November 4, Signal: The NSA Gets MUSCULAR

Image from PandoDaily via the NSA

This week in last week’s most compelling links:  a call to tech arms, Social ROI soars, Tumblr gets sponsored, advertising businesses are hard, Tweet-a-Coffee gets hot, everyone creates content, Facebook gets a middling grade, vCPMs show promise, Facebook loses young teens, programmatic 101, Aggregate’s snapped up, NYTimes print edges digital, Android ID takes cues from Apple, Bing’s display ads meet search and Instagram’s first sponsored post takes a beating.

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say | Washington Post New information from documents obtained from Edward Snowden say that the National Security Agency has broken into the main communications links between Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. This means the NSA has put itself in a position to collect from hundreds of millions of user accounts. The image above reflects the self congratulatory sensibility of the wayward agency, and makes us reflect:

It’s time for Silicon Valley to ask: Is it worth it? | PandoDaily Calling for outrage from Silicon Valley, Pando assess the damage done to privacy and trust.

Social ad ROI skyrockets: Facebook click rate up 275%, Twitter revenue per visitor up 4X | Venturebeat Social continues to improving ROI. The Q3 Adobe Social Intelligence report says Twitter is delivers four times the revenue per visitor this year over last year, and Facebook’s ad click-through rate is up a whopping 275 percent. It’s still undervalued because of timing, “Social media is often not the last thing you do before you buy,” says Adobe digital analyst Tamara Gaffney, “It’s often the first thing … so advertisers are undervaluing social by as much as 116 percent.”

Yahoo Still Looking to Ignite Tumblr Ad Potential | Ad Week Tumblr’s next project is to help brands “amplify” their presence, says sales chief Lee Brown. It’s likely Tumblr will target the “trending” section on its mobile app. Under Marissa Meyer’s direction. “Playing in an established market is good for Tumblr,” noted Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Entrepreneur PSA – Advertising Businesses are Hard | Seth’s Blog Former founder of Meebo Seth Sternberg shares the biggest challenges to starting an advertising-supported company. Citing headaches like reaching audience size, driving sales for your advertisers, building a sales team, keeping a positive cash flow, the difficulty of selling and starting from scratch, quarter over quarter. We can relate.

Starbucks Lets You Buy Coffee for a Friend via Twitter | Mashable Starbucks has launched a beta program called Tweet-a-Coffee. It allows customers to buy a $5 gift card for a friend through Twitter by syncing their Starbucks account to Twitter and linking a credit card to your account. After tweeting “@tweetacoffee” with the Twitter handle of the intended recipient, that person will receive the gift card.

Pew: 54% of US Internet users post their own photos or videos; 18% of phone owners use Instagram, 9% use Snapchat | The Next Web Although there’s no growth data, according to Pew, 18 percent of all mobile phone owners are on Instagram and 9 percent are on Snapchat. Fifty-four percent of US adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created, up from 46 percent last year.

Forrester Gloomy On Facebook’s Shift From Social To ‘Traditional’ Ads | AdExchanger In a report from Forrester Research, analyst Nate Elliott reports that executives are not happy with the direction Facebook is taking. Saying that Facebook no longer prioritizes affinity and social connections in its ad products, many advertisers feel alienated.

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Venture Beat and Sheraton team up to bring you an incredibly useful list of apps that make the most of business downtime. App it up.


Will Viewable Impressions Ever Become Online Advertising’s Currency? | AdExchanger Outlining the challenges to moving to a vCPM, or viewed impressions will impact publishers, advertisers, ad servers and the companies who count the impressions. Moving there as an industry needs to be a team effort.

Facebook Admits to Drop in Usage Among Teens | Forbes David Ebersman, CFO from Facebook admitted “we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.” This news overtook what was otherwise a positive earnings release Both daily active users and revenue are up significantly from last year.

Demystifying Programmatic Marketing and RTB | Medium A primer to “Programmatic Marketing,” explains, “At a high level, Programmatic Marketing is the practice of implementing an automated set of business rules to efficiently target your most valuable customers and prospects with personalized ads.”

Neustar Acquires DMP Aggregate Knowledge For $119M | AdExchanger For $119 million, communications infrastructure provider Neustar acquired data management platform Aggregate Knowledge.

NYTCo Still ‘Challenged’ By Programmatic, Mobile Ad Revenues Lag | AdExchanger Digital ad revenue continued to slide for The New York Times Co. in Q3. CEO Mark Thompson said that for the first time in recent years, print actually performed better than digital.

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We love this winter white kitchen inspiration from Apartment 34 and Samsung. (with bonus giveaway).


Google Replacing “Android ID” With “Advertising ID” Similar To Apple’s IDFA | Marketing Land Google announced that they are replacing the unique Android ID (similar to Apple’s old UDID) with a new “Advertising ID.” A long, anonymous string of digits, the new ID is similar to Apple’s Identifier For Advertising (IDFA).

Microsoft Bing tests ‘Hero’ ads in Windows 8.1 search results, jousting with Google | Geekwire Microsoft Bing’s new Hero Ads, pilot a new form of visual search advertising in Windows 8.1. These ads mix both elements of display and search ads. Early adopters include Land Rover, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Radio Shack.

The Time Has Come: This Is The First Ad On Instagram | Business Insider Comments on the first promoted post on Instagram haven’t been entirely positive. A Michael Kors advertisement is the first public ad released.

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FM and Zazzle teamed up for a huge brand ambassador program with some of our most stylish publishers.

We love this sponsored Pinboard and post from the Glitter Guide as well as this gorgeous creation from Project Nursery.