posted 3 months ago on gigaom
Facebook has released a new application called Notify that will allow its users to receive push notifications about breaking news, new movie trailers, and more. This could help Facebook achieve two goals: It could make the company more important to the media, and it could increase the traffic it sends to publishers. Notify users are tasked with choosing “stations” they want to follow. These are divided into categories from sports and politics to health and entertainment. Stations are managed by sources like the New York Times or People Magazine. Every source can offer multiple stations devoted to different areas of interest. That might sound confusing. An easier way to think about it is that Facebook has basically taken the RSS feeds publishers used to have on their websites, renamed them, and made it so they can send push notifications to their followers’ phones instead of quietly updating in the background of those followers’ RSS readers. It’s also brought them into an application it can control, and which will receive credit if publishers get extra attention for their stories. Facebook is essentially appropriating RSS feeds — a freely available tool any publisher could use — the same way it took the Web page and sought to replace it with Instant Articles. Facebook has been transparent about its efforts to become the only platform that matters to large publishers. Instant Articles promise many benefits, especially the speed with which they load on mobile devices, but their primary function is keeping Facebook users engaged with its platform instead of the broader Web. Many publishers have bought into this scheme. Startup companies like Vox Media quickly supported Instant Articles, and even old media publishers like the Washington Post have decided to publish all of their stories right to Facebook. Facebook is already the most important referrer to most news sites, and it offers publishers a cut of advertising revenues, so why not give Instant Articles a try? Notify makes a similar value proposition. The notifications sent by the service appear on someone’s phone almost instantaneously; most RSS readers don’t offer similar mechanisms. Modern readers are all about speed, and making it so they don’t even have to load a website to read something is as fast as it gets. Push notifications could also help Facebook bolster the traffic it sends to publishers. Digiday reported earlier this week that referral traffic to large publishers fell 32 percent between January and October. That large a fall seriously threatens the control Facebook is able to exert over the media. But that’s only if people have stopped clicking on article links while also avoiding Instant Articles. The fall in referral traffic could well have been influenced by the rising popularity of Instant Articles, Digiday reports, because they’re specifically meant to keep users inside Facebook’s products instead of sending them away. There’s also a bright side: Instant Articles are reportedly shared more often than links to outside websites. Facebook might have damned the media industry by making publishers rely on its service for traffic, but it might also have provided the solution by creating a content delivery mechanism its users actually prefer. The same principle could hold true for Notify. The app will buzz people’s phones when one of their stations shares something, and those people could then share that notification to Facebook. (They don’t even have to unlock their phone to do so; a “share” option is available right next to the notification on the lock screen.) All of which means Facebook could funnel more users into its products instead of other solutions, just like it did with Instant Articles. In the process it could benefit publishers who support it and condemn the publishers who don’t because its users would rather share things via Notify than another service. Notify is restricted to iPhone owners in the United States at launch. It’s not clear when it might expand to other platforms or locations — Facebook only says that it’s “excited to explore this evolving medium with participating sources.” This most likely means Notify’s performance in the US will dictate any expansions. Facebook appropriates RSS feeds with Notify app originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Handicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruptionComparing Amazon EC2’s C3 and C4 Families

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Tinder has updated its mobile applications to display more information on user profiles and offer a reorganized view of the messages sent through its service. The updated profiles can now display a person’s job and education. Tinder says in a blog post that this was its most-requested feature, and that the addition will let users “make more informed choices” about potential matches and provide “great conversation starters” if both people confirm their interest in each other. Tinder profiles now sport information about someone’s age, interests, and the social equivalent to a resumé in addition to photos collected from Instagram. The service is also introducing “smart profiles” to show users what they have in common with the individuals they encounter during their idle swiping sessions. These additions support Tinder’s assertion that its service is used to meet people interested in relationships instead of — or in addition to — one-night stands. (More on the company’s insistence that it’s not a hookup service right here.) If anything, it now seems like a ‘Facebook for future friends.’ That contention is supported by the other update released today: A reorganized view of the messages Tinder users send to each other. The app now separates messages from people who have responded to each other (conversations) and messages that haven’t been responded to (introductions) into different sections. Tinder users could use the service to message each other indefinitely. If they’re looking for platonic relationships, or if they end up making friends with people in whom they were romantically interested, they can use Tinder’s applications to communicate without having to worry about all the baggage Facebook carries. Of course, that all depends on people adding information to their Tinder profiles and using the service to do something other than have one-night stands. The company says that’s how many of its users view the service; the perception of the app in popular culture, however, tells a different story about its users’ intentions. These changes might help promote Tinder’s view of its service. They might also just make it easier for the app to make more money when people run out of swipes or decide to send a “super like” to indicate their desire to meet someone. Either way the company gets to use these new features to its own benefit. Tinder update makes the service a romantic Facebook originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.How to design for the realities of mobile computingHandicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruption

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posted 3 months ago on gigaom
Media and advertising giant AOL is now seeing most of its audience — about two-thirds — coming from mobile devices, the company has shared with Gigaom. That’s up from about half its audience coming from mobile in January 2015. Verizon-owned AOL has a large stable of high-trafficked digital properties, including the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Moviefone, and many more, which have a collective global audience reach of about half a billion people per month, according to comScore. And while it’s not exactly surprising that more people are consuming content via smartphones and tablets, it is significant that AOL now has the audience to support its transformation into a mobile-first company. (That’s something Facebook also recently achieved.) The heavy mobile growth is thanks to a strategy that began over a year ago that entailed (obviously) a defocus on desktop; strategic partnerships; internal changes; and being acquired by Verizon, according to AOL global head of mobile Chad Gallagher. “There wasn’t a magic bullet, but rather this is the culmination of all those plans finally coming together. The [mobile audience growth] is a good proof point,” he told me. The larger mobile audience may also help AOL’s new parent company Verizon (as well as AOL itself) justify the content side of the business, even though many speculate that it was most interested in AOL’s ad-tech platform. Digiday reported back in May that AOL had approached Time Inc. about selling the Huffington Post for a cool $1 billion. Similar rumors circulated about a sale of tech news leader TechCrunch, with AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong dismissing both claims and insisting the company would remain in the business of content. As for advertising, Gallagher said the higher mobile audience adds to recent efforts to further company’s ad business. Specifically, AOL’s agreement with Microsoft to take over most of its ad sales operations back in July, and more recently, closing on the acquisition of Millennial Media. Both of those efforts should help the company better monetize its own content. The company, however, declined to share any stats on its mobile video audience. Yet, that’s an area of advertising AOL is increasingly interested in (as is the rest of the industry), which is clear from the Go90 ad deal Verizon and AOL made with Publicis Groupe last month. AOL says two-thirds of its audience now comes from mobile originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Online video courts TV dollarsHow to move digital marketing beyond the “Like”Musical chairs in online and over-the-top video in the third quarter

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Facebook has updated the Live service it debuted in August to make it easier for people to know when one of their favorite public figures is streaming with the tool. Now, instead of having to chance upon a livestream while it’s still, ya know, live, users can subscribe to a feed and receive notifications when a stream starts. (The finished video is also saved to the streamer’s Facebook page for posterity.) Live was exclusive to celebrities when it debuted, but it has since expanded to include other public figures like journalists and politicians. It’s basically the same thing as Periscope, the streaming app Twitter introduced earlier this year, with a focus on people with name recognition instead of anyone with a phone. In addition to making it easier for people to use the service, Facebook has also shared for what appears to be the first time information about Live’s popularity. The company says that more than 60 percent of broadcasters are outside the United States; that some streams attracted 200,000 viewers; and that a stream where Vin Diesel spoke with his fans was seen by more than 1 million people. There might be some contention about what Facebook counts as someone watching the livestreams. The archived streams automatically play, much like other videos shared to the service, and I suspect the livestreams do the same. It’s possible that a Facebook user scrolling through their News Feed might have become an unwitting tally mark simply because the video briefly started to play. I wrote about the problems with these types of measurements earlier today when I covered Snapchat’s reported 6 billion daily video views. I argued that these measurements are all but meaningless, and that the only thing that matters is how these numbers change. (I’ve reached out to Facebook to clarify how they’re measuring views and will update this post if they respond to my inquiry.) So is this proof that Facebook’s attempts to woo celebrities are working? Might Live be the first copycat service Facebook has introduced in a while that won’t slip silently into oblivion? These numbers suggest that both of these things are true, but until we see some followup figures and Facebook clarifies how it’s coming by these measurements, we won’t have any kind of definitive answer. Facebook Live will now tell you when a livestream starts originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Handicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruptionComparing Amazon EC2’s C3 and C4 Families

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posted 3 months ago on gigaom
The last few weeks have seen a handful of massive social services announced measurements for video views that reach into the billions. But those figures are actually far less impressive (at least right now) when you consider the value of each view. For instance, Snapchat users watch a collective 6 billion videos every day. That seems like a lot, especially when compared against the 8 billion videos watched by Facebook users and the 7 or 8 billion videos watched on YouTube in the same time period. Snapchat doesn’t have nearly as many users as those services, so if it’s coming close to their videos-watched tallies, its users must be moving picture fanatics. That said, there is some discrepancy between what each of these services counts as a video being watched. As the BBC reports, Facebook only charges advertisers if a video is watched for more than three seconds; YouTube does the same after 30 seconds; and Snapchat charges advertisers if a video plays for less than a second. Apparently these companies can’t even agree on what “watching a video” means. Those are just the numbers that determine when an advertiser is charged. While advertising is the lifeblood of these services — though each also has other ways to make money, whether it’s ad-free subscriptions or offering in-app purchases — that doesn’t always line up with what the companies focus their attentions on. YouTube touts the number of hours its users spend on its service each day, for example, while Facebook emphasizes how many videos its users are watching. Then there are the differences in how the videos are presented to their viewers. Facebook automatically plays videos that appear in users’ News Feeds (as long as those users haven’t disabled auto-playing videos in the service’s settings) so it could tally up videos that no-one is paying attention to. YouTube and Snapchat, on the other hand, don’t play videos until their users signal their desire to do so. Facebook’s method has its fans. The Wall Street Journal reports that more companies reliant on videos are considering the addition of auto-play features to their websites. But automatically playing videos have their detractors, too, and some Web browsers have even introduced features that make it easy to mute obnoxious videos that play even though someone isn’t actually watching them. This problem isn’t restricted to videos. Tech companies measure success in whatever metric suits them, whether that’s the number of people who have downloaded their application or the amount of in-app purchases those apps facilitate. There’s no widely-accepted definition; even something as simple as “active users” is presented in the way that most benefits the affected company. Nor is this statistic favoritism restricted to tech companies. Publishers will often do the same thing: Some tout their pageviews, others their unique visitors, and still others the amount of time the average visitor spends on their website. These numbers are all calculated using different analytics tools that produce differing measurements. Objectivity in measuring the audience for journalism is dead. All of which leaves reports on user growth, or increases in the time people spend on a site, or whatever metric is being touted limited to talking about changing numbers. Company X has Metric Y and that figure changed by Number Z. (Oh, which reminds me, the 6 billion video views Snapchat is touting is an increase from the 2 million daily views chief executive Evan Spiegel shared back in May.) So there isn’t much sense in comparing the number of videos watched on Snapchat to those watched on Facebook or YouTube. The three services don’t just have different purposes — they’re also tallying things up differently. Until that changes (which is unlikely) the comparisons don’t mean that much. Why it’s impossible to put Snapchat’s 6B daily video views in context originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.How to choose between DIY and hyper-convergence in the data centerHow personal analytics can streamline business decisionsHow and why to implement a successful data lake

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posted 3 months ago on gigaom
Growing up in a beautiful place makes you take a lot of things for granted. I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and it’s strange to me how many people visit the area just to look at the lakes, forests, and waterfalls. Can’t they find many of the same things just by walking out their own back doors? I’ve come to realize that’s the wrong question. Instead of asking why millions of people make the trip to the place where I live, I should be asking why I’m not taking advantage of the beautiful world that surrounds the place where I keep the many Internet-connected screens by which I’ve surrounded myself. Two apps, the all-but-identically named Wonders and Wander, both want to use those screens to inspire homebodies like me to explore the world around them. Both are based on the idea that people don’t get outside often enough; they differ mostly in how they’ve decided to get those people off their asses. Screenshot from Wonders mobile app, which shows off one of the user stories that accompanies the photography. Wonders chief executive Martin Ahe compares his app to a mobile magazine. It features images from professional travel photographers, and an update released today allows consumers to order professional prints of those images, with the photographers receiving a small portion of the resulting revenues. Ahe wants Wonders to “take urbanites, get them to nature, and get them to live a little bit more compassionately and be more connected with nature.” The idea is to make these people happier, healthier, and more interested in preserving a world teetering on the brink of environmental crisis, he says. Wonders is organized around the content contributed by photographers, but Ahe says the company has never paid anyone whose images have appeared in the app. Giving them a slice of the revenues drawn from people buying prints is supposed to be a way for the company to help support those contributors. Those photographers have shared images from the Scottish Highlands and United States national parks to British Columbia and the Arctic Circle. Ahe says the idea is that sharing these images will get people to spend more of their time outdoors, whether it’s in places like this or in their own back yards. He dismisses the idea that the shoots might intimidate people without the means to visit the places they depict. “This is a very standard sort of excuse,” he says. “‘Oh, I’m just not outdoorsy enough, not fit enough, I don’t have the right gear.’ It’s very easy to come up with excuses not to do stuff like that.” Wonders tries to accommodate people who lack those means by including less intense photos. “Most of [Wonders’ content] is celebrating people who just take a car, or a bike, or a truck, and just go in any direction and find whatever feels good,” Ahe says. “Adventure like that is already good enough.” Still, an app populated with images from people traveling around areas that most people won’t visit in their lifetimes doesn’t offer a lot of guidance as to what those people can do without breaking the bank. That’s where Wander, which was also created to inspire wanderlust in its users, might come in. What to do once you’re outside Despite their shared fixation on the outdoors, Wander couldn’t be more different from Wonders. It’s a side project from two developers, not a startup that went through TechStars Austin; it’s based on user-generated content, not contributions from professionals; and it doesn’t bill itself as a magazine. A shot of some possible things to do in your area from Wander’s iOS app. Wander instead focuses on allowing people to track their hikes, collect whatever images they took during their trek, and share the entire thing as a mapped-out journey that anyone can follow. It’s less like a travel publication and more like a combination of existing hiking-tracking apps and Instagram. “We wanted to let people tell the full story of their adventure,” says Wander co-creator Timothy Sakhuja. This would in turn “help people more easily discover things that excite them and hikes they want to go out and do — and they can do them, because they have a GPS trace associated with the journal.” The app is pretty simple at the moment. Sakhuja says the team would like to add more features, such as integrations with existing hiking apps and a location-based feed, to the application when they have the opportunity. Right now Wander isn’t under any pressure to take on funding or monetize itself. It might be unfair to compare these two applications. They’re quite different in terms of the companies behind them, their presentation, and the way they want to achieve their goals. But the goal is just about the same: Inspiring people to put their phone away for a moment to experience the natural world. In the process, they might just teach people to appreciate what’s available to them. It certainly worked for me: In the time it took to test both these apps and ask questions of Ahe and Sakhuja, I found myself appreciating the place I live just a little bit more than I had in the past. That’s good enough for me. Trouble exploring the great outdoors? These apps have a fix. originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Handicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruptionComparing Amazon EC2’s C3 and C4 Families

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Have you ever had a cup of perfectly brewed tea? If you’re treating the brewing process anything like making coffee then it’s likely you haven’t. See, tea is actually a very complex creature with hundreds of different flavor profiles and dozens of infusing possibilities. The key is in the process of brewing, which takes a bit more effort since boiling temperatures and steeping time are big factors. That’s something startup Teforia’s new infuser device wants to make easier. “What’s the best way to present that ritualistic quality to a tea drinker in this really chaotic, busy world, but at the same time figure out how to make the best tea possible on a very scientific level?,” is the question posed by Teforia CEO and cofounder Allen Han, who left his product design work at the likes of Microsoft, HTC and Amazon to focus on helping people get the most out of their hot beverage. “Tea is very much like wine. Different terroirs of the world will actually have different tea. And on top of that, tea adds another level complexity beyond wine because tea has four seasons in which they harvest,” says Teforia CEO and cofounder Allen Han, who first got the idea for the smart tea infusion device after having a sub-part experience at a high-end coffee shop. “Each season will actually add a different flavor to the tea.” As for Teforia’s infuser, on the surface it doesn’t add much in the way of complexity to the ritual of making tea. In many ways, it’s still just adding water. Inside the machine is a different story, though. It employs machine-learning, a wide-open system, and precise infusion processes to ensure the perfect cup. Tea is measured using compostable pods (a far cry from the landfill-stuffing plastic nightmares that are Keurig’s K-cups) equipped with RFID tags that pull tea information and carefully-honed recipes from the Internet. Users simply place the pod on the reader on top of the machine to pull the correct recipe before adding it to an infusion globe. Teforia’s machine then brews in different courses (like phases of infusion) rather than a single imprecise infusion.  “Instead of doing one single batch of tea… we’ll divide that into multiple infusions, and that’s part of our SIPS Technology (Selective Infusion Profile System),” Han explains. “We do that because tea is actually very complicated, and there’s actually 200+ different chemical compounds in there. Each set of chemicals we call a ‘profile’, and these could impart a flavor. “For example, a fruitiness in a black tea, a vegetable flavor and savory flavor in a green tea…each course will change the parameters of the water, timing, how much aeration we do to optimize the infusion conditions for each profile.” Teforia’s infusers run on an open system that allows you to use your own loose leaf tea in conjunction with Teforia’s app to brew and customize tea recipes. By telling the app about the color, size, and shape the tea leaves that you’re brewing, you can customize recipes to extract less caffeine (up to 62 percent less, in fact) or more antioxidants. You’ll also have access to a flavor wheel that’ll let you customize the taste of the tea based on four basic notes: floral, savory, fruity and earthy. Using the SIPS tech, the machine will adjust the courses to bring out different aspects of certain teas. The FlavorWheel allows users to customize the specific notes and tasting profiles within a brewing recipe. “Prior to Teforia, it was very difficult for anyone to actually taste the seasonality in tea, but now we’re able to fine-tune to the level that you’ll be able to taste a summer tea — that’s going to be a little bit more spicy, a little bit more fruity, more sweet — versus a winter tea that’s going to be more floral, more crispy and more light in finish,” Han tells me. Teforia’s app also tracks all previous teas and tea recipes you’ve tried, allows you to share/discover those recipes with others, and provides a way to connect the Infuser to work in conjunction with your other smart home gadgets. It’s easy to see Han’s experience in product design and user experience in the Teforia machine: The product itself is gorgeous. It’s sleek and uncomplicated, with only two components that require washing (the globe and carafe) and backlit buttons that are only visible when the machine is in use. It’s small, too, with a footprint about the size of your average coffee maker or stand-up mixer. Teforia’s infusers available for preorder now and will ship in Spring 2016. The infuser will retail for $1,299 (although the first 500 devices are available for $649). That’s a steep price but perhaps worth it for those who are serious about getting the most out of, say, a $45/oz Oolong. You’re making tea wrong, but this gadget can help originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Handicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruptionComparing Amazon EC2’s C3 and C4 Families

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An Apple ID is an account that users of any Apple device can use to access content on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. This content includes iBooks from the iBook Store, apps from the Mac and iOS App Stores, and media from iTunes. Traditionally, each user should have their own Apple ID. This works great in home environments, and can be layered with Apple’s Family Plan in order to allow families to share content. Work environments are a different story. One of the hardest things to deal with in Apple deployments has been how to deal with Apple IDs. Managing Apple IDs can become unwieldy depending if they decide to use Apple IDs for each user or for each device. To help with this, Apple built the ability to centrally manage some content using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, such as Bushel (www.bushel.com). MDM is a service that allows users to enroll their device and then have content sent to that device from a central location. An MDM service can help you get devices set-up and then manage what users can do on those devices (e.g. you can restrict access to features you don’t want used, automatically deploy email accounts, or, if needed, wipe a device that falls outside your control). Content is then usually purchased in bulk using Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP), so licenses are centrally owned and can be reclaimed if necessary. The VPP allows organizations to buy 10 or 10,000 copies of an app, and automatically deploy that app to devices. Traditionally, each user or device required a unique Apple ID. This meant users needed to create Apple IDs, or organizations needed to create Apple IDs on their behalf. The MDM service then sent apps to devices using these Apple IDs. I have spent months working with schools and companies of all sizes on strategies for managing Apple IDs. iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) brought an entirely new way of deploying content to devices. You can now deploy an app or iBook to a device, rather than to an Apple ID meaning you can perform large deployments without having to use unique Apple IDs on each device. There might be other factors that still cause you to need to use Apple IDs, but distributing apps and books isn’t one of them. Many MDM solutions, including Bushel, have implemented this new option from Apple, greatly streamlining how devices are managed. In order to deploy apps to devices, you’ll still need to buy those apps through the VPP. Doing so allows you to potentially get apps at a discount and provide better management over what users are able to do within those apps. For many environments, removing the need to use an Apple ID will make using Apple devices en masse so much simpler. An MDM can also remove the app from a device and allow an administrator to deploy the app to someone else (for example, if an employee who uses their own device leaves the organization). Overall, this new feature of an MDM solution further underscores the need to manage devices centrally, no matter the size of your organization. And doing so doesn’t have to be a costly. Bushel can be used by administrators for free on up to three devices, forever, so smaller teams using company iPads, iPhones, or Macs might not even end up needing to pay for an MDM solution. As deployments grow, Bushel only costs $2 per device, per month. Once upon a time, you needed large farms of servers to centrally manage mobile devices. These days, the solutions out there are inexpensive, if not free. If you have a growing number of Apple devices, want to be able to wipe your devices should you lose them, manage apps on devices, or manage what people can do on those devices, check out the many MDM solutions out there, including Bushel, the only one written from the ground up with small businesses in mind. When you buy your devices, make sure they can be managed through Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP). DEP allows you to ship devices to a user and have them join an MDM solution at set-up, automatically. Using an MDM solution in conjunction with Apple’s new Apple ID-free deployment options, VPP, and a DEP account provides you with the most zero-touch solution available, while being as secure as possible. And when you can give a user a device that’s still shrink-wrapped from Apple that they can set up themselves, you’ve just slashed IT costs and made sure your devices meet company requirements, all while providing users with a personal experience similar to the unbeatable Apple Retail experience. Your employees and coworkers will thank you. Sponsored post: iOS 9 and Bushel Bring Apps To Devices Without Needing Apple IDs originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…

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Atlassian, the enterprise software-maker, has filed to go public. The company tapped Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead the offering. It plans to be listed under the “TEAM” ticker item on the Nasdaq stock exchange. According to its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) it plans to raise $250 million from the IPO, but TechCrunch says that’s a placeholder. Atlassian was founded in Australia in 2002. The company has raised $210 million on the secondary market, but as the New York Times notes, it hasn’t raised an official funding round. The last private investment in the company reportedly gave it a valuation of $3 billion, making it a so-called “unicorn.” The company says in its filing that it has been profitable for the last three years. (The profits themselves shrank between 2014 and 2015 because the company invested more in research and development than it did in previous years.) Its revenues rose from $148.5 million in fiscal 2013 to $319.5 million in fiscal 2015. Atlassian split its flagship product, the JIRA product management and collaboration platform, into three parts in October. At the time, it said that the various aspects of the service are used by roughly 35,000 businesses across 165 countries. Splitting it into multiple pieces was supposed to boost those numbers. Atlassian files for IPO, plans to list under ‘TEAM’ originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.Handicapping On-Demand Market SectorsA planning framwork for disruptionComparing Amazon EC2’s C3 and C4 Families

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Pinterest has introduced a new visual search feature that allows its users to identify specific objects shown in the images people collect and share on its site. The tool works by allowing people to select a portion of an image — presumably centered on whatever they wish to learn more about — and searching for similar images. It’s basically Google’s Image Search built right into Pinterest’s service. Pinterest engineering manager Kevin Jing says in the blog post announcing the visual search feature that it can be used to identify everything from a lamp hanging in a kitchen to the pair of shoes worn by the subject of a photo-shoot. In a post on the company’s engineering blog, Pinterest’s Andrew Zhai explains that the company partnered with members of the Berkeley Vision and Learning Center to develop the technologies that allow this visual search tool to function. This new feature comes hot on the heels of a dedicated shop from which Pinterest users can purchase items from brands like Nordstrom and the Heist. It isn’t hard to see how the search and commerce-related features might collide. To use the example from Pinterest’s blog posts: Imagine someone likes a lamp they see in a pin. After using the new search tool to find more information about the lamp, they decide they want to buy it. So they click a “buyable pin” to do so. That process is much easier than it used to be. That same shopper would’ve had to use Google’s image search after cropping out the irrelevant parts of the “pin,” found an item, and then looked for a store that sold the damned light fixture. Pinterest, as I noted in my post about its new shopping section, doesn’t currently make money from brands that sell items through its service. That will change — and when it does, search features like this one will help it sell more products. Until then this is just an interesting feature that will make it easier for Pinterest users to learn more about an image without ever having to leave Pinterest’s site or mobile apps. Let the Pinterest-addicted lamp-seekers of the world rejoice! Pinterest introduces a new visual search tool originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading… Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.How ecommerce and online experience are fusing for major brandsGigaom Research survey: digital marketing tactics for customer acquistitionConsumer products will drive enterprise breakthroughs

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