Google Reportedly Facing FTC Probe on Display Advertising Tactics

google-antitrust-110723_620x350Google looks like it will probably be hiring yet again in their legal department. Well, there is no announcement to that effect but considering the number of countries stepping up to the plate to take a swing at the company for search and display tactics they are probably going to need the help.

Bloomberg is reporting that the FTC is looking into Google’s way of promoting its DoubleClick platform vs the other display ad platform options that exist. Once again there seems to be this idea that Google is a public utility even though it is a private company but anyway.

From Bloomberg we get the following.

Google Inc. is facing a new antitrust probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into whether the company is using its leadership in the online display-advertising market to illegally curb competition, people familiar with the matter said.

Facebook Users Watched 740 Million Videos in April. . And Only Came in Second

If you think 740 million video views sounds like a lot, prepare yourself for a shock. According to the latest comScore Video Metrix’s report, YouTube visitors (in combination with other Google properties) watched 13 billion videos in April. Yes, billion with a ‘b’.

What’s really fascinating is the rate of the climb. Look at these charts for April and February.

comscore april

comscore feb

In three months, the list, particularly in number of videos viewed is incredible. In February, Facebook had just crossed the half a million mark. Now, they’re almost at 750 million. The difference in the number of unique viewers isn’t as drastic because, let’s face it, we have to be reaching the max pretty soon, right? But as you can see from the last column, it’s not about more people, it’s about more minutes per person.

Target’s New Cartwheel Takes the Long Way Around to Digital Couponing

cartwheel collectionsTarget recently launched a new digital coupon app called Cartwheel that is supposed to make shopping more social. It begins with a great idea; personalized digital coupons but from there, the wheel gets a little wobbly.

Here’s how it works. First, you have to log on to the Cartwheel site and sign-up using your Facebook login.  You must have a Facebook account to use the program and that seems like an unnecessary hurdle. The point is to get more people to shop at Target, right? But if I don’t want to give you access to my Facebook account, then I’m out. Hmmm. . .

Twitter Turns Up Ad Game with Twitter Amplify

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteTwitter is deepening its love affair with TV through new Amplify partnerships.

On the Twitter blog the company toots its own horn but its not like they are saying anything out of line, it’s just the truth.

Less than six months in, 2013 has already been a remarkable year for the nexus between television and Twitter. The vast majority of the online public conversation around TV currently happens on Twitter – 95 percent, according to Crimson Hexagon. Half of all national Super Bowl commercials had hashtags on them, helping guide viewers to the collective conversation. And you can’t turn on the news without hearing a Tweet referenced.

It is getting more and more difficult actually to not see Twitter referenced just about everywhere. Well, don’t expect that pace to slow any in the wake of an increasing number of agreements with properties and advertisers to create a more multi-screen environment for users. The blog post continues

Twitter’s Two-Factor Account Verification Process Is Live

Twitter has had some trouble in the recent past with some high profile accounts getting hacked and the ensuing fallout from those issues. Part of their response was to say that they will be enabling a two-step verification process. At the time that was a promise but now it is in play according to the post on the Twitter blog from yesterday.

Here’s a video for you to get the gist.

So while this is a good first step it may not really be much help to those who really need it. How’s that you ask? Well, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine has this to say

Majority of Mobile Users Would Rather Engage an Ad Than Pay for an Upgrade

The psychology behind how we spend our money is a wondrous thing. I’ll gladly throw down $1 a day for a Diet Coke, but I’m reluctant to spend $1.50 on a box of pasta that would feed my whole family when I can get it for less than that on another day. I’m also reluctant to pay for additional levels on my iPad games. I’ve done it once or twice, but it’s not an easy button push.

For whatever reason, mobile users will do almost anything to keep from paying for an upgrade – including engage with ads.

tapjoy free content

Will Mobile Ad Platform Accreditation Curb Wasted Ad Spending?

logo-iadWith so much going in the Internet and social media space sometimes it feels like you just missed something. After looking at this article from AdAge I had that feeling. It looks at the problem of waste that many advertisers are experiencing in the mobile space and how an accreditation process could give advertisers some solace that what they are paying for is what they are actually receiving.

The article says

The debate over the value of mobile advertising typically focuses on what effect, if any, it has on brand lift, sales and getting consumers into stores. But advertisers have been wasting money on mobile in the literal sense because a significant portion of the ads they’re paying for never properly display on devices.