Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2012 11:14 AM
Microsoft’s Zune is no more, but that doesn’t mean the computer giant is shunning the music-buying public. It announced Monday that it is getting back into the music business by providing 30 million free tunes through its upcoming Windows 8 as well as on Xbox consoles starting Tuesday. (Apple’s iTunes “only” has about 26 million tunes, the BBC notes.)
The pitch for Xbox Music: "Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it."
“The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google,” the New York Times reports. Along with Windows 8, Microsoft is about to release a new Windows Phone operating system for mobiles as well as a tablet, the Surface. The bean counters in Redmond, Washington, are clearly hoping for a big fourth quarter holiday season, including ramping up maketing efforts and opening holiday pop-ups in key markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 04:46 PM
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is busy pitching Wall Street and Madison Avenue on FB advertising, calling it "incredibly effective" in her first post-IPO interviews. She's not the only Facebook exec defending the efficacy of ad campaigns using the social graph, even as the FTC raises privacy concerns about FB's new partnership with Datalogix for ad metrics, and social ad skeptic GM challenged the site's analytics.
With its stock down 43% since its May IPO, new initiatives to increase revenue including mobile ads and now the Datalogix union are attempts by the social behemoth to wean marketers off clicks, which is the key metric pitched by Google. Instead, Facebook is focusing not on the click-through rate (CTR) but on the number of times a user sees an ad (and whether the campaign has reached its target audience) as more effective metrics to track in marketing.
Indeed, Facebook reports that fewer than 1% of in-store sales tied to brand campaigns come from people who clicked on an ad.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 2, 2012 12:39 PM
It's official: Facebook has replaced a person's memory. The social network's new video promo released today features the following tale: "In 2010, Mayank Sharma of New Delhi, India contracted tubercular meningitis, a serious inflammation of the central nervous system. After a week in the hospital, he emerged without any memory of ever getting sick—or of the first twenty-seven years of his life. He began messaging the people who came up in Facebook's People You May Know feature to start piecing his life back together."
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 13, 2012 09:56 AM
Buddy Media and Twitter have partnered on an "age-screening" solution for brands who want to check on followers where age-sensitive products are concerned, like alcohol.
The free service for marketers has been in beta-testing for a months with a select group of alcohol brands including Brown Forman’s Jack Daniels, Jim Beam’s Skinny Girl feed, and MillerCoors' Coors Light and Miller Lite.
“Until now, companies have had to develop their own custom, one-off “age-screening” solutions. The result has been a patchwork of solutions with different approaches, processes and levels of success,” wrote Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 9, 2012 02:31 PM
British Airways new "Know Me" program aims to Google all fliers so check-in staff can "put a face to the name before the customer sets foot in the airport," reports the UK's Telegraph newspaper.
BA's current airline practice to conduct a cursory check of flight manifests for VIPs, such as "chief executives of financial companies," but “Know Me” takes it to a whole new level that exceeds KLM's in-flight social matchmaking service.
Search results are forwarded to BA's check-in and front-line staff, armed with iPads, who interact with the public and passengers. The airline carrier says the new program will enable their staff to proactively reach out to select clients. The “Know Me” program will also search individual histories in airline records to see if travelers have previously experienced problems with BA flights in order to have an apology or remedy at the ready.
“We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers,” said Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA, to the London Evening Standard. “This is just the start — the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 3, 2012 06:14 PM
Google's July 4th message includes this user-generated American flag, which echoes the Declaration of Internet Freedom: "Just as we celebrate freedom, we need to celebrate the tools that support freedom. Add your voice here: http://goo.gl/qOAnS." (Watch the related video below.) Google, meanwhile, announced today that it's the end of the road for a number of products, including iGoogle, Google Video (which has lost out to YouTube) and Google Mini.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 3, 2012 11:01 AM
With facial recognition technology all the rage, it’s fitting, in an eponymous way that Facebook is advancing the art with its recent acquisition of Face.com for the startup's Klik, a recently updated app that makes tagging friends in photos that much easier.
But no sooner was the deal done than vulnerability in the app was discovered that allowed users to access each others' Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now corrected, it resulted from Face.com storing Facebook and Twitter OAuth tokens, unique authentication keys, on its servers insecurely, said Ashkan Soltani, an independent security researcher who reportedly discovered the breach and posted the story here.
The incident highlights growing concerns about privacy issues associated with facial recognition technologies, including accessibility to private photos, friend lists, or bogus status updates and tweets posted via user’s names.
According to PCworld.com, “An attacker could hijack a popular user's account ‚ like Lady Gaga's, had she used KLIK — and build face prints for their millions of Facebook friends. Then they could match those in real time to people walking down the street."
Solutions to mitigate the invasive powers of facial recognition technologies range from policy proposals to counter-apps such as FaceLock for Apps. “The free version allows users to lock Settings, Play Store, Task Manager, and one application of choice. While this is by no means a way of completely securing your device, it’s a pretty cool way of preventing access to specific device features.
“Once the app is trained to recognize your face, any protected app will automatically initiate your front facing camera (which is a requirement for this app, for obvious reasons). Should your face not be recognised, it will ask you for the pin/password you set as a failsafe.”Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 21, 2012 11:12 AM
As the issue of digital privacy persists, Sgrouples, which rhymes with “scruples,” is billing itself as the first privacy-centric social platform on the Web. Hence the tagline, "Privacy You Trust."
“We are the "Whole Foods" of our industry — the good conscience, doing the right thing, offering people what they really need and want - and we can be respectfully profitable by doing so. You don't need to serve people high fructose corn syrup to be profitable. Whole Foods understands that and so does Sgrouples. We don't need to spy and scrape. We are designed to serve and delight,” says Mark Weinstein, founder and CEO and digital privacy advocate.Continue reading...