Comments about your favorite restaurant will be used as endorsements
Google made a slightly unsavory change to its terms of service on Friday -- under the new rules, it can utilize your name, photos, and random comments as endorsements for ads shown online. These types of content will be culled from various online sources such as YouTube and Google+.
Videos on your mobile Facebook feed will now auto-play
Last month, we reported Facebook's plans to bring auto-play ads to your social networking experience. Now, TechSpot reports, Facebook is currently testing a new mobile feature that auto-plays videos on your feed. While this feature is being touted as a simpler way to view video content on your mobile devices, it's heralding the video ads we caught wind of previously.
Advertising has become a bit more intrusive over the years as companies look for newer ways to get their message across, especially when it comes to video ads. Having to click through a video ad on YouTube or your favorite website can be annoying enough, but how about video ads on Facebook?
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.
Microsoft's Bing and JiWire have a proposition for you. Free WiFi in exchange for using Bing. Interested? The promotion would give users free Internet access at participating hotspots if they do just one search with Bing. In conjunction with JiWire’s advertising network, Microsoft will be extending the offer to various hotels and airports.
The campaign was started in September at several thousand locations. It managed to attract between 30 and 40 percent of visitors to the hotspots. This is extremely high, as most ads only get interaction from 0.1 to 0.2 percent of people. Microsoft reportedly plans to continue with the promotion, which is a part of JiWire’s Ads for Access campaign. The campaign allows companies to give customers something in exchange for their time. This can be taking a survey, watching a video ad, or (in this case) using the Bing search engine.
The next time you’re in an airport, keep an eye out for these ads. It could get you free access courtesy of a certain Redmond software giant.
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, held the company’s third quarter conference call today and has some things to say about Android. According to Schmidt, “Android adoption is about to explode.” There are 12 official Android phones in production now, and the pace of Android handset releases is rapidly increasing. Additionally, mobile searches are up over 30 percent over last quarter.
The Android platform is aimed at getting these mobile search numbers up. By producing a free and open-source OS for manufacturers to use, they’ve almost guaranteed wide adoption. Google hasn’t mentioned how much of their overall revenue comes from mobile, but they have said they expect it to be a big source of growth in the coming years.
While Google may be acting coy, analysts have estimated that 70% of mobile advertizing will be based on search. Clearly, it is in Google’s best interest that we all get an Android powered phone in our hands so they can sell us stuff. You may have already bought the phone, but they want to sell you other stuff.
One of the biggest concerns for online advertisers these days, is getting the most out of increasingly tight budgets, and protecting themselves from click-fraud can be difficult. Companies bid on search keywords, and depending on the popularity of the term, often pay top dollar to float to the top of the sponsored results list. This model is tested and true, but once they reach their spending limits, they drop off leaving the next highest bidder in their place. Click-fraud artists can be somewhat hard to trace, they often operate through proxies, or sometimes even botnets to mask their IP’s. But after a year of intense investigation, Microsoft has finally tracked down three individuals linked to a number of small corporation names, and is taking them to court.
Microsoft is seeking about $750,000 in damages from British Columbia, Canada residents Eric Lam, Gordon Lam, and Melanie Suen. “We have decided to become more active in the commercial fraud area on the enforcement side,” said Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for Microsoft. “The theory is you can change the economics around crime or fraud by making it more expensive.”
Analysts believe that Microsoft is simply testing the waters with this lawsuit, and primarily hope that it will intimidate people away from a life of online crime. This specific case involved the three accused fraudsters of running up the tabs on keyword searches related to “auto insurance” and “World of Warcraft”. Once they had expended the budgets of their competitors, their network of sites would slowly float to the top, and pickup traffic at bargain prices.
With little legal precedent to lean on, do you think this case will be successful?
While websites continue to look for ways to increase online ad revenue, analysts are cautioning that advertisers are starting to cut back their budgets. According to a research note by analyst Jeff Lindsay of Sandford C. Bernstein & Co., the advertising industry is only expected to grow 11 percent in the U.S. in 2009 and 9 percent worldwide, down from a previous estimate of 13 percent. But even 11 percent seems overly optimistic to Jim Friedland of Cowen & Co., who downgraded his previous forecast of 13 percent to only 3 percent.
While Friedland's outlook is particularly bleak, he notes a decline in online display advertising, a trend which he sees continuing as ad budgets are tightened. Yahoo has already witnessed the decline first hand and last month reported a 64 percent drop in net income for the third quarter, which Jerry Yang mostly attributed to a weakening online ad market.
One entity that looks poised to weather the storm is Google, a major player in paid-search ads, which Friedland predicts will grow in the low double digits.