Archive for March 30, 2012

Why Violin Memory is worth billions in an IPO

Violin Memory is a force to be reckoned within the storage world. The company, which sells high-end storage arrays loaded to the gills with flash memory, just closed a $50 million funding round. This is its fourth similarly sized round in two years  putting the valuation of the company — slated to go public later this year– at about $800 million. If it follows through on those IPO plans, CEO Don Basile told me, the company will be valued in the billions.

It’s not just the industry shift toward solid-state drives replacing slower, less-efficient hard disk drives that’s driving Violin’s value through the roof, though, it’s also the company’s very strategic set of investors.

The latest investor to get on board is software giant SAP, whose mission-critical ERP and database products are deeply entrenched within large enterprises and could benefit greatly from the price-performance increases Violin’s systems offer over traditional HDD- and-DRAM-based systems. There’s also SAP’s new HANA  in-memory analytic database, which is the focal point of SAP’s big data push. “To the extent that people view HANA as a big data technology,” Basile said, “it fits into our core thrust that we started last year [around big data].”

That “thrust” Basile mentioned is to build the “biggest, fastest, densest” big data systems in the world for technologies such as HANA, Hadoop and NoSQL databases. Violin has worked with various vendors to eliminate the I/O bottleneck in Hadoop that limits throughput into the processor to a few hundred megabytes per second. Using a Violin system, he said, “instead of needing 100 Hadoop servers, you might need 10.”

Violin also counts Juniper Networks among its strategic investors, although flash-memory manufacturer Toshiba might well be the most important. While other enterprise flash-storage vendors must react to consumer demands that regularly change what flash fabricators produce (generally, smaller, less-reliable NAND memory products), Violin gets to plan ahead. Basile said Violin manufactures four generations out because it knows what Toshiba has coming down the pike. Being the company’s only U.S. investment and one of its only strategic tech investments in years, “if you do business with us, you’re also doing business with Toshiba,” Basile said.

Of course, Violin’s chances of a successful IPO aren’t hurt by the story of a Fusion-io, a somewhat competitive company that sells solid-state components that plug directly into servers and serve as high-performance caching layers. Fusion-io has been experiencing major revenue increases and, as of late February, was trading at 160 times earnings.

As Basile explained, everyone involved in the flash space is riding the wave of ever-lower flash memory prices and the entry of mega companies such as EMC, Oracle (e orcl) and HP into the space. “The argument [for flash adoption] becomes not if, only when,” Basile said. “And then, how much?”

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Use your smartphone to prank your friends on April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s day is Sunday and instead of highlighting corporate jokes or writing the traditional “gotcha” news item, we figured we’d compile a list of ways you can prank your friends. To make this really useful, feel free to add to the ideas in the comments.

The smartphone is the controller! These jokes all make use of smartphone apps that control elements of your daily life, such as your TV or maybe your home lighting system. As this woman wrote in to Time Warner Cable explaining how she and her daughter use the remote control app to change the channels while her husband is watching TV, all it takes is the right app and a moment when the victim isn’t looking to cause momentary confusion. Kevin Tofel says he likes to play a variation of this by turning off the lights in his home from his smartphone when guests get near a light switch.

Apps that act as whoopee cushions and animal translations. For those who don’t have the means to control someone’s household appliances there are apps such as iFart or Animal Translator, which bring giggles to small children and high-school boys. Make iFart into a digital whoopee cushion or show your elementary-school child what your dog is saying. A few years ago The New York Times did a complete run down on fake calling and texting services, so visit that if you’d like to do a modern-day prank call.

Forget the apps and prank the phone! Maybe you don’t have a smartphone, or perhaps you think your friends are pretty smart. Then it’s time to resort to more physical humor using stickers or pulling a switcheroo. Yeah I just used the word switcheroo. I’m a fan of the broken phone decal such as this one, but getting it in time for Sunday probably won’t happen. If your victim doesn’t have a lock on their phone (and really, if they don’t, they deserve to be pranked) then you can play any number of jokes, from tweeting from their account to rearranging their apps. At a bare minimum if you have the same phone but in different cases you can swap them out. Just be sure you have a password set on your phone.

I’m sure there are some fairly elaborate pranks out there that you guys have performed or might wish to see someone else perform, so feel free to leave them in the comments. And happy pranking.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Mykl Roventine

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Groupon Blows It Again — Restates Earnings After A Flood Of Buyers Demand Refunds (GRPN)

groupon, nasdaq, ipo, bell ring, andrew mason, nov 2011

NASDAQ

I’m so happy we got public before everyone figured out that we’re a basket case.

See Also

henry blodget

I Wouldn't Touch Groupon's Stock At The IPO Price With A 50-Foot Pole

Enjoy The Ride, Groupon Investors, I'm Outta Here!!


Groupon can’t get out of its own way.

After missing the bottom line in its first quarter as a public company, Groupon is now restating its Q4 earnings* after a higher-than-expected number of customers demanded refunds.

The stock is getting smashed in after-hours trading, falling more than 10% to about $16.

Now, this sounds totally horrible, but it’s actually not that big a deal.

The restatement does not affect cash flow, and the company is sticking with its outlook for the first quarter.

According to the company, what happened is this:

Groupon launched a bunch of new, higher-priced products late last year. At least in the fourth quarter, the return rate on these products was considerably higher than the return rate for Groupon’s cheaper offerings.

When customers demand refunds within 60 days, Groupon’s accounting treats the refund as a “contra-revenue” event, meaning that it reduces Groupon’s revenue and earnings.  After 60 days, refunds are treated as an expense, so they only hit earnings.

Going forward, Groupon will use higher refund assumptions for its higher-priced products. So this shouldn’t happen again.

And the good news is that the company is not reducing its guidance for the first quarter (which is basically complete) despite using more aggressive refund assumptions.

So this isn’t as big a deal as it seems.

But it is embarrassing. And it won’t help boost investor confidence in the stock.

SEE ALSO: I Wouldn’t Touch Groupon’s Stock At The IPO Price With A 50-Foot Pole

* Groupon says that this restatement is technically a “revision,” not a “restatement.”

 

Groupon Revises Q4 Results, Shares Tank 10% (GRPN)

andrew mason groupon

Kevin Krejci / Flickr, CC.


Groupon shares are down 10% in aftermarket trading following news that the company has revised its Q4 results.

“The revisions reduced revenue for the period by $14.3 million and reduced net income by $22.6 million, or 4 cents a share,” reports MarketWatch.

From a company release:

“The revisions are primarily related to an increase to the Company’s refund reserve accrual to reflect a shift in the Company’s fourth quarter deal mix and higher price point offers, which have higher refund rates. The revisions have an impact on both revenue and cost of revenue. A more detailed explanation of the refund reserve is included in the Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates section of Groupon’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year endedDecember 31, 2011, filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”

Cashflow for the period did not change. In a release, Groupon said its first quarter guidance would not change.

Groupon’s auditors, Ernst Young, filed a “statement of material weakness” the SEC about Groupon.

Here’s what that means, according to Investopedia:

A material weakness, when reported by an auditor, simply suggests that a misstatement could occur. If a material weakness remains undetected and unresolved, a material misstatement could eventually occur in a company’s financial statements, which would have a tangible effect on a company’s valuation. For example, a $100 million overstatement in revenue would be a material misstatement for a company generating sales of $500 million annually.

Groupon has a history of weird accounting. It used to call itself profitable, booking marketing expenses as a capitol cost. It also had a funny way of counting its revenues for a while.

Click here to update this post.

How to Monitor Your Facebook Network

Your Facebook friends, like your real-life friends, are a reflection of you. Facebook users should proceed with caution, especially as the defriending trend continues. Not to mention the fact that potential employers are asking job candidates for their Facebook passwords; the House GOP shot down a bill to prevent this from happening, essentially making it possible for employers to get away with super-stalking their potential employees. What are users to do aside from either shutting down their Facebook profiles completely, or cleaning them up significantly?

Monitoring service Secure.me seeks to help users gain more control over their Facebook information. It initially only seemed useful for parents who wanted to monitor their children’s activities on Facebook. In light of the ever-changing Facebook privacy concerns, however, it has become clear that users need to monitor their own profiles as well.

Secure.me is free and easy to sign up for. I decided to test it out using my Facebook profile as the guinea pig. The Summary overview gives users three main analyses: privacy, profile and network.

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The privacy analysis scoured my Facebook profile and returned information that already seemed obvious: The fact that I chose to share my hometown, location, education, work, bio, some family members and political views, could compromise the way people choose to view me. Listing family members seems like the riskiest thing to do: This exposes your biological family to Facebook and your social network. Yet this is exactly the type of information that Facebook encourages users to share. After all, it is the information that most easily groups and identifies us, and helps us connect with other users.

The profile analysis discovered that the words “art,” “pelvis” and “tattoo” were cause for concern. Overall, the language that Secure.me identified on my profile was “positive,” which is perhaps a better indicator of overall profile fitness than individual posts. The third option, network analysis, brought up nearly 100 questionable posts, all of which either had to do with politics or keywords like “idiot,” “porn” (as in, food porn), or other types of profanity – which is not necessarily a bad thing, according to Secure.me.

On the whole, the service says that the mood of my friend network is positive. Every user knows their Facebook community, and what to expect from them. I don’t care if my friends use profanity, so long as its tasteful. The most useful information gained from this analysis of nearly 10,000 posts was the fact that one of my Facebook friends has been posting a harmful link; it’s from a virus that’s posting spammy status updates that say “View today’s photo of the day!” along with a link to a harmful app.

The Facebook Photo Paparazzi Effect

The most useful aspect of Secure.me is the biometric face-recognition tool. Google+ made this useful feature optional to users months ago. No such tool exists on Facebook. It does tell you if you’ve been tagged in a Facebook photo by a friend, and it gives you the option to approve tags manually before the images appear on your wall. But Facebook does not notify you if photos of you are uploaded by people who are not your Facebook friends. The good news is that if someone with which you are not Facebook friends uploads a photo of you, they won’t be able to tag you – though they can write your name into the photo caption. Still, that image of you can float around Facebook, unbeknownst to you – and if you leave your house (as in, have a life), chances are people will recognize you in that photo.

I like to call this the Facebook Paparazzi Effect. Think about it: Are real-life celebrities notified when a trashy tabloid takes their photo? Of course not. And then the glossy hits the newsstands with incriminating text alongside a random photo of the celeb. Admit it: You’ve gazed at and even purchased these magazines. We love our celebrity gossip. In the social-networked era when everyone gets their 15 minutes of social media fame, we’re all mini celebs in the eyes of our Facebook friends.

GlossyMagazines.jpg

One thing I found odd about this: Secure.me only takes into account photos of you that are actually of your face. There’s a culture on Facebook of tagging people in photos to let them know about something, to invite them out to dinner, to send a shoutout, or just to acknowledge them. When I tested out the biometric face-recognition tool, I also discovered a few photos in which I’d been tagged as inanimate objects: a pink flower, a printer, a lawn ornament.

Oftentimes it is the personality quirks and the language of Facebook subcultures that reveal more about a user’s personality than the more obvious photos, activities and information shared. In the meantime, be selective about whom you befriend, and what types of slang you use within your Facebook subcultures. Your friends are a reflection of you.

Images via Shutterstock and Flickr user mtsofan.

Readability Is the Middleman Nobody Needs

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What the People Want

It seems they want a future where they can strip out everything but the stuff they want – especially ads – and save it for later. This is still in the early-adopter phase, but there’s a soaring market for apps that provide this service.

Ad blocking used to be an edge case. Nerds with Firefox were never going to pay you anyway. Just write them off. But now it’s available for anywhere from $5 to free in the local App Store, and it’s selling like… well, iPads.

These apps walk a fine line. If they threaten publishers’ fragile businesses, that industry spooks easily. It will find some awful way to block content from being saved for later, and everyone will be worse off.

Different Approaches

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, has always been cautious. While his competitor, Read It Later, took the liberty of condensing multipage articles into a single page when saved, Instapaper did not. This is a common (read: awful) trick sites use to garner maximum page views, and everybody hates it. Read It Later was doing a service for its customers, but it risked spooking the publishers.

readability_iphone_small.jpgNow there’s a new game in town. Readability was always a weird service. It provided cleaned-up Web views of articles, and in order to get the full-fledged service, it asked users to subscribe for a small monthly fee. Readability would collect money on publishers’ behalf, and if they signed up, that money would be distributed to them proportionate to the number of articles saved in Readability.

This was presumptuous. It sought to impose a business model on Web publishing and said “We’ve got your money. If you want it, sign up.” Some publishers didn’t take kindly to that.

Readability recently launched its iOS and Android apps, and its naive stance toward the publishing industry has only been bolstered. In November, when it announced the iOS apps, Readability made the service free, giving it a chance to scale up to threaten the other established apps, and it made the subscription optional.

The Middleman

How’s that going? Not well at all. Ben Brooks, an independent tech writer who is pretty much the ideal Readability publisher, reports that Readability revenues have plummeted since the app went free.

But that’s a long-term problem. It’s still worth trying the experiment. The more immediate problem is that Readability plays fast and loose with its links. A few weeks ago, I discovered that links shared from Readability go straight to the Readability view on the iPad. It doesn’t load the original page at all.

I’m not moaning about page views here. That’s not my point. I’m a blogger, but I don’t care about blogging nearly as much as I care about reading and sharing.

The problem with this is that it breaks sharing. It forces mobile users to use Readability instead of their link-saving app of choice, which might be Instapaper, a service that does treat publishers with more distance and respect. It might be Pinboard or another bookmarking service. A shared link should always, always, always be the original URL, so that users can do with it as they please.

Instead, Readability skipped ads for publishers and showed ads for itself instead. Even on the desktop, though it loads the original page below, it puts the linked story in a Readability.com frame, so the URL still isn’t right.

Embattled Readability CTO Chris Dary said he and the team would think more about “mobilized” views, which apparently include tablets. In response to a complaint on AppAdvice today, Readability decided to do the right thing and share real links in the meantime, while it “come[s] up with something more graceful for both the user and the publisher.”

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Creating Value vs. Siphoning It Off

The future of publishing is up to the customer. No other service should interpose itself. The margins of this business are thin enough.

Instapaper does not do this, and Arment is clear about why. He creates a new kind of value for consumers by giving them a place to save things they want to read and share them later. Publisher page views are preserved more carefully, and shared stories link to the publisher’s site.

Readability has taken some brash actions. It’s good of the company to reconsider at least some of its unwelcome innovations. Remember what happened to Zite? No? Exactly.

UPDATE 2:01 p.m.: Readability has posted a statement on its blog to re-frame its goals and motivations:

“We take pride in being the first reading platform to try something this radical. Is our method of paying publishers the right one? Almost certainly not yet. if you’re a publisher and are uncomfortable for any reason, contact us and we’ll fix the issue.

“We’re experimenting because we do not believe that, ten years from now, advertisers will be happily paying for CPM banner ads on a site that people leave to read in some other app. And we don’t believe that publishers will support over the long term paid apps which generate no revenue for the publisher. The model we’re experimenting with definitely has its challenges, and we’re going to be careful about how we handle change because we made a public promise by way of our model.”

As I said, it’s worth trying the experiment. But Readability interjecting itself too forcefully without a sure bet for publishers and consumers could sour the milk for everyone. All these services result in some lost ad revenues. At least Instapaper avoids causing that where possible. Publishers have to compete with the experience of read-later apps if they don’t want to lose that revenue. But Readability needs to put publishers and readers ahead of itself if it doesn’t want its experiment to backfire.

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock

Lantronix Has iPad Print Server Solution

lantronix_logo.pngOnce in a blue moon, I actually get a device that does what it says it does and works effortlessly out of the box. This is one of those rare times. If your company has iPads and other iThings on its network, one of the frustrations is not being able to print from them. In the past, you needed a printer that was designed for iPrint (such as the HP Envy Series we reviewed here). Now Lantronix has its xPrintServer that can do the job for any network-connected printer. And it is so easy that it will take you longer to read how to do it than to actually implement it.

Google Adds New Toys to OAuth Playground

Thumbnail image for Google logo 150x150Google opened its OAuth 2.0 playground to developers last November with support for Google properties and non-Google APIs with support for OAuth 2.0 draft 10. Since then, the company has added a number of new toys to the OAuth Playground, including support for testing client-side apps, in addition to testing Web-based applications.

In case you missed it the first time around, the OAuth Playground is a Google-sponsored site that allows developers to work with the OAuth 2 protocol.

On Facebook, Breaking Up With "Friends" is Hard to Do

Why Now?

Screen Shot 2012-03-30 at 7.39.52 AM.pngI have one real-world friend who is not on Facebook. Never has been, never will be. He’s tech savvy and smart and a helluva a lot happier than those of us who check Facebook several times a day. There’s now empirical evidence that Paul’s happy-go-lucky nature may not be a coincidence, as a study out this week suggests too much time on Facebook leads to depression.

But the problem is bigger than just personal happiness. In the past week, I’ve written two posts about evil tidbits tucked into Facebook’s new user policy: one dealing with the fact that you automatically accepted these terms when you logged in after last Friday, and one looking at Facebook’s attempts to ban the use of certain words. Both posts drew comments offering a simple solution: Quit.

Even before all this, I’ve often fantasized about cutting the ties. I’ve never really liked the idea of essentially letting Facebook make money off of content I create, be it my photos or my pithy status updates, and it is a time suck. As it is, I’ve disabled Facebook apps on my mobile devices and have a blocking program on my laptop browser that limits the times when I can check Facebook. But, given that I write about social media for a living, a complete severing of ties is just not feasible.

Who Made the Cut?

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I liked Path’s policy of borrowing a concept I first read about in Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point called the rule of 150. Path limits users to 150 connections under the assumption that our brains are only capable of handling 150 close relationships.

I knew at the very least I had to cut my number of Facebook friends to under 150. But I also realized some of my 150 close connections are with people I don’t socialize with: bosses, clients, students and colleagues. If they are just “friends,” they can still find me on LinkedIn and Twitter, but I wanted to pare Facebook down to the people I consider important in my life right now.

If Facebook is truly a social network, if all these people are truly friends instead of “friends,” the actual number, I decided, was probably significantly less than 150. I’m a journalist so, by definition, I’m bad at math. I decided to keep things simple and cut my list of 650 friends by 90%.

At first it was easy. If I deliberately avoided you at the last high school reunion I went to, or if I wasn’t quite sure who you were because you’ve changed your hair, name or both, or if you have ever sent me a Farmville request, we’re now through.

Then it got a little harder. I decided if I haven’t had meaningful contact with you (which generally meant in-person contact) in the past couple of years, I probably clicked unfriend when your name came up on my list. I don’t drink anymore, so people who had status updates that almost exclusively focused on drinking – particularly if they were older than 40 – were cut. If you’ve ever made passive-aggressive comments about your children or used the phrase “FML” in a status update about a mundane part of your daily routine, it was time for us to say good bye.

Once I got under 200 friends, things got even harder. I broke the “meaningful contact” rule for a few college friends that I’m not in touch with anymore. They’re like faded, old They Might Be Giants concert tee shirts: too ratty to wear but too precious to throw out. They’re people that I feel if I bumped into we’d grab lunch and pick up as if the intervening decade had been no longer than a week or two.

The process was tedious, and I had to do it in 10-minute bursts over the course of a day. Finally, I reached my goal of 65 Facebook friends, no thanks to Facebook.

Facebook Fights Back

Why did the process take 24 hours? Because Facebook doesn’t take social network breakups easily and makes the process of paring a friend list of 650 down to 65 a tedious, one-by-one process.

That is, one-by-one if you’re lucky.

Because I swear people I had unfriended would pop back up in my list a few moments later. I tried to pass time by removing people on my iPhone while watching television, only to find out the next time I checked Facebook from my laptop all of the people I thought I had removed were still on my friends list.

But here’s the real kicker: Even though I removed all those friends, they still get to see my status updates, thanks to the Subscribe feature Facebook rolled out last year.

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For the record, Elizabeth and I remain friends on Facebook and in real life. But had she been among the 585 people I unfriended, the only way I could stop her from seeing my feed (and presumably sharing content I post) is to block her. Not only would that add another step to the already lengthy process, but my own feeling is that those social media restraining orders are excessively harsh and something best reserved for ex-girlfriends.

Still, isn’t the point of unfriending someone to create a bit of distance between their world and yours? Does this whole exercise make any sense?

For Facebook it does. Facebook needs those people to keep seeing my content because it not only has the potential to keep them on the site longer, it helps them determine their likes and dislikes. I may have reduced the amount of user-generated content I’m exposed to on Facebook by 90%, but as long as I continue to share content on Facebook, I’ll still be giving those 585 former friends potential reasons to spend even more time on the site.

It Was Worth It

As a result, if I share this post on Facebook, all those former friends will know that I dumped them. They’ll know that I’m kind of a jerk. But here’s a secret:

I don’t care.

Because as I look at my news feed this morning, I’m finding updates from people I like, miss and am actually interested in. They’re not lost in the clutter of a hundred different status updates by half-forgotten strangers from high school or ex-bosses that I never socialized with in any real sense of the word.

In other words, my social network is finally social. Facebook is once again relevant and usable in my life.

[Poll] Do Developers Think Consumers Like Push Notifications?

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Not All Push Created Equal

There are many subtleties to the push notification conversation. How, when and why to deploy push notifications depends on the type of app (a news app, social app or game, for instance) but also on the type of platform they are being pushed from. Android, iOS and Windows Phone all handle push differently and that can be a source of frustration for developers.

The consensus among many developers that I have talked to is that the way push works on Android is the most preferable in terms of user experience. For instance, if an app sends 20 push notifications to an Android smartphone, only the most recent notification will show in the users’ message tray. That is when Android push notifications work; between the three operating systems, it is also the most unreliable. Notifications sometimes get lost or take a long time to show up.

In terms of a purely technical distribution, iOS has the most stable push notification system. Notifications almost always arrive in real time and are gathered in a drop-down notification tray that was released with iOS 5.0. iOS notifications are also the most intrusive. Unlike Android, all notifications are shown in the tray, and they tend to build on top of each other. Many an iOS user knows what it is like to have that little red number hover over an app that constantly sends push notifications. When the notifications never stop, that can be a frustrating experience.

Windows Phone has the oddest push system: Only the most recent applications will be allowed to send push to a user. This is governed by how many “Live Tiles” a user has one their phone. With Windows Phone Mango, only 30 Live Tiles are permitted (up from 15), creating a bottleneck of endpoints for developers sending push notifications. Users with highly customized Live Tiles may not receive push from apps they do not create a tile for. Windows Phone also has several different kinds of push displays, including “Deep Toast” and multi-tile notifications. Android and iOS also have gradations of the types of notifications that can be sent.

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Chart: Push Notifications Overview from Microsoft

Different Use Cases, Different Reactions

Some push notifications are exemplary uses of the technology. Others are borderline and can be annoying, depending on the user. Others are outright spam.

In the industry, the best use of push notifications are often cited to come from apps like The Weather Channel and Words With Friends. If there is severe weather, like a large tornado coming my way, you best believe I want a timely push notification. The Weather Channel is parsimonious about how it sends notifications, usually only pushing news when something dramatic is about to happen. Words With Friends is the best example of a game using push to tell a player when it is their turn. It is one of the features that makes the game so addictive.

On the other hand, we have games like Urban Crime from Gameloft that sends constant, intrusive push notifications that are highly annoying. This is where the line gets tricky. To a certain extent, Urban Crime is just trying to pull you back into the game through game mechanics. On the other hand, Gameloft sends too many, and it is hard to make them stop. Other entities, such as the new Color app, send push notifications whenever a user “visits.” The only good thing about Color’s use of push is that nobody actually uses the app, so you will not be bombarded with a constant flood of notifications.

“From a gaming, social content, news methodology, if they are tailored to be pushed when I have said they want to be pushed, it is fine. If you are hitting me up with ads, if you are hitting me up with information that is not useful to the core experience, consumers really hate that,” said Bill Gianoukos, VP engineering and product management at Boston-based HeyWire.

Developers believe that there are distinct uses for push notifications and put trust in users to know how to turn them off, if wanted. This may be putting too much trust in the casual user that is more likely to delete an app that sends too many notifications.

xmg_powdermonkey.jpg“I think that Apple’s intended purpose with them has kind of been shaded. Right now, predominantly, most games I see them being used as spam,” said Adam Telfer, VP of game development for Toronto-based XMG Studio. “In our own games, we try to only use them for game mechanic reasons. So, you think about a game like Words With Friends, they are only using those push notifications for pulling the user back into the game because they have a new move. Not because there is some sale on an item or [other instances].”

Image: Powder Monkey game logo from XMG

Gianoukos offers great advice on the ideal scenario to use push notifications:

“Ideally, push notifications are meant to enable the users to get the content or the event that occurred that they want to know about sent to their phones so they can be prompted to go into the application. So, it is a prompting mechanism, ideally based on user preferences of when they want to be interrupted and notified of event, data, content or something occurring that is important to them, and they need to go into the app to interact with that piece of information,” Gianoukos said.

Developers: What say you? Do consumers want push notifications? Where is the line between trying to re-engage users and spamming them? Vote in the poll and let us know in the comments.

Images: Kids pushing and sale courtesy Shutterstock

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