Archive for January 2014

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Crowdfunding just went micro with Backer

Dalten Caldwell’s Twitter wannabe social platform App.net has ventured into innovative territory with the launch of Backer, which offers software creators a crowdfunding platform for 1 or many features.

Put simply, developers & companies can use crowdfunding Site Backer to accurately gauge the level of interest in a new feature or service. Polls & market research are never conclusive & may even lead the company astray into unwanted features. However, asking customers to back their opinion with hard cash makes the whole process a lot more accurate.

Backer handles the whole campaign in much the same way as Kickstarter or any other reputed crowdfunding platform.

If the crowdfunding campaign hits its slated goal, the project owner is sent the funds & must then incorporate the feature or service involved. If not, the feature goes into the dustbin & any pledges that have been made will be refunded.

Failed projects & open source projects that are successful do not pay a fee. Proprietary projects that are successful will have to pay Backer a 5% fee. All successful projects will have to incur the credit charges, if any.

Crowdfunding Site Backer also accepts Bitcoin, & all Bitcoin transactions are processed free, which means the project owners get 100% of the pledged amounts.

Now, this is where the backstory behind Backer gets interesting, because they started it off as a project for themselves (as in for the app.net community). They were wondering whether to start accepting Bitcoin funds for subscription payments. Instead of putting out a poll or just starting to accept Bitcoin on a trial basis, they set up a crowdfunding campaign.

If enough users pledge Bitcoins to reach the goal of 10 BTC, app.net will start accepting Bitcoin payments. If not, the Bitcoins will be returned & app.net will not be accepting Bitcoins for subscription payments. The campaign ends on Feb 20, 2014.

Regardless of what happens to the Bitcoin crowdfunding campaign, app.net has already made lemonade out of the lemons they have. They decided to convert the platform they had developed for the Bitcoin crowdfunding campaign into a service open to everyone, & called it Backer (backer.app.net).

So now any software creator may use Backer to find out if there’s sufficient interest in a new feature, & no harm is done if a feature bombs because no one wants it. The kicker, of course, is that Backer is now accepting Bitcoin pledges.

Innovation is a wonderful thing, & this is one instance where a little bit of innovation has turned into a big deal that may very well have a lasting impact on the software industry. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine that one day in the not-so-distant future, crowdfunding will filter out all the bad features in every software before it reaches the wider public.

Image Credit: App.net

 

 

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Opera Mobile Store touches 105 mln monthly users by end 2013

 *This press note has been published as it is without any editing

SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Opera Mobile Store, the fifth-largest mobile app store in the world, today announced that it has reached a new milestone of 105 million monthly visitors at the end of Q4 2013. As the world’s largest cross-platform app store, the Opera Mobile Store saw exponential growth in its user base over the 12 last months, increasing by 172% since the close of 2012.

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The Opera Mobile Store currently offers more than 200,000 mobile apps and games across most mobile platforms, including Android, Java, BlackBerry, Symbian and iOS. By the end of 2013, the app store also got a completely redesigned storefront, generating record-breaking conversion rates of visitors who ended up downloading and using apps.

Some other big milestones for the Opera Mobile Store in 2013 were as follows:

  • The Opera Mobile Store forged several strong partnership agreements with mobile carriers in Eastern Europe. MTS Belarus and MTS Ukraine launched co-branded app stores with Opera for their combined user base of 28 million.
  • The Opera Mobile Store signed a cross-app store publishing partnership with Yandex, the 4th-largest search engine worldwide and leading search engine in Eastern Europe. This partnership will allow apps in the Opera Mobile Store also to be available for download in the Yandex app store and vice versa.
  • Android users showed strong growth during 2013, nearly reaching the level of Java-based downloads. Android app downloads are currently 42.7% of total downloads – up 16.8% in one year.
  • The top-three countries based on the number of Opera Mobile Store users were India, the United States (jumping five positions up to no. 2) and Indonesia, showing not only the Opera Mobile Store’s popularity in Southeast Asia, but also growth in the United States.
  • The number of page views and downloads in the Opera Mobile Store each grew 250% year over year. In 2013, the Opera Mobile Store acquired 1.7 times more new users than in 2012. Also, the visit-to-downloads ratio increased 20%. The improved visits-to-downloads ratio shows that users are spending more time finding and downloading more content.

“The Opera Mobile Store was launched in September 2011, based on the technology from the acquisition of Handster. In just over two years, the Opera Mobile Store has shown strong growth – from 18 million monthly visitors to 100 million, and has seen a fivefold increase in the number of apps offered,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “The compression technology in Opera’s browsers, combined with the broad portfolio of apps in the Opera Mobile Store across many different platforms, have resulted in massive adoption of the store worldwide.”

Users can access the Opera Mobile Store via Opera’s flagship Opera Mini, Mobile Classic and Opera for Android mobile browsers. The store has been proven as an effective mobile-content distribution platform in several of the world’s fastest-growing mobile markets including India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa. Users can also access the Opera Mobile Store by visiting apps.opera.com on their phones.

About Opera Software ASA

Opera products enable more than 350 million internet consumers worldwide to discover and connect with the content and services that matter most to them, no matter what device, network or location. In turn, we help advertisers reach the audiences that build value for their businesses. Opera also delivers products and services to more than 120 mobile operators around the world, enabling them to provide a faster, more economical and better network experience to their subscribers.

From family photos and funny videos to business ideas that change the world economy, the internet has always been about discovery. Whether you are a consumer getting online for the first time, or a multinational corporation trying to reach the right audience, Opera can help you discover more online.

Opera Software ASA is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA. ‘Opera’, ‘Opera Software’, ‘Opera Mini’ and the ‘O’ logo are trademarks of Opera Software ASA. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Learn more about Opera at www.opera.com.

 

Image Credit: Opera

 

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