Tag Archives: Credits
The fiscal cliff deal in Congress extended the R&D tax credit, but, once again, sidestepped any move to make it permanent.
While Netflix Watch Instantly movie streams are mostly useful for casual viewing, if you’re interested in the actual quality of the video provided you may have noticed a few changes recently. Chronicled in a thread on AVS Forum and reported to us by several tipsters, more than a few users have noticed their streams on 1080p-capable hardware (PlayStation 3, WDTV Live) no longer rock the “X-High” notification (on PS3, hit select to view more information bout your streaming details) that had previously let them know they were getting the highest quality possible. We checked with Netflix, and according to the company, it’s rolling out better encoding that improves picture quality despite using a lower bitrate. That means 1080p works even for people with slower connections, and increases detail on “textures, shadows, skies, and particularly faces.” As a result, what was previously called “X-High HD” is now being labeled a tier lower.
While it wasn’t mentioned specifically, some are theorizing the move is tied into Netflix’s use of eyeIO’s video encoding tech, which it announced earlier this year, to shrink the size of streams. eyeIO claims it can chop bandwidth by more than half for a 720p stream, something we’re sure a company that’s pushing as much data as Netflix would appreciate. Still, some viewers in the thread are claiming a noticeably softer picture as a result. Check after the break for the statement from Netflix, then take some time for “research” and let us know if you’re noticing any changes in picture quality lately.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
Editor’s note: Peter Vogel is co-founder and CEO of Plink, an online-to-offline loyalty program that rewards members for dining and shopping at their favorite national restaurants and offline stores.
Startups face an ever-changing series of challenges. Luckily for us, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we face a new problem. There are lots of companies out there that we can learn from, both through their successes and failures—and Facebook’s recent experiment with Credits is a great example.
In a surprising move this week, with just a short post on their Developer Blog, Facebook has ended their three-year experi ment with the virtual currency of Facebook Credits.
Credits will be phased out by the end of the year and users will simply have a Facebook account with a balance measured in Dollars in the U.S., or whatever currency is native to a country. Facebook’s new member accounts will function similarly to an iTunes account: a user adds a credit card to their account, digital goods can be purchased and immediately charged to the card on file, or can be drawn from stored value in that account. If you are given a Facebook gift card, in card or digital form, you would add that reward code to your account and that value would be stored until you use it – just like an iTunes gift card is added to your account and stored until spent.
Although introduced in 2009, we’ve only seen glimpses of what Facebook Credits will become when it grows up, and Facebook is about to kick off the training wheels.
So far, Facebook has done little to promote the virtual currency of Facebook Credits and it’s been used almost entirely in social gaming. But even with this limited exposure and promotion, Facebook Credits’ fees already represents $ 557 Million in revenue or 15 percent of Facebook’s entire 2011 revenue. Even more remarkable is that less than two percent of Facebook users bought virtual goods with Facebook Credits in 2011, yet it still represented 15 percent of Facebook’s revenue, primarily from just one vertical – social gaming. One vertical and two percent of members represented 15 percent of Facebook’s 2011 revenue!
Roughly 16 billion Facebook Credits were distributed and consumed in 2011. In 2012, I predict that the use of Facebook Credits will soar by three times to over 40 billion Credits spent on virtual goods, digital goods and more. The growth will be fueled by new digital content available on Facebook, use of Facebook Credits to reward brand loyalty and better marketing of a social currency that is still in its infancy.
The following chart shows the growth of Facebook Credits revenue reported by Facebook from 2009 to 2011.
When a 13-year-old signs up for Facebook and agrees to the terms and conditions of the site, buried within which is a phrase about consulting a parent or guardian before buying Facebook Credits, is that enough to shield the social networking site from parents who say their children are making purchases without their consent? That
Nokia said it had discovered a memory management issue on Lumia 900 smartphones offered on AT&T's network, that in some cases could lead to a loss of data connectivity.
Quora has fiddled around with its Credits system and unveiled some new features today, making two very notable changes. The first one is the elimination of the original “Pay to show to Topics” feature of Credits, where users would have to pay credits to have their questions show up to people following specific topics. Instead, users will have to pay 50 Credits to ask a question, any question and all topic additions are “free.”
Only about 5% Facebook gamers pay to play freemium games. If Facebook could up this percentage, it and its third-party app developers could make a lot more money. That’s the idea behind a new promotion Facebook announced today where those who’ve never bought Facebook Credits virtual currency before will be offered $ 4 in free Credits when they buy $ 1. This gets users to set up their credit card and experience the rush of paying for an enhanced gaming experience.
An anonymous reader writes “Mikael Hed is the CEO of Rovio Mobile, the company behind popular mobile puzzle game Angry Birds. At the Midem conference Monday, Hed had some interesting things to say about how piracy has affected the gaming industry, and Rovio’s games in particular: ‘”We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.” Hed explained that Rovio sees it as “futile” to pursue pirates through the courts, except in cases where it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans. When that’s not the case, Rovio sees it as a way to attract more fans, even if it is not making money from the products. “Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.” … “We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have,” he said. “If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”‘”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.