My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica

Friday, December 19, 2014

Digicel's First Phase of Underground Fiber Optic Network completed - How Digicel's Tier III Data Center, FTTH, VoIP and Streaming possible in Year of the Sheep 2015

“This investment in fibre by Digicel Business will certainly help us to achieve some of the broader objectives of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, as well as some of our ICT development plans. We're looking to redevelop downtown Kingston, and having this fibre Network will definitely play a key role in making this work”

Mayor of Kingston Senator Angela Brown-Burke commenting on the significant of Digicel's Underground Fiber Optic Network to the redevelopment of Downtown Kingston

Telecom Provider Digicel Underground Fiber Optic Network is almost complete a little later than the July 2014 deadline I’d predicted in my blog article entitled “Digicel’s Fiber Optic Network has July 2014 Completion Date – Launchpad for 4G LTE, Frame Relay, FTTH and Cloud Based PBX Services”.

The first phase of their Underground Fiber Network encompasses the Kingston and Montego Bay, with the same stated intentions of taking advantage of the boom in BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) aka Call Centers popping up in these Metropolitan areas like daisies as mentioned in the article “Digicel fibre Network to help create 'smart cities' in Jamaica”, published Wednesday, December 03, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

They’ve completed their Underground Fiber Optic Network in time for the launch of their 700MHz Band 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Network come 2015. They already provide Fiber Optic connectivity to these and other Business interests including:

1.      BPO
2.      Manufacturing
3.      Tourism

The Commercial and Business interest will not only use their direct Fiber Optic connectivity for conducting their Business but it'll also facilitate their connection to Digicel Tier III Data Centre as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis”.

Their Underground Fiber Optic Network will also facilitate their build out of the 4G LTE Network to connect their millions of customers to high speed Broadband Internet. So local broadcasters TVJ and CVM TV will have to put their plans in gear to provide their own Streaming Services via this 4G Broadband powered by Digicel's Underground Fiber Optic Network as the ownership of smartphones and Tablets increases in Jamaica.

This in turn will enable students and Teachers to have access to FTTH (Fiber to the House) services that may purchase directly. It can also be use to provide free Wi-Fi based CAP (Community Access Points) at Schools and homework Centers enable the TIS Project content Providers to work as described in my blog article entitled “JA$114 million spent on Content for TIS Project Tablets - JA$76 million on Math, English and Science Content by January 2015 to stop Teachers Padding Book-lists for Commissions”.

This will enable students with their Tablets to work more effectively as pointed out by Mayor of Kingston Senator Angela Brown-Burke, quote: “Kids are going to go home with their tablets. So once they're in a Wi-Fi area, they can pick up and continue their work”.

Digicel Underground Fiber Optic Network - Fiber Optic Roadway to connect customer to their Tier III Data Center

General Manager of Digicel Business Jason Corrigan, has pointed out that Digicel's Underground Fiber Optic Network connects directly to their Tier III Data Centre.

This enables them to provide competitive Cloud Services to their growing list of Corporate clients, many of whom may not have the financial wherewithal to invest in Fiber Optic connectivity, quote: “Businesses need to be able to access the type of technology that will enable them to perform at global standards. But we understand that most times, lack of capital to invest in solutions like these and not having the resources to manage them are barriers to adoption for many Jamaican Businesses”.

It's all about connecting customers, as Digicel is basically building the road straight to their Gingerbread-flavoured house to capture Companies that otherwise would not be able to have access to affordable Fiber Optic Broadband and Cloud Services, to again quote General Manager of Digicel Business Jason Corrigan: “That's why Digicel Business has invested so much in building out a shared-services Cloud platform that will enable them to enjoy the benefits of the technology, regardless of their size or the amount of resources they have at their disposal. Being able to use these services on our fibre Network gives Businesses even more advantages, as they have access to greater bandwidth and speed”.

It'll also allow Digicel to fulfill another objective; assisting Jamaica in becoming the Fourth Node in the Global Logistics Hub Business, which will need High-bandwidth Fiber Optic Services to be viable.

Again another famous quote General Manager of Digicel Business Jason Corrigan supports this view: “Cloud computing, BYOD and video have changed the way organisations communicate, enabling employees, partners and customers to interact with the Business 24/7. Being able to offer this level of service will undoubtedly provide motivation for multi-national corporations in the global logistics industry that have connectivity at the top of their list of priorities”.

VoIP and Streaming - How Digicel's Fiber Optic Network VoIP, Streaming and FTTH

Aside from transacting Business over high-speed Broadband that the Underground Fiber Optic allows enables other Cloud-based service as described in my blog article entitled “Digicel Cloud Backup Service and future Cloud-Based Services - V.S Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas”:

1.      IP Surveillance CCTV Camera Systems
2.      Personal Cloud Services
3.      Streaming
4.      Video-conferencing
5.      VoIP

VoIP is the potential new ICT (Internet and Computer Technology) Cash cows for the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining has indicated that VoIP Providers have to be licensed to operate in Jamaica so that they can also contribute to the USF (Universal Service Fund) Levy as declared in my blog article entitled “Minister Paulwell says VoIP Providers must Register to Terminate - Why WhatsApp may no longer be Free as IXP by January 2015, MNP by May 2015”.

Streaming is also coming to Jamaica, especially as DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) is on the agenda for 2015 for the Broadcasters as I'd predicted in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Future of Free-to-Air Broadcasters in Jamaica as Digital Switch Over Approaches in 2015”.

Digicel has already implemented plans for a Caribbean-wide Streaming Television Network using their newly-acquired Undersea Fiber Optic Network, Cable Providers all around the Caribbean and 24/7 Sport channel SportsMax as predicted in my blog article entitled “Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Digicel's Streaming Cable TV over Bigger, Better Network 4G LTE and FTTH”.

They may even provide FTTH (Fiber to the Home) services once they have a fairly large coverage area, making them cost-competitive with FLOW and LIME, who have plans for deploying FTTH in the near future thanks to a US250 million investment announced in September 2014 by Chief Executive Officer of CWC, Phil Bentley as reported in my blog article entitled “CWC invests US$250 million in LIME Jamaica - Mobile 4G LTE, Broadband, LIME TV and FTTH Expansion will make LIME the Google of Jamaica”.

Digicel are now completing the Underground Fiber Optic Network to power their 4G LTE Network and other ICT related services.

Digicel smart cities powered by Fiber Optic Network - How Jamaica can be empowered to become a ICT Hub

With Businesses using Underground Fiber Optic Services spun off from their Underground Fiber Optic Network, it'll bring down the cost of Broadband Internet in Jamaica, making 4G LTE and Wi-Fi Hotspots ubiquitous through Jamaica.
This effectively empowers the Smart cities concept that Digicel is eagerly promoting for some time now, with financial benefits for Jamaica, to quote Digicel: “Smart cities generate insights from big data to improve efficiency of physical infrastructure use and enhances decision-making as it engages e-participation with its citizens”.

This does indeed match with a study quoted by Telecom Provider LIME that was done by Telecom Equiptment Supplier Ericsson and Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology. This study, released in May 2014, indicates a strong connection between access to Wireless Broadband and Increased Earnings as explained in my blog article entitled “Digicel and LIME's 4G LTE Adoption in Jamaica – Budget Tablets with Microsoft Productivity Software spark Wireless Broadband Revolution” .

All these potential usages of their Underground Fiber Optic Network fits with Digicel's overall long Term roadmap of achieving 25% of revenue from ICT Services as mentioned earlier in my blog article entitled “Digicel to invest US$85 million in 4G LTE Network - 25% of Total revenue from ICT as 4G LTE Investments designed to weather the coming Summer WhatsApp Storm”.

2015, the Year of the Sheep, Promises to be the year when Digicel will roll out their 4G LTE Network along with all the other ICT Services that their Underground Fiber Optic Network, when completed, will bring!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

TrendForce's Chinese Smartphone Invasion - How Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi will achieve 50% Global Marketshare by 2016 in Latin American and India

Telecom Provider LIME is gearing up for yet another sale over the weekend, this time on Friday December 19th only with discounts as low as 75% on some phones. As before, this info comes to you courtesy of their LIME Twitter Page.

Interestingly, most of these phones are Chinese made smartphones. If you think there are a lot of Chinese and South Korean smartphones, you’re not seeing things!

Taiwan-based analyst TrendForce has projected that smartphone vendors will ship over 450 million smartphones by the end of 2014 as stated in the article “Chinese handsets account for almost 40 percent of Global shipments”, published December 3, 2014 10:20 PM PST by Cho Mu-hyun, CNET News.

According to TrendForce, that's 38.6% of the Global World total. Not surprising too is that the Chinese companies behind this growth have mainly been Lenovo and Huawei, based on the stats from the Second Quarter of 2014 as per my blog article entitled “IDC Stats for Second Quarter of 2014 points to Asian Smartphone Rise – How cheaper smartphones are slowly killing BOTH Apple and Samsung Marketshare”.

Xiaomi is really a minor player in South and East Asia, particularly Singapore and part of mainland China, where they're currently No. 2 in the Chinese Market but No. 5 Globally, according to Kantar Worldpanel Stats as stated in my blog article entitled “Xiaomi No. 2 in China and No. 5 Globally - Strategy Analytics says Small Rice has a GoldenEye View to a Global Kill”.

Chinese smartphone Dominance a win for Google Android – Developers Sweet Tooth for Apps

Good to note here that these are Google Android devices, further stamping Android’s dominance on the Global smartphone Market. This is indicated as to why Developers will continue to make apps for Android as per the analysis in my blog article entitled “Vision Mobile’s 10,000 Developer Global Study – Why Developers prefer developing for Android and Apple iOS yet Enterprise makes Steady Money”.

All three smartphone makers are projected to sell some 60 million handsets, dwarfing even Apple's projections for the iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus in numbers and growth both globally and in China, based on the analysis of Kantar Worldpanel Stats as broken down in my blog article entitled “Kartar Worldpanel Stats say British and Europeans love Apple iPhone 6 - China growing as Consumer Intelligence Report confirms iPhone 6 Plus unnecessary”.

Apple and Samsung are only recording significant growth in the Europe and Britain, with their traditional playpen, the US of A, getting a tad fatigue with Apple and Samsung. The Global Chinese invasion is truly in full swing!

Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi - TrendForce predicts 2015 Chinese Invasion of Sub-US199 smartphones

TrendForce stats are interesting and tell a tale of the growing power of Chinese made smartphones, now gaining a foothold in the Caribbean and Jamaica due to their lower than normal pricing points.

This is placing pressure on both Apple and Samsung in their own respective back yards and is even affecting the sales of their Tablets according to stats from analysts Gartner and IDC as noted in my blog article entitled “Gartner and IDC Forecast Tablets, PC fall, Smartphone rise - How Tablet's 3-Year Lifespan means Sub-US$199 Smartphones, Chrome OS to Dominate”.

Already Samsung has begun to feel the pain, with less than stellar Third Quarter of 2014, with their Earning's Call indicating a 60% decline in profits and 20% decline in sales as reported in my blog article entitled “Samsung’s declares 60% Profit and 20% Sales decline - Tizen OS Response needed as India’s Diwali may Light a Path in November towards Future Prosperity

Meanwhile according to TrendForce, the dominance of these Chinese smartphone makers is only set to get stronger, based on their growth record:

1.      50% growth annually since 2011, when they entered the Market
2.      17% growth projected in 2015

This means their current 38.6% of Worldwide smartphone shipments may expand to as much as 50% by 2016. That’s basically 1 in 2 smartphones being sold Globally in 2016 bearing the “Made in China” Logo!

Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi invade Latin American and India – 50% Global Marketshare by 2016

Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi will ship over 60 million handsets this year, just below the combined muscle of Samsung and Apple. All these of these smartphone makers are eyeing Latin America and India as those Markets aren't yet saturated and are ripe for growth. This explains why both Huawei and Samsung are here in Jamaica, as they see the Caribbean as a springboard into Latin America.

Telecom Provider LIME's previous sale of smartphones, particularly the JA$2999+GCT Huawei Ascend Y330 on Sunday December 14th 2014 as chronicled in my blog article entitled “JA$2999+GCT Huawei Ascend Y330 Sale at @limejamaica - Digicel DL750, DL800 Sale makes JA$6,907.92+GCT per month Samsung Galaxy Note 4 a Steal” is an indication of the coming reality.

Ditto too Digicel's sale of the DL800 aka the ZTE Kis 3 Max and the DL900 aka the  Alcatel One Touch Pop C7 as well as the Alcatel One Touch Pop C1 that took placed over the same weekend as also faithfully chronicled in my blog article entitled “JA$6,950 DL750 and JA$8,250 DL800 on Sale at Digicel – Alcatel One Touch Pop C1 as ZTE Force Awakens and Alcatel’s Empire Strikes Back”, which proves that they're here and willing to cut prices to compete.

Lenovo, Huawei and Xiaomi, at this rate, will achieve 60% of Global smartphones sales by 2016, a win both for the Chinese and Google Android.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NBC Universal NBC Live Streaming Service - How TV Everywhere is American Streaming TV's Future as Comcast steps into 21st Century

“I’m not sure I’m a fan of that name for a consumer term,” she said. The mantra for NBCUniversal’s campaign will be “Watch TV Without the TV.”

Executive Vice President of TV Everywhere Alison Moore in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about NBC going Live Streaming

Comcast owned NBC Universal (National Broadcasting Corporation) appears to be following in the footsteps of CBS News as it relates to Streaming.

They’ve announced that they launching a live Streaming Platform on their NBC website on Tuesday December 16th 2014 as reported in the article “NBC pushes live Streaming to PCs”, published December 16, 2014 10:50 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

NBC Live is a Streaming Service that sits as an option on NBC's main website and is available only for Americans, so Jamaicans and other Internationals get your VPN (Virtual Private Networks) and Proxies in gear as explained in my blog article entitled “Surfing the Internet Anonymously using VPN - How to use Streaming Set Top Boxes over VPN

Allegedly, the NBC Live Streaming Service will offer:

1.      10 NBC-owned stations
2.      On-demand programming from Bravo, USA, E!, Syfy, Telemundo and other NBC owned Content providers

Plans are afoot to also include local affiliates as part of their Live Streaming Platform.

Unlike CBS All Access which costs only US$5.99 per month as announced on  Thursday October 16th 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “US$5.99 CBS All Access Live in US of A - How HBO Streaming by 2015 will beat Netflix as Jamaican Local TV and Radio Stations unprepared for Digicel and LIME TV”, NBC offer is based on having a Pay-TV subscription with Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal.

Good to note that this is on PC's and Laptops; mobile device Live Streaming won't be coming until 2015. they’re also a bit late to the game, as CBS has already launched a free, 24-hour advertisement based Streaming Service called CBSN on Thursday November 6th 2014, less than a month after CBS All Access as reported in my blog article entitled “CBSN Streaming News Portal Internationals - First Digital Streaming News Channel sponsored by Advertisers on your Browser”.

Comcast activates Roku's HBO Go and Showtime Anytime Apps - America's largest Cable Provides now in the 21st Century

Good to note that on that very same day, Comcast also finally activated the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps on the Roku Platforms as stated in the article “Comcast lifts ban on HBO, Showtime Streaming via Roku”, published December 16, 2014 9:39 AM PST by David Katzmaier, CNET News.

This after years of wrangling and oddly, approval for HBO and Showtime on other Streaming Platforms such as Apple TV, the XBox and even the new-kid-on-the-block Google Chromecast as noted in the article “Roku vs. Apple TV vs. Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV: Which streamer should you buy?”, published February 6, 2014 12:50 PM PST by David Katzmaier and Matthew Moskovciak, CNET News.

This despite that fact that Roku has the largest Streaming Device base with some 10 million active devices as noted in my blog article entitled “10 million Roku Streaming Devices sold - Roku still King of Streaming as Google, Amazon and Apple unable to beat Baked in Surprise”.

Not to mention their coming launch of Roku Streaming baked into Hisense and TCL HDTV as reported in my blog article entitled “US$229 Roku TV from Hisense and TCL – Control your TV with your smartphone as Smartphone Apps Control Streaming Television Glimpse of the Future”.

Still, if it's any consolation for Roku, the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime Apps on Amazon TV, with the Amazon TV stick to get the go-ahead by 2015 as mentioned in the article “HBO Go comes to Amazon Fire TV box now, hits stick in 2015”, published December 15, 2014 1:27 PM PST by David Katzmaier, CNET News haven't quite been fully activated as yet.

Thus NBC Live launch on mobile devices, coincidentally, falls in line with the launch of HBO Go and Showtime on Amazon TV stick by 2015. Most likely, all their mobile Streaming is on a common Platform.

As to why they denied Roku for so long, no one really knows why.

NBC launches Streaming Service - How TV Everywhere was started by ABC and CBS as Streaming TV is Television's Future

Truth be told, this trend really started when ABC Live went Live Streaming in 2013, also only for Americans.

So it's really CBS that's late to the game, with NBC Universal coming reluctantly afterwards. this is a follow-on of years of mooting their “TV Everywhere” initiative to bring Streaming to Laptop’s PC's and Mobile devices as stated in the article “NBC to Live Stream Network Shows”, published December 16, 2014 12:01 a.m. ET, By JOE FLINT, Wall Street Journal.

This is very similar to RJR Communication's Group's TVJ Everywhere initiative announced in September and was supposed to have launched in October 2014 as reported in my blog article entitled “RJR Communications Group Launching TVJ Everywhere - How Streaming TVJ Everywhere will boost Advertising Revenue as Digicel and LIME TV coming”.

Possibly it hasn't launched as unlike ABC, CBS and now NBC, here in Jamaica the infrastructure for 4G LTE and Streaming Boxes aren't as prevalent as in the US of A. ditto to Jamaican adoption of HDTV, critical to a successful and cost-effective DSO (Digital Switch Over) or even OTT (Over The Top) Streaming Services.

They may also be waiting on Digicel completed build out of their land based fiber Optic Network and Sub-Sea Caribbean-wide Fiber Optic Network for carrying 4G LTE Data traffic such as Streaming Sports Events from recently acquired SportsMax as explained in my blog article entitled “Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Digicel's Streaming Cable TV over Bigger, Better Network 4G LTE and FTTH”.

Still, the trend will be hard for local Television Stations TVJ and CVM TV to ignore as content won't save them in the long run if in the future, Jamaicans will be able to stream it via ABC, CBS and now NBC on their Laptops, smartphones and Tablet, even if it is via a VPN (Virtual Private Networks) or a Proxies.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Minister Paulwell says VoIP Providers must Register to Terminate - Why WhatsApp may no longer be Free as IXP by January 2015, MNP by May 2015

“The Ministry for Finance and Planning needs to collect revenue”

Phillip Paulwell, the Minister of Science Technology Energy and Mining, during a forum in Kingston on Tuesday December 2nd 2014

Looks like all this price-dropping may actually have to do with some good news that the Telecom Providers had received.

More of it is set to come by the way; I spoke to a LIME representative today and she told me that they plan to have their 50 sale again this weekend as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “JA$2999+GCT Huawei Ascend Y330 Sale at @limejamaica - Digicel DL750, DL800 Sale makes JA$6,907.92+GCT per month Samsung Galaxy Note 4 a Steal”.       

Everybody loves a sale! But onto the main news!

The Government of Jamaica has apparently agreed with the Telecom Provider that VoIP Providers can no longer terminate calls for free on their Networks as reported in the article “Telecoms Triumph In VoIP Stand-Off”, published Wednesday December 3, 2014, Avia Collinder, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell has stated that regulations for VoIP Providers are coming with the intention to tax them like regular Telecom Providers as I’d argued in my blog article entitled “Telecom Providers await OUR’s Judgement on VoIP Bypass – Viber is on the rebound but USF Revenue for GOJ means they’ll win”.

VoIP Providers to be registered to terminate – IXP Deadline means WhatsApp may be disconnected

Effectively, it’ll mean that any Jamaican entrepreneur that wants to become a VoIP Providers will have to go through the same registration process as any Telecom Provider as was asserted by Minister Phillip Paulwell at the 30th Annual Conference of CANTO that began on Monday August 11th 2014 in Nassau, Bahamas as reported in my blog article entitled “VoIP Talks at 30th Annual Conference of CANTO - How VoIP robs Telecoms as Not All Traffic is Equal as Caribbean VoIP Operators needed”.

And since the local IXP (Internet Exchange Point) is to come on-stream by Thursday January 1st 2014 as detailed in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's Local Internet Exchange Point - IXP Lower Routings, Web Hosting and Websites Loading on smartphones as Jamaican Domain Name Registration and MNP, LNP Approaches”, it suggests all VoIP Providers and Telecom Provider who are not complaints can be legally terminated by the Telecom Providers Digicel and LIME.

They appear to the happiest of all. First Telecom Provider LIME parent CWC (Cable and Wireless Communications), who appear to be relieved about the announcement, quote:  “Cable and Wireless Communications welcomes Minister Paulwell's pronouncement today in relation to permitting charges for making calls using Voice over Internet Protocol. We have long maintained that VoIP Operators have been utilizing the network of Telecoms providers without any commensurate compensation for this service. In doing so, they are also depriving the government of tax revenue”.

Telecom Provider Digicel, responding by email to the Jamaica gleaner, was a bit more reserved, quote: “The dynamism of the Telecommunications industry requires responsive policymakers.

So, while we were not aware of the regulations mentioned by the Minister, we do welcome the proactive response to the issues related to VoIP calls”.

Folks, your days on WhatsApp may be numbered! Either that, of they’ll have to charging for the use of their services by encouraging subscribers to purchase a monthly account!

VoIP Providers as regular Telecom Providers – IXP by Thursday January 1st 2015, MNP/LNP by Sunday May 30th 2015

Minister Paulwell, as I’d suspected, is of the view that they must contribute to the USF (Universal Service Fund) like any other Telecom Provider, a funds which now stands at some JA$12 billion.

In addition to making the termination of Internet access through the IXP mandatory, both  VoIP Providers and Telecom Providers will have to connect to the NPA (Numbering Portability Administrator) by Sunday May 31th 2014 to enable MNP (Mobile Number Portability) and LNP (Landline Number Portability) as described in my blog article entitled “OUR issues TPPR for a Number Portability Administrator in Jamaica - How Number Portability will get us NANP's NPA and Third 4G Competitor”.

Failure to comply will result in a revocation of their Telecoms license, to quote Minister Paulwell: “The chief parliamentary counsel has finalized all regulations dealing with portability. We have gazetted all the rules. The companies which are not ready will feel the full brunt of the law”.

By January 2015, there will be a new ICT (Internet and Computing Technology) Regulator, effectively taking up the administrate role jointly being handled by Office of Utilities Regulation, Spectrum Authority, Fair Trading Commission and the Broadcasting Commission, to again quote Minister Phillip Paulwell: “Currently, we are completing the drafting instructions for a new ICT law. By the second week in January we will have, therefore, a new set of proposals ready for Cabinet”.

IXP by Thursday January 1st 2015, MNP/LNP by Sunday May 30th 2015; Telecoms finally making progress in Jamaica as VoIP Operators fall in line!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Instagram's 300 Million Active Monthly Users – Teenagers and Millennials Selfie Trend boosts Facebook's Advertising Revenue while Chasing Pinterest and Tumblr

“We’re proud to announce that there are now more than 300 million Instagrammers. Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day”

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom commenting on the Instagram blog on Wednesday December 10th 2014 on achieving 300 million Active Users per month

Facebook’s US$1 billion investment in Instagram back in 2012 is slowly showing signs of bearing fruit. I’m of course no making reference to Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna strutting her stuff on the beach while promoting Brand Jamaica on Instagram as stated in the article “Lisa Hanna Sets Off Social Media After Posting Photo In Beach Wear”, Published Sunday December 14, 2014 5:54 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Now Instagram has announced on Wednesday December 10th 2014 that they’ve achieved 300 million active users monthly as stated in the article “Instagram user base breezes past 300m mark, overtakes Twitter”, published December 11, 2014 By Trevor Mogg, Digitaltrends.

Instagram announced the milestone in a blog post titled 300 Million: Sharing Real Moments that was a personal letter from Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to Instagram followers that many seemed to like. In the blog post, he made light of the achievement while briefly mentioning the fact that Instagram had made significant changes to the Instagram experience that many might not have noticed:

1.         Continued deactivating spammy Instagram accounts
2.         Improved Search
3.         People Tab on the Explore page to make it easier to follow the Accounts of the Rich and the Famous
4.         Verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, so it'll be even easier to find them

So what’s the big deal about 300 million Active monthly users? It’s all about who they’ve beaten and have the potential to beat in the future and Ad revenue.

Instagram’s 300 Million Active Users – Why Teenagers and Millennials Selfie Trend is boosting Instagram

300 million Active users per month is a big deal, as it pushes them ahead of Twitter which has some 284 Million Active users per month.

According to statistical analyst Global Web Index, they'd seen a 36% increase in their Active Monthly User Base over the past six months, with a 64% in their overall membership as can be seen in my blog article entitled “Global Web Index indicates Snapchat is King - Why Tumblr and Pinterest on the rise as Facebook has higher engagement levels”.

Both significantly more than Twitter! It becomes glaringly obvious when you examine the usage patterns of Instagram under the statistical microscope.

Selfies might be what’s making Instagram so hot as noted in the article “Instagram Tops 300 Million Monthly Users”, Published Monday December 15, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner:

1.      65% of Instagram's users are outside the US
2.      70 million photos shared daily, increasing from the 60 million daily in 2013
3.      30 billion photos shared since Instagram's inception

Add to that the stats provided by Research firm eMarketer:

1.      16.7% of US smartphone users use Instagram
2.      52.5 million of US smartphone users use Instagram
3.      80% between the ages of 12 and 34

Instagram also released a Hyperlapse App in September 2014 that does great long-exposure videos, great for Social Sciences students studying Humans over long time frames or naturalists wanting to make their own YouTube Nature Films as predicted in my blog article entitled “Instagram's Hyperlapse App films Time-Lapse Videos – Apple iPhone Amateur Wildlife Photographers filming Nature gets a boost”. 

Facebook now has 1.35 Billion Active Monthly Users – Huge Boost to their advertising revenue

As for Facebook, they're smiling all the way to the bank, as this Active monthly users milestone means more advertising revenue, especially when you consider that they have also purchased over WhatsApp for US$19 billion earlier in February 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “Facebook acquires WhatsApp for US$19 Billion - CEO Jan Koum Revelry will fade once faced with BBM and Google+, Guardians of the Galaxy of Mobile Social Networks”.

Their Active monthly user totals appear as follows:

1.      500 million for Facebook Messenger
2.      600 million for WhatsApp
3.      300 million for Instagram
4.      1.35 billion users across all these Social Media Platforms

So does this mean Twitter is beaten? Far from it; Twitter is STILL the king of News and is the main way I get my News-fix, with Facebook as my Groupie hangout spot online as noted in my blog article entitled “Introducing Facebook Groups App – How to connect to your Facebook Groups on your Smartphone or Tablet”.

It’ll be interesting to see if Instagram can surpass Pinterest and Tumblr, currently the No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of Active monthly user growth as well as overall membership growth based on the stats of statistical analyst Global Web Index.

Now that would be a real milestone worth celebrating!