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Facebook has built a multi-billion dollar ecosystem with its application platform, but much of the growth of that platform has been driven by social games created by companies like Zynga.
In an effort to help the 900m-plus Facebook users discover apps of all shapes and sizes, and create new monetization opportunities for app developers, Facebook yesterday announced the launch of its own app store, the App Center.
The past year hasn't exactly been easy for Mozilla.
The organization's popular web browser, Firefox, has become a bit less popular thanks in large part to the rise of Google's Chrome web browser. Once a solid number two in the browser market, Chrome, according to some sources, has surpassed Firefox in usage.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
When it comes to making its most popular software available for the iPad, that's precisely what Microsoft may be doing.
Virtual currency has fast become a multi-billion dollar industry. It's the juice that could propel Facebook to great IPO heights, and has already served as the foundation for other billion-dollar businesses, like social gaming giant Zynga.
In fact, a study released yesterday from Juniper Research predicts that the amount of money being spent on virtual currency in mobile apps is going to more than double in the next four years, going from $2.1bn last year to $4.8bn by 2016.
Little more than a year ago, I asked the question, "Will the Mac app store change the desktop software landscape?"
The answer may not yet be obvious, but one thing is for sure: Apple's attempt to bring the app store model to the desktop isn't a flop.
Yesterday, the company announced that less than a year after launching, the Mac App Store has already surpassed the 100m download milestone.
According to Apple, this makes its newest app store "the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world."
When it comes to mobile apps and app stores, two names stand out: Apple's App Store, and Google's Android Market.
In fact, for many developers, these two app stores are the only game in town.
But is ignoring other app stores, like Nokia's OVI Store, a mistake? According to research firm research2guidance, the answer may be 'yes'.
While the business of virtual goods has probably been popularized most by social games such as Farmville, the mobile market for virtual goods has developed into a lucrative space for mobile games as well.
There's a good reason for this: charging for a mobile game itself has become increasingly difficult for many game developers, and virtual goods offer one of the best ways to implement a freemium model.
According to mobile ad network Flurry, as of June 2011, well over half (65%) of the revenue for top-grossing games in Apple's U.S. App Store was generated by freemium games. Just six months earlier, 61% of revenue was generated by paid games.
The number of Android devices may be growing like a weed, but when it comes to the ecoystem, not all is well.
Google's Android app store, Android Market, isn't nearly as vibrant. Whether due to stingy users, a poor experience or a combination of factors, the risk is clear: if developers treat it like the iPhone's ugly cousin, Android may have tougher times ahead.
Already, there's reason Google should be very concerned. That's because the App Store is surging...
When it comes to tablets, traditional publishers have a dilemma: the numbers make it clear that the money is currently in native apps, but for publishers struggling to survive, giving up 30% of revenue to Apple, along with valuable subscriber data, is a tough pill to swallow.
So many publishers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. How? By building web apps that look and feel like native apps.
Despite the hype, tablets are still most accurately described as a 'niche' market. But that market is expected to grow really, really fast.
That's according to a study (PDF) conducted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and Frank N. Magid Associates, which sees 54m Americans owning or using tablets by early 2012, up from 28m today.
For traditional publishers, the Apple has been a blessing and a curse. On one hand, its iOS devices, including the iPad, have created hope and inspired thought about the future of publishing. On the other hand, it's clear that it is no savior.
It's not into charity either. Case in point: the 30% cut Apple demands from subscriptions sold in iOS apps. Begrudgingly, many publishers have agreed to this fee. But not all.
Apple's WWDC events are always big news, and yesterday was no exception.
Steve Jobs himself took to the stage as the company unveiled its first official look at iOS 5, which is now available in beta to iOS Developer Program members.