Recently it has appeared that Twitter has cracked the code on mobile advertising better than its larger rivals, Facebook and Google. Facebook's IPO in May suffered partly because of investor uncertainty over its lack of mobile ad revenues, and Google's last couple of quarters raised questions about lower prices on its mobile ads. Some folks question whether mobile ads will ever really work well.
A new report out this morning says Facebook's doing just fine with mobile ads –finer, in fact, than Twitter (see update below). According to the report from TBG Digital, which helps marketers place ads on Facebook and Twitter, ads that appear in people's Facebook news feeds on their mobile devices get four times as many clicks as similar but not identical Twitter ads.
Heads up, Google. Facebook is testing a new format of search ads called Sponsored Results that lets advertisers show ads in the Facebook search typeahead to users looking for a particular Page, app, or Place. It basically will let businesses divert traffic from each other.
For example, a competing game company could target Zynga's CityVille so anyone searching for "CityVille" would see an ad leading to their game alongside the organic search result leading to Zynga's game. Sponsored Results could be big for Facebook's bottom line, pulling in ad dollars from direct advertisers with something to sell.
Pinterest has been temporarily locking accounts in response to hacks. It looks like the company doesn't know the cause of the security breaches.
On July 16, Pinterest posted a "Locked Account Survey," asking affected users to complete a survey to "assist our investigation." The eleven question survey is broad, covering a wide range of possible issues, from whether the user had experienced other security hacks to how they used Pinterest to what browser they used,
suggesting that Pinterest doesn't know what's causing its hacks.
Pinterest posted five different notices between July 10 and 16 regarding hacks and locked accounts, with the last one being the survey. They have not posted since then.
Be careful about opening emails that claim you have been tagged in a Facebook photo, because they may actually be malware, according to a security expert.
Sophos's NakedSecurity blog outlined the threat on Wednesday. The company's SophosLabs intercepted a "spammed-out email campaign" which was designed to spread malware.
Sophos provided the following example:
The blog notes that the email address above misspells "Facebook" as "Faceboook." The link takes the user to a malicious iFrame script, which exposes the user's computer to malware. However, within four seconds, the user's browser is directed to a presumably innocent Facebook page like the one below to act as a smokescreen.
Conference panels are often sedate, friendly affairs. But that wasn't the case when Google chairman Eric Schmidt went up against Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder, investor and well-known libertarian gadfly.
The debate at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen Monday night tackled the question of whether technology has improved our lives over the past 30 years. Schmidt argued that it had; Thiel claimed progress had stagnated because tech has largely retreated from the real world into a virtual one.
"Google also has $50 billion in cash," Thiel added. "It has no idea how to invest that money in technology effectively ... if we're living in an accelerating technological world, and you have zero percent interest rates, you should be able to invest all of your money in things that will return it many times over. The fact is you're out of ideas."
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