Twitter Direct Messaging Revamp

Twitter reportedly pondering a WhatsApp-style direct messaging app

By on October 17, 2013 at 8:30 PM.

Twitter reportedly pondering a WhatsApp-style direct messaging app

Could Twitter soon go head-to-head with WhatsApp, Kik and other big mobile messaging services? Unnamed sources tell AllThingsD that Twitter has been working on “plans to significantly update its direct-messaging product in the near future” and has even “kicked around the idea of launching a standalone direct-messaging application separate from the Twitter app.” Doing a standalone direct-messaging app would put Twitter in direct competition with the scores of messaging apps that have taken the mobile world by storm over the past couple of years. AllThingsD notes that Twitter is still not settled as to whether its messaging revamp will include a standalone app for direct messages, although the company is definitely feeling some competitive heat from its rivals in the mobile messaging world.

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Facebook Search Privacy

Facebook policy change leaves users with nowhere to hide

By on October 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM.

Facebook policy change leaves users with nowhere to hide

Facebook users who prefer to lurk in the shadows will not be terribly pleased to learn of a new change to Facebook’s privacy settings that is currently in the process of being rolled out. Facebook users until now have had the option to hide their accounts from the website’s search service. Enabling the setting would mean that their profiles would not be included in search results even when people search for them by name. This will no longer be the case once Facebook removes the privacy option in question, however. Facebook says that the new change will only impact a single-digit percentage of its user base, but we’re not sure how comforting that is. Considering Facebook is currently home to about 1.2 billion users, that means this change could impact more than 100 million people around the world.

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Instagram User Feed Ads

All good things must end: Instagram officially bringing ads to user feeds

By on October 3, 2013 at 9:45 PM.

All good things must end: Instagram officially bringing ads to user feeds

Come on, Instagram users: You didn’t think your feed would stay blissfully ad-free forever, did you? Instagram announced on Wednesday that it will start delivering ads to users’ Instagram feeds over the next couple of months as a way to grow its revenues. The Facebook-owned company says it wants to make sure that “any advertisements you see feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos many of you already enjoy from your favorite brands” and will insist that the ads it displays will “be enjoyable and creative in much the same way you see engaging, high-quality ads when you flip through your favorite magazine.” Users will also be able to block ads that they don’t like and will be able to give Instagram feedback about what ads they’d prefer to see in their feeds.

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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg NSA Scandal

Zuckerberg: NSA scandal hurt users’ trust in Facebook

By on September 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM.

Zuckerberg: NSA scandal hurt users’ trust in Facebook

The fallout from the National Security Agency surveillance scandal hasn’t just hurt trust between American tech companies and foreign governments — it’s also damaged the relationship between American tech companies and their own customers. Per ReutersFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said this week that revelations about the NSA’s vast data collection practices have made users less likely to trust Facebook and said that the government’s handling of the scandal has been woefully inept. More →

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Facebook Mobile App Video Ads

Facebook working to squeeze silent auto-play video ads into mobile app

By on September 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM.

Facebook working to squeeze silent auto-play video ads into mobile app

So, you thought you could escape the coming era of auto-play video ads on Facebook by accessing the site through your mobile phone, did you? Well, you’re out of luck. Facebook announced this week that it will bring auto-play videos to its mobile app that wouldn’t play any sound unless users click on them. Although the auto-play videos will be limited to videos from users’ friends and their favorite bands at first, Facebook does say that it wants to bring silent auto-play video ads to its mobile app if they won’t degrade the user experience. Facebook has been experimenting with adding auto-play ads with full sound to users’ pages on its desktop website although it’s apparently still trying to figure out how to add them without driving users crazy.

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Facebook Instagram Ads Coming

Yes, ads are coming to Instagram

By on September 9, 2013 at 3:15 PM.

Yes, ads are coming to Instagram

Are you ready for your Instagram feed to be just as clogged with ads as your Facebook page? If not, then too bad: The Wall Street Journal reports that Instagram will soon start supporting ads anyway. Specifically, the Journal says that former Facebook executive and current Instagram COO Emily White has been leading an effort to generate more revenue for Instagram and that we should expect to start seeing ads on the photo-sharing service within the next year. The Journal says that White’s challenge has been figuring out “how to integrate marketing without jeopardizing Instagram’s cool factor.” Given that Instagram is now competing in the short video-sharing realm with popular services such as Vine, it can ill-afford to alienate users and will have to implement advertisements on the service cautiously.

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Facebook Spam Annual Revenues

Facebook spam estimated to be a $200 million industry

By on August 29, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

Facebook spam estimated to be a $200 million industry

The people on Facebook who tell you how their friend made $85,000 a year working from home are doing quite well for themselves. The Guardian reports that a team of researchers in Italy estimated that Facebook spam generates around $202 million a year in annual revenue and that spammers get paid between $13 to $58 per post depending on the number of subscribers a particular page has. While many of us find Facebook spammers annoying, the spammers themselves actually told the researchers that Facebook tolerates their presence because they generate more hits for Facebook pages. More →

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Facebook Mobile Payment Platform

Facebook could soon help you with your online shopping

By on August 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM.

Facebook could soon help you with your online shopping

Facebook is always thinking of new ways to generate revenue and its latest venture looks as though it could actually add value to the site without spamming users with annoying auto-play video ads. TechCrunch reports that Facebook is testing out its own mobile payment program that “pre-fills credit card and billing info” onto your mobile payment platform of choice, whether it’s PayPal, Stripe, Braintree or another option. TechCrunch says that the new payments feature is supposed to be a compliment, and not a competitor with, other payment platforms since it is just “a data layer that rides on top of other payment services.”

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Facebook 15-Second Video Ads

Using Facebook is about to get a lot more annoying

By on July 30, 2013 at 4:20 PM.

Using Facebook is about to get a lot more annoying

It was only a matter of time before Facebook started bringing auto-play ads into users’ news feeds. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that Facebook will start letting marketers “buy their way directly” into Facebook users’ feeds “with a 15-second pitch” that will cost them between $1 million to $2.5 million per day to buy. Bloomberg’s sources say that “the commercials will initially be sold on a full-day basis and can only be targeted to users based on age and gender” and that “Facebook members won’t see a spot more than three times in a given day.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pushed back the timetable for when the new ads will launch because he wants to make sure that they don’t degrade users’ experience on the site, Bloomberg’s sources say.

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Google+ Social Sharing Analysis

Google+ still a ghost town, getting beat by LinkedIn for social sharing

By on July 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM.

Google+ still a ghost town, getting beat by LinkedIn for social sharing

Plenty of people have Google+ accounts, but do many people actually use them for being social? Marketing Land reports that online brand management firm Gigya has released new data showing that Google’s social network only accounts for 2% of all social sharing across the web. Facebook is unsurprisingly still the top network for sharing, accounting for half of all content shared across the Internet. Twitter and Pinterest also account for significant portions of shared content, respectively accounting for 24% and 16% of social sharing. The most embarrassing part for Google, though, is that LinkedIn is actually beating Google+ for shared content with a 3% share, meaning that Google+ users share even less than users of a website that is mostly used for business networking.

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Twitter Popularity Analysis

Noted critic on Twitter: ‘It’s toast. Over. Done. History.’

By on July 12, 2013 at 2:55 PM.

Noted critic on Twitter: ‘It’s toast. Over. Done. History.’

Noted industry analyst and former consultant to major labels Bob Lefsetz is best known for his thoughts on the music industry, but he dabbles in other areas from time to time including social networking. The analyst recently noted that Facebook appears to be losing its appeal among younger users, which could certainly be a big problem over time, and now Lefsetz has set his sights on Twitter, which he says will soon be a thing of the past. More →

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Instagram Website Video Embedding

Instagram launches video embedding for all websites

By on July 10, 2013 at 10:45 PM.

Instagram launches video embedding for all websites

Instagram on Wednesday announced an important new feature that could help its video-sharing service grow by leaps and bounds: embedding onto websites. Instagram’s embedding protocols are very similar to YouTube’s, as you can click a “share” button below a video that then gives you HTML code that you copy and paste onto your website. The Facebook-owned Instagram is also assuring its users that “your embedded photo or video appears with your Instagram username, and clicking on the Instagram logo will take people to your page on Instagram.com where they can discover more of your photos and videos.” Instagram’s video sharing service, which lets users upload videos of up to 15 seconds in length, is an attempt by Facebook to keep up with Twitter’s popular Vine video app. With an active user count of around 130 million people, Instagram’s video sharing figures to be a very popular feature for mobile users.

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