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What Facebook’s Biggest Advertisers Say About ‘Invalid Clicks’ (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-facebooks-biggest-advertisers-say-about-invalid-clicks-2012-11

zuckerberg

Facebook’s larger advertisers, unsurprisingly, aren’t willing to say much — on the record, at least — about the proposed class action lawsuit which claims up to 20 percent of pay-per-click advertising on the site comes from “invalid” clicks.

Facebook says the suit is bogus, and is fighting an appeal in the case.

One key issue in the case is Facebook’s refusal to allow its clicks to be audited by a third party like the IAB, the Media Ratings Council or Ernst & Young.

Speaking privately, the company’s clients and competitors tell us they are aware that Facebook is non-transparent when it came to its advertising business.

None of them believed Facebook was acting improperly. And none sympathized with the suit. One said, “We trust Facebook and know that they are always working to refine their filters and to identify invalid clicks.”

Another added, “I don’t think they’re ripping people off.”

However, they also said that because Facebook is so big it is able to play by its own rules in a way that might not be healthy .

“They don’t let you audit,” said one client. “It’s a little bit suspect. A bit of a conflict of interest. … You have to trust Facebook’s numbers.”

Another added, “They’re not playing by the rules everyone else is playing by. It’s definitely an issue that there’s this 800 pound gorilla out there that isn’t playing by the rules.”

One major issue for advertisers is that they can only observe Facebook’s clicks independently if they send traffic off the site! to thei r own web sites. As most campaigns are designed to send traffic to the advertisers’ Facebook page, those clicks remain inside Facebook – and thus invisible to outside analytics.

“A lot of campaigns are not sending traffic off site so there’s no way to check,” one client told us.

Another said, “If we are driving users to a Facebook page — then we rely on Facebook metrics (impressions, clicks, conversions, engagement …) as the click goes directly to the Facebook page and not through a redirect AND we can’t fire pixels on Facebook pages like we can on external sites.”

Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google’s former click fraud czar who is now vp/strategy at Shape Security, told us that he knows many of the team members at Facebook who are working on click validation. “They are investing heavily in this area,” he says. A third-party audit of clicks, however is a “non-trivial” event at a company, he says. It requires time and resources, and an outside company must come in and perform experiments with the internal engineers. Nonetheless, “they need to take this very seriously,” he says.

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5947614/the-canadian-government-accidentally-ran-a-bunch-of-ads-on-the-pirate-bay

The Canadian Government Accidentally Ran a Bunch of Ads on the Pirate Bay The Pirate Bay tends to be a website that national governments aren’t particularly fond of. That being the case, it’d be surprising if a national government ran ads on the site, advertising an Economic Action Plan, right? Canada did that, but not on purpose.

Banner ads for Canada’s Department of Finance’s Economic Action Plan started showing up on the site a few days ago, right next to ads for finding a Chinese bride, as shown by an image from the Ottawa Citizen. The ads were removed quickly, and the Department of Finance is blaming ad networks that were included in their media buy, specifically Yahoo!.

Yahoo! is in turn pointing a finger at Sympatico:

We have confirmed that Yahoo! was not responsible for the EAP ad showing up on The Pirate Bay. We have been able to trace the ad to Sympatico who were responsible for this ad’s appearance on the site, and they have been notified of the issue so they can take the appropriate actions.

Regardless of whose fault it actually was, the fact remains that for a while, the Pirate Bay had the pleasure of running a few government-purchased ads, and is enjoying the irony. According to TorrentFreak they’re even considering covering the site with unsolicited ads for the plan, for kicks. Though only the first run paid in real money, a second one would probably pay pretty well in smirks. [TorrentFreak via CNET]

Image by Arkadia/Shutterstock

The Canadian Government Accidentally Ran a Bunch of Ads on the Pirate Bay

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Sunday, September 30th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Android Has A Hardware Fragmentation Problem Too

Source: https://intelligence.businessinsider.com/welcome

Android’s fragmentation problem isn’t just a software issue; it has a hardware problem, too. Android has hardware fragmentation because it supports a slew of handsets from a number of manufacturers. As of September, the most popular screen size and density for Android phones accounted for about half of the market, with the balance taken by nine other screen sizes and densities.       

This too can make developing on Android a headache because developers must prepare their app for a range of screen sizes. Compare this to the iPhone, which until last week always had the same screen size.

Android Screen Size distribution  

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Thursday, September 20th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5943860/disgusting-pink-slime-company-launches-billion-dollar-offensive

Disgusting Pink Slime Company Launches Billion Dollar Offensive (Updated)In America, it’s not illegal to sell disgusting cow purée washed with ammonia for human consumption. But, according to BPI, the company that makes this dystopian meat filler, it’s illegal to talk about it. Time for a $1.2 billion lawsuit.

Mother Jones reports that BPI, which caught an enormous amount of (deserved!) hell for selling the grotesque quasi-protein, is “launching a $1.2 billion defamation suit against ABC News and three whistleblowers-two federal employees and a former BPI worker -who spoke to the news network.” This is what you do when you want to silence your critics after they call you out for doing something gross to the poor, uninformed, beef patty-chomping American public. But unless you work at ABC, this isn’t such a big deal. What is a big deal is that pink slime could be on the verge of a vile, goopy comeback.

Cargill, one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States, is a firm like BPI—they manufacture food on a massive industrial scale. They’re also keen on pink slime, and according to internal focus groups, they think the US public might be too. Why? We’re forgetful and generally don’t care about reality: “The issue is perception, not facts or science,” says a Cargill rep. Americans have extremely low attention spans. We’re done freaking out about pink slime—or “finely textured beef,” as the food factories call it—and have moved on to other worries, like Islam and re-runs of The Big Bang Theory:

“We found that in a month’s time the issue was in consumers’ rear view mirror and fading fast.  When they learned how this 100% beef product is produced and why it has value to everyone from farm to fork, they were comfortable with it being included as part of their ground beef.”

Cargill is now considering a re-launch of their own pink goop crap formula, meaning all the undesirable parts of the cow could be headed to your grocery store again in time for next BBQ season. Yum. [Food Navigator via Mother Jones]

Update: A BPI rep wrote in to say the original image included with this post was not, one of their products.

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Monday, September 17th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Facebook Denies Targeting Users Based On Interests

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-denies-targeting-users-based-on-interests–todays-ad-brief-2012-9

Facebook denies targeting users based on their interests, but not everyone believes the company.

Amazon does a U-turn and will offer an ad-free Kindle Fire for a $15 premium.

Procter & Gamble: former client-side exec Judy Beaudry vents her fury against media rebates, an issue we told you about earlier this month.

Meet the 20 most influential marketing spenders, per Ad Age.

Cravendale has launched its new “cats with thumbs” video (above). We told you it was coming earlier this month.

LIONSGATE HAS PUT ITS $400 MILLION MEDIA ACCOUNT IN REVIEW: The incumbents are Initiative and Mindshare; Horizon will also compete, Ad Age says. “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” are among the titles on the business.

LendingTree picked a new creative shop, Merkley + Partners, and will break its first campaign in the spring. The New York shop beat McK! inney in Durham, N.C., and Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco for the business. Spending is ~$22 million.

MDC Partners’ credit rating was lowered by Standard & Poor’s from B+ to B, with the ratings service saying it expects the holding company’s debt level to remain high over the next 12 to 18 months.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky‘s chief digital officer Ivan Perez-Armendariz has some deep thoughts about Facebook and Google.

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Monday, September 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Desperate For Revenue, Facebook Turns To The Gambling Business… (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-gambling-2012-8

winstar world casino table

Facebook is going into the gambling business.

Starting today, report Christopher Thompson and April Dembosky of the FT, Facebook will allow users in the UK to play bingo for real money. Real-money slot machines will soon follow.

Gambling is much more socially and legally acceptable in the UK than in the US, where legislators pretend that it’s immoral to gamble outside of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and some Indian reservations. The same legislators have no issue with lotteries, which encourage citizens to throw hard-earned money down rat holes to raise additional state tax revenue.

But still, gambling is a risque behavior to cash in on, especially for a mainstream consumer company like Facebook.

Industry insiders have long expected Facebook to turn to gambling at some point, and they have high hopes for it. Earlier this year, in Europe, one insider predicted that gambling would eventually turn Facebook into a $100 billion business.

Facebook’s Bingo gambling will be conducted in partnership with a company called Gamesys, one of the UK’s biggest online gambling companies. The game will be called Bingo Friendzy.

Facebook will presumably collect a ~30% “vig” from the money spent to play Bingo on the Facebook platform, the same way it collects a portion of the virtual goods revenue its social-gaming partners generate in the U.S. This revenue will help fortify Facebook’s “payments” revenue stream, which has recently been crippled by the collapse of Zynga! .

Meanwhile, one company that appears to have been left out in the cold here is Zynga, Facebook’s big game partner in the US. Zynga has also been eager to cash in on the online gambling craze. But it will apparently be watching this Facebook move from the sidelines.

SEE ALSO: INSIDER: When Gambling Is Legalized, Facebook Will Become A $100 Billion Business

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Brewster, The iPhone App Everyone Was Going Nuts For Yesterday, Had A Big Privacy Leak

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/brewster-privacy-2012-7

brewster app iphone

Brewster, the new contacts management app for iPhone, had a few privacy leaks on launch day yesterday.

TechCrunch first reported that the app leaked personal contact information for Ashton Kutcher, MG Siegler, Dave Morin, and others.

We pressed Brewster for more details, but they would only give us this statement

“We take privacy extremely seriously at Brewster. When we launched yesterday, we had a tremendous number of user signups, and fixed a number of problems, including scale issues and bugs.

One unfortunate problem that arose was for Foursquare users who were fans, but not friends, of other Foursquare users. Even further, Foursquare only offers the ability to be fanned to an extremely small number of users. In this case, if we had the contact information from a full Foursquare friend, we briefly displayed their contact information to fans. This happened with one user who was fans of multiple people on Foursquare.

As soon as we heard of this issue from the user, we made sure this bug was resolved immediately, and put safeguards in place to ensure it never happens again. This is the only instance we heard of this issue.

Separately, from this bug, we have also responded to questions from users related to information that they had access to from different services. For instance, a user might have a public photo available that they haven’t seen before, or a phone number rightfully accessible if connected on Foursquare. These instances are completely consistent with the access the user gives these third-party services.

Brewster strives to be a trusted personalized address book for our users. We hope this serves as an example of how seriously we take issues of privacy, how candid we will be if issues ever arise, and that our users remain a top priority.

Don’t Miss: Meet Brewster, The Next Must-Have App For Your iPhone >

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Friday, July 13th, 2012 news No Comments

Expired Groupons Are Valid Again After Court Ruling

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5898699/your-expired-groupons-are-valid-again-thanks-to-85-million-court-ruling

Your Expired Groupons Are Valid Again Thanks to $8.5 Million Court Ruling (Updated)Remember that deal you purchased on Groupon—$30 for a $50 laser hair removal? It expired, and your unibrow has grown out of control. But you’re in luck. Groupon has agreed to pay an $8.5 million settlement in a class action lawsuit claiming that expiration dates are illegal. Better yet, the court also ruled that you can use all those Groupons you bought that expired last year. Mulligan!

Your coupons are still good if they were purchased before Dec. 1, 2011. Most future Groupons won’t expire so quickly, either. The company agreed that for the next three years, no more than 10 percent of its coupons will carry a use-by date that is less than 30 days after the date of issue.

The settlement is a result of the consolidation of 17 lawsuits in a San Diego district court, which allege that Groupon is violating consumer protection laws. Shoppers feel like an expiration dates force them to buy something, the suit argues.

Groupon didn’t immediately respond to questions about how you can cash in on your bygone coupons. We’re also investigating how you can get in on the settlement. We’ll update when we have the info. [Bloomberg]

Update: Groupon told us if you have expired Groupons, you can redeem them in the normal way. Print out the coupon or load it up on your smartphone, and the merchant should honor it as usual.

Update 2: Groupon says your coupons are valid for the purchase price post-expiry. For example, if you paid $20 for a $40, you’d get the $20 credit. It also noted that this is not a new policy, nor was it dictated by the settlement.

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 digital No Comments

Publishing Consortium to Launch Hulu for Magazines

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5898918/major-publishing-consortium-ready-to-launch-hulu-for-magazines

Major Publishing Consortium Ready to Launch "Hulu for Magazines"It’s been two years since Next Issue Media was first announced but the subscription-swapping, all-you-can-read digital news-stand is set to launch tomorrow.

Next Issue Media is a digitial subscription service proposed by five of the world’s largest publishers (Conde Nast, Time Inc, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp). Users would receive as many digital magazines as they wish for a flat monthly rate of $10-15, depending on if you want delivery of weeklies like The New Yorker. And just like Hulu, the user will be able to freely pick and choose which content to consume.

The digital magazines will still read like physical magazines—top to bottom, left to right, including ads—which is kind of odd but likely a necessary intermediary step for publishers to make that cognitive leap to accepting digital publishing. At launch, 35 titles will be available for perusal including, Motor Trend, Popular Mechanics, and Time. More titles are expected to debut in the coming weeks.

“You download the Next Issue Media reader once, and all the magazines will be presented there in single format,” Morgan Guenther, CEO of Next Issue Media said. “We think we’ll have a compelling proposition.”

However if the Big Five is counting on this production immediately taking off, well, that’s not likely. NIM requires an app to run—an app only available on Android tablets running Honeycomb. That nobody thought to port this to—much less not build it specifically for—the iPad and its spiffy new Retina display is an inauspicious way to kick off a publishing platform.[allthingsd, AdweekImage: The AP]

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 digital No Comments

Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access to 32 magazines

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/04/next-issue-media-launches-android-honeycomb-newstand-app/

Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access to 32 magazines
If you’ve taken issue with your usual choices for buying magazines on your tablet, be it pay-per-issue or per-subscription, you’re not alone. If you’ll recall, it was nearly a year ago that Next Issue Media launched the preliminary version of its “Hulu-meets-magazines” app on the Galaxy Tab, and it’s finally ready to release this physical newsstand alternative officially. After raking in a slew of deals last November, its Android 3.0 app is now available — users can fork over a monthly fee of $10 to access all of its monthly and bi-weekly content, while an extra five bucks adds in weekly content, essentially giving you access to every publication on offer. Singular subscriptions are also available for two to 10 bucks, and you’ll currently have a choice of 32 mags from the likes of Car and Driver to The New Yorker. Interestingly, TechCrunch notes that NIM plans to get the app over to iOS “soon” — it’ll surely be interesting to see how it competes with Apple’s own Newsstand. You’ll find more info at the via links below, and you can flip over to the source for details about a 30-day trial offer.

Next Issue Media launches on Android, $15 a month for access ! to 32 ma gazines originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Apr 2012 06:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink TechCrunch, TIME, All Things Digital  |  sourceNext Issue Media  | Email this | Comments

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 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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