Nintendo’s Miitomo App Has Over 4 Million Users Monthly

Nintendo’s first foray into the realm of smartphone apps, Miitomo created a lot of fuss when it was first released last month. Even so, it managed to garner a surprisingly sizable userbase for a simple app based around Nintendo’s “Mii” characters, with SurveyMonkey estimating that over 4 million users who use the app at least once a month and as many as 1 million who use it daily.

Miitomo itself is an unusual experience, seeming more like a Mii-based social interaction platform than something that would truly be considered a game. The main focus of the app centers around the user-created Mii representation of themselves (or in many cases not), being able to answer questions, communicate with friends and take pictures with the Mii overlaid.

Even though at this early stage of its life, such a large amount of monthly users likely includes the curious who may never use it again, Miitomo is continuing to attract more users. Over the last week alone, Miitomo can be estimated to have had as many as 2.6 million downloads, being a constant fixture in the top downloaded lists on both Apple’s app store and the Google Play Store and having an average of 370,000 downloads every day. The demographic is split slightly towards Apple, with 2/3 of users being on Apple’s iOS and the remainder on Android.

Meanwhile, it may not be the most profitable of Nintendo’s ventures, but Miitomo is estimated to be making them $40,000 per day across both platforms, with the majority of this revenue coming from iOS users. This gives it an ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) of 3-4 cents, which is respectable for a very casual mobile experience.

Whether Miitomo has the power to stay popular remains to be seen, but in coming weeks the true retention rate of the app could be discovered. Only time will tell whether Miitomo was Nintendo’s 15 minutes of mobile fame or a lasting force on the mobile platform, giving them reason to bring fully fledged Nintendo games to mobile.

Facebook Tagging Violates Protective Orders

Remember when you kept getting tagged in all those status? How about when you were tagged in pictures which didn’t even contain you? Sometimes it can get a little annoying, and sometimes it can go beyond reasonable. A judge has now ruled though that if you are meant to stay away from people and you tag them, that tagging violates protective orders.

Acting Westchester Country Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci stated that tagging someone (which will send them a notification and normally an email as well) is enough to be considered a breach of any protective orders. A protective order is similar to a restraining order but is the highest level of protection permitted by the law.

The case features a sister-in-law (Maribel Calderon) being tagged by Maria Gonzalez ( Maribel’s sister-in-law)in status that included calling Maribel “stupid” while another alleged to have read “You and your family are sad…You guys have to come stronger than that!! I’m way over you guys but I guess not in ya agenda”.

Gonzalez has now been charged with second-degree criminal contempt, which her representatives argue she was explicitly banned from contacting Calderon via Facebook or similar services. The Judge ruled though that being ordered not to contact her via “electronic or any other means” meant she was in breach.

Capeci stated:

“The allegations that she contacted the victim by tagging her in a Facebook posting which the victim was notified of is thus sufficient for pleading purposes to establish a violation of the order of protection.”

While I believe this is a great step, I worry that you are required to be notified before it becomes a problem. How do you define a notification? Is it the email saying you’ve been tagged or is the symbol saying “you’ve been tagged” on Facebook enough? While a step forward in helping protect people, the law will need to catch up to technology in order to help protect them to the full extent of the law.

Whatsapp Was Temporarily Banned in Brazil

One day after a court order in Sao Paulo banned the popular social messaging app for the entire nation of Brazil, WhatsApp is back in action across the country. In a decision that is likely bringing relief to the 93 million strong user base of WhatsApp in Brazil, Judge Xavier do Souza ruled that it was “not reasonable that millions of users be affected by the inertia of the company”.

In a nation where phone bills and contracts are often prohibitively expensive, many Brazilians make use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, both locally and abroad. It came as a shock then, when as of midnight on Thursday, local time, a 48-hour ban came into effect on the service across the country’s network providers. The ban came courtesy of a judge in Sao Paulo, who, as a result of WhatsApp’s refusal to hand over data pertaining to a gang member on trial over criminal actions, opted to issue a nation-wide ban on the service for 48 hours as a sanction.

This did not go down well with the online community, both in and outside of Brazil, with many taking to social media to show their outrage at the court’s actions. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg released a statement decrying the blocking of the service and pointing people towards Facebook’s own messaging service.

Tonight, a Brazilian judge blocked WhatsApp for more than 100 million people who rely on it in her country.

We are working hard to get this block reversed. Until then, Facebook Messenger is still active and you can use it to communicate instead.

This is a sad day for Brazil. Until today, Brazil has been an ally in creating an open internet. Brazilians have always been among the most passionate in sharing their voice online.

I am stunned that our efforts to protect people’s data would result in such an extreme decision by a single judge to punish every person in Brazil who uses WhatsApp.

We hope the Brazilian courts quickly reverse course. If you’re Brazilian, please make your voice heard and help your government reflect the will of its people.

-Mark Zuckerberg

Meanwhile, WhatsApp’s rival services, most notably Telegram were enjoying a large influx of users courtesy of the ban. Telegram alone reportedly gained as many as 1.5 million users from the blocking of its rival, causing their registration servers to choke under the sudden load.

While the ban was eventually overturned by another judge, it is worrying that a country that is commonly seen as an ally of net neutrality has the ability to ban a service nationwide on the ruling of a single judge, with no known consultation. Hopefully, both the country of Brazil and the rest of the world will take note that attempting to ban their citizens from such services unreasonably will not go down without a fight.

Millions Unaware that Facebook is on the Internet

Millions of Facebook users across the globe seem unaware that their favourite social network is on the internet. Researcher Helani Galpaya first noticed the discrepancy three years ago, examining focus group data she’d collected that showed that more people claimed to use Facebook than they did the internet.

Galpaya spoke to Indonesians who claimed not to be regular internet users, but then waxed lyrical about Facebook and the great amount of time they spend using it. She reported her findings to her boss at the time, Rohan Samarajiva, at think tank LIRNEasia. “It seemed that in their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook,” Samarajiva remarked.

Even Sheryl Sandberg Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, acknowledges that there are Facebook users around the world that seem unaware that they are using the internet, saying, “People will walk into phone stores and say ‘I want Facebook.’ People actually confuse Facebook and the internet in some places.” The trend has been noticed accross Asia and parts of Africa, too.

The trend seems to be driven by Facebook as an entry point in emerging markets – users are buying smartphones and netbooks to access Facebook , but not necessarily the internet. “Facebook” and “the internet” become separate entities to these new users.

Source: Quartz

New Twitter Users to Follow Accounts Without Following Them

The CEO of Twitter revealed today that new users of the social networking site will be able to generate a pre-populated following stream, without following anyone in the first place.

Dick Costello’s announcement came most probably as a result of the fact that over 500 million Twitter accounts sit largely unused, or “logged out”. Many have cited this new initiative as a way to hold more new users back and to make the experience of setting up Twitter less daunting. Users will be given a page of interests they can choose from which will automatically lead to a stream of Tweets from relevant accounts. ‘Interests’ include “Popular Accounts”, “Sports”, “Technology” and “Funny” among others.

Source: TechCrunch