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drop photos, trials simplified Timeline and delivers new privacy controls

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/facebook-lets-us-drag-and-drop-to-upload-photos/

Facebook lets us draganddrop to upload photos, toys with a simplified Timeline

Anyone who’s returned from an event with a virtual armful of photos may have been frustrated with Facebook’s upload interface, which until now has involved a less-than-intuitive file browser. The company is quietly solving that problem: an update pushing out to individual users lets them drag-and-drop photos into a new post, like we’ve seen on other social networks, and to a newly streamlined Messages format that’s rolling out at the same time. A much smaller circle is seeing a second update. Facebook has confirmed to ABC News that it’s conducting limited trials of an updated Timeline that moves the news feed to a single column, replaces the thumbnail navigation with simpler-looking tabs and makes all profile page information available through scrolling. A spokesperson wouldn’t say if or when the new Timeline would reach the wider public, but history points to “when” being more likely. They did however mention that the new privacy shortcuts, activity log and untagging tool would be going live for all users starting tonight, and we’ve already seen them pop up on some of our accounts.

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Via: The Verge!

Source: Inside Facebook, ABC News (1), (2)

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Friday, December 21st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Groupon’s Stock Is On Fire And No One Knows Why (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-stock-2012-12

Groupon is on tear today for some reason.

The stock was up as much as 24%, and we’re not sure why.

The only thing we can think of is that there’s new news about CEO Andrew Mason, but we haven’t heard anything.

grpn

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

The Windows 8 Sales Data Is In, And It’s Horrible News For Microsoft (MSFT)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-windows-8-sales-data-is-in-and-its-horrible-news-for-microsoft-2012-11

Steve Ballmer facepalmNPD research published some horrible news for Microsoft yesterday.

  • Despite releasing an entirely new operating system on October 22 of this year, Windows PC sales shrank 21% between 10/21 and 11/17 versus the same period last year.
  • Windows 8 tablet sales during that period were “almost nonesistent” – just 1% of all Windows 8 sales.

“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either,” Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD, told the New York Times. “It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.”

No kidding.

Yesterday, we reported other bad news:

  • Asus CFO David Chang’s comments that “demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”
  • Microsoft cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million.

This is a very scary time for Microsoft.

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Pay TV May Not Be Dead, But It’s Dead In The Water

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-pay-net-additions-2012-11

Some people think the pay TV business is on its deathbed. These numbers from Bernstein Research’s Craig Moffett, via Peter Kafka, don’t hurt that argument.

As you can see, subscriber growth has been just about flat for the last two years. This is good news because it means people aren’t ditching pay TV in droves. But it’s bad news because it means the industry is stuck.

chart of the day, pay tv net additions, total yoy subscribers growth, nov 2012

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Friday, November 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Google’s Search Results Page Looks Different Now

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5958651/googles-search-results-page-looks-different-now

Google's Search Results Page Looks Different NowGoogle search results are like the old beat up recliner of the internet. Your butt’s always there, and if anything changes, you notice. Well, Google changed the way its search results look. It’s a relatively small change, but you’re going to notice.

The biggest difference is that the bar along the left hand side of your searches is gone. This is where you used to break your search down into News, or whatever else. That function is now at the top of your results, along with the also relocated Search Tools. Search Tools moving means you don’t have those two butt ugly calendars with custom dates in your line of sight, which is a plus. This change has been live a day or two, and should only be a negative if you’re running a ton of searches (it’s been killing me).

Google is also featuring information from Google’s Knowledge Graph for popular searches, like “barack obama”, “mitt romney”, and “presidential election”, for example. So! Google’s a little prettier, and it’s rearranged the furniture a bit. Seems like a nice, small change, right? [BuzzFeed]

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook’s Latest Move Shows How Hard It Is To Get People To Check In (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-social-wi-fi-check-ins-2012-11

Facebook check-ins

Facebook might have found a way to get people to use a long-neglected feature: check-ins, where you announce to your friends where you are.

It is testing a new service that offers local businesses free Wi-Fi through a router. To get online, customers must either check in using Facebook or get a passcode.

Facebook will provide the router for free, but businesses must pay for the Internet connection.

How does this help businesses? The check-in offers two chances for them to get free promotion on Facebook.

When users check in, they post their location with the business’s name on their Timeline and on friends’ News Feeds.

After they check in and get access, they’re directed to the business’s Facebook page. If they click Like on that page, that action also gets broadcast.

Facebook, in turn, can try to get the business to buy ads that make these check-ins and Likes more prominent in the News Feeds of customer’s friends.

In order to access Facebook Wi-Fi, customers must first check in to the local business. After checking in, the router directs you to the business’s Facebook page, which may have deals or discounts.

Facebook tells us this actually started as a hackathon project. That’s why they’re only testing the service at a few local businesses for now. Back-of-the-envelope math suggests it would take a lot of ad spending to earn back the cost of the router.

In theory, this might be a threat to Foursquare, whose mobile app centers around check-ins. A lot of people worried about Foursquare when Facebook first launched check-ins in 2010.

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But the real problem that Facebook and Foursquare seem to face is apathy. Only 10 percent of adults use check-in services, according to a Pew Internet study conducted in May. For smartphone users, the number is a little higher at 18 percent. But so far, the prospect of deals and discounts hasn’t proved compelling for most people.

Even Foursquare has started talking about how people use its app without checking in to find local information.

Maybe free Wi-Fi will prove a better incentive.

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Obama Gets A Hurricane Sandy Bump, Pulls Back Into A Tie With Mitt Romney

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-hurricane-sandy-bump-wapo-poll-2012-10

Bolstered by his response to Hurricane Sandy, President Barack Obama gained one point to pull back into a tie with Mitt Romney in the latest Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll.

According to the survey, 78 percent of likely voters polled had positive views of the way that the president has handled the “super storm” – a number that includes two-thirds of Romney’s supporters. In contrast, just 44 percent of those surveyed had a net positive view of how the Republican candidate responded to the storm. 

The chart below breaks down those results: 

wapo abc news poll chart sandy response

It is too early to tell, however, if that support for Obama will affect his overall standing in the race. The results of the four-day tracking survey include only one night of interviews with voters after the storm hit, so we will have to wait for Thursday and Friday’s results to see if the storm has any real effect on the dynamics of the presidential race. 

Overall, Obama and Romney are tied, 49% to 49%, among likely voters. Those numbers are consistent with the rest of the poll’s results, which have shown the race between one point since daily tracking began on October 18. 

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook’s Revenue Deceleration Is Over! (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-facebook-revenue-2012-10

The reason Facebook tanked after its IPO is that revenue growth decelerated for the past several quarters. 

That’s not good for a story with Facebook’s revenue and profit multiples. It needs to be growing very fast.

So it was very good news for Facebook today, when it reported earnings that showed the company has finally stabilized revenue growth – 32% last quarter and 32% this quarter. You can see this in the chart below.

What this chart doesn’t show is the even better news that Facebook has actually re-accelerated its advertising revenues – up to 32% y/y this quarter from 28% y/y last quarter.

chart of the day, facebook revenue growth, oct 2012

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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Just Launched Its Next Billion-Dollar Business (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-paid-app-installs-2012-10

mark zuckerberg

For months, Facebook has been testing a new kind of ad on mobile devices—ads for other apps.

Now it’s officially launched the app-ad program to all developers.

Here’s how it works: Developers place ads on Facebook’s website and its mobile apps. When users install their apps, developers pay a fee.

Because Facebook has a huge audience, and because its fast-growing base of mobile users have already shown they’re willing to download Facebook’s own app, it’s a natural audience for these ads. TinyCo, a mobile games maker, reported having 50 percent higher click-through rates. Companies like Zoosk, the online-dating service, and Fab, the e-commerce site, have also been running ads in tests.

Facebook has been swiftly laying the groundwork for this business, first launching its App Center, a centralized place for promoting apps, in May and rolling it out internationally.

Having proven it can drive traffic to apps through the App Center and through ads placed in Facebook users’ News Feeds, Facebook’s now seeking to make money off of that traffic.

Here’s a bonus: It keeps iPhone and Android developers, who might otherwise favor tools built into Apple and Google’s mobile platforms, loyal to Facebook, s! ince add ing Facebook’s social features to their apps is pretty much a requirement to get distribution—paid or unpaid—on Facebook.

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Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5948948/facebook-is-reading-your-messages-and-liking-things-for-you

Facebook Is Reading Your Messages and Liking Things For YouYou might think clicking “Like” is the only way to stamp that public FB affirmation on something—you’re wrong. Facebook is checking your private messages and automatically liking things you talk about. Without asking you.

The scanning, which is either an oversight on Facebook’s part of a deliberate effort—we’re waiting to hear back from FB—increases the Like count for a given page just by you talking about it. Auto-scanning is nothing new: Gmail has done it since day one to serve us ads. But there are serious potential personal consequences here—what if I’m talking about something disgusting, loathsome, and offensive with a friend? Do I want Facebook to automatically chalk that up as a Like? No. And I doubt you do either.

The auto-liking could also be a big deal for those who want to artificially inflate their popularity online—say, people with something to sell. “Yeap, it won’t drive any traffic to your website. But if your [sic] visiting an online store and you see a lot of likes under the product then this might cloud your judgement,” notes one commenter on Hacker News, where the mechanism was first reported.

Facebook Is Reading Your Messages and Liking Things For You

To test the auto-scanning, message this link to a friend—it should increase the like count by two. I was able to independently verify the same effect by messaging a link to singer The-Dream’s official page to a friend. It increased his Likes without me ever clicking the button. As much as I truly to Like (and love!) The-Dream, this isn’t how it’s supposed to work, Facebook.

So uh, yeah, in the meantime, hang tight, and maybe don’t send that private message about incest and Al-Qaeda. [Hacker News via Forbes]

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012 Uncategorized 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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