Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Facebook Update For Music And Video

Today, we’re making those conversations quicker and easier by introducing a new way to share and discover music, TV and movies.

When writing a status update – if you choose to turn the feature on – you’ll have the option to use your phone’s microphone to identify what song is playing or what show or movie is on TV.

That means if you want to share that you’re listening to your favorite BeyoncĂ© track or watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones, you can do it quickly and easily, without typing.

Here’s how it works: If you’ve turned the feature on, you’ll see an audio icon moving on the screen when you write a status update. If the feature finds a match, you can then choose to add the song, TV show or movie to your post.

Like with any post, you choose who can see it. You can also turn the feature off at any time by clicking the audio icon in the top right of the screen.

If you leave the feature on, you will see the audio icon move and attempt to detect a match when you’re writing a status update. No sound is stored and you’ll always get to choose whether you post to your friends.

If you share music, your friends can see a 30-second preview of the song. For TV shows, the story in News Feed will highlight the specific season and episode you’re watching, so you can avoid any spoilers and join in conversations with your friends after you’ve caught up.

This feature will be available on Android and iOS in the US in the coming weeks.

Some New Changes In Facebook

On Facebook you can share whatever you want with whomever you want, from a one-to-one conversation, to friends or to everyone.

While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends. We recognize that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse.

So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to Friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to Public.

First time posters will also see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to Friends. People can change who they are posting to at any time, and can also change the privacy of their past posts too.

For people already on Facebook, we’ve also received the feedback that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll start rolling out a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.

We want to do all we can to put power and control in people’s hands. This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want. Everything about how privacy works on Facebook remains the same.

Additional Controls

Over the past several months, we’ve introduced new tools and features to help people control exactly what they want to share and with whom:
Public posting reminder: a quick reminder to people posting publicly to make sure they are sharing with the audience they want.

Simplified Audience Selectors: On Facebook for iPhone, the audience you’re sharing a post with is now at the top of the screen, and on web, people will see a simplified audience selector. We’re testing and rolling out similar improvements in other places people use Facebook.

Anonymous Login and New Controls for Facebook Login: Anonymous Login is a brand new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook. The new Facebook Login gives people the option to pick and choose what information apps get.

Redesigned App Control Panel: A new dashboard where people can see a list of apps they use, manage specific permissions, or remove apps entirely.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Google Updates Google+ On Andriod

A suitcase full of dirty clothes. A sad-looking house plant. And 437 photos and videos on your phone, tablet and camera. This is the typically messy scene after a vacation. And although we can’t do your laundry (thanks but no thanks), or run your errands (well, maybe a few), we’d still like to help. Enter Google+ Stories, which can automatically weave your photos, videos and the places you visited into a beautiful travelogue.

No more sifting through photos for your best shots, racking your brain for the sights you saw, or letting your videos collect virtual dust. We’ll just gift you a story after you get home. This way you can relive your favorite moments, share them with others, and remember why you traveled in the first place.

Stories will be available this week on Android and the web, with iOS coming soon.

When it’s less about travel, and more about today's events (like a birthday party, or baby’s first steps), Google+ Moviescan produce a highlight reel of your photos and videos automatically—including effects, transitions and a soundtrack. Today we’re bringing Movies to Android, iOS and the web, so lots more people will receive these video vignettes.

To get started with Stories and Movies, simply back up your photos and videos to Google+. And that’s it. Auto Awesome will get to work in the background, and you’ll get notified when a story or movie is ready.

In fact: if your photo library is already online, you may already have stories waiting for you. So look for the new app in Google Play, view the full list of improvements on Google+, and enjoy your walks down memory lane.

Here are the nine new updates from Google

1. Auto Awesome Stories now combine your photos, videos and the places you visit into beautiful travelogues. You can read more at http://goo.gl/JGgzil.

2. Auto Awesome Movies are now available on Android, iOS and the web, so lots more people will receive highlight reels of their photos and videos. Here’s one example: http://goo.gl/9ljcdj.

3. You can now create animated GIFs and photobooth-style images on demand. Just tap the new plus button in Photos, and select either Motion or Mix.

4. Really big photo libraries are now supported on Android, so you can access your many thousands of photos quickly and easily.

5. You can now browse your entire photo library, as well as your highlights, by date. Just drag the new scroll bar to move forwards or backwards in time.

6. Profiles now display total content views on both Android and the web. (You can choose to show or hide this number via settings.)

7. A new navigation menu makes it easier to switch between your favorite circles and communities, as well as other places in the app.

8. It’s a lot easier to share content from your phone or tablet.

9. The app menu now slides away as you move down the stream, letting posts fill the entire screen.

LinkedIn Adds New Tool "How You Rank"

Here is the press release from LinkedIn on their new How You Rank tool.

Today we’re introducing a new feature as part of Who’s Viewed Your Profile to help you see where you stack up relative to those in your network. With the new “How You Rank” tool, you can now see where you stack up to others in your network with profile views. Take a look at the top profiles in your network to gain inspiration for changes you can make to your own profile, or content you can share to increase views to your profile and drive opportunities for advancement. Or, take a look at the suggestions LinkedIn offers on the right-hand side of the page for ways you can begin increasing views to your profile immediately. You can click here to see your rank and get personalized recommendations on how to lift your visibility.

Whether you’re a job seeker or a student, there are many ways to take advantage of the insights available through Who’s Viewed Your Profile, here are some tips to get you started:

For job seekers: Recruiters at some companies receive hundreds of applicants for a single position. If you’ve submitted a resume or LinkedIn Profile already, try taking a look at the profile of the recruiter managing the position. If they see you’ve looked at their profile, they’re more likely to look at yours. Nearly 80% of candidates today are found through networking – so if you notice a recruiter at a company you’re interested in has viewed your profile, don’t be afraid to reach out to them.

For consultants and business owners: Professionals come to your LinkedIn profile from all over the web, but rich data insights such as the keywords that led people to your profile, can help you determine how to effectively position yourself to attract new business and make valuable new connections. You can now also use the “How You Rank” tab to better understand who in your network can help increase visibility for your business.

For students and new graduates: Students in search of their first job or trying to thoughtfully build their network can use Who’s Viewed Your Profile to attract the attention of recruiters or connect with potential mentors. Find alumni that have graduated from your school, view their profile or reach out and say hello. If you notice someone viewed your profile from an industry you’re interested in joining, don’t be afraid to reach out, introduce yourself and see what words of wisdom they may have for someone just starting out. Learn the best practices for crafting a rich Profile by browsing the most-viewed Members in your network in the “How You Rank” tab.

For sales professionals: Curiosity leads many of us to view the profiles of those professionals that have viewed us. Sales professionals that use that knowledge to their advantage treat Who’s Viewed Your Profile as a way to generate warm leads. If someone has viewed your profile, and you share commonalities – it’s a great icebreaker for a potential new business opportunity.

We know that no two professionals are alike and by seeing how you rank relative to your professional peers, we believe you’ll have the added information and incentive to help you put your best foot forward on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Facebook Adding Video Advertising To Seven Countries

Reuters has reported that Facebook is expanding its new video advertising service, allowing marketers to show the television-like spots to users of the social network in Britain, Brazil and five other countries, the company told Reuters.

The move marks a significant ramping up of one of Facebook's most closely watched new advertising products, which analysts believe could help the Internet company capture a bigger slice of lucrative brand advertising budgets.

The 15-second video ads appear in users' newsfeeds and play automatically with the sound muted until they are clicked on. Facebook began selling the ads in the United States in March to a small group of marketers including insurance company Progressive Corp and television broadcaster NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp.

Facebook said the performance of the initial group of video ads in the United States has been strong, but declined to elaborate.

As it did in the United States, Facebook is moving cautiously to roll out the auto-play video ads in its overseas markets to avoid annoying users. The company will initially work with a limited group of advertisers in France, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Australia and Britain starting next month.

Each ad must pass a quality-control test that Facebook administers in conjunction with video analytics firm Ace Metrix.

Most of the commercials in international markets will not appear on Facebook's website until September, as the Internet company spends several months working closely with marketers to ensure that the spots meet its quality standards, a Facebook spokesman told Reuters.

But he said that companies whose commercials are deemed acceptable could begin airing them on Facebook in June, in time for the World Cup international soccer tournament, a popular event for brand advertisers.

Video ads, along with ads on the Facebook-owned Instagram photo-sharing app, are among the new businesses that analysts believe could turn into important money-makers for Facebook, though the company has said it does not expect video ads to contribute meaningfully to its business this year.

Facebook's ad revenue grew 82 percent year-on-year to $2.27 billion in the first quarter.

The price that marketers pay to run a video ad on Facebook is determined by the size of the audience as measured by measurement firm Nielsen. Marketers can choose specific times of day for their spots and can target ads according to age and gender.

Online video ads, which typically carry much higher rates than other forms of online ads, could help Facebook bolster its ad revenue in international markets where the company's average revenue per user is lower than in the United States and Canada.

Roughly 84 percent of Facebook's 1.28 billion monthly users are outside of the United States and Canada, with 87 million monthly users in Brazil and 34 million monthly users in the UK at the end of the first quarter, according to the company. Daily mobile users in Brazil increased 75 percent to 35 million in the nine-month period ending in the first quarter, Facebook said.

Google Acquires Divide

Google has acquired Divide, a New York-based company that offers a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution for corporate environments. 
Following the acquisition, Divide’s team will likely focus on making Android devices more enterprise-friendly. 
Divide sets up an encrypted work space so users do not have to worry about privacy or about the company wiping the device. 

The amount that Google paid for Divide was undisclosed.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Facebook Working On New App

DAVID MURPHY from PCMag writes that Facebook might have killed off its Poke app for iOS, but that doesn't mean it's done trying to beat rival Snapchat at its own messaging game.

For those who never themselves poked, the iOS app allowed a person to send a message, photo, or video to a Facebook friend. Only, doing so came with a time limit — a ten-second countdown before said message disappeared into the digital ether forever.

If that sounds like a pretty basic clone of Snapchat's core services, you'd be correct. It's unclear just how many people ended up using Facebook Poke, but it didn't last that long on the App Store's top-25 list. Snapchat, in comparison, claims that its users send over 700 million different pieces of content each day.

Facebook officially pulled the app from the App Store earlier this month, but that doesn't mean that it's done with its adventures in timed-deletion messaging. A new report from the Financial Times indicates that Facebook has been working on a video messaging app called "Slingshot" for a number of months. The app appears to do for videos what Snapchat has done for pictures… and videos too, of course.

Slingshot, which may or may not see the light of day (but if it does, might even launch as early as this month), mainly allows people to create simple video messages that they toss back and forth. The sending process allegedly mimics that of TapTalk: You're given a grid of images representing your friends (undoubtedly their Facebook profile photos), and you tap their pictures to shoot them a quick image. Tap and hold, and you'll get to record a short video that only they can watch.

Presumably, said message disappears after a set amount of time, but the Financial Times' source didn't address that part in any detail. It's also unclear whether Facebook's app "borrows" some of the other useful features that TapTalk brings to quick messaging: Prohibiting users from retrieving photos or videos they've sent out using the app, in addition to forcing users to take their pictures and videos in real time — no sending of simple gallery images is allowed.

Either way, Facebook has a bit of a ways to go to catch up to Snapchat's early lead in both popularity and features. Snapchat just unveiled text messaging for its app earlier this month, in addition to one-way and two-way video chatting. And it's not as if other, large Web entities are ignoring the self-destructing messaging space either; Yahoo just purchased the Snapchat-like Blink app earlier this month as well.

Facebook Ask Button

The ask button has been around for a while now on Facebook. But it seems that nosy folks are getting the button right where they want it.



So at least now I can ask why some of my Facebook Friends are now single when they were married. I will have zero shame asking because hey, there is a button there now.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Poor Twitter

Kurt Wagner writes in just six short months, Twitter stock holders have been treated to the full, unpredictable Wall Street experience.

First the stock surged — big time — jumping from an IPO price of $26 per share in November to more than $70 per share by Christmas Eve. Then came concerns over user growth and profitability, paving the way for a stock decline that eliminated more than half the company's value in a three-month period. By the time Twitter employees were able to sell their shares, six months after IPO, stock price per share was hovering around $30.

Response has been predictably hysterical; The Atlantic went so far as to pen a eulogy for the microblogging service. But of the many people surprised by Twitter's recent stock market struggles, there was at least one person expecting it: CEO Dick Costolo.

According to multiple sources close to the company, Twitter's chief executive warned employees in the months following the company's IPO to prepare for ups and downs in the market. Costolo, who hosts company-wide "Tea Time" chats every other week where employees can ask him questions, at some point prepped Twitter employees that the company's initial stock surge wasn't permanent.

"Dick has done and continues to do a great job of setting expectations around that sort of stuff," one source close to the company told Mashable. "[He's] constantly reminding folks Twitter needs to fulfill its promise and think long term."

Preaching patience is far easier than practicing it, and Costolo's advice is likely being put to the test inside Twitter HQ. A number of Twitter executives, including Costolo, promised to hold onto their shares as a show of support for the company even though the six month lockup period is now over.

Others, however, including COO Ali Rowghani, sold shares last week in bulk. Former employees attempted to cash out as well, though technical issues and confusion over who was able to sell caused frustration among them. According to reports, Schwab was unable to process a handful of sale orders, resulting in angry former employees taking to a private Facebook thread to try to circumvent the issues.

Following the lockup fumble, the share price fell nearly 20%. A Twitter spokesperson did not comment on the lockup issue or on sentiment inside the company.

Stock fluctuation isn't rare for newly public companies. Lise Buyer, the founder of Class V Group, a firm that helps companies go to market, says that volatility is almost a given. "Emerging tech stocks always have, and always will be volatile," she told Mashable. "IPOs are the most risky sorts of equity investments as the companies they represent haven't been tested in the marketplace or had to function with the incremental burdens of public disclosures."

The public disclosure element seems to be hampering Twitter. Investors are balking at the company's user growth, which has been slower than expected despite a 25% increase year-over-year. It was widely thought that Twitter was aiming for 400 million users by the end of 2013, and the reality — 255 million as of March 31 — is a long way off.

Stock valuation may not be the only thing Twitter is trying to maintain, however. Multiple former mid- and low-level employees told Mashable they know numerous current employees either planning to leave the company, or actively seeking other work now that the IPO is in the past.

Twitter has close to 3,000 employees, so it's bound to both lose and add new faces on a regular basis. But those planning to leave the company are reportedly doing so because they're burnt out; two to three years at Twitter feels like 10, one former employee told us, a sentiment echoed by two other low-level employees who used to work at the company. Employees seem to enjoy a collegial atmosphere, and no one we talked to said negative things about the product itself, but people work extremely hard — that comes at a price.

Part of that grind is because Twitter innovates constantly. As a public company, it's no longer a startup, but that doesn't keep it from acting like one. "It's like having a thousand cooks in the kitchen at one time," one former employee told Mashable. Added another: "This month's success is next month's expectation. That grind just catches up with people."

In some ways, the situation at Twitter appears to be similar to Facebook's following its IPO in 2012. Investors first flocked to the social network. Then the stock price, which opened at $38 per share in May, fell below $20 by mid-November. Like Costolo, Zuckerberg preached patience to employees, encouraging them to ignore Wall Street and focus on building great products.

Employees did notice the stock decline, however, but few were comfortable talking about it. Bret Taylor, now CEO of Quip, was Facebook's CTO at the time of the IPO. He says employees refrained from talking about the stock price — saying it was viewed as "uncool" to worry about it — even though it may have been on their mind.

I have said for a long time Twitter was over valued and would tank. I see it falling into the $20 dollar range before it levels off.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reshuffling Employees Could Signal Major Changes For Google+

This week, Ryan W. Neal reports that Google Plus' longtime leader, Vic Gundotra, abruptly resigned, ending an eight-year tenure.TechCrunch and Financial Times reported that Gundotra’s resignation may not have been voluntary, signaling the company's change of heart over Google Plus.

“Multiple sources” told TechCrunch that Google no longer sees Google Plus as competitive product to Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), but rather as platform to unify its various products and services. Those sources said Google is shuffling more than a thousand members of the Google Plus team to other departments, mostly to Android, while the Wall Street Journal reported that the remaining Google Plus employees moved to a building on the outskirts of the Google campus, evidence of a decline in status within the company.

Google released a statement denying these claims.

“Today’s announcement has no impact on our Google+ strategy -- we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos,” a Google spokesperson said.

The statement doesn’t deny that those features, and the talent behind them, have been redirected. Many features of Google Plus, like Hangouts and Photos, have become important tools on the Android platform, and if the reports are true, Google Plus could fade into the background. Some users see signs that the unpopular Circles, which never really captured a mass appeal, may just disappear.

“I don’t believe that G+ is going anywhere, but coincidentally I received a survey from Google about G+ on Tuesday,” Google user Curtis Jacob wrote on a Google Plus thread. “Some of the questions even asked what I would think if G+ didn’t exist anymore.”

In the end, this could benefit Google. The forced integration of Google Plus into Gmail and YouTube inspired a lot of user backlash and even internal conflict, but Google Plus was successful at creating just one account for users to login and use all of Google’s services.

Google has also licensed this login platform to other companies, letting people use their Google Plus accounts to connect with non-Google websites and apps. This service is convenient for both users and the third-party company, and allows Google to collect more information about their users’ online behavior for advertising purposes. If Google Plus can’t defeat Facebook as a social network, it can still compete as an advertising powerhouse.

Google Plus also unified Hangouts, originally a video-chat service, Talk and gChat into a unified communications app that is now the default messaging app on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. The success of WhatsApp has proven, at least to Facebook, the potential of messaging apps in the future. Having the Hangouts team work full time on Android could help Google stay competitive in this arena.

Android also already uses the Auto Backup feature of Google Plus for saving photos and videos on a mobile device. If the team behind the successful image-editing features of Google Plus moved to Android, it could focus on bringing these products to Google’s mobile camera app. Some have even imagined turning the active photo-sharing community on Google Plus into an Instagram-like app for sharing mobile photos.

Possible Gmail Redesign

Gmail is thought to be undergoing a redesign that will radically change the way people interact with Google email.

The interface change, revealed by leaked screenshots of a test version published by technology site Geek.com, shows a shift towards the simplified design already used by the Google Plus social network and Google’s intelligent digital assistant Google Now.

It could be the biggest change in the way Gmail looks and operates since the service was created in 2004.

Removing clutter

The design focuses on Google’s search, which can be used to find and highlight emails in a long list, replacing the need to file email in folders or categories. The cluttered sidebar that contained email labels, folders and Google’s Hangouts instant messaging service has been removed in favor of a sliding menu, already used by Google’s social network and other Google services.

Google's simplified interface for Gmail. Photograph: Geek.com

Buttons for composing a new email, setting reminders and other quick actions are now in the bottom right-hand cover, and the tabbed interface that allows users to switch between email, contacts and tasks has been removed. Google Hangouts now drops down from a menu in the right-hand top corner. Google’s starred emails, which are used to flag important conversations, have been replaced by “pins”. Emails can also be snoozed, to be returned to the top of the inbox at a later date.

Google has only made small, gradual additions and changes to Gmail in the past, with some changes remaining entirely optional for years for its 425-million-plus users.

It is possible that the redesign is an internal Google change that will not be released to the public, but it appears to match that of leaked design change of Google’s mobile email interface. It also brings Google’s email service more into line with newer Google online services in look and workflow.

New Feature Mute From Twitter

Twitter is rolling out a "mute" feature that will let you silence certain users in your feed. Once you've muted them, their tweets and retweets will no longer be visible in your timeline, and you won't receive their push or SMS notifications, although @ replies and mentions will still appear.

"In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you'd like to hear from less," Twitter said in a blog post late Monday.

The mute function will be available on Twitter's iPhone and Android apps and its website and will roll out to all Twitter users "in the coming weeks."

Twitter says muted users will still be able to favorite, reply to and retweet your tweets, but you won't see any of that activity in your timeline. Muted users you follow can still send you a direct message.

But the muted user won't know you've muzzled them, and you can unmute them at any time.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Facebook Audience Insight Tool For Business

Facebook is continually pumping out new features and tools for the business community. The newest tool is the Facebook Audience Insight. Here is the press release.

The more customer insights you have, the better you’re equipped to deliver meaningful messages to people. That’s the thinking behind Facebook Audience Insights, a new tool designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences, including aggregate information about geography, demographics, purchase behavior and more.

Say you want to raise awareness for your women’s luxury fashion brand, and you sell your products in-store. You’d want to know how many people on Facebook live near your stores, as well as their interests, their past purchase behavior and how they tend to shop (online vs. in-store). Using Audience Insights, you can get aggregate and anonymous information such as:

Demographics — Age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size
Page likes — The top Pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports
Location and language — Where do people live, and what languages do they speak
Facebook usage — How frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook and what device(s) they are using when they log on
Purchases activity — Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online)
And you can view this information for three different groups of people:
People on Facebook (the general Facebook audience)
People connected to your Page or event
People in Custom Audiences you’ve already created (an audience made up of your current customers)
Audience Insights is different from Page Insights because it looks at trends about your current or potential customers across Facebook, whereas Page Insights looks at the interactions with your Page (i.e., likes, comments and shares).

We built Audience Insights with privacy in mind. It surfaces aggregated information people already express on Facebook, along with information from trusted third-party partners — like Acxiom — through our partner categories targeting. Like Page Insights, Audience Insights shows information about groups of people without the need to share which individual people are in those groups. This allows marketers to view aggregate and anonymous insights while keeping people’s personal information private.

Audience Insights will begin rolling out today within Ads Manager for all US marketers. Global access will follow in the coming months. To get started, head tofacebook.com/ads/audience_insights.

Twitter Rolls Out New Security

Twitter redesigned their security settings, password retrieval etc. 
Here is the press release.

We know some of you occasionally have difficulty accessing your Twitter account, and whatever the circumstances may be, we want you to be able to get back into it quickly and securely. So today we’re starting to roll out two improvements that will help protect your account and restore access: one, a streamlined password reset experience; and two, better identification and blocking of suspicious logins.

Losing or forgetting your Twitter password can be a frustrating experience. We’ve redesigned the password reset process to make it easier to get back into your account.

The new process lets you choose the email address or phone number associated with your account where you’d like us to send your reset information. That way, whether you’ve recently changed your phone number, or are traveling with limited access to your devices, or had an old email address connected to your Twitter account, you’ve got options. We’ve also made it easier to reset a lost password on your iOS or Android device and have added some customized tips to help you strengthen your account security in the future.

While we always encourage you to follow these best practices for password security, we’re aware that many people reuse the same passwords across multiple sites. And when any of these sites are compromised, stolen passwords could be used to access your account on Twitter. To protect your account in this scenario we built a system that analyzes login attempts on your account — by looking at things like location, device being used and login history — and identifies suspicious behavior.

If we identify a login attempt as suspicious, we’ll ask you a simple question about your account — something that only you know — to verify that your account is secure before granting access. We’ll also send you an email to let you know that we’ve detected unusual activity so you can update your password if need be.

Your Twitter account is important to you, and your account security is important to us. We will continue to work on bolstering Twitter account security so you can keep enjoying Twitter safely.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Facebook API Changes Due July 2nd

These are the upcoming changes from Facebook due July 2nd.
Ads API Breaking Changes. The table of contents are linked below.

Due July 2nd, 2014 at 10am PDT
Table of Contents

Ad Campaign Object

Ad Set Object

Ad Object

CPA for Link Click only allowed for page posts
CPM and CPA for link click conversion spec requires post_id
Deprecate page_story, post_story, and app_story specs
Only allow one conversion spec for oCPM ads

When deleting a custom audience with lookalikes, error will be thrown
Remove origin_audience_id and origin_audience_name
Ad previews API: deprecate the page_type field for preview in favor of ad_format
Reachestimate API: remove imp_estimates

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Will It Happen?

Facebook is buying everything up in site. From Oculus to WhatsApp there has been 22 acquisitions since 2012 alone. Staggering yes, but I am waiting on the big one.

Yes, WhatsApp was an incredibly large and in my opinion overpriced purchase but I am waiting on a major shake up in the Social Networking World.


With shares of Twitter tanking with zero end in sight how long will it be until Facebook attempts a major buyout of the micro-blogging site.

Crazy idea? Perhaps. But lets see how the stock is doing by the end of the year.

Another thought.


Google has the monopoly money to play with and Twitter would be a nice add-on to Google+.
Again, I understand it is a crazy idea but then again 19 billion for WhatsApp was strange as well.

Twitter Stock Folding

Shares of Twitter went into free fall on Tuesday as early investors became eligible to sell their shares on the market for the first time. The company’s shares dropped 17.8 percent, to close at $31.85, their lowest level since the company’s initial public offering of stock in November.

Market watchers said the immediate cause of the plunge was the end of a lockup period that had prevented company insiders and early investors, who hold most of the shares, from selling their stock. Young companies that go public typically restrict employees and investors from selling stock for a period of time to prevent the market from being inundated with shares.

In Twitter’s case, the end of the lockup on Tuesday arrived in concert with growing concerns about the microblogging company’s ability to capture a mainstream audience.Continue reading the main story
Twitter sold about 80 million shares to the public in its initial offering, and about 10 million more shares held by employees became available in February.Continue reading the main story

Twitter's stock activity since it went public.

On Tuesday, another 480 million shares owned by insiders became eligible for sale.

Although many of the company’s leaders and biggest investors recently pledged not to sell their holdings, Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, estimated that as many as 200 million newly released shares could soon enter the market. It was unclear how many of the insiders’ shares were sold on Tuesday, but the prospect of all that new stock flooding the market set off a frenzy of selling. About 135 million shares traded hands, 10 times the normal volume.

Twitter’s public offering was widely seen as successful compared with the offering of Facebook, one of Twitter’s rivals, which stumbled out the block.

Shares of Twitter initially sold for $26 and rose by December to $75 a share, even though the company had yet to turn a profit. But in the last few months, concerns over user growth have cut the company’s stock price in half. Facebook’s stock, in comparison, tumbled after its initial public offering in 2012. But Facebook’s stock has recovered and is up about 54 percent from its initial trading price.

In its two quarters as a public company, Twitter has disappointed Wall Street, posting anemic user growth even as revenue more than doubled in the first quarter, to $250 million. While the company has tried to entice new users and engage existing ones with product tweaks and improvements, it has not shown the meteoric rise in user growth usually expected from young technology companies. Twitter said it had 255 million monthly users globally in March, up 5 percent from 241 million at the end of December, which closed a quarter in which monthly active users increased less than 4 percent.

And user engagement — measured by the number of times Twitter users refresh their news feeds — declined 3 percent among Americans compared with the year earlier, and 10 percent in crucial markets overseas, where most of Twitter’s future growth is likely to emerge.

The company has attributed the engagement declines to product changes. In recent months, Twitter has tried to make its platform more intuitive, by redesigning its profile pages and making it easier for users to use photos and videos in their 140-character posts. The company has also been experimenting with an easier way to sign up new users and allowing customers to import their mobile phone contacts so they can follow people they know as they get used to the service.

Evernote And LinkedIn

LinkedIn and Evernote combination is a nice add on for LinkedIn profiles. Here is the press release.
Business cards are one of the many ways people initiate professional relationships, so it is important to us that our members can quickly and easily bring these connections to LinkedIn. CardMunch, which LinkedIn acquired in January 2011, is one way to do this, but we know our members want more capability and functionality.
So today LinkedIn is deepening our partnership with Evernote. LinkedIn members can scan a business card using Evernote’s mobile app and then directly connect with this contact on LinkedIn to maintain the new relationship. Evernote’s card scanning service is fast, reliable, and literally world-class, with support for seven languages.
In Evernote, our members will be able to view profile photos, job titles and company information from LinkedIn right in the notes created when they scan business cards. LinkedIn members will now also be able to enter comments related to the scanned card and geo-tag the location where the card was scanned.
evernote card
We will discontinue the CardMunch app on July 11, 2014. All LinkedIn members who use CardMunch and choose to transfer their existing scanned cards into Evernote will receive two free years of Evernote’s premium business card scanning service. Members will be able to quickly and easily migrate their CardMunch data to Evernote. Details can be found here.
CardMunch data is also available in LinkedIn Contacts on LinkedIn.com on the desktop, and in the LinkedIn Contacts app. We recognize that some members may not want to transfer their data to Evernote, so we are also giving all CardMunch users the option to download their CardMunch data (including their business card images).
linkedin contacts evernote experience
In addition, LinkedIn members who do not use CardMunch will receive free Evernote business card scanning for one year if they connect their LinkedIn account with Evernote.
A couple of weeks ago when we announced LinkedIn surpassed 300 million members, we noted that strategic partnerships (with companies like AppleNokiaSamsung and now Evernote) are a core part of our plan to reach the next three billion LinkedIn members. We’re excited to expand our partnership with Evernote and to bring LinkedIn to their users around the world.
LinkedIn is committed to doing fewer things better and by expanding our partnership with Evernote we can ensure that our members have the best card scanning experience possible while staying focused on what we do best.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Amazon And Twitter Unite

David Murphy writes that Amazon has unveiled a partnership with Twitter which may signal that the future of shopping lies in your social media feed.

Starting today, Twitter users can link their accounts to an Amazon account, and automatically add items to the shopping cart by responding to any tweet with an Amazon product link bearing the hashtag #AmazonCart. Customers never leave the Twitter feed, and the product is waiting for them when they head over to Amazon.

It's potentially a new business model for Twitter, which so far has relied on sponsored tweets for revenue, but has struggled both with growth and figuring out a way to make money off its 255 million monthly active users. For Amazon, adding another convenient way for its consumers to buy products just fuels its primary business.

An Amazon spokeswoman said Twitter doesn't get revenue from the items added to the shopping carts through #AmazonCart, but declined to further discuss its relationship with Twitter.

"We are certainly open to working with other social networks," said the Amazon spokeswoman. "Twitter in particular offers a great environment for our customers to discover product recommendations from artists, experts, brands and friends."

A Twitter spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.

Customers who have already linked their Twitter and Amazon accounts will be notified with a reply tweet from @MyAmazon and get an email from Amazon when an item is added to the cart. Customers who haven't yet linked their accounts will receive a tweet reply asking them to do so to enable the feature.

It's not clear, however, whether consumers will embrace #AmazonCart. Because all tweets are public, people risk publicizing their purchasing decisions by responding to a Tweet with that hashtag. The program could also lead to advertisers sending out more tweets with Amazon product links.

Amazon makes clear on its site that the tweet only adds the item to your cart, and isn't a confirmation for purchase. You would still have to go to Amazon later to check out and pay for the product.

Amazon customers in the UK can use #AmazonBasket to add items to their shopping carts starting today.

Google And Amazon Same Day Delivery

Tiffany Hsu writes Google and Amazon are going head to head over Los Angeles shoppers, launching same-day delivery services in the area within days of each other.

Google said Sunday it is expanding its Google Shopping Express program to West Los Angeles and Manhattan from the Bay Area, where the offering began last year.

The service allows shoppers to go to google.com/express and shop for items to be dropped off in a time frame chosen by shoppers. Google will accept orders until 4 p.m. for delivery in the final window of 6 to 9 p.m.

There's no minimum purchase, surcharge or markup, according to Google. For now, users can sign up for a 6-month free trial or pay $4.99 per item for so-called a la carte shipping.

Google said it is still evaluating how to price the service and will allow customers to opt in to a longer-term subscription once it does.

Google is using third-party delivery agents trained through an in-person program the company calls "Courier University" that teaches agents how to greet customers at the door and how to use the mobile shopping app.

The couriers will wear Google Shopping Express uniforms and, for the most part, drive Google-branded vehicles.

"Los Angeles is a great next city for us to expand to after the San Francisco Bay Area," said Tom Fallows, product management director for the service. "While it shares many of the same attributes in terms of customer preferences and lifestyles, there are also some new challenges for us to explore, such as Los Angeles' famous traffic conditions."

In the Southland, the service will be available to residents of Culver City, Inglewood, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West Los Angeles and Westwood. Customers will be able to access products from Costco, Guitar Center, L'Occitane, Smart & Final, Staples, Target, Toys R Us and Walgreens.

Google said it plans to expand the program soon to Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and West Hollywood.

In January, Google tested the service using its employees in the Santa Monica area. The program originated in the Bay Area, where Google is already competing with similar services from EBay and Walmart.

Los Angeles is far from an online-shopping badlands. On Friday, e-commerce giant Amazon said its own same-day delivery service was available in the area.

Amazon shoppers have access to more than 1 million items, visible by clicking the "Get It Today" filter on the left panel of Amazon's website or consolidated on amazon.com/sameday.

Many products can be ordered as late as noon for delivery before 9 p.m., the company said.

Subscribers to Amazon's Prime service will pay $5.99 per order, regardless of how many items are being purchased. Non-subscribers will shell out $9.98 to have the first product shipped, followed by a 99-cent charge for each additional purchase.

The service also kicked into motion in San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix on Friday, Amazon said.

In June, Amazon unveiled its AmazonFresh same-day and early-morning grocery delivery service in Los Angeles after operating the program in Seattle since 2007.

The company started working with the U.S. Postal Service in November to make Sunday deliveries to Los Angeles and New York customers.

Facebook Adding Video Metrics For Business

Facebook is adding video metrics for business.
Here is the press release.

With the goal of helping you better understand how people respond to your videos on Facebook, today we're announcing that new video metrics in Page Insights and Ads Reporting are coming soon.
Today, as a Page owner, you can only see how many people started watching your video. When the new metrics roll out over the coming weeks, you will also see information like video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view, and audience retention. These new metrics are designed to help you learn what's resonating with people and determine how to more effectively create and promote your videos on Facebook.
Here's a look at some of the upcoming new metrics:
See video views and the number of people that watched your video
We'll show both the total number of video views and the number of people who watched your video. A 'video view' is defined as a view of three seconds or more and will appear for all videos, including those that come to life as people scroll through News Feed. We've also renamed the 'video plays' metric 'clicks to play video.' These register after a person has clicked to play a video and it has started.
Understand your audience and learn what's working
The audience retention graph in Page Insights shows the level of interest in different parts of your video. Spikes in the percentage of views at a certain point may indicate that people are re-watching particular moments, whereas a dip could show the precise moment when most people lost interest and stopped watching. 
Page Insights View
These new metrics will also allow you to see the number of views that reached certain points in a video -- 25%, 50%, 75%, 95% and 100%. This information can help you discover how your video is performing and help you determine where to place key messages.
Ads Reporting View
Using the 'data breakdowns' feature in Ads Reporting, you can also learn how specific audiences responded to your video. For example, if females between 18 and 34 are a demographic you target in your campaign, the data breakdown will show the number of views you received from that demographic.
Video metrics will be available for all paid and organic videos uploaded directly to Facebook Pages and will roll out gradually over the coming weeks. To learn more, check out our video metrics definitions and best practices guide here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Google Facees Another Lawsuit For US Mobile Search

Reuters says Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google Inc alleging the company "illegally monopolized" the Internet and mobile search market in the United States.

The lawsuit alleges that Google has expanded its monopoly of the internet search market by pre-loading its applications onto Android mobile devices through its Mobile Application Distribution Agreements.

According to the lawsuit, Google's role in placing this suite of apps, including Google Play and YouTube, has hampered the market and kept the price of devices made by competing manufactures like Samsung Electronics and HTC Corp artificially high.

Google said Android and Google can be used independent of each other.

"Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android. Since Android's introduction, greater competition in smartphones has given consumers more choices at lower prices," Matt Kallman, a Google spokesman, told Reuters.

Steve Berman, the attorney representing consumers, alleged that Google had not achieved its monopoly by offering a better search engine, but through anti-competitive placement and market manipulation.

LinkedIn Q1 Earnings

Revenue for the first quarter was $473.2 million, an increase of 46% compared to $324.7 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Net loss attributable to common stockholders for the first quarter was $13.4 million, compared to net income of $22.6 million for the first quarter of 2013. Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter was $47.3 million, compared to $52.4 million for the first quarter of 2013. Non-GAAP measures exclude tax-affected stock-based compensation expense and tax-affected amortization of acquired intangible assets.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $116.7 million, or 25% of revenue, compared to $83.4 million for the first quarter of 2013, or 26% of revenue.

GAAP diluted EPS for the first quarter was $(0.11), compared to GAAP diluted EPS of $0.20 for the first quarter 2013; non-GAAP diluted EPS for the first quarter was $0.38, compared to non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.45 for the first quarter of 2013.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Facebook Audience Network

Facebook announced an expanded test of their Facebook’s Audience Network — a new way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps.
Here is the press release
The power of Facebook ads, off Facebook
Facebook ads work because they’re personal, relevant and easy to measure on both desktop and mobile. The Audience Network brings these same powerful features to additional app-based mobile experiences, giving marketers even more scale for their Facebook campaigns.
The Audience Network uses the same targeting available for Facebook ads today, including Custom Audiences, core audiences and lookalike audiences. It features the same measurement tools marketers use for their Facebook ads, too.
Extended reach with a single click
For marketers already running News Feed ads on Facebook, using the Audience Network takes just one click. The Audience Network will be available in all ad interfaces, as well as the API. Once a campaign is running in the Audience Network, our system handles optimization and delivery.
Ads that drive results
Ads in the Audience Network are designed to help marketers meet key business objectives, like driving app installs and engagement. To help deliver the best ads possible, the Audience Network delivers ads in three creative formats:

The Audience Network’s native format ads fit the look and feel of the respective app supporting an ad. Early tests have shown that these ads drive great performance.
Regardless of format, there’s no need to upload new creative — ads in the Audience Network use the same images you use for your ads on Facebook.
Simple insights
With the Facebook SDK or by working with a mobile measurement partner, marketers can measure app engagements and conversions, demographic information and more. The results from Facebook campaigns and Audience Network campaigns can be broken out separately to show what’s working, or results can be viewed comprehensively.
What to expect
The Audience Network is starting with advertisers looking to drive app installs or app engagement. We’ll expand to include additional marketing objectives in the future.
Since we’re still in the early phases of the Audience Network, we anticipate performance to vary at first. We expect to see performance increase as more ads, apps and publishers come onto the system.
The Audience Network will roll out to more advertisers in the coming months. If you’re interested in trying it for your mobile campaigns, reach out to your account rep or client partner to learn more.