Here’s how it will work: If you’re browsing on Amazon but decide not to buy that DVD of “Star Wars,” Amazon will drop a tracking cookie on your browser. When you go elsewhere in Amazon’s exchange network — which includes Amazon, IMDb, DPReview, and various ad exchanges and publishers that Amazon has a relationship with — you might see an ad pop up offering you another chance to buy “Star Wars.”
It’s pretty much exactly what Facebook has done with its FBX RTB exchange. Some analysts believe that Facebook may be able to generate $1 billion a year from FBX.
The advantage Amazon will have, however, is that it can use its vast trove of shopping data to target users with ads based on their purchase histories. Neither Facebook nor Google (which also does RTB retargeting via DoubleClick) can do that. Adweek says:
The self-serve RTB platform would hypothetically function similarly to Facebook’s Ads Manager in terms of how buyers could target their ads. Sources said Amazon is extremely protective of its data and wary of providing outside access, so like Facebook, Amazon’s platform would enable buyers to create targeting segments such as “men; aged 25-34; in Califo! rnia; in terested in high-definition TVs; who have purchased how-to books and home improvement tools.” But Amazon is not about to hand over its customer’s names or individual buying histories.
The three giants — Amazon, Facebook and Google — now face off in RTB like this:
Amazon: Owns the best database of actual shopping history and purchases. This type of data is like gold for advertisers. Clients have long awaited the day when “the sleeping giant,” as it is known in the ad biz, finally wakes up to advertisers. That day has dawned, it seems.
Facebook: Owns the best database of personal information about consumers. 1 billion users strong, with all their interests and friends, it’s terrifically useful stuff for marketers.
Google: Has traditionally dominated the “purchase intent” sector of the category. When people search for “Star Wars DVD” online, that’s a pretty good indicator they want to buy said movie. Google has been serving ads (and retargeting ads) against such requests for years. But its data on shoppers and their histories has never been as good as Amazon’s or Facebook’s.
Disclosure: The author owns Facebook and Google stock.
VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian student group plans to go to court in a bid to make Facebook Inc, the world’s biggest social network, do more to protect the privacy of its hundreds of millions of members.
Privacy campaign group europe-v-facebook, which has been lobbying for better data protection by Facebook for over a year, said on Tuesday it planned to go to court to appeal against decisions by the data protection regulator in Ireland, where Facebook has its international headquarters.
The move is one of a number of campaigns against the giants of the internet, which are under pressure from investors to generate more revenue from their huge user bases but which also face criticism for storing and sharing personal information.
Europe-v-facebook has won some concessions from Facebook, notably pushing it to switch off its facial recognition feature in Europe.
But the group said on Tuesday the changes did not go far enough and it was disappointed with the response of the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, which had carried out an audit after the campaign group filed numerous complaints.
“The Irish obviously have no great political interest in going up against these companies because they’re so dependent on the jobs they c! reate,” europe-v-facebook founder Max Schrems told Reuters.
Gary Davies, Ireland’s deputy data protection commissioner, denied Facebook’s investment in Ireland had influenced regulation of the company.
“We have handled this in a highly professional and focused way and we have brought about huge changes in the way Facebook handles personal data,” he told Reuters.
Schrems, who has filed 22 complaints with the Irish regulator, said more than 40,000 Facebook users who had requested a copy of the data Facebook was holding on them had not received anything several months after making a request.
The law student also questioned why Facebook had only switched off facial recognition for users in the European Union, even though Ireland is the headquarters for all of Facebook’s users outside the United States and Canada.
Facebook is under pressure to reverse a trend of slowing revenue growth by selling more valuable advertising, which requires better profiling of its users.
Investors are losing patience with the social network, whose shares have dropped 40 percent in value since the company’s record-breaking $104 billion initial public offering in May.
Last month, Facebook proposed to combine its user data with that of its recently acquired photo-sharing service Instagram, loosen restrictions on emails between its members and share data with other businesses and affiliates that it owns.
Facebook is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States, where it is charged with violating privacy rights by publicizing users’ “likes” without giving them a way to opt out.
A U.S. judge late on Monday gave his preliminary approval to a second attem! pt to se ttle the case by paying users up to $10 each out of a settlement fund of $20 million.
Ireland also hosts the European headquarters of other high-tech firms including Microsoft and Google thanks to generous tax breaks.
Europe-v-facebook said it believed its Irish lawsuit had the potential to become a test case for data protection law and had a good chance of landing up in the European Court of Justice.
Schrems said the case could cost the group around 100,000 euros ($130,000), which it hoped to raise via crowd-funding – money provided by a collection of individuals – on the Internet.
(Additional reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin; Editing by Mark Potter)
(This story was corrected to fix the headline, lead and the first paragraph to show that the campaign group plans to sue Irish regulator, not Facebook, in the first instance)
Copyright (2012) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions
Consider it a trend: Verizon’s wireless charging 8X variant will work out of the box with U.S. GSM networks. According to Windows Phone Central, users have reported success swapping in AT&T and T-Mobile micro-SIMs, indicating that the devices are shipping unlocked. And it’s not just hearsay either, as we’ve confirmed on our own review unit that this does indeed work. In fact, with the network openness afforded by recent additions like the Droid DNA and iPhone 5, this is quickly becoming more rule for the carrier than exception. Certainly we can all agree that it’s a welcome break from Big Red’s stodgy past.
Typically, when we think of hacks, our minds conjure images of compromised security systems, personal computers or server farms, but printers? According to Neil Smith, a researcher from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team, unauthorized access to those devices could be a very real threat — if you happen to own a Samsung model. Discovered and submitted to the agency this past Monday, the exploit unearthed by Smith takes advantage of an “SNMP backdoor” : an internet protocol that allows for remote network administrative control without authentication. The vulnerability — which would give hackers access to data sent to the printer, as well as control over it (think: ceaseless printing!) — affects most units released before November of this year. For its part, Samsung’s promised a patch will be forthcoming. But, in the meantime, if you want to avoid exposing any personal data or the possibility of a seemingly possessed printer, it’s best you steer clear of rogue WiFi connections.
This holiday season, small retailers are leaving Groupon off their lists as far as sales strategy goes.
This shopping season is the biggest one of the year, and small businesses often rely on sales made during this period to bring them into the black as the year comes to a close.
A sales strategy that didn’t work during the rest of the year is out of the question for the holidays, says Pamela Springer, CEO of online small business network Manta.
This doesn’t bode well for Groupon and other daily deals sites. Only 3percent of retailers got repeat customers out of daily deals promotions, according to a survey Manta released Oct. 30.
“They’re doubling down on things that work, and leaving things that are less proven or they’ve had experience with and didn’t work off to the side,” says Springer.
If businesses aren’t getting repeat customers out of Groupon deals, they’re losing money, says Anthony Bruce, CEO of retail data analyzer Applied Predictive Technology. Groupon often charges businesses as much as half the revenue of a deal sale, which is usually a drastic discount already.
“If there are future purchases that occur because of a Groupon, that’s great,” says Bruce. “If it’s an incremental visit I wouldn’t have gotten anyway, it’s bad. If it’s a visit I would have gotten anyway but did it with a Groupon, that’s terrible.”
Jennifer Untermeyer says she won’t use Groupon this holiday season, because she lost money on the five daily deals she ran last year for her business, TravelKiddy, an online store that sells toys and games to keep kids busy during road trips or plane rides. She ran her first $10 deal for $20 of merchandise on Eversave last November, trying to snag holiday travelers, and ran four more similar deals on niche mom-! themed d eals sites, hoping to score new customers.
It didn’t work.
“We can tell how many people we’ve had repeat, and it’s eight or nine out of 3,000 deals,” she says. “We ended up in an overall loss, even factoring in the marketing benefits.”
Sales chief Kal Raman says Groupon helps businesses retain customers through its reward program, which is sort of like a frequent-flier program for customers. The program helps businesses track purchases a Groupon customer has made, and after a certain level of spending is reached, Groupon automatically sends the customer a free deal.
“We effectively become their loyalty-management company,” says Raman, who sees Groupon as a great way for retailers to sell inventory they’d otherwise be sitting on. “As a small-business owner, you can aim high, and we can hedge that risk.”
Will Ander, senior partner of retail strategy firm McMillan Doolittle, says liquidation is the only good thing Groupon does for small retailers. “It’s more effective than giving it to the Salvation Army.”
Mobile users are heavily engaged on their devices at the shopping mall, according to a recent report by JiWire, a location-based mobile advertising company.
JiWire’s data flows from its network that serves ads to some 50 million mobile users. Enabled by public Wi-Fi access at thousands of sites, JiWire’s ads allow advertisers to target users at malls, restaurants, retail stores, school campuses, airports, and other sites.
JiWire’s latest data reinforces some commonly held ideas about mobile device use, but challenges others. For example, ad requests were heaviest at shopping malls— more so than at restaurants, for example— revealing how mobile devices have become a valued tool for shopping and leisure.
Other data showed surprising patterns. Ad requests were higher at hotels than at retail stores. And, finally, big-box stores saw more mobile ad requests than specialized retailers like clothing and electronic stores, despite all the hand-wringing over showrooming.
Apple still hasn’t made much of a commitment to selling into and serving big companies, at least relative to traditional corporate IT vendors like Microsoft, but Apple’s products continue to sell themselves.
British bank Barclays just placed an order for 8,500 iPads for its branch network, Matt Brian of The Next Web reports. This is believed to be the largest single order placed in the UK.
The company says it reviewed other tablet options but went with iPad because its employees insisted on it.
The bank wants to use an app called “Mortgage Brain” that was developed by a bank consortium and will allow branch employees to better serve customers.
The IR reseller who handled the iPad order says that it is seeing “increased uptake” of Apple products among other corporate clients. Apple has often talked about the “consumerization of the enterprise,” in which employees drive corporate purchases, as being a key trend driving its business. This trend shows no signs of slowing.
That such a large order was placed for iPads on the heels of the launch of Microsoft’s Surface tablet and Windows 8 doesn’t bode well for Microsoft. Microsoft now finally has a tablet in market, so when customers choose Apple or Android equipment, it’s no longer simply a matter of Microsoft not having a product to sell.
Following that iFixit teardown of the Nexus 4, it looks like LG and Google did kit out their new flagship with LTE after all—at least, there’s a Qualcomm multi-band LTE chip in there—it’s just not active. But why whack in a 4G chip and not bother to use it?
There are a couple of theories. The first is network restriction: perhaps one or more mobile carriers have called dibs on an LTE-equipped version to be “released” at a later date. Another theory, as suggested by Ars Technica is that LG’s just left the chip in there as a throw over from the Optimus G, on which the Nexus 4 is based, to reduce manufacturing streams. That’s possible, but why put a chip in there that costs you extra cash if you weren’t going to use it?
On the bright side, perhaps now we’ll have a reason for people to actually root stock Android. Maybe, just maybe, someone will be able to activate that dormant LTE chip and gift the Nexus 4 with 4G. That really would make Google’s flagship absolutely killer. [iFixit via Ars Technica]
Our newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.
According to the recent study, based on 2.3 million views by 6.7 million unique users, users will start abandoning “short” videos after two seconds, and that 20 percent have moved on after five seconds. As far as the study is concerned, “short” equals “less than 30 minutes,” so you can probably imagine the migration happens even faster when you’re talking about a one or two minute clip. Viewers waiting for longer flicks (probably films) are willing to put up with a lot more BS.
This mass buffering exodus isn’t the same across the board however. A user’s patience also depends on the type of network they’re using. Fiber, Cable, and DSL users are all pretty similarly impatient, but mobile users are far more likely to wait around staring at the buffering animation like a chump, which isn’t all too surprising.
Where do you stand on the Internet video waiting game? Does two seconds sound like an instant, or more like an eternity? [GigaOM]
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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