Sony debuts the PlayStation 4, Twitter rolls out an advertising API and Harlem Shake takes Billboard’s #1 spot, thanks to zillions of YouTube views.
Sony debuts the PlayStation 4, Twitter rolls out an advertising API and Harlem Shake takes Billboard’s #1 spot, thanks to zillions of YouTube views.
With millions of fans tuning into the game worldwide, the Super Bowl is one of the most popular events of the year – something that’s increasingly evident on Facebook.
Last year’s Super Bowl was the most talked-about sporting event of the year on Facebook and the second most-mentioned event of 2012, just behind November’s presidential election. In 2012, Super Bowl Sunday also saw the second largest volume of posts in a single day on Facebook, just behind New Year’s Day.
This year, a family rivalry, surprise halftime show appearance and major power glitch gave people even more to talk about during the matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Facebook tallied mentions of keywords made in posts and comments throughout the game to see exactly which moments bubbled to the top, receiving the most talk on Facebook.
TOP MOMENTS OF SUPER BOWL XLVII
1. Ravens win the Super Bowl
2. Beyonce’s halftime performance
3. Blackout in the Superdome
4. Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return for a Ravens touchdown (and Justin Tucker’s field goal kick)
5. Joe Flacco’s 56-yard pass to Jacoby Jones for a Ravens touchdown (and Justin Tucker’s field goal kick)
6. Joe Flacco’s 13-yard pass to Anquan Boldin for a Ravens touchdown (and Justin Tucker’s field goal kick)
7. Frank Gore’s six-yard run for a 49ers touchdown (and David Akers’ field goal kick)
8. Destiny’s Child surprise appearance with Beyonce during the half time show
9. Ray Lewis’ retirement
10. David Akers’ field goal kick from 27-yard line
Beyonce’s halftime show was the second most talked-about moment of the night. Mentions of “Beyonce” started to increase just before 8 PM ET. By 8:22 PM ET, mentions of her name had jumped nearly 49,000%. Destiny’s Child’s surprise appearance was the eighth most-discussed moment from the night; mentions of the group, as well as “Kelly” and “Michelle” all jumped over 10,000%. Fans kept track of Beyonce’s setlist too, with tracks like “Crazy in Love,” “Single Ladies,” and “Halo” trending throughout the performance, followed by fans declaring Beyonce had “killed it” – a phrase which jumped more than 40,000% as she took her bow.
The most unexpected moment of the night also became one of the night’s most unforgettable, making the blackout inside the Louisiana Superdome the third most talked-about moment of the game. The lights cut out just minutes after Beyonce’s halftime show, inspiring posts about her “killing it” and “stealing all the electricity.” Mentions of “lights” on Facebook jumped 66,000% around 8:37 PM ET, and discussion of the “blackout,” “power,” and the “outage” continued for the next several minutes.
Here are the most-talked about players from the game, in order of total mentions they received:
1. Ray Lewis
2. Joe Flacco, named this year’s Super Bowl MVP (Last year’s Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning was one of the most talked about public figures on Facebook in 2012.)
3. Colin Kaepernick
4. Jacoby Jones
5. Torrey Smith
6. Vernon Davis
7. Michael Crabtree
8. Anquan Boldin
9. Frank Gore
10. David Akers
THE HARBAUGH BOWL
Even though his brother’s team won the Super Bowl, San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh received 98% more overall mentions in posts and comments than Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. Jim Harbaugh also saw a spike of 3,300% toward the end of the game, with the controversial no-call on potential pass interference that would have given the 49ers the lead with a just a few minutes left in the game. However, mentions of “John Harbaugh” jumped 13,300% in the first few minutes after the blackout.
Mentions of “Harbaugh” skyrocketed during the playoffs, increasing 1800% after the 49ers won the NFC championship and increasing by another 5600% after the Ravens secured the AFC title, making this year’s NFL championship game a Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh Super Bowl.
While people who Like Jim Harbaugh on Facebook are also extremely likely to Like the 49ers, they’re also fans of other Bay Area professional sports teams like the San Francisco Giants. On the opposing side, a high correlation of people who Like Baltimore coach John Harbaugh also Like the Raven’s Facebook page, but are also much more likely to Like individual Ravens players.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Singer Alicia Keys took fans behind the scenes of the game’s pre-show, posting photos and status updates to Facebook as she prepared to sing the National Anthem.
FANS BY THE NUMBERS
Of the 1.7 million people who Like the 49ers page on Facebook, 63% are male, 37% are female and 69% are under 34 years-old; all of the top 10 cities of San Francisco fans on Facebook are located in California, with the exception of Las Vegas.
Of the 1.4 million people who Like the Ravens page on Facebook, 66% are male, 34% are female and 78% are under 34 years-old. Aside from having a younger fan base, the Ravens also had a higher number of top cities outside of its home state. Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and even Los Angeles all made the list of top 10 cities of Ravens fans on Facebook.
Still, the Super Bowl is a truly international event on Facebook; other countries buzzing about this year’s game are Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria and Australia.
MOST SHARED TERMS FROM THROUGHOUT THE GAME:
We checked to see which terms were gaining momentum before and at various points throughout the game.
As of 4:20 PM ET:
1. Super Bowl / Super Bowl Sunday / Happy Super Bowl
3. Ravens / Go Ravens
4. 49ers / Niners / Go 49ers/Niners
9. Lets Go
10. Ray Lewis
As of 7:35 PM ET:
1. Go Ravens
2. Super Bowl
3. 49er / Niners
4. Watching the Game
5. Let’s Go
9. Come On
As of 8:15 PM ET:
2. Half Time Show
3. Best Performance
4. Destiny’s Child
7. Killed It
8. Wardrobe Malfunction
10. Second Half
As of 10:20 PM ET:
2. Let’s Go
3. Come On
4. We Got a Game
5. A Farmer
10. Paul Harvey
As of 11:00 PM ET:
2. They Won
4. Next Year
7. Good Game
Facebook anonymously aggregated mentions of keywords made in posts and comments throughout the game. For overall rankings, we sorted by overall mentions to see which players and moments bubbled to the top. For percent increases of specific terms, we compared the number of mentions made at the peak of the term and compared that to the average number of baseline mentions made, prior to the game.
Previously twitter did on offer Promoted Products campaigns by gender. It’s a tough feature for Twitter to pull off since Twitter does not ask people to share their gender on Twitter, and some people don’t identify themselves by gender anyway. Further, Twitter says that they are not aware of any “male” or “female” businesses or organizations.
Despite these factors, Twitter says that there’s value to having more contextual signals, including gender, so that messages reach the most relevant audience. Just as marketers don’t want their ads to reach people who aren’t interested in their message, people don’t want to see mistargeted ads.
Twitter says its has been working on using a variety of signals that could help us understand its users’ gender reliably, while maintaining the simplicity of the Twitter profile that our users value. These signals have proven effective in inferring gender, so starting today, they are making gender targeting available to all marketers.
Similar to their approach to interest targeting, they are able to understand gender by taking public signals users offer on Twitter, such as user profile names or the accounts she or he follows. A panel of human testers has found our predictions are more than 90 percent accurate for our global audience. And where it can’t predict gender reliably, Twitter doesn’t –– and those users won’t be targetable through this feature.
We think marketers will find many interesting uses for this feature, which will in turn lead to a better experience for users. For example, a beauty brand could deliver a Promoted Tweet to women about a new line of cosmetics without having its message delivered to men not likely to be interested in that content.
Along with their recent additions in targeting options, including geo, interest and mobile, gender targeting is yet another way for marketers to reach a more specific audience directly, and to get more value out of advertising on Twitter.
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Microsoft Corp. today announced the global availability of its popular Windows operating system, Windows 8. Beginning Friday, Oct. 26, consumers and businesses worldwide will be able to experience all that Windows 8 has to offer, including a beautiful new user interface and a wide range of applications with the grand opening of the Windows Store. As a result of close work with hardware partners, more than 1,000 certified PCs and tablets, including Microsoft Surface, will be available for the launch of Windows 8 — making it the best lineup of PCs ever across the Windows 8 and Windows RT ecosystem.
“We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love.”
Windows 8 will be available for download to upgrade existing PCs in more than 140 markets and 37 languages at http://www.windows.com/buy beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time and at retail locations around the world. At retail, Windows 8 will be available in two primary versions — Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro — as well as Windows 8 Enterprise for large organizations. Launching at the same time is a new member of the Windows family — Windows RT — designed for ARM-based tablets and available pre-installed on new devices. In addition to Microsoft Office 2013, Windows RT is designed exclusively for apps in the new Windows Store. Windows 8 features the new fast and fluid Start screen that gives people one-click access to the apps and content they care most about. It also features an entirely new Internet Explorer 10 that is perfect for touch, and built-in cloud capabilities with SkyDrive.
Windows 8 can be purchased in a variety of ways from the world’s leading retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy and Staples in the U.S., Casas Bahia in Brazil, Future Shop and Staples in Canada, Suning in China, Media Markt across Europe, FNAC in France, Yamada in Japan, Telmex in Mexico, Dixons in the U.K., and many more, which will feature a variety of offers for customers looking for great deals on Windows 8 PCs, devices and software. Consumers can go tohttp://www.windows.com/shop to learn about the large array of Windows 8 devices available and find the one that best fits their needs. More information on the great offers around the world is available at http://www.blogs.windows.com.
In addition to the range of new Windows-based devices available, consumers can also upgrade their existing PCs. Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$39.99. And eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013, in more than 140 markets can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available athttp://www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.
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MoPub the mobile advertising company has connected thousands of publishers and apps with a diverse array of bidders: from desktop DSPs moving into mobile, newer mobile-focused bidders, ad networks to first-party bidders and more. Marketplace processed over twenty billion ad impressions last month. It’s a long way from zero just a year ago!
So today the company is trying to lure many mobile publishers to participate in exchanged traded mobile advertising via making MoPub’s ad network management service for FREE for unlimited ad impressions.
Previously, you could use MoPub Online for up to 10M ad requests per month. After that, you had to upgrade to MoPub Premier and pay an ad serving fee when we displayed an ad network ad from your configured waterfall. From now on, you’ll only pay an ad serving fee for direct-sold and promotional line items that run ahead of networks. For everything at the network and MoPub Marketplace level and below, there is no ad serving fee!
Programmatic buying and RTB allows you as a publisher to see what ads are being run in your inventory and at what price. And if you don’t like it, you can always block it. It’s an easy way to generate more revenue from your inventory with much less hassle. In fact, some of our largest publishers are generating 40% or more of their revenue through RTB.
For mobile publishers, this is great news as they can easily get integrated with the MoPub platform and start monetizing their inventory more transparently through RTB.
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Microsoft just completed the global launch of Windows 8, today marks the global unveiling of the Windows 8 advertising campaign going live in 42 countries. With the reimagining of the Windows product experience—marketing is breaking from the past as well. The idea behind the campaign is to be more motivating, more rooted in the product experience – less tell and more show – by connecting in an emotional and culturally relevant way that maps to the breadth of the global reach.
With that in mind, music, the universal language, is at the heart of this campaign, highlighting a variety of indie and up and coming bands across the globe, such as Best Coast in the U.S, Lenka in China and Hogarth in Brazil. Regardless of country or language, the music universally is upbeat, positive and encouraging self-expression and experience. Microsoft says that Windows is an open and inclusive brand—empowering– and we wanted the music, language and cultural references to represent that spirit.
“We focused on the experiences that new Windows 8 devices will give all of us,” said Rob Reilly, Partner/Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Crispin, Porter and Bogusky. “And we didn’t get too literal. It’s not about landing features and scenarios, it is about themes like sharing and staying connected, working and playing together, and expressing yourself. They are what connect and resonate across cultures in this digital and social age and what is absolutely core to this product.” said Reilly. With this foundation, the agencies then executed to ensure the ads were relevant across cultures.
“We selected music from up and coming bands. We didn’t want to use overly popular songs because we wanted to bring the viewer on a journey of discovery, both through the storytelling and the music that accompanies these stories. Sometimes, as in “Express Yourself,” by Labrinth we found a new take on a classic old song, much like the reinvention of Windows,” said Reilly.
“In Asia & South East Asia, we are growing our economy at high speed, yet we value our personal lives just as much and want to maintain our lifestyle, so balancing work and play was important. We know we can be productive with PCs, we wanted to focus on how they can be fulfilling too.”
In Latin American, the campaign has a slightly different approach, but still with music playing a central role. “Celebrating and spending time with friends and family is core to Latin life, said John Ricardo, JWT, Brazil. Blending work and play is nothing new to us, so we focused on a situation where close friends and family are enjoying time together –made better by Windows 8– as something that all can relate to”, said Ricardo.
“The fun in this story is continuing to spend time together after the party. The invitation to the cleanup and having the opportunity to be with your close friends and family was a fun twist on the story,” emphasized Ricardo.
This is just a sample of the Windows 8 stories and experiences that you’ll see come to life in this campaign. You’ve heard us say that Windows 8 is a “no compromise experience” and this marketing campaign reflects that. Work and family, freedom and mobility, new experiences and amazing innovations and one of the most personal technology experiences on the market today.
The campaign will include television commercials along with print ads, banner ads online, outdoor posters and branded-entertainment elements such as the musical show La Voz in Mexico, the iconic MTV European Music Awards in Germany, and the popular UEFA Champion League in Ireland which will last into the New Year.
And if you are in New York on October 25 thru the 27th don’t miss Times Square where Windows 8 will be featured on over 39 digital boards in the largest takeover of Times Square to date—the biggest Start Screen ever! And we will be hosting a hands-on experience on the ground in Times Square and at Microsoft Stores in the North America for consumers to touch and try the new Windows —and maybe even see yourself up on the boards in Times Square.
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Advertising and publishing management company Infolinks has done it again and impressed us with its brand new website. The company has named Dave Zinman, as their new CEO, the former GM of Display at Yahoo! who is credited as co-inventor of the ad server. Lets explore what’s new.
The new site and navigational features are laid out simply, to help you maneuver with ease, gleaning all important information about the new Infolinks effortlessly. But if you take a closer look, the website and branding are not the only things to receive a facelift. The entire suite of ad products has been redesigned to reflect the new Infolinks.
The Power of IN
InWhat? Coupled with our redesign is the renaming of their entire suite of ad productsand our platform. Their powerful platform is comprised of an intuitive algorithm, constantly learning and adapting to extract the intention of your words and deliver the most relevant ads. That’s why it’s called In3 – Infolinks Intent Intelligence.
Most of Infolinks products have been renamed and revamped. The new adUnit has been unveiled as well.
InText increases engagement by overcoming banner blindness.
InTag is the convergence of Tag Cloud and Related Tags, offering a simplified ad unit accomplishing the purpose of both previous versions. You can customize InTag to either appear as one or two lines of keywords. It’s important to note that if you currently use Tag Cloud, InTag will appear as a double line of keywords and if you currently use Related Tags, these units will appear as a single line of keywords.
InFrame’s skyscraper banner ads recognize when your site is being viewed by a wide-screen monitor and presents attractive banner ads in the extra real estate beyond the margins of your site. Right now InFrame is in beta version, but stay tuned for its final release shortly.
Now Infolinks is like a kind of “ad buffet” where you can select any combination of ads for your site. Implement InText and InTag, or opt for InFrame, InSeach and InText! Whatever your taste, the choice is yours. Wondering what to select from the fabulous ad buffet? Well, have yourself a taste test on our new demo page! This interactive widget allows you to see how each ad unit appears and customize the border color of the ad boxes that will appear on your site. Once you have discovered your perfect ad combination, select “Get it Now” and voila!
Signing up with Infolinks is already lightning fast, but now they have made it even more convenient and simple to join Infolinks via your personal Facebook account. Save time and connect to Infolinks from Facebook to avoid filling out all of the usual details on the form. It’s never been easier to start earning with Infolinks.
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Advertising is one area which Facebook is focusing on very much as a publicly traded company. Now the the problem raised when and how to monetize mobile advertising and clearly Facebook is feeling the pressure. This is the story of an intern at Facebook named Peter Cottle of the UC berkeley, who helped create Facebook it’s first mobile advertising unit.
Read the complete story below:
Before starting my internship at Facebook, I was told that intern mentors focus on impact when assigning projects. Originally I thought this meant I would be writing unit tests that ran on a lot of servers, or maybe writing documentation that many people would read. I learned instead that mentors have the ability to assign interns critical features in a product’s roadmap. Receiving such a project can be intimidating, but when the intern rises to the challenge, the payoff is huge.
I experienced this in person during the first week of my internship at Facebook. After a whirlwind of onboardings and abbreviated engineering bootcamp sessions, I met my manager, plopped down at my desk, and learned what my internship project would be: to implement the first mobile advertising interface for Facebook… ever.
The project was the natural combination of three recent events at Facebook. First, a new product named “Promoted Posts” was launched on the desktop site. This feature essentially offers a simplified, inline advertising option for Page admins so they can focus on content and engagement in a way that saves them time.
At the same time during the Promoted Posts launch, Facebook was in the midst of a huge shift towards mobile. Now with 600 million monthly active users on mobile, mobile was no longer an extension of the desktop experience but rather a critical mode of consumption for people around the world. This shift in focus has been great for our users (especially with the recent iOS app update), and this naturally extends to our advertisers as well.
Finally, earlier in the year Facebook had released Pages Manager for iOS. We heard from Page admins that they would love to be able to respond to fans, upload photos, and post content from on-the-go. This functionality was not present in the main Facebook application, so engineers and designers produced a separate, dedicated mobile app just for this use case. Our Page admins were satisfied, and it laid the groundwork to port more of the desktop experience to mobile.
These three separate events combined together to form the perfect opportunity. For my internship project, I was tasked with implementing the Promoted Posts feature inside the Pages Manager for iOS application.
The implementation of this project was no small challenge. To deliver this product from end to end, I needed a performant client-side UI, API endpoints capable of scaling with the load, and a design that could internationalize to all of our page admins. What was great about this multidisciplinary work was that I received mentorship, collaboration, advice, and feedback at every corner of the company. The platform team helped me design and secure the necessary endpoints to deliver data to clients. The internationalization team collaborated with me to guarantee our interface could perform with different currencies and budget scales, and the payments team helped optimize the UI flow for new advertisers.
During this ramp-up period, a typical day for me involved pushing out platform code for API endpoints, prototyping touch gestures on our mobile app, downing juicy ribs from our BBQ shack, winning some bragging rights at the Foosball table, and then hacking away into the night at an intern hackathon. This is what life at Facebook is like — collaborative, challenging, creative, and social. As an intern I was really grateful to get such an identical experience as full-time employees.
While I was setting the technical stage for our product launch, another intern, Leo Mancini, was responsible for rethinking and designing the entire Page insights experience on mobile. After bringing Leo up to speed on the current state of the app, he came back to me in a few weeks with an amazing interface that blew me away. With just one slider and a confirmation button, the new UI could create, pause, play, stop, and adjust campaigns for a promoted post. Even better, just above the campaign box is a carousel insights view where admins can see the direct impact of their campaigns. It makes the entire Page management process seamless, dynamic, and responsive; implementing it was my favorite part of the summer.
Now towards the end of our internships, Leo and I labored over every box shadow, corner radius, bezier animation path, and pixel alignment (sometimes well into the night) until we were absolutely sure it was perfect. It felt great to put so much effort into a historic interface and see our work make the ship deadline. I’m really proud of the feature, thankful for the opportunity, and excited to demonstrate Facebook’s dedication towards mobile. Even better, I’ll get to experience Facebook’s culture full time when I return in the Spring.
The feature and many other improvements are shipped with Pages Manager on AppStore, and I highly recommend that all page admins check it out.
Peter Cottle is a graduate student in the mechanical engineering program at UC Berkeley, where he is currently a GSI for an Artificial Intelligence course. He will be joining Facebook full time next spring.
When creativity and technology work hand in hand, brands can build amazing things online. Not only helping them connect with their customers in the right moment, but also funding digital content and creating dazzling ads that users love. Google spoke last week at Advertising Week about how they can partner more closely with brands to win the moments that matter. And today, Google is adding a few new tools to the toolbox for brand marketers.
A large canvas, at scale
Google is introducing our lightbox ad format, the first of a new family of display ads that allow marketers to pay only when a user engages. The lightbox starts as a standard display ad, making it scalable, but after a two-second hover, expands to a super-sized canvas. In internal tests, Google has seen that this smart hover feature eliminates nearly 100% of accidental expansions and increases engagement by 6-8X over standard click-to-expand ads. The result: users only engage with the ads they really want to see and brand marketers only pay for truly engaged views.
Google also has some new insights on how our existing engagement-driven formats on YouTube and the Google Display Network, such as the TrueView family of video ads, have effectively helped brands reach their audience online. Google looked at the sales impact during and two weeks after 92 different ad campaigns, and found that on average every $1 invested in YouTube delivered a $1.70 return in sales–2.4x more efficient than the television spend for these campaigns. These ads also help achieve branding goals: Google found, on average, that ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network drive a 36% increase in visits to your website and a 36% increase in searches for your brand online (Google Internal Data, 2012).
Google BrandLab brings brands to life on the web
Finally, while Google believes magic moments can happen online, sometimes, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. To help more brands harness the full potential of the web, we’ve recently created a physical space where we can collaborate with brands and agencies on winning all the moments that matter — the Google BrandLab at our YouTube headquarters. We’ve already had a number of advertisers at BrandLab including Capital One, Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Toyota, and look forward to helping even more brands use Google technologies in creative and impactful ways.
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The chief marketing officers of Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Ford, Verizon, Coca Cola, Unilever, General Electric, American Express, Kraft, and 30 other companies signed a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, complaining about the “do not track” (DNT) function planned for Internet Explorer 10.
The Board of Directors for ANA (Association of National Advertisers) expressed profound disappointment with and strong opposition to Microsoft’s decision to implement ‘Do Not Track’ functionality in its Internet Explorer 10 browser by default. In a letter to Steve Ballmer, CEO; Bradford Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel; and Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer of Microsoft Corporation, ANA renewed their request that Microsoft reverse its position, which will harm consumers, hurt competition and undermine American innovation and leadership in the Internet economy.
Please read the full letter below.
October 1, 2012
Steve Ballmer, CEO
Bradford Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Dear Steve, Brad, and Craig:
As ANA’s Board of Directors, we write to renew the request of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that Microsoft reverse its position regarding the so-called “do-not-track” default setting for the forthcoming Internet Explorer 10 browser. We believe that if Microsoft moves forward with this default setting, it will undercut the effectiveness of our members’ advertising and, as a result, drastically damage the online experience by reducing the Internet content and offerings that such advertising supports. This result will harm consumers, hurt competition, and undermine American innovation and leadership in the Internet economy.
In May of this year, Microsoft announced that it was building “do not track” by default into its upcoming Internet browser. As we stated in previous correspondence, this action was shocking to ANA’s membership given Microsoft’s prominent role in the development of the Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising developed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (“DAA”), a process that was spearheaded by ANA and the other leading industry associations in the Internet and advertising arena. ANA along with our partner trade associations in the DAA are very troubled by Microsoft’s actions.
Since the initial letter, Microsoft’s announcement has been uniformly met with outrage, opposition, and declarations that Microsoft’s action is wrong. The entire media ecosystem has condemned this action. The Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, after an initially supportive response to Microsoft’s announcement, released a statement expressing his belief that the right standard is a default of “off” for “do-not-track,” recognizing the harm to consumers that Microsoft’s decision could create.
Apache, a provider of software that supports nearly two-thirds of Internet web site offerings, has designed its software to ignore the “do-not-track” setting if the browser reaching it is Internet Explorer 10, describing Microsoft’s actions as a “deliberate abuse of open standards” developed by a standard setting organization to recognize a default “off.” Even consumer advocacy groups oppose your decision. In the face of this opposition and the reality of the harm that your actions could create, it is time to realign with the broader business community by providing choice through a default of “off” on your browser’s “do not track” setting and removing the setting from Microsoft’s recommended “Express Install” installation process of the browser. It is not sufficient, nor is it in consumers’ interest, to require consumers to turn “off” a “do-not-track” setting through a “Customized” installation process.
Microsoft’s Unilateral Action Risks Undercutting the Existing Broad Array of Internet Content and Services
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Browser currently has a 43 percent market share in the United States. By setting the Internet Explorer browser to block data collection, Microsoft’s action could potentially eliminate the ability to collect web viewing data of up to 43 percent of the browsers used by Americans.
ANA’s Board of Directors is very concerned that Microsoft’s action threatens to take the information out of the information economy. The Internet is a tremendous engine of economic growth and a platform for enhancing our daily lives. It has become the focus and a symbol of the United States’ famed innovation, ingenuity, inventiveness, and entrepreneurial spirit. It is data that fuels this engine and supports the vast array of online offerings that define the consumer online experience. For instance, web viewing data is used to make users’ experience online more relevant via tailored content; leads to continued innovation, which has the potential to offer consumers untold benefits; and is used to support the offering of online products and services at low or no cost. Data also supports robust consumer protections including safety mechanisms that range from fraud detection in financial services to prevention of online threats.
By Presenting Do Not Track With a Default On, Microsoft Is Making the Wrong Choice For Consumers
In the public statements regarding Microsoft’s action, Microsoft representatives have expressed the view that by default consumers will not be tracked, using the moniker “do not track” to describe the setting. Default policy choices should be set by looking to what is best for society as a whole, while giving individuals who have strong preferences the ability to make a different choice. By making this selection for consumers and presenting it in the terms that Microsoft has used, you are presenting the wrong choice to consumers and making a choice for them in a way that is fundamentally bad for consumer interests and the Internet services that they cherish, and even worse concealing this trade-off from them.
ANA’s Board of Directors is very upset that the choice being made by Microsoft is one that will ultimately threaten to reduce the vast array of free content and services available to consumers. When presented as a default “on,” by design Microsoft is no longer creating a choice of whether or not data about consumers will be tracked. Rather, Microsoft appears determined to stop the collection of web viewing data. That is unacceptable. The result of such a large percentage of data collection being blocked seriously undermines consumers’ interests by potentially diminishing the robust content and services available over the Internet.
A simple example of advertising in the television medium makes this point clear. If consumers were presented a choice of whether they want advertisements on network television to be broadcast, consumers would likely choose “no advertising.” But if 43 percent of American households were removed from the television advertising audience, consumers collectively would suffer because network television as we know it would no longer be a viable business model. The choice would not be one of advertising or no advertising; the choice would be one of advertising or no network television shows. Similarly, the choice that consumers actually face is between continuing to allow advertising to subsidize Internet offerings, or paying more for offerings that they currently enjoy for free or at a low cost. Microsoft’s use of a default setting deprives consumers of the ability to make an informed and realistic choice about the value of advertising for the Internet ecosystem. Microsoft’s decision to block collection and use of information by default will significantly reduce the diversity of Internet offerings and potentially cheat society of the robust offerings that are currently available. ANA’s Board of Directors strongly opposes Microsoft’s position.
Microsoft’s Prompting of a Consumer At Installation Also Results in the Wrong Choice for Consumers
Microsoft’s subsequent announcement that it will provide consumers with the ability to change the setting to “off” at installation is also problematic. As explained above, it is clear that a default “off” setting for consumers to control online data collection strikes the right balance for society as a whole. If consumers were presented with the right choice of responsible collection and use of this data in exchange for today’s vast advantages of the Internet, there is no question what the right choice is. That is why policymakers including the Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the Secretary of Commerce and the President of the United States have publicly and repeatedly recognized the merits of the current system, which provides choice to consumers regarding data collection but not in a manner that will result in cannibalizing the Internet. Microsoft itself has been a leader in developing the responsible practices subscribed to by the ecosystem for more than a decade. It is time for Microsoft to do the right thing. ANA’s Board of Directors urges Microsoft to revert to this “opt out” model, which makes sense for companies, consumers, and the Internet economy alike.
ANA’s Board is prepared to engage in direct conversation with Microsoft. Representing thousands of brand owners that are responsibly pursuing productive pathways to consumer engagement, we believe in a far different course of action. We respectfully suggest an immediate dialogue with key Microsoft executives prior to the anticipated release of Internet Explorer 10. We look forward to your response to our invitation.
The ANA Board of Directors
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United Colors of Benetton has always been known for their politically-conscious ads. In its recent ad, the company — for the first time — will be taking a step toward trying to solve the problem, not just making others aware of it.
The campaign is called “Unemployee of the Year” and — “devoted to the problem of youth unemployment” — the Italian apparel company is requesting all unemployed people from the ages of 18 to 30 to submit project ideas they have that will benefit the community.
The 100 winning projects will receive around $6,500 each, or about $650,000 in total. The campaign is meant to counter the belief that young people are “lazy” or being “anarchists,” Alessandro Benetton, chairman of the Benetton Group told Stuart Elliot at The New York Times.
The contest will run from Sept 18 through Oct. 14.
Here’s the ad below: