The BBC thinks its iPlayer service is “the best online television service in the world” – a platform so good that it’s the envy of Silicon Valley. So will Apple and Google be impressed by the platform’s latest redesign, unveiled in London on Tuesday?
This is a crucial time for the iPlayer: it will soon become the only home of BBC Three, the off-beat channel which is being taken off air to save costs. Tony Hall, the BBC’s director-general, wants the platform to be the “front door” to all the broadcaster’s content.
So what’s on offer in the new version? Read more
Almost five years after launching, crowd-funding platform Kickstarter has received pledges worth $1bn. Half of the money has apparently been in the past twelve months (see chart below).
If Kickstarter were a venture fund, it would be a fairly significant player. So how exactly has humanity been enriched, for its money? Read more
News that Sina has hired Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to help spin off its Twitter-like Weibo service means it is the latest communications tool – after the acquisitions of chat apps WhatsApp and Viber – that investors will be asked put a value on.
Details about the potential New York IPO remain scant, other than that it could value Weibo at more than $5bn. The FT’s Lex has posed some probing questions about the floatation (i.e. Why?) but here are a few more. Read more
Is $19bn a lot of money? It certainly sounds like it – that’s what Facebook thought WhatsApp was worth when it scooped up the messaging app on Wednesday.
The fate of social networks depends on being able to turn huge pools of users into a source of cash. So one way to assess whether Mark Zuckerberg got value for money is to look at how much he paid per WhatsApp user compared with the price of each person in other networks: Read more
Payments start-up Stripe is betting that retailers will leap at the chance to sell to an international audience, if only a company like Stripe were there to make it easier.
The company, run by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, is launching a feature allowing sellers who use its platform to price their goods in more than 130 currencies. Stripe takes a fee for the conversion, but handles the paperwork and bank transfers that can make cross-currency a hassle. Read more
A British tech entrepreneur has had his vision backed by a further $20.7m of US money, writes Andrew Bounds. Dan Wagner’s Powa group is developing a “revolutionary” ecommerce system that will allow customers to buy and order a product by photographing it with a smartphone.
PowaTag has attracted $96.5m in total, mainly from Boston-based fund Wellington Management, for around a quarter of the business. Read more
Like any widely hyped online phenomenon, Moocs – massive open online courses – are facing a reality-test.
Hardly anyone who starts one of the online courses actually finishes it. But even if the formula is being rethought, the potential impact on education hasn’t diminished. Read more
The rollout of Apple’s iPhone by China Mobile to 300 cities this year is going to be slower than many analysts expected – contributing to its outlook disappointing on Monday and its shares falling more than 7 per cent at the open today.
But new estimates for the rollout of 4G services promise rich pickings for Apple later in 2014 and beyond. Read more
The world’s most popular smartphone range is finally available to subscribers of the world’s biggest mobile carrier. Yes, the iPhone today went on sale to China Mobile subscribers.
But it does not come cheap. It is not quite Brazil prices (R2,799, or US$1,184 for the 16GB iPhone 5s from the Apple store) but iPhone in China is more expensive than it is in the US, at Rmb 5,288 ($872) versus $649 for the iPhone 5S 16GB. Read more