Advertisers seem to be finding a ton of value toting their products and services on Twitter, the microblogging service that has yet to seek an IPO. The return on investment is apparently so good that 80 percent of the companies that advertise on Twitter end up renewing their marketing efforts, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said on Wednesday.
Who would've thought Microsoft would add some emotion to the cold, hard algorithmic logic of search engine queries? The company isn't exactly know for wearing its heart on its sleeve. But effective immediately, Bing users can harness the power of Facebook to generate personalized search results.
Still wondering if there is any money to be made on the Internet? Well according to NPR the U.S. online advertising hit a record $26 billion in 2010. The meteoric rise has been mostly attributed to online video and social media, an area which is expected to continue growing considerably in 2011. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the year-over-year growth in 2009 was close to 15 percent, a considerable spike over the previous record of 23.4 billion which was hit in 2008.
Google's Android platform has made use of quick response codes (QR codes) since the original G1 was launched back in 2008. More recently, Google began pushing the square barcodes as an element of their Places system, going so far as to encourage retailer to display Google-provided QR badges. Now Google has ended support for QR codes in places.
Today Google announced a new Chrome extension that aims to give users more control over online privacy. The extension is called Keep My Opt-Outs, and does mostly what the name suggests. It allows you to opt out of advertising tracking cookies while using Chrome. Google pointed to the statement from the FTC late last year about investigating the possibility of a do not track registry as the impetus for this new add-on.
The extension has a leg up on the HTTP header scheme Mozilla is developing. The extension will be able to store your preferences for opt-outs permanently. So if you clear your cache, all your opt-outs will remain in effect. With the Mozilla solution, you would lose all those cookie preferences. Chrome has very elaborate controls for cookies as it is, so users can even access those elusive Flash cookies.
This may not be the biggest shift in the browser landscape. After all, many Chrome users that care about ad tracking have already blocked ads. Google does, however, point out that more than 50 companies that support opt-outs that are compatible with Keep My Opt-Outs, and the top 15 ad networks are among them. Will you be getting the extension?
In a recent interview with Google's AdMob, Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka said they expect to net about $1 million every month from the advertising supported Android version of Angry Birds. The free game has been downloaded 5-7 million times since it launched just over 1 month ago. That's a lot of ads being served. On the iPhone, where Angry Birds started out, the app is a paid download with 12 million sales.
Vesterbacka also dropped some juicy stats on us in his chat with AdMob. Rovio is seeing an 80% retention rate, meaning that 80% of users continue updating the app, as opposed to removing it. Vesterbacka says they take great notice of these sorts of figures. It was not Rovio's intention to just make a "throwaway app" that they released and never updated. So they encourage users to keep playing by releasing updates.
Rovio is expected to offer Android users a payment option to remove the ads in the near future. We hope they continue being so forthcoming with their revenue when that is rolled out. Do you think they will continue seeing huge earnings from Angry Birds over time?
According to Search Engine Land, Google has fully rolled out a minor change to their search pages. The ads you are accustomed to seeing on the right side of the screen used to be labeled "Sponsored Links". Now Google has decided to just call them what they are: Ads. It seems that all users are seeing AdWords content listed as ads.
Some users were seeing this a few weeks ago, but now all English language domains have been changed over. Interestingly, Gmail ads are still showing as Sponsored Links. The reason for the change is unclear. It's possible Google needed to keep the ads clearly labeled to avoid confusion with the new Places integration. Do you think AdWords will be any less effective being called out as ads?
MySpace has been forking over user data to advertisers that can potentially be used to identify user profile pages, but don't worry, MySpace says it isn't a problem, MSNBC reports. Huh?
Here's the deal. MySpace freely admits to sharing user data, such as user IDs and the last page visited, but doesn't consider the data to be information that could identify a person, in part because members of the social networking site aren't required to use their real names. As a modern day Spock would say, "This (bleep)ing (bleep) ain't logical."
Third party apps are participating in the data sharing frenzy too. MySpace shares user IDs with app developers but doesn't allow the data to go any further. That's all well and good if everyone plays fair, but that isn't always the case. MySpace recently had to (briefly) suspend an app called "Tagme" because of repeated violations to this policy, but was since reinstated because the developers "complied within a matter of hours."
Privacy has become an even hot topic (more so than usual) in the social networking space as of late. During a recent Wall Street Journal investigation, it was discovered that several popular apps on Facebook, including Farmville, were blatantly ignoring privacy settings and sharing user information without consent.
A new report by market research firm SocialTwist suggests that marketers might want to take a long, hard look at social networking. SocialTwist offers a widget called Tell-a-Friend that lets users share sites through social media, and it was through this tool that the company was able to analyze over a million referral messages.
What SocialTwist found was that email still dominates by accounting for 55 percent of referrals. At the same time, social networking sites are becoming increasingly popular and saw a 10 percent increase in usage, as well as a 16 percent jump in click-throughs. And here's where things get interesting.
As far as click-throughs are concerned, social networking sites top email by accounting for 60 percent of the market versus 31 percent, respectively. Of those sites, Facebook sits way up on top with a 78 percent usage rate, followed by MySpace (14 percent) and Twitter (5 percent). But despite trailing Facebook by a significant margin, Twitter is pummeling Facebook as the most effective portal for click-throughs. According to SocialTwist's numbers, Twitter yielded an average of 19.04 clicks, compared to just 2.87 clicks via Facebook.
Riding in a cab is becoming quite the open-ended adventure. Will you end up on an episode of Taxi Cab Confessions? Maybe you'll get a chance to score some cash on Cash Cab. But if you're playing the odds, you'll most likely end up in a taxi outfitted with custom signage designed to serve up ads based on your destination.
It's part of a new initiative by Intel India, Meru Cabs, and iWave System Technologies, three companies which have jointly "announced a partnership to develop an Intel Atom processor-based mobile digital signage solution that will allow advertisers to target passengers with tailored content."
Head to the airport and maybe you'll be shown deals on flights or car rentals. And should you head to the local gentleman's club, perhaps you'll see a pair of...cocktails flash across the screen. Whatever the case may be, the signs are being built with a little bit of ruggedness in mind.
"The ability for the Intel Atom processor to withstand extreme weather elements will help keep the digital signs operating well in varied climates," Intel said.