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OMMA Display In LA

07/22/2014 - 07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA Audience Targeting

07/23/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA Audience Targeting

07/23/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA Audience Targeting @ Advertising Week

07/23/2014 Los Angeles CA

Small Agency Conference & Awards

07/23/2014 - 07/24/2014 Austin TX

Strategic Advertising Sales Training 

07/23/2014 - 07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

OMMA RTB Real-Time Buying

07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

CIO Perspectives Boston 

08/06/2014 Boston MA

IT Roadmap Conference & Expo

08/06/2014 New York NY

OMMA mCommerce

08/07/2014 New York New York

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Twitter Is Cracking Down On Companies That Provide Stats About Its Users

Business Insider

Twitter has taken the unusual step of shutting off its datapipe to certain companies that have published their own stats on how big Twitter’s user base really is, according to two sources.

The move comes after Twitter’s stock was hammered in the early part of the year when investors discovered growth in monthly active users (MAUs) was slowing or stagnant, and that measures of engagement per user were on the decline.

Since then, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has ordered a revamp of the Twitter user interface in order to make it easier and more attractive for people to use. He also reshuffled his management ranks, getting rid of a COO with largely financial background and replacing him with a product chief from Google.

At the same time, Twitter’s stock price rose nicely. Some analysts see it hitting $60 a share (see disclosure below).

But third-party companies that published their own measures of Twitter’s user base were a thorn in Twitter’s side. While Costolo touted the company’s growth to 255 million MAUs, Business Insider was able to report that the number was only a fraction of the 1 billion people who had tried Twitter.

Most people who sign up for Twitter abandon it, it seems. Also, most people on Twitter don’t tweet, according to third-party apps that accessed Twitter’s data firehose.

Now, companies that used to provide that data have been axed from Twitter’s application programming interface (API), the firehose of data that software development companies can plug into in order to build useful products for Twitter and its users.

Twitter declined to comment when reached by Business Insider.

We don’t know why Twitter has begun culling developers from its API, but one theory might be that it has nothing to do with wanting to restrict who sees user data. Rather, Twitter has been slowly building a very nice data business of its own, which will probably book $100 million in revenue this year. The company may simply have decided it is time to end the free ride for developers who give away for free what Twitter would rather charge for.

“They shut me down last Friday night after the market closed,” one developer told Business Insider.

 

 

With Revenue Roaring, Twitter’s Advertising Team Is Untouched by Turmoil

The New York Times

Twitter‘s top executive ranks have been transformed in the last year, from its general counsel to, most recently, its chief financial officer.

Many of the executives have left or been pushed out as Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, has brought in a new team to try to increase sluggish user growth at the social network.

But in one very important area of the company — Twitter’s ad business — the leadership has remained relatively untouched.

Adam Bain, Twitter’s global president of revenue and partnerships, has been Twitter’s lead money man since he took the job nearly four years ago. A former executive at Fox Sports Media Group, Mr. Bain came to Twitter to oversee the development of the company’s then nascent advertising products.

In the reorganization after the resignation of Twitter’s No. 2 executive, Ali Rowghani, last month, Mr. Bain also took over control of business development. His role atop the moneymaking machine suggests that he might very well be the second most important person at the company after Mr. Costolo.

Before Twitter began selling sponsored tweets and other ad products in 2010, the company had very little revenue, most deriving from licensing deals with companies like Google andMicrosoft.

Now Twitter frequently runs sponsored video clips, one of the top social media ad products connected to live televised events, and it is rapidly building out its mobile presence, including challenging Facebook’s dominance in mobile app installation ads. This year,Twitter has said, it expects to post $1.2 billion to $1.25 billion in revenue, nearly double the $665 million it took in last year, although the company expects to continue to report net losses.

Along with enlarging the business and courting big advertisers and TV networks, Mr. Bain has poached numerous advertising veterans from technology companies across Silicon Valley to add to his team at Twitter.

Google has been a favorite target. Richard Alfonsi left Google in 2012 to lead the efforts to target small- and medium-size businesses, while Shailesh Rao and Stephen McIntyre left Google earlier that year to head Twitter’s Asian and European advertising sales efforts.

Mr. Bain’s top colleague, Kevin Weil, has also risen to prominence. Beginning his career at Twitter as an engineer managing much of the company’s analytics, Mr. Weil quickly moved to the ad side and was promoted three times. He is now vice president for revenue products at the company and is also becoming deeply involved in some nonadvertisement products, such as the hosting and automatic previewing of video clips on the site.

Under Mr. Bain, Twitter has also acquired MoPub andTapCommerce, two start-ups that were in the business of serving advertisements to users of other mobile apps. Even if Twitter’s user growth continues to wane, the thinking goes, the company can still lift its bottom line by selling mobile ads that run in places other than its flagship service.

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Study: Brand Likes Up 30% On Facebook

MediaPost

Since January, page interactions among Facebook users — including “likes,” shares, and comments — have risen 30%.

That’s according to new data from Prague-based social analytics firm Socialbakers, which it gathered from a sampling of some 3 million pages on Facebook.

The findings contradict a number of recent reports, which suggested that brands and media companies are seeing their organic reach rates decline on the social network.

A number of misconceptions have contributed to the perception that brands are getting a raw deal on Facebook, according to Jan Rezab, co-founder and CEO of Socialbakers.

“It’s important to remember that the Facebook news feed is smart enough to know whether [particular users] have a preference for brands or not,” Rezab said on Thursday. “Two individuals will not share identical brand experiences, explaining the expected confusion around engagement levels.”

This week is shaping up to be one of redemption for Facebook. Already, Forrester has rebutted reports of fewer teens using the social giant. The research firm surveyed 4,517 teenagers ages 12-17, and found that 78% are using Facebook, 46% are using the service more than they were last year, and 28% are on it “all the time.”

“Facebook remains by far young users’ favorite social network,” Forrester found. Forrester also predicted that Facebook usage rates will continue to rise, due to increased mobile penetration and increased activity from younger generations.

Also boding well for Facebook, social-analytics start-up Shareablee recently found that among 150 brands, total organic reach grew 11% from the fourth quarter 2013 to the first quarter 2014.

The problem was that other reports focused too heavily on post-level reach — which did decline 27% over the quarter — Tania Yuki, founder and CEO of Shareablee, told Social Media & Marketing Daily in May. What those reports failed to consider was the resulting increase in engagement rates, which increased 65% over the quarter.

Stateside, social media ad revenues will grow from $5.1 billion in 2013 to $15 billion in 2018 — representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% — according to a recent forecast from BIA/Kelsey.

Box buys Streem to make the cloud part of your desktop

CITEworld

Cloud store-and-sync service Box has snapped up Y Combinator-backedstartup Streem for an undisclosed sum. Streem, as you may guess from the name, provides a streaming service that lets users access content from the cloud without taking up any space on the local hard drive — especially handy when dealing with large video files.

“Streem has developed amazing technology that allows you to mount a cloud drive onto your computer — making documents, presentations, videos and files available to you without the limitations of your local hard-disk, effectively turning the cloud into an ‘unlimited’ drive,” writes Box CEO and Co-Founder in an official blog entry.

As it stands today, Box’s core sync functionality lets you keep files and folders in sync across mobile and desktop platforms. But that still requires a copy to be kept locally if you want to make any changes. There are administrative controls available to restrict what users can do with those local copies, and in some scenarios (like previewing on mobile files), no local copy is actually cached.

Pinterest ramps up location search

IDG News Service

Six months after adding its Place Pins feature, Pinterest is improving the search technology around the location pins.

The company announced Friday an enhanced and faster version of its places search tool. The result is a more streamlined search for users, with better smarts under the hood. The tool suggests places near where people are searching, and provides ranked results based on geography, population and data quality.

Pinterest’s places search runs on Foursquare data. It’s available on iOS and the Web, the company said, with an Android version coming soon.

Pinterest is known for the profiles or “boards” its users create, filled with images of desired retail items, event planning ideas, or cooking recipes. Since the company launched Place Pins, users have created more than 1 billion travel Pins, and more than 4 million Place Boards, the company said Friday.

Previously, users had to separate their search queries into two different boxes: one for the place’s name and the other for where it was located. Users found it to be non-intuitive, Pinterest said Friday. “We set out to build a more natural place search interface based on just a single text input field,” the company said.

Pinterest’s places search is also designed to be more natural, so people don’t need to type the specific name of a place to find it. If someone has a pin saved on the AT&T baseball stadium in San Francisco, the person can search for “Giants SF,” and AT&T Park will appear as the first result, Pinterest said.

The enhanced technology could help broaden Pinterest’s usefulness as a discovery engine, and also draw in more local advertisers as the company ramps up its advertising efforts.

What Facebook’s targeting changes mean for brands

Digiday

Facebook, a company not necessarily known for transparency regarding data privacy issues, announced on Thursday it was giving users more insight to and control over how their personal information is used by advertisers. But also included in that announcement were details of how Facebook was increasing interest-based targeting capabilities.

That is, Facebook simultaneously made its ad targeting capabilities more robust, yet easier for users to opt-out of.

Agency executives welcomed the move for being both pro-consumer and as way for brands to waste less time and money advertising to consumers whose interests were incorrectly marked.

“If Facebook can educate consumers more about advertising, consumers are going to be in a far better position to reward good advertising and object to bad advertising,” David Berkowitz, CMO of digital agency MRY, said.

Chris Bowler, head of social media at digital agency Razorfish, echoed that sentiment.

“If you don’t want to hear about my brand, I have a bigger issue than advertising, and an ad on Facebook won’t overcome that,” he said. “Perhaps some users will use these ad preferences and I won’t reach them and maybe that’s a good thing.”

Every ad in a user’s news feed will now come adorned with a drop down menu allowing users to give feedback — such as liking the advertiser’s Facebook page in order to receive more messages from them, or opting out of receiving ads from that company entirely.

The drop down menu will also feature an “About this Ad” tab marked with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s (DAA) blue AdChoices icon. The tab leads users to a separate page which explains to them why they received that particular ad, and to opt out of the targeting practices used to serve it to them.

The “Why am I seeing this?” option will send users to a page showing them the interest the advertiser used to serve them that ad. If a user selects the “Why am I seeing this?” option on a World Cup-related ad from Nike, for instance, she might see that Nike served her that ad because she had expressed an interest in soccer. From that page she can customize which interests she’d like to be used for ad targeting purposes.

Opting out of soccer would not make her completely ineligible for Nike’s World Cup ad, however. If Nike decided to target a broad demographic that included her, she could see that same ad again, albeit based on different ad targeting criteria.

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Facebook Is Expanding the Way It Tracks You and Your Data

The Atlantic

There’a a key nugget buried in this morning’s New York Times story about how Facebook is going to give its users the ability to see why certain ads are targeted to them. Starting this week, the Times reports, “the company will tap data it already collects from people’s smartphones and other websites they visit to improve its ad targeting. Users can opt out of such extended tracking, but they will have to visit a special ad industry website and adjust their smartphone settings to do so.”

In other words, Facebook is giving users a glimpse of what marketers already know about them, but it is also going to allow marketers to target users based on more detailed information, even though it won’t actually give the marketers the user data—which makes sense, given that Facebook’s business model is largely built on the data you provide.

Facebook wants to know where you’re from, how old you are, who you’re friends with, what industry you work in, your likes, your relationship status, where you vacation, etc., etc., in large part because marketers want to know those things. I’m reminded of this every time I log on. I never told Facebook my hometown, but it’s been guessing ever since—New York City? Philadelphia? Honolulu? Baltimore?—in a box that appears prominently on my profile page. I keep avoiding answering, mostly because I relish the fact that there’s at least something Facebook doesn’t know about me. There’s plenty else the site has figured out. (I wrote recently about the time Facebook guessed what shoes I was wearing.)

And though it seems like a plus that Facebook is giving users the chance to click through their “full marketing dossier,” as the Times put it, the move raises a question that people have been asking for a long time: Why don’t individuals in the United States already have access to this kind of information about themselves?

Elsewhere, people have to give their consent before a data broker like Facebook or a social analytics firm can distribute personal information about them. There are regulations in several European countries that mandate individual access to data profiles, and give people the power to change or remove information about them. In Argentina, data tracking companies that want to collect personal info—that is, anything about an individual that isn’t found in publicly available government databases—have to tell a person why they’re collecting the data and who will receive it, as well as detail the individual’s rights to access, change, or remove their data. In Chile, individuals have to give written consent to data brokers who want to create marketing profiles about them based on personal information.

No such protections exist in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission has been pushing for such measures—last month it issued an extensive reporton the scope of data collection in the United States, including recommendations for consumer protections. Congress has introduced a couple of bills that would let consumers opt out of data collection, or otherwise be notified about the extensive personal profiles marketers collect.

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Hootsuite now suggests content worth sharing, as it rebrands and rolls out a new logo too

The Next Web

Social media management dashboard HootSuite is introducing a handful of new features today, alongside a design refresh that ushers in an all-new logo and name-stylization – Hootsuite (note the lower-case ‘s’).

Besides the new logo, the general color scheme will switch to black and white from the old blue and yellow, which the company says is designed to “reflect the maturity of the brand”. This will be evident across the new dashboard that’s now live.

Launched in 2008, HootSuite Hootsuite lets users manage multiple social networks through a single dashboard, and the Vancouver-based company has grown into a global social media brand used by individuals and companies.

Content suggestions

In terms of features, Hootsuite is launching a new Suggested Content Publishing tool, letting users create an entire week’s publishing schedule based on Hootsuite’s auto-scheduler. This mirrors a move made by Buffer just a few weeks back, with Hootsuite users now being invited to “discover rich and engaging content that is relevant to their business”.

Effectively, this is designed to remove the headache of deciding what to post to your social accounts, with each post automatically scheduled for the most optimum time to go out. Users can tweak the schedule by replacing posts, editing the schedule, and personalizing the suggested messages. Over time, this should get smarter too, as it learns the users’ preferred content-type.

Additionally, HootSuite is also launching a new Custom Education program, which gives its customers a “bespoke education platform to educate their employees on responsibly engaging with social media” – yes, part of this entails mitigating social media risk through discussing acceptable practices. Custom Education delivers tailored content for each organization, including select lessons from its existing Hootsuite University.

HootSuite is making these announcements during its inaugural European business conference, Connect via Hootsuite, in London today, where it will also announce an 87 percent growth in revenue in EMEA since Q1 2013. Though of course, without knowing actual dollar amounts, it’s worth treating such figures with a pinch of salt.

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Pinterest Opens Up Data Firehose for Marketers

The Wall Street Journal

Following in the footsteps of social platforms such as Twitter and FacebookFB +1.03%, Pinterest will now allow marketers to ingest data from its service to help them better understand and interpret users’ activity on the site.

The company will give a handful of third-party marketing technology providers access to information on how its users behave and interact with content across its service. At launch, the technology providers include Salesforce, Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate, and Tailwind.

Pinterest hopes access to this data will help marketers figure out which of their activities on its service generate the most engagement, and which actions they may prompt users to take “downstream.”

“Many businesses use Pinterest to learn about their customers. You might want to learn which of your products are popular, what types of images work best or which Pins are driving the most engagement and sales,” the company said in a statement.

Pinterest wants to prove to marketers they will benefit from being on its platform so they’re more likely to pay for its ad products as and when they become available. It’s already testing a paid ad product it calls “Promoted Pins” with a handful of advertisers, including home décor site Wayfair, hotel chain Four Seasons and UnileverULVR.LN -0.30%’s TRESemmé and Hellmann’s brands, WSJ reported.

The data will also help marketers better use Pinterest to generate free or “earned” exposure by posting content that resonates well with users. It might also help Pinterest avoid hosting brand content that’s of little interest to its user base.

Pinterest is granting access to its data through a new “Business Insights” API, or “application programming interface.” Ad executives predict the company will eventually open up another API that will allow third-party technology providers to place ads on its service on behalf of marketers. Facebook and Twitter currently offer similar functionality.

At launch, Pinterest partners with access to the business insights API are not being charged for it, Pinterest said.

WhatsApp to grow footprint eightfold with new office in downtown Mountain View

Silicon Valley Business Journal

WhatsApp, Facebook Inc.’s $19 billion baby, just signed a major long-term lease in downtown Mountain View that will expand its footprint 700 percent — hinting at the five-year-old instant messaging company’s ambitions.

WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook in February, leased 250 Bryant St., a 78,000-square-foot project that only recently started construction, two people with knowledge of the deal told me. That’s a significant boost from What’sApp’s current digs of about 11,000 square feet at 303 Bryant St. The lease comes mere months after WhatsApp leased a different building around the corner— a 22,000-square-foot project at 900 Villa St. that is nearly complete.

At the time of the Facebook deal in February, WhatsApp had fewer than 60 employees. The new space could conservatively house roughly 400 workers.

Analysts said they weren’t surprised that WhatsApp — which boasts more than 400 million active users — would have plans for significant headcount growth given the recent deal and growing size of the mobile messaging market.

“I’m reminds me of Brody’s comment to Quint in ‘Jaws’,” said John Jackson, an analyst with IDC who covers WhatsApp. “It’s the proverbial, ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat.’

“They’re hurtling toward a billion people on the basis of 55 brains,” he added. “That math, at some level, is going to need some help. Especially if they’re thinking, ‘What else can I do and layer on.’”

That’s already starting. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said in February that WhatsApp would add free voice-calling services later this year.

The new lease is also another sign that Facebook will likely leave WhatsApp alone for the foreseeable future, rather than move the crew into the Facebook mothership in Menlo Park. (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time of acquisition in February that Facebook would leave WhatsApp’s brand and management alone.)

“In the past, when they said they’re going to leave a company alone, they did,” said Brian Blau, an analyst with Gartner who covers Facebook and WhatsApp. “So they have a track record, and this is more evidence.”

Blau agreed that WhatsApp’s apparent expansion plans make sense.

“For a company with the brand and the presence of WhatsApp, having hundreds of employees is not uncommon,” he said. “To be honest, with so few employees, you have to wonder how they got it all done.”

The space grab comes as analysts warm to a purchase that was once derided as too pricey. Facebook stock shot up this week when Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali called WhatsApp a “multi-billion dollar opportunity” for Facebook and reiterated his buy rating on the stock.

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