Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 30 – August 3

Weekly Digital News Roundup: July 30 – August 3

Google Buys Social Advertising Startup Wildfire Interactive For $250 Million

  • As reported by Mashable, Google has purchased Wildfire Interactive—a startup that helps marketers manage their presences on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook—for $250 million.
  • Wildfire, which launched four years ago by Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard (pictured), was funded in part by Facebook. It counts Amazon, Verizon Wireless, Virgin, Gilt Groupe and Spotify among its clients. It helps them manage their content, ads, promotions and more across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
  • In a blog post, Google’s Jason Miller said that Wildfire would be integrated into its suite of website and ad management tools, including Google Analytics, Admeld and DoubleClick. It’s Google’s way of ensuring that advertisers continue to come to Google to purchase and manage their display advertising campaigns, whether they’re looking to do it on Google or on another social network.

Facebook Enhances Content Targeting For Brands

  • MediaPost reports that Facebook is extending more of its paid advertising options to brands’ page posts to target subsets of their fan bases. The “enhanced post targeting” announced by Facebook will allow marketers to target posts that appear in fans’ newsfeeds by gender, relationship status, education, workplace, language and geography. Previously, companies were not able to tailor posts beyond region and language.
  • “This update gives marketers the ability to boost social engagement by crafting more detailed and sophisticated content calendars that are tailored to the nuances of their brand’s audience,” states Matt Wurst, director of digital communities at interactive agency 360i, in a blog post. While targeted posts will appear only in the newsfeeds of particular fans, all posts will also show up in a brand page’s Timeline. To avoid clutter, 360i suggests that page managers “hide” targeted posts from the Timeline by clicking the pencil icon at the top right corner of a post. Or just don’t go overboard with targeted posts.
  • The blog Inside Facebook points out that the ability to target posts more narrowly will reduce the number of impressions per post, but feedback and viral interaction should increase if content is more relevant to a given audience. It also suggests the step could reduce the number of fans who unsubscribe to posts or “unlike” pages because they’re getting too much unwanted content. Facebook has just begun to implement the new feature — only about 1% of Facebook pages have seen the change so far. But all other pages with more than 100 fans are expected to have access to the feature in the next few weeks.

Yet Another Company Claims Facebook Ad Clicks Are Mostly From Bots

  • Business Insider reports that Limited Run—a New York company that offers website solutions to artists and musicians—claimed 80% of the clicks from its Facebook ads were from bots. Limited Run said it could only verify 15-20% of the clicks on its site through a host of standard analytic solutions, which led to it building its own custom software for tracking.
  • The company explains:

“We built our own analytic software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click. What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2% of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots.”

  • As it turns out, this issue is not new for Facebook. In June of 2009, complaints arose regarding discrepancy in ad clicks versus what clients could verify. Facebook verified a discrepancy and claimed to be implementing appropriate changes. A month later, RooZoo and Unified ECM filed lawsuits alleging fraud. In April of this past year, the two companies along with others were denied certification for a class action suit in a District Court in California.

Let it all out, Zuckerberg. 

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).

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.