Weekly Digital News Roundup: February 8-12
Google Just Blasted Away The Wall Between Desktop And Mobile Ads
- According to Business Insider, Google just announced that it is “enhancing” and “upgrading” AdWords for a world where people increasingly use mobile devices. In fact, Google is eliminating some ad-targeting capabilities — in particular, the ability to target specific mobile devices like tablets. The changes will take place by the middle of this year. In addition, it won’t be possible to run strictly mobile-only campaigns in the future. Instead, all campaigns will run on both desktop and mobile, according to a weighting factor set by advertisers. Google will “upgrade” campaigns previously created as mobile- or desktop-only to run across all devices.
- Why is Google doing this? Wall Street is intensely focused on the gap between Google’s desktop cost-per-click metric and the comparable numbers for mobile ads. In Google’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Larry Page expressed a bit of frustration with questions about mobile cost-per-click numbers, saying that efforts to “simplify” Google’s ad system would lead to improvements in that number. In fact, the gap between the cost-per-click metrics may soon go away, as a result of this change.
- “If Google weren’t in such a strong position, it would never get away with this,” Richard Zwicky, the CEO of Blueglass, a marketing-software provider and digital agency, told Business Insider. Because of its dominant share of online advertising, it’s likely that others will follow Google’s moves, he said. Daina Middleton, the CEO of Performics, said that advertisers should expect prices to increase about three percent as Google rolls out the changes. Google’s revenues will see a similar benefit.
PC Users Switching To Tablets, Smartphones ‘At Warp Speed’ For Internet, Facebook
- According to Forbes, more than a third of PC users — 37 percent — are now turning to smartphones and tablets to surf the Internet and access Facebook, according to a new consumer survey by The NPD Group.
- It’s just not mobile devices that are luring consumers away from their notebooks and desktops. NPD says it also found that 21 percent of consumers have a TV connected to the Internet and are watching video from streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video on their big screens. That trend will continue this year as screen-sharing technologies including AllShare and Miracast make it easier for mobile devices to link to TVs, the Port Washington, New York-based researcher said.
- Even so, computers still rank high amongst users when it comes to content creation. “Computers will remain the fundamental content creation device in consumer’s tool box for many years to come,” John Buffone, director of devices for NPD’s Connected Intelligence group, said in a statement. “Consumers, however, are switching their entertainment-centric behaviors to tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs at warp speed.”
Twitter Confirms Purchase of Bluefin Labs to Boost TV Analytics and Advertising Services
- According to Tech Crunch, on the heels of impressive engagement around this past weekend’s Super Bowl football championship, Twitter officially confirmed that it has purchased Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics service. The deal had been reported first yesterday by Business Insider. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but BI notes that it’s Twitter’s biggest acquisition to date.
- The acquisition fits in well with how Twitter is developing as a business on two different levels. On one hand, BlueFin’s analytics can be used to enhance advertising services: Twitter is using its streams of user-generated Tweets to embed sponsored and promoted tweets from brands and other businesses, and at the same time Twitter has proven to be a powerful vehicle for conversations about media, and specifically what’s live on the television.
- On the other hand, Twitter is on the lookout for ways to continue to enhance its platform and make it more engaging for users. While today people are mainly using Twitter as a way to comment on what is happening on the main screen, Twitter is also increasingly embedding media experiences directly in the Twitter river. Twitter’s new acquisition could help come up with solutions to better bridge those two. Bluefin, Twitter notes, can help create innovative “consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV.”