Friday, December 20, 2013

Zuckerberg selling $2.3 billion in stock

With his stock ringing up all-time highs, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is cashing out $2.3 billion worth of holdings and jingling his sleigh bells says Scott Martin of the USA Today.

Zuckerberg's stock sale, in part to pay taxes, comes as the CEO is handing a $1 billion donation worth of shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The gift will boost his philanthropic efforts in education, including to local school districts. It's an interest shared by his wife, who went into teaching after Harvard, and one that has landed him teaching in a nearby school.

The personal stock sale is timed to the company offering shares worth $1.5 billion along with investor and board member Marc Andreessen cashing out about $91.4 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Based on Wednesday's closing price of $55.57, the 70 million total shares offered would be worth about $3.9 billion.

Wall Street tends to get nervous over such sizable insider stock sales with concerns of the increased share dilution in the market and fears an insider's sale is an indicator of the company's direction. Shares of Facebook on Thursday fell 1% to $55.05 in trading on the news.

Zuckerberg's stock sale to help pay taxes, connected to an option to purchase shares, could provide reason to allay concerns.

"It is common for insiders who have almost all of their eggs in one basket to sell some shares in order to diversify their personal wealth and, in Mark Zuckerberg's case, to pay taxes, which is why investors do not get even more concerned," says University of Florida professor Jay Ritter.

Facebook shares may also enjoy some insulation from market whiplash as the company is set to see a catalyst to the stock for its upcoming inclusion on the S&P 500.

"The Facebook share sale thus comes at a good time — just when the demand for shares of Facebook from index funds is increasing," Ritter says.

The social-networking giant said it plans to use the proceeds of the sale for working capital and general corporate purposes. Facebook said it may use a portion of the proceeds for "acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies, or other assets," according to the regulatory filing.

Facebook's follow-on stock sale is the first since the company went public in May 2012, a move that comes as shares have rebounded more than twofold in the past year.

The stock sale at Facebook arrives just a day before the company joins the S&P 500 Index. Zuckerberg will use the sale to pay off taxes related to exercising an option to purchase 60 million shares.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Facebook Acquires Sportstream

Facebook is continuing to acquire and dominate the social media market with another acquisition. This time is Sportstream. Here are the company's thoughts.

Every day, people come to Facebook to connect with one another about what’s going on in the world around them. And we are committed to making this experience better and easier. As part of Facebook’s continued effort to improve the ability for people to connect through their shared interests, we are excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire SportStream.

SportStream is a San Francisco based company that enables content producers and broadcasters to aggregate, filter and display sports data in real-time.

From the 30 million people in the U.S. talking about the NFL during opening weekend to Kobe Bryant announcing his return to the Lakers via his Facebook Page earlier this month, a spirited conversation about sports is happening on Facebook both in real-time and over the water cooler the day after. We want to help people connect with their passion around sports, and the world more generally. If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook. From favorite television shows to breaking news, these conversations are happening on Facebook.

Through this acquisition, we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs. SportStream’s demonstrated track record of surfacing interesting and engaging content, along with their deep understanding of our products, means that we will be able to build a better experience for the people who use Facebook, and for our partners who depend on us for real-time insights.

We’re excited to continue investing in helping people connect through their shared interests on Facebook. The addition of this new team will enable us to work more closely with media partners as we continue to invest in more robust tools and APIs, as well as the technology partners who have integrated the Keyword Insights and Public Feed APIs into their product suite.

Moreover, we look forward to welcoming SportStream to our Menlo Park campus, and to continuing to work closely with our partners to bring highly engaging content to the more than 1 billion people on Facebook.

Donate Button To Nonprofits Through Facebook

Now this is something that I personally love to see Facebook do. They are making it easy to donate to non-profits like St. Jude Children's Hospital by adding a Donate Button. 

Today we’re starting to roll out a new feature called Donate that lets people contribute directly to nonprofits through Facebook. The Donate feature will appear beside Posts in News Feed shared by participating nonprofits and at the top of their Facebook Pages. When people click "Donate Now" they can choose the amount, enter their payment information, and immediately donate to that cause. They also have the option to share the nonprofit’s post with their friends. We hope this will help increase donations as people encourage their friends to donate to the causes that are important to them.
Donate to Nonprofits Through Facebook

In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. In November 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, we partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross to let people donate directly to the Red Cross’s relief efforts in the Philippines. After seeing the generosity of people around the world toward this effort, we’ve been inspired to help everyone donate, at any time, to the organizations they care about most.

Donate also gives nonprofits an easier way to reach out and ask for help, both to support their everyday mission and in the wake of major disasters. And, with a community of over one billion people on Facebook, every local cause can become a global one — and every global cause can become a personal movement.

As we developed this feature, we partnered with a few nonprofits and will make it available to more organizations soon. Any nonprofit group that is interested in tapping into this new feature on Facebook can fill out the Donate interest form in the Facebook Help Center.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to any of the following nonprofit organizations can visit their Facebook Page and start giving today. 

Donate to Nonprofits Through Facebook
Oxfam America

Donors Choose


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Nature Conservancy

Malaria No More

Girls Inc.

World Wildlife Fund

Boys & Girls Clubs of America



St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

American Cancer Society

Blue Star Families



United Nations World Food Programme

The Red Cross

Commercials In Facebook News Feed

Facebook is about to give us the dreaded commercials that many folks avoid by DVR. Can we please have a DVR for Facebook. Sigh.

Here is what Facebook is pitching now.

Since September, we have been testing an easier way to watch videos shared by friends. Without having to click or tap play, videos come to life in News Feed and start playing without sound. Through the course of this test, we’ve seen a more than 10% increase in people watching, liking, sharing and commenting on videos. It’s a better experience for people and it’s leading to increased engagement.

This week, we’re starting to test this richer storytelling format for advertisers. Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns, particularly when brands want to increase awareness and attention over a short period of time. From launching new products to shifting brand sentiment, this video format is ideal for marketers who are looking to make a large-scale impact, and for people who will discover more great content in their News Feeds.

For this test, we’re working with Summit Entertainment and Mindshare to promote a series of videos for the upcoming film, Divergent. Some people will see these video ads come to life as they scroll through News Feed on mobile and desktop. Here’s how it will work:
Rather than having to click or tap on the content, videos will begin to play as they appear on screen — without sound — similar to how they behave when shared by friends now. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll past it.

If the video is clicked or tapped and played in full screen, the sound for that video will play as well
At the end of the video, a carousel featuring two additional videos will appear, making it easy to discover more content from the same marketer

On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to WiFi — meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback
This format isn’t intended for every video ad or Page post video on Facebook; it meets specific needs for certain marketers with certain objectives. We’ll continue to refine this new way for brands to tell stories on Facebook to ensure the best experience for people and marketers.

Have a look below to see this new feature in action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which videos start playing in News Feed?

At this time, videos start playing from:
Individuals (personal Facebook accounts or verified Pages)
Some Pages, like those of entertainers and sports organizations
Summit Entertainment’s content for Divergent

Is there a way to prevent these video ads from playing as they appear on screen?
The video ads will begin to play as you scroll through News Feed, but if you don’t want to watch, you can simply keep scrolling and the video will stop playing. Video ads that start playing when they appear on screen are pre-downloaded when you are on WiFi so they do not consume additional data.

When do videos play with sound?

Videos will not play with sound unless you turn the sound on. To do this, click or tap on the video.
When will all people start seeing videos from brands play as they appear on screen? 
When will all marketers be able to have videos play as they appear on screen?

This is an initial, limited test. We will let you know if/when the product becomes more widely available.

Will the pricing structure for these types of video ads be similar to the current Page post video offering?

We do not disclose pricing. The goal for this test feature is to be a premium advertising format on Facebook, intended to reach a large audience at specific times.

Eventually, will all promoted videos begin playing as they appear on screen?

This is an initial, limited test. We’ll determine future uses based on what we learn from this test.
How is this feature different from Page post video ads?

This premium feature is specifically designed for awareness campaigns that are meant to reach a large number of people to increase interest in a brand, product or content, in a short amount of time. Page post video ads can then come into play to sustain the message of this initial campaign over longer time periods, in more targeted ways.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Twitter Testing New Location Tweet

New Twitter mobile app capability displays tweets from people based on their tagged location, users report.

Twitter wants to follow your location and is testing ways to share it with your neighbors.

According to reports, some users have discovered a new feature in the official Twitter apps called "Nearby." Kristin Burnham says Nearby is a separate timeline that displays tweets from people within a certain distance of you who have the location tagging option enabled. Users must have location tagging enabled in order to see the Nearby feed.

According to screen shots from the Wall Street Journal, the new timeline shows a map of your location at the top and a feed of tweets from people nearby -- whether you follow them or not -- below it. Users reportedly can manipulate the map to show tweets from other nearby locations.

If Twitter makes this feature a permanent fixture, it will be a more intuitive and accurate way to surface tweets based on location. Presently, users can search for location hashtags or browse trends based on location, but can't pinpoint conversations happening nearby. Such a feature could also mean more location-based advertising.

Although Nearby might be new, location tagging is not: Twitterlaunched it in 2010. Should the social network roll it out to everyone, it's unlikely to cause a stir among privacy advocates: The location-tagging feature is off by default and requires you to opt in.

To add location tags to your tweets, visit your Twitter settings page and click the "Security and privacy" tab. Find this option below the Privacy section.

Enabling this setting will append latitude and longitude coordinates to your tweet when you use the Twitter mobile app, or append a place such as a city or neighborhood if you are using or other clients that allow you to add a general location.

If you opt in, you can still choose not to share your location for individual tweets, depending on the application you use. If you have enabled this option and no longer want it, uncheck the box on your "Security and privacy" page, then click the "Delete all location information" button.

AllThingsD first reported in April that Twitter employees tested a similar feature in Boston, around the time of the marathon bombings. The feature reportedly came out of the company's "hack week."

Twitter has rolled out a number of features in the last few weeks. Most recently, it announced a mobile app redesign that supports sending and receiving photos in direct messages, helping it compete with overseas rivalsKakao, Sina Weibo and Line.

Last week, Twitter made news when it retracted changes to its blocking policy just hours after announcing them. Under the short-lived changes, blocked users were still able to retweet and favorite your posts. This meant that the only way to prevent someone from following you would be to change your account to private.

Google To Boost Advertising Appeal for YouTube, Google Plus

Google is boosting brand advertising appeal for YouTube and Google Plus says Angelina Bouc. All signs point to a significant growth in digital brand advertising. eMarketer advises the growth is expected to explode between 2014 through 2017, in the arena of up to $31 billion spent by advertisers. Currently, digital brand advertising sits at a modest and note-worthy $18 billion annually. Google alone collected over $5 billion in gross revenues for 2013 and is looking to increase that number.

An increase in interest, requires reorganization

To draw advertisers to their doors, Google is promoting a benefit not commonly seen by other platforms. For advertisers, being seen is key, a repetitive dance of “click me, buy me, use me.” Yet, many have faced stumbling blocks in the face of adblockers, which remove any point of contact between viewer and advertiser. It seems Google empathizes with their advertisers pain and decided to bump up one key feature. Advertisers will no longer have to pay for an ad that is purposely blocked by the viewer. Google will gather the information and formulate a price for the advertiser, sans adblockers.

This spark of creative genius could mean placing pressure on companies like Apple to do the same. By allowing the concept of true visual interaction, Google is boosting the brandadvertising appeal for both YouTube and Google Plus. Recently, the largest web search company split its ad business into two different divisions. One is focused on brand appeal, the second focuses on performance ads – calling forth the intrigue of advertisers around the globe. This sort of dedicated business acumen can be seen as a win-win situation for both advertisers and Google.

Digital brand advertising is good business for Google

While the biggest drive is defined on YouTube, Google is also promoting advertising spots with Google Plus and its Android mobile division. Head of sales and marketing for YouTube, Lucas Watson, is excited to embrace the aspect of digital brand advertising. He stated the move to correlate brands and Google is, “enormous” and he expects “massive growth” from the initiation of the digital advertising call-out.

YouTube is such a fundamental part of exposing brand advertising, because the sheer amount of users. More people are turning off their televisions and hitting online streaming. YouTube recently introduced a paid videos avenue, where users can watch some of their favorite movies, by paying a reduced cost. Much like HuluPlus and NetFlix, YouTube will be re-organizing its interface to appeal to advertisers.

In the new year, expect a visual change on YouTube’s site. Google is focusing on redesigning the access of videos, by separating them into genres; such as sports, health, comedy, etc. GroupM Global, the largest buyer of digital media is looking forward to the changes. Its chief digital officer, Rob Norman stated that YouTube will start to resemble “a cable TV line-up,” rather than the current setup, which can seem like a quagmire of videos for many users.

Previous to the changes, Google always held a firm stance against implementing tools like Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings. Now to boost their advertising appeal, it seems they are backtracking and opening the door to determine the measure of performance for advertisers. YouTube was once the stomping grounds of fun and interactive video play. It seems the need for advertising is becoming king of revenue and to participate, changes are coming.

From reducing the costs to advertisers if their ad is blocked, to reorganizing the interface, users will start to see a refreshed approach to how YouTube and Google Plus is handled. Google is looking to boost brand advertising appeal for those two outlets, significantly over the next year. The changes can certainly provide a point of serious digital, brand advertising for larger companies. What hasn’t been recognized is the consideration of current viewers and if the changes will start to re-categorize how user uploads are handled. The concept of change is a positive one, especially to compete in the digital market.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Large Increase In Twitter Stock.

Twitter has made a ton of money the past 7 trading days moving up as much as 25%.

Range         55.45 - 58.26
52 week     38.80 - 58.26
Open          56.20
Vol / Avg.  27.14M/16.19M
Mkt cap      31.17B

After dropping to a low of 38.80 a share Twitter has rebounded quite nicely with the last 7 days or so being the best run of the stock to date.

Twitter is up nearly 3% today nearing the $60.00 mark and could very well reach that before the bell sounds to close trading for the weekend.

I remember saying wait a week or two then buy strong when Twitter IPO'ed then hold for a year and sell. I wish I would have listened to myself. :)

Facebook New Plan To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars

Facebook is making a major play on Youtube and TV is would appear. One of my favorite bloggers 
in the world Josh Constine from was able to attain a copy of Facebook's attack plan.
Read his article here and think about what this would mean in value for Facebook.

“Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube – leave the impression of the user experience up to them” Facebook tells its adtech partners in a leaked, confidential deck that teaches them to sell Facebook’s video ads. The 32-page document details Facebook’s plan to beat television with reach and YouTube with targeting, and spills the beans about an overhaul to video insights slated for Q1 2014.

If Facebook’s plan works, it could lure in tons of ad revenue as marketers shift their focus from television to digital.

The full “Facebook For Business: Video On Facebook” presentation including slides and Facebook’s notes is splayed out below. It was sent to Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer partners in late November to teach them to sell video ads to their clients. [Correction: This was sent to marketers, not presented at a meeting.] Facebook used NDAs to try to keep the presentation away from the public, but I’ve attained a copy.

Facebook’s pitch for video ads breaks down to three things, as explained in this excerpt from the presentation:
1.You want to be where people are. Changing consumer behavior should shape where you spend your marketing dollars.
2.You want to reach all of the people who matter to you. Facebook has unparalleled targeted reach.
3.You want to be in the most engaging digital real estate, which, as you just saw, is Facebook’s News Feed.
Fighting TV With Reach

It doesn’t take long for Facebook to start bluntly insulting the stalwart advertising medium. “Gone are the days when a family gathered around their TV on Sunday night to connect with the outside world. Television is no longer a guaranteed way to reach and engage your target audience,” Facebook writes. It cites an eMarketer studying saying time spent on digital will surpass TV in 2013, and notes people open their phone 100 times a day and Facebook 10-15 times a day.

Facebook then hits hard with graphs and Nielsen stats, saying that each major TV network only reach 55% to 61% of 18-24 year olds during prime time, but Facebook reaches 70%. Facebook later hawks its “Blast” campaigns that let brands reach the majority of people on Facebook with a video ad within one to three days.

Other than Google, few digital companies have the ability to reach an entire populace, which classically could only be found on TV. Facebook slams other digital properties, stating ”A lot of time is spent by people on mobile with Google properties, YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest…And more total time is spent on mobile on Facebook and Instagram than all of those combined.” It’s that scale, the ability to reach hundreds of millions of people quickly, that Facebook hopes will attract the world’s biggest advertisers.
Fighting YouTube And TV With Targeting

“On TV, advertisers don’t always know who people are, and over deliver to certain people and can’t reach other people. So advertisers end up hitting the same people over and over again with a large portion of the audience being underexposed.” Again, Facebook isn’t pulling punches here.

One of the social network’s greatest assets is its trove of ad-fueling personal data. Users pour demographic and interest data into their profiles to share with friends and be found, but Facebook also leverages that data to be able to pinpoint them with relevant ads. Taking a dig at YouTube where a lot of demographic data is inferred indirectly and not always accurately, Facebook writes “In narrowly targeted campaigns, the average online reach is 38% accurate, but on Facebook, our average reach is 89% accurate.”

Facebook also touts that users volunteer to watch video ads on its platform instead of being required to watch on YouTube, so the impressions should be valued higher. “When you use video on Facebook, these are chosen views – the consumers clicks to play or scrolls through to watch the video as compared to an ad on YouTube interrupting the user experience and feeling forced.”

Still, Facebook doesn’t want its ad partners coming off as bullies so it explains “Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube.” Instead, partners are supposed to lay out the facts and just imply YouTube is inferior.

Except that it isn’t, at least not right now. And Facebook admits that.


Currently, we only report on video plays, which is a weakness compared to YouTube, which reports on video views, completed views, and average duration of view. We are working on building out our video insights to give advertisers a better sense for how videos are performing. New video insights target launch: Q1 2014. [NOTE: Video insights improvements are highlight (sic) confidential]“

So by next year, Facebook’s video ad insights will be a better match for YouTube, but until then, partners are supposed to cite metrics about likes and comments, larger ad images, and a more “streamlined” post-click experience. The fact is that Television is the status quo for advertisers, and YouTube’s roadblock ads (even if you can skip them after five seconds) work similarly to traditional TV commercials. That means Facebook still has an uphill climb in selling its video ads.

While users might be scared that these video ads will stick out like sore thumbs on Facebook, the company is actually in the middle of a push to bring a lot more organic, user generated video to the site. It’s now rolling out its new auto-play video feature on the web and mobile. Facebook mentions videos ads you “scroll through”, which could be a subtle way of noting that auto-play video ads are coming.

But the big thing absent from this deck is measurement. TV and some other online ad platforms have a tough time proving that marketing spend on them generates a return on investment. Facebook may be discounting one of its most potent weapons in the ad war. Online, Facebook hooks into sales information through cookies, hashed CRM data, and Autofill With Facebook. Offline, brick and mortar data providers like Datalogix and Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool let advertisers see if showing someone an ad made them buy more.

It may not be the platform with the biggest reach, targeting, or engagement that captures the ad dollars fleeing television in print, but the one that can best prove its ads actually work.

More on Facebook’s big video push:

Facebook Puts The News Feed In Motion

Facebook Videos Now Auto-Play On Mobile, Expect Video Ads Soon

Full leaked video ads deck below with Facebook’s presenter notes as captions.

Before we dive in, I want to give you a peek at what we mean by ‘video on Facebook.’
We aren’t talking about video ads on the right column of desktop or even just in desktop News Feed – we are talking about video delivered in the palm of your hand wherever you go. Video that takes up almost the entire mobile screen and plays seamlessly in line. This is video on Facebook.

There couldn’t be a better time to invest in video on Facebook. Why? Three critical components of successful marketing are aligned to drive your business results:
1. You want to be where people are. Changing consumer behavior should shape where you spend your marketing dollars.
2. You want to reach all of the people who matter to you. Facebook has unparalleled targeted reach.
3. You want to be in the most engaging digital real estate, which, as you just saw, is Facebook’s News Feed.

If you want people to see your brand messages, you have to reach them where they are spending time.

Consumers are changing the way they spend their time – with more and more people spending time on digital.
Gone are the days when a family gathered around their TV on Sunday night to connect with the outside world.
Television is no longer a guaranteed way to reach and engage your target audience

To get the best perspective on the changes taking place now, it might help to go back to the 50’s
That was the last time a new medium came along to capture the most time per day of people: TV surpassed radio
It was such an important medium that people significantly expanded the amount of time they spent with media
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013

Television quickly became the focus for people, and soon thereafter the advertising industry, and it ruled for over 50 years
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013

In the 90’s, we saw a new shift: people began to spend time on Digital media as well
And, according to eMarketer, in 2013 the amount of time people spend per day on Digital media will surpass television
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013

It’s important to point out that it was mobile (smartphones and tablets) that not only pushed Digital to this inflection point, but is also now the majority of time spent on Digital
And once again, people are adding to the total time they spend with media as they leverage the power of mobile to remain connected to the people and things they care about throughout the day
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, July 2013

Looking forward, it’s not hard to imagine time spent with Digital continuing to increase, and Mobile taking an even more dominant share of that time as technology makes staying connected even easier
Even if you haven’t been investing in TV to date, this data should cause you to stop in your tracks because it speaks to the fact that we’re all now operating in a new paradigm and we have to take digital seriously
Source: “Mobile helps propel digital time spent’, eMarketer, August 2013

We can all relate to the shift of consumption to mobile because, for many of us, it’s now a device that is with us all day, every day.
In fact, people check their phone 100x/ day and they check Facebook 10-15x/day.

Facebook’s role in the shift to mobile comes to life in terms of time spent on mobile.
A lot of time is spent by people on mobile with Google properties, YouTube, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Twitter and Pinterest
And more total time is spent on mobile on Facebook and Instagram than all of those combined
In fact, Facebook and Instagram make up 21% of total time spent on mobile.
In the end, as marketers, this type of engagement gives you significant opportunities to connect with your core consumers.

But, it’s not just about the engagement we’re seeing on mobile. Facebook’s scale and targeting capabilities enable you to reach all of the people who matter to you.

In the US, you can reach 179M people every month. Many of these people are on Facebook every single day. In fact, you can reach 128M people every day in the US and 101M people every day on mobile.

[Customize this slide with your client’s demographics]
On this slide is an audience example for gamers, 18-34 in the US. It is based off of the FB BCT ‘Console Gaming,’ which includes ‘People that have liked pages related to console gaming or otherwise expressed interest in console gaming on Facebook.’

Facebook can help you access customer segments that have typically been hard or very expensive to reach. The size of our global audience coupled with our targeting capabilities enables advertisers to find audiences who they may not be able to find consistently or at scale on other media platforms.
For example, on TV, advertisers don’t always know who people are, and over deliver to certain people and can’t reach other people. So advertisers end up hitting the same people over and over again with a large portion of the audience being underexposed.
With Facebook, you can precisely reach the audience you want, and know that your impressions are being delivered to the right people.
*Data: Network 1: 56%, Network 2: 55%, Network 3: 61%, Network 4: 59%, FB: 70%
Uses Nielsen’s TV/Internet/ Mobile Data Fusion panel to measure differences in reach between Facebook (PC + Mobile) and TV networks looking at a full month of data.

But, you may be wondering how to consider Facebook in relation to your investment in TV advertising.
Facebook delivers incremental reach above TV, particularly for the highly coveted 25-34 demo
During daytime, Facebook can increase reach above each of the major broadcast networks by 125 to 160+% among 25 to 34 year olds.
During Primetime, Facebook can increase reach by 25% to 38% among 25 to 34 year olds.
Key Takeaway: Content consumption has changed dramatically in the past few years — shifting meaningfully toward digital channels, particularly mobile. As a result, online, and Facebook particularly, are able to deliver audiences at a scale that allows marketers to either efficiently drive incremental reach on top of TV or execute cross media campaigns with massive reach.
NOTE: Significant incremental reach among 18-24 year olds as well (see slides in appendix)
Daytime: 81-95%
Primetime: 56% – 78%

People are themselves Facebook, which means we can deliver more accurate targeting, based on real information about our users. This also means that advertisers can deliver the most relevant and resonant messages to their target audiences.
The same is true – and even more significant in narrowly targeted campaigns.
In narrowly targeted campaigns, the average online reach is 38% accurate, but on Facebook, our average reach is 89% accurate.
Because of this high accuracy on Facebook, businesses aren’t seeing wasted impressions like they do in other mediums.

So, how will your brand show up on Facebook? Facebook News Feed puts your brand in the center of the most engaging digital real estate.

The News Feed puts brands front and center for the consumer, offering rich ways to capture attention and engagement. The News Feed is a personalized newspaper – where people go to consume photos of their friends and family, news stories, and content from brands.
Similar to television, mobile naturally lends itself to a linear experience, where consumers focus on one piece of content at a time. Every piece of content, whether a photo or an article or an ad, now has the opportunity to capture attention and engagement. Ads consumed in a linear format are 9X more effective than those consumed on a traditional web page, which typically contain multiple ads. The linear format can take up the full screen on mobile and provides a captive moment for marketers to capture attention. [Datalogix]
When you use video on Facebook, these are chosen views – the consumers clicks to play or scrolls through to watch the video as compared to an ad on YouTube interrupting the user experience and feeling forced.
The News Feed is the main event on mobile. And, given businesses can appear in the News Feed, they can essentially takeover the entire homepage, resulting in the ultimate engagement with consumers. Our advertising units in News Feed are highly engaging given that they are equal in size and prominence as content from a user’s friends and family. They are not off to the side or secondary to the experience, but are central to the experience and delivered in a linear way.
News Feed ads are 2x the the size of a 300×250 banner, and often can be full screen in mobile.
FB mobile Page post ads are 10-120% more likely to regularly draw attention than other ad types
Likelihood that FB ads and SS regularly draw attention on mobile as compared to other ad type
10% more than Pre-roll or Mid-roll Ads
22% more than Video Ads
38% more than Banner Ads
120% more than Pop-up Ads
Source: Prosper Mobile Insights, July 2012.

Video ads deploy sight, sound, and motion to grab your audience’s attention in News Feed
Page post video ads drive stronger performance than off-site video links given they are optimized for video views and provide a seamless experience to the viewer. Their images are also 11x larger than offsite video, ensuring your brand gets noticed.
FB vs YouTube stats
16.6% of YouTube visits came from Facebook in September 2013 (comScore MyMetrix Source/Loss report, worldwide, home and work – DESKTOP)
Clients may bring up YouTube and argue that it’s better to be on YouTube given they have access to the aggregate counter and more video views. Potential response:
Yes, YouTube has the aggregate counter, but Facebook’s Ad Insights provides additional stats re: likes, comments, and shares
Facebook offers a larger image in the most engaging place on the web – thumbnail takes up a lot of space in News Feed
The post-click experience with native Facebook video is more streamlined than the experience when a user clicks on a link pointing to an offsite video player (see next slide)
Currently, we only report on video plays, which is a weakness compared to YouTube, which reports on video views, completed views, and average duration of view. We are working on building out our video insights to give advertisers a better sense for how videos are performing. New video insights target launch: Q1 2014. [NOTE: Video insights improvements are highlight confidential]

The experience with Facebook native video is much more seamless than when the user is taken offsite to view a video.
This experience becomes even more choppy offsite for age-gated content (e.g., from an alcohol brand) given the person must sign-in to the other app to view the video.
Emphasize the informational/ educational nature of the video
Avoid saying anything negative about YouTube – leave the impression of the user experience up to them

Video can be used across the brand objectives you consider for media planning.
Media planning – these three happen one after the other
1.”Seed”: $50-$100/$200K hyper-targeted teaser to start generating buzz about your new product or brand campaign with your core target audience (e.g., using Partner Categories, Custom Audiences, Interests, competitor’s Interests)
2.”Blast”: $500K-$1M campaign to drive mass awareness of your new product or brand campaign to your target audience (typically over a 1-3 day period)
3.”Sustained” media: reinforce your message after the initial blast. You should tailor creative to specific audiences to drive the best results. These campaigns can range anywhere from a week to a few months.

For your blast period, combine the value of video and guaranteed reach in News Feed
Reach the majority of people on Facebook in one or three days with your Page post video message through News Feed
Run campaigns on desktop and/or mobile
Own the segment: One marketer per audience per day
Guaranteed impressions to audience over 24 hours (Reach Block) or 72 hours (Target Block)
Best use cases for mass awareness campaigns:
Product or marketing campaign launch
Drive mass awareness of a time-sensitive message
Teasers to build excitement
Build creative that speaks to the entire audience

You can precede a blast campaign with a ‘seed campaign’ and then follow-up a blast campaign with a ‘sustain campaign.’
Achieve the lowest cost-per-view by combining our accurate, granular targeting capabilities with your compelling video messages
Reach a custom cluster of people who will react favorably to a specific video creative
Run these sustained, targeted campaigns in tandem with mass awareness campaigns to drive the best results
Select a thumbnail that draws people in
Capture their attention in the first 5 seconds
Keep creative short and sweet: no need for an entire story
You can also run sustained campaigns with a mix of photos and videos, depending on your objectives and creative available.

I’ve highlighted why there couldn’t be a better time to invest in video on Facebook.
Be where people are – on mobile.
Targeted reach – reach all of the people who matter to you
Put your brand in the most engaging digital real estate – Facebook’s News Feed.
Now, I want to tell you about a few brands that have had tremendous success using video on Facebook. These brands are driving business results.

comScore action lift study (March 2013) analyzed 10 gaming campaigns across multiple genres – campaigns included a variety of ad units, including video.
Results are compared to a holdout group.

Brands can use high-quality content to build awareness
To launch its new title, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision used Facebook ads primarily on mobile to drive video views of its game trailer at scale
Objective: Increase awareness of Activision’s new console game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, with males 18-44 in the U.S.
Delivered 50M impressions over a 3-day period, with majority of impressions delivered on mobile
55% of US males aged 18-24 were reached over 3-day period – Reached 20M US males 18-44 and 23M people in total
85% of impressions delivered on-target, compared to industry norm of 41% (Nielsen Cross-Publisher Online Campaign Ratings)
14% lift in brand awareness among the target audience (18-44)
24% lift in brand awareness among males 25-34
OMD, Activision’s media agency, leveraged Nielsen measurement solutions to validate and compare reach efficiency across its entire digital marketing plan, as well as determine the impact Facebook messaging had on shifting brand metrics such as awareness and message recall

50% ahead of goal for pre-orders of the game (the company was looking to achieve 10% of its total pre-order goal by end of its fiscal year March 31, 2012 and it achieved 15%).
385% increase in people talking about this
8% increase in fans, or nearly 200,000 new fans. The Resident Evil Page now has more than 3 million fans, which means Capcom can reach 350 million friends of fans.
552% lift in viral reach for the Page
Working with its agency Tangible Media, Capcom wanted to engage with existing fans of the Resident Evil Page and acquire new ones:
To make the launch of the new title feel like an event in a way that would generate buzz in the media and on the Internet
To drive pre-orders of the game
[PAGES] Tangible and Capcom made Facebook the center of its campaign to create a massive event out of the announcement of the Resident Evil title on January 19, 2012, seven months ahead of the game’s actual release.
Capcom created a mysterious microsite,, and Facebook Page to promote viral teaser content leading up to the official game announcement on the Resident Evil Page.The No Hope Left Page contained cryptic videos and photos featuring panicked citizens and deserted cities, which were hints for existing Resident Evil fans and engaged new fans through all of the viral sharing.
[ADS] The media portion on Facebook had three main phases, all designed to create broad awareness in the gaming and entertainment community.:
The first phase included a flight of Premium Ads designed to build pre-awareness and anticipation around the March 19 reveal of Resident Evil 6..:
Ads included the scary videos and a poll asking people “What would you do when all is lost?”
Another ad invited people to RSVP for a secret event set for March 19, 2102
Ads were targeted at Resident Evil’s large base of then 2 million fans and the broader console gaming community
The second phase was designed to reveal the announcement trailer created for RE6:
A Target Block to U.S. males 18-34 featured Premium Page post Ads to promote the announcement trailer, encouraging people to watch and share the video with their friends
A portion of the video ads drove traffic to a custom tab on the Resident Evil Page with links to pre-order the game
In the third phase, Capcom sustained enthusiasm for the game using a variety of Premium, Marketplace Ads and sponsored stories:
Premium Ads featured the trailer and polls asking fans what characters in the game they were most excited for
Marketplace Ads were used to grow the Resident Evil fan base and were targeted at console gamers

Wendy’s launched a product in 2013 – pretzel bacon cheeseburger
Typically run a product in a few select markets before launching across the US
In test markets, saw people were obsessed with it
Creative agency came up with program called Pretzel Love Songs, essentially making fun of boy bands and love song genre
As people submitted their love songs, Wendy’s asked them if they could use them for advertisements
The real hook was people got to be famous for a minute in a video that Wendy’s was pushing out to tens of thousands of people, primarily through Facebook – they shared these videos over time as different volumes.
This was very different for their brand – typically very traditional with their marketing
BUT, spoke directly to an insight – people want to be famous
Reach: 83M unique individuals
52.7% TV-only
23.2% Overlap
8.3% FB-only
(persons 18+, Nielsen XCR reach)
Typical media buy just talking about impressions and TRPs, but they were able to get MANY unique individuals
Over 8% reached only through digital marketing (incremental reach through FB)
62% of Facebook-only reach was with Millennials – a big deal for Wendy’s given they want to connect with that generation
Huge engagement: 5M+ video views and 1.7B total impressions
Media ROI: % reach from Facebook far exceeded % of investment on Facebook
What does this mean for the company?
Excellent sales results and ROI
They will emulate this strategy in the future b/c it worked so well
Background available in Ad Week video: (22:00 – 35:00)

Wanted to boost brand loyalty and drive viewership of its Ramadan Holiday video
Launched a combined TV and FB campaign
4 videos showcasing banks reverence of traditional Saudi values
Two Reach Blocks guaranteed that the ads reached the entire Saudi Facebook audience that logged in that day.
Strong uplift in brand awareness generated by Facebook campaign as found through Bank Albilad’s own internal study.
“Facebook increased our brand loyalty given the valued interaction between our audience and us. This platform, Facebook, was one of the main channels for such a campaign and it will remain a crucial platform for future campaigns.”
Mohammed R. Abaalkheil, Head of Marcom Division, Bank Albilad

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Google Glass Users Fight Privacy

This topic has been brewing for sometime now. Heather Kelly of CNN writes this fantastic article about Google Glasses. I myself have mixed reviews when it comes to Google Glasses but I would imagine that they would fall under the first amendment when it comes to the video portion.

Carolyn Capern and her business partner Greg Trujillo were eating breakfast in a Panera bakery in Florida recently, each wearing Google Glasses but actually immersed in their smartphones when they were accosted by an angry stranger.

Though they'd only had the beta devices for about a month, they'd become accustomed to curious people approaching them like they were minor celebrities, peppering them with questions about the still-rare technology, asking to try it on and even getting their pictures taken wearing it.

But the man in the bakery didn't want a demonstration. He was interested in confrontation. He asked if they would be comfortable with him recording a video of the pair on his phone, violating their privacy and rights in the same way he felt they were violating his by wearing recording devices on their faces in public.

"He said we were being very intrusive and invading his sense of privacy and was altogether quite upset that we were there wearing Google Glass," Capern said.

A different kind of backlash

Negative reactions to Google Glass have been making headlines lately. Earlier this year, Seattle entrepreneur Dave Meinert preemptively banned people from wearing Glass at his 5 Point Café before the technology was even released. Recently he made headlines again after a manager at another one of his restaurants, Lost Lake Cafe & Lounge, ejected Nick Starr for refusing to remove his Google Glass while inside.

The burgeoning dissent is sometimes not pretty. Early adopters have been handed a less-than-flattering nickname in some circles: "Glassholes."

A group calling itself Stop The Cyborgs offers free anti-glass icons and art on its site for businesses that want to notify customers the technology is not allowed. State and federal lawmakers have expressed privacy concerns about the technology and are, if you will, keeping an eye on it.

Even though Glass wearers claim these types of responses from businesses and individuals are not the norm, there is something different about the negative early reactions to Google Glass than what has greeted the smartphone and other new technologies in the past.

While there may be some old fashioned technophobia at play, many of the criticisms come from members of a tech-savvy generation that embraces smartphones and tablets. Lost Lake Cafe even encourages patrons to post photos taken at the business to Instagram and tag them #LostLake, according to The Stranger.

So what is it about Google Glass that elicits such different reactions?

"People make a personal decision to check their smartphone or log in and check their social media accounts, but Google Glass is out of their control," said Larry Rosen, a psychologist who focuses on technology. "They are not able to make a decision as to whether they want to be 'on' or 'connected' through someone else's process, and they are concerned and unhappy that they do not have a say in the matter."

People feel in control when using their own technology but, fairly or not, Google Glass seems to them more like invasive surveillance.

"For the most part they have given up privacy gladly to be connected through all possible modalities. However, that is when the choice is their choice. This is not," Rosen said. "This is someone else essentially eavesdropping on their lives, and if they want to give up their own privacy, they seem to want to do it on their terms and their timeline, not someone else's."

Easing fears with education

The technological differences between smartphones and Google Glass are minimal. Both have cameras that can record videos and audio and take photographs. Both can instantly upload recorded information to social media sites and other locations including Google services.

One of the primary concerns people have about Glass is that it is difficult to tell when the device is recording you. With a phone, a stranger would have to physically hold up the device and point the camera in the subject's direction, a visible cue that they are recording. Wearable cameras like Glass are always pointed and ready to go.

Because there are still so few Google Glass units in the wild, many people don't fully grasp the device's limitations, according to Trujillo. Some have the misconception that Google Glass is constantly recording video, but leaving Glass in record mode would kill the battery in about an hour.

There is no external indicator light to show when Google Glass is in recording mode, but the screen is actually a transparent cube of glass, and people who are in close proximity can see a light when the system is on.

"It's very easy to identify whether the screen is on or off if you know what to look for," Capern said. (Both her and Trujillo's devices were turned off during the bakery incident, they say.)

Like picking up a phone and pointing, there are physical indicators that might give away the fact that someone is recording. To take a photo or start recording a video with Glass, the wearer has to speak to or touch the device.

Trujillo and Capern think it's actually easier to secretly record someone with a smartphone because they are far more ubiquitous and someone can just pretend they're holding it up to read a Web page, check Facebook or send a text.

"The phone, in my opinion, is a lot more of an invasion-of-privacy device than Google Glass because you can actually tell when somebody tries to use Google Glass," Capern said.

Navigating the future

Stop The Cyborgs is also concerned with the collection of big data through tools like Google Glass. Massive amounts of data can be automatically uploaded from wearable tech and phones to Google services, social media or other cloud-based storage. Google+ currently has facial recognition technology but has not yet tied it into Google Glass.

"The issue ... is not the device itself but rather ownership and control over the data, and power relations and social norms around surveillance and control," the organization says on its About page.

Legally, Glass users have the same rights as photographers when it comes to recording and photographing in public. You can photograph anything in plain view, including strangers, while in public places. Because video recordings include audio, the ACLU points out that state wiretapping laws might make some video recordings illegal.

When it comes to private property, the property owner has the right to prohibit photography in their home or business, typically by posting rules or asking people taking pictures to leave the premises.

Trujillo thinks the restaurants instituting bans are just looking for free press coverage, but there are many bans on Glass based on practical concerns.

A woman who was pulled over for speeding in San Diego was also ticketed for wearing Google Glass while driving, the device classified as a distraction much like a smartphone or other monitor. Illinois is considering explicitly banning Glass behind the wheel.

Many casinos have banned wearable computer screens which they fear could be used to cheat or count cards, and some theaters worried about piracy have added Google Glass to the list of recording devices prohibited for audience members.

Wearable technology like Google Glass is still in its early stages. The companies producing the gadgets hope they'll be seen as normal and become accepted in the same way smartphones are. Until then, early adopters like Google Glass Explorers will have to handle the attention, both positive and negative.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Twitter Is Taking A “Log-Out” Approach To Raise Usage, Awareness In Emerging Markets With USSD On Mobiles

Ingrid Lunden of says Twitter is working hard to build up its profile and usage among people in developing markets, and today another piece of that strategy has come into focus. It has signed a deal with Switzerland-based mobile software company Myriad Group to provide access to Twitter via mobile devices without using a mobile Internet connection, instead relying on a text-only transmission technology called USSD. The service will let users experience Twitter purely as “consumers” who do not need to log in, or even have an account at all to use it.

Myriad’s deal with Twitter is similar to a partnership that was made public last week, whenReuters reported that a company called U2opia Mobile was linking up with the social network on a USSD service. While that article hinted at how the service might work (U2opia has not made a direct statement about it), Myriad has provided us with screenshots and confirmed further details.

Twitter access via USSD is not new: Myriad had been offering it for years already in markets like Argentina to let users post messages and read those sent by their contacts.

This, however, is an interesting progression. Twitter is now, for the first time, officially certifying USSD partners, and it is moving more proactively with a different concept of its service: USSD users will, initially at least, be given a “log-out” experience of the service, without the need to log in or even sign up, and it will be read-only, without the ability to post your own status updates.

USSD, by way of background, is short for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, and it is technology that is built into even the most basic GSM phones.

USSD operates on a channel separate from SMS, meaning a user doesn’t even need a messaging plan to access Twitter. Other social networks like Facebook have also been deployed over the USSD channel as a way of reaching out to users in emerging markets, where PC penetration is low and mobile handsets are the primary communication device.

Myriad is also behind many of the Facebook deployments we’ve seen on USSD, such as this one with Orange covering Africa. To date, Myriad has had some 17 million unique users of its services across Africa, Latin America (where it’s the exclusive partner of Telefonica), Asia (where it works with Vodafone in India and with others across different markets) — some 20 countries in all.

The Facebook service has seen some strong takeup, with one deployment in Egypt picked up 50,000 new users a week when it first launched. (It was helped with a clever marketing tactic — a user had to enter *125# to activate the service, a specific reference to the start date of their Spring revolution.)

Twitter is a natural partner for a USSD service. Like text messaging, USSD texts have a 160 character limit. “For Twitter it is even better than Facebook because it’s a text driven network,” says Olivier Bartholot, Myriad’s San Francisco-based VP of corporate development and GM of device solutions. “It’s 140 characters so it fits perfectly in what you can provide in terms of the user experience.”

For social networks you can see the obvious interest in the technology: it’s a way of giving access to their services for those who either don’t have smartphones, or who do but are loathe to spend money on 3G, or simply do not have connectivity where they are. Twitter already more users outside the U.S. than it does in its home market — 179 million versus 53 million — but revenues are far smaller. Twitter made $2.58 per user in the U.S., versus just $0.36 per user abroad. For an ad-based business model, it needs to scale out its international businesses as part of the way to make up the shortfall in the near term.

For carriers, USSD-based social networking services are attractive because they can sell the option to their users as a value-added service.

While Facebook’s service includes two-way communication — users can search for friends, invite friends, accept or deny friend requests, post status updates and comment/like/unlike friends’ status updates — Bartholot tells us that Twitter decided to take a different approach.

“This is a ‘logged out experience’ in the words of Twitter,” he says. “You view but you don’t log in as an end user.” Instead, the service is conceived as “lean-back”, more like a broadcasting medium. “What happens is that we get a suggested list of high-profile users in each country. From that we create a list of categories. We get tweets from these users, and when a user chooses to follow a TV presenter or movie star, or a topic like sports, that user will receive tweets from those selected people or categories.”

The proposition will be very localized to different markets. A particular operator in Africa, for example, may want to create a category about weather to update farmers, fishermen and others who work outdoors. An operator in India may want to create one tracking Bollywood celebs. The mixture, it seems, will be very much of practical/useful and pure entertainment, much like the wider Twitter experience.

He says that the new version, which is planned for launch in Q1 next year, was prompted by Twitter’s new API that was introduced earlier this year. One consequence of it was that it made the old, two-way service no longer usable. “We started the conversation with Twitter in March and it took us six months to work out,” he said. “We now have the certification from Twitter to now deploy this service. What it means is that we now have the brand license and we can call the experience a Twitter experience.”

One important detail that Twitter’s USSD service highlights is that it plays into the general concept of how social networking services go ’round: over 90% of users are simply “lurkers” who read what others post, while most of the rest do both (and yes there are some starlets and bot-like news accounts who only post and do very little reading).

“It’s a way to give a first taste to users of what Twitter is about, especially outside the U.S.,” he says. “In the U.S., Twitter is famous. In other places, not so much.” The idea is to familiarize and grow with the user. As she or he upgrades to more and more sophisticated phones and networks, so will Twitter functionality.

There are some compelling stats to back up the USSD approach taken by Twitter and Facebook. In Brazil, for example, there are 265 million mobile users, but 210 million of those are not using data on a regular basis. “They have smartphones but they just don’t have the means to pay for a subscription or they live in places where the coverage is poor,” Bartholot notes. Even among smartphones, there aren’t very many: there are 220 million feature phones compared to 45 million smartphones. Pointedly, those statistics came from Twitter itself, he tells me.

Right now Myriad has deployments with some 45 carriers for USSD services and is aiming for 40 more. Already its addressable market has a reach of nearly 1 billion users, all told. “That’s what convinced Twitter to go with us for this,” he says.

But on the other hand, there are a number of questions that are still unanswered:

For example, what about a service for those who had already been using Twitter using USSD and were able to post messages but now cannot? Or new users who feel like they are getting short-changed by only getting “feeds” but no input capabilities of their own? Bartholot says that there may be more two-way communications added in over time, as Twitter continues to monitor how take up of this initial service proceeds.

Another area is advertising. Bartholot says that the company is still weighing up how to serve ads through this service, and whether it will count it towards its “per 1,000 views” metric (or if something like that can even be tracked when a user is not logged in). In any case even if there are ads, they will lack a crucial engagement/conversion element: right now, if any link comes through on the service — say through a news service — it will be “dead” as such.

And that’s still not addressing the idea of how and if this will help Twitter build up active users in these markets, how Twitter will count them if they’re by default “inactive” on the self-publishing front, and whether it will ever manage to convert this still-large base of people who have remained on the less-accessible side of the digital divide.

Facebook Considering Sympathize Button

Ann Pride says Facebook is considering making a big change. Developers are experimenting with a “sympathize” button, so your friends can show their support without having to “like” something, according to a new report.

The Huffington Post reports developers liked the idea of the “sympathize” button when an engineer introduced it at a recent Facebook hackathon.

Many users were hoping Facebook would add a “dislike” button.
But the social media site has reportedly chosen to go with sympathy instead of negativity.
Developers say they idea would be to give users the option of choosing how they’re feeling from a drop down list of emotions.

If you select a negative emotion like “depressed,” then the “like” button would automatically be changed to “sympathize.”
But don’t start looking for the button just yet. While the idea is being well-received, there’s no word on when it will make its way to the site.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Why Twitter Is A Huge Threat To YouTube

This is a great article by Jim Edwards and I agree with Borow on this one. This would be a huge blow to Google if this came to pass. With the IPO not doing so well this would be a large boost to the user community. Read the article below.

Google ought to be very afraid of the threat Twitter presents to YouTube, I was told recently over lunch with James Borow, CEO of SHIFT, a social media marketing company. (SHIFT is one of Twitter's early advertising partners, and its clients include American Express, Toyota and Walmart.)

This didn't make much sense to me.

I pointed out to Borow that Twitter doesn't host its own videos, and that YouTube doesn't allow people to tweet.

Perhaps he was confused.

But then Borow made this argument:

People use Twitter as their default "public" identity, especially in the media. Athletes, celebrities, and news anchors all ask you to follow them on Twitter, not on YouTube. (You can follow them on Facebook too, of course, but the minimalist nature of Twitter seems to make it a less risky place for sharing.) If you're a fan of Kay Perry or CNBC's Melissa Lee, it's a lot easier to wait for them to tweet stuff at you than to follow them anywhere else — YouTube or CNBC — where you'd have to repeatedly check for new postings.

Currently, YouTube is benefiting from this arrangement, because media people host their videos on YouTube and then tweet the link on Twitter. The two brands are symbiotic.

But recently, Twitter began stealing short-form video content from YouTube in the form of Vine, with its 6-second blasts. (Instagram is another threat to YouTube, with its 15-second grabs). If you want to show people a very short video, then YouTube is no longer the easiest or most obvious place to put it.

For this reason, Borow believes Twitter will begin hosting its own videos, of all lengths, simply because following a person on Twitter creates a "channel" for new video. YouTube has tried to create popular video channels in the past, but they haven't really caught on. Most people discover video on YouTube from links or embeds elsewhere on the web, or through search. YouTube, right now, is like a back-end video-serving database for user-facing channels like Facebook and Twitter.
"Twitter will be the main host of video content in the future," Borow believes.

The other advantage Twitter has over YouTube is an "identity layer." Twitter users are logged in. Twitter and its advertisers know who you are, and how to target you with relevant ads. On your phone, the ID is even stronger because Twitter users are logged in permanently. And you're giving away your phone number. Sure, you could look at Twitter without being logged in, but it doesn't work as well. In fact, Twitter has a good business in non-logged in traffic. More people see Twitter content from the "outside" as monthly unique visitors in the U.S. (62.6 million) than there are U.S. monthly active users of Twitter (about 50 million).

YouTube is 90% functional without the need to login, even though Google is trying to encourage more logins. So the identity part of YouTube is much weaker than Twitter.

So Twitter has a triple advantage over YouTube when it comes to video:
It's better at organizing it into channels.
It's better at publicizing it to fans.
And it's better at identifying those fans to advertisers.

"YouTube will be very, very scared" the day Twitter announces it can host all types of video, Borow believes. It won't happen soon, he cautions. Video hosting requires a big buildout of new servers. It's not easy. "It's a huge infrastructure cost. But eventually they will," Borow believes.

Twitter will also need to improve its search function, which right now is terrible. Search on YouTube and Google for video is very high quality.

So YouTube has some time to deal with the threat. But if it doesn't, Twitter will be there, stealing YouTube's business out from under it. "They become really pretty amazing" with video, Borow says.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Twitter More Relevant Ads With Tailored Audiences

This could be a great boost for Twitter and I can see a nice ROI with this. With what their stock is
doing this is much needed.

Twitter writes in July we previewed a way to tailor ads for users and a way to drive better performance for our advertisers. After testing this for several months, today we are announcing the global availability of tailored audiences—a new way for advertisers to define your own groups of existing and potential customers, and connect with them on Twitter with relevant messages.

How does this work?

With tailored audiences you can reach users on Twitter who have shown interest in your brand or your category even away from Twitter. Let’s say a hotel brand wants to advertise a promotion on Twitter and they’d prefer to show their ad to travel enthusiasts who have recently visited their website. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the hotel brand may share with us browser-related information (browser cookie ID) through an ads partner. We can then match that information to Twitter accounts in order to show the matched users a Promoted Tweet with the travel deal. The end result is a highly relevant and useful message for the user. Advertisers will continue to receive the same reports that include how many users saw or clicked on an ad, without identifying who saw it or clicked on it.

We have seen impressive results from those advertisers in our beta test using the tailored audiences program over several months’ time. Inbound marketing software platform HubSpotwas an early beta tester of tailored audiences. By reaching recent visitors to their web properties with Promoted Tweets, Hubspot saw a lift in engagement rates of 45% with tailored audience campaigns over their historical averages. Krossover, a technology company that analyzes game video for sports coaches, used tailored audiences to drive a 74% decrease in cost per customer acquisition (CPA). Enterprise app performance management companyNew Relic saw 195% higher conversion rates targeting their website visitors during the beta. We’re excited about the possibilities that tailored audiences will open up for marketers with direct response objectives.

Additionally, Delta Air Lines and their agency partner Digitas participated in the beta testing of tailored audiences. “We were pleased with the campaign’s initial performance and excited about the opportunities that the tailored audiences feature represents moving into 2014. The ability to hone in on a very specific audience segment, such as recent flight searchers or recent flight bookers, and continue a conversation with them while on the go and within the social space is a fairly unique and powerful offering,” said Breanne Loso, Media Planner for Digitas.

We’ve made it easy for you to get started with tailored audiences by partnering with leading technology companies that can help you create and transfer audiences to Twitter. Our ads partners who are helping bring this product to market are: Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango,DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast, ValueClick, and [x+1]. You may work with any of these approved partners, each of which has completed all of the technical integrations with us and has the knowledge to guide you through the set-up process.

Users have privacy choices

While we want to make our ads more useful through tailored audiences, we also want to provide simple and meaningful privacy choices to our users. Twitter users can simply uncheck the box next to “Promoted content” in their privacy settings, and Twitter will not match their account to information shared by our ads partners for tailoring ads. And because Twitter supports Do Not Track (DNT), Twitter will not receive browser-related information (a browser cookie ID) from our ads partners for tailoring ads if users have DNT enabled in their browser. Our Help Center has more information about these options.
Future possibilities

Targeting recent visitors to your website is just one way to use tailored audiences. We believe there are many other possibilities. Think of it as the way to define your own groups of existing and target customers, and connect with them on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Botnet steals millions of user logins for Facebook, Google, Twitter.

Jeremy Kirk reports two million logins and passwords from services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter have been found on a Netherlands-based server, part of a large botnet using controller software nicknamed “Pony.”

Another company whose users’ login credentials showed up on the server was ADP, which specializes in payroll and human resources software, wrote Daniel Chechik, a security researcher with Trustwave’s SpiderLabs.

It’s expected that cybercriminals will go after main online services, but “payroll services accounts could actually have direct financial repercussions,” he wrote.

ADP moved $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2013 within the U.S., paying one in six workers in the country, according to its website.

Facebook had the most stolen credentials, at 318,121, followed by Yahoo at 59,549 and Google at 54,437. Other companies whose login credentials showed up on the command-and-control server included LinkedIn and two Russian social networking services, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. The botnet also stole thousands of FTP, remote desktop and secure shell account details.

It wasn’t clear what kind of malware infected victims’ computers and sent the information to the command-and-control server.

Trustwave found the credentials after gaining access to an administrator control panel for the botnet. The source code for the control panel software, called “Pony,” was leaked at some point, Chechik wrote.

The server storing the credentials received the information from a single IP address in the Netherlands, which suggests the attackers are using a gateway or reverse proxy in between infected computers and the command-and-control server, he wrote.

”This technique of using a reverse proxy is commonly used by attackers in order to prevent the command-and-control server from being discovered and shut down—outgoing traffic from an infected machine only shows a connection to the proxy server, which is easily replaceable in case it is taken down,” Chechik wrote.

Information on the server indicated the captured login credentials may have come from as many as 102 countries, “indicating that the attack is fairly global,” he wrote.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Youtube makes a comment on the new integration with Google Plus

Since we launched the new comments experience on YouTube two weeks ago, we’ve received a lot of feedback from creators on the increase in comment spam. While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them.

We’ve worked hard to combat the increase in spammy comments and have made a number of updates, including:

Better recognition of bad links and impersonation attempts
Improved ASCII art detection
Changing how long comments are displayed

We know the spam issues made it hard to use the new system at first, and we’re excited to see more of you getting involved as we’ve fixed issues. New features like threaded conversations and formatted comments are coming to life, thanks to you and your fans.

So what's next? We're moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better. Bulk moderation has been a long standing creator request and we'll be releasing tools for that soon. At the same time, we’re also working on improving comment ranking and moderation of old-style comments.

Thanks for sticking with us.

Hopefully they will forgo this idea and move on. But with the real money coming from social network advertising I HIGHLY doubt they will.

Facebook Tweaks News Feed for More 'High Quality' Content

Just because you are Facebook friends with your old lab partner from high school doesn't mean you want to see his posts each day in your News Feed says Kurt Wagner of

The social network will soon allow users to "unfollow" friends whose comments and updates they want to remove from their News Feed, according to a Facebook spokesperson.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things Your Most Annoying Friends Do on Facebook

The new Unfollow button, which was first reported by TechCrunch, will work in the same way that users were able to "hide all" from friends in the past, simply with new phrasing. The idea is that users can block content they don't want to see from their friends without going so far as defriending them.

"The goal of this change is to help people curate their News Feed and see more of the content that they care about," a Facebook spokesperson wrote in a statement given to Mashable.

Users are not alerted when they have been unfollowed, so it's a relatively safe way to keep someone's posts out of your feed without them finding out.

This works well with exes, over-sharers and political hotheads.

Users can Hide All or Unfollow by clicking on the small drop-down arrow in the upper-right hand corner of any post in the News Feed. The change in language may simply be a way to more clearly state the options available to users. Other social sites like Twitter and Pinterest use terms like "follow" and "unfollow," so Facebook may be trying to standardize this language across all platforms.

Users will also be able to see who they are following when visiting individual friends' Facebook pages. Next to the "friends" icon on that user's cover photo will be a separate icon that allows you to follow or unfollow someone in your News Feed.

Facebook already allows users to follow others who they are not friends with, such as public figures and celebrities. This allows the follower to see any of the celebrity's public posts in his News Feed. The new Unfollow button is meant for a user's friends, meaning it won't impact Facebook's existing follow feature.

The Unfollow feature will be available to desktop users in the coming weeks and will available on iOS and Android in the coming months, according to a spokesperson.