More Than 70 Percent of Instagram’s Users Are Outside The US

It might be an indication that pictures do better than words – any case, we spotted this stat today – that Instagram now has 300 million active users, that makes it bigger than the service that always follows Facebook in all discussions on social stuff – Twitter.

“Instagram announced Wednesday that it now has 300 million monthly active users, up 50 percent in just nine months.

That makes the service, a photo- and video-sharing app owned by Facebook, more popular than Twitter, which had 284 million monthly active users as of the third quarter. More than 70 percent of Instagram’s users are outside the United States, the company said.”

Source

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50 Million Users: CamCard, A Card-Scanning App Dominates In Asia

There are a few business use cases or scenarios that never seem to go away. These pain points are so painful, no painkillers can possibly kill them once and for all. CardMunch was a huge success (bought by LinkedIn) – we spotted this stat today, that CamCard, a card-scanning app popular in Asia, has some 50 Million users now. (Source)

Let us put that number in perspective – Instagram has some 100 Million users now. No, we are not implying anything – just a stat to get the magnitude right. China’s CamCard has some 10 million monthly active users (50 million is the total number). And here is what will surprise you: about half of them are outside of China.

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Don’t Listen To What Your Customers Say, Look At What They Do

We spotted this from an interview of Instagram’s Kevin Systrom – the known product wisdom is to listen to customer feedback always and tune the product accordingly. But there is always a difference between what the customers say and what they do. They might say they do not like feature X, but they might be using it often. Or, they might say that they love a particular feature, but might not be using it at all. This scenario is not an exception – it occurs more often than many of us realize.

With all the amplification effects of social media, it is a challenge to ignore what customers ‘say’ and focus on what they ‘do’ with the product. But it is extremely important to measure and understand how your customers interact with your product. That is the signal. What they say about your product, is mostly just noise.

If you are working on a product / service and are trying to work on a list of ‘to-do’ items derived from customer feedback, apply the ‘word or action’ filter – and work on those feedback items that come under ‘action’. Not just because actions speak louder than words – in this case, words do not mean anything at all.

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Pocket Statistics: Users Saving 35 Million Items Monthly To Read Later

This is a stat we have been looking to spot for some time now – the bookmarking read me later app Pocket, is increasingly becoming the park it for later place of choice among consumers. Users are saving 35 million items monthly (Source)

How do we digest this stat? By comparing with Instagram, maybe. Instagram does some 40 million photos per day. Let us try try Twitter. 400 Million tweets per day. Did we get the scale? More or less. Pocket is some 30 times smaller than Instagram.

We need a few more numbers to digest this one. Very soon.

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Nostalgia As A Business Model

I was reading through Fred’s post ‘Back in the day’ when it struck me – Nostalgia is something every human being is willing to spend some time, effort and attention on – it is the rare thing that one does not consider as ‘intrusion’ – on the contrary, everyone seems to enjoy participating in it. Of course, with the right ‘group’. Has this interest been tapped by any business models that you know of?

We are not suggesting variants – like an Instagram with a nostalgia flavor for instance – we are suggesting more dedicated business models that directly tap into this interest in nostalgia that everyone seems to share. So for example, if I were to land on a website today that highlights stuff that reminds me of my high school days (TV shows, music, devices – anything), my 5 minute attention span is guaranteed for the service. And I will share it with everyone I know who I think would enjoy such stuff.

How do I know Nostalgia works? Because I have seen these groups emerge once in a while on social networks, and some email chains – that send some stuff from 10-15 years back that basically just goes viral and everyone shares it with everyone they know.

Has Nostalgia been completely explored as a business model? Do you know of any specific examples?

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Instagram Crosses A New Milestone: 100 Million Users

We had spotted quite a few Instagram stats in the past – and we were definitely among the many who thought the privacy rule change was stupid. That sees to be just a blip now – we spotted this stat that Instagram has corssed a very important milestone – 100 million users today (Source).

Here is another stunning stat on Instagram – remember the new metric we had suggested for Startups to recruit engineers? Here is another metric they can use: value created per engineer!

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Base Your Business On An Irrational Behavior

Most consumer internet success stories of the last 5-7 years share one common trait – they are based on at least one consumer behavior that can be classified as ‘irrational’. Well it could be ‘predictably irrational’, but it is most definitely irrational. This applies to all the biggest success stories you see around you: the heuristic is this – you must be able to ask the question, “Who would have thought that people would” and then complete the sentence. Here are a few examples:

Who would have thought that people would share their whole life online (Facebook)
Who would have thought that people would get addicted to short real-time status messages (Twitter)
Who would have thought that people would need a separate social layer on top of photos on iphones (Instagram)
Who would have thought that ..

Base your business on an irrational consumer behavior. In the consumer internet space, you are more likely to succeed that way – and if you do, you will succeed wildly.

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SnapChat’s N+1: What Would That Be ?

We had originally borrowed the N+1 concept from Fred Wilson:

“The N+1 Theory states that there is always one more of anything. I have found that most of the time, there is always more where you think there is nothing left. You may have to look a little harder/deeper but it is there.”

We had wondered some time back, on what would be Twitter’s N+1. Obviously, that had multiple N+1s in different dimensions – Instagram was one of that. If you logically think about Instagram’s N+1, by changing the content that is shared you would get Viddy, Vine etc and by changing the behavior of the content, you would get SnapChat (‘content can behave’ is in itself kind of new. In SnapChat’s case, it disappears after some time. Like the ‘Mission Impossible’ messages).

And by N+1 law, SnapChat has to have an N+1. What would it be?
(Remember, SnapChat is already trying out Video in private beta so that dimension is out)

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The Real Issue In Silicon Valley: The Iconic People In Technology

Twenty-somethings changing the world and making billions in the process. Think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg … In one sentence, that sums up the real issue in the technology industry, because if you try to keep icons of that kind as a role model, you have the following issues:

1. If you have not changed the world by the time you are 30, you somehow consider yourself a failure
2. If you have not made billions or maybe hundreds or millions by the time you are 30, you somehow consider yourself a failure

Unfortunately, both the above statements sit at the heart of our ‘impatient’ generation. PG summarized it very well:

” It’s not a good idea to use famous rich people as examples, because the press only write about the very richest, and these tend to be outliers. Bill Gates is a smart, determined, and hardworking man, but you need more than that to make as much money as he has. You also need to be very lucky.”

But not being patient is okay – the real issue is that the hurry to succeed, begins to have an impact on the kind of problems we choose to solve – In an Instagram world, returns are not aligned to how important the problem is, it is aligned to how fast you can grow to millions of users.

Just as a thought exercise, let us think through this: our life expectancy has not gone down significantly compared to the previous generation – if most of them became a success in their 40s or 50s, maybe we can, too – this approach will give us time to ask Why Not? – but for that, we need to slow down first.

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25% Of Total Time Spent On Mobile Apps Is Spent On Facebook

If you heard Mark Zuckerberg say ‘mobile’ multiple times in the recent past, there is some explanation for that: we spotted this stunning stat that 25 percent of the time spent on mobile apps is spent on Facebook (Source)

The 750 million they paid for Instagram looks like a great deal now.

But why do we call this 25 percent stunning? We had spotted a stat in the past that Facebook generates 1 in 4 pageviews on the Internet – to retain that number on mobile is huge, given the differences in user behavior on mobile.

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