Archive for October, 2013

drag2share: Facebook Executive’s Comments About Ad Engagement Spooked Wall Street Amid Earnings Beat


facebook zuckerberg

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc posted strong growth in its mobile advertising business on Wednesday but rattled investors after saying that it did not plan to boost the frequency of ads shown to users.

Shares of the world's No. 1 online social network soared as much as 15 percent in extended trading before suddenly falling to $47.40, down 3 percent from its $49.10 close. The stock settled at $49.16.

In July, Facebook said it was showing one ad per 20 stories in the newsfeed, but Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman told analysts Wednesday that the current ratio, although slightly higher than 5 percent, would not increase much more going forward.

Ebersman's comments, combined with remarks suggesting that young teenage users in the U.S. were beginning to use Facebook less frequently, soured the mood abruptly on an afternoon when the company topped Wall Street's targets with a whopping 60 percent increase in revenue, driven by its accelerating mobile business.

"There seems to be concern about the ad load not going up," said BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield.

But Greenfield said he believed investors were over-reacting, noting that increasing advertising prices, rather than the volume of ads, is more important for growth in Facebook's topline.

Facebook's newsfeed ads, which inject paid marketing messages straight into a user's stream of news and content, have boosted Facebook's revenue and its stock price in recent months. The ads are ideally suited for the smaller-sized screens of smartphones and other mobile devices, from which nearly half of Facebook's monthly users now access the service.

But the company has had to balance showing mo! re ads i nside its users' newsfeed with the fear that too many of them would irritate fickle users and drive them elsewhere.

That's a reality that some investors may have overlooked, after Facebook reported strong third-quarter financial results on Thursday, with advertising revenue up 66 percent.

"There's some degree to which you can expand, but there's an optimal level after which you risk losing your audience," said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, referring to the portion of ads that Facebook shows on its service.

Still, he said the stock's "reaction and counter-reaction was probably a little extreme. This was under any estimation a good quarter."


Revenue from mobile ads, which appear on smartphones, represented 49 percent of Facebook's total advertising revenue in the third quarter, or roughly $880 million. Mobile ads generated roughly $150 million in the year-ago period, when Facebook was just beginning to develop its mobile ad business.

And Facebook said that its ads were getting noticed: The average daily user of Facebook is "engaging" with more than one ad per week, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said during the conference call.

"It looks like they're firing on all cylinders," said JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey.

He said that Facebook's strong mobile advertising revenue in particular has put to rest the worries that many investors had at the time of the company's 2012 IPO.

"They clearly have the product, they have the traffic and now they have the advertising solution," said Josey.

Facebook shares have doubled in the past three months, as Wall Street has warmed to the Internet company's ability to thrive as consumers increasingly access the Web on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Facebook said the number of its ! monthly active users increased to 1.19 billion as of the end of September, up from 1.15 billion at the end of June. Facebook said it counts roughly 507 million daily active mobile users.

Facebook said it earned net income of $425 million, or 17 cents a share, in the three months ended September 30, compared with a net loss of $59 million, or 2 cents a share in the year-ago period. (

Excluding certain items, Facebook said it earned 25 cents per share, above the average analyst expectation of 19 cents.

Facebook's total revenue in the third quarter was $2.016 billion, ahead of the average analyst expectation of $1.911 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Gerry Shih; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 news No Comments

MoMA Will Banish Grotty Audio Guides With Free Guide App


MoMA Will Banish Grotty Audio Guides With Free Guide App

Smart: MoMA has announced the launch of an audio guide platform that will be accessible on Android or iOS devices for free.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 news No Comments

Facebook exceeds expectations as it tallies 874 million monthly mobile users



Mobile advertising drove Facebook’s impressive growth in Q2 as the company continued to increase monthly active user numbers north of the one billion mark. For Q3 2013, the social network beat analysts’ expectations once more with $2.02 billion in revenue for the period. Daily active users for the month of September averaged 728 million (a 25 percent increase year-over-year) and monthly active users rose to 1.19 billion. Mobile check-ins grew once more as well, seeing 874 million monthly (a 45 percent year-over-year increase) and 507 million daily users compared to 819 million and 469 million for those sectors during Q2. These numbers show that the gap between mobile and total active users continues to draw closer with each passing three-month period as Facebook continues the mobile push and social media increasingly becomes a chore for handsets and tablets on-the-go.

Those ads on users’ daily drivers accounted for 49 percent of all ad revenue in Q3 2013 — up from 41 percent last quarter. If the current pattern holds, the fourth quarter report could show that over half of the outfit’s revenue is coming from mobile advertising — especially with Instagram ads on the way shortly for its 150 million monthly active users. Revenue from ads on the whole is up 66 percent from Q3 2012 totaling $1.8 billion. Of course, the so-called “native” ads that appear as regular posts in the News Feed have become part of the strategy for working in sponsored content over right-hand column ads. “The strong results we achieved this quarter show that we’re prepared for the next phase of our company, as we work to bring the next five billion people online and into the knowledge economy,” said founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When compared to the same quarter last year, net income is also up as it rang in at $425 million in comparison to the net loss of $59 million the outfit saw during Q3 2012. The quarterly earnings call will take place shortly, but we’ll be sure to update this post if any newsy bits are mentioned there.

Update: On the call, Zuckerberg mentioned that 48 percent of daily Facebook users login on mobile which lends a big hand to those mobile ad numbers. He also mentioned continued dedication to improving ads (things like honing in targeted ads and video marketing) as the company focuses on “making money to make better services.” COO Sheryl Sandberg mentioned that Facebook and Instagram users spend more of their time on those two social networks on mobile (one in every five minutes) than other popular streams like YouTube, Tumblr and Pandora combined in the US.

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Source: Facebook

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 news No Comments

Facebook considers tracking your mouse cursor and screen views to improve its ads


Facebook considers tracking mouse cursors and screen views for targeted ads

It’s no secret that Facebook likes its targeted advertising. However, that affinity may soon blossom into a full-fledged love affair. The social network’s Ken Rudin tells the Wall Street Journal that his company is testing a system which targets ads based on where users’ mouse cursors hover; it can also tell whether or not mobile users see their news feeds. Neither tracking technology is new, but the scale of behavioral data collection would be unprecedented when Facebook has almost 1.2 billion users. Don’t be too quick to close your account in protest, though. Rudin notes that there won’t be a decision on the technology for another “couple of months,” and it may never see the light of day. If you don’t like the idea of Facebook monitoring your on-screen habits, we’d suggest making yourself heard.

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Source: Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 news No Comments

Twitter’s R&D Costs Are Skyrocketing Because It’s Buying Out Or Blocking Outside Developers


Social Media Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider Intelligence that collects and delivers the top social media news first thing every morning. You can sign up to receive Social Media Insights here or at the bottom of this post.

Twitter’s quest to capture ad revenue is driving up operating costs. The company’s research and development expenses are up 170% from a year earlier, and at over $85 million equal to about half of revenue in the third quarter, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.

(By contrast the company’s revenue increased by 105%.)

The increase in costs is explained in part by Twitter’s method of eliminating competition from developers that generate ad revenue using Twitter’s data. Twitter, like Facebook, is a platform, and developers can use its data to build add-on or complementary apps, like services that allow users to build mini-stories with tweets. These apps, in turn, might generate their own ad revenue. Twitter is trying to exercise control over outside developers and their revenue streams by acquiring them or limiting their access, but that leaves Twitter to pay its own way in terms of building out innovative features. So both options are expensive.

In 2010, for example, Twitter changed its terms of use policy, shutting out two services, including Adly and 140 Proof Inc., which used the company’s tweet streams on their own ad-supported sites. 

How Twitter’s strategy will affect revenue in the long term is unclear. (Bloomberg)

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 news No Comments

Here’s The Number Google Should Worry About When Facebook Reports Its Earnings Tomorrow (GOOG, FB)


nikesh arora by nrkbetaFacebook reports its third quarter financial results tomorrow.

We’ll have live coverage beginning just before 4 P.M. eastern.

There’s one number that Google sales boss Nikesh Arora should be on the lookout for: the number of mobile app developers who bought Facebook ads promoting their apps.

Facebook has an mobile ad product where app developers pay Facebook every time a user installs their app.

In the first quarter, 3,800 developers bought install apps. In the second quarter, the number increased to 8400. This quarter, the number could hit 20,000 or more.

That number’s rapid growth signifies how, as personal computing shifts from desktop to mobile, Google’s position as the way for consumers to discovers businesses through the Internet is weakening.

On the desktop, the way a business gets a user’s attention is by building a website and then optimizing it for Google search and promoting it with Google ads.

On mobile, the way a business gets a user’s attention is by building an app, optimizing it for the Google and Apple app stores, and, increasingly, promoting it with Facebook ads.

Facebook has a long way to go before this business scales to anything close to approaching Google’s. While Facebook approaches 20,000 mobile app install advertisers, analysts say Google has at least 1.5 million Web advertisers.

But Facebook’s app install ads are a very new product. Q1 was its first quarter.

! And whil e the desktop Web is very mature, mobile usage, and Facebook’s share of it continues to grow.

It’s hard to believe, but consumer usage of Facebook’s mobile apps actually continues to accelerate.

JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth sent out a note this morning reporting that growth in Facebook’s total U.S. minutes accelerated to 34% year-over-year in September, up from 33% year-over-year in August and up even furhter from 22% year-over-year in July 2013.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 news No Comments

Pre-Launch Shopping Interest Suggests Sony


PlayStation 4

We are a month away from the official start of a war of industry titans that will unfold before our eyes. In the first battle, Microsoft and Sony are set to release in November updated versions of their ever popular gaming consoles with the introduction of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The current generation Xbox 360 was released 8 years ago, while the PlayStation 3 launched a year later, making the head-to-head comparison of their performance out of the gate difficult and littered with caveats. This time around, the consoles are launching just a week apart. These new systems are arriving in a market (and economy) that is considerably different from the one in which their predecessors have thrived, with the rise free-to-play gaming made popular through social and mobile platforms.

Share of Online Shopping Interest: PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One

Based on our analysis of online shopping activity (the consoles have been available to browse and pre-order online since the spring), it appears the PS4 is better positioned to grab the lead at the start. Over the past four months, online shopping interest in the PS4 has consistently outpaced that of the Xbox One by a margin of over 2 to 1. Online at least, three out of four next-generation console shoppers have considered the PS4, with 61% considering ONLY the PS4. Contrast that to the 39% that have shopped for the Xbox One and the 27% that shopped the Xbox One exclusively.

The fact just 12% of these online shoppers have shown interest in both systems, suggests that at least so far the next-generation consoles are attracting platform loyalists, rather than casual gamers. Given the nearly equal worldwide install bases of the Xbox 360 and PS3 (estimated at nearly 80 million each) the interest advantage currently held by Sony’s PS4 may well subside as the general public tunes in as the pre-launch hype builds.

Following a spike in June when some retailers began taking pre-orders, interest in both the PS4 and Xbox One has gradually waned. The number of consumers shopping online for either console in September was down 52% from June. With marketing now picking up, one of the first salvos being Sony’s tie-in with Taco Bell, consumer interest in the consoles will soon rise in anticipation of the launches.

Sony and Microsoft aren’t the only brands preparing for battle

The other industry heavyweights prepping to battle in the console wars are the retailers who, like millions of consumers, have been waiting for these new consoles for years, hoping their introduction will give a boost to the lagging category and invigorate game title and accessory sales.

Retailer Share of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Shopping Activity

Retailers hoping to a grab a large slice of the next generation gaming market include Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and Game Stop. Here again, Amazon’s online dominance is evident. Amazon was one of the first retailers to offer pre-orders for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 earlier this year and quickly grabbed two thirds of the nascent shopping activity. Since May, Amazon’s share of shopping activity for the two systems has remained relatively stable, averaging 41% each month, leaving rivals to jockey for second place. attracted heavy pre-order interest, leveraging its loyal customer base and PowerUp Rewards program., on the other hand, has seen steady gains and its online share of the shopping activity even eclipsed that of and combined in September.

Sony and Microsoft, as well as their retail partners and millions of consumers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of these 8th generation gaming consoles in November. We will be releasing updated data throughout the holiday season as this console battle unfolds.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 news No Comments

Red Bull Successfully Uses Content To Boost Facebook Engagement, But Coca-Cola Still Has Way More Fans


Brands operating in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry remain the most popular on Facebook, according to Socialbakers’ September Facebook report and BI Intelligence research.

As of October 28, Coca-Cola had more than 74.7 million fans on its main Facebook page (a 2% increase from the last day of September), maintaining a steady lead as the brand with the largest following on Facebook.

Red Bull followed with more than 40.8 million fans, and then Oreo with 34.6 million.

Since November 2012, Coca-Cola has also enjoyed the largest percentage gain in Facebook fans among the top FMCG brands, with a 34% gain. Pringles and Red Bull followed with 22% and 20% gains, respectively, over the same period of time.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola has only posted two pieces of content on its main Facebook page during October, compared to Red Bull which has posted 26 items. What’s more, Red Bull also posts a greater variety of media — from status updates, to videos and photos — and in doing so, is generating far more engagement overall (in the form of likes and comments) than Coca-Cola. Red Bull appears to be investing more in content development to generate fans organically and keep those fans paying attention.

Although we do not know how much brands are spending on their Facebook marketing efforts, we suspect Coca-Cola continues to pull in the most fans using an aggressive paid media strategy, wherein the company is leveraging Facebook ads to generate more fans. Coca-Cola may also benefit from higher overall brand recognition, compared to Red Bull.

Activity on Coca-Cola’s more niche Facebook pages is more frequent and may represent a strategy of using local pages for engagement, while the main page is used primarily for branding purposes. The Japanese Coca-Cola Zero page achieved the second-highest engagement rate of any Facebook brand page worldwide.

Download the chart and data in Excel.

bii top facebook brandws


Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 news No Comments

LinkedIn’s Users Are Sticking Around, Here’s What BusinessBusiness Companies Need To Know About Them


bii social media professionals 1For business-to-business companies, focusing the bulk of their marketing energy on LinkedIn is starting to make a lot of sense.

LinkedIn is where white-collar professionals network online, which means its user base is high-income and highly educated. They are also more and more engaged, viewing 63% more pages year-over-year in the first quarter of 2013, according to Daniel Roth, LinkedIn’s executive editor.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we  break down the demographics and usage behavior on all the major social networks, and find that as more users linger on LinkedIn and consume content, business-to-business marketers have a real chance to gain a slice of that attention, and to do so in a context that’s primed for professional connections, and populated by business decision-makers.

Here are the stats that show some of the unique features of LinkedIn’s user base, and what companies should keep in mind as they build their presence on the social ne! twork:

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 digital No Comments

Facebook Will Help Nielsen Track TV And Video Audiences On PCs And Smartphones


Social Media Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider Intelligence that collects and delivers the top social media news first thing every morning. You can sign up to receive Social Media Insights here or at the bottom of this post.

Nielsen, the company that has tracked TV viewers’ habits for decades, announced that it would add viewers of online video to its TV ratings system. That means that viewers of hit TV shows that stream video on their phones, tablets, or PCs will be measured alongside audiences that tune in on their traditional TV sets. The measurement will take place via a software development kit or SDK that developers of video-driven websites or mobile apps can use. Digital-native content will be given ratings that make its audiences comparable to those of TV-originated content.

Nielsen has been gearing up for this cross-channel measurement for a long time. In April, the company partnered with a number of broadcasters for a trial run of the new program.

Facebook is explicitly mentioned as a data partner that will provide demographic information in a “privacy safe” way to help Nielsen measure video-viewing on mobile devices.

How Facebook benefits is still unclear. Nielsen could be paying Facebook for the data or vice versa.

Mechanics of the relationship aside, the news is yet another indicator of Facebook’s growing interest in video. (Nielsen)

In other new…

Facebook CTR


Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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