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Facebook Users Have 7 Days Starting Now To Vote on Clarified Policy Changes and if They Keep Voting
  • According to TechCrunch, Facebook has integrated feedback from regulators and users into a clarified set of site governance and privacy policy changes, and users will have seven days to vote for or against them.
  • All users will soon receive an email alerting them to the vote on several important changes to Facebook’s Statement Of Rights And Responsibilities and its Data Use Policy. They’ll lose the ability to vote on future changes unless 30 percent of all users vote and the majority reject the proposal. Such a high turnout is unlikely, so this will likely be the last governance vote.
  • Users will vote on whether: Facebook will eliminate voting on site governance changes in favor of taking high-quality feedback from users through a question-submission system and webcasts; Facebook can share data to and from its affiliates, including Instagram; Facebook may change who can contact you via Messages; Facebook may clarify who can view your content after you hide it from your Timeline. Facebook is not removing existing privacy controls, altering terms regarding who owns content posted to the site, or changing how advertising works.

Billionaire philanthropist Mark Cuban is upset with Facebook. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks recently posted on his blog:

I am recommending that we de-emphasize pushing consumers or partners to like us on FB and focus on building up our followings across all existing social media platforms and to evaluate those that we feel can grow a material following. In the past we put FB first, twitter second. FB has been moved to the bottom of a longer list.
Why? According to Cuban, “Defining engagement by clicks, likes, shares, unlikes and reporting works for Google’s search engine, I don’t believe it works for a social network.” Cuban’s comments touch upon a deeper controversy brewing among businesses on Facebook. The social network uses an algorithm to control which posts show up in the newsfeed of a brand’s Facebook friends and fans. But Facebook also allows brands to override the newsfeed algorithm to give updates more prominence - for a pretty penny, of course.

An app store? For Windows? Microsoft’s much-discussed Windows 8 operating system is due to officially release January 2013, and the update is sparking plenty of heated discussion. But one of 8’s most exciting changes is the arrival of a Windows app store, similar to Apple’s app...

  • Mashable reports that Cyber Monday sales increased by 30.3% from the year before, according to the latest data from IBM Smarter Commerce, which tracks online sales for 500 retailers in the U.S.
  • Mobile shopping exploded on Cyber Monday, with 18% of shoppers accessing retailer’s websites from a mobile device, an increase of more than 70% from the year before. The iPad proved to be the most popular mobile device for shopping, driving 7% of the day’s online shopping, followed by the iPhone, which accounted for 6.9%. Android devices were third, driving 4.5% of sales.
  • Overall, IBM found that the majority of consumers (58.1%) shopped from smartphones on Cyber Monday, while 41.9% shopped from tablets.  A separate study from comScore found that Black Friday online sales topped $1 billion this year for the first time ever.
dfonic: Apple Now Has 37% of All Mobile Ad Impressions; Samsung in Second in Largely Fragmented Market
  • According to TechCrunch, mobile ad network Adfonic says that Apple in Q3 accounted for 37% of all mobile ad impressions on its network, with Samsung the second-most popular at 24%, and the rest trailing some ways behind.
  • It will be interesting to see what happens in Q4: In its AdMetrics report, Adfonic notes that Apple increased its lead over Samsung by three percentage points without much impact from the iPhone 5, which only hit the market at the end of the period. So one way of charting iPhone 5 popularity will be to see what kind of an impact it has on Apple’s ranking in the current Q4 quarter. But at the same time, Adfonic’s CEO points out that Samsung, too, is rolling out new devices that may also raise its share.
  • Apple and Samsung were the only two to see their shares of ad impressions increase compared to Q2 — yet another sign, if one was needed, at how these two have continued to become the two to beat in the market.
Remember high school cliques? Whether you were a jock, a brain, a cheerleader, or a drama kid, high school cliques are based on some combination of common behaviors - and, as web design company Wix discovered, those stereotypes can extend to social media. Check out their infographic below!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means two things: lots of turkey and empty wallets. With Black Friday and holiday shopping fast approaching, the official Google blog recently posted a blurb about indoor Google Maps for Android devices. Their plug is timely, convenient and one step ahead of big-time competitor Apple. Indoor Google Maps have been a thing since early 2012, but holiday shopping makes this handy feature-of-the-future way more convenient. Big-box stores like IKEA, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Nordstrom already participate in high-traffic locations, and vendors are encouraged to bring Google indoors for zero cost. Business owners simply submit their floor plans to Google, which then builds the layout and adds the store as a participating location to its indoor GPS.


Facebook Rolling Out Pages-Only Feed
  • According to AdWeek, amid the marketer outcry over their page posts reaching fewer News Feeds, Facebook announced that it has begun rolling out a “Pages Only” News Feed that will only contain content from the pages a user has liked. Inside Facebook reported last week that Facebook was testing the brand-friendly, filtered news feed, which hit all users on November 14th.
  • But this new feed doesn’t mean that every page post will be seen by every user checking their Pages Only feed. Mark Cuban may still decry that his brands won’t reach 100 percent of its fans all the time even in a brand-only environment. But if a user has fanned 50 brands and those brands post the recommended maximum of two posts per day, full distribution would mean 200 posts flooding a user’s feed, including posts such as "Brand X likes a photo" or "Brand Y updated their cover photo."
  • Given that Facebook has corralled a brand-friendly feed in which users would likely be more receptive to marketing, will Facebook let brands run ads within the Pages Only feed? Not at this time, said a Facebook spokesperson.
Google Changes Up The Search Results Page
  • According to WebProNews, Google Search Lead Designer Jon Wiley said, “You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page — we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today...With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph.”
  • Essentially, Google has moved the search filtering options from the left-hand side of the screen to above the search results, freeing up more white space (both to the left and to the right of the main search results) in the process.
  • It also, as Wordstream Founder Larry Kim points out, makes more room for ads, like those pretty product listing ads for Google Shopping results. “The New Google SERP layout makes the Knowledge Graph listings more prominent,” he writes in a blot post. “The knowledge graph cannibalizes organic search clicks (which were already on the decline) on informational queries because user queries are often answered directly in the SERP – a user doesn’t even have to click on an organic listing to get basic information about their query.” Google frequently gets better at not having to send users to other sites and Kim may be exactly right in that this design aids the search engine in this very concept.
Apple Has Doubled Its Ad Budget To $1 Billion A Year
  • As Business Insider reports, since 2009, Apple has doubled its ad budget, hitting $1 billion in fiscal 2012, the company said in its annual report. Back in 2009, Apple's ad budget was a "mere" $501 million. Apple's ads are created by ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab
  • The culprits are the iPhone (launched in 2007) and the iPad (launched in 2010). Apple's ad budget was rising only marginally from a base of $467 million in 2007 until 2010. That year, Apple began a series of new product launches in both the iPhone and iPad lines that has continued unabated, most recently with iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, both coming in the last few weeks.
  • The company is not leaning more heavily on ads to shift product, however. Because sales of iPhones and iPads have been astronomical, the proportion of expenses Apple burned on sales, general and admin costs actually declined in 2012 to 6% of revenues, from 7% in 2011. In other words, that $1 billion arsenal is actually more efficient at driving each dollar sale than it was previously.
FACEBOOK Q3 PREVIEW: A Huge Shift Of Ad Dollars Into Mobile
  • According to Business Insider, Facebook reports its Q3 2012 earnings later this week. This report is derived from 520 billion ad impressions for 282 clients in 190 for countries, from Q1 2011 through Q3 2012. The main findings are that the average cost-per-click (CPC) — the price advertisers pay when their ads perform — has declined by 40% in the most mature markets, like the U.S. Click-through rates (CTR) — which measure how well the ads performed — increased significantly.
  • The higher performance for lower prices seems to be a result of North American clients increasingly utilizing News Feed and Mobile ads (which also appear in the feed). The charts on the following pages describe that performance.

 Cost-per-click in the United States and Canada drops back to 2010 Levels

Click-through rates almost double in the U.S.

Google released a really cool insiders look at what their infrastructure looks like in certain datacenters. Take a look, here. With data security and privacy being forefront in the internet discussion now-a-days, it's great to see that Google is employing very strong security forces ;-)    [see...