Facebook Buys Israeli Mobile Analytics Company Onavo

Onavo Facebook has acquired Israeli startup Onavo. TechCrunch first reported the news, which was confirmed by a company blog post. The acquisition price wasn't announced but speculation puts it between $150 and $200 million. There are essentially two aspects to Onavo: consumer-facing apps that help users manage data and save money and an app-analytics business. The company's consumer-facing apps have been around since 2011. They compress data to make plans go further; they also provide visibility on data usage to mobile subscribers: By compressing your data, Onavo Extend can increase the power o [...]


Instagram Teases Its Ad Strategy: Photos, Videos In User Feed

instagram-logo-200px Today the Instagram blog posted what might be described as a philosophical statement about advertising. For many months the Facebook unit has been considering how to turn itself into a "sustainable business." Ads will roll out in the relatively near future on a limited test basis. Instagram is also mindful of the potential adverse impact of ads on the user experience. We'll have to wait and see what the ad units look like and where they appear. But Instagram said it will be careful to enhance the experience with ads. Instagram explains in its blog post today: In the next couple month [...]


Report: Facebook To Start Giving Social Data To TV Networks

facebook-tv-featured Facebook is set to start giving data to TV networks showing how much activity about their programs is happening on the world's biggest social network. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the data will be basic, at least in the beginning, with networks learning how many Facebook users liked, shared or talked about individual shows and how many updates/interactions were made. In the future, Facebook wants to include things like how many users saw those updates. For Facebook, it's another attempt at keeping up -- or perhaps catching up would be more accurate -- with Twitter, which is [...]


Facebook Connects Impressions To Offline Sales For Telcos

facebook-mobile-phones-featured The future of digital advertising and marketing increasingly involves "closing the loop" between online ad exposures and offline sales. The days of the "click" are numbered. Mobile payments early on held this promise. However mobile payments haven't yet taken off (see Google Wallet). But that hasn't stopped Google, Facebook, Twitter and others from developing methodologies to measure or model the actual sales impact of online ads. The momentum toward connecting the dots between digital ads, store visits and offline sales continues to build. A case-in-point is yesterday's Facebook announc [...]


Facebook Advertiser Banned For Using Photo Of A Teen Who Recently Committed Suicide

facebook Rehtaeh Parsons was a 17-year-old Canadian woman that passed away due to complications of an attempted suicide on April 7th this year. She was allegedly raped by four boys then cyberbullied and harassed up until her suicide attempt. The silver lining of the occurrence is that in passing she helped to change Canadian law for the better. After her death, an act was approved that allows victims of cyberbullies to protect themselves and to even sue their perpetrators. If you were a Canadian Facebook user, however, you may have seen imagery of her -- not for the change that she helped bring abou [...]


Facebook Opens Two New Twitter-Like APIs For Media Partners

facebook Twitter has become the de facto source of real-time social conversation, and Facebook isn't too happy about that. The company announced two new APIs this week that are available for a limited group of media partners -- APIs that let those companies tap in to the real-time conversation that happens on Facebook. The Public Feed API includes a real-time feed of public posts about a specific word. So CNN, one of the first partners, could begin to show Facebook status updates that mention "Syria" if it wanted to -- just like it's able to show tweets including a certain hashtag. The Keyword [...]


Instagram Ads Coming, Seeks To Avoid Facebook’s Missteps

instagram-logo-200px Ads are coming to Instagram next year. That fact is confirmed in a Wall Street Journal article that offers a profile of Facebook's Emily White (now Director of Business Operations at Instagram) in which the subject of advertising on the app is broadly discussed. The piece conveys that she's functioning as the Sheryl Sandberg of Instagram, the effective COO. She's been asked to develop a business and monetization plan that doesn't alienate Instagram's legion of teen and tween users. There are scores of companies and brands already using the site as a promotional tool now. The question for [...]


Facebook May Expand Use Of Facial Recognition To Billion+ Public User Profile Pictures

facebook-logo-sm After Facebook announced updates to its Data Use Policy this week, Reuters is reporting that the social network is considering applying its facial recognition technology to user profile pictures, adding over a billion public profile photos to the site's facial recognition database. According to Reuters, Facebook leverages the facial recognition technology for its "Tag Suggest" feature, automatically identifying users in newly uploaded photos by comparing faces in a picture to previous photos where the user was tagged. Facebook told Reuters that expanding its facial recognition technology to [...]


Return On Spam: Scam Facebook Posts Are Making Sites $200 Million A Year

Page-Example According to a group of Italian security researchers those spammy links you see posted on Facebook are not only annoying but also profitable. Quite profitable. In a piece by The Guardian, Italian researchers Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli calculated that these 3rd party scam sites being promoted by these Facebook links are earning $200 million dollars every year. These links are currently being promoted by Facebook profiles, and by Fan Pages like the one above. These entice users to click on links that in turn send users to spammy sites. In the majority of cases, the research team [...]


Forecast: Mobile To Be 48 Percent Of Display Revenue By 2017

money-growth-chart-featured Data aggregator eMarketer has published a revised set of ad-revenue forecasts with an emphasis on mobile. The firm projects that mobile advertising will account for an increasing share of display revenue and represent nearly 50 percent ($14.5 billion) of all display advertising by 2017. Google will capture more than 50 percent of global mobile ad revenue this year; Facebook is gaining, however. According to eMarketer, Facebook's share of mobile ad revenue will grow from just over 5 percent last year to almost 16 percent this year. In terms of the broader category of global digital ad [...]


Facebook Govt Data Requests Dominated By US

Facebook world 2 Facebook released its Government Data Requests report, covering the first half of 2013. The country with the most requests by far is the US. India is next in line and then several European countries follow: Germany, France, UK and Italy. Yet none of the volume of these "next in order" countries even begins to approach the level of the US, which had up to 12,000 data requests from 21,000 user accounts. Below is a condensed  version of Facebook's table, which is available in its entirety in the post. Here's Facebook's statement about the nature of these requests and its procedure for [...]


Facebook Leads Group To Connect The Rest Of The World

Facebook world 2 Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. The company is now literally trying to do that by leading a group of mostly mobile companies to help bring 5 billion more people online. The initiative resides at internet.org. From the press release: The founding members of internet.org -- Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung -- will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to bring the world online. These founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile operators and expect them to play [...]


Facebook Wants To Power M-Commerce For Others

Facebook Mobile -iphone iOS devices According to a report in AllThingsD, which Facebook apparently confirmed, the company is testing -- emphasis on that word -- a new payments system in which consumers would use stored credit card data (on Facebook) to buy things on third-party mobile apps. Payment would be triggered using Facebook log-in credentials (not unlike Amazon's one-click purchase capability). From a consumer perspective, it would remove considerable friction from the current mobile e-commerce purchase experience because they would no longer have to provide 16-digit credit card numbers to random (and untrusted) e-com [...]


Facebook Mobile Pages Integrate OpenTable And TV Listings

Facebook mobile OpenTable Dinner and a show. Facebook is introducing new content and features to selected mobile Pages to make them more engaging and useful. The company said this afternoon that it is integrating OpenTable booking into Facebook mobile Pages for restaurants in North America. In addition, TV listings information will appear on TV and movie Pages. In the latter case, "Listings will be based on your current time zone and include the channel name, air time and a description of the show or movie playing." In the case of OpenTable, users will be able to book restaurants directly through their mo [...]


Facebook Hires Its First CMO — From Google

Gary Briggs AdAge is reporting that Gary Briggs has been hired as Facebook's new CMO -- the first time the company has had such a role. Most recently Briggs was an advisor to Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodsie. Before that he was SVP of marketing at Motorola. Briggs was also VP of consumer marketing at Google from 2010 to 2012. Prior to that he held a number of positions at eBay and PayPal, including CMO of eBay North America. Briggs has been a co-founder and CEO of startups. He also has lots of big-company marketing experience, having been director of brand strategy at Pepsi and IBM. According [...]


Report: Facebook Preps “Addressable TV” For $2.5 Million A Day

facebook-tv-featured The broadcast and cable TV industries have long dreamed of so-called "addressable TV." That is: TV ads that can be customized or more precisely targeted on the basis of demographics or location. Not counting something like YouTube, there were and have been multiple initiatives to accomplish this over the years. None have really succeeded -- until perhaps now. The first truly scalable targeted TV ad solution, it appears, will soon be available through Facebook according to a Bloomberg Report. The article says that 15-second TV-like video ads will soon be shown on Facebook "later this yea [...]


Facebook Denies Claims Of User Dissatisfaction, Teen Disengagement

facebook-teens-youth-featured In May, the Pew Internet & American Life Project released a report asserting that while teens were on Facebook in large numbers they were losing enthusiasm. The report said that "94 percent of teen social media users say they have a Facebook profile, and 81 percent say that Facebook is the profile they use most often." However the report went on, using focus-group material, to say that many teens were burned out on the site: For Facebook in particular, while some focus group participants enjoyed using it, far more associated it with constraints through an increasing adult presence, hig [...]


Facebook For Business: New Hub For Ad Education, Case Studies

facebook Yesterday Facebook beat expectations when it announced second quarter revenues. COO Sheryl Sandberg said on the earnings call that the company was only beginning to penetrate key market segments, including brand and local business advertising. This morning, as part of its broader ad simplification strategy, Facebook is introducing Facebook for Business, a centralized hub for announcements, case studies and marketer education. It brings together content that was formerly in several different places across the site. The information on Facebook for Business is organized in several ways: by [...]


Facebook Beats Q2 Expectations, Mobile Climbs To 41 Percent

Facebook-Home-Logo Facebook announced Q2 2013 revenues this afternoon. It beat analysts' consensus expectations with $1.81 billion in total revenue. Ad revenue was 88 percent or $1.60 billion, representing 61 percent growth vs. last year. Facebook surprised especially with a big jump in mobile ad revenue, which climbed to 41 percent of the total (vs. 30 percent last quarter). In real dollar terms the company made $656 million on mobile ads in the quarter. Non advertising revenue (payments/fees) came in at $214 million. Facebook published the following daily and monthly user numbers for the quarter [...]


Facebook Feature Phone App Crosses 100 Million Threshold

Facebook-Home-Logo The Facebook experience for developing markets (e.g., India) is called Facebook for Every Phone. It launched in July 2011 and was the product of the company's acquisition of Snaptu. This morning, the company announced that the smartphone app-like experience for feature phones now has 100 million users around the world. According to data released by Facebook in Q1, the company has more than 750 million mobile users around the world, and mobile now contributes more than 30 percent of ad revenue. Last week, Reuters reported that June mobile traffic was up in the US and UK, 18 percent and 22 pe [...]


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