November 9, 2012

This week in digital: the cost of not having a website, Obama breaks Twitter records and mobile health is taking off

Written By Martin Sandhu
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UK businesses without websites losing £19billion per year
Only a third of small and medium businesses have a website and just 14% sell their products online. The new report also estimates that those businesses are losing £18.8billion per year due to their lack of web presence.
The study, which was launched by UK digital champion Martha Lane Fox, revealed that 16 million Britons lack basic digital skills, with 4.5 million of them currently part of the UK workforce. Along with a coalition of UK businesses, Martha is chairing a new charity, ‘Go On’, which aims to bring workers up to a basic level of digital literacy.

Obama breaks Twitter records
Barack Obama is now officially bigger than Justin Bieber, well at least in the Twitersphere. As the US presidential elections came to a close and it was announced that Obama would serve a second term, he took to Twitter to post a picture of himself and his wife embracing in celebration. The image has since received over 801,000 retweets, smashing the Bieber’s record of 200,000.

Both Obama and Romney used Twitter and social networking heavily in their campaigning and in a very clear indication of how the world has embraced social media in recent years, tweets regarding the elections rocketed from 1.8 million in 2008 to 31 million this year…we might have a global crisis due to thumb RSI soon!

Microsoft drops IM service
After purchasing internet telephone service Skype 18 months ago, Mircrosoft has announced it’s to close its native instant messaging service Windows Live. The 100 million users of the service – previously MSN Messenger – will receive a notification to switch to Skype instead.

With the exception of mainland China, the service will be no more from March 2013.

How’s your ehealth?
One in three smart-phone owners have used their phone to look up health information, up from just 17% two years ago. The Mobile Health report from Pew Internet & American Life Project also found that 19% of users have at least one health app on their phone.

The authors of the report liken the rise in uptake to the transition of dial-up to Broadband. “It made it easier to find health care, among other important information. The same transition is happening now with the prevalence of smart-phones. You had to go find the Internet, whereas now the Internet is with you wherever you are.”

Exercise, diet and weight apps top the most popular list, but 52% of users have also searched for information about caring for a loved one or looked for answers when having medical issues.