• buzzfeed

    “This Story Will Make You Puke!” New media goes all Upworthy, all the time

    BuzzFeed announced today that it reached 130 million unique visitors in November, its best-ever traffic month and a 350 percent year-on-year increase. Facebook, as BuzzFeed itself reported, was responsible for a large chunk of that traffic. The BuzzFeed annonuncement came the morning after the Wall Street Journal published Farhad Manjoo’s profile of Gawker’s Neetzan Zimmerman. In the piece, Manjoo notes that Zimmerman’s posts, which cover such topics as Twitter meltdowns and meta-Rebecca Black, generate more…

  • Take Off

    Amazon wants to use drones by 2018. An Australian startup will do it by March

    Last night, “60 Minutes” set off paroxysms of excitement, ridicule, and WTFing with the revelation, at the end of Charlie Rose’s interview with Jeff Bezos, that Amazon is planning to offer delivery-by-drone within five years. While Rose and CBS producers drooled on screen about the PR coup, which could be seen as the kick-off of Amazon’s lobbying efforts to get the Federal Aviation Authority to regulate in favor of commercial drones, no one took any time to note that…
  • Dark horse kik

    Forget Snapchat and WhatsApp for a second – Kik is the dark horse of the Internet

    Facebook and Google were both said to be trying to buy WhatsApp. Japan’s Line is mulling an IPO. China’s WeChat is becoming a threat to the country’s equivailent of PayPal. Snapchat turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook. All of the top 10 games in South Korea’s App Store have come via KakaoTalk. Messaging, it is clear now, is the killer app on mobile. These apps are growing at a rate not seen…

  • power socket

    Henry Blodget told me slideshows are “native digital storytelling.” Here’s what I think of that

    Last Friday, Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson published a 75-page slideshow about his recent business class flight from New York to Beijing. The slideshow, which consists entirely of blurry photos and simplistic captions, each granted its own Web page, has so far generated more than three million pageviews. In August, Carlson published a widely praised 22,000-word profile of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. That story, which took six months to report and is seen by many media…

  • WeChat

    WeChat is going to be huge for payments (unlike WhatsApp)

    In China, WeChat is not only beating SMS and social networks. It’s also a threat to Alipay, the country’s equivalent to PayPal. The mobile chat app, which now claims 270 million users and 500 million registered accounts, has effectively become the central communications platform for anyone in China with a smartphone. Increasingly, it’s looking like it will be a major payments platform, too.

  • Magazine

    Who hates Jony Ive’s iOS7? Publishers, that’s who

    When Marco Arment launched The Magazine in October last year, media watchers got excited about its business model. At the time, The Magazine was an iOS-only product (you can now subscribe and read on the Web, too) and charged $2 a month for a publication of geek-oriented essays that arrived every two weeks. Within a month, the publication had already reached financial sustainability. Things haven’t been so rosy since. In May, Arment sold The Magazine to…
  • Platform1

    BuzzFeed continues to belly flop off its “open platform”

    First, a quick story. A woman writes a list called “The Ultimate Unique Gift Guide For Guys.” She publishes it on BuzzFeed, using the publication’s Community platform and tools. The first item in the gift guide is a homemade gin kit, which happens to be a product made by a business the woman runs with her husband. The post gets 2,000 views. Then the woman sends an email to BuzzFeed asking why it didn’t do more to promote…
  • laquishas-odyssey

    Finally! A role-playing game starring a bearded drag queen

    Spying a gap in the market for computer games featuring bearded drag queens, a New Zealand company is attempting to fund what it is billing as “a game so gay it is beyond the rainbow.” Updo Entertainment, founded by drag queen LaQuisha Redfern, is halfway through a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise NZ$69,000 (US$57,000) to fund the development of “LaQuisha’s Odyssey,” a retro role-playing game fashioned after “Leisure Suit Larry”. The game, says Redfern, who…
  • Leap Transit

    Behold Leap Transit: The Uber for city buses is nigh

    If you see Google’s commuter buses as symbols of tech separatism, you’re going to love Leap Transit. Just kidding – you’re going to hate it. Leap Transit, as envisioned by its founders, is a private alternative to public buses. You book, track, and pay for your bus via a smartphone app, enjoy leather seats and wifi on board, and avoid all the occasional discomfort that comes with travelling by public transport, such as crowded carriages, odiferous strangers, and
  • WhatsApp trouble

    Line has 300 million users, WhatsApp has a problem

    Messaging app Line, which got its start in Japan, has now passed 300 million users, about 100 million of which signed up in the last four months, according to a statement released by the company today. On its own, this in’t that big a deal: yet another press release trumpeting a user milestone. Except it’s emblematic of a bigger change. That’s because Line’s recent growth mirrors fast growth among other messaging apps. South Korea’s KakaoTalk counts 110 million users.…

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