Great summary of a privacy report today over on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) site. Among the most important reveals:
Of six criteria for complete privacy protection, only Twitter and Sonic.net manage a perfect score. Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn and SpiderOak (a Dropbox competitor) manage five out of six. (I’m going to see if I can help the first three in that list see the light because I use them a lot.)
But here are the losers who get zero or one star in the evaluations:
That is pathetic. Apple? Come on, Cupertino! Smarten up.
Leave it to Facebook to come up with yet another intrusive way to be in your face. This time, they want to own your entire smartphone experience without giving you one bit of added value.
The company’s new Home “app” (we’re going to have to find a new word for it but nothing I’ve heard so far resonates) essentially becomes your opening screentop and home base for your entire phone experience. Every time you start your phone or go back to its main screen (previously called “Home” but now we’ll have to find a better word for it, too, to avoid more confusion), you’ll be smack in the middle of your Facebook feeds.
I imagine there will be lots of people who are Facebook addicts who will find this a marvelous idea. But the vast majority of folks, I suspect, want to control their own experience, not have to jump through Facebook hoops just to launch the app they wanted to run.
This is a poorly thought-out idea that may in fact drive some users who perceive this as what one outlet called a “land grab” and sever ties with a company that is showing increasing signs of being willing to throw around its considerable weight without regard for what its users actually want.
I hope at least it turns out to be easy to deinstall or disable.
I seldom promote a brand of any kind (other than Apple, of course. Oh, and the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. And I suppose the Democratic Party could be a brand. But I digress.)
But I have to say the Oreo page on Facebook regularly makes me smile, chuckle or, as in today’s post, belly laugh. Periodically, they post a graphic of an Oreo “dressed up” in some way that’s relevant to the day or the news. Today’s image welcomes back the NFL refs. It’s just classic stuff and the fact that it gets them talked about by brand name like it obviously just did here is a testament to its marketing power.
Of course, my family all like Oreos with or without their Facebook page. But still….
Ars Technica's Matthew Braga today speculates that the primary reasons Facebook is rumored to be interested in buying commercial browser maker Opera Software are not the browser technology itself, but rather money and ads.
However, there is another more important part of Facebook's post-IPO plans that an Opera acquisition could solve—monetization and mobile ads.
Braga points out that Facebook users prefer mobile to desktop access but a comfortable margin but that the company has as yet been unable to monetize those tiny-screen eyeballs. Opera, meanwhile, has been generating serious revenue from its mobile MiniBrowser for some time. In addition, it has acquired two medium-sized but technologically savvy ad outfits as well.
Some 330 million mobile users are reachable with Opera's browser software, the company says. That compares to Facebook's figures that show 425 million of their users are accessing the service on the go.
Given the largely negative assessment provided so far by analysts for the possible acquisition, it's nice to hear someone with some tech chops talk abut why such a deal might make sense.
The real question might be, "What's in it for Opera?"
Forbes.com is reporting a rumor it picked up yesterday that Facebook is actively pursuing the acquisition of Opera Software ASA, makers of what may be the most popular commercial Web browser. Perhaps the most interesting thought sequence here goes something like this:
- Facebook sucks at mobile.
- Opera makes one of the very best mobile browsers with great HTML5 support.
- Facebook has a boatload of cash.
- Ergo, ipso facto and a bunch of other Latin.
This would be a natural move on the part of Facebook. And it would presumably give Opera access to enough cash to push for, if not dominance, at least greater commercial success.
Of course, the assumption is that if FB bought Opera, they'd revise the browser to be a social media-focused app. And that could become worrisome to users concerned with privacy issues. At the same time, though, it would merge browsing and social in ways that presumably anyone without access to the FB code vault could only dream about.
This is one worth watching.
There's been so much "analysis" in the popular press over the meager 23-cent uptick in the price of Facebook's initial stock offering that it seems like someone has forgotten Business 101.
The company that went public here obviously did so precisely correctly. By pricing its initial stock at $38, the company hit exactly what the market agreed it was worth. That is rare. And it means, among other things, that Facebook didn't leave a lot of money on the table.
See, if they offered shares at, say, $33 and the price jumps to $38, a bunch of investors are delighted. But the company only sees the proceeds of the initial sale, not the subsequent re-sales between investors. So if the stock is priced so low it makes these investors happy, it means the company didn't take in as much as it could — and should — have.
As it is, the company realized nearly as much from the IPO as the market felt it was worth. Brilliant job by the investment bankers who priced the offering. The purpose of the market is to enable companies to raise funds for expansion and operation, not to make a bunch of individuals whose only claim to fame for the most part is being in the right place at the right time wealthy.
In this piece in Ad Age Digital today, B. L. Ochman provided proof positive that GM doesn't even begin to get Social Media.
She listed 11 mostly boring things GM posted on its FB page. I disagreed with her on one or two, but the overall impact: Boredom City.
So when they pulled their advertising from FB days before the company's IPO, it turns out they were saying a lot more about themselves than they were about FB or social advertising.
They needed to hire someone who was tuned into the social media world and could engage in dialog instead of broadcasting crap.
As soon as Microsoft finishes rolling out the new Bing design, we should be able to start getting a handle on what people think about the importance of social search results compared to Web search results.
Bing is including social network results for searches off to the right side of the page in a gray-background panel of their own. Google is integrating Google+ and other social network results into the search results stream, treating them as an equally valuable "find" with more traditional results locating Web sites and pages.
Which will users prefer?
Or will this prove nothing more than a skirmish in the larger battle that will ultimately see Facebook become the search engine tail that wags the Bing/Google dog? Do we want social integrated into search or do we want search to be integrated into social?
There will be a period of time — a year or so, I'm predicting — during which the outcome of that contest will be up in the air as all three jockey for position. But ultimately, for me at least, I think I'm going to prefer Bing's solution to Google's. There is a different quality of results between what a search algorithm with page ranking and other values baked in will give me and what the views and experiences of my social media network connections will offer. By mixing them into one stream of results, Google puts the onus on me to filter out the potential noise of social results. By segregating them to the side, Bing gives them at once more and less import. I suspect that, all other things being equal (and they seem to be), I'll end up switching to Bing.
Now that would be momentous in my life!
A new study via HubSpot has found that LinkedIn prospects convert to sales four times better than leads generated by either Twitter or Facebook.
Not a big surprise, really, though the ratio is perhaps a bit higher than I would have guessed. For my B2B prospecting, business generation and information gathering, I value my LinkedIn network at least 10 times more than Twitter or Facebook. The latter are good networks for broadcast, but not for discussion.
I'm focusing my B2B clients more and more on LinkedIn.