brands under fire
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2013 04:52 PM
In the wake of the PRISM scandal, brands are continuing to jockey for their place among the most transparent as the government slowly concedes to releasing more surveillance data collected through the top-secret NSA program, which was made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden.
Requests by Facebook, Microsoft, Google and the like to release data requested by the government have been answered this week. While the initial accusations that the internet companies allowed the NSA to troll data through a wide-open back door was ruled false, the companies still wished to clear their names in conjunction with the thousands of written data requests with which they are charged to comply with per federal laws.
To date, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft have disclosed the number of requests received over certain blocks of time. Facebook published its first transparency report, where it said it received up to 10,000 requests between July and December 2012. Meanwhile, Apple said it faced up to 5,000 federal, state and local requests between December 2012 and May 2013, Microsoft reported 7,000 requests from July through December 2012, and Yahoo reported the most, with 13,000 requests for data in the past 18 months, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 31, 2013 04:28 PM
Yahoo is wasting no time in leveraging its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr, using the blogging platform to roll out sponsored web posts next month. The ads will integrate with user’s streams, which, until now, were only populated by user content on desktop versions. In-stream ads in Tumblr's mobile app have been active since last month.
The new dashboard ad units will be similar to the mobile ads currently on display, which are distinguishd by a small dollar sign in the upper right-hand corner of the post. Users can share and favorite the ads, which won't appear more than four times per day. Tumblr claims that the in-stream mobile ads have been shared more than 10 million times since launching in April.
Yahoo's first big step in increasing the monetization of the popular blog site is also the biggest concern of faithful users, many of which who supposedly jumped ship to other platforms soon after news of the acquisition was announced. “Tumblr has to make sure to carefully manage velocity—i.e. pacing of introduction so as not to alienate users,” Vik Kathuria, managing partner at GroupM told Digiday.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 29, 2013 01:08 PM
While anticipation continues to build around the possible buyout of video streaming service Hulu, the price, however, is a bit underwhelming.
Despite its $2 billion valuation, the service is attracting bids from big players like Yahoo, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable somewhere in the $500 million to $800 million range—arguably a small amount of money compared to recent deals like Tumblr's $1.1 billion price tag and Instagram's $1 billion one. Yahoo’s bid (between $600 million and $800 million) is the largest so far while others, like Chernin Group, have issued a $500 million bid. Other companies interested in the service include private equity firms Guggenheim Digital, KKR & Co and Silverlake Partners.
One reason for the low-ball bids could be the fact that Hulu has been hemorrhaging market share to Google's YouTube as well as ad-supported services including LiveRail, Adap.TV, and BrightRoll. It served up only 1.4 million ads in April 2013, down 13 percent from 1.6 million video ads in March, according to comScore.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 27, 2013 04:24 PM
Twitter’s aggressive move into social advertising is causing ripples in the eco-system as online platforms increasingly takes lessons from traditional media to heart.
Facebook recently met with marketing heads from Unilever, EE, Barclay’s and Tesco to pitch the benefits of their ad products and measurement tools that will lead to increased sales, regardless of user clicks. “In the branding world, the direct connection between a page impression or a click and the actual purchase doesn’t exist,” said Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s VP analytics. “When people look at things online and then purchase things in store, it’s hard to attribute that. That’s the challenge that TV had for a while and they solved it.”
The challenge is to establish long-term brand relationships beyond click-based advertising and to that end, Facebook is working with third-party measurement firms GfK and Datalogix. Facebook’s recently redesigned News Feed aims to recreate the impact of TV campaigns and reach the growing smartphone and tablet market that now accounts for one-third of Facebook’s $1.46 billion third-quarter revenues.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 22, 2013 05:36 PM
The Facebook generation is so over Facebook, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
After surveying 802 teens, ages 12 to 17 about their online habits, it turns out that Facebook has become a "social burden." "While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own."
While 94 percent of teens are maintaining their Facebook accounts, more and more continue to migrate to Twitter and Instagram as largely parent-free zones that give them a greater ability to freely express themselves. According to the survey, 11 percent of teens had Instagram accounts, 5 percent have Tumblr accounts and 7 percent have accounts on Myspace.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 21, 2013 04:46 PM
In what was quite an eventful day for the aging internet company, Yahoo announced significant changes to Flickr at a media event in New York City on Monday—a perfectly timed distraction from concerns buzzing over its same-day Tumblr acquisition.
As announced at the press conference and on its blog, Flickr is back after a rough ride with a new design, photo-centric layout and one full terabyte of storage—way more than most users could ever use. “Given the odd nature of most photo sharing services, you are either limited to a few dozen gigabytes or, in the case of Instagram and other mobile services, an unstated upper limit that is not part of the marketing collateral. While I don’t doubt that Google or Facebook could make the terabyte claim in the near future, being first to market with this particular feature is an important milestone," TechCrunch notes.
Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service has since spoiled under Yahoo's rule, however CEO Marissa Mayer said she received an abundance of requests to improve the serice when she took the helm last year. “Flickr was once awesome, and it languished... now we want it to be awesome again," Mayer said in a press announcement. The service reaches 89 million people who have contributed over 8 billion photos, and with the new improvements, the service is bound to attract many more.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 20, 2013 12:22 PM
In what Yahoo hopes to be a life-altering deal, the aging internet company acquired social media site Tumblr for $1.1 billion, affectively gaining the attention of millions of users that visit Tumblr monthly (that is, if they all don't jump ship first).
Purchase rumors began to swirl last week after the company's CFO Ken Goldman spoke of Yahoo's "aging demographic" and their need to be "cool" again. With the acquisition now official, Yahoo will suddenly be knee deep in the content-consuming, uber-engaged millennials that it craves, but the question is whether Tumblr's core users will stick around for fear that Yahoo will alter the blogging site—or whether advertisers and brands can handle the rough-and-tumble world of Tumblr.
However, CEO Marissa Mayer was quick to assure users (with her first Tumblr post, of course; she also launched her own Tumblr and showed a sense of humor over the "WFH" debate) that Yahoo would "not screw it up" and had no plans to tamper with the site or its crew. Mayer's post, in the copyright-flouting spirit of Tumblr, used an image that without first getting its creator's permission.
Founder David Karp—who is slated to become Forbes' youngest billionaire—will remain at the head of the company along with his team. According to Mayer, it seems the only major plans Yahoo has for Tumblr (besides not screwing it up) are more opportunities for native advertising (aka advertorials or sponsored content, which Karp & Co. have been testing in the wake of earlier stumbles) in addition to implementing Yahoo search on Tumblr to start mining all that juicy millennial user data.Continue reading...
let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 17, 2013 03:39 PM
As it explores new revenue streams and strategies to build out its web platform, Yahoo may be looking to invest in a platform that is sure to bring it plenty of the millennials it craves.
According to a report by All Things D, sources close to Yahoo! have said that the company may be considering a "strategic investment in or outright buy" of social blogging mecca Tumblr. After all, the startup, which is valued around $800 million, is one of the most popular social platforms and has become increasingly a part of branding arsenals as companies take advantage of its photo-heavy community.
Update: The acquisition was approved by Yahoo's board on Sunday, and announced via a press release, David Karp's Tumblr post and Marissa Mayer's first Tumblr post on Monday morning. The tl;dr version: Yahoo promises to leave the Tumblr brand independent and "not screw it up," leaving Karp as CEO and its staff intact. Yahoo will get access to Tumblr's 300 million monthly unique visitors; Tumblr gets the backing to continue its product roadmap and Karp's vision.Continue reading...