Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 11 – 15

Weekly Digital News Roundup: June 11 – 15

The Poll Lies: Facebook Engagement is Actually Up

  • Last week, we covered a poll that found one-third of Facebook users are using the social network less. Ignore that post. Mashable reports that both comScore and Nielsen traffic data shows members are accessing Facebook just as much – if not more – than six months ago.
  • According to comScore’s report, behavioral data shows that user engagement is actually up 4% from 364 minutes spent on the site for each person in September compared to 379 minutes in April. “People may think they are spending less time on Facebook, but estimations about their own behavior are often skewed. Just because they think they are accessing the site less doesn’t mean that’s actually true — the poll may represent their sentiment and perception, not their actual behavior,” said Andrew Lipsman, VP of industry analysis at comScore.
  • Nielsen data shows that Facebook had 151 million unique U.S. visitors in April 2012. In fact, engagement on Facebook far surpasses that of other popular sites, including AOL (2 hours, 30 minutes), Yahoo (2 hours, 23 minutes), Google (1 hour, 56 minutes) and YouTube (1 hour, 30 minutes).

Bing Mixes Local Content with Yelp

  • Search Engine Land reports that Bing has finalized a deal with Yelp in which the latter’s reviews and content will be heavily integrated into Bing Local pages. According to the press statement put out by Yelp this morning, “Yelp will surface content including, review snippets, photos, business attributes, and more, to Bing users in the U.S.”
  • The content appears on Bing Local pages with the branding “powered by Yelp.” It is a deeper integration and partnership than what’s generally available to third parties through the standard Yelp API. Search Engine Land speculates that Microsoft/Bing was feeling pressure given Google’s recent incorporation of Zagat ratings into its Google+ Local pages and Apple’s local search announcements on Monday (also involving Yelp).
  • This deal and the Apple affirmation of its relationship with Yelp should give the company (and its stock) a bit of a boost.

Facebook Advertisers Find Better Payoff with Sponsored Stories

  • eMarketer reports that social ads just might be working out the way Facebook hoped. According to early results from online advertising management company Marin Software, the addition of Facebook’s new ad units, Sponsored Stories, appears to have boosted Facebook’s ad performance as a whole—perhaps proving that ads with a social context do, in fact, resonate more with Facebook users.
  • Marin Software compared Facebook’s worldwide advertising performance metrics from April 2011 to March 2012 and called out increases in clickthrough rates (CTRs), costs per click (CPCs) as well as costs per thousand (CPMs). The upticks suggest that Sponsored Stories may have had a positive impact on Facebook’s ad revenue. According to Marin’s data, clickthrough rates have improved 20%. Moreover, CPM has risen 51% and CPC has increased 26%.
  • Sponsored Stories may be proving more effective for advertisers, but they are also more expensive. Marin Software estimated that about a quarter of its own client base was using Sponsored Stories. As more advertisers adopt these kinds of social ads, it’s likely that the cost for the ad unit will continue to rise.
Scott Kaufmann
[email protected]

Scott is Partner at Lucid Agency and a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Denver-based Nonprofit Celebrate EDU and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix-based social startup incubator).

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