Paralympics, Political Conventions, Online Marketing, More: Tuesday Buzz, July 12, 2016


Almost ten hours of footage from the Paralympics is now available on YouTube. “The footage shows competitive sporting events and behind-the-scenes moments at Paralympic Games including Heidelberg (1972), Toronto (1976) and Arnhem in The Netherlands (1980), as well as the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in Dunedin in 1974.”


Twitter will livestream the conventions of both the Democrats and Republicans. “The streams will be available on both the mobile and web apps through Twitter’s new Live product. The company recently tested Live during Wimbledon, streaming matches through a broadcasting partnership with ESPN. Later this year, the company will also team up with the NFL to stream Thursday night football.”

The changes Google is making to its search results has some advertisers moving to Facebook. “[Brad] Paschal, e-commerce director for the Amarillo, Texas, group, sometimes uses a tool from digital marketer LotLinx known as a VIN View Optimizer to get a breakdown of viewership data for vehicle detail pages. Paschal then identifies the weaker performers and has LotLinx develop Facebook ads for each vehicle. The ads link consumers directly from their news feeds to the vehicle detail pages on Street Auto’s websites. The first time Paschal tried this method, Street Volkswagen sold 10 new and used vehicles in 10 days, having spent just $500 — a nice haul for a small dealership with a limited ad budget.”
I don’t get into the advertising side of the search business much, but if you want a sense of why people are advertising on Facebook instead of Google, this is a nice – albeit car-oriented – article.


Peg Fitzpatrick’s got a writeup on an Instagram planning tool called Planoly. “Planoly is an end to end Instagram management platform. It allows you to visually plan & schedule for Instagram. Drag and drop your photos to see how it’ll actually look on your Instagram profile feed before scheduling it to post. Play with the layout and think like a magazine editor. I’ve recommended this to you in the past and now Planoly makes it easy to do!”


Have you been hearing about nothing but Pokemon Go for the last few days? This is how explosively, ridiculously popular it is. “In the United States, by July 8 – two days after its release – it was installed on more than 5 percent of Android devices in the country, according to web analytics firm SimilarWeb. It is now on more Android phones than dating app Tinder and its rate of daily active users was neck and neck with social network Twitter, the analytics firm said. The game is also being played an average of 43 minutes a day, more time spent than on WhatsApp or Instagram, it added.”

This is turning into a regular thing. The latest country to block social media (to prevent cheating on exams) is Ethiopia. “Ethiopia has blocked social networking sites in the country since Saturday to prevent leakage of university entrance examination to be held next week…. Last month, questions for the top examination were posted on social networks causing a national scandal leading to the cancellation of the entire exam.”


Hey, let me give you some good security news for once: malware infections have dropped. “Malware infections have dropped drastically in the first half of 2016, according to a new report by cybersecurity software provider Enigma Software. Enigma analyzed 30 million infected computers, and found that while malware and ransomware infections still remained at an all-time high relative to previous years, the rate of malware infections had dropped 47.3% compared to the first half of 2015.”

The FTC is cracking down on sponsored YouTube gaming videos. As it should. “The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that it has reached a settlement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment over what the agency deemed a deceptive marketing campaign for the 2014 game ‘Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor,’ which involved major payoffs to big names in the world of YouTube gaming in exchange for positive coverage. Warner Bros., the FTC alleges, paid popular YouTubers tens of thousands of dollars to promote the game via a campaign managed by advertising company Plaid Social Labs. The blitz included a sponsored gameplay video from PewDiePie — one of the biggest names on YouTube. PewDiePie’s video alone has attracted more than 3.7 million views to date.”

From MIT News: How to Stay Anonymous Online. “At the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium in July, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne will present a new anonymity scheme that provides strong security guarantees but uses bandwidth much more efficiently than its predecessors. In experiments, the researchers’ system required only one-tenth as much time as existing systems to transfer a large file between anonymous users.”

An Israeli rights group is suing Facebook for $1 billion over Palestinian violence. “The Shurat Hadin group is claiming the social network provides militant groups with a platform for spreading violence. It says it’s filing the suit in a New York court on Monday. The victims cited in the suit were all American.”

Theresa May is already warning Internet companies (including Google) about taxes. “Prime Minister-in-waiting Theresa May has warned that firms including Amazon and Google have a responsibility to pay their taxes ahead of her taking up the top job. In a speech today, May, who is set to take over from David Cameron on Wednesday, said: ‘We…understand that tax is the price we pay for living in a civilised society. No individual or no business, however rich, has succeeded all on their own.'”


From The Washington Post: Face it, Facebook. You’re in the news business. “You’ve heard of the accidental tourist. Now we have the reluctant news media. I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among others. With the advent of live-streaming options — Facebook Live and Periscope, primarily — their already huge influence in the news universe has taken another stunning leap.” Good morning, Internet…

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