Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Taking a Break...

Taking a short break to be a caregiver and work on a mobile paper...

More shortly.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ring in The Inventory...Ringleader

I had a good conversation with Mark Pearlstein this morning. Mark is the V.P. of Business Development for Ringleader, a mobile ad network that has been in the media recently for having received $6 million in funding from W2 Group. I was curious to see how Ringleader is differentiating itself from other mobile networks and was pleasantly surprised with some of the bells and whistles.

Ringleader helps publishers monetize mobile media traffic by managing its inventory, dynamically delivering formats and creating targeting opportunities that advertisers need. Currently Ringleader is working with 15 top tier US publishers and over 2800 websites. Local sites have been among the earliest to join the fold giving the network highly relevant localized content to serve ads on.

On the agency side, the company allows media planners to serve ads through third parties like Atlas and DART breaking down some of the barriers to proposing these types of programs to their clients. Ringleader alone is able to target by zipcode, carrier, phone type and in some cases to a few square meters but placing the media through a mainstream ad server opens the door to consistency across one media plan and media agencies like that...a lot.

The real differentiator is the technology. While most mobile ad networks are still using WAP based server solutions, Ringleader’s technology allows one piece of creative to adapt to all mobile platforms without having to specially format the piece. The technology can detect the device, it’s OS and whether it can handle video (and what kind). Aside from the time and money saved on production costs, this creates rich opportunities to perform A/B testing and tiered campaigns.

Other interesting tools provided by the network include contextual advertising opportunities and a "click to call" feature (with calls routed through their server) that closes the loop on fully tracking ad effectiveness. Mark shared some interesting developments coming up in Q3 involving behavioral ad opportunities and the ability to frequency cap. I believe that this development will be an important marker in the mobile industry. The ability to label phones by content browsed will change the way many look at mobile advertising.

We discussed the implications of mobility on inventory, and how the small screen limits the ability to sell the 4 or 5 ad units traditionally seen online. This problem will only get worse as heavier hitting brands come in to play. Mark said that the "Holy Grail" was the ability to advertise to a user that is 10 feet away from a restaurant. Without subscribed push media, the inventory shortages will make this a difficult execution. Text based alerts will be one way to capitalize on the proximity factor but as with emails and RSS feeds, users will have to manage the flow and frequency.

Putting a further squeeze on inventory are the four verticals that Mark described as early adopters. Travel & Leisure, Finance, Entertainment and Automotive. The four monsters are big online spenders and can clear out inventory for the many local businesses that have been waiting for the “10 feet away from my restaurant” opportunity to finally come. We briefly touched on the premium CPMs that can be expected from placing mobile media. As the costs soar through competition among the above four, will mainstream or small businesses stand a chance?

Mark mentioned the ability to do cross platform advertising. Giving advertisers and agencies the ability to build one campaign and include all digital platforms (and calling), is a huge opportunity for them. While we didn’t dwell on this subject, in light of inventory issues ahead, I’d have to say that this consolidated offering might be Mark’s real Holy Grail.

The overall impression that I got was that Ring Leader is working to simplify mobile media. I think the industry has been waiting for that. The $5 billion question is, in the simplified world of mobile advertising, will there be enough to go around and will consumers warm up to the creative new formats that will inevitably arise as a result?

Currently Ringleader is operating in the US but is working on partnerships in Europe and Canada.

I’ll keep you posted…

Monday, February 11, 2008

Social Spam...The Push That Broke a User's Back

Spam is not news. But this weekend my mailbox was attacked by a plague of emails from the London based back packing network called WAYN.

The British social network has been rumored to have recently been passed up by an AOL acquisition and is now, clearly trying to boost its user base.

It started with an invitation from someone I didn’t know and then quickly progressed to WAYN itself having added me as a friend. Five unanswered emails later; I’m receiving emails from WAYN users that I don’t know that are part of a network I do not subscribe to.

Ok, granted the tactic drove me to visit the site (only to know the enemy). But the acquisition strategy of spamming mailboxes cheapened the proposition to such a degree that the site lost my patronage before I even looked around it. Had the email contained a targeted value proposition, I may have thought twice before deleting it but the volume of messages and the subject lines were such classic examples of irrelevant communication that I immediately classified it as garbage.

WAYN is not new to social networking (surprisingly). The site has been around for around 2 years, has received generous funding ($11 million) and has 10 million users across 220 countries. Since the AOL let down, the site has been looking for a buyer. Tipping its hand to the desperation of getting sign-ups can’t be good for the brand.

I spend a lot of time online looking at flights, possible travel itineraries and tourism sites. Wouldn’t it make more sense to meet me there? From a media strategy stand point, WAYN would benefit a great deal more from a brand awareness campaign, some cool external application sharing and contextual/behavioral tactics.

Sadly, the concept behind the backpacking network is actually quite good. Users are able to meet up with fellow travelers at their next destinations and send emails or SMS to one another. The site also recently launched a branded pre-paid credit card as a loyalty play. All these features are smart, targeted and useful to the hundreds of thousand of backpackers sprawling the globe. The targeted audience while elusive, can be quite attractive down the road.

But if this is any indication of what I could expect my mailbox to look like once I join the network, no thanks, I’m busy managing the existing spam on sites I joined voluntarily.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Decentralize Yourself...Moli

The other day on Praized, Sebastien Provencher highlighted a Robert O’Brien quote from ReadWriteWeb:

“Web 1.0: Centralized Them. Web 2.0: Distributed Us. Web 3.0: Decentralized Me”

Aside from agreeing with one person’s comment about growing weary of labeling the Internet, I was also in agreement with the general concept of the decentralization that is starting to occur in this next phase of the web.

The fact that early adopters to the major networks are starting to activate privacy settings and slow in their activities, is an early indicator that users are selective about who they allow to see what.

Moli.com is one network that is capitalizing on this idea. The network’s tag line is “One Account Manages Multiple Profiles”.

I saw Judy Balint, President and COO of Moli.com present at the Social Networking Conference in Miami last week. The meat of the presentation was focused on how the aging population will inevitably be in search of more sophisticated environments than those currently available. The younger individuals using MySpace for instance, will start to join the workforce. This will lead to a whole new set of requirements in their online socializing experience.

Judy’s presentation was rich with data on what users will want and not want from their social networking experience over the next few years. The point was that by 2011, over half of the US population will be engaging in social networking. Overlay the aging population and this leaves a huge opportunity for communities that are free of vampires, poking and music fan pages.

The network is designed to let users segment themselves across all of their lives – business, personal, family etc. Judy said that individuals over 25 years of age need this type of fragmentation and the current networks simply don’t provide the right level of privacy. A robust back-end allows users to set varying levels of profile access creating buckets of contacts labeled however the user wishes.

Moli is also targeting the small business sector by providing fully transactional web stores. For $3.99 a month, users can create retail stores that are linked to their personal profiles. The stores provide retailers with extra merchandising tools like video and users are able to buy as many profiles as they want.

What is interesting about this small business tool is that the social network allows the business owners to tap into various segments to promote their products or use the platform as a CRM channel.

Judy also spoke of the mobility angle and how Moli was building skinny applications to better capture the mobile opportunity.

The company just raised $29.6 million in private funding. The cash will be used primarily to aggressively target markets outside of the US. The network is currently in alpha in Germany but Judy mentioned the rest of Europe, Asia and the Middle East as potential markets.

The site has just come out of beta with over 100,000 members (600,000 uniques).

The revenue models include advertising throughout the content channels and the monthly retail site fees of $3.99 (plus premium merchandising tools). Members can pay $2.49 per month to remove advertising from their online experience.

The question is, will a network like Moli be able to deliver the decentralization that people will truly be after? It is after all, one network. Regardless of the ability to splinter identity, will individuals be willing to stay in one network to do this? I have a hunch that people will be more literal in their fragmentation and keep thicker walls between their personas than those offered through a single login.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Helping Yourself to Social Networking...Tools To Life

After a brief chat with Devlyn Steele a.k.a "Coach Steele", I was compelled to dig a bit deeper into the business of self-help and the potential that exists online for this market. Devlyn is an extremely successful life coach and founder of ToolsToLife.

ToolsToLife originally launched in 2002. But the Cold Fusion platform and relatively slow connectivity was not as supportive to Devlyn’s vision of self-help online as today’s Web 2.0 tools are.

ToolsToLife is a social networking platform that allows users to register their profiles and then go on to sign up for a long list of programs that includes breaking addictions, dealing with depression, improving relationships and receiving motivational guidance.

The site offers a selection of coaches that specialize in their fields. The programs are delivered through video and have a number of structured steps to follow. Users complete steps on a daily basis for a specified time frame based on the program they have joined. It also provides a number of gadgets and gizmos to make the experience of self-improvement richer. Most importantly of course, are the targeted support group environments.

While checking out the site, I was surprised to discover that there were no existing sponsors or ads rotating through the site. Being a media junkie, I was dumbfounded by the potential ad energy on the site and I asked Devlyn (a few times) about the business model. Devlyn maintains that the site is not meant to generate revenue. All the courses are completely free and there are no current advertising partners on the site.

Devlyn’s vision is to “change the world”. He makes this clear on a YouTube video while strolling down a beach. On our call he positioned the network as a completely philanthropic endeavor.

I must be evil, because with all of this potential to do good and change lives, I snuck a peek at a 2006 Marketdata Enterprises study that showed the Self-Improvement Market in U.S. to be worth an estimated $9.6 Billion.

As you delve into the various sub-sectors, you quickly get a glance at the wickedly long vertical tentacles of this industry:
  • The weight loss sector (as a whole) according to Marketdata Enterprises, is worth $58 billion.
  • Smoking cessation was estimated by Decision Resources Inc. to reach $1.7 billion by 2007 (up from $450 million five years ago).
  • Paul Gordon Stolz’s Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities book (published in 1997) refers to a “$24 billion motivational industry”.
I’m all for changing the world. I think the tools provided on a network like this could change many lives and bring a lot of happiness and peace to the users. But I’m convinced that this type of network has an enormous power to generate revenue. Think of all the widgets that could find distribution through leveraging outside social graphs.

Some would argue that this type of network should be kept as a safe haven for individuals looking for self improvement. The reality is that subscribing to any social network compromises privacy and opens the door to marketers. This particular brand of socializing is particularly sensitive in the world of media.

Whether its research, direct response or contextual ad driven revenue, time will tell if the obvious ethical issues can and will be circumvented to capitalize on this staggering market.

Then again, maybe I'm just trying to peel layers off a green onion.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Monetization of User Generated Video

I caught up with Kevin Barwin yesterday. Kevin is the Vice President of Business Development at Overlay.tv.

The Ottawa based company is getting ready to launch a technology that I think, will have great impact on enabling individuals and publishers to leverage user generated content and boost affiliate marketing networks.

As suggested by its name, Overlay.tv is a solution that allows users to create hot spots on their videos and photos. The hot spots are visible when users interact with the video or photo content and link back to anything from personal profile pages on Facebook to transactional sites like Amazon, iTunes or Expedia.

The solution is also targeted commercially, allowing larger publishers to hot spot their content and create new revenue streams.

Past attempts to monetize video content fell short in delivering targeted content and in truly integrating with the content. Players like Adap.tv largely use contextual ad serving via tagging as a marker for video content and ads tend to appear at the bottom of the screen. Kevin pointed out that the contextual gaps have led to some disconnects like videos about scuba diving leading to pet foods stores. While Overlay.tv’s technology will ultimately be at the mercy of its users (contextually speaking), it will have far greater potential to put accurately targeted buyers and sellers together.

Overlay.tv will officially launch on February 14 with over 750 affiliates for users to choose from. The company just announced it's completion of a $4.6 million Series A financing round.

Here’s a detailed walk through from a user perspective:
  • Avid scuba diver blogs about diving and has hundreds of connections online based on this affinity.
  • Scuba diver uploads video from Belize to show off the sea horse spotted in the coral.
  • Diver creates an overlay and begins to hotspot items on the video (snorkel, swimsuit, location)
  • Diver self selects from a library of affiliates in creating the overlay. Let’s say Expedia for location.
  • Viewers scroll over the items and are able to get deeper information or purchase opportunities of the hot spotted items.
  • Diver generates revenue from lead to Expedia and shares revenue with Overlay.tv
On the publisher side, Overlay.tv will be white labeling its product and aside from fees generated through customization services, it will be creating revenue sharing opportunities across major media properties.


Time will tell if consumers will adopt the monetization of their content using this type of solution.

Affiliate Marketing
Its proper execution will have a tremendous impact on boosting affiliate marketing networks through social media.

Saturation/Best Practices
Learning from Facebook’s nutty Vampire scenario, Overlay.tv will have to monitor feedback on user experience and audience reaction. It will definitely need optimizing to insure content is not compromised. Best practices will need to be shared across its network of users.

Offline Lead Generation
Inserting a layer of sophistication for couponing and Voip could give Overlay.tv and other players in this space potential to generate measurable (monetized) leads efficiently offline through video.

Local Search
This could create a whole new aspect to local media and how local retailers might employ the use of video within their local search listings. The flexibility offered by the product creates an opening for businesses that traditionally, may not have found much value in video ads.

Online Video Advertising Stats
  • In November 2006 (predating the social networking mania), eMarketer predicted that by 2010, the online video advertising expenditure would become a $3 billion industry.
  • Here's a great piece from Mark Hopkins at Mashable covering a Burst Media study on the subject of consumers and their interaction with online video.
In closing... Happy Valentine's Day Amazon!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

How Social Networks Compete with Search...Mitsubishi Case Study

Based on the premise that search marketing is so popular because users are highly qualified due to their specified searches and the results they are exposed to, it occurs to me that access to the social graph expands this notion effectively with the added benefit of brand exposure.

Last night at Facebook Camp, there was a compelling Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution case study delivered by Andrew Cherwenka, Vice President of Business Development at Toronto based Trapeze Media.

Campaign Objectives
  • Generate brand exposure beyond that of Mitsubishi’s initial attempt through a stand alone micro-site.
  • Sell cars
Target Intelligence
  • 28 year old Canadian males
  • High demographic composition currently on Flickr, YouTube and Facebook
  • Campaign headline on the Home Page of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution microsite “Watch it on YouTube, Befriend it on Facebook, See it on Flickr" with direct links to YouTube, Facebook and Flickr
  • Creation of a fan page within Facebook (among other initiatives involving Flickr & YouTube)
Results (Facebook Portion)
  • Within 3 weeks, the page generated:
  • 1,199 fans
  • 152 wall posts
  • 12,473 video views to the Mitsubishi Lancer microsite
  • 17,384 page views to the Mitsubishi Lancer microsite
  • CPC $0.23
Based on the results (to date) of this campaign, one could argue that the effectiveness of the social graph far surpasses that of a traditional SEM campaign. In one of the most competitive categories (automotive), a $0.23 CPC at this volume and speed is hard to come by on the search engines.

The added layer of value is the engagement this type of execution is able to afford the advertiser.

Someone in the audience asked if the strategy was criticized for creating a “fan” page, which would imply that the campaign is not directed at acquisitions but rather, an existing base of loyal consumers. The response of course was that through accessing the social graph, Mitsubishi was able to pick up some influencers. It only takes one car enthusiast who belongs to several car talk groups to infect the masses he is associated with in that particular niche. So, not only is there reach, but also there is targeted reach, which in turn, creates highly desirable chatter content.

Search delivers targeted audiences, of this we as strategists are certain, but as witnessed in the Mitsubishi case study, the social graph delivers invaluable brand exposure opportunities. Andrew pointed out that the biggest value is in the tremendous amount of impressions delivered on profiles and newsfeeds across Mitsubishi's target market's social graph.

Local search from a decentralized (franchisee or dealer networks) come into play when the franchises and dealers leverage corporate initiatives such as these.

Ok, one last pot shot at search from this perspective.... Through the thick transparency, I can't seem to find any click fraud issues?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Roasting API Stories...At Facebook Camp Toronto

Back from Facebook Camp. The 3rd event, held in Toronto drew 450 attendees consisting of developers, marketers and entrepreneurs.

The Take Away Messages:

Growth - 15,108 approved Facebook apps currently on the site (it was 5,500 in October)
Expansion - Facebook apps are now being promoted outwardly so that they can exist on other sites (Beacon & Widgets)
Licensing - Facebook API is being licensed (Bebo being amongst its first clients) - feedback is already emerging
Clean-up - Working hard to combat application fatigue, Facebook is working towards optimizing the spam factor

Here are some selected highlights from the latest Canadian stats on the network:
  • There are 7.5 million active Facebook accounts in Canada:

    • 46% Ontario
    • 15% BC
    • 13% Alberta
    • 12% Quebec
    • 8% Maritimes
    • 3% Manitoba
    • 3% Saskatchewan

  • 18% are under 18
  • 44% Male – 56% Female
  • Total Page Views per month are 8.3 Billion compared to 50.2 Billion Globally
  • 59% of the Canadian users return every day compared to 45% globally
Source: Facebook Social Ads February 2008

The event had some interesting presentations. I’ll share some case studies and more information on the licensing with Bebo over the next couple of days.

The Offline Factor…OneKeyAway

One of the reoccurring themes arising out of last week’s discussions in Miami was the idea that the strongest, most valuable social networks are those that are born out of offline contact. Players like LinkedIn and A Small World are certainly leveraging this aspect but I thought I would peek across the hall to see what was cooking in the online dating world…

I had an interesting discussion with Edwin Duterte, the President and Founder of OneKeyAway about his business model and how the offline factor plays a major role in his business.

OneKeyAway is a social platform used to draw upscale singles to attend local parties. What makes the business interesting is that it’s a spin off on the "Lock & Key" dating game where some party goers are given locks and other are given keys. The idea being that you have to find the right match and hope that a) there’s an attraction, and b) you have anything in common.

OneKeyAway users sign up to the site and fill out a questionnaire designed by psychologists to analyze critical personality traits that under normal circumstances would take a long time to gather from another individual. The results from the tests are then scored and uploaded to a device the size of a car key. When members arrive at the party, they are given their key and from there, the technology takes over.

Using infrared technology, once a couple starts to mingle and find some attraction, they are able to zap each other to get a reading on their chemistry. This reminds me a bit of the early Palm beaming that went on to upload contact data from other Palm toters. The difference here is that there's an algorithm baked into the "beam" that provides a synergy score. Results are displayed much like a battery life on a cell phone. The strength of the signal reveals the compatibility.

The online registration process allows party goers to get a sense of who will be attending. Some statistical data on what kinds of professionals will be attending are given as well as the gender ratio.

Edwin stressed the importance of offline networking and how the use of a social networking application online should be seen as an enhancement, not the basis of the business.

OneKeyAway generates revenue through admissions. Parties draw anywhere between 100 to 200 singles. Cover charges are between $25 and $35 per person.

If people want to connect after the party, they are hooked up through the platform. For added safety, the extra layer of vigilance provided from the venue operators quickly sorts out under aged individuals.

It occurred to me how efficient this little dating engine was at drawing highly localized members to join. With rich data on the attendees, it offers sharp sponsorship opportunities and of course, some decent exposure for the venues participating.

At first glance, it looks like a fun stand alone business to operate. Looking a bit further down the line, with all the niche interest sites cropping up, I can see its attraction to a long list of vertical interests. Swap this pure play dating model out for niched events and you've got a interesting kick at the can for local-social across different verticals.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Micro Thoughts on Yahoo...

Softened version...

Having received considerable flack from a demanding reader for refusing to fall into the abyss of commentary on yesterday's Yahoo announcement, I’ve been pressured to write something, anything about the company…

In light of the pending Microsoft deal, here are some brief, random and gratuitous thoughts:
  • Yahoo managed to established a strong social graph framework through its user base:
    • Yahoo’s communication utilities were early to the game and the consumer switch cost (abandoning for competitor) is still relatively high.
  • Yahoo pioneered some of today’s trends and arguably has close to best in class services:
    • music, customization of home pages and rich messaging (not voice, I’m talking about the IMvironments, games and nifty tools)
  • Yahoo’s focus on acquiring market share and creating an ad-supported model since its birth helped slow the industry’s ability to monetize consumer services online:
    • The “everything free” mentality was born out of the need to compete with subscription based ISP providers in the mid nineties. Yahoo was wooing CompuServe users (and the like) into their fluffy ad supported environments. This has backfired on themselves and the industry as a whole. They were not alone. Other competing brands were employing the same strategies. I single out Yahoo only because of their brand's power and visibility.
As Dr. Li Song, Chairman of China based SinoFriends Inc., shared revenue numbers driven through the monetization of music backgrounds and avatar building in his presentation yesterday, he was shocked when I told him that Yahoo had been offering this for free for years.

Tencent, a Chinese based instant messaging service and largest IM based social network has 250 million accounts (some people have multiple accounts) and generates between $400 and $500 million US per year by selling avatars and background music. The company has a $12 million US market cap.While I understand that there are cultural differences influencing North America's ad supported media, the mature online advertising industry (12 years later) knows that this is not a reliable business model.

Today, we're much better equipped to handle micro-payments and technology has matured to a level where consumers are seeing true value for services. The virtual economy on Second Life (while it's future is hazy), indicates that users are willing to pay for digital assets that enhance their "personas" online.

Don’t get me wrong. I am after all, a consumer and a loyal fan of the cool products that the company has afforded me through its strategy. But I feel that it missed a few opportunities along the way that could have changed the game.

Google's entire success (to date) has been directly driven through its understanding that utility is king and transactions have value. While they've managed to swing payment towards the advertisers, every service it provides is touched with this understanding.

  • Yahoo fails at integration
    • Yahoo has proven repeatedly, its inability to integrate with anything see: Broadcast.com, HotJobs, Overture (we're still waiting for the ability to target Canada properly using Yahoo search!!) and Kelkoo.
If the deal goes through, while Google walks on the moon, plays with DNA and ends world hunger, it'll be an uphill battle to get the two companies integrated.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"The Year of the Phone"...SinoFriends

One of the more intriguing presentations delivered at the Social Networking Conference in Miami was from Dr. Song Li, Chairman of SinoFriends Inc. in China.

While the content was 100% focused on the Chinese market, because of the sheer size of the market, there was some excellent insight shared on emerging trends within social networking and how mobile will come into play.

Dr. Li quit his job on Wall Street in 2003 and co-founded MemeStar, the largest Chinese mobile SMS-based social networking service in China. MemeStar acquired 2.2 million paying members within two years of its creation.

But today’s presentation was focused on his current SinoFriends properties. SinoFriends launched four years ago and is the leading (and oldest) online dating service in China that charges its users $275US per year. There was an unconfirmed claim that the network has been acquiring about 1 million new users per DAY.

Aside from sharing a great deal of statistics about the Chinese market (too many to blog about), Dr. Song Li laid out some interesting facts about how carriers in North America make it extremely difficult to match the same revenue generating opportunities that exist in China.

After showing some current numbers on PC based revenue vs. mobile, it was clear that mobile was driving substantially higher revenue. In china 90% of phones are bought from mobile phone vendors. In fact carriers only sell about 10% of the mobiles. This provides two channels for entrepreneurs to work with.

Dr. Li went on to explain that 70% of the mobile phones were imported from Europe. The top four phones included Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Nokia leads with 30% market share.

In China, it seems that phones truly are fashion accessories. In 2007, about 150 million mobile phones were reportedly sold in China but Dr. Li spoke of a Taiwanese company that provides a platform to Chinese domestic mobile phone designers called MTK most of the Chinese domestic vendors license MTK and manufacture phones on its platform. Factoring in MTK, there were another 120 million units sold (on top of the 150 million).

Dr. Li described a fascinating Second Life type economy that appears to have emerged in his market. One particularly popular application among females under 25, is the purchase and customization of avatars for their profiles. Applications allow consumers to change hairstyles and buy clothes. The stroke of brilliance here is that the clothes expire. They get dirty and have to be virtually washed, they get damaged, and need to be replaced, they wear out and girls shop for more.

Another revenue generating virtual experience is the community living concept. Boys and girls start a life together online. They buy an apartment and spend real money to furnish their virtual lives. In China, this is a well-established business model.

Dr. Li ended the ‘revenue model” discussion with some insight on Instant Messaging and it’s potential to drive enormous revenue through micro-transactions.

With all the hype about distributed applications these days, it’s no surprise that Dr. Li is starting to place more focus on “SinoFriends Mobile”. This company is a newer venture providing mobile social networking and entertainment services that are embedded in over 15 million phones in China. He feels that this is an area that has incredible growth potential over the next few years. Interestingly, he reminded listeners that there is still a conversion rate to contend with. Currently, the company is seeing a 15% conversion on user activity of the applications that are embedded into the phones.

So, as expected, the final note here was that the challenge is to build true value in the form of entertainment or utility and then leverage the existing social graph.

The company generates $15 million US. They’ve got to be doing something right.