facebook-likeClick Farms And Facebook’s TV-Like Audience

Facebook announced earnings yesterday and they were kinda meh; revenues fell a little short of estimates, Zuck blamed it on the euro etc.  Mark was cheerful about one thing though: “the social media giant announced strong user growth that showed its monthly user base was now larger than the population of China.”  Not only that, but mobile advertising revenue is taking over (“this thing is a rocket ship, it’s almost at 70 percent mobile!” said Shark Tank shark Kevin O’Leary).  And even though “the mobile monthly growth rate slipped a bit from 6.1% last quarter, the more important daily mobile user growth rate grew from 5.97% last quarter.  That means Facebook might not be signing up casual users quite as quickly, but its turning more people into non-stop social networkers.”  Non-stop social networkers means non-stop advertising revenues: “more than $16 billion was spent worldwide on social media advertising in 2014.”  Furthermore, “in 2014, more than 90 percent of Facebook’s $12.5 billion in revenue and about 90 percent of Twitter’s $1.4 billion in revenue came from advertising.”  Which makes this kind of a problem: “Google ‘buy Facebook likes’ and you’ll see how easy it is to purchase black-market influence on the Internet…click farms employ manual labor, a dozen or so people who manipulate Facebook accounts individually to create the likes that they sell…researchers ran ten Facebook advertising campaigns, and when they analyzed the likes resulting from those campaigns, they found that 1,867 of the 2,767 likes — or about 67 percent — appeared to be illegitimate…If researchers are correct that advertising on social media leads to a high percentage of fake likes and fans and followers, the entire business model could be called into question by advertisers.  What incentive do companies have to buy ads that target digital ghosts?”  Meanwhile, “video views on Facebook are growing exponentially.  Some 4 billion videos are watched on the platform every day, up from 3 billion in January.”  Which is more great news for Facebook, considering the fact that more than half of Americans prefer digital streaming over their television set.  “Moreover, younger viewers now more commonly watch TV shows on mobile devices or PCs — rather than on a TV set.”  So Facebook is all like ”pretty cool, huh?  Advertisers that can’t afford TV can create TV-like ads, for a fraction of the price, and still reach a huge TV-like audience…Facebook has made it clear that it is building out the tools for businesses not only to buy more advertising on its platform versus TV, but also to measure Facebook ads’ effectiveness versus TV.”  


Antitrust Shmantitrust

“Google is already an Internet Service Provider and a pay-TV operator.  Now it’s expanding to become a wireless carrier as well…Google’s service will switch between different highspeed wireless networks operated by Sprint and T-Mobile…phones on Project Fi will switch to Wi-Fi networks when available to place calls and access the Internet.”


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