicious code signatures added by Symantec in Q4 2009.


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Indian Telecom Story (Part XXV): A Rs.60,000 crore lost opportunity

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on February 2, 2010

The delay in 3G spectrum auction translates into a Rs.60,000 crore loss

The war over vacating the spectrum between the defense and the telecom ministries has already taken 3G to the backseat. Indian bureaucracy and red tapism is virtually killing a big opportunity. The loss estaimation is about Rs.60,000 crores. This will be the damage to the Indian economy by deferring the 3G spectrum allocation for an year. Countries around the globe have stolen the march into 3G and 4G is increasingly kicking off as operators are preparing commercial launches in 2010-11.

The loss amount of Rs.60,000 crore has been arrived at by putting down the direct transactions that would have happened, had the spectrum gone under the hammer as scheduled. During the ongoing slowdown, Indian operators could have negotiated for a better rerate with foreign vendors for rolling services has the auction happened earlier. The UPA government could have benefitted by raking in money through spectrum and annual fee, generated additional employment opportunities for the jobless, banks could have found a golden chance and fund 3G, vendor benefits would have been huge and for the Indian subscribers data and video would have become their friend next door. Additional internet/broadband growth would have impacted out GDP growth.

Rs.40,000 crore would be government’s accruals from the sale of licences from 3G auctions.

Over a year’s time (duration of the delay), the interest cost would be Rs.4000 crore.

Additional revenue generated from 3G services from the government would be Rs.1440 crore.

A Report released by FICCI and BDA Connect early estimated the 3G subscriber base will represent 12% of the overall wireless subscriber base contributing $15.8 billion in service revenues in 2013. 3G ARPU was projected to reach $18.3 billion by 2013, with revenues totaling up to $12.8 billion in the same year. Data was expected to contribute 29% to 3G ARPU from handset users. The government stands to loose 10%, approximately Rs.144 crore as license fee from this revenue as initial deployment is expected to be in metros and category A circles.

Mobile revenue in FY 2008-09 was approximately Rs.95,000 crore, 1% of this amounts to Rs.950 crores.

On the Capex, operators who would have won the bids would have spent about $3billion~Rs.13,500 crore, which has now been pushed back. Greenfield operators are expected to spend more money compared to the established biggies who need to mainly upgrade their network to accommodate next generation services.

3G is being looked up-to as a technology that would improve internet penetration in the country and for every 10% increase in broadband penetration, there is a 1.4% increase in GDP of the country, so the loss can be worked out accordingly.

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