In conversation with Erik Schatzker of Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum, Marissa Mayer identified interest graph technology as the next trend in personalization:
There’s the social graph, which is really important and very fundamental, but — what I’m talking about in terms of personalization — it will give way to the interest graph.
Other technology leaders like Facebook VC Sean Parker, Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann, and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo have extolled the the interest graph before. Mayer’s recent commentary underlines the importance of the interest graph currently has for all major technology companies.
Mayer went on to say (emphasis ours):
The interest graph is the set of things that I’m interested in. And if you know the set of things that I’m interested in, you know the set of things other people are interested in, you can create connections between people that aren’t just based on whether or not they went to the same school or worked in the same place, but are actually based on “are they interested in the same things?”
So, for one, we can create very powerful personalization technologies [with the interest graph] because we can see what other people who like the same things, are interested in the same things that you are, are doing and provide you the same information through things like collaborative filtering. But there’s also a very powerful social component there, because we can show you interests you may have in common with people you didn’t realize.
Watch Mayer’s entire comments on the interest graph:
July 29, 2013 - 7 months ago
Salesforce has released its Facebook Ads Benchmark Report, showing how Facebook ads perform on Social.com, their social ads portal product. The report is long in pages but rather light on real insights. In classic 140 Proof fashion, we’ve distilled 29 pages down to their essence here to save you time.
Here’s what’s in the report:
SPONSORED STREAMS SUBDUE RIGHT RAIL REMNANTS: The feed is the secret. Ride the stream. Presence in stream versus right rail makes all the difference. Advertisers enjoy 6-15x better response rate in feeds versus right rail.
DARK DAYS FOR DAILY DEALS AND DATING SITES: paltry response rates of less than 0.2% keep these categories in the proverbial bottom of the barrel.
ANEMIC PERFORMANCE: Most Facebook ads continue to deliver low-performing CTR comparable to traditional web banner ads. The few exceptions are Facebook’s Sponsored Page Posts + Place Checkins.
CANADIANS ARE CHEAP LIKERS: Premium Canadian “Likes” go for $1.26 ea, vs. homegrown Made-in-America Likes @ $0.64 ea.
DOMESTIC DOMINATES: The US and Canada are the most expensive targeted countries, with KPIs 50%+ higher than average across the board.
Read the full report here.
June 12, 2013 - 8 months ago
Tumblr is currently the #13 website on the Internet, with over 8 billion page views per month. Last year, it gained notoriety as one of the biggest platforms in social.
But how should brands be looking at Tumblr? Is there a benefit to a paid presence there?
Tumblr Is the Home of Teens and Millennials
Tumblr’s audience is young and smart. According to Quantcast, Tumblr indexes very highly for people aged 18-24. Most of Tumblr’s visitors have been to college, too. And while most visitors currently make less than $50k, that’ll change. Any brand who wants to reach teens or Millennials should be considering how to reach them through Tumblr.
Youth-friendly brands have already started building their owned Tumblr presences. Brands from luxury and mass market verticals alike have jumped in. Kate Spade, Adidas, NBA, Spotify, Whole Foods, Audi, and Land Rover are already on Tumblr, to name a few.
Don’t other social platforms already have plenty of young people (and great ad options)?
Young people, who, by virtue of being college students, were the ONLY people on Facebook ten years ago, are too old to be teens or Millennials now. Then older folks, the moms and dads and aunts and grandpas, have joined Facebook too. No offense to moms and grandpas, but young people looking for spaces to make their own are emigrating to other platforms like Tumblr.
There are also some signs that Millennials and teens have been slower to join Twitter than other age groups. Just this past week, Garry Tan, the co-founder of Posterous, informally surveyed over one thousand people and found that teens are using Tumblr more than Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Be Heard Above the Noise
Facebook is crowded. Most major brands (and their competitors) have already created Facebook Pages and tested Facebook advertising. Facebook noted in its 2012 SEC filing that over four million businesses had created Facebook Pages. And while Tumblr has many respected and forward-thinking companies on its platform, the brand adoption rate hasn’t yet exploded. Brands are likely to be heard on Tumblr simply by virtue of the higher share of voice they’ll enjoy. (Before everyone else finds out about it, that is.)
Paid Options for Tumblr
While companies are working to figure out how their own Tumblrs (or “Tumblelogs”) might look, brands can now reach teens and Millennials through more traditional means like advertising. 140 Proof offers brands the opportunity to reach this up-and-coming audience through its Native Ads for Social Sites program.
140 Proof helps brands place advertising on Tumblr sites the same way they place more traditional display or other social advertising. This paid option allows brands to test Tumblr strategies before making an investment in owned Tumblr properties.
(We’ve always been big fans of Tumblr: it’s the backbone of the 140 Proof Blog!)
To learn more about advertising on Tumblr, contact us at email@example.com.
January 24, 2013 - 1 year ago
Matt Rosenberg, VP of marketing at Taykey, recently published a new article for businesses trying to figure out Facebook’s byzantine privacy and brand management controls.
It’s called 6 Ways Brands Can Become More Likable, and we recommend you read it. Now. It covers key principles of durable community growth, like:
- Asking people to content rather than companies
- Planning to listen, rather than just talking
- Not offering coupons and deals in exchange for “Likes”
- Targeting ads in smarter ways, e.g. using the Blended Interest Graph
- Making creative that’s as dynamic as your fans
- Giving up obsessing over the dollar value of a “Like”
- Giving users more control of brand relationships
(And Like us on Facebook!!! Just kidding. :)
January 23, 2013 - 1 year ago
Since 2003, social advertising has grown and lately flourished, with 2012 its biggest year yet. The United States ad market overall grew by 4% in 2012, partly due to campaigns for political candidates and Olympics sponsors. And social giant Facebook recently reported a 32% increase in revenue for the third quarter of 2012. But how will social advertising shake out next year?
Experts predict that social advertising market growth will continue to climb to between $6 billion and $10 billion. In May 2012, BIA/Kelsey predicted that social ad spending in the US will top $5.9 billion for 2013, with social display taking the biggest portion. And last year, the marketing analysts at eMarketer predicted that the paid social market, including social ads, social network games, and social network applications, will earn $9.99 billion dollars in 2013.
Other signs point to a successful social ads industry for 2013, too.
Nielsen reports that almost 172 million people in the US accessed social networks in 2012, with 20% of online time being spent on social networks (more than any other online activity). Women spend the most time in social, up to 18 hours per month. And 30% of mobile time is now being spent on social media networks.
Because 140 Proof offers social advertising across many social platforms and uses public social data to target ads, we’re bullish on continued growth for 2013. With over half of the US population using social networks, social advertising is increasingly the best way to reach relevant audiences at scale. And brand advertisers increasingly prefer the Blended Interest Graph to reach these audiences, because social data is public and always up-to-date.
In January, we’ll be profiling the biggest social advertising trends of 2013. Stay tuned for more insights as the social ad industry grows and evolves.
December 4, 2012 - 1 year ago
You knew instinctively that the breakout popularity of social networks meant that ads were close behind. Advertisers go where the crowds are. But even those of you who have been following social for years might be surprised at how quickly social advertising has grown and flourished.
Some social networks, like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, had advertising built-in virtually at the time they launched. Some, like Twitter, resisted the pull to monetize and moved slowly (their progress led by other players like 140 Proof). Others, like Google+, still haven’t plugged in the advertising machine.
Social Ads: a Timeline of Events
- September 2003: MYSPACE LAUNCHES. MySpace reached the 1 million user mark within a month of its official launch. It was founded by employees from eUniverse, a marketing company. Basic display ads followed soon after launch.
- February 2004: FACEBOOK LAUNCHES. Ads were an early addition to the platform, without real targeting or quality to speak of. As Facebook’s user base grew, so did advertising demand. Facebook didn’t really turn on the revenue firehose until COO Cheryl Sandberg joined in 2007.
- August 2007: YOUTUBE LAUNCHES VIDEO OVERLAY ADS. YouTube chose to try out banners over its videos first, asserting that users wouldn’t like pre-roll media. YouTube later added pre-roll videos in 2010.
- November 2007: FACEBOOK LAUNCHES ADS POWERED BY BEACON. Facebook had integrated Microsoft’s adCenter banners in 2006, but Beacon was Facebook’s first major attempt at building social features into its advertising. Beacon aimed to bring users’ browsing data from other sites into Facebook to improve ad targeting. However, the program attracted such a volume of user backlash that Facebook ultimately revised its social ad strategy.
- February 2008: GOOGLE LAUNCHES ADSENSE for YOUTUBE. The only social platform to give content producers a cut of ad revenue, Google integrated its popular AdSense program into YouTube to incentivize video publishers to stick around.
- August 2008: FACEBOOK TESTS “ENGAGEMENT ADVERTISING.” In the great debate between the open platforms and the walled gardens, Facebook has always preferred to keep its users within Facebook. That’s why it began testing Engagement Ads, which offered advertisers anything but a click for their calls to action. Comments, virtual gifts, and likes were the first calls to action tested, with event RSVPs and other formats soon to follow.
- January 2010: 140 PROOF LAUNCHES TARGETED SOCIAL ADVERTISING 140 Proof was the first interest graph based social ad platform, with sharing built-in to every ad. It initially started with a self-serve advertising platform and then pivoted its offering to focus on the needs of big brands.
- February 2010: 140 PROOF LAUNCHES ADVERTISING A.P.I. Developers of social apps great and small began plugging into 140 Proof’s social ads API, which uses interest graph data to match social users with brand messages that are relevant for them.
- March 2010: TWITTER CEO EV WILLIAMS DELAYS AD LAUNCH @ SXSW. Most pundits had their fingers crossed before SXSW that @ev would announce Twitter’s long-awaited ad strategy in his keynote interview. But millions of watchers were disappointed when, instead of an ad platform, Ev announced Twitter’s so-called “at platform”, which sought to bring Twitter functionality to more users. (It had nothing to do with ads.)
- April 2010: 140 PROOF LAUNCHES SHAREABLE ADS. Social means connections. Why shouldn’t a social ad be social? 140 Proof’s ads launched sharing + retweet-ability in 2010 for Twitter and Facebook-powered apps. How often do people share relevant recommendations and content? A lot, it turns out.
- July 2010: FORD REVEALS THE NEW EXPLORER EXCLUSIVELY ON FACEBOOK. Ford was one of the first big brands to invest heavily in social, and it showed in 2010 when they eschewed all traditional channels and turned to Facebook as the exclusive medium for their big reveal of the new 2011 Ford Explorer.
- December 2010: TWITTER FINALLY LAUNCHES UNTARGETED ADS. After a long period of PR and limited testing, Twitter eventually coaxed a few customers into trying its ad product, roughly one year after other players in the social ecosystem had started monetizing Twitter streams with paid media.
- January 2011: FACEBOOK LAUNCHES SPONSORED STORIES. Considered by the press to be version 2 of the ill-fated Beacon, Sponsored Stories feature user photos in each ad, which Facebook claims brings a 60% boost in performance.
- May 2011: 140 PROOF LAUNCHES VIDEO ADS IN SOCIAL. Boosted by the widespread popularity of video and huge user activity around live televised events like the Super Bowl, 140 Proof began offering video ads to brand advertisers who wanted to extend their TV and pre-roll campaigns to social.
- June 2011: GOOGLE LAUNCHES GOOGLE+ Google+ is Google’s fourth attempt at a social network (after Orkut, Wave, and Buzz). Intent on getting the experience right, Google+ didn’t have ads at launch — and it still doesn’t. Though none of us really expects the world’s biggest online ad company to hold off on Google+ ads forever.
- May 2012: G.M. PULLS ITS AD SPEND FROM FACEBOOK. Just days before the Facebook IPO, the press discovered that GM was pulling its entire Facebook ad spend — about $10 million. While some opined that GM was just trying to get a better deal out of Facebook, the scars still haven’t fully healed. In spite of the GM pullout, Facebook is on track for another billion dollar year in social ads.
- July 2012: FOURSQUARE LAUNCHES PROMOTED UPDATES. Three years after launch, Foursquare brings paid placement to its user feeds in the Explore tab with Promoted Updates, brand recommendations based on user searches.
What was your favorite moment in the rise of social advertising? Did we miss any big achievements, milestones, or missteps? Let us know in the comments.
August 7, 2012 - 1 year ago
Recently, Facebook created its own store for apps and games, dubbed App Center, and the global launch is underway. Essentially, App Center puts Facebook between you and the rest of the internet. Just like everything else. Everyone’s covering it, generally in the “it’s news!” type of way. Only Buzzfeed pointed out that Facebook’s App Center doesn’t feel like most app stores:
It looks like an app store, and it functions like an app store. It’s been touted as an app store. But it doesn’t feel like a store, and not just because all the apps are free.
It’s true that App Center isn’t your ordinary app store. That’s intentional. Two questions:
- Why would Facebook need an app store?
- Who cares?
Why Does Facebook Want to Help You Download Apps?
App Center might seem like just another of Facebook’s walled-garden plays, styling itself as the new web much in the same way Aol was effectively the Internet for millions of users for years. But App Center isn’t just about the walled garden. The Facebook App Center is directly tied to the company’s future and its revenue potential. Why?
The key lies in the interest graph. Last week, unnamed sources for the Wall Street Journal leaked an upcoming strategy shift: Facebook will soon offer mobile ads with targeting based on what apps people use. Interest-based targeting. (As a company that specializes in ad targeting based on the interest graph, the news caught our attention in a big way.)
Interests Are Jet Fuel for Advertising
Targeting based on interests is magical for online advertising. We’ve seen in our own campaigns how much a difference that the interest graph can make for an advertiser. With click rates of half a percent, it’s pretty great. At 140 Proof, our algorithm analyzes which people and brands that users Like and Follow in order to determine interests. For Facebook, knowing what apps people use is the interest graph equivalent of a Like.
Why Does Facebook’s Mobile Ad Success Depend on App Center?
But let’s back up. The interest graph is awesome, but why connect apps and the interest graph? Why does Facebook want to put its weight into the App Center? Let’s look at it from the perspective of people buying advertising.
We know apps, especially mobile apps, are huge. Developers and companies earn piles of money from apps through businesses like selling goods (Amazon), selling the apps themselves (Angry Birds), or selling ads within the apps (Zynga). And as we saw with the Instagram acquisition, even a free app can be big business.
Still, the #1 ingredient for an app to be considered successful is users. Even an awesome app like Instagram needs users, and it needs lots of them. So developers are always looking for ways to get more users, and one of the ways they do it is with ads.
Advertisers Really, Really Want to Buy Downloads
The kicker is this: app makers specifically want to buy downloads: not impressions, not clicks, but downloads or “installs.” In fact, developers would pour all their marketing dollars into any source that can prove they can drive app downloads.
Says the Journal:
Facebook’s new mobile ads for apps are potentially highly lucrative. Facebook would charge advertisers every time an app is installed on a users’ smartphone, one of the people familiar with the plans said. Facebook can charge significantly more for an app installation than it can for the traditional cost of every one thousand people who have viewed an ad.
Facebook admitted that “driving mobile installs” was a primary goal of App Center when they announced it to developers in May of this year.
But Driving Downloads Ain’t Easy
But proving that you can drive app downloads is surprisingly hard to do. Everyone’s trying to do it, but the tools aren’t really in place yet. Apple’s iTunes Store analytics won’t break out which referring site drove the most downloads. Why do you think mobile ad networks want to collect device IDs (and why everyone freaked out when Apple deprecated the UDID)? Correlating IDs of devices with the app to IDs that were served ads helps prove that ads resulted in a download.
Facebook can’t prove what apps you have, and therefore it can’t target you effectively, unless it helps you install them. It needs to get in between you and the actual app store (iTunes, Android, etc) at time of download and verify that you have the app installed.
That’s why there’s an app store. Facebook needs to promote this app store so that they can maximize their ad revenue with a smart mobile play.
The success of App Center will predict the success of Facebook’s mobile ads for apps.
Then there’s the second question: who cares? The Facebook App Center has just launched and had its day in the press. But do Facebook users care if Facebook has an app store? Why should they download apps on Facebook instead of where they’re used to downloading it (in the Android store, in the Apple app store, on Amazon, or elsewhere?). It’s a good question, and one only Facebook will be able to answer.
People may switch to App Center if it’s easier and more fun to download apps there or if Facebook wins on sheer brand awareness efforts. For example, if Facebook makes the App Center more well known than Apple or Android, people will use it out of habit and convenience.
It’s a big job, one Facebook is fully capable of. It’s heartening to see this latest validation of interest-based targeting.
At 140 Proof, we already use interest graph targeting to promote app titles for advertisers like Amazon, BlackBerry, The Daily, and CBS. To learn more about how 140 Proof supports national campaigns for apps, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 30, 2012 - 1 year ago
We love to give our customers the spotlight at 140 Proof, and starting today we’ll be doing it every month, highlighting an innovative social ad campaign from our network. We’re pleased this month to feature Starburst® as they promote their popular, fruit-friendly brand on the 140 Proof network through a partnership with VEVO.
Wrigley, the Starburst parent brand, has taken the lead among music fans in social by sponsoring multiple music campaigns. Wrigley originated the concept of the sponsored live festival broadcast at Coachella in 2011 and, in 2012, repeated the success by building excitement around live online concerts for its campaign.
This month, Starburst® and VEVO have teamed up to bring music to social with VEVO Go Shows. VEVO Go Shows feature artists like Selena Gomez, All American Rejects, La Roux, Demi Lovato, Florence + The Machine, and others. 140 Proof music lovers are invited to enjoy free the VEVO Go Shows on Facebook, with new videos every week and behind-the-scenes scoops on the stars.
The Wrigley Starburst® campaign comes to us from our partners at Starcom Chicago. We’re honored to be working with you!
June 29, 2012 - 1 year ago