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Category Archives: #apps

What Is a Social Business App, Anyway? And Why Is the Market Booming?

For the past month, all eyes have been on Facebook: the massive $104 billion valuation, the bungled IPO, the 28-percent nosedive in market capitalization. But one of the biggest stories in social media has been unfolding under the radar.

Last month, Vitrue — the social media marketing firm for Facebook advertising — was acquired by Oracle for $300 million. And just this week, customer relations giantSalesforce gobbled up Buddy Media, another social media marketing platform, for a cool $745 million. Both Vitrue and Buddy Media happen to be social enterprise apps: tools geared toward helping big businesses capitalize on social media.

A little digging turns up even more. In 2011, Adobe picked up Efficient Frontier (used for ad buying on Facebook) for a rumored $400 million, while Salesforce added Radian6 (a listening tool for tracking mentions in social media) for $326 million.

So what’s behind this $1.8 billion spending spree? And what does it mean for the future of social media?

While consumer social like Facebook and Twitter gets the headlines, perhaps the greatest untapped potential for social networking lies in business applications. From its humble origins in college dorm rooms, social media has quietly crept into the boardroom. The world’s biggest companies are now clamoring to figure out how to best use networking tools.

The numbers back this up. Last year, 79 percent of 2,100 companies surveyed by Harvard Business Reviewreported that they use or plan to use social media. The average social media budget at enterprise-level businesses with more than 1,000 employees is $833,000, according to an already dated 2011 report from researcher Altimeter. In the next 5 years, marketers anticipate spending 19.5% of their budgets on social media, nearly three times the current level. And use of internal social networks in companies is up 50 percent from 2008, according to McKinsey and Co. After a slow start, big business has gone social in a big way.

Importantly, companies are using social media to do things that go way beyond just chatting up existing customers on Facebook. Sales departments use social to nurture leads and close sales. HR posts job openings and vets applicants. Community and support squads mine networks, blogs and forums with deep listening tools. Advertising departments get the word out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And internal networks like Yammer let managers and employees engage in Facebook-like dialogue and collaboration behind the firewall.  Read More

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Nokia Phi Pops Up On WMBench with Windows Phone 8 at the Helm

Nokia Phi Pops Up On WMBench with Windows Phone 8(Photo: WMPoweruser)

Nokia is the leading manufacture for Windows Phone, and the Finnish giant has only been selling devices only since November of 2011, that’s a full six months ago. The Lumia 800 was the first of many Windows Phone 7.5 devices. However, the company is not slowing down, and it now appears a Windows Phone 8-based Nokia is already in the works.

The device that is simply called the Nokia Phi according to WP Bench, a tool that allows users to benchmark their Windows Phone. The device showed up on the tool with Windows Phone 8 as the OS of choice, which leaves us wondering if we will see this device at Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Summit next month. It would make sense for Microsoft to use a Nokia branded Windows Phone 8 handset as its test device at the summit since both companies are tied in bed together.  Read More

New camera app for iPhone gives only a snapshot of Facebook

Facebook, on the heels of buying Instagram, launched a new camera app for iPhone on Thursday to “share photos in a snap.”

When you open the app, it recognizes you if you’re already logged in to the Facebook app and asks you if you want to continue under that login. And it asks for your permission to stalk you and geolocate your photos.

Facebook Camera

Facebook launched its fourth iOS app Thursday, called Facebook Camera. (Facebook / May 24, 2012)

By Michelle Maltais

It’s very clear from the start that this app is about photos and photos only. Across the top of the home screen you get a camera at top left of a small preview of your phone’s album. Just below you see a feed of your friends’ photos, with the likes and comment tally overlaid.

The edges of horizontal photos extend past the white background of the feed, but you can tap and turn the image to get the full effect. For collections of photos, you see the edge of the next one extending past the white background and you just swipe your finger from right to left to scroll through the album.

The app doesn’t refresh the same way you drag the screen to refresh the main Facebook app. If you try to do it that way, you’ll just reveal your own camera album. The refresh button is under the camera icon. That actually drove me a little nuts. As a Facebook addict, my thumb automatically moves to swipe to refresh the screen.

The app allows you to shoot directly from it and do some minor editing including making slight adjustments to the photo’s orientation. As with every single photo app coming out these days, yes, you’ve got filters — over a dozen of them.

To publish, you tap to create a post and write your text description. You can add more photos, set or remove the location and select what pre-determined group you’ll allow to see your upload.

When it comes to adding more photos to a post, it’s not enough to just select the photo if you shoot it while in mid-post. After you’ve finished tweaking, you actually have to tap the grayed-out checkmark at the top right of the screen when the photo is full screen. Once it turns green, you’re good to go.    Read More

TU Me: A New VoIP and Social Comms iPhone App from Telefonica

From You TU Me

VoIP has long been a thorn in the side of CSPs, losing them valuable calling billable minutes and clogging up the network with additional data. The massive success of Skype has seen several attempts to duplicate the model, with varying success, but this is the first dedicated app we’ve seen from a telco.

TU Me comes from Telefonica and is out now on iPhone via the App Store around the world. It will be packaged or promoted with the company’s various brands including Telefonica, Movistar, Vivo and O2, but can be used on any network.

Rather than just emulate Skype, it comes with a full history timeline, adds social sharing and will be updated regularly with new features to create a compelling offering. The app comes from the company’s TU division which was created just six months ago to create better social experiences for users.

 TU Me is designed to make it as easy for people to communicate with their friends and family. Users can exchange text messages, make calls, leave voice messages, share photos and location information. Interactions are stored in a timeline format, making it easy to view, scroll through and keep a history of conversations.  Read More

The 101 Best Mobile Apps

Wondering what to download for your smartphone? Trying to find high-quality apps among the many thousands available can be a challenge, no matter what phone you own. Start with this collection of the best productivity tools, utilities, reference apps, media helpers, timesavers, and games.
Below is the complete list of all 101 picks. To learn more about our choices, read the other articles in this package: http://www.pcworld.com

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