Offerpal Media has just announced that Mihir Shah has been named president and CEO, while chairman and former CEO George Garrick has been named executive chairman. This is Offerpal’s third CEO in a year; Anu Shukla left the company last November following the Scamville drama and was replaced with former Mochi Media CEO George Garrick.
Shah was the company’s chief revenue officer and joined Offerpal in December of 2009. Prior to Offerpal, Shah was VP of ad networks for RockYou. And he previously served as VP and general manager of direct selling services at QuinStreet.
Back in March, on the eve of SXSW, Plancast got an iPhone app out just in time. Now, with more time to work, they’ve perfected it with the launch of version 2. And that’s not all they’ve been working on.
Over the past couple of weeks, Plancast has rolled out a new site design, a new plan social invitation system, and Eventbrite integration. On top of that, they’re also testing out two other new features: local plans and a recent activity feed. Each of these features make a great service even better.
First off, as I alluded to, the iPhone app is now much improved. Included in this refresh (also made by Leah Culver, who made the first one) is a completely reworked design that cleans up and simplifies the user experience. Also now baked-in is Twitter and Facebook integration to make sharing (and/or signing up) easy. The app is also now iOS 4-ready with Retina display and fast app switching support.
When Six Apart launched Vox, a blogging/social network platform with strict privacy controls, in 2006, investor David Hornik had high hopes. Vox is an “amazing blogging platform,” he said, because “Finally I have a place where I can post pictures and video of my kids without concern about who is looking at them.”
Vox will be shut down on September 20, says Six Apart.
What they’re not saying is why. Part of it is likely cleanup for a merger that the company continues to flatly deny – CEO Chris Alden will have fun explaining his way out of that one if it actually happens.
A/B testing, which entails running multiple versions of a site at once and tracking which one performs best with users, is a key part of launching a new version of any website.Visual Website Optimizer, which I’ll just call VWO from here on out, helps users manage this often complex process. The service shares some similiarities with a Y Combinator-funded startup called Optimizely, which launched in July.
Among some of VWO’s features are multivariate testing (you can adjust more than one item on your site and VWO will run them in various combinations to determine which ones have a positive effect), heatmaps showing off where users are clicking (which are useful for visualizing where your visitors are clicking for different variations of a site), and split URL tests, which gives you the option to redirect
traffic to two alternate versions of your website.
To many users, Twitter for iPhone (the artist formerly known as Tweetie) is perhaps the perfect Twitter client (though I’d argue that the new Twitter for iPad is right there with it). But the one thing it has been lacking and that users knock it for is the lack of Push Notifications. Well, good news. They’re coming. Soon.
Twitter is currently internally testing the feature, we’ve confirmed. Interestingly enough, we learned of its existence when the latest version of the app went out yesterday (the universal binary that included Twitter for iPad). It appears that users who have iOS 4.1 installed (which just hit Gold Master for developers, but won’t be official out until next week) get the option to enable Push Notifications for Twitter. They don’t appear to be working yet, but the feature is definitely there.
Here’s Twitter’s statement on the matter:
When I read Twitter CEO Evan Williams post tonight about the state of Twitter from a mobile perspective, the first thing that jumped out at me what that Twitter for Android, an app Twitter worked hard on, isn’t even in the top 10 most-used apps for the service. But Williams also used the post to whip out some impressive numbers. Chief among them: Twitter now has over 145 million registered users (though presumably less than 150 million, or he would have said that). And there are now nearly 300,000 registered apps in the Twitter ecosystem.
The latter number above is technically the number of registered OAuth apps in the ecosystem (and includes multiple instances of some apps). Twitter made the switch over from basic authentication to OAuth a few days ago, leaving behind some apps, such as the old Tweetie (which was reborn as Twitter for iPhone). Williams says this number of registered apps has tripled since their Chirp conference — which was only this past April.
This evening Twitter CEO Evan Williams put up an interesting post about Twitter mobile usage. By just about every measurable metric, it seems to be skyrocketing. He also included a graph of the top 10 ways people are now using Twitter. This includes both Twitter’s own apps and third-party clients, but notably, Twitter for Android is nowhere to be seen.
I’ve confirmed with Twitter that this isn’t a mistake. It seems that Twitter for Android is in fact not in the top 10 ways people interact with the service. That’s incredible considering that Twitter for iPhone is number 4 and Twitter for Blackberry is number 5. Both of those were built by the Twitter team, just as the Android app was.
Even crazier, it’s behind third party clients TwitPic, TweetDeck, Echofon, UberTwitter, and even Google Friend Connect!
Obviously, Twitter downplays that in the post (and by downplays, I mean, doesn’t mention it), and instead only mentions Twitter for Android in the intro to say that it “launched a new version this week.” Remember, “new” is the best tactic to get people to try something.
An interesting beneficiary of Apple’s launch of music-oriented social network Ping—social status updater Ping.fm. According to Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur, Ping.fm saw a record number of accounts created yesterday (Seesmic acquired Ping.fm earlier this year).
Could it be a coincidence? Definitely, not. When you Google “Ping,” Ping.fm is the second result under the golf equipment site PING (this doesn’t include News results). Apple’s Ping is actually the fourth result (not including Video results). On Bing, Ping.fm is the third result, behind the golf company and the Wikipedia page for Ping. Clearly, as people starting becoming curious about Apple’s Ping yesterday on search portals, they also found Ping.fm in results.
We hear that former Palm Vice President of Public Relations Lynn Fox has given up on her “Consult Until-I-Find-Another-Job Consulting” plans and landed a permanent gig at video streaming service Ustream. Her formal title will be VP of Corporate Communications and she will be reporting to Ustream CEO John Ham.
Sources say that Fox is the first in a series of new hires at Ustream, hires which should be announced formally in the next couple of weeks. Fox’s first day will be Tuesday, Sept. 7 and her primary duties will be leading all things related to PR, Events and Social Media.
It looks like Ustream is taking advantage of its $75m round of funding from Softbank and other investors earlier this year in order to ramp up their recruiting efforts and attract major talent like Fox.
Yesterday, Apple launched iTunes Ping, their new music social network. Part of that launch was a very basic implementation of Facebook Connect, simply to hook in and find out which of your Facebook friends were also using Ping. I tried it yesterday and it worked fine. But this morning the option vanished and everyone was left wondering what happened?
Well, it vanished because Facebook started blocking iTunes Ping from accessing their API, we’ve heard (just as AllThingsD and New York Times have as well). Obviously, there’s no point in having a feature that doesn’t work — so Apple simply removed it.
Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post of Internet memes, wins the “more meta than thou” award for making “An Infographic Backlash Infographic” inspired by the tragic tale of a guy whose job it was to game Digg back when Digg had enough traffic to make it worth gaming.
Okay Buzzfeed, just because you understand recursion, doesn’t mean you have to rub it in our face all the time. Aside from the Greyhat SEO tricks, your anti-infographic infographic and the post that inspired it are actually just describing successful web-writing and content creation. It’s like…there’s a reason people are clicking on it.
Perhaps you’ve heard that Apple and Facebook are having a little bit of an issue at the moment. Despite launching with Facebook Connect integration yesterday, it’s now nowhere to be seen on Apple’s new music social network, Ping. And that’s too bad because even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed up to try out Ping yesterday, we hear.
While Facebook Connect will no longer help you find Zuckerberg there, if you do a simple name search, there he is. Well actually, there he is twice. Hmm. Which one to choose?
It's officially over. After Dell pulled out of the running this morning, HP has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire data storage company 3PAR, for $33 per share in cash, or a value of $2.35 billion. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
This morning, HP upped the ante with an offer worth $33 per share or $2.4 billion.
I feel like all I’ve written about the past few weeks is Facebook’s need for a new social dynamic. Specifically, I want Facebook to break their social graph into two: those people who you are friends with, and those who you follow — for sharing purposes. It seems that Facebook may be testing something like that out — well sort of, maybe.
Facebook appears to be testing out a new feature called “Subscribe.” A source who supposedly has it enabled, tells All Facebook that “by subscribing you don’t miss any updates from people you subscribe to.” While on the face of it, this would seem to be a lot like the idea of “follow” it’s not clear from that wording if you actually already need to be friends with a person in order to follow them.
It was only a matter of time before this app came out. The folks over at Hot or Not have launched a location-based free iPhone app that will show you the hottest ladies and gents that are close to you.
If you aren’t familiar with Hot or Not, the site allows you to rate pictures of girls or a guys (depending on your taste) on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s a mindless site and game which has managed to gather a fairly massive user base.
The app is fairly simple in what it does: it uses the iPhone’s built-in GPS technology to map out the hottest guys or girls registered on HotOrNot.com that are close to your location. Currently the site draws from a database of 4.8 million members.
Hot or Not says that the app received more than 2,000 sign-ups its first day in the App Store. Last year, the startup also launched Hot Or Not War, which we covered here. Hot Or Not was bought by Avid Life Media in 2008.
As we pointed out earlier, today is Google Chrome’s second birthday. Since it launched in beta on September 2, 2008, it has come a long way (it’s already 6 versions deep). Back then, it was Windows-only, with official Mac and Linux support only coming late last year. But now it’s on the verge of another milestone: becoming the top browser coming to this site.
I’ve checked out our logs over the past few years to see how well Chrome has been doing compared to its rival browsers. The numbers are shockingly strong for such a new entry — particularly in the past year. Obviously, TechCrunch has a tech-centric audience, but I don’t think it’s off-base to say that you’re also a leading audience of early adopters that often point to where the general public will be in the future.
The numbers are clear: Firefox is in trouble. It has been the top browser since we began using Google Analytics to record stats back in 2007. By 2008, it was nearly 25 percentage points ahead of the next closest rival, Internet Explorer. As of yesterday, it stood just 3 percentage points ahead of the next closest rival, Chrome.
Here are the numbers. In August 2010 (the month that just ended):
- Firefox: 33.98%
- Chrome: 26.22%
- Safari: 18.40%
- IE: 13.23%
- Mozilla Compatible Agent: 5.46%
One year ago, in August 2009 (right before Chrome’s first birthday), the numbers looked like this:
- Firefox: 45.91%
- IE: 20.61%
- Safari: 18.85%
- Chrome: 10.09%
- Mozilla Compatible Anent: 1.83%
Two years ago, in August 2008 (right before Chrome launched), the numbers looked like this:
- Firefox: 55.63%
- IE: 31.21%
- Safari 9.76%
- Opera: 2.23%
- Mozilla: 0.62%
By September 2008, the month Chrome launched in beta, it had an immediate impact. But remember, it was Windows-only at the time:
- Firefox: 52.36%
- IE: 28.55%
- Safari: 9.18%
- Chrome: 6.58%
- Opera: 2.05%
And just for fun, let’s go back three full years, to August 2007.
- Firefox: 48.81%
- IE: 40.61%
- Safari: 6.59%
- Opera: 2.29%
- Mozilla: 0.72%
Chrome has clearly taken a bite out of Firefox, IE, and even Opera’s already small share. Safari is up big over the past couple of years as well, but its growth has seemingly stalled over the past year — despite iPad browser usage (in terms of visits to TechCrunch) exploding.
Of course, overall traffic to TechCrunch is also way up over these past few years. It just appears that more and more people who are visiting are now doing so via Chrome.
Let’s look at the numbers from yesterday:
- Firefox: 34.68%
- Chrome: 31.09%
- Safari: 15.65%
- IE: 12.77%
- Mozilla Compatible Agent: 3.48%
Yes, it’s just a matter of time before Chrome is on top.
As a humorous aside, IE with Chrome Frame, the plug-in Google made to make IE behave like Chrome, is now a bigger source of traffic to TechCrunch than Opera Mini or BlackBerry. While still tiny, it too is growing.
I often point to my first post on Twitter, the day it launched in 2006. Why? Mostly because of how wrong I was. Best line: “I imagine most users are not going to want to have all of their Twttr messages published on a public website.” I also love that original vowel-free logo.
The first couple of comments to that post are classic as well:
I do not understand the utility of adding the SMS messages to a public webpage or making messages from my network public. I would have to pass on that type of offering. The ability to make messages private should be added asap.
i do not want to be woken up at 4 a.m. because my friend got drunk and decided to text Twttr with “asdl im at barasdf sooo drunksalkfjs”…i find it interesting such an annoying feature is supposedly causing viral growth…i’m done developing social software if the key to success is to be intrusive
So is it pronounced twitter or twatter?