Summary:

For a deeper dive into the topics and technologies covered on GigaOM, check out the latest in-depth analyses on GigaOM Pro, our subscription-based research service. This week: a skeptical view of Facebook Gifts, the future of UltraViolet, and a look at the app developer landscape.

Facebook Gifts

What a week: the first presidential debate hit airwaves and fiber-optic cables on Wednesday, and Obama and Romney argued about about everything from Big Bird to Tesla. Meanwhile, it continues to be a tough world out there for app developers – despite success stories like Instagram, we published survey results that show that most app developers make less than $500 a month for their work. Over on GigaOM Pro, our analysts are digging deeper into this data and taking a look at the app developer’s unique ecosystem and demographics – and where the industry can go from here. Also on GigaOM Pro: skepticism about Facebook Gifts and UltraViolet, and the wild world of dev ops.

Note: GigaOM Pro is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit pro.gigaom.com to learn more about it.

Cloud: Continuous delivery and the world of devops
Dave Ohara

As software companies and startups increasingly embrace the tenants of agile development, there is a corresponding movement towards continuous delivery of software updates rather than incremental releases. Pro analyst Dave Ohara provides a veritable owner’s manual and a case study for executives interested in implementing a continuous-delivery pipeline, and the cultural shifts that must occur within a company’s structure to make this happen. Ohara includes a detailed description and breakdown of the processes involved in continuous delivery and defines a few best practices for establishing devops teams and processes.

Connected Consumer: UltraViolet finally gaining luster
Paul Sweeting

Pro curator Paul Sweeting takes a look at Ultraviolet, a studio-backed digital rights locker system that aims to push digital and disc content to a variety of hardware platforms, operating systems, and DRM schemes. Ultraviolet has been eclipsed by other services such as Vudu, Amazon, and iTunes, but this week gained a potential bounce from Barnes & Noble. The company announced the launch of their Nook Video service, which will be compatible with UltraViolet via the Nook Cloud, and added that UltraViolet discs will be available in Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers. While Amazon announced that it would support UltraViolet across its devices in January, this integration has yet to reach any of its devices or services. The new partnership with Barnes & Noble represents UltraViolet’s first strategic deployment with a major retailer – but is it enough, and in time, to keep UltraViolet viable?

Mobile: A demographic and business model analysis of today’s app developer
Amy Cravens

It’s literally the million-dollar question: who is making money making apps? And which platforms and devices are they working on? Using data from a survey created by GigaOM and the Application Developers Alliance, Pro analyst Amy Cravens looks at the demographics, market variations, device and platform preferences and growth prospects for the global app developer market. Cravens focuses especially on the paid apps segment, and the correlation between paid apps and other strategy factors, and also takes a look at the near-term market forecast. While the app developer market is currently dominated by individuals and small companies spread across the globe, as the market continues to grow in line with smartphone and tablet sales, what will happen next?

Social: Expect minimal a payoff from Facebook Gifts
David Card

Following its $80 million acquisition of Karma this past spring, Facebook recently rolled out its Gifts program, which enables users to send physical gifts and gift cards to friends. But despite the buzz (and the uptick in the company’s stock price) Pro curator David Card remains skeptical as to whether Facebook Gifts will be prove to be an commerce disruptor or even a solution to the company’s monetization issues. Instead, he points to GigaOM Pro survey data, which reveals that while online shopping and social network use continue to grow, only a small fraction (19%) of U.S. online adults are actually making purchases on social commerce sites. Should Facebook’s business plan just stick to what it’s good at – advertising?

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