Tag Archive | "inside"

Facebook’s future looks bright: video, Audience Network and mobile are keys

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Facebook is knocking on the door of bringing in $3 billion in a single quarter — and that might just be a stepping stone.

The company announced Wednesday that Q2 was its highest-performance quarter to date, with revenues of $2.9 billion and worldwide growth in revenue-per-user. They’re just getting started.

Much of Facebook’s economic growth of late has come from mobile. The highly-touted mobile app install ad has led to more than 350 million app installs, and the ad format is moving beyond games and into retailers and consumer packaged goods verticals. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that U.S. users spend an average of 40 minutes per day (including 1 of 5 minutes on mobile), but he wants a bigger slice of the digital media pie.

Mobile now accounts for 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, and that figure could rise in the next couple years as Facebook develops more relevant and targeted video ads in concert with Audience Network — both of which are still in their infancies.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talked during Wednesday’s earnings call about the importance of mobile and video to the company’s success:

We also introduced premium autoplay video ads this year. Video on Facebook helps brands extend their TV investments by combining traditional reach focus campaigns with our unparalleled targeting abilities. Today, we run about a dozen campaigns and the early data show promising results. We’ll continue to roll this product out slowly and carefully. Similarly we’re seeing positive early demand for marketers for ads on Instagram and we’re rolling these ads outs carefully as well.

In all of this we remained focused on the transition to mobile. Our recently launched audience network lets advertisers use Facebook targeting while extending their campaign beyond Facebook. This can improve the relevance of ad peoples see both on and off Facebook and we’re encouraged by the early response.

Many Preferred Marketing Developers and ad firms saw success with Facebook ads this past quarter, and have spoken with Inside Facebook excitedly about video.

Jan Rezab, CEO of Facebook PMD Socialbakers, reacted to Facebook’s Q2 figures:

It’s the best quarter in the history of Facebook, and clearly the huge winner here is mobile with 62% of its ads revenues being there. In 1 year, there is no doubt Facebook has become a mobile advertising company.

And that’s not even taking in consideration the positive revenue impact of their biggest mobile assets – Whatsapp and Instagram, I am expecting those to be a huge influence later this year. These apps with their hundreds of millions of users will play a huge role in Facebook’s future.

We are seeing brands compete for people in the Facebook News Feed more than ever before. The time when successful Facebook marketing was measured only by fans is gone, and companies have realized they have to focus on true ROI, reach, and driving a positive impact.

Those on the inside, building their business via Facebook aren’t the only ones excited about Facebook’s potential. Investors, who were highly skeptical about Facebook’s ability to monetize on mobile early on, are now bullish on the social network’s prospects. At the close of market Wednesday, Facebook’s stock value was a robust $71.30. Thursday morning: $75.33.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 11.09.29 AMHere’s a look at what Facebook can do in the future to generate more revenue:

  • Develop better video targeting options with LiveRail
  • Serve these highly targeted videos to users outside of Facebook via Audience Network
  • Make its video ads competitive with YouTube
  • Become a more serious competitor or complement to TV ad spending
  • Roll out an effective Buy button for direct response
  • Make Instagram a relevant advertising option for a wider range of companies
  • Figure out how to monetize Messenger and WhatsApp

Many of these innovations, which Facebook has been working toward, could take place over the next few quarters. Facebook has really matured as an ad platform, as agencies have said that now brands that advertised via TV spots are working Facebook into the mix. Knowing this, Facebook has added reach-and-frequency ad capabilities, just like TV networks, in an effort to speak the same language and grab some television ad budget.

Additionally, Facebook is also catering to the newer advertiser, whose pockets aren’t as deep as major retailers. Sandberg said Wednesday that there are more than 30 million small businesses with a Facebook page — 19 million have an active presence on mobile.

What Facebook has done thus far is pretty impressive, but some of the most eye-opening results may be yet to come.

Photo by Praneendra Kuver for Inside Facebook.

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

NewVoiceMedia Raises Another $50M For Its Cloud-Based Contact Centers

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Facebook testing advertising prompts in the ‘About’ section of pages

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Facebook appears to be placing advertising prompts in more places.

As illustrated by Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba, some Facebook page admins are seeing a Promote button in the about section of their Facebook page, prompting an ad to get more traffic to the website.

Once the admin clicks the Promote button, they’re lead through an ad creation progress targeted at driving website traffic.

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Readers: Have you seen this?

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Valve Shows Off Its Polka Dot VR Headset

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Inside Jobs: What Exactly Does It Mean To Be A ‘Solutions Architect’?

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New photo feature: Options appearing on tagged photos

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It appears that Facebook is adding some options on tagged photos.

As pointed out to Inside Facebook by Lithuanian reader Aidis Dalikas of Socialus Marketingas, when a user sees a photo where a person is tagged, they can mouse over to reveal a menu, accessing more photos of that person, as well as friends of that person.

Readers: Have you seen this?

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Inside Jobs: Facebook’s Hardware Engineering Head Who Likes Getting His Hands Dirty

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When you think of people in the upper echelons of technical fields like hardware engineering, you might think of lifelong academics with multiple degrees in engineering and math and science. But if there’s one thing that’s become clear in our Inside Jobs series, there are a lot of different types of people in the roles that make the tech world really tick. Take Matt Corddry. As the… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Power Editor changes: some Partner Categories moved

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Facebook recently made a change to Power Editor, moving some of the Partner Categories into sections called More Demographics and Behaviors. Hat tip to Andrea Warner of Marketer’s Braintrust for sending this along to Inside Facebook.

Readers: Have you seen this? What do you think about the switch?

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Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Google Gets Up Close And Personal With Polar Bears Using Street View Cameras

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In the past Google has taken Street View into the inside of an Amsterdam Barge (which just happens to be the HQ of the startup MobyPicture) and the inside of Doctor Who’s Tardis. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Jason Calacanis’ Mahalo Is Reborn As Mobile News App Inside

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Jason Calacanis is getting back into the news business with a new app called Inside, which highlights and summarizes the top news stories.

Although Calacanis has been involved in several startups and startup events (including the TechCrunch50 conferences, prior to an acrimonious split), he may still be best known as the founder of Silicon Alley Reporter and especially of Weblogs, Inc., a group of blogs that includes Engadget and was acquired to AOL (which owns TechCrunch). More recently, he was the founder of Mahalo — in fact, Inside is technically the same company.

For Inside, Calacanis hired Gabriel Snyder, formerly editor of The Wire at The Atlantic, to be his chief content officer.

“The idea behind it is that the world is heading to mobile, but there still isn’t a solution in the new space,” Snyder told me. “I feel like the transition, in terms of news and mobile, is sort of where news and the web was in 2002. Everyone knew the web was going to be huge, but there still wasn’t a grammar to the form.”

Naturally, Snyder hopes that Inside is going to reinvent that “grammar” on mobile. The “atomic units,” he said, are brief updates created by a global team of curators who find and summarize important news stories. The idea is to give you the basic facts of the news if you’re just browsing or you’re in a hurry, but if you’re interested in digging in, you can read the original article or swipe left to read the previous updates on the same topic — Snyder described it as an attempt to “marry what humans are good at and what technology is good at” in one product.

The idea has similarities to Circa and to what Calacanis was already doing on a smaller scale for tech news with the Launch Ticker. Snyder and Calacanis aren’t pitching this as a replacement for original news coverage (“The news story isn’t broken,” Snyder insisted) and they emphasized their goal of linking to high-quality journalism, not just someone who has reblogged another publication’s stories.

Snyder also said Inside’s curators are focused on making the headlines and updates as fact-based as possible, with a limit of 300 characters for each update — so the entire headline, image, and update text will fit on your smartphone screen without any scrolling. (My sense from browsing the app is that the updates tended to consist of terse declarations of a story’s main ideas divided by semicolons.) He added that over time, he’s interested in experimenting with what an update can do — for example, he suggested that it could become a new way to share live coverage of an event.

Initially, you just browse the Inside app based on the top stories and on different news categories, but as you read, you can indicate the kinds of articles you want to see more and less of, and Inside will create a personalized news feed.

And even though Snyder said the team is focused on the mobile experience, there’s a browser-based version too, which will be particularly important when people link to the updates on social networks.

As for making money, the obvious plan would be advertising, but Inside doesn’t have any ads at launch, and Snyder said, “I don’t think anyone is really thinking about that right now.”

As I mentioned, from a corporate perspective, this is actually latest iteration of Mahalo, with the same investors (including Sequoia Capital, Elon Musk, News Corp, CBS, and Mark Cuban). The company started out as a “human-powered search engine” and pivoted several times. We last wrote about Calacanis, Mahalo, and Inside.com in the fall of 2012, when it seemed like the site was going to launch as a “knowledge community.”

Calacanis told me today via email that a knowledge community was never the plan for Inside.com — he said that after he realized that Mahalo’s efforts to create YouTube content were a “suckers game”, the team has been “focused 100%” on developing the current product, and it still has enough money to continue running for two years. (The team has “sunset” Mahalo itself, which Calacanis said “is a fancy way of saying it makes 7 figures so we’re not shutting it off but we are not investing in it.”)

I also asked how the news business has changed since Calacanis sold Weblogs, and he told me:

In a way, what I’ve learned as a consumer is that the big problem today is not that there isn’t great journalism going on — it’s that there is so much “other” and “bad” stuff going on.

You have massive link-baiting and reblogging going on, and the news organizations who do the best social media optimization are winning over the folks who ware doing the best journalism. I’m hoping that Inside highlighting the best journalism the product creates a “healthier media diet” for our consumers. Sort of like Whole Foods, where they don’t let any of the bad stuff [in].

Inside’s iPhone App can be downloaded here, its BlackBerry app can be downloaded here, and the mobile web version can be accessed here.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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