Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Gavin O'Malley, April 17, 2012, 11:55 AM
Twitter Extends Ad Targeting To BlackBerryVentureBeat

Twitter said it will let advertisers target BlackBerry devices with mobile ad spots and Promoted Tweets, which will double as tweets and be displayed near the top of users’ timelines. “If your company’s target audience is average, middle-aged men who don’t like change (e.g. Hank from "King of the Hill"), then Twitter just did you a huge favor,” VentureBeat scoffs.

In addition to BlackBerry, advertisers can already choose to target iOS devices, Android devices, desktops/laptops, and mobile-optimized web apps. Yet, “Research In Motion, which produces BlackBerry devices, is currently experiencing a downward spiral due to increased competition from iPhones and Android phones,” VB reminds us. “Because of this, we had assumed Twitter was intentionally leaving BlackBerry devices out of its ad targeting platform when it launched. However, this is clearly not the case.”

Twitter first started rolling out the ad targeting functionality to advertisers back in February. “Promoted Tweets on BlackBerry and the ability to target campaigns to specific devices and platforms will help brands more easily connect to Twitter users -- anywhere, anytime,” the microblogging giant explained in a blog post, this week. Much like the experience on Twitter’s main site, the Promoted Tweets only appear once and can be dismissed.

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  • Gavin O'Malley, April 17, 2012, 12:16 PM
  • Heads up all you social-gaming startups. In search of its next “FarmVille,” Zynga is prepared to drop hundreds of millions of dollars, according to its merger chief Barry Cottle, and CEO Mark Pincus. Not that spending big in M&A is anything new for the gaming powerhouse. Just last month, Zynga paid $180 million for OMGPop, while in 2010 and 2011 the company spent a combined $147.2 million on 22 companies. Not anywhere near satisfied, however, Pincus says he expects to do “a few” deals the size of OMGPop or larger in the next three to five years. “In its first year as a publicly traded company, Zynga is turning to M&A to expand into new regions and markets such as mobile games,” according to Bloomberg. Explains Pincus: “We love finding great, accomplished teams that share our mission and vision. If we ever see breakout opportunities that massively accelerate social gaming at Zynga, we’ll aggressively pursue those, too.” Led by Cottle, Zynga’s restructured acquisitions team is working to speed up its deal-making process, outbid rivals on price and do a better job of keeping the talent it purchases, Bloomberg reports. “Their objective: injecting more high-growth hits like OMGPop’s ‘Draw Something’ into Zynga’s portfolio of games.” Read the whole story...
  • Say goodbye to Read It Later, and hello to Pocket. Yes, the popular service that lets users bookmark Web pages and specific content from their personal computer, tablet or smartphone, has changed its name, and expanded its mission. Regarding to new and improved service, The Next Web writes: It’s “a Read It Later not just for pages of text, but videos, images and, in the long term, perhaps much more.” As such, “No longer will you ‘Read it Later’ but rather you’ll ‘Save to Pocket,’ or my personal preference, ‘Pocket it.’” Further, as company founder Nate Weiner explains: “The name represents our vision and intention: To make taking the content you discover with you as simple as putting it in your pocket.” Yet, Weiner and his team are taking a big risk considering that their product -- in it’s current form -- has already achieved some degree of success. Indeed, the service has over 4.5 million users and items are saved at a rate of 5 times a second, which, as TNW notes, comes out to more than 400,000 items saved per day. “However despite being the most popular ‘read later’ application on the market, it has often lost in the ‘coolness’ department to competitor Instapaper and more recently, Readability,” TNW writes. “Well no more.”   Read the whole story...
  • Due to new parental controls, Amazon has decided to let developers charge higher prices for in-app purchases. “With our parental controls functionality now updated, in-app items over $20 may now be submitted via the developer portal,” the ecommerce giant explained in a email to developers. Some suggest that the higher pricing will contribute to the success of more app developers, many of whom rely on the additional revenue to turn a profit. “Developers depend on these pricier items to make their businesses work, since only a small percentage (usually in the single digits) of their users pay in their games,” according to TechCrunch. “These so-called ‘whales’ are responsible for the bulk of a developer’s revenues.” Supporting this contention, a study earlier this year from mobile analytics company Flurry found that transactions that were more than $20 made up the majority of revenue for top-grossing games on iOS and Android. Yet, “this business model has caused tension on Apple’s iOS platform,” TechCrunch adds. Last year, there were several reports of children running up hundreds of dollars in purchases on their iPods, iPhones or iPads.   Read the whole story...