Over 7.5 million iPads sold since the device went on sale in April.
And while high sales number is expected, Apple has released a free updated version of the operating system, called iOS 4.2.
Basically, this update introduces new features that are already on the iPhone and iPod Touch, like multitasking (which makes it possible to run many apps at the same time) and the ability to organize applications into folders.
Another feature is a product called AirPrint that offers the ability to print files wirelessly. HP will offer soon AirPrint-capable printers.
I wrote last week about the serial entrepreneur Lefkofsky and one of the companies he financed: SproutSocial.com.
This is a social media management start-up which creates social media dashboard for businesses. I believe it is a good deal.
SproutSocial allows businesses to monitor their brand on the Web by reviewing things like tweets, reviews, blog posts and news. It helps businesses find their customers by targeting the right buyers and those with influence while allowing them to manage their social contacts and connections.
In a way, it is a customer relationship management, a CRM... but social: a Social CRM. Welcome to the Social world!
There are super-smart entrepreneurs who are using the power of the social media experience to do great things... while becoming billionaires!
Take the Chicago-based Eric Lefkofsky, who is 40 and keeps a deliberately low profile. He has and impressive entrepreneurial track record, and an estimated fortune of $750 million according to Forbes.
He has created and founded companies like InnerWorkings (which provides printing capabilities over the Web), Echo Global Logistics (a transportation and logistics outsourcing business), MediaBank (which helps companies buy advertising)... and the fastest-growing company ever: Groupon, a company started in 2008.
Groupon, with 2,700 employees and with presence in 29 countries, could be worth as much as $3 billion.
Groupon offers its followers a deal-of-the-day coupon, sponsored by a local business, that followers are encouraged to share with their social networks. The local business gets customers and Groupon takes a share of the coupon proceeds. And you know what? Their main problem now is that they generate too many customers!
I tried it and it is spectacular. How it works is easy. Deals are great. The whole experience is fun.
Lefkofsky has understood better than anyone the importance of making buying a social experience. As a result, Groupon has revenue, profits and cash flow.
Naturally, Eric Lefkofsky keeps on social media ventures. He has started an investment fund with $100 million of their earnings.
It is called Lightbank, and it invests only in early-stage technology companies that are built around social media. So far, he has invested in seven companies. Watermelon Express and SproutSocial are two of them.
Let me summarize up some of his ideas. I got them from an interview done by The New York Times:
"I think that the most disruptive business model will take advantage of that social media graph over the next five to 10 years."
Every business needs to rethink what social media means to its future. "I think that every business is again in serious flux because of the rise of all these social tools. Take telemarketing sales, for example. Why would your business ever make a cold call again?"
"I think everything will begin with a person's individual connection to the graph. That's how small business will get customers, promote products and get feedback from their customers."
"Any business that is looking for new customers needs to understand the Internet and how to market their goods or services through it."
Around 250 million visit Facebook each day. That being said, utilizing the social networks as a marketing channel requires an elaborated strategy.
People have joined Facebook to share their personal stories through updates, images and video –not to buy products. So don't adopt an aggressive sales behavior.
As a business outlet or an established company you must develop a strategy for connecting with your customer base. It is about developing relationships with your fans and creating a living dialogue with them. For that, it is needed engaging content and measurable results.
The goal should be to make social connections with your your target audience. Facebook sells to advertisers that it brings the human touch to the relationships with their customers.
Some steps you should take:
Start with an interesting and compelling Facebook Page that differentiates your business from the competition. Put yourself in the customers' shoes.
Consider developing a Facebook app to create a unique experience. Visit the Facebook App Directory to get inspired about apps people have found beneficial.
Create a separate tab that helps showcase your products. Constantly posting your products on your wall is considered bad etiquette and could result in an increase in the number of people "unliking" your page.
Create engaging content. If you are thinking of launching a new product, ask the opinion of your customers.
Consider Facebook advertising to reach the right people at the right time, especially if you are just starting out and have very few people following you. Before launch, Facebook shows the number of estimated reach based on the information from users' profiles.
Facebook Insigths offers valuable customer information. If offers data about which content works best, the audience you reach and where improvements can be made.
Facebook has introduced a new messaging system that allows people to communicate with one another on the Web and on mobile phones regardless of whether they are using e-mail, text messages or chat. (However, note that the service is invitation-only for now.)
Yes, this is Mark Zuckerberg trying to take on popular e-mail platforms and being more dominant.
Also it is "a bold move by Facebook to expand from a social networks into a full-fledged communications system", says the NYTimes. Cannot agree more. Google, Yahoo, MSN, Terra and others have used e-mail as one of their main draws with consumers.
The new Facebook Messages unified communications service will encourage users to sign up for an e-mail address ending in @facebook.com. On its so call "social in-box" it will prioritize messages from friends and it will make it easy for people to retrieve all the communications they have had with a person through various channels. It took 15-month effort and a team of 15 engineers to develop Messages.
User question I: Would you entrust your confidential e-mail to a company whose privacy practices have really poor?
User question II: Are you looking for an integrated communication solution?
Corporate question: Should be worried Google, Yahoo and Microsoft?
One of the most known examples are Rhett & Link comediants, with 120,000 video views per day. They receive advertising income as designated official YouTube partner as well as money from their own brand sponsors.
Video creators must apply to become YouTube partners, and so far about 10,000 have been accepted. They get a cut of the ad sales on their channels. They are contractually forbidden to discuss their ad earnings.
To get enough money to survive on, many creators and musicians sell T-shirts, merchandising, songs on iTunes and tickets for live gigs.
Increasignly U.S. retailers use video technology to sell products online.
It took my attention the New York-based company SundaySky.com, that provides automatically created and customized videos for each product.
SundaySky's software scans a website and can integrate price, product info, travel information and even reviews into a video clip. Before that a team in place have designed and built a set of video templates that include graphical assets, sound elements, interactive user controls and audiovisual effects.
Two examples: Overstock and Shoebuy.com. You can see a demo here.
SundaySky has raised more than $17 million in the last two years.
In their Web site no clue about the price of the service.
Newsweek has created the first annual ranking of "pundits and politicos" called the "Power 50".
They are the ones who make the most money and influence American political discourse "in the oversaturated, hypercommodified media culture of 2010".
Number one is the talk radio host Rush LImbaugh, whose annual income is greater than the combined salary of the entire U.S. Senate, $58.7 million. The Fox news trio of GlenBeck is #2, SeanHannity is #3 and BillO'Reilly #4. JohnStewart is #5 and SarahPalin #6.
The new ad is also a 2010 homage to "The Deficit Trials" (see it below), a 1986 ad that was produced by W.R. Grace & Co. The commercial caused a sensation, but it was so controversial at the time that the networks refused to run it.
On the contrary, the above's Chinese professor ad is being run on major cable networks. The China's menace on prime time!
Microsoft is giving up on Silverlight rich Internet application platform and it is joining the HTML5 party.
See what Bob Muglia, Microsoft's president in charge of server and tools, said:
"HTML is the only true cross-platform solution for everything, including (Apple's) iOS platform."
With the launch of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has fully embraced many of HTML5's features. And for the latest version of its Bing search engine is using H.264-encoded HTML5 video instead of Silverlight.
With the emergence of Apple-backed HTML5, Microsoft realized that it was no longer a matter of playing second after Adobe Flash, and it seems it had decided aling itself with Apple.