web 2.0

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

Link to TechCrunch

The Internet Is For… XXX Top Level Domain Gets Initial Approval

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 09:54 AM PDT

has given initial approval for a .xxx top-level domain. Should the initial approval become final approval, you’ll be able to register URLs like nakedchicksdoingstuff.xxx.

It’s a pretty big deal for a few reasons. For one it’s makes filtering out unwanted content approximately 80 billion times easier—just block access to all .xxx domains and call it a day. You’d think that would have made to creation of the TLD popular with the anti-porn brigade, but it didn’t. Nope, their arguments went something along the lines of, "The creation of a .xxx TLD will encourage the proliferation of Internet pornography. Or, similarly, that it will create a sort of red light district online.

Read more…

Don’t Have Any Friends? Call 1-888-FACETIME to Test Facetime On the iPhone 4

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 08:39 AM PDT

The biggest problem with testing Facetime is the dearth of real, hard-core nerds out there with iPhone 4s. I’ve been able to talk to Greg and my buddy Tom, but that’s about it.

Now, however, you can call 1-888-FACETIME (188832238463) and talk to an Apple rep live over Facetime. They’re available from 8am to 8pm CDT. I tried it. It actually works.
Read more…

Bing Taps ResellerRatings For Merchant Reviews

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 07:55 AM PDT

Microsoft’s Bing has tapped ResellerRatings to provide online merchant reviews for the shopping search results. ResellerRatings is a ratings site that includes more than 430,000 consumer reviews of online sellers and merchants.

ResellerRatings both includes reviews of online retailers, such as Newegg, TigerDirect, DiamondShark, Buy.com, and B&H, and also allows these retailers respond to customers that submit reviews. Merchants can solicit customer reviews by using a pop-up check-out survey, can contact reviewers directly to resolve issues, view related product invoices, flag reviews from non-customers and post public replies to help influence customer service and satisfaction. ResellerRatings claims that its reviews have influenced more than 10 million purchasing decisions within the last year.

Of course, this isn’t an exclusive partnership. ResellerRatings reviews are syndicated on Google Product Search, TheFind.com and ShopWiki.com, and other shopping search portals. ResellerRatings was developed and launched by Scott Wainner in 1998. He later sold it to EarthWeb, then re-purchased it from Internet.com.

Salesforce Countersues Microsoft In Patent Brawl, Brings David Boies To The Fight

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 07:07 AM PDT

In response to a patent lawsuit filed by Microsoft last May, Salesforce is countersuing with its own patent infringement claims (complaint embedded below). But a mere countersuit isn’t enough for CEO Marc Benioff. He is also bringing a big-gun lawyer to the knife fight, Microsoft’s nemesis from the antitrust trial of the 1990s, David Boies.

During Salesforce’s last earnings call, Benioff obliquely referred to Microsoft as an “unnamed patent troll” and “alley thugs.” In response to a question about Microsoft’s lawsuit on the call, Benioff said, according to ZDNet

Personally, I'm just disappointed to see this from a former leader of our industry, but it's eminently resolvable and it's not material to our day-to-day business. It's basically a no-impact situation. It's not something that I think anyone needs to make anything of., “It's basically a no-impact situation. It's not something that I think anyone needs to make anything of.

But he is making something of it now. David Boies doesn’t come cheap. Hiring him as the Salesforce’s lawyer is designed to send a message to Redmond that Salesforce is not going to pull any punches.

The lawsuit claims that Microsoft products such as SharePoint and parts of the .Net platform violate some of Salesforce’s own cloud computing patents, according to Bloomberg, which broke the story. The countersuit covers five Salesforce patents dealing with managing distributed, web-based computer systems.

The patents in question are:

Patent No. 6,813,633, “Dynamic multi-level cache manager.”
Patent No. 6,918,059, “Method and system for handling errors in a distributed computer system.”
Patent No. 7,024,454, “Work sharing and communicating in a web site system.”
Patent No. 7,209,929, “Java object cache server for databases.”
Patent No. 7,305,454, “Apparatus and methods for provisioning services.”

Nokia Loses Top Technologist And Former Symbian CTO Charles Davies To TomTom

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 06:27 AM PDT

Nokia is having a rough month. First, it saw itself forced to cut its outlook for the second quarter and the full year, and now The Register reports that the Finnish company has lost one of its top tech brains. Charles Davies, former Symbian CTO and notably the first employee and later managing director of Psion, is leaving the mobile juggernaut to take up an unknown role at navigation giant TomTom.

VoIP Company Vopium Raises $16.5 Million In Bid To Challenge Skype

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 05:45 AM PDT

[Copenhagen] Danish VoIP technology company Vopium has received a $16.5 million capital injection, expanding its group of owners with telecom investor Raghuvinder Kataria, one of the early backers of what is now Bharti Airtel (one of the world's largest telecommunication service providers). With the investment, Kataria now owns the majority of shares in Vopium, which will use the funding to expand internationally in an effort to challenge VoIP juggernaut Skype.

Palantir: The Next Billion-Dollar Company Raises $90 Million

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 03:17 AM PDT

When Alex Karp needed funding for a young start up named Palantir in 2005, dozens of investors said “No.”

He was trying to sell them on the idea of a high-powered analysis platform that could scan multiple databases simultaneously— a tool that government officials and corporations could use to tackle complex problems.

“It was very scary since doing enterprise software [from] 2005 to 2009 was a little bit like starting a circus in the middle of Palo Alto with engineers,” Karp says, “Enterprise is a dirty word and that’s the business we’re in, and government is also not very popular in the Valley, [we combined] both.” [See our interview with Karp above]

Today, funding is not an issue.

Palantir, a team of 250-plus engineers nestled in downtown Palo Alto, has raised $90 million in Series D financing at a $735 million valuation— the company exclusively told TechCrunch. The round was led by co-founder Peter Thiel’s The Founders Fund and included Youniversity Ventures, Glynn Capital, Miriam Rivera’s Ulu Ventures, Jeremy Stoppleman, Ben Ling, and a couple of high-profile NY funds.

Although Palantir did not disclose whether it’s profitable, the company says revenues have at least doubled every year for the last three years. And yet this nearly billion dollar company— yes, that’s billion with a big fat “B”— remains a wallflower in Silicon Valley.

Foursquare, a company founded in 2009, has at least 208 posts on TechCrunch. Palantir, founded in 2004, has one. Unlike the most buzzed about startups in tech, Palantir is not in the social game. It doesn’t dispense daily deals, nor does it accept mobile payments and it certainly does not Tweet.

It is an obtuse, difficult-to-explain product that is mainly used in Washington— the government makes up 70% of its business and the rest is dominated by private financial institutions. That may sound painfully boring but Palantir’s user-friendly analysis program is becoming a major player in the war against terrorism and cyber espionage, stimulus spending accountability (Palantir is literally powering the administration’s efforts to identify fraud in stimulus projects),  health care, and even natural disasters like the recent earthquake in Haiti.

This year, the platform famously helped researchers at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto expose a cyber espionage ring called the Shadow Network, which was stealing classified materials from India’s Defense Ministry.

Where there’s a crisis, it’s safe to say that Palantir is probably not far behind.

Screenshot of a Palantir project:

What is Palantir?

To understand Palantir, it helps to start at the origin.

The company is named after the Palantir stones of Lord Of The Rings, which allowed the characters to connect with other stones and see nearby images. The fundamental point of Palantir is to take reams of data and help non-technical users see critical connections and ultimately, the answers to complex problems. The product is a child of PayPal, born from the start up’s methodology for combating fraud:

“They had this massive problem of essentially cyber fraud…they tried algorithmatic approaches…one of the things about that is it doesn’t work really well because the opponent is highly adaptive…What you need is a human mind that’s adaptive,” Karp says.

That would form the foundation for the Palantir platform, which merges human-based algorithms and a powerful engine that can scan several databases at once on an incredibly fine, granular level. It comes in two flavors: Government and Finance. The basic system, which is designed to look like software from a Hollywood spy thriller, accepts huge databases and allows users to slice the information in seemingly innumerable ways.  Unlike PayPal’s model, Palantir is also designed to be highly sensitive to a variety of security needs.

At Palantir’s headquarters, Shreyas Vijaykumar (Forward Deployed Engineer) and Shyam Sankar (Director of Business Development) walked us through one simulation.

We looked at a hypothetical E.Coli outbreak in Detroit, Michigan. We knew the approximate date of the outbreak and the fact that victims purchased meat at two different grocery chain. Using Palantir we were able to identify all the store locations in the area, find the meat distributors, isolate the stores that shared the same distributors and ultimately narrow it down to two distributors where the contamination may have originated. Not exactly fighting terrorists, but a pretty neat 10-minute activity. If it sounds convoluted, you can check out some of their demonstration videos here.

Heat map of Somali pirate attacks:

Unlike the many contractors it competes against, Karp emphasizes that the company does not provide a service, it will always be product oriented.

That dogged loyalty to refining the flagship product permeates Palantir’s offices. For example, a software update is released every month— on the Palantir Government side, the engineers name the update by assigning an element from the periodic table and designing a shirt to commemorate the new update (yes, 250-plus t-shirts are printed each month). That spirit is further reinforced by the engineer-centric model— virtually every single employee is an engineer and roughly 27-years-old. Predictably, the office space is punctuated with extra-large bean bag chairs, a small community of dogs, board games, Halo (even conference rooms are named after parts of Halo),  a working train set, paintings of Carebears, and even a bubble machine that spews bubbles when someone breaks the build.

Of course, there is a downside to an engineer utopia working feverishly to perfect a platform. If everyone’s an engineer, who sells the product?

The answer is no one.

There is no publicist, no sales or marketing team and Karp adamantly believes that there will never be one. He says he is perfectly content to let word of mouth drive his business, in press and in sales. He knows he could multiply his revenues by building out a sales team, but he think it would ultimately detract from the mission:

“If you are iterating on a product that you want to be important three years from now, it’s better to have engineers figuring out what the core issues are and then iterate against them. If you want to optimize on revenue [for the] next quarter…you want to be heavy on a sales force. We’re long on dealing with the most important problems…and short on what happens in the near term.”

It’s hard to imagine a billion-dollar company without a sales team, but then again Palantir is getting pretty darn close.

Google Chrome Now Comes With Flash Built In

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 03:12 AM PDT

Last March, Adobe and Google jointly announced that Flash Player would soon come built in to the latter’s Chrome browser, eliminating the need for users to download, install and update it separately.

On Thursday evening, Google released Chrome 5.0.375.86 to the Stable channel on Linux, Mac, and Windows, with a fix for a number of security issues. More importantly, the integrated Flash Player has now been enabled by default.

As Stephen Shankland over at CNET points out, built-in Flash was previously only available in the developer and beta releases of the speedy WebKit-based browser, and the release to the Stable channel means the integrated plug-in is now available in its mainstream version.

The update comes a mere two days after Google re-enabled the integrated Flash Player plug-in by default in the Beta channel after disabling it for some time.

Not only is Google giving Adobe’s Flash technology another vote of confidence (Flash Player 10.1 for Mobile, which was announced earlier this week, will be rolled out on Android 2.2 phones first), but the integration also means any updates to Flash Player will be delivered directly via Google Chrome's updating system, ultimately minimizing security risks that tend to surface when one uses outdated software and components.

Product Guru Eckart Walther Goes Free Agent As EIR At Accel Partners

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 02:02 AM PDT

One thing Silicon Valley doesn’t have enough of are solid product visionaries. The problem is the really good ones tend of start their own companies. Or whoever they work for locks them up so tight that no one can pry them loose. But there’s one guy I’ve kept my eye on for the last few years, Eckart Walther, who seems to be in play. I wonder for how long.

I first met Eckart when he was at Yahoo as a group vice president of product management for search – that was back in the day when Yahoo was still the no. 2 search engine behind Google and had no plans to relinquish that title. Prior to Yahoo he was at Tellme (acquired by Microsoft). And way back in the day, at Netscape. Most recently he parked himself at LiveOps doing God-knows-what.

He’s left LiveOps and has quietly taken a position at Accel Partners as an entrepreneur in residence. That means he’s being paid to sit around and think a lot, and occasionally join a meeting or two. I randomly saw this on his Facebook feed this evening and haven’t had a chance to talk to him about his plans. But he’s likely to either be starting a new company or looking for his next job at a startup.

Keep an eye on whatever he does next, it’s likely to be something worth watching. Follow him on Twitter at @eckartwalther.

Playdom Continues Shopping Spree; Acquires Social Gaming Startup Hive7

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 07:39 PM PDT

Fresh off a $33 million funding round, Playdom is making its fifth acquisition of the year today. The gaming giant is buying social gaming startup Hive7. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hive7, which is backed by True Ventures and was founded in 2005, develops social games for Facebook and MySpace. The startup is best known for its flagship game, Knighthood, which combines combat and diplomacy in a medieval setting. Other titles include Youtopia, Kick-Off, and Sindicate. Hive 7′s developers and team have already joined Playdom’s Mountain View offices.

Playdom has been on quite a shopping spree over the past few months. The company, which recently brought on a new CTO, has steadily been expanding its presence on Facebook and in the social gaming space, most recently acquiring MMORPG developer Acclaim Games, Facebook game developer Offbeat Creations and developer Three Melons. Playdom also invested $5 million in Facebook game developer MetroGames. And Playdom bought popular branded game developer Merscom.

Of course, the gaming company has been raising large amounts of money to fuel these acquisitions of gaming platforms and talent. This week, the company raised $33 million from Disney’s Steamboat Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and New World Ventures. And in November, Playdom raised a massive $43 million at a $260 million valuation. According to our stats from November, Playdom has 28 million monthly game users. 60% of traffic is from MySpace v. 40% from Facebook. Playdom’s main competitor is gaming giant Zynga, which is a leading game developer on Facebook.

Steve Jobs Responds To The Antenna Issue: Hold It Different Or Use A Case

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 05:21 PM PDT

By now you’ve heard about the antenna issues some people are having with the new iPhone 4. Basically, it seems like wireless signal strength degrades if you hold the lower left corner on some, but not all devices.

This has been shown on video and there are many reports out there about this issue — something that is particularly troublesome for left-handed people. I’m sure a lot of people have asked Apple about the issue — I have too.

So far, I have yet to hear anything back other than they’re looking into it. But one man did hear something back about the issue — from Steve Jobs himself.

C.K. Sample emailed Jobs earlier this afternoon about the issue. A few hours later, Jobs responded with the following:

Gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas. This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.

The first part of his statement is likely true, but the thing is, Apple specifically manufactured this version of the iPhone to have an antenna that wraps around the entire body of the device. Most devices, obviously, don’t do this. Apple undoubtedly did this with good intentions — to both improve reception and make the device itself more compact. But is it possible they miscalculated the trade-off?

Jobs’ solution to hold the phone differently is a bit unreasonable. His other solution to buy one of the new cases is, sadly, expensive (each one costs $29). If the problem is as widespread as some are making it seem, perhaps Apple should be giving these bumpers away.

Sample also let me know that Jobs actually just sent the exact same email to him again. This may mean he’s sending this to all the people who emailed him about this issue today.

Despite the busy launch day, Jobs is clearly going through his email. Earlier, he responded to someone about the new FaceTime feature replacing the Hold button on the phone.

Update: Sure enough, the statement Jobs emailed out is the official statement Apple is now using. Also check out the one-liner Jobs sent to another user that Engadget obtained:

Just avoid holding it that way.

Best “that’s what she said” ever?

Yahoo Search VP Larry Cornett Leaves

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 05:03 PM PDT

Larry Cornett, Yahoo’s Vice President of Search Consumer Products, is leaving the company he’s worked for four years, he announced today on his personal blog. His departure was first reported by Search Engine Land. The news comes just over two weeks after Yahoo laid off a portion of its search team, likely as a result of the Bing/Yahoo search deal. At the time, Yahoo declined to give any numbers on the number of people who were axed, but they did give us this statement:

"Yahoo! remains focused on innovating the overall Search experience over the long-term, and the Yahoo! Search group is hard at work on some new experiences that we believe will convert Yahoo! users to Yahoo! searchers. To accomplish our new product objectives, we have decided that we need a different combination of talent and are making changes within the search group in order to more deeply invest in other areas of the group. "

Cornett’s departure probably isn’t a coincidence. In his blog post, Cornett writes that he’s going to be launching a new startup (currently in stealth) and will also be starting a consulting firm. Cornett also took the opportunity to recap some of the things Yahoo’s Search team did in the last few years.

From his blog:

• Relaunching Yahoo! Search in Oct 2007 with industry-leading Search Assist features
• Bringing structured data into Web Search for the first time with Y! SearchMonkey
• Opening up Search technology to the world like never before with the Yahoo! Search BOSS platform
• Bringing true applications to Search with Search Pad
• Launching an entirely new Y! Search experience again in Sep 2009
• Creating incredibly engaging Image and Video Search experiences
• Integrating Twitter and real-time content in Nov 2009
• An addictive entertainment Search experience that launched this March
• And finally, the truly fun Yahoo! Sketch-a-Search app on the iPhone

Bing Tries To Take Over Web Search On Your iPhone By Making It App-Beautiful

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 04:49 PM PDT

Bing is on a roll. Yesterday, it released Bing Entertainment and a new iPhone app. And today it is following up with an update to its mobile web search at http://m.bing.com. Bing only recently became a search option on the iPhone, but it really wants to become your default mobile search engine.  In fact, if you are not careful, Bing will take over as your default search engine the first time you use it on your iPhone.  A message box pops up asking you, “Do you want to change your search engine to Bing?”  (Yahoo, the other search options, is using the same notification). Once you do, the hope is there will be no going back.

The new mobile web site looks gorgeous in the iPhone’s mobile web browser (as well as on Androids, Palms, Windows phones, Kins, and Zunes). It looks more like an app, with simplified menu buttons along the bottom (local, maps, directions, movies, weather, favorites) and smooth scrolling in maps. The homepage features Bing’s signature background photo, which looks great on an iPhone screen). And right under the search box, you have the option to “Locate me.” It was able to find my exact street address immediately, something which Google’s mobile web search was having trouble with for me (I had to manually enter my zipcode to get local results). Once you let Bing locate you, it remembers your location on subsequent searches.

The menu buttons take you to asearch experienced tuned to your location. The “Local” link takes you to a page that lets you drill down further to restaurants, theaters, hotels, arts, dining, nightlife, shopping, automotive, and more. It acts as a mobile-friendly local directory (and a vehicle for Bing’s local search ads). All of the results are based on proximity. For each listing, there is a phone icon which lets you call from the phone or driving directions which pulls up Bing Maps. You can also save any business listing to your favorites.

Hit “Movies” to see a list of flicks playing nearby, click on a title to see individual showtimes, an overview, or even trailers. Instead of hitting the back button to find more movies, you can simply scroll through the movie poster thumbnails in the top third of the screen. Who needs an app? Google’s mobile search for movies pulls up similar information, but it is all laid out an endless-scroll format with too much white space. It just doesn’t look as good. And as we all know, on the iPhone, looks matter. When I try “Weather,” again Google has trouble locating me and it ends up giving me the wrong temperature.

I’ve already switched to Bing on the iPhone. Who’s with me?

SIde-by-Side Comparison

Bing Mobile Vs. Google Mobile

Instapaper Pretties Up For iPhone 4 And Gets Page Swiping

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 04:31 PM PDT

The simple bookmarking tool, Instapaper, is easily one of the best apps available for the iPhone (and iPad). It’s perhaps the perfect way to keep track of and manage online posts (especially long ones) that you want to read later on a mobile device. Seeing as the iPhone 4 was just released today with its new high quality Retina Display to make reading more enjoyable on the go, these two seem like a match made in heaven. And now they are.

Apple has just approved version 2.2.4 of Instapaper. The universal app (meaning it will work on both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad) brings several key updates. First, the graphics have been updated to make them look better on the iPhone 4′s Retina Display. Second, swipe-to-page has been added to both the iOS 4 version of the app and the iPad version. This new functionality mimics the way you turn a page in Apple’s own iBooks app. Developer Marco Arment also promises better page turning performance with the latest version. Third, a few interface bugs have been fixed. And finally, OAuth support for Twitter has been added.

Along with the new version, Arment has changed the name of the premium version of the app from “Instapaper Pro” to simply “Instapaper.” (The free version is “Instapaper Free”.)

One important thing to note: this update does not yet fix the problem users are facing if they have a password assigned to their Instapaper account. There is a problem on the iPhone 4 that makes the password box render incorrectly and makes it unusable. Arment notes that 2.2.5 (which he has also submitted to Apple) will fix this, but it hasn’t been approved just yet. For now, you can work around it by removing your password (though, obviously, you should do so with caution).

You can find Instapaper in the App Store here. The premium version is $4.99.

Jobs On FaceTime Replacing Hold Button: “Hold Doesn’t Do Anything More Than Mute”

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 04:02 PM PDT

As you’ve undoubtedly heard, one of the big new features of the iPhone 4 is FaceTime, the video chatting functionality. If you’re on a call with another iPhone 4 user (and both of you are connected to WiFi), you’ll see a new FaceTime button in the bottom row of the call options. But as some people have noticed, this new button replaces the “Hold” button found on all other iPhones. So how do you put a call on hold now? One reader, Jonathan Cowperthwait, emailed Steve Jobs today to find out.

Less than two hours later, he got a response. (Apparently, Jobs is on top of his emails even on days when he’s launching a massive new product.) In typical Jobs fashion, here’s his answer:

Hold doesn’t do anything more than Mute.

There you go.

Of course, that begs the question: than why is there a hold option on any iPhone? That may be the subject of another email.

iPhone 4 + Gyroscope + Gaming = All Kinds Of Awesome [Video]

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 02:59 PM PDT

In terms of the hardware, one of the only completely new features on the iPhone 4 is the gyroscope. It’s so new, in fact, that third-party developers haven’t had a chance to play around with it yet because they didn’t have access to the iPhone 4 hardware until today (or at least two days ago). And because they didn’t have the hardware, that means there are a sad lack of apps that use the feature so far. But actually, there is one out there. Ngmoco’s Eliminate: GunRange. And it’s awesome.

The game itself is simple. You pick a gun (preferably a high-powered semi-automatic one) and head to the shooting range. But the game shines thanks to the gyroscope — which is required for you to play. Rather than dragging your finger around the screen to tell your gun where to aim, you simply tilt the iPhone itself. Sure, you could sort of do this previously with the compass built in to the iPhone 3GS — but trust me, this is much, much better.

With you fingers freed up from aiming, they can do other things here — such a shoot. That’s how you fire your weapon, simply tap the screen. You can imagine that as more developers take advantage of this gyroscope, they’ll come up with plenty of innovative things you can do on the screen during games since your fingers are now freed up.

Watch the video below to see just how accurate and sensitive the gyroscope is. Again, it’s pretty amazing. Last week, we highlighted a company, Subversus Interactive, that created a technology to emulate a gyroscope without actually having one (which again, no iPhones before the latest one do). That’s impressive as well, but using the actual gyroscope is much more accurate (and that developer has said he’s excited to try it out to make his system more accurate).

I’m going to go ahead and assume ngmoco got an iPhone 4 early to build this thing. As soon as other developers have had this device for a while, there are going to be some amazing games as a result.

Below my video, check out the one ngmoco made themselves — yes, they’re much better at the game than I am.

You can find Eliminate: GunRange in the App Store here for $0.99. If you were lucky enough to get an iPhone 4 today, you should definitely check it out.

GetGlue Blends Check-Ins With Social Recommendations In New iPhone App

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 10:47 AM PDT

GetGlue, a social browsing assistant that shows ratings and recommendations of movies, books, restaurants, stocks, and more on the web, is going mobile today with the launch of a free iPhone app. You can find the app here.

With the new app users can to check-in to their favorite shows, music, movies and books, and see what their friends are enjoying in real-time. With each check-in, users earn points and stickers from GetGlue and other major brands. The app also allows users to rate their favorite shows, movies, music and books and receive personalized suggestions.

You can also share check-ins with your Twitter and Facebook friends, rate lists of popular shows, movies, music and books, receive weekly new releases and customized recommendations, and access existing reviews, clips and ratings for 20 million movies, books and albums.

GetGlue has partnered with a number of high-profile entertainment brands, including Showtime, Warner Bros, Random House, Universal Pictures, PBS, and more to reward users with special stickers when they share and write a recommendation for a movie, book show, song or more.

Currently, GetGlue has over 500,000 registered users and receives over 1.5 million new ratings every month and continues to grow. The company, which recently ramped up its personalization features, makes money through affiliate relationships when users click through from the site and app to buy books, movies, and more. The startup’s founder, Alex Iskold, says that sponsored branded stickers could also be another revenue stream for the startup.

comScore: YouTube Reaches All-Time High of 14.6 Billion Videos Viewed In May

Posted: 24 Jun 2010 10:17 AM PDT

U.S. comScore video metrix stats are out today, with the number of video viewers rebounding in the month of May. According to the web metrics company, 183 million U.S. Internet users watched online video during the month compared to 178 million in April. ComScore reports that YouTube saw record viewership in May with an all-time high of 14.6 billion videos viewed and surpassing the threshold of 100 videos per viewer for the first time. The report also showed that 144.1 million viewers watched 14.6 billion videos on YouTube.com (which works out to 101.2 videos per viewer).

In May, U.S. Internet users watched nearly 34 billion videos, with Google Sites taking the top spot with 14.6 billion videos, representing 43.1 percent of all videos viewed online. ComScore says that YouTube accounted for the vast majority of videos viewed at the property. Hulu came in second with 1.2 billion videos, or 3.5 percent of all online videos viewed, a slight increase from April. Microsoft Sites ranked third with 642 million (1.9 percent), followed by Vevo with 430 million (1.3 percent) and Viacom Digital with 347 million (1.0 percent).

According to the release, 84.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video. The average Hulu viewer watched 27.0 videos, totaling 2.7 hours of video per viewer. The duration of the average online video was 4.3 minutes.

In terms of number of viewers, nearly 183 million viewers watched an average of 186 videos per viewer in May. Google Sites attracted 144.6 million unique viewers during the month (101.2 videos per viewer), followed by Yahoo Sites with 46.0 million viewers (7.3 videos per viewer), and Vevo with 45.6 million viewers (9.4 videos per viewer). Vevo grew again this month, and moved up the list one position in the May ranking taking the #3 spot with 45.6 million viewers and an average of 9.4 videos per viewer.

With respect to video advertising in May, Tremor Media once again took the top spot as the number one video ad network with a potential reach of 102.8 million viewers, or 56.2 percent of the total video viewing audience. ScanScout Network ranked second with a potential reach of 99.3 million viewers (54.3 percent penetration) followed by YuMe Video Network with 87.5 million viewers (47.8 percent).


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