Was Facebook’s “Mood Experiment” Partly About User Retention?

facebook-newsfeed-featured If you've been online in the past 72 hours you're probably aware of the controversy surrounding a piece of 2012 research conducted on Facebook by researchers from Facebook, the University of California and Cornell. The research sought to investigate the phenomenon of "emotional contagion" on a massive scale. Since the publication of the research a debate has been raging about whether it was ethical (the consensus is no). Users were not informed about the experiment, which showed slightly different versions of the News Feed (more positive vs. more negative) to a limited number of people to s [...]


Google’s Answer To Facebook’s Oculus Rift Is Cheap “Cardboard”

Google Cardboard VR Goggles I was blown away when I recently strapped on the Oculus Rift headset and experienced the potential of virtual reality (VR). Facebook saw that potential and spent roughly $2 billion on the company earlier this year. At last week's Google I/O, the company introduced its answer to Oculus Rift and may have largely undermined Facebook's move to dominate the virtual-reality future of the internet. The image at right is Google's cardboard headset. It uses a smartphone, some open-source software and a few other bits of inexpensive hardware to create a low-cost VR headset. The company introduced [...]


Facebook To EU: Please Review Our WhatsApp Deal

WhatsApp Usually, companies don't want to be subjected to regulatory scrutiny. However this time, it appears, Facebook is actively soliciting antitrust review of its roughly $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition from the European Commission. As explained in a Wall Street Journal article the strategy appears to be an end run around individual country regulatory authorities, seeking to avoid antitrust investigations in multiple nations. Facebook has reportedly indicated that it faces potential antitrust review in the UK, Spain and Cyprus. Interestingly, because there are few revenue implications from th [...]


Facebook Continues Their Social News Push With New Editorial “FB Newswire” Accounts

facebook-news-featured Facebook is quickly becoming the go-to source for news and an irreplaceable tool for media and reporters. Today, Facebook has announced a new resource powered by Storyful that will uncover breaking and newsworthy content. The new accounts will be active on Facebook at Facebook.com/FBNewswire and on Twitter at @FBNewswire. The posts from FB Newswire can be embedded by major news sources and easily shared by all. The feed will include original photos, videos and updates from folks at the front line of news. Here's an example of how a few of the posts look. This one is about snorkellers who we [...]


Google Has 49 Pct Of Mobile Ad Revs, Just 18 Pct Of Time Spent

mobile-payment-wallet-featured Google makes more than its "fair share" of mobile ad revenue based on time spent with Google mobile properties, whereas Facebook's revenues are in line with time spent. That's according to data published by Flurry, relying on ad revenue estimates from eMarketer. The chart below contains eMarketer's global revenue projection for mobile advertising. According to these estimates, Google will bring in more than $14.5 billion in mobile revenue in 2014, while Facebook will generate just under half of that or roughly $6.8 billion. Flurry's report found that mobile users spend 86 percent of [...]


Facebook Buys Virtual Reality “Platform Of Tomorrow” Oculus For $2 Billion In Cash And Stock

Oculus VR Facebook has just acquired "the platform of tomorrow." The company announced this afternoon that it was acquiring Oculus -- the company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) gaming headset and platform -- for $2 billion in cash and stock: Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Oculus VR, Inc., the leader in immersive virtual reality technology, for a total of approximately $2 billion. This includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading day [...]


Facebook Testing Business Manager, A Powerful Tool For Agencies And Large Businesses

Business Manager Managers of Facebook pages for agencies and large businesses take heart. Facebook is testing a new dashboard that seems to solve many issues that have for years frustrated those managing large stables of pages. As reported today in TechCrunch, Facebook is testing a Business Manager dashboard that gives administrators the ability to control pages and ad accounts from one place. No longer will it be necessary for teams to create fake Facebook profiles to manage a business' presence on the social network. No longer will you have to friend someone -- or know the email address tied to the [...]


What’s The Most Expensive (Per User) Acquisition? Hint: Not WhatsApp

money-cash-600 Last week when Facebook made its jaw-dropping $19 billion announcement that it was buying messenger WhatsApp many people, including me, marveled at the astonishing figure. But almost immediately others said, "Facebook got a deal; WhatsApp was actually cheap." I certainly wouldn't go that far but by some measures WhatsApp (even at $19 billion) is not the most expensive startup acquisition in memory. If one considers the price per user, WhatsApp does emerge as a relative bargain. This morning, I was pointed to a chart, based on public/third party data, created by Brightside that compares a [...]


Shrewd Or Desperate: Facebook To Buy WhatsApp For $19B In Cash And Stock

money-cash-600 It's mostly a stock transaction: $12 billion in Facebook shares and $3 billion more to retain WhatsApp employees over four years after closing. (It will cost Facebook only $2 billion if the deal doesn't go through). Beyond this, WhatsApp founder/CEO Jan Koum and his fellow workers will get an additional $4 billion in cash up front. That's roughly how much it was rumored that Facebook (and Google) unsuccessfully offered for Snapchat a few weeks ago. By comparison Facebook bought Instagram for about $1 billion. That seemed like a premium way back in 2012. Now it seems like lunch money by com [...]


Facebook Q4 2013 Earnings: Big Quarter Beats High Expectations, Mobile Drives 53% Of Revenue

facebook-earnings-money-featured Facebook released a fourth quarter earnings report this afternoon that will make many investors very happy. Analysts were expecting good things, but the numbers beat those rosy predictions. Revenue was $2.585 billion, up 63 percent year-over-year and above the $2.33 billion that had been pegged. Earnings per share (Non-GAAP) hit 31 cents, also above expectations of 27 cents. The company had strong growth in the fourth quarter and Facebook's stock has been rising in after-hours trading and is currently up nearly 5 percent from its close at $53.53. Advertising revenue was $2.34 billion in [...]


Sloppy Study Likens Facebook To Disease, Facebook Offers Sarcastic Retort

facebook-thumbs-up-featured Academic research ain't what it used to be. As you've undoubtedly read, researchers from Princeton applied an infectious disease model to analyze Facebook usage and potentially predict the future trajectory of the social network. The researchers relied primarily on Google Trends search data to glean traffic patterns and audience interest in Facebook. The conclusion of the study was that "Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017." Facebook's response was humorous and highly sarcastic. Taking a methodologically simila [...]


Nielsen: All Top Brands Lost Web Users To Mobile In 2013

mobile-web-apps-featured According to data released last week by Nielsen, all the major web brands lost uniques on a year-over-year basis in 2013. The period measured was January through the end of October. The ranking of the top sites was more or less the same as we've seen in other data. However the relative loss of monthly uniques was not uniform. According to Nielsen, Ask lost the highest percentage of its monthly uniques. Next was Facebook and then YouTube. Nielsen broadly attributes the decline in "web" traffic to the rise of tablets and smartphones. However the company didn't provide a holistic vie [...]


Facebook Faces More Legal Action From Sponsored Stories: This Time For False Endorsements

facebook Yesterday, Facebook announced it is scrapping parts of its Sponsored Stories ad product -- the ads that show what other users "Like."  It turns out, the same day a Colorado man filed a class action suit claiming the ads were used for false endorsement. The suit alleges Facebook began showing ads that said "Tony DiTirro likes USA Today." DiTirro claims he never "Liked" USA Today's Facebook page or visit the USA Today website. DiTirro was tipped off about the ad by a friend, according to the filing. The suit claims Facebook "knowingly used [DiTirro's] likeness and Facebook profile to adve [...]


Help A Cause While Surfing Your Feed: Nonprofits Get New ‘Donate Now’ Facebook Buttons

facebook Facebook has launched a new feature that allows nonprofits to instantly collect donations directly on Facebook. Nineteen nonprofit partners will help to launch the Donate product with the full list on the official Facebook blog post.   The functionality will show a "Donate Now" button on the top of Facebook Pages and next to the Posts of nonprofits showing in the News Feed. Users are prompted to enter the amount of the donation and enter their payment information directly into Facebook. When donating from a specific post in the News Feed users are given the ability to share the [...]


Twitter Voted #1 Top Tech Employer & Ranks 2nd On List Of 50 Best Places To Work

GlassDoor Best Places to Work Glassdoor has released its list of the 50 Best Places to Work, along with a list of the Top Tech Companies to Work for in 2014. According to the announcement, Twitter ranks high on both lists, voted No. 2 for the Best Places to Work overall, and No. 1 for top tech employers. Among the 50 best places to work overall for companies with 1,000 or more employees, 22 are tech companies. Four of the tech companies on the list are making their first appearance this year, including Twitter's high-ranking debut at No. 2. For top tech employers, Twitter's No 1. ranking is followed by Linkedin at No [...]


Facebook: We Have 25 Million Active Small Business Pages

facebook-pages-featured Facebook is announcing today at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco that it now has 25 million active small business (SMB) Pages. This number comes on the heels of a third-quarter earnings call announcement of 20 million SMBs on the site. Facebook's Director of Small Business Dan Levy told me earlier this week that the change in the number of small business Pages was not a function of adding five million more SMBs in the last couple of weeks. Rather, he said that it was a function of changing the definition of SMB Pages to include a broader array of business types. The 20 million [...]


Facebook Testing “Hover Metrics” And Other New Behavioral Data Collection

Facebook-Home-Logo Earlier this week, the head of Facebook analytics, Ken Rudin, said that the company may begin capturing even more data about how users behave on the social site. The data collected could include minute interactions or more specialized information than has previously been tracked. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Rudin told a conference in New York that the company would potentially be collecting data on, for example, cursor movements and hovering: The social network may start collecting data on minute user interactions with its content, such as how long a user’s cursor h [...]


Facebook Q3 2013: $2.02 Billion, Mobile Generating Half Of Ad Revenue

facebook This afternoon Facebook announced Q3 2013 earnings. Revenue was nearly $2.02  billion, up 60 percent year over year (YoY). Both revenues and earnings beat financial analysts' consensus estimates. Growth was strong virtually across the board. Facebook's stock is up in after-hours trading. Facebook advertising revenue was $1.80 billion for the quarter. That was a 66 percent increase over Q3 2012. Significantly, mobile delivered nearly half (49 percent) of Facebook's ad revenue in Q3. That's up from 41 percent last quarter. Facebook said that in September it had 728 million daily active [...]


Forrester Research Disses Facebook To Generate Coverage, Controversy

facebook By now you've read or seen coverage of Forrester Research's "open letter to Mark Zuckerberg." A raw PR stunt, the letter is partly intended to generate controversy and exposure for the firm. And in that sense, it appears to have succeeded. The Forrester analyst who wrote the letter, which carries a dismissive and arrogant tone, uses survey data to argue that Facebook is failing marketers: First, your company focuses too little on the thing marketers want most: driving genuine engagement between companies and their customers. Your sales materials tease marketers with the promise that you’ [...]


Nielsen To Include Web And Mobile Viewing In TV Ratings

Nielsen To capture the changing video viewing habits and options available to consumers, Nielsen announced today it will add digital video consumption to its traditional TV ratings, starting with the 2014-15 television season. After months of testing, Nielsen will release the software developer kit (SDK) in mid-November. The SDK will allow Nielsen to measure both traditional TV viewing and viewing on digital platforms that fall outside the current TV ratings system including, multi-room DVRs, internet connected televisions, mobile devices, browsers and app content players. In addition to working wi [...]


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