Twitter and IBM to partner on business data analytics
Last week Twitter and IBM announced a deal that will see the two firms combine their data collection and analytics capabilities. The partnership, which is intended to provide more insightful sales and marketing information is, understandably, big news in the business community.
As a result of the move, Twitter data will be integrated into IBM’s cloud-based big analytics tools, enabling developers to create enterprise analytic apps for businesses.
Twitter’s Chief Executive said the deal was a “huge milestone for Twitter” and, that it would “change the way business decisions are made – from identifying emerging market opportunities to better engaging clients, partners and employees”.
This announcement was also warmly welcomed by the President and Chief Executive of IBM who said the partnership was the latest example of how “IBM is reimagining work”.
BBM adds Snapchat-style self-destruct messages
BlackBerry is now letting users of its BBM messaging service destruct and retract messages and images.
The move, which formed part of the latest BBM update, allows users to “unsend” messages that haven’t yet been seen. In addition, users can set a time limit for recipients to view any messages before they are deleted or, alternatively, retract them manually.
The new functionality is free to all for the next three months. However, BlackBerry plans to introduce these features as part of a paid subscription service after this initial period.
While likely to be welcomed by the business community, it’s worth noting that anything sent via BBM can still be screen grabbed. As SnapChat’s recent security breach proves, just because something is deleted from a device, doesn’t mean it can’t be accessed by other means.
Other developments included in the latest BBM update (available on BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone) include higher-quality photos and new sticker feature.
WhatsApp’s reaches 70 million users in India
According to mobile messenger service WhatsApp, its Indian user base has grown to 70 million, making the country one of its biggest markets.
WhatsApp, has only 80 employees, despite having been bought by Facebook for $19 billion. Today it is the world’s most popular messaging app with 600 million users, followed by China’s WeChat (438 million users) and Japan’s LINE (400 million users).
Google’s smartphone market share begins to slip
According to a recent report, Google’s Android mobile operating system ran 84% of smartphones shipped globally in the third quarter of 2014. The results see Google’s share decrease slightly from 85% in Q2, leading to claims that its share of the market is peaking. In Q3, market share for Apple’s mobile operating system was 12%, with Windows capturing 3% and BlackBerry at just 1%.
Google makes no direct revenue from the use of its operating system, having given it to device makers for free. Google does, however, profit from advertisement revenue generated via its apps, and it also takes a percentage of sales from apps and subscriptions sold via the Google Play store.
While it seems unlikely that Google’s dominance is likely to go beyond current figures, the smartphone market continues to grow overall. With analysts predicting a 12% growth in smartphone shipments in 2015, it is unlikely that Google will be too despondent with the figures.
Facebook launches a ‘dark’ website
Facebook isn’t known for letting users hide their identities online, however, last Friday it announced that it had lifted it’s ban on the anonymous Tor browser.
For individuals concerned about their online privacy, Tor provides a secure method to surf the internet anonymously. With multiple layers of encryption and a number of additional security measures, Tor has, until now, been unsuitable for accessing Facebook. However, with Facebook now creating a URL that can be used to access a hidden version of the social media site, users can now access Facebook via any Tor-enabled browser.
The change has faced a mixed response. While some users have welcomed the move, others have reacted with irony, highlighting that the idea of anonymity on Facebook is somewhat contradictory