Instagram Officially Has 400 Million Users

Back in December, Instagram was celebrating passing over the 300 million user mark on its site, with a huge audience drawn in with the ability to post photos and videos with ease. But that’s child’s play compared to the record that the Facebook-owned social site just reached.

The company posted via its official blog page today that it has now crossed over the 400 million user point, meaning that it’s managed to amass an impressive 100 million users in just nine months’ time.

“While milestones like this are important, what really excites us is the way that visual communication makes the world feel a little bit smaller to every one of us,” it said in the blog post.

“Our community has evolved to be even more global, with more than 75 percent living outside of the U.S.,” the post continued. “Among the last 100 million to join, more than half life in Europe and Asia. The countries that added the most Instagrammers include Brazil, Japan and Indonesia.”

It also broke down many inspiring moments that have been posted to the site in that time, including the first surface image of Pluto, celebrations in the Champions League, a Namibian ghost town and the white pools of Turkey.

It also noted many of the celebrities that signed up for Instagram, including soccer player David Beckham, transgender heroine Caitlyn Jenner, and a handful of others.

“When Instagram launched nearly five years ago, 400 million seemed like a distant dream. Now, we continue to strive to improve Instagram helping you experience the world through images and connect with others through shared passions,” the post concluded.

Meanwhile, a study reported by Adweek broke down just what kind of usage goes into Instagram posting, based on a study provided by Mavrck. Based on 1.3 million Instagram posts, it deduced that marketers see better engagement from consumers between 6 AM and 12 PM, mainly due to low posting volume during those hours.

The full breakdown of these numbers can be found here.

Kids Prefer Mobile Devices For Gaming

While video games as a whole are growing in reach and sales, the format in which they’re preferred is certainly changing and that may be bad news for makers of PC games.

A report from The NPD Group, titled Kids and Gaming 2015, indicates that mobile devices are now the most popular platform for gaming amongst kids aged 2-17, to an estimated 63 percent. That beats out both consoles and PC games.

That means that only 45 percent of kids in that age group are playing on a home computer a 22 percent drop-off from 2013’s statistics. This is the case for all age groups, but is mainly towards the young set, ages 2-5.

Consoles are still popular, but they’re waning a bit as well, with portable platforms (the 3DS and PS Vita) suffering the biggest decline. That said, they still remain popular amongst the 9-11 age group with a 41 percent hold. That’s slightly less than home computer usage.

“The largest and most surprising shift in the 2015 gaming ecosystem was kids move away from the computer,” said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “In the past, the computer was considered the entry point for gaming for most kids, but the game has changed now that mobile has moved into that position. This may be related to a change in the behavior of parents that are likely utilizing mobile devices for tasks that were once reserved for computers.”

Kids’ engagement has also picked up quite a bit on mobile devices. 41 percent of those polled said they spend more time on these mobile units than they did in the past year, with the average time spent on them per week reaching around six hours.

And even though consoles have seen a decline in terms of usage, eighth-generation gaming (Xbox One, PlayStation 4) is still doing better than the previous generation (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3).

While overall gaming incidence rates have remained high, shifts in consumer behavior things like growth in time spent gaming — are surprising changes, said Callahan. This type of insight is invaluable to anyone engaged in marketing video games to kids.

The numbers also indicate that physical games continue to do better than digital, with average spending staying somewhere around $27. Compared to that, digital spending averages around $13, although that is an increase of $5 over the previous year. And this is across both genders, male and female.

However, boys seem more likely to spend additional funds, around $54, compared to $36 spent by girls, according to the report. That said, girls are more likely to be gaming on mobile, although the average for spending on that format is about even for both sexes.

To conclude, two out of every ten gamers polled by The NPD Group indicated that they’re spending more on games and microtransactions than they were a year ago, and physical game spending is actually three times more than any other gaming device. Meanwhile, digital games and microtransaction spending in general seems to be on the same level as the previous year.

Game on!


Mobcrush Launches Mobile Streaming For Android

Streaming sessions have become wildly popular as of late, between broadcasts on gaming channel Twitch and live-streaming through Periscope and Meerkat. Now, Mobcrush wants a turn, as it has launched its long-awaited streaming service for Android.

VentureBeat has reported that the company has launched its streaming service, allowing users to stream any mobile game directly from a compatible device with version 5.0 or higher for software. It enables game video capture, picture-in-picture camera usage (for those gamers that like to show off), the ability to swap between camera and game view, a privacy screen, real-time game chat (as pictured above) and a number of tools for moderation purposes.

The service is also compatible with those who only have version 4.1 and up, with the ability to view live streams and chat with a number of broadcasters across many games, including Minecraft: Pocket Edition and Vainglory.

Supported devices for the service include many Samsung devices (like the S6 and S6 Edge), and various LG Nexus models, ranged 5 to 9.

With the service, Mobcrush hopes to compete with the likes of Twitch and Kamcord as it attempts to secure a spot in the whopping $30 billion mobile game market. Its hopes are to see mobile streaming get as secure a spot as PC game streaming, although it may take a while to reach the 100 million monthly active users that Twitch currently attains.

If it can get its spot, however, Mobcrush should make a pretty penny from the deal, although estimates weren’t given on earnings just yet. With all its features, however, it’s certain to get plenty of attention. Now the only question is if the company will launch similar features for Apple’s iPhone devices at some point. Guess we’ll have to wait and see

In the meantime, Android users are encouraged to check the app out.

Tencent Takes Over Supercell As #1 In iOS Revenue

App Annie has released its latest numbers on mobile games for August, with an enormous surprise: Supercell has lost the #1 position on the top-grossing chart, only the second time this has happened in the last 19 months. The new #1 is the world’s largest game company, Tencent, which grabbed the prime position global iOS revenue earner by virtue of two new games: The Legend of Mir 2 and The King of Fighters’ 98 Ultimate Match. App Annie noted that both of these games leverage well-established IP, with the former based on a hugely popular MMORPG from the early 2000s and the latter based on a late 1990s title that was a hit both in arcades and on consoles. Interestingly, both titles are only available in China — which “further demonstrates the growing importance of this market and the impact it has on the worldwide rankings,” App Annie noted.

App Annie also pointed out the difference in the two gaming company’s strategies, “with Supercell focusing more on building and then scaling one smash hit at a time whereas Tencent takes more of a diversified portfolio approach with 200+ games in a variety of subcategories (ranging from puzzle to hardcore).” App Annie’s VP of marketing communications, Fabien Nicolas, spoke with [a]listdaily about the surprising August results and what this means for mobile gaming.

Do you expect Tencent’s position at #1 to continue Why or why not

What’s interesting from a market perspective is that iOS in China is growing very fast. Apple did a communication that July in China was a record month for App Store revenue. A big reason the spike was so high was the growth of China month per month. Tencent has this huge footprint in the Chinese market. We can never say for sure that next month you’re going to see the same trend, but they are on this rocket ship that is the iOS App Store. Whether they stay #1 or not remains to be seen, but they are very well represented in this number one market that’s blowing up. They have a wide portfolio strategy, with several games for different audiences, and as long as they keep at it they will remain very well positioned for the coming months.

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Tencent embodies the portfolio strategy of doing a lot of good games and hoping for some hits, while Supercell does few games but does them very, very well. Is one strategy better than the other

We see some companies focus on fewer hits, like Supercell or Machine Zoneare illustrations of that. King for the longest time had a huge focus on Candy Crush, and then added Soda Saga to it. You have Tencent on the other side — ‘I’m doing games for many audiences’ — and a mix of first-party and third-party as well. Tencent is not just doing their own games, not just doing external games, but a mix of the two. It’s really new to see somebody with this more diversified portfolio approach that’s taking the number spot, versus people who are focused on doing fewer games (and first-party games only). It’s going to be interesting to see how other companies are reacting to that, whether they diversify and add more third-party games or not.

Angry Birds 2 has a great position in terms of downloads, but the revenue for that title hasn’t kept pace. Will that change

It’s always really exciting when you have a franchise like that branching out in terms of entertainment. The key aspect is we’re really focusing on the Top Ten but right now we haven’t seen Angry Birds 2 breaking into the Top Ten for revenue. When we look at the monthly active users, beyond downloads, they were #6 in August, which is good. That means the app is being able to engage users. It remains to be seen whether they are going to be able to monetize at a higher level in the coming months.

Most of the games in the top ten have been there a long time — are we going to see new games break in any time soon

Words With Friends had a major update from Zynga, so it was like a new release. This is what we’re seeing on our usage data for US users of iPhones. We’re seeing many games with staying power, even in the casual segment. It’s definitely not an easy thing to get a new game in the charts — our theme for our talk at Casual Connect was “beating the odds.” We’re closing in on 3 million games in the app stores. Many of those games have very significant marketing investments, so it takes a lot to really break through and stay up there. You can see Happy Wheels, a small independent developer that put a lot of heart and passion into their app and really polished it, getting great traction in terms of downloads and making it to #2 in terms of downloads. It shows there is the possibility of getting great traction worldwide for a small independent developer.

What are you excited about for the next quarter Will the new iPhones have a big impact on mobile games

The new iPhone is always exciting, and you can always see a number of games being put on new iPhones. The other thing that I’m really excited about is the Apple Watch. We’re already seeing over 12,000 apps. I think the number of games available now is really significant. What is essentially a new platform with very strong constraints will force a great deal of innovation. I’m looking forward to seeing more and more people cracking the code, and figuring out how to build either an extension of your core game or full-on new games that leverage the format really well. I’m excited by the extentions for the Apple Watch, and that’s where we’re seeing a lot of traction. This will turbocharge the growth in territories like China.

Announcing: [a]list Live Streams The 1st Annual TwitchCon

Want to see what’s going down at the first ever TwitchCon happening this Friday and Saturday in San Francisco [a]listdaily will be live streaming coverage of the event, brought to you by ION, the Influencer Orchestration Network.

Tune in for an in-depth look at the biggest video streaming boom the internet has ever seen with one-on-one interviews and coverage.

daniel kayser

Hosted by gaming industry on-air personality Daniel Kayser, on Friday we’ll be focusing on brands and game publishers taking part in TwitchCon with in-depth interviews live from the Twitch Lounge as well as showcasing the best of the showroom floor.

Saturday will be hosted by Ayzenberg‘s own Amanda Schuckman and coverage will focus on Twitch’s biggest broadcasting talent taking part in the show and what they are doing to find and connect with audiences on Twitch as well as how they are approaching brand and advertising relationships.

Some of the people we have confirmed to be interviewed on the stream during the brand day include DayBreak’s Chief Publishing Officer Laura Naviaux, Electronic Arts/Bioware Producer Cory Butler and BandaiNamco Entertainment America’s Cory Maggard. Twitch talent such as Kristen Pickle AKA KittyPlaysGames, Evan Jarvis AKA Gripsed and Fats AKA Warren Blake will be there, too.

The live stream will start at 10:30 am on Friday on the [a]listdaily’s Twitch channel and then we’ll go live at 1:00 pm as well as 3:00 pm PST both Friday and Saturday.

If you want to send us questions that you have about Twitch and the booming video streaming industry and the brands and talent involved, tweet us @alistdaily.

Want to be featured in the stream Contact


One In Four Americans Plays Games Based On Known IP

Publishers are increasingly using the brand awareness and popularity of major intellectual properties (IPs) to make their games stand out. By tying their games to popular movies, TV shows or comics, they are hoping to drive user installs and, ultimately, revenues. At the same time, IP owners see games as a way to gain additional consumer revenues. Games based on IP have a history of failure and success, making it crucial to understand what makes an IP game great, and who plays and spends in these games.

Newzoo’s latest service: IP Gaming Report & Data examines 21 of the best performing IP games in depth, providing insights into the most popular titles and the 88 million US gamers, or 27 percent of the total US population in 2015, who are playing them.

Newzoo IP Games Report Simpsons Family Guy V1

In the US, IP Games Perform Better on iPhone than iPad

In July, about 1 in 6 games of the US Top 40 iPhone games were IP franchises, generating more than $11 million in gross revenues that month, or 16 percent of the Top 40’s revenues. MARVEL Contest of Champions performed best, followed by Jurassic World: The Game and the much talked about Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Interestingly, IP titles do not perform as well on iPad, with only 3 entries in the top 40 in July.

Peter Warman, CEO at Newzoo: “The convergence of games and video content is accelerating and cross-screen engagement is now part of every publisher’s strategy. Not surprisingly, game companies are giving more attention to original and new IP that originates from outside the games space. An IP can undoubtedly provide an enormous marketing boost and potentially save tens of millions in marketing costs. Still, the game itself needs to be stellar to stay up in the charts. Building up IP or using existing IP both have serious pros and cons for game developers. With our recent research, we aim to provide insight into what makes a game based on IP successful and who the most valuable target group is. The report also reflects our objective to do more in-depth reporting on the US market specifically.”

Battle of the Animated Sitcoms: The Simpsons vs. Family Guy

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and The Simpsons: Tapped Out have been locked in a monthly battle for the top IP town-building game, with different leaders in the iOS rankings each month. Just like the sitcoms, these titles target a similar audience. This can be seen in the cross-franchise behavior, with Family Guy gamers proving less loyal to the title. Two-thirds of Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff players have also played The Simpsons: Tapped Out, compared to 51 percent of Simpsons gamers having played the rival title.

Profile Your Audience & Competitors

Our IP report and data answer questions such as: How do the most popular IP game franchises perform in terms of awareness, players, recommendation and time and money spent Who are the gamers playing them, who spends money and what aspects do they enjoy the most

The report takes an in-depth look at the IP gamers in the US (based on the players of 21 franchises), examining demographics, game play and spending behavior, platforms used, cross-franchise gaming, engagement and much more.

Along with the report, subscribers get one year access to the Newzoo Data Explorer, where they can cross-analyze the 50+ topics and make custom reports and filters with the support of Newzoo analysts.

The full topic list and the franchises that are included can be found here.

Epic Games Covers the World of Virtual Reality

With so many virtual reality devices on the way, some consumers may be overwhelmed by what they have to offer and which one is the best way to go when it comes to a purchase.

Fortunately, Epic Games is here to help. The development studio that worked on such franchises as Gears of War and Unreal Tournament has announced a new documentary series called Sense of Presence, per this report from VentureBeat.

With this mini-series, the company will delve deep into the world of virtual reality, complete with explanation of terms and just what it could do for the market a market, by the way, that’s estimated to reach a whopping $150 billion by 2020, featuring headsets from the likes of HTC, Samsung, and Facebook’s Oculus technology.

The series will feature interviews with a number of key features in the world of virtual reality, including Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, as well as Epic chief technology officer Kim Libreri, 3D Live chief executive officer Nathan Huber, and Magnopus co-founder Alex Hennig.

The first episode of Sense of Presence while a bit short at just under five minutes, provides a reasonable explanation as to what virtual reality is, as well as what it could do for the market in terms of video games and other experiences. This includes glimpses of forthcoming titles like The Solus Project.

With future chapters in the series, Epic hopes to explain further details on the world of virtual reality, as well as why consumers should be excited for the likes of such technology as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

No word yet on what Epic Games could be working on through the VR front, but considering its impressive Unreal Engine 4 technology, big things are certainly on the horizon. Next year is going to be quite the interesting one as these VR headsets make their way to retailers.

Mobile’s Domination In Charts

Usage of mobile devices for web browsing continues to be on the rise, as comScore has provided a number of new statistics showing just how powerful the mobile medium has become as a whole, according to this report from Digiday. 

Numbers indicate that monthly visitors to the top 1,000 mobile websites rose to nine million people on an average – that’s up from the six million reported in 2014.

“Total digital audiences have grown 22 percent year-over-year, which is crazy if you think about it, because desktop has flattened out and it’s driven all by mobile,” said Andrew Lipsman, comScore’s head of marketing and insights. “And really, it’s more about the mobile Web than apps.” 

Overall traffic managed to grow 42 percent for mobile websites, and 21 percent for mobile app usage. That’s not a surprise, considering that more digital publishers are working to create more engagement amongst app users and mobile device owners. “it’s all about the power of habit,” Lipsman added.

There are various charts that break down the results from the study, which you can find below.

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This first chart gauges the popularity of both mobile apps and mobile web properties, and as you can see, the number for mobile web grew quite a bit, while mobile apps saw their own little increase as well. Both are expected to grow over the next few years as well.

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This chart looks at the top 25 mobile apps with unique visitors, and Facebook clearly has a grasp on the lead, while YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Google Search and Google Play are closely behind to round out the top five. Twitter, meanwhile, is much, much lower on the list.

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Brand apps can go a long way as well, as both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have proven over the last couple of years. Dunkin’ Donuts rose a whopping 456 percent since 2013, while Starbucks showed a 100 percent increase over that same time frame. Both have a strong amount of visitors that isn’t likely to dwindle anytime soon, based on each of their apps.

 chart 42

Retailers are also playing a big part with app usage, as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Target (with its Cartwheel service) have all seen increases in audiences over the past year, with Wal-Mart showing the biggest increase by 402 percent.

 chart 52

Tinder also saw a significant increase in visitors, nearly doubling its numbers to about two million people per day, a big jump over last year’s numbers. It’s also attracting quite the young audience, as four out of five Tinder users are younger than 35 years of age.

chart 6

Millennials were a big part of this report, as their top apps by share of total mobile app time spent were gauged on this cart. Facebook has the biggest individual grasp with 21.2 percent, followed by Pandora Radio and YouTube. Other apps got their share of the pie as well, including Spotify, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.

chart 7 Finally, the top 20 apps with highest concentration of millennials were measured, and YikYak easily took the lead with 98 percent. Venmo, InstaSize, BuzzFeed and Tinder were closely behind.

More details on this report can be found here.

Instagram Could Trump Twitter In Popularity

We already knew that Instagram was gaining a huge audience, while at the same time introducing new advertising venues that would no doubt be profitable for the Facebook-owned site. But now, its popularity could easily overtake another social network — Twitter.

A new report from SocialTimes indicates that, per numbers provided by GlobalWebIndex, Twitter still has a grasp on more active users than Instagram at the moment in 29 of the 33 markets, but that may not stay the same for long.

Speaking about the four markets — Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Sweden — where Instagram has the lead, GWI explained, “As is often the case, the problem here is that social networks use competing definitions of active usage. In our survey, where visitation and active usage are tracked in the same ways across all networks, we are much better positioned to show how networks compare to one another. While it’s certainly significant that Instagram has forged ahead in four markets, the fact that it lags in 29 of them shows the scale of the challenge that lies ahead if it wants to displace Twitter.

“That said, there is better news for Instagram when we look at visitation rates by age. Twitter might be ahead in all groups, but the gap is very small among the key 16-through-24 group (where 42 percent have visited Twitter and 39 percent have been to Instagram). That the photo-sharing service is so popular among the youngest Internet users is extremely encouraging for its future growth prospects.

The company also posted a large infographic, included below, that breaks down just what kind of dominance both Twitter and Instagram have in each of the 33 markets. As you can see, some differences are as clear as night and day, like Twitter having a healthy lead over Instagram in Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico.

However, the line is somewhat blurred when it comes to other markets. In the United States, for example, Twitter’s lead over Instagram is marginal, and that’s the same way for other markets like Brazil, Portugal and Malaysia. This could indicate that, with the right promotional tools, Instagram could easily move in and expand its lead on these markets, instead of just overtaking the four it has first place in right now.

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We’ll see where the next few months lead — and what Twitter could be up to in regards to keeping its lead in these countries.

Social Networks Rush To Mobile App Advertising

Considering the popularity of mobile devices these days, it shouldn’t be any surprise that a lot of companies are looking to invest in mobile app installs, as that can be a real draw for their individual programs and games. But now, social networks are vying to get a bigger piece of the action.

Per Business Insider, a report from BI Intelligence indicates that US mobile app install ad revenue will reach $4.6 billion this year, and extend even further in just a few years’ time, up to $6.8 billion by the time 2019 rolls out. This creates a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent from last year, with mobile app install ads accounting for about 30 percent of overall mobile ad revenue.

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As you can see from the chart, the increase is steady over each period, starting at $3.6 billion and nearly going double within the five years’ time.

There have been other takeaways from the report as well, including:

  • Mobile app-install ads are becoming quite popular ad units with different app publishers — and not just games.App marketers, including those in eCommerce and brands, feel that these ads are helping increase both downloads and measurable ROI. Social networks also take part, mainly because ads can be sold at a higher rate.
  • Easy-to-measure ROI drives demand. As an app-install ad is downloaded, customers’ activity in the app, including “lifetime customer value,” can be attributed to that ad.
  • Mobile app install ads are higher than standard units on Facebook, mainly due to performance and targeting. The report covers CPM pricing and CTR rates, when compared to the typical Facebook ad.
  • Prices will continue to be steady, while there will be an increase in supply. The mobile install ad has matured quite a bit over the past few years, and supply is becoming much more available through the likes of Twitter and Google. Due to the healthy increase, these aren’t likely to decline.
  • Top mobile publishers and networks will compete for mobile app-install ad dollars, as well as for specific app developers. Twitter and Facebook have been vying for the attention of key app builders in an attempt to increase app installs, complete with tools and analytics to help them get the job done. The ads in general manage to generate one-third of all mobile ad revenue.

The full report can be found here.