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February 25 2014

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February 12 2014

Facebook’s Sandberg And Ebersman Say They’re Not Planning To Flood The News Feed With Ads
sheryl sandbergJudging from recent earnings reports, Facebook's mobile ad strategy is paying off, but CFO David Ebersman said that doesn't mean you'll see an ever-increasing number of ads in your News Feed. Ebersman and COO Sheryl Sandberg spoke this evening at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, where they were asked about the amount of ads that Facebook shows to its users. Ebersman replied that the company saw in 2013 that mobile ads don't just "continue to perform really well for marketers" but also have "a limited or negligible impact on engagement," as shown in part by user surveys.

February 11 2014

Tech Billionaires Made Up 75% Of 2013′s Most Philanthropic People Under 50
TechCrunch Conference - San Francisco, CAYoung tech billionaires gave generously in 2013. Of the 50 top philanthropists compiled by the Chronicle Of Philanthropy, only 4 were under the age of 50 and 3 of those were in the tech industry: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook, $992M), Pierre and Pam Omidyar (Ebay, $225M) and Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki (Google, $219M). The one non-techie philanthropist joining their youthful brethren are John and Laura Arnold, who made their billion in finance. Zuckerberg, who led the pack with nearly a billion in charitable donations, is most remembered for his $100M gift to Newark’s public schools and, more recently, nearly a billion dollars in Facebook stock given to The Silicon Valley foundation. Technology IPOs have been churning out an impressive number of millionaires, many of them quite young. Twitter’s recent IPO, alone, created roughly 1,600 new millionaires. Facebook, too, created around 1,000 millionaires and billionaires, including the fresh-faced co-founders who boostrapped the site in Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room. Notably absent from The Chronicle Of Philanthropy‘s list are super-philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who had pledged barrels of cash in previous years. Both Zuckerberg and eBay founder Pierre Omydiar have also invested heavily in political organizations. Zuckerberg gave roughly $50 million to his immigration-focused political lobby, Omydiar is giving $250 million to a new civil liberties-oriented news organization, which just launched its first publication, The Intercept, last night. See the full list here.

February 10 2014

InMobi Launches Interactive Video Ad Platform To Help Advertisers Boost Sales On Mobile
inmobi3InMobi is making its biggest push so far in capturing a larger share of the $11.9 billion mobile advertising market, as it launches its new video ad platform today. The new mobile video platform also underscores InMobi’s growing ambitions beyond being a pure ad network, and seriously challenge Google and Facebook as a more broad-based rival in the ecosystem. Last year in October, InMobi launched a white label app store for publishers to boost mobile ads. InMobi CEO Naveen Tiwary told me that over next 6-12 months, nearly 30-40% of the company’s existing advertisers will shift to the new video platform. “We believe at least 25% of the revenue we earn currently could move to video. It also unlocks a new set of advertisers, who were earlier going to television,” Tewari added. His forecast doesn’t look unusual, especially given the early response from customers. Around 9 partners invested $50,000 each during past few weeks in a global beta launch of the new platform, delivering around 200 million video views and over 60,000 conversions. The new mobile platform goes beyond serving traditional videos that are more suited for television viewing, and increases customer engagement levels by five times, resulting in more revenue for the partners, the company said. All this is made possible by several innovations on the mobile front, apart from making good use of the contextual capabilities that came from the acquisition of Overlay Media last year. For InMobi, which is expected to reach $1 billion revenue milestone in about two years (it crossed $500 million in annual revenue last year), this shift to mobile is crucial not only because that’s where more users are headed, but also because that’s the biggest battlefield for innovation going forward. “We started with simple text ads, moved to banner ads, then native ad (released two weeks ago) and now moved to video. It’s a sign of how advertisers are evolving and more dollars are moving to video,” Tewari said.  With over 691 million users on its network (which is second only to Facebook), InMobi has raised $216 million so far from investors including SoftBank, Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. After raising $200 million from SoftBank in Series C in 2011, InMobi has made three acquisitions — MMTG Labs, and Overlay Media. The key differentiator is contextualizing mobile video ads, which InMobi seems to be betting on since it acquired

February 07 2014


Facebook Now Lets You Edit Your “Look Back” Movie


Earlier this week, we learned that Facebook would soon let you edit the automatically-generated “Look Back” videos the company had made to celebrate Facebook’s 10th anniversary.

Sure enough: they just launched the editor.

Almost immediately after launch, many users were complaining about the photos that Facebook auto-selected. Some had too many photos of their exes. Some had sad photos that they’d rather not remember as a milestone. One of my friends’ Look Backs prominently featured a picture of a rock, sans explanation or commentary.

A quick visit to the Facebook Lookback page now shows a shiny new edit button.

The editor might not be quite as feature-rich as some might have hoped; you can’t choose ANY Facebook photo to replace those that you don’t like — you can just select from a wider array of pre-picked photos/status updates.

How To Edit Your Look Back:

  • Go to the Facebook Lookback page
  • Hit the edit button
  • Pick your new photos/posts from the pre-populated selections

It’s unclear if the edit feature has been launched to all users, or if it’s being rolled out over time. We’ve checked on around a dozen accounts now, however, and each one had the new button.

[Huge thanks to Draconius Grey, Michael K., Akshat M., and many other people who tipped us this morning about this! ]


Tags: TC Facebook

February 05 2014

My Not-On-Facebook Life
coffee-shop3I wake up with Northern Europe's low winter light filtering through the blinds in my bedroom. The silence is near perfect. It's too early to hear the week-day procession of parents ferrying their kids to the neighbourhood school. The slamming concert of car doors and tearful wails of protest at another day wrenched from comforts of home and bed will filter through the single-glazed window panes into my office in a few hours.
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