Are You Ready for Mobile Facebook Ads? Here They Come!

Apparently, when Facebook filed its plans to go public, analysts saw nothing but “red flags” that the social network had thus far failed to monetize its 425+ million mobile users…

The disclosure sent up red flags for analysts, because the company also said it does not “currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven.”

Talk about a “glass is half empty” attitude. For me, that looks like a huge opportunity for Facebook and I suspect that the dire warning was nothing more than the obligatory pessimistic statements needed when making any financial statement.

Anyway, it appears Facebook’s ready to give mobile advertising another crack with a major announcement in New York on February 29th.

Google Privacy Uproar Continues but What’s Really Going On?

The Google flap over privacy continues and the machine moves with fine efficiency. Take a look at these headlines.

Google Bypassing User Privacy Settings – MSDN

Microsoft: Google Bypasses Privacy Settings in Internet Explorer, Too – All Things D

Google Privacy Fiasco Lesson: There Is No Privacy – Computerworld

Not Just Google: Facebook Also Bypass Privacy Settings In IE – ZDNet’s Friending Facebook

More Sneaky Business About Google: It Bypasses Internet Explorer Privacy Settings Too – Business Insider

It seems that everyone wants to put Google on a skewer and roast them over an open fire. Makes for great headlines but let’s take a look at two quotes from two of the above articles. First, Friending Facebook

Smartphone Data Should Tell Marketers to Get Mobile Now

Smartphones are not the wave of the future. They are the wave of now. Whether you are defined as a Millenial or someone older but with a substantial income the smartphone is a part of the existence of the majority in major demographic groups.

A recent survey from Nielson did more to state the obvious, especially for marketers, that the devices are being purchased and used in great numbers. If you are hesitating on your mobile strategy you could be leaving money on the table.

The demographics should tell the story for any company. Look at your target market. If they are likely to be carrying a smartphone then your marketing efforts better make the effort to reach them. It really is that simple.

Mobile Users Asked to Pay for NCAA March Madness

When you’ve got something people want, it only makes sense to ask them to pay for it, right? But that logic doesn’t always work when it comes to mobile content.

There are plenty of studies that show people are reluctant to plunk down more than .99 for an app they’ll likely use every day. On the other hand, several newspapers have had luck with mobile, paid subscribers.

Now, CBS and Turner are putting the paywall to the test with NCAA March Madness. Though the FAQ on March Madness Live is extensive, it boils down to this:

  • Games on CBS will run live on their website, free for all.
  • Games on Turner will run free online if you’re an authenticated cable subscriber.

Four Stars for Microsoft’s People Powered Stories Ads

Social advertising is all about using the comments and recommendations of one person to influence the buying habits of another. Facebook does this handily by mentioning which of my friends like the ads that appear in my sidebar. But, to be effective, recommendations don’t have to come from friends.

A recent study by BazaarVoice showed that 51% of the all-important millennial consumers were influenced by the online comments of strangers. So that’s probably why they’ve teamed up with Microsoft Advertising for a new kind of ad they call “People Powered Stories.

The test revolved around the Windows 7 “back to school” campaign. The ads were designed to pull in real review data from college students, then deliver it to other college students as they surfed the web.

F’d Commerce: Facebook Stores Closing Doors

What do Gamestop, JC Penney, Nordstrom and The Gap have in common. They all went headlong into creating Facebook stores and have since shuttered them for their own reasons. One thing all reasons must have in common is that the stores weren’t working. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the power of f-commerce. It’s also not a condemnation since there are likely equal amounts of stories claiming the opposite.

SF Gate reports

Facebook, which this month filed for an initial public offering, has sought to be a top shopping destination for its 845 million members. The stores’ quick failure shows that the Menlo Park, California-based social network doesn’t drive commerce and casts doubt on its value for retailers, said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Google’s Latitude Starts Check-Ins

Hailed as a Foursquare competitor, Google’s Latitude now is offering a checkin-in service with a leaderboard feature. Since Latitude is barely spoken of and is one of the few social options out there that makes Google+ look like a social media world beater you can see why this hasn’t been done with any fanfare.

Engadget reports

Google didn’t exactly offer much fanfare for this new feature — as far as we can tell, it still hasn’t been officially announced. With the latest update to the Maps app, Mountain View delivered an extra level of functionality to the all but forgotten Latitude. Now check check-ins earn you points which are tallied and used to rank Google+ users on a global leaderboard, just like on Foursquare. Not everyone is seeing the feature just yet, and it only appears to reveal itself after you check-in somewhere. In fact, we still haven’t found a way to pull up the leaderboard without first registering our location. You can see the rather sparse help page at the more coverage link and sound off in the comments if you’re seeing your name ranked alongside your favorite Engadget editors and Leo Laporte.