Mobile App Users Are Willing to Pay to Play

Apparently girls aren’t the only ones who just want to have fun. According to a new report by Nielsen, games are not only the most popular category of apps, but 93% of downloaders are willing to pay for the privilege.

As you can see, entertainment of all kinds came in on top, with news at the low end of this scale. Still, 76% represents a nice chunk of change so things are looking pretty sweet for paid app owners.

Nielsen also found that iPhone users spent almost double the amount of time playing games as any other smartphone user. A full 14.7 hours a month for iPhone users, while the rest of the pack averages 7.8. Those are hours spent concentrating on a single screen and though people do multitask while playing mobile games, it’s usually only to listen to music or communicate on Facebook.

Facebook and Skype: How Awesome?

Facebook has taken another giant step toward making sure you never have to leave the website. It’s a new chat system that is backed by Skype and it’s “awesome.”

Actually, “awesome” is Mark Zuckerberg’s word for it, I’d go with “interesting.”

Zuckerberg and CEO of Skype, Tony Bates took the stage today to make the announcement via live stream and to a room full of fast-typing reporters. The update has three parts; chat sidebar, group chat and video chat.

Have something you need to talk over with your friends, start with the new chat sidebar. Here you’ll find a running list of those you message the most.

YeeHaw! Bing Makes Searching Easier with Lasso

The joy of reading digitally is that you can easily drill down deeper into any idea simply by cutting, pasting and searching as you go. Reading a review of a summer movie might have you searching for other films by the same director. An article about the health benefits of blueberries could trigger a search for recipes or even a local grower so you can pick you own.

On a computer, the mouse makes it easy to grab these phrases and go, but that same action is cumbersome on mobile devices. According to Bing, your average cut and paste search takes nine steps, but with their new app upgrade, you can do it in two (sort of).

Online Ad Spending Predicted to Top 50 Billion in Five Years

Are you spending more money on online advertising? If so, you’re not alone. According to new numbers from eMarketer, almost every category of online advertising is growing and will continue to do so into 2015. At that time, they expect the market to hit 49.50 billion.

Search still claims the top spot for dollars spent, but video is the fastest growing format. The old fashioned banner ad is still climbing and email is the only category that slipped.

Who is benefiting from the rise in online ad dollars? The big five, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL and Facebook. eMarketer says that combined, they’ll claim 68% of 2011’s total online ad spending. That still leaves a nice chunk for smaller ad network and individual site buys which eMarketer recommends as a way of staying connected to a specific industry.

Justin Timberlake Can Save MySpace

People don’t give Justin Timberlake enough credit. One day after the announcement that he bought a stake in MySpace, the snark began. Some felt that he was taking his role in The Social Network too much to heart, while others just can’t get past his rep as a teen idol.

Yes, Timberlake rose to fame as a member of a boy band but don’t hold that against him. He’s a real smart cookie, who has reinvented himself as a solo artist, an actor and comedian. He’s also an entrepreneur with a clothing line and a restaurant, so buying a share of the ailing social media site isn’t that big of a reach for the pop star.

Timberlake said in a statement;

Zynga Files a Profitable IPO as Social Gaming Heats Up

Zynga, the king of the social gaming platforms, filed a $1 billion dollar IPO on Friday and unlike other recent IPO announcements, those are coins you hear jingling in their pockets.

According to CNN Money, Zynga earned $11.8 million on sales of $235.4 million in the first three months of this year alone. With social gaming expected to rise to $1.1 billion this year alone, they’re sitting very, very pretty.

Zynga isn’t the only group cheering about the rise in social gaming, many brands have found marketing success with in-game advertising. P&G’s Bounty made a big splash (then they used one towel to clean it up!) in the Electronic Art’s game “Restaurant City.” In the game, players can unlock rolls of Bounty towels, or let loose a special Bounty janitor, both of which have the power to clean up faster. I haven’t played the game, but I assume that faster clean-up means your restaurant can serve more customers and earn you more virtual bucks.

ExactTarget Prepares for Mobile Dependence Day

It’s coming soon, that day where we throw off the corded shackles and declare our independence from all things hard-wired. No longer will we have to sit at our desk to get email, be at home to get our phone calls or lounge in front of the TV just to watch American Idol. Mobile Dependence Day is fast approaching and ExactTarget is here to tell us all about it.

Subscribers, Fans and Followers #9, gives you the inside look at all things mobile and it does it with a sense of humor rarely seen in statistical works. Hey, they make their pie-charts out of actual pies. They also made the nifty graphic you see here (I’m just borrowing it.) Their point, is that the mobile phone is a modern-day Swiss Army knife. An easily pocketed tool that can get you out of almost any jam. Though, I don’t think you can use it to open a bottle top, but you can us it to pretend drink a glass of beer.