Also: Why the Internet is enabling a ‘narcissism epidemic’; inside the Alibaba phenomenon.
[THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] Research firm boosts Twitter ad sales estimate to $950 million for 2014
Research firm eMarketer Inc., whose advertising forecasts are closely tracked, is set to revise higher its estimates of advertising revenue for Twitter, the short-messaging service that is among the highest profile companies on investors’ IPO watch list. From just over $288 million in 2012 ad revenue, eMarketer expects Twitter’s ad revenue to more than double to $582.8 million this year. The 2013 revenue figure is about 7% higher than eMarketer’s $545.20 million prior revenue estimate released in September.
Next year, eMarketer expects Twitter to pull in $950 million in total ad revenue, about 18% higher than the $807.5 million estimate in eMarketer’s September forecast.
The Internet ‘narcissism epidemic’ [THE ATLANTIC]
Evidence for the rise in narcissism continues to come up in research and news. A study by psychologist Dr. Nathan DeWall and his team found “a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music” since the 1980s. Shawn Bergman, an assistant professor of organizational psychology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina notes that “narcissism levels among millennials are higher than previous generations.”
The Alibaba phenomenon [THE ECONOMIST]
That is about to change. The firm’s founder, a former English teacher called Jack Ma, has just announced that he will hand over the chief-executive job to a trusted insider, Jonathan Lu, in May. Soon afterwards, the firm is expected to announce details of its initial public offering (IPO), sure to be the most trumpeted since Facebook’s listing last year—and possibly even bigger, too. Facebook’s IPO valued the company at $104 billion (its market capitalisation has since slipped back to $63 billion). Estimates of the likely valuation of Alibaba range from $55 billion to more than $120 billion.
One in five BlackBerry 10 apps is really an Android app [ALL THINGS D]
But, knowing that not all developers are ready to bet on a native app, the company has offered some shortcuts designed to get programs running on devices like its Z10, which went on sale this week at AT&T.
One of those is an emulation engine that allows Android apps to run. Roughly 20 percent of the 100,000 BlackBerry 10 apps fall into this category, according to Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry’s vice president for global alliances and business development.
Bitcoin takes a big step into the mainstream with support from Expensify [CITEworld]
Expensify, an online travel-expense tracking service for businesses, will allow reimbursements to be made in Bitcoin, the all-digital currency that is gaining in popularity. It’s the first sizeable enterprise business to support Bitcoin, and is another signal that the currency is getting mainstream support.
At Y Combinator Demo Day, many echoes of Kickstarter [CNET]
A couple of years ago, few had heard of the Brooklyn-based startup that was aiming to democratize the way project creators raise money. But now, with a nearly endless collection of success stories under its belt, Kickstarter has become the beast of the crowdfunding world. And everyone wants to break off a piece of that success.
Over the course of the day, 47 startups took the stage for the three minutes under the spotlights. And no less than five of them were either described as “Kickstarter for” something, or were based on the now-well-understood crowdfunding model — or trying to profit from that model’s general disorganization.
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