Archive for August, 2015

Top Stated Reasons For Abandoning A Mobile Transaction


Jumio-Top-Reasons-Abandoning-Mobile-Transaction-Aug2015Source: Jumio

    Notes: A majority (56%) of US smartphone owning adults have abandoned a mobile transaction, according to Jumio, though this figure is down from 66% in a similar survey conducted in 2013. Among those who have abandoned a mobile transaction, purchase uncertainty (45%) was the top reason cited, followed by slow load times (36%) and difficulty with navigation (31%). These usability concerns appear to outweigh security concerns around payment (27%) and personal (26%) information, per the survey’s results, though other research suggests security con! cerns ar e still prevalent.

    Monday, August 24th, 2015 news No Comments

    drag2share: Which Device Would You Miss the Most?


    According to a detailed study from Ofcom, the UK version of the FCC, different generations have vastly different attachments to internet devices: the grandparents can’t live without the TV, and (surprise surprise) you’d have to wrest the smartphones from millenials’ cold, dead hands.

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    Monday, August 17th, 2015 news No Comments

    drag2share: Amazon shut down a popular ad product to stop companies like Google getting access to its data (AMZN, GOOG, GOOGL)


    Earlier this week, Amazon confirmed it was shutting down its pay-per-click “product ads” that showed links and photos at the bottom of search results and diverted traffic out to other sites.

    Product ads were popular among e-commerce brands because the format allowed them to partner with Amazon, but without Amazon seeing their transaction data. Ad sellers like Google were able to use the ads to get information about Amazon’s users, which enabled them to hone up ad targeting on their own platforms.

    Amazon is now plugging that hole, which was allowing hundreds of companies to essentially steal chunks of its online advertising share by using its own data (for a price.) Now brands that want to advertise their products on will be pushed towards selling their ads on too. Amazon is offering an olive branch for those that still want to link out of to their own sites by testing “text ads,” but as the name indicates, these won’t offer the imagery that is more likely to capture users’ attention and will be less of an attractive offering to retailers.

    Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider about the reason for the discontinuation of product ads. A spokeswoman e-mailed this statement to Reuters: “At Amazon we are constantly reviewing the services we offer partners to ! help the m best reach our customer base and grow their businesses.”

    According to analytics company Similarweb, Amazon sent 3.4 million desktop visits to ads over the past six months (February to July) in the US. That might, on the surface, seem like just small change to Amazon: outgoing visits to are less than 0.1% of the total 4.5 billion US desktop visits to over the same period. But each of those 3.4 million visits provided Google with valuable data.

    Moshe Alexenberg, head of content at SimilarWeb, told Business Insider: “That does not seem significant to me, in terms of revenue. However, the data that Google collects through these ads may have more value than the percentages suggest. Thus, Amazon may want to prevent Google from collecting such information on its users and their online shopping habits.”

    By shutting off outside access, Amazon’s move is in-keeping with a wider trend of platforms building up “walled gardens” around their advertising technology stacks. Earlier this month Google confirmed it was restricting marketers from buying YouTube ads via third-party companies through the DoubleClick ad exchange.

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    Thursday, August 13th, 2015 news No Comments

    drag2share: Facebook cancelled a student’s internship after he highlighted a massive privacy issue (FB)


    Facebook cancelled a Harvard student’s internship after he created a Google Chrome plugin that highlighted serious privacy flaws in the social network’s messaging service, reports.

    In May, computer science and mathematics student Aran Khanna built Marauder’s Map. It was a browser plugin that made use of the fact that people who use the Facebook Messenger share their location with everyone they message with by default.

    Upon installing the plugin, users could use it to precisely track the movements of anyone they were in a conversation thread with. This included users who they were not friends with on Facebook — and was accurate to within a meter.

    The app went viral, was downloaded 85,000 times, and saw widespread press coverage by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. Three days after he launched it via a Medium post, Khanna disabled the plugin after Facebook told him to. At the s! ocial ne twork’s request, he refused to speak to press, and the company released a new version of Messenger a week later, changing how users share their locations.

    marauders map facebook khannaEarlier this week, Khanna published a case study for the Harvard Journal of Technology Science about his experience. Here’s the student on Facebook’s initial response:

    [On] the afternoon of the 27th, one day after the Medium blog post’s publication, Facebook contacted me. My future manager phoned and asked me not to speak to any press; however, I was told that I could keep my blog post up. By that evening, the global communications lead for privacy and public policy at Facebook called me to clarify Facebook’s expectations that I not speak to the press, saying that his objective was to hamper the spread of what had become a damaging story.

    By midday of the 28th, the global communications lead for privacy and public policy at Facebook requested by email that I disable the extension. I complied within the hour by deactivating the Mapbox API key associated with the extension so that all current and future users could no longer load the map used to display geo-location data.

    Then, three days later, Facebook got in touch again — to say it was cancelling his internship:

    On the afternoon of the 29th, three days after my initial posts, Facebook phoned me to inform me that it was rescinding the offer of a summer internship, citing as a reason that the extension violated the Facebook user agreement by “scraping” the site. The head of global human resources and recruiting followed up with an email message stating that my blog post did not reflect the “high eth! ical sta ndards” around user privacy expected of interns. According to the email, the privacy issue was not with Facebook Messenger, but rather with my blog post and code describing how Facebook collected and shared users’ geo-location data.

    Business Insider has reached out to Facebook for comment and will update when it responds. A spokesperson told that “this mapping tool scraped Facebook data in a way that violated our terms, and those terms exist to protect people’s privacy and safety … Despite being asked repeatedly to remove the code, the creator of this tool left it up. This is wrong and it’s inconsistent with how we think about serving our community.”

    The spokesperson also adds that the update wasn’t developed just in response to Khanna’s plugin. “This isn’t the sort of thing that can happen in a week … Even though we move very fast here, they’d been working on it for a few months.”

    In the case study, Khanna writes that he thinks it is the media attention that forced Facebook to act when it did. “It is possible that before my extension and blog post, the degree of location data collection and sharing by Facebook Messenger was hard for an average user to notice and thus did not raise significant concern. Without public pressure, Facebook may have lacked significant incentive to change. My extension and blog post made the data collection and sharing practice real and transparent.”

    He concludes with a set of questions: “What does this say about privacy protection? Can we reasonably expect Facebook or others with an interest in collecting and sharing personal data, to be responsible guardians of privacy? Could this work have been done inside Facebook to understand how its users view the collection and sharing of their data?

    “Must future priva! cy guard ians always be on the outside?”

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    Thursday, August 13th, 2015 news No Comments

    drag2share: TV networks are stuffing more and more ads into the commercial breaks in a ‘desperate’ attempt to counter plummeting ratings (AMCX, CBS, DIS, DISCA, FOXA, TWX, SNI, VIAB, SPX, FOX)


    Almost every major TV network in the US is stuffing more ads into their commercial breaks in a “desperate” attempt to prop up ad revenues as ratings across the industry decline, according to a report from investment research and management company Bernstein.

    The report shows that prime-time TV audiences (as determined by Nielsen C3 measurements: TV watched both live and three days after the show was first aired on catch-up services) are down 9% year on year, yet ad loads on some networks are up as much as 10% on last year.

    Bernstein senior analyst Todd Juenger writes in the report: “The continued ad stuffing is an obvious and unsustainable (some would say “desperate”) action by the networks to prop up ad revenue in the face of declining audiences. Not only can this not be sustained going forward, it further contributes to the audience declines, making SVOD (streaming video on demand) that much more preferable for viewers made numb by the absurd amount of ads (as well as decreasing the efficacy of the advertising that is still seen).”

    Here’s how ratings have been dropping since last year.

    tv ratings

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    Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 news No Comments

    Content Engagement Higher on Desktops Than Mobiles


    BrightEdge-Web-Content-Engagement-by-Industry-Device-Aug2015Source: BrightEdge [download page]

      Notes: Consumers engage with 20% of B2C content on average, though average engagement with B2B content is higher (50%), according to a BrightEdge analysis. Content engagement – defined as traffic, conversions and revenue – differs widely by industry, with hospitality the highest of those measured and retail the lowest, based on varying strategies. In each industry, however, engagement rates are higher on desktop than on mobile, which BrightEdge believes translates into a “massive opportunity for marketers to improve the quality of their mobile content.” › Continue reading

      Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 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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