Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 20 – 24

Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 20 – 24

What Apple’s Patent Victory Means for Broader Smartphone Market

  • Adage reports that Apple scored a clear victory in its patent dispute with Samsung Electronics Friday, increasing pressure on smartphone makers around the world to create handsets that stand apart from the iPhone and deliver more choices for consumers in a $219.1 billion market. Apple claimed that South Korea-based Samsung infringed four design patents and three software patents in copying the iPhone and iPad. Jurors found infringement by all 21 Samsung devices that Apple claimed had copied its so-called rubberbanding technology, the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the end of a file.
  • The verdict strengthens Apple’s hand as it seeks to discourage Samsung and competitors such as HTC and LG from making devices that mimic the iPhone. While it’s a blow to efforts by Samsung and its software partner Google Inc. to challenge Apple in smartphones, the outcome will probably mean a broader range of devices and more options for consumers as rivals seek to avoid costly legal tussles, said Carl Howe, an analyst at Yankee Group.
  • “This is a big win for Apple,” said Mr. Howe. “It’s good for innovation. It says that if you create something new, others can’t just piggyback on it. From a competition point of view, it says create your own stuff. It says copying is not OK.” The verdict also hands a defeat to Google, which may need to scale back or change features of Android, said Kevin Rivette, founder of 3LP Advisors LLC and former VP-intellectual property strategy for International Business Machines Corp.  “Google is in a position that it didn’t want to be in,” he said.

Social Media Users’ Age, Gender Impact Site Choices

  • MediaPost reports that website monitoring service Pingdom used DoubleClick Ad Planner to mine demographic data in the United States and study across numerous social sites. Results show that social’s influence on consumers continues to increase, depending on the network. Males seem to flock to tech-oriented sites like Slashdot at 87%, followed by Hacker News at 77% and Stack Overflow at 76%. Females like Pinterest, 79%; Goodreads, 70%; and Blogger, 66%.
  • There are substantial differences in the age demographics of individual sites. Marketers looking to target brand messages to social users ages 25 to 34 might want to use Orkut, Hi5, Stack Overflow, Blogger and Hacker News. Those ages 35 to 44 more often flock to Stack Overflow, Quora and Slashdot. LinkedIn attracts users 35 to 54. Those 65 and older tend to like LinkedIn, Yelp, Flickr, and WordPress. Breaking the numbers down further, when it comes to Twitter users, 55% of tweeters are 35 and older, compared with 63% at Pinterest; 65% at Facebook; and 79% at LinkedIn.
  • Based on the sites in this survey, the estimated age of the average social media user is under 37, according to Pingdom’s data. LinkedIn supports the oldest user base, with the average member being 44, compared with Facebook at almost 51 years old and Twitter at 37 years old. The age of the average Facebook users rose two years, while the average age of Twitter users declined by two years since Pingdom’s last study 2.5 years ago.

Three Reasons Why Foursquare’s New Advertising Model Might Work

  • A recent article in Forbes highlights why Labor Day will mark a milestone in the life of location-based company Foursquare as it kicks off a pilot program allowing brands to pay for “promoted updates”— advertising messages to consumers who are in the vicinity of a restaurant, store or other business. In an interesting twist, participating brands won’t simply be buying advertising impressions but instead will pay Foursquare on a cost-per-action model related to how consumers interact with the updates.
  • To a great degree, success of the pilot program will hinge on the response of Millennials, the digital-savvy cohort between the ages of 18 and 35, according to a story in Advertising Age that quoted Macy’s Group VP Jennifer Kasper. This makes sense considering that 60% of all U.S. adults who used Foursquare in the last 30 days were Millennials, according to the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer®.
  • Kasper of Macy’s, which is one of Foursquare’s partners in the advertising pilot, told Advertising Age that the Labor Day “promoted updates” will be a critical test that could pave the way for bigger things during the fourth quarter (translation: Christmas/Holiday shopping). Results of the pay-per-action model will be especially interesting because such ROI metrics are far easier to track than the impact of advertising impressions. No doubt much of the digital world will be checking in on the results of this experiment.
Scott Kaufmann
[email protected]

Scott is Partner at Lucid Agency and a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Denver-based Nonprofit Celebrate EDU and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix-based social startup incubator).

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