Daily Archives: May 18, 2010

David Gelles

Everyone is happy on the farm. That’s the message from Zynga and Facebook, which just announced a “five-year strategic relationship.”

For two companies attached at the hip, that may sound like stating the obvious. Zynga makes social games like Farmville that are played by hundreds of millions of users on Facebook’s platform, and in turn spends lots and lots of money advertising on Facebook.

But the announcement comes after weeks of speculation that Zynga was growing fed up with Facebook, and might even be considering leaving the platform. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Roku added a mixed martial arts channel to its lineup on MondayWith Google, Intel, Logitech and Sony expected to announce a new internet TV platform on Thursday at Google’s annual developer conference, the latest View from the Valley column in the FT’s Digital Business section looks at how companies are fighting over the keys to the digital home:

“You can seal up the letterbox and lock all the doors, but it won’t help you resist the next digital revolution invading your home. Technology companies, retailers, content makers and service providers are fighting over the digital keys to the house, but their mode of entry will be subtle and largely invisible to the consumer.” Read more >>

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify knows how to brand a music service.

Last year, the ad-supported streaming service introduced “offline listening” to its mobile and desktop music applications for premium subscribers without ever mentioning the dreaded phrase “DRM” – in spite of the fact that access to the songs disappears as soon as you stop paying.

Today, it has announced a couple of new ways to access its extensive library in the cloud, whose limitations are so cleverly branded that you’d hardly notice. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail browser-based email service in time for Office 2010 and the official introduction of online versions of Office applications.

The company may be trailing Google with its integration of Google Docs and Gmail, but consumers should be familiar enough with Office programs to want to give the new integrated service a try. Read more >>

David Gelles

When it comes to the long-term success of stand-alone “check-in” services like Foursquare, Gowalla and Booyah, it’s all about incentives.

Sure, a few hundred-thousand early adopters might find social value in sharing their location with the world. But in order for checking-in to go mainstream, these companies will have to offer users a compelling answer to the question “Why?”

Foursquare is inching towards a meaningful response with a bevy of partnerships, including its latest promotion with StarbucksRead more >>