Tag Archives: Advertisements

Facebook Launches Mobile App Install Ads

With more than a billion active users, Facebook is the undisputed social media champion. However, if there is one weakness in Facebook’s armor, it will have to be mobile. As pundits have pointed out again and again over the past year or so, Facebook’s mobile usage has been growing in leaps and bounds. However, the social networking giant hasn’t managed to monetize mobile particularly well. Today, Facebook is hoping to change that.

A short while back, Facebook rolled out Mobile App Install Ads for iOS and Android. App developers can take advantage of these demographics and interest based targeted ads to increase adoption of their apps. These ads will be integrated with the Facebook mobile app, and when clicked, it will take the user to the iTunes App Store or Google Play store page for the advertised app.

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Facebook has been testing these ads since August with select developers and Preferred Marketing Developers. TinyCo, one of the chosen partners for the beta testing program, witnessed 50% higher CTRs (Click-through Rates) and significantly higher conversion rates compared to their current mobile channels, as well as a significant increase in player engagement. Nanigans, a Facebook marketing developer, experienced 8-10x the reach compared with its other mobile ad buys.

Nokia Caught Faking Lumia 920 Sample Video and Images

Nokia is known to do stupid things from time to time – like releasing their flagship model on a day when most stores are closed. However, this time they might have even outdone themselves.

Yesterday, Nokia unveiled its new flagship – the Lumia 920. To be honest, the 920 seems to be a great device. It has reassuring build quality, elegant styling, capable hardware, and stunning imaging capabilities. The Lumia 920 features an 8-megapixel camera with moving parts that promises to offer outstanding low light photography, and digital-camera like optical image stabilization. Nokia even created a video to show off the 920’s photography chops.

The trouble is that most of the things you see in the video embedded above is fake. If you look closely, in one of the trailer windows you can spot a reflection of the camera crew. The video was definitely not shot by a guy riding on a bicycle. In fact, it wasn’t even shot with a Lumia. As you can see in the image embedded below, the camera man is clearly using a professional camera and not a smartphone.

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Once exposed as a cheater, Nokia was quick to own up to its mistake. It apologized “for the confusion”, and admitted that the video was “not shot with a Lumia 920”.

Unfortunately for Nokia, that wasn’t the end of story. An enterprising blogger, Youssef Sarhan, spotted several oddities with the one of the pictures that Nokia is touting as a Lumia 920 sample snap. Check the light sources in the image below. Notice the diffraction patterns? That’s the kind of diffraction pattern you would expect from a prosumer camera or a DSLR. A smartphone camera is likely to produce a simplistic diffraction pattern like we see in the second image embedded below. To make things further damning for Nokia, a Hacker News user shared a snap taken during Nokia’s photoshoots, which clearly shows a DSLR being used by Nokia.

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Nokia Lumia 920 PureView: Alleged Fake Photo

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Nokia Lumia 920 PureView: Prototype Sample Pic

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Photo: Copyright [email protected]
Nokia Photoshoot in Progress: DSLR Spotted in exteme left

What makes Nokia’s decision to fudge sample videos and images taken by the Lumia 920 so ridiculous is the fact that the 920 actually takes brilliant images. Everyone who managed to get their hands on the prototype came away impressed with Lumia’s low-light capturing abilities. Nokia could have shared “real” camera samples and comparisons with the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3, and everyone would have still been impressed. However, they just couldn’t resist the temptation of faking the samples to make the Lumia seem out of the world.

Google Guesses Age and Gender Based on Websites You Visit

Quite recently, Google made several changes to their privacy policy to simplify it and merge several privacy policies into one. One of the changes Google made was to allow users to change their ads preferences easily across the board.

However, one interesting thing that Google has now disclosed through their Ad Preferences Manager is that, Google has been guessing a user’s age and gender based on the websites they have visited.

Google Demographics Guess

Google says that the gender and age are determined by the websites a user visits. In my case both the Age as well as the Gender were correct. Google does not say as to how they are coming up with that assumption but their algorithm looks pretty accurate for most users and might include data from as well. Of course, this information may not be right always and Google provides users with an option to correct it as well.

Google uses this age and gender information along with other preferences to display personalize ads for the users. If you are not comfortable with Google collecting this information, you can easily Opt out by visiting this page.

You can view your own Age and Gender information by visiting Google Ad Preferences Manager page, however, you will have to be logged in with a Google account to view this information. Do let us know if Google was correctly able to guess it for you or not.

Twitter Activates “Promoted Tweets To Followers”

For some time now, we have heard rumors that Twitter would be bringing ads to our streams. It only made sense that Twitter would have to find a way to monetize outside of promoted trends. The only logical place for that to happen was in the users feeds, and that has now come true.

Announced on the official Twitter blog, Promoted Tweets have started their reign as of today. For the time being, they are only active for a select set of advertisers. Before you grab your torches and pitch forks, let me explain a few things about the new Twitter ad scheme.

Many people feared that promoted tweets would mean the onset of ads you didn’t want, similar to spam emails. Twitter has said that wouldn’t be the case, and it looks like they were telling the truth. For the time being, ads will only come from brands and companies you already follow. They pay for the ability to be at the top of your stream, despite not being the latest tweet you receive.

That may sound horrible, like they could just clog the top of your stream. According to Twitter’s official blog, promoted tweets won’t do that, either. Twitter says that these ads will move through your stream after a period of time, allowing for you to continue to interact with your friends. They also promise that the promoted tweets will only appear once.

If you don’t want to see the ads roll through your stream at the regular rate, you can choose to dismiss them manually. This is good news for those of us who have an active Twitter engagement. I follow a number of active people, and I would hate to miss any of their tweets.

So there you have it. Promoted tweets are going live, and they may not be so bad. What are your thoughts on these new ads? let us know in the comments section.

Guruji.com Launches AdiQuity – Mobile Ad Platform

Last time we talked about Guruji.com was when it’s top executives were arrested on charges of Music copyright violation and piracy on one of their products – the Music Search which was eventually shut down. Now, the Bangalore-based company has come up with a mobile advertising platform called AdIQuity that lets mobile publishers monetise their mobile content and applications.

Here are some points about this ad network from Guruji:

  • A real time optimization is applied on the global ad inventory accessible through several ad network partners from across the world after which the most relevant ad is served to the publisher’s mobile content.
  • AdIQuity registers more than 1.5 billion impressions per month across hundreds of publisher partners
  • Users on these platforms hail from around 200 countries across APAC, US, Europe and Africa.

According to the CEO of Guruji.com, Mr. Anurag Dod:

The last few months have seen hundreds of publishers signing up with AdIQuity and realising increased monetary gains through the platform. The publisher base has shown phenomenal growth both in terms of volumes and diversity of mobile users. Our high performance mobile platform can scale up to 10x of the current volume with the existing infrastructure.

Better Customized Ads Coming To Gmail; More Focus on Local Ads, Signals

is one of the best free email service out there. Most of the money Google makes from Gmail comes through advertisements. However, most of the ads on Gmail are not relevant or are not really related to the messages you are reading.

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Google is looking to remedy that by showing better ads in Gmail based on various things. The new changes would mean that users will see:

  • Fewer irrelevant ads
  • Gmail’s importance ranking applied to ads
  • Offers and coupons for your local area

Gmail will use the same signals it is using to sort message in Priority Inbox to sort and show appropriate ads to the users. Google will also focus on delivering and displaying more local ads based on the type of messages you receive in your inbox.

For example, if you’ve recently received a lot of messages about photography or cameras, a deal from a local camera store might be interesting. On the other hand if you’ve reported these messages as spam, you probably don’t want to see that deal.

The new Gmail ads will be rolled out to a few users at first with a more widespread rollout coming in near future. Gmail will allow users to choose whether Google should use signals from their messages while displaying ads or not.

Gmail Personalized Ad Signals

To stop Google from using your email messages as signal, go to your Settings page in Gmail and uncheck the box next to saying "Don’t use these signals to show ads" next to the "Importance signals for ads". You might not see the option if the customized ads have not been activated for your account.

Watch a video of how Gmail will customize ads based on signals and local deals below. Click here if you can’t watch it.

Google Displaying Promoted Tweets on Real-time Search

Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this past week. After the #dickbar fiasco, and the recent update of the Twitter API terms to discourage developers from building new Twitter clients, Twitter, under the leadership of Dick Costolo, seems to be charging ahead to turn profitable, at least enough to justify its sky high valuation which recently jumped to $7.7 billion in a private auction.

Unlike Facebook, which seems to have found a way to make money without irritating its users, every time Twitter makes a move towards monetizing the millions of tweets its users create, somehow it always seems to rub off badly with either the users or the developers.

In its latest move, Twitter seems to have convinced Google to display promoted tweets in real-time search results. It seems like if you search for any keyword in Google for which a promoted tweet exists, the promoted tweet is display on top of the results, highlighted as “Ads by Twitter”. Twitter likely plans to jack up the price of Promoted Tweets based on how much additional traffic they gain from real-time search users.

Bing, Google’s closest competitor in the search space, isn’t displaying the promoted tweets in the real-time search results though. We wonder if this is because Google has only the Twitter firehose as a source for real-time search results, while Bing has access to both Twitter and Facebook data streams. Maybe, that’s how Twitter coerced Google into display promoted tweets in results. At this point, it’s still speculation though.

Google Promoted Tweets Ads by Twitter

FACT: Portal 2’s Pre-Order Advert is Hilariously Cute

Portal 2 is going to be the best First Person Shooter (FPS) to come out this year. Or so I hope, for I really really suck at judging a game genre in which a hundred games are released every year. However, I am pretty sure Portal 2 will be the funniest FPS to come out this year, mostly because it takes itself too seriously (on purpose) and is ridiculously silly at times.

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Take, for example, this advertisement for Portal 2‘s preorder that is going to hit the developer’s (Valve) digital distribution store Steam very soon. Released on Valentine’s Day, the ad mocks the concept of gifting ideas for the female species.

Okay, that’s about as far as I’m allowed to say without spoiling the entire advert for you. The thing is that it’s done very well (and probably within Valve’s Source engine, judging by the way things moved when… erm… other things exploded). Watch the video here!

However, contrary to what the video says, Portal 2 is not available for preorder. At least not from my country (and not from my random Tor IP either). Is this another one of those Valve Time debacles? Is this a sick joke from Valve’s side, as we poor mortals refresh the Portal 2 page, hoping for a preorder? Is this the end of the world??

No, it’s probably just a mistake by the Portal 2 PR team. It’s alright everybody; we don’t need to do a flash protest here. Move along.

Old Spice Man Is Back [Videos]

Remember the Old Spice Man? The social media coup by Old Spice where the advertisements went viral? If not, then check out this Wikipedia page first or watch all previous Old Spice Man videos.

Old Spice Guy

However, the very viral Old Spice Man is back now with a new video that has been uploaded to . The videos made the term "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" famous and was also one of the biggest viral advertising campaign created and promoted through social networking.

After the huge success last year, the Old Spice Guy went out of the picture, but it looks like he is back now with a new video on YouTube titled "Old Spice | I’m Back". Well just like always, the Old Spice Guy is targeting his message to "The Ladies". He also goes on to say that he is back because they have created a new set of advertisements which will show a man how to smell well.

All I can say is "Welcome back, Old Spice Man". Watch the video of his return below, or click here if you can’t see it.

Firefox and Chrome Browsers to Offer “Do Not Track” Options

Is it broke? Does it need Fixed?

Last month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a consumer privacy report. The commission is apparently concerned about advertising and tracking cookies, which many consider to be intrusive, but not dangerous. Tracking allows advertisers to target users with custom or localized advertisements. In hopes of fixing this issue, the report suggested that web browser makers should add a Do Not Trackmechanism.

It’s not surprising that the FTC would suggest something like this. Government bureaucrats are always offering suggestions on how free market economies should be fixed, even when they aren’t broken. However, it is surprising that only a few weeks later, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome developers have already announced that they’ll be offering Do Not Trackin future versions of their browsers.

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Firefox Support

Alex Fowler, at Mozilla, announced support for Mozilla’s Do Not Track at his blog the other day. He said, we’re seeking ways to provide Firefox users a deeper understanding of and control over the flow of personal information online. We’re pleased to be able to share one of these efforts today ….

When a web browser visits a web site, the site asks the web browser for some basic information before displaying the page. This information is transmitted in the HTTP header, and the new DNT (Do Not Track) warning will be added to this header. Once this warning is received by a web site, it’s up to them to decide whether or not to attempt to read and place tracking cookies in the browser’s cookie cache.

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This feature isn’t available yet, however, you can get an addon with the DNT header. Here are some frequently asked questions about DNT at Mozilla.

Chrome Support

Two days ago, the Google Public Policy blog posted an article telling us how they are handling the FTC request for a Do Not Trackfeature in Chrome. They said, Today we are building on this work, and that of others, by allowing you to permanently opt out of ad tracking from all companies that offer opt-outs through the industry self-regulation programs.

The Keep My Opt-Outs extension takes advantage of already existing opt-out programs offered by the Network Advertising   Initiative, which includes 50 different web tracking services. Later, an option will be added to the Chrome browser, with no need for an extension.

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Conclusions

hangman-logoAs usual, a Government agency is looking for problems to fix so they’ll be able to brag that they are useful sometimes. Nobody’s going to dispute their suggestions in this case, and paranoid consumers may actually benefit from this initiative.

It’s not surprising that the browser developers would jump onto the band-wagon. They’ll do anything to avoid provoking government agencies from putting a collar (or noose) around their necks. These browser changes are a cheap solution to a problem that many people didn’t consider as being serious.

Sometimes, an action like this can have unintended consequences. This time, it might be a win for everyone except the advertisers. What effect will these changes have on the web sites which depend on the advertising revenue?