In Your Facebook: Thursday Signal

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is fed up with Facebook.

In today’s Signal: Mark Cuban threatens to pull the Dallas Mavs from Facebook and play in Tumblr’s or MySpace’s yard instead; Dalton Caldwell on the unfurling of the full-fledged Facebook business model; Pinterest welcomes businesses … finally; advertisers are still struggling to come up with effective mobile strategies; just when you want to get out, Comcast pulls you back in; Tumblr debuts its A-List Partnership Program; and more.

To the links …

Mark Cuban: Facebook Is Driving Away Brands — Starting With Mine (ReadWrite) Two weeks ago, when Facebook sent Mark Cuban an offer to reach 1 million people for a charge of $3,000, the tech billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks tweeted a screen grab of the offer, along with these words: “FB is blowing it? This is the first step. The Mavs are considering moving to Tumblr or to new MySpace as primary site.”

Yep, this controversy isn’t going away…

Understanding Like-gate (Dalton Caldwell) Related, Dalton Caldwell believes that the debate surrounding Facebook’s charging for access to users who have already Liked a page is missing the big picture. What we are witnessing, he contends,  is the unfurling of the full-fledged Facebook business model. “We can expect to see Facebook de-emphasizing traditional advertising units in favor of promoted news stories in your stream,” he notes. “The reason is that the very best advertising is content. Blurring the lines between advertising and content is one of the most ambitious goals a marketer could have.”

Pinterest Removes Ban on Commercial Use as It Adds Business Accounts (ATD) Businesses have always posted their own content and products on Pinterest, even though commercial use of the site has been prohibited. But now, Pinterest is giving this kind of use the go-ahead by adding business accounts. Aside from being allowed to act commercially, there are a few more benefits to being a business user: Verification badges, buttons and widgets to try to drive more people to follow your Pinterest page, and access to new features.

Mobile Ads Are the Future. They’re Also Lousy (Businessweek) Because our smartphones are always with us and collect more data about us than desktops, it makes sense that mobile advertising should be an enormous business. But if mobile has such potential, why are the ads so mediocre? The answer, according to Sam Grobart: “Traditional advertising doesn’t translate to mobile devices, and companies are still struggling to come up with effective strategies.”

Comcast Makes Cord-Cutting Offer You Can’t Refuse (WSJ) When a Georgia-based Comcast customer recently attempted to cancel her TV service and keep just the Internet service, she discovered what those of us who’ve tried to do the same already know — that the Internet service alone would cost her more, not less, a month. Comcast’s pricing strategy is based on the belief that it’s more valuable for the cable operator to pursue customers who will take multiple services than “single play” customers.

Tumblr Debuts Agency Partner Program (Adweek) The first participants in Tumblr’s A-List Partnership Program, which appears to be similar to Facebook’s Preferred Developer Program, are AKQA, Social@Ogilvy, Deep Focus, 360i, Droga5, We Are Social and Carrot Creative. The initiative will give agency partners more access to the site’s API, its fire hose of data, how-to training and overall technical support.

Budging Advertising’s Organisational Culture (The Guardian) Craig Mawdsley, head of planning at UK-based communications agency AMV BBDO, discusses the reasons why clients and agencies need to restructure their businesses to handle the age of “everything connected and always-on,” and the age of two-way conversation. “Organisations that change their technology without changing their culture will fail,” he writes, “while technological laggards who are bold cultural adventurers will prosper.” Joins Native Advertising Push With Sponsored Posts (AdAge) has begun offering advertisers the chance to write their own blog posts. The program, called Insights, came about partly because so many advertisers are creating content for their own sites. “It’s a new unit to address a new need,”  said Thomas F.X. Cole, executive director of business development at and The Boston Globe. “Our advertisers and particularly our smaller advertisers have been creating their own content. They need to get it exposed. As much as 50% of small businesses are blogging. The one thing they want is to have people see their material.”

The Phantom Brand Experimental Budget (Digiday) The “experimental budget” for innovation, which for large companies like Coca-Cola touts a 70-20-10 rule (with the latter focused on the newest of the new), isn’t the norm. In today’s uncertain economic climate, most brand managers aren’t afforded the luxury of earmarking budget for pet projects. They need to justify their spend.

Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars Than U.S. Print Media (Mashable) Data detailed a chart provided by Statistica, a German statistics company, clearly shows that during the first six months of 2012, Google brought in $10.9 billion in ad revenue while U.S. newspapers and magazines brought in $10.5 billion.


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