Monthly Archives: January 2011

Make Money Off Your Facebook Fans!

Facebook has announced a new advertising feature, Sponsored Stories.

These are brand related stories which appear in your news feed normally, however if the company is willing to pay any of their brand related activities will appear in this new ad format.

So every time you check in somewhere or like something brand related you could find yourself in a sponsored story on one of your friend’s Facebook page as well as part of their news feed.

This raises (even more) privacy concerns with Facebook. Do you want your actions to appear in ads? Should users be allowed to opt-out of this feature?

There is currently no opt-out option, however if we stop telling our friends exactly were we are and everything we like we are a lot less likely to be exploited by these brands. Does anyone really care if I check into my local Wetherspoons seven times in a day? Will it make my friends go there too?

The most it is likely to achieve is an intervention!

It’s estimated that Facebook took in over $1.8 bn (£1.1 bn) in ad revenue during 2010. This new advert format is sure to be another lucrative venture for the social networking company.

So the question we really should be asking ourselves is not about privacy or opt-out options but Does Mark Zuckerberg really need more money?

Apologies for my terrible Photoshop skills

Mozilla Proposes a “Do Not Track” Feature in Firefox 4

You maybe able to stop tailored ads showing up when you browse with this new feature in Firefox.

If the feature is enabled in the user’s browser, the HTTP header will send a “Do Not Track” message to all sites which request their data for behavioural advertising.

The image below shows how the system might work.

Mozilla Firefox do-not-track tool

The feature is still in proposal mode, however Mozilla hope that all browsers make this an industry standard.

This would be a huge step forward in obtaining user privacy, however if sites do not adopt this standard it will make no difference to web browsing.  If it is accepted by behavioural advertising sites it could give Firefox a great increase in market share!

Online Christmas Shopping in the UK

Christmas in 2010 saw 44% of us increase our online shopping budgets according to a survey by market research company Tealeaf.

Reasons for this were said to be Convenience, Less Stress, Cheaper Prices (even after postage costs are added on) and Faster Shopping Times (the average time it takes to complete a simple transaction is about 21seconds).

According to a study by eDigitalResearch on Christmas and Boxing Day almost two thirds of Britons went online to get in on the Post-Christmas sales and beat the VAT rise.

It seems that now more than ever companies are realising the impact online shopping has on their business.

The Tealeaf survey also showed that over 5.3 Million British users abandoned their shopping carts due to errors on sites. This figure alone may seem high, but in a Social Media savvy society the knock on effect could be tremendous.

If your friend posted a status or tweet stating a site was full of errors or timing out would you shop there, especially when there are hundreds (if not thousands) of alternatives at your fingertips?

With smartphones and other smart devices becoming more and more prevalent our demand for 24 hour access to online stores and services increases. Even a down time of 2 minutes could lose you 50 customers even if only one person tries to access your site in that time.

The Social Network Wins 4 Golden Globes

It was a great evening for the social networking giants Facebook, winning 4 out of their 6 nominaions at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

The film won the award for best director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), Best Score (Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails) and Best Picture Drama.

The film was also nominated for Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg) but lost to Colin Firth for his role in The King’s Speech and Best Supporting Actor (Andrew Garfield) who lost to Christian Bale for his performance in The Fighter.

With this success the film looks sure to be up for many Oscars as well.

Myspace Axing 500 Jobs

Despite having major redundancies last year which saw the Social Networking Company’s total employees drop by 700 to just 1,130 Myspace is having further redundancies across its US and International offices again.

There are currently only three offices outside the US in Sydney, Berlin and London which employ about 130 personnel.

While there nothing has been confirmed the UK offices which employs around 50 people, will be largely folded into Fox Networks, also a News Corporation-owned business, in a new partnership deal. The majority of UK employees will be leaving the company, with only a skeleton staff remaining to work with Fox on the commercial side of the site.

MySpace chief executive Mike Jones said: “Details about Australia and Germany are currently being finalized. MySpace will retain a core, dedicated international team to work with partners in order to ensure users, content partners and advertisers continue to be served.”

Employees in the US offices aren’t safe either about 400 jobs will be lost of their 1,000 current staff.

This set of cuts is most likely due to a loss of $US156 million (£99 million) in its most recent quarterly financial statement.

Great Year for Google

The past year has seen a great success for Google. With Chrome’s market share reaching 9.98%, over 100% increase since January 2010 when they had only 4.63% market share.

However this was not good news for IE, losing over 5% of their market share over the course of the year.

Google Android OS has also see a significant Rise in new users of the Smart phone OS. In the US over the past 6 months, over 40% of new smart phone users choosing Android OS over iOS or Blackberry OS phones. However iOS is still the most popular phone OS with 28% overall market share Android OS is close behind with 25% overall market share.

With the release of Chrome OS and their Netbook the Cr-48, Google is looking to have another very prosperous year in 2011.