Is it still paranoia if everyone really is watching you? Most of us are likely aware at this point that unless we take some fairly extensive precautions, we’re always being watched in one way or another while browsing the Web. What you might not be aware of, however, is the shocking number of services that monitor us on nearly every website we visit. More →
When it comes to the Internet, your eyeballs are worth more than you know. Online advertising is a massive multi-billion dollar industry and the companies dominating the industry — Google and Facebook, for example — are the companies in possession of the most private data. This data is used to target ads at consumers based on their history and preferences, and the better a company can target ads, the more it can charge advertisers to display those ads.
It looks like the Federal Trade Commission is finally starting to realize that some companies go too far when collecting data and building a profile of Internet users to be sold to marketers, and consumers deserve to have more control over how they are tracked online. More →
Facebook is about to launch a mobile advertising network that could potentially take on Google’s. According to Re/code, Facebook will launch its mobile advertising network at the end of this month during the annual F8 developer conference. Re/code didn’t have much more information about the network, but the move makes sense for Facebook. Facebook has incredibly rich data on its users, allowing advertisers to target specific segments of the population. More →
As companies like Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) continue to eye the mobile market as they look to bolster their advertising portfolios, a new report suggests mobile might not be the golden goose some had hoped. An estimated 61% of cell phone owners in the United Kingdom use smartphones, and a whopping 53% of them say they have never seen a mobile advertisement on their handsets, according to a recent Nielsen study. Econsultancy notes that mobile advertising grew 132% in the first half last year. With more than half of smartphone users in the UK claiming to have never seen an ad, the next push in mobile advertising will likely focus on finding ways to display mobile ads more prominently.
Google (GOOG) is an advertising company, first and foremost. It makes money by attracting users to its wide range of services, collecting and storing as much data as possible about those users, and then showing them targeted advertisements. Android, Google’s mobile operating system that now sits atop the smartphone food chain, is open source and available to vendors for free. Why? Because it brings Google new data on hundreds of millions of users and makes Google’s various services — and ads — easily accessible. But much of the world is still without a smartphone, and Google’s land grab is now extending to the “next billion.” More →
T-Mobile (DT) has confirmed that it is finally giving up on claims that it owns “America’s largest 4G network” beginning with a new advertising campaign that started running on July 10th. Did the nation’s No.4 carrier finally acknowledge that laying claim to a massive 4G network while preparing to begin 4G LTE deployment is somewhat questionable, at best? Of course not — instead, T-Mobile has conceded that AT&T’s (T) previous-generation 4G network, which covers roughly 250 million Americans, outreaches its own HSPA+ network. “T-Mobile became the first nationwide 4G network and began using ‘America’s Largest 4G Network’ in marketing more than 18 months ago,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told FierceWireless. “Since that time, competitors have worked to catch up as we’ve continued to expand and strengthen our 4G network. We don’t care to debate these last few POPs, and the numbers are constantly changing.” At last count, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network covered roughly 215 million people. More →
Google is an advertising company first and foremost, but the big revenue the company sees from ads is funding the rest of the company’s efforts — efforts that have brought us great products and services like Gmail, Google Maps and the company’s new Nexus 7 tablet. Search remains Google’s core product, of course, and countless businesses are sustained by traffic generated by Google searches. As such, it’s no mystery that advertising is Google’s biggest revenue generator by a landslide. Google has made moves recently to promote clicks on paid ads rather than organically surfaced results, and a new study reveals that Google’s efforts have had quite an impact. More →
Lookout Mobile Security has found that advertisements deployed within mobile applications are increasingly becoming more invasive and are accessing “personal information (including email, phone number and name) without clearly notifying the user.” To make matters worse, Lookout says that many of these ads “use aggressive mobile ad delivery techniques that can confuse users, like changing bookmark settings or delivering ads outside the context of an individual app.” More →
Get ready for even more annoying advertisements to pop up during Angry Birds. Per Mobile Business Briefing, a new study from Juniper Research projects that spending on advertisements delivered in mobile applications will grow from $2.4 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion in 2015, a nearly three-fold increase over the span of three years. What’s more, Juniper projects that advertising dollars spent on Mobile Messaging will increase eight-fold over the next five years, so users should get ready to deal with a lot more ads on their smartphones and tablets. More →
Microsoft is planning to launch interactive ads on its Xbox 360 streaming services that will rival television networks. The software giant has signed on Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile to offer its new “NUads,” The Los Angeles Times reported. The advertisements will debut this fall and will be found on Microsoft’s Xbox video apps, including those offered by ESPN, TMZ, NBC News and UFC. The first iteration of NUads will let users vote in response to different questions. For instance, Toyota will ask users what other devices they would like to see “reinvented” the way the company has “reinvented” some of its auto models. Users will be able to respond through the Xbox controller or voice and hand gestures with the Kinect. Toyota will then have access to the data and demographic information. Microsoft’s general manager of entertainment and advertising for the Xbox Live online service, Ross Honey, said the company plans to charge a “premium” compared with typical commercial rates. “There have been interactive ads on the Web before, but the beauty of it is that we’re bringing that to the TV,” he said. “It’s a substantially more valuable ad product.” More →
Microsoft recently filed a patent application for technology that would give its Xbox 360 Kinect sensor the ability to read users’ facial expressions and body language, thus enabling Microsoft to send them ads based on their emotional states. Jacob Aron at New Scientist writes that the technology in the patent application “suggests a company could choose which emotions would match to its adverts.” For example, Aron speculates that people who are generally happy might get fewer advertisements for weight-loss programs and more advertisements for new gadgets, while sad people might get fewer advertisements for local night clubs and confused people may get ads from “a technical support firm to help them out.” It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how people react to their own Xbox telling them that they’re depressed, stupid or overweight. More →
Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” painted a scary picture of the future in a number of ways. For privacy advocates, one of several nightmarish technologies used in the film allowed outdoor signs and billboards to play targeted interactive advertisements by scanning the eyeballs of passers-by in order to identify them. Such technology isn’t widely available yet, but Intel plans to take a big step toward a future chock-full of invasive ads when it launches a new TV advertising platform that makes use of facial recognition to target ads to viewers. More →
Apple will soon pay a fine equal to approximately US$2.21 million for misleading the public in its Australian iPad advertisements, The Australian reports. A Federal Court in Australia on Friday confirmed that it was advised that Apple has agreed to settle a case filed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, alleging that the company’s ads touting the iPad as a 4G device were misleading since it cannot connect to 4G networks in Australia. Apple already conceded that it was in the wrong by offering customers a refund if they felt they had been duped. The company is still facing similar claims in both the United Kingdom and Sweden, where regulators are examining whether or not the Cupertino, California-based company’s ads touting the iPad as a 4G device were misleading to consumers. More →