The incessant media focus on Twitter (we’re guilty, too), coupled with a parade of celebrity endorsers (from Oprah to Lance) has excited enormous public interest in the micro-blogging service.
Eager to see what all the fuss is about, millions of people around the world are signing up to send their first “tweets.” Unique users of Twitter grew by more than 100 per cent in March, and are now estimated at 14m.
But it turns out most of those users are determining that the fuss isn’t about all that much, after all. A full 60 per cent of new Twitter users fail to tweet again the following month, according to Nielsen vice president of primary research David Martin.
For a little while it looked like things were looking up for Phorm, the internet advertising technology company. There had been a year of controversy about the company’s technology which monitors internet users web surfing behaviour at the ISP level – a technique known as “deep packet inspection”, which has raised accusations of spying with some privacy activists.
But at the beginning of the year, things went quiet. There were a few positive statements about targeted advertising from UK officials like Stephen Carter, and the company launched a trial with KT, the Korean broadband provider.
Now, suddenly, the controversy is raging again.
Travelzoo’s revenues grew 12 per cent in the first quarter and shares of the online travel deal company rose by almost the same amount on Monday’s consensus-beating earnings.
Its Fly.com meta search engine, launched in beta in February, made a negligible contribution, but management sees major synergies from matching an engine that finds users the best flights with some of the hotel and holiday bargains its site and weekly newsletter offers to 15m subscribers.