Marketing Biz: Did Facebook Establish An ‘Awful Ideas’ Department?

This week in marketing was dominated by news from Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know, I must have missed the memo about Facebook establishing an ‘awful ideas’ department. So while Facebook wore the mint shoes Twitter continued to forge ahead. They weren’t the only heavyweights in the news. Both Oracle and WPP make serious acquisitions that […]

Chat with MarTechBot

This week in marketing was dominated by news from Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know, I must have missed the memo about Facebook establishing an ‘awful ideas’ department.

So while Facebook wore the mint shoes Twitter continued to forge ahead. They weren’t the only heavyweights in the news. Both Oracle and WPP make serious acquisitions that reflect the new digital marketing environment.

This is … Marketing Biz.

Facebook prepping new video ads that could autoplay in the feed

AdAge first reported about the new product, based on information from industry executives who were briefed by Facebook. Our own source confirms that Facebook has a feed-based video unit in the works and autoplay will be a key feature.

Everyone loves autoplay ads on the Internet … said no one ever.

Facebook Gets into Local Search with ‘Nearby’

Facebook Nearby

Only those businesses (large or small) that have a Facebook Page will be listed. Accordingly you can imagine this represents a powerful new incentive to create a Facebook Page. It also means that the data source will be businesses themselves rather than third party data vendors.

I know many see this as a tremendous move by Facebook but I see something different. I see (even more) empty Facebook Pages, bad data and Facebook Page spam to name just a few. Meanwhile Foursquare is using Facebook’s platform to implement this concept far more elegantly.

Instagram updates terms of use to include potential for Sponsored Stories

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

I won’t go over the blow-by-blow of the release, the backpedaling and potential reworking of the updated TOS language. What continues to amaze me is how Facebook doesn’t understand how to anticipate and manage these changes. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twelve times, shame on Facebook.

Update to Messaging and a Test

Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.

Letting people pay to spam my inbox sounds like a good idea … said no one ever.

Facebook To Halt Mobile Ad Network Test With No Plans To Roll It Out

“We are pausing our mobile ads test off of Facebook,” reads a statement from a Facebook spokesperson. “While the results we have seen and the feedback from partners has been positive, our focus is on scaling ads in mobile news feed before ads off of Facebook. We have learned a lot from this test that will be useful in the future.”

The roadblock to the mobile ad network appears to be inventory — as in, there’s too much of it to make selling it very valuable, yet.

While I get that there might not be huge traction here right now you’d think Facebook would invest in staking this market out so they can be there when it does make sense (e.g. – Google’s acquisitions of YouTube and Android). Facebook doesn’t seem keen on skating to where the puck is going but instead where it is now.

Facebook was the top search term in 2012 for fourth straight yearTop 10 US Search Terms in 2012

This is the fourth year that the social networking Website has been the top search term overall, accounting for 4.13 percent of all searches, a 33 percent increase from 2011. Four variations of the term “facebook” were among the top 10 terms and accounted for 5.62 percent of US searches overall, a 27 percent increase from 2011.

Despite all of the above Facebook is still a massive mainstream monster. This should also be a reminder to marketers about how ‘normal’ users navigate the Internet.

Nielsen and Twitter Establish Social TV Rating

Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market. Under this agreement, Nielsen and Twitter will deliver a syndicated-standard metric around the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter, slated for commercial availability at the start of the fall 2013 TV season.

I recently stated that “Twitter has quickly evolved into a collaborative entertainment platform that serves as the glue of multi-screen viewing.” The agreement with Nielsen further supports this concept and puts Twitter on a very interesting (and profitable) path.

Twitter reaches 200M monthly active users

Some social media companies rise and fall quickly. Twitter, however, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

That’s a 43% increase since the 140M active users reported in March of 2012. That’s impressive growth in 9 months for a company and platform that’s been around for six years.

Twitter switches up top executives in COO, CFO roles

Twitter has switched up two top executive positions, moving the company’s former chief financial officer to become chief operating officer, and implementing the former Zynga chief financial officer into that role at Twitter. The changes come as Twitter works to monetize and solidify its growth.

A new direction and strategy for Twitter necessitates new executives. Yet more signals that 2013 is the year Twitter seeks to make their mark as a business.

Urban Compass Wants To Build A Hyper-Local, Human-Powered Database

Urban Compass

Urban Compass will have a “human network”, people employed by the company to go to urban areas to collect data. That data will be fed into a platform. Those data collectors, he says, “will be followed by machines that will be powered by our software.”

There are a lot of companies out there fighting for the local and hyper-local market. There are some interesting names behind this startup which is why it secured $8 million in seed funding. But between the leg-up some have with devices (aka smartphones) and services like Foursquare I find it difficult to think there’s enough space for a sustainable new entrant.

Perhaps the funding reflects a bet that one of the current players will acquire Urban Compass early in their lifecycle.

Oracle buys cloud marketing firm Eloqua for $871MEloqua Logo

Together, Oracle and Eloqua will create a “Customer Experience Cloud” to streamline the way companies market to their customers, as well as how they sell, support, and further serve them. Ultimately, it looks like Oracle wants to build the one customer experience service to rule them all. That includes offering a single brand experience for customers, pushing loyalty through social services, and pushing better leads to sales teams to drive revenue.

Oracle isn’t playing around are they? The acquisition of Eloqua shows just how serious Oracle is in claiming the enterprise marketing vertical.

WPP’s Kantar Media Acquires AdGoorooAdGooroo Logo

Kantar publishes widely followed data on competitive media spending — spanning TV, radio, magazines, display advertising on the web, and so on — but search advertising has remained a giant hole it in its data. AdGooroo, which publishes some of the most widely-watched data on search spending and keyword pricing, will add that capability. Among its services are analysis of industry search spending, including a recent report that found Target tops all online retailers in paid search spending.

Traditional advertising juggernauts are finally acknowledging and investing in digital advertising. These types of acquisitions should be clear indicators that the shift of advertising dollars online is going to accelerate.

IFTTT Raises $7M to Connect Web Services, Apps And The Internet Of Things 

IFTTT Recipe

IFTTT is now primarily a consumer service, but the platform will extend its scope to the enterprise, opening new possibilities for SaaS providers and enterprise app makers.

I’ve been a fan of IFTTT for a long time. If you’re a marketer you should give it a try personally and get creative about how you could increase productivity on your team with a few recipes.

Tubular Raises $2.5 Million To Provide Audience Development Tools To YouTube Content CreatorsTubular Logo

Tubular provides a dashboard for understanding audience demographics, based on information that viewers share publicly throughout YouTube. That includes audience demographics, preferences, viewing habits, and consumer behavior, but also the ability to figure out who the biggest fans are, as well as key influencers.

I’ve been surprised at the relative lack of tools and analysis within the video space. Mind you there are a few but Tubular should find some traction here in a very fast growing, yet still ignored, medium.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

AJ Kohn
AJ Kohn is Owner of Blind Five Year Old, a San Francisco Internet Marketing firm specializing in search. An experienced marketing executive with a successful track record spanning 20 years, AJ combines a deep understanding of search marketing with a passion for product strategy and iterative product development, fusing design and user experience with quantitative analysis.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.