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.
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 →
Facebook’s push to generate more revenues from mobile ads seems to be getting results but not nearly enough to dent Google’s share of total mobile ad revenues. Business Insider points us to new research from eMarketer showing that Google has accounted for 53.2% of all mobile ad revenues so far in 2013, an increase from its 2012 share of 52.4% of all mobile ad revenues. What makes this particularly impressive is that Google has held onto its share of mobile ad revenues even as Facebook has seen its share of mobile ad revenues surge from 5.4% in 2012 to 15.8% in 2013. In other words, it seems as though Facebook’s rise in mobile ad revenues is much like Bing’s growth in the search market: It’s taking away shares from smaller players but not doing anything yet to hurt the dominant market leader.
Google isn’t the only company that’s helping both itself and others by trying to get more people connected to the Internet. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that he’s launching a new initiative called Internet.org whose goal is to make sure that ”anyone, anywhere — a child growing up in rural India who never had a computer — can go to a store, get a phone, get online, and get access to all of the same things that you and I appreciate about the Internet.” More →
Facebook is the world’s largest social network with more than 1.15 billion monthly active users. From users’ standpoint, the service serves an important purpose by helping keep friends and family connected around the world. But for some, Facebook is doing more harm than good; a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan found that the more people log in to Facebook, the less happy they are. More →
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.”
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.
Shares of Facebook have surged more than 25% since the company reported second-quarter earnings ahead of Wall Street’s expectations. Facebook’s growing ad business helped the company pull in $1.81 billion in revenue, however a new report suggests that those same ads are hampering the user experience. A report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, per Business Insider, revealed that more than a quarter, or 27%, of Facebook users believe ads are negatively affecting their experience on the site, compared to 23% of LinkedIn users and 12% of Twitter users. More →
Facebook reported its second quarter earnings on Wednesday, crushing Wall Street’s expectations with revenue of $1.81 billion. The social networking giant now has 699 million daily active users, 469 million daily mobile users, 1.15 billion monthly active users and 819 million monthly active mobile users. The unprecedented growth of users who access the site through the Facebook app was once a troubling trend for the company, however Facebook appears to have figured out a way to properly monetize the nearly 1 billion mobile users. Ad sales from mobile have continued to climb with each quarter and now account for 41% of the company’s ad business, up from 14% in the third quarter of 2012. Shares of Facebook surged nearly 15% in after hours trading, crossing the $30 per share barrier for the first time since January.
Instagram revised its terms of service last December in an attempt to open new doors to potential advertisers. The change was met with intense user backlash, however, as many feared the popular photo-sharing service was looking to sell or license their personal photos without their consent. Lucy Rodriguez, being represented by the law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk, filed a class-action lawsuit against Instagram and owner Facebook for breach of contract and allegedly trying to “grab for customer property rights.” Judge William Alsup for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday ruled that Rodriguez could not sue Instagram because procedural grounds for a class-action lawsuit were not met, CNET reported. The judge dismissed the case and also rejected a request to amend the claim. The law firm now intends to refile the case in San Francisco Superior Court.
Instagram’s ambitious chief executive has big plans for the photo-sharing app. CEO Kevin Systrom has helped Instagram grow from a small startup to one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Since being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram’s user base has more than tripled to over 130 million users. Despite increased competition from services like Vine, Instagram has held its own. Systrom noted that if the service keeps growing at its current rate, not only will it be bigger than Facebook, but it “will be the biggest thing in the world.” The big question, however, is if Instagram can maintain its current growth. The executive acknowledged that growing to such a tremendous level may not easy, especially since Facebook still has more than eight times the number of users. More →
Facebook will begin rolling out its Graph Search feature to users in the U.S. beginning Monday. The company announced the brilliant new feature, which allows users to conduct searches with detailed results from Facebook friends, in January and has been slowly rolling it out to early adopters over the past few months. Graph Search can be used by Facebook users to search for posts, status updates, photos, locations, likes and more within the Facebook Social Graph. The tool only surfaces results from public data and posts from within a user’s network of friends, and posts from private users will be hidden. All Facebook users with the “US English” setting will have access to Graph Search within the few days, and “several hundreds of millions” of additional users will begin seeing it this week as well.
In an effort to increase revenue and keep investors happy, Facebook has begun rolling out more advertisements across its popular social networking site. The company recently announced its latest milestone, revealing that it is now has more than one million companies actively advertising on the site. Not everyone is happy about its new monetization strategy, however. Paul Tassi, a contributor for Forbes, argues that Facebook has so many advertisements that it is beginning to look like a “domain squatter landing page.” He compared the company’s ads to those found on other competing social networking sites such as Google+, Twitter and Pinterest, and noticed that Facebook had the largest amount of advertisements by a wide margin. In fact, both Google+ and Pinterest are ad-free, while Twitter only shows a single “promoted tweet.” More →