Zynga Sees Profits Up And Sales/Users Down Early 2013

Zynga’s Q1 2013 earnings show a net income of $4.1 million, better than the $85.4 million loss a year earlier. At the same time, sales declined 18 percent to $264 million while bookings fell 30 percent to $230 million.

The social game company’s daily active users (DAUs) decreased 21 percent year-over-year, down from 65 million last year to 52 million in the first quarter of 2013 and also down 8 percent over last quarter. Monthly active users (MAUs) decreased from 292 million to 253 million and monthly unique users (MUUs) decreased 18 percent from 182 million to 150 million.

On the positive side of things, Zynga pointed to the results of FarmVille 2. “We are encouraged by the strong execution from our teams and the breakout hit performance of FarmVille 2, which captures the imagination of nearly 40 million players every month,” said Mark Pincus, CEO and Founder, Zynga. “2013 will continue to be a transition year as we face the challenging environment on the web and invest in developing the leading franchises and network across web and mobile platforms and offer our 253 million monthly players a connected experience that can follow them from work to school to home and anywhere in between.”

The company announced plans to shut down The Ville, Empires & Allies, Dream Zoo, and Zynga City to help control costs. Looking ahead, the company is anticipating the launch of the real money gambling titles ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino in the U.K. which Zynga says are “the first step toward realizing Zynga’s long-term vision of bringing players the next generation of real money games on multiple platforms in regulated markets.”

The White House Debuts Its First Vine Video

By Elena Zanone

On Monday, the Obama administration showed off its social media savviness when it launched its first ever Vine video to promote the White House Science Fair gathering over 100 students as a celebration of tomorrow’s leaders and today’s makers.

The White House’s stars TV education personalities Bill Nye from the 1990s educational television series Bill Nye the Science Guy and actor LeVar Burton of Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Reading Rainbow.


After the White House’s first Vine, it went on to post four more throughout the day, including the president’s own debut on the social network. The video showed Obama getting hands on during the event, pedaling a bike to power a water filtration system designed by two teenage girls from Oakland Park, Florida.

The President and First Lady are well known for their social media strategy, so it was only a matter of time until their administration took on Vine.

The Twitter owned app was recently launched beginning of this year and is designed to allow users upload six seconds of original GIF-like video and share it with friends.

Nye also hosted a Google+ Hangout from the event that can be viewed here {link no longer active}. The high dosage of science and innovation should be more than enough for users looking to get their science fix, even with its limited production quality.

Source Latino Post

Apple Sells Over 37 Million iPhones, 19 Million iPads In Early 2013

Apple has announced that they saw quarterly revenue of $43.6 billion and net profit of $9.5 billion, compared to last year’s numbers of $39.2 billion in revenue and $11.6 billion in profit. This is notably the first time since 2003 that Apple’s quarterly profit has declined year-over-year, affected by new products hurting the company’s gross margins.

The sales of iPhones continued to increased to 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter compared to 35.1 million last year. iPad sales rose significantly to 19.5 million versus 11.8 million last year, helped by the new iPad Mini.

Apps saw a quarterly revenue record and app developers have received over $9 billion so far from Apple. Apple highlighted Backflip Studios with over 275 million downloads and close to $100 million in annual revenues with 95 percent of the revenue coming from iOS and Supercell generating over $8.5 million in revenue per employee in 2012 from just two games.

Twitter Introduces Keyword Tracking For Ads

Twitter is introduced a feature that will let advertisers reach users based on keywords in their postings. This expands the tools available to marketers on the microblogging site.

The site claims this will make targeting easier for companies to tailor promotions based on content. Twitter is looking to boost ads in lieu of various promotions that appear alongside the website’s 140-character status updates.

Eventually, the site wants to reach $1 billion in revenue by 2014, pushed by measures like this to help advertisers reach users based on interests. Debra Aho Williamson, analyst at EMarketer, says that doing this will make ads more relevant and more likely to lead to purchases.

“Twitter is where people go to get information in real time,” said Williamson. “By allowing advertisers to target keywords that people write in their tweets, it puts advertisers closer to that moment of intent.”

GoPro camera maker Woodman Labs ran a test ad triggered by tweets containing certain keywords which 11 percent of users clicked on, favorited or retweeted. This is much better than the 1 to 3 percent response to typical ads.

“[The results] underscore the intent that is inherent in users as they tweet publicly about what they are interested in,” Kevin Weil, senior director of product at Twitter.

While there’s heavy potential for advertisers, there’s also risk that ads might trigger a keyword with multiple meanings or post an ad based on a tragic event. “It would be unfortunate for people to see ads for travel to Boston when they were tweeting about what they saw happen at the marathon,” Williamson said.

Source: BusinessWeek.com {link no longer active}

Nintendo Names Satoru Iwata American CEO

Nintendo announced that it has appointed Satoru Iwata as Nintendo of America CEO in addition to his current position as global president. He will take over the position from Tatsumi Kimishima, who has been reappointed general manager of Nintendo Japan.

Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime will report directly to Iwata. All of these changes are predicated by Nintendo’s recent fiscal report, where the Wii U and 3DS missed sales targets.

Unity Sunsetting Flash Support

Unity has announced that it will no longer support Flash with its titular engine, declaring that Adobe is no longer committed to the platform. As such, the middlware company will no longer sell Flash development licenses though it will continue to support existing Flash customers.

“We don’t see Adobe being firmly committed to the future development of Flash. This is evidenced by the cancellation of Flash Player Next, the instability of recent Flash Player versions and by Adobe’s workforce moving on to work on other projects,” said Unity in a blog post, “By introducing, and then abandoning, a revenue sharing model, Adobe eroded developers’ (and our) trust in Flash as a dependable, continuously improving platform. Developers are moving away from Flash, and while Flash publishing has gotten little traction, our own Unity Web Player has seen unprecedented growth in recent months.”

“Just like you guys, we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about which platforms to target, For us, doing so often involves speculating about what the fast-changing gaming environment will look like in what is effectively the dim yet not so distant future. Sometimes, things don’t work out as we expected,” the company continued. “When we started working on a Flash deployment add-on some 18 months ago we had high hopes for the future of Flash as a gaming platform. The performance of early builds was promising, and Adobe seemed to be dedicated to making it a success. Since then much has changed.”

Source: Blogs.Unity3d.com