yesterday

Here’s The Big Problem With Facebook’s New E-Commerce Effort (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-big-problem-with-facebooks-new-ecommerce-effort-2012-9

facebook gifts

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it will sell gifts users can send to their friends.

Chris Dixon, a successful serial investor and one of New York’s most visible startup investors is skeptical it’ll work.

“Getting users to switch ‘modes’ from online to offline (& vice versa) has historically yielded very low conversion rates,” he tweets.

His point is that when people go to people go to Website for one reason, it’s hard to get them to do anything else.

Users go to Amazon to shop, Match.com for a date, and Craigslist for a free sofa. Users go to Facebook to share photos and maybe read news, not buy things.

Just because a new feature from Facebook appears, doesn’t mean users are going to suddenly start going there to use it.

“It’s all about the mental state. Are you sharing photos online [or] giving something offline? The numbers show it’s hard to switch.”

Other cases in which getting users to switch “modes” from offline to online or back again, that hasn’t worked include “showing URLs in TV ads or magazines” or “trying to sell anything on [a] social network.”

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Friday, September 28th, 2012 news No Comments

Giftly, A Startup That Wanted To Make All Gift Cards Digital, Had A Pivotal Moment Yesterday

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/giftly-2012-9

Tim Bently Giftly

Giftly launched last September with nearly $3 million in funding and a dream of making all gift cards mobile.

But after the holiday season struck, founder Tim Bentley and his team of ten started to rethink the product.

Giftly was a location-based gift card service. The sender could pick a venue and gift a friend a small sum to spend there. It used geo-location to unlock the giftcard when the recipient neared the venue.

But Bently found people preferred gifting items over locations. He and his team shifted the company’s vision, so much so that the site now reads, “A Giftly is not a giftcard…it’s better!”

They spent six months creating an iPhone app which went live yesterday. Now Giftly lets users send items or experiences to friends from their mobile devices.

Here’s how it works: A user selects a Facebook friend to send a gifted amount to, up to $250. They then select a suggested venue, but the Giftly can be unlocked and used anywhere by the friend. They also suggest an item for the friend to buy (see screenshot below).

When the friend uses the Giftly, they’re asked to send a quick message of thanks and a photo of the purchase to the user.

At its core, Giftly is a way to send small sums of money to friends, wrapped up in a thoughtful way. If you actually want to send your friend something like flowers or a cupcake, you’re still better off calling an actual store and getting the items delivered. But Bently thinks there’s a use case for people who want an easy way to be thoughtful from time to time.

“When we surveyed our users before, we asked them ! how ofte n they’d buy gift cards for people. They’d usually say twice per year, on birthdays and holidays,” says Bently says of pivot. “We realized we were building a product around giftcards and locations, and we were being too conservative. Really, people give little gifts to each other all the time.”

Here’s what the new app looks like:

giftly

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Newspaper Uses Photoshop to Make Syria Look Worse

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5929952/newspaper-uses-photoshop-to-make-syria-even-worse-somehow

Newspaper Uses Photoshop To Make Syria Look Even Worse SomehowThe Kronen Zeitung is Austria’s largest newspaper, with a daily readership of around three million people. Yesterday, those readers were treated to the image on the left of war-torn Aleppo, bombed out and desperate. Except, as one sharp-eyed Redditor points out, that wasn’t the scene at all. It was just another Photoshop job.

Just to be clear, the family in the photograph is, in fact, in Syria; the original photo (on the right) came from the European Pressphoto Agency. But merely fleeing a city ravaged by guns and mortars apparently isn’t quite dramatic enough on its own. The editors of the Krone—as it’s commonly called—needed this baby to sing.

Using Photoshop to make actresses and models look unrealistically attractive is bad enough. Using it to make a part of the world that has enough problems as it is look even more apocalyptic? That’s just disgraceful. [Facebook via Reddit]

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Sunday, July 29th, 2012 digital 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

If You Miss Tweets Popping Up Automatically On LinkedIn, Startup IFTTT Has A 90-Second Workaround

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-tweet-to-linkedin-2012-6

Yesterday, Twitter cut ties with LinkedIn; tweets will no longer appear on LinkedIn via status updates.

It’s part of Twitter’s effort to control tweet consumption.

If you miss your tweets popping up automatically on LinkedIn, there’s a 90-second workaround using startup IFTTT [via Monica Rogati].

IFTTT creates a series of “If. Then” statements for web applications, like glue that binds the Internet together.

If you want two applications that aren’t currently integrated to work together, like LinkedIn and Twitter, you can create a “recipe” on IFTTT that says,

“If I tweet, then it will appear in my LinkedIn status.”

You can do this by heading to IFTTT and selecting Twitter as the trigger application, and LinkedIn as the action application in your if/then statement.

In 7 quick steps, your tweets will reappear on LinkedIn.

ifttt

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Saturday, June 30th, 2012 news No Comments

The Scariest Thing For Anyone Thinking About Buying The Facebook IPO

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-revenue-growth-ahead-of-ipo-2012-4

Here’s the scariest thing to come out of Facebook’s updated financials yesterday: The company’s growth is rapidly decelerating.

Last quarter it was only up 45%. The quarter before that it was 55%, and the quarter before that it was 104%. 45% is good for most companies, but for a company that’s supposed to be a hot IPO it’s underwhelming, as is the growth trend.

chart of the day, facebook revenue growth ahead of ipo, april 2012

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Groupon Needs To Be VERY Careful, Because The Sharks Are Circling (GRPN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-needs-to-be-very-careful-because-the-sharks-are-circling-2012-4


Diver Shark Attack

Groupon is bleeding in the water, and the sharks are circling.

On Friday, we learned that Groupon under reported the number of returns it had in Q4, and that the company had to revise its earnings.

Then Groupon’s auditor filed a “statement of material weakness,” basically telling the SEC it would not vouch for the company’s numbers.

Yesterday, the WSJ reported that the SEC is investigating the company.

That’s not all the company has to worry about. 

Institutional investors put big money into Groupon’s IPO.  

Since that day’s highs, the stock is down more that 50%. It tanked 16% yesterday alone.

If those institutions can blame somebody else for those losses and recoup any of their own investor’s money, they will.

That means if those investors catch even slight whiffs of fraud out of Groupon – and trust me, they are sniffing – the lawsuits and subpoenas will come in rapid succession.

Ever seen a shark frenzy?

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook’s Magic Number 16%

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebooks-entire-brand-advertising-business-boils-down-to-one-number-16-2012-3

 

Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook

One secret reason why Facebook ad revenues haven’t quite taken off like they should – and are, in fact, decelerating – is that for years now, brands have advertised on Facebook without paying Facebook.

Here’s how they’ve been doing it:

  • Brands build a “page” on Facebook.
  • Facebook users become “fans” of that brand page, thanks in part to ad campaigns off Facebook.
  • The brands post video, photos, or text to the page.
  • That content goes into fans’ News Feeds.
Yesterday, in front of more than 1,000 advertising executives here in New York, Facebook announced a new ad product it hopes will finally convince brands to do more than use Facebook’s free features.
The pitch boils down to a number: 16%
When a Facebook page owner posts a piece of content to their page, and that content gets disperse red into the News Feeds of that page’s fans, only 16% of those fans will actually see that piece of content.
Facebook’s new ad product, called Reach Generator, is supposed to take that number, 16%, and push it toward 100%. Test campaigns pushed it past 95% in some cases.
Basically, when a brand buys into a Reach Generator campaign, Facebook will push posts from that brands page into its fans’ News Feeds, mobile News Feeds, and log-out screen until almost all of that brand’s fans see it.

 

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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 display advertising No Comments

Google Still 80 Percent Of E-Commerce Referrals

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-still-80-percent-of-e-commerce-referralsbut-facebook-up-92-percent-2012-2


Google is still e-commerce’s best friend, at least for the time being. Social is just beginning to change  business online, but search engines still dominate referral traffic to e-commerce sites.

Google alone accounts for over 80 percent of e-commerce traffic referrals, according to a study by RichRelevance. Meanwhile, Facebook made up 0.5 percent of traffic, but that number was up 92 percent from the year prior.

There is some anecdotal evidence that this may be changing. At yesterday’s Social Commerce Summit, Sheezan Bakali, Director of Marketing at hot flash sales startup Fab, indicated that Facebook was its third largest source of traffic after direct traffic and e-mail referrrals. Nonetheless, search still powers e-commerce—for now.

Drivers of E-Commerce Traffic

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 news No Comments

This ‘SHCOOL X-ING’ Sign Has Been Posted Outside A New York School For Months

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-shcool-x-ing-sign-has-been-posted-outside-a-new-york-school-for-months-2012-1


School Crossing

There are many signs that America’s schools are crappy — and now, thanks to a spelling gaffe outside a Lower East Side high school, we are seeing that trend physically manifest itself on the sidewalks of New York City.

Yesterday, The Lo-Down’s Erin Rodriguez spotted a crossing sign outside Marta Valle High School incorrectly spelled “SHCOOL X-NG.”

Jennifer Bain and Jeane Macintosh of The New York Post picked up the story about the embarrassing spelling error, which has apparently gone unnoticed by school officials for months. 

The Post says Marte Valle officials could not be reached, but a spokesman from the Department of Transportation told the publication that the error was made by a utility provider—not the city—after construction was done on the street over the summer.  

The DOT says it is now working on correcting the mistake. 

Don’t miss: What’s Wrong With Education In America?

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Tuesday, January 24th, 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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