Yesterday, Facebook announced that it’s new mobile ad network (the one that analysts are counting on to rescue the company’s stock price) would allow advertisers to pay to use your Facebook data to target you with ads outside the Facebook environment. So, for example, if you’ve authorized Facebook on an outside mobile website, you’ll begin to see ads targeted to your Facebook profile data.
As we predicted back in its pre-IPO days in May, Facebook would need to give up on its current model of minimal and oddly placed ad units if it wanted to survive as a publicly traded company with a value anywhere near what it wants the stock market to think it’s worth. And as that stock price continues to hover at half of the IPO value, the company appears to have taken the first big step toward more traditional advertising, by testing a way for businesses to pay for ads that pop up in the streams of users who did not necessarily “like” that particular advertiser.
To celebrate its 3 millionth Facebook like — perhaps the most useless metric in social media — Southwest Airlines announced a half-price fare sale. But when some people tried to take advantage of the deal, they ended up having their credit and debit cards dinged with multiple charges.
A U.S. District judge tasked with bestowing final approval on the legal settlement between Facebook and its users over the “Sponsored Stories” ads is crunching the numbers in the case and he’s just a bit befuddled. Both Facebook and the plaintiffs floated a $123 million amount as the value of the settlement, but then somehow the company is only going to hand over $20 million in legal fees and donations to charity.
Earlier today, Facebook’s very own Mark Zuckerberg and the site’s other head honchos held a conference call with investors to discuss the company’s first earnings report since it went public back in May. Given the stock’s not-stellar performance and investors’ concerns about Facebook’s ability to actually, ya know… make money, the Zuck did his best to liven up spirits by saying the company is beefing up its mobile ad strategy. Which yes, means ads for Facebook users on their smartphones and tablets. Let the clogging begin.
Is the era of FarmVille domination over? The creator of that popular online social game as well as a slew of others is facing some big problems, after Zynga’s stock opened 40% lower today than yesterday. Its putting some of the blame on the decline on its partner on the farm, Facebook, for changing up the social networking platform.
Nothing says calm, peaceful meditation like someone fiddling around on their phone in the middle of a yoga class. Which is why one instructor who was leading a group at Facebook says she told her students to leave phones off during the session. She says a Facebook employee didn’t like being told to stay away from her phone, costing the instructor her job.
Did Facebook Mess With Your Address Book Contacts? Social Network Says It’s Looking Into Email Syncing Issue
It wasn’t enough fun for Facebook to change users’ default email addresses to its own “@facebook.com” addresses, nope. The contact snafu moved beyond the confines of the social network, with users reporting over the weekend that since their phones sync up with Facebook accounts, contact information in address books also switched to @facebook.com addresses.
You know that one time you were like, “Hey, who needs this personal email I use on a daily basis, when I have Facebook email! Time to tell everyone they should contact me at my @facebook.com email address, and only there!”? No? That’s probably because recently, Facebook went ahead and quietly switched users’ primary email address to its in-house email address without bothering to really tell anyone about it.
UPDATE: Following a bit of a freak out over the new friend-finding feature, Facebook has already pulled it, claiming it wasn’t really supposed to be in wide release yet.
Facebook has finally agreed that yeah, maybe users should be able to control whether or not it appears to their friends that they’re advertising a product or page. Fancy that! As part of the settlement in a lawsuit brought by five users, Facebook says it will change its controls to enable members to control which content can be used in Sponsored Stories.
Handing over $10 million in a lawsuit settlement doesn’t sound like a great result for a company, unless, however, that company is Facebook and it could’ve potentially had to pay billions. Back in May it was reported that the company had settled with users suing over what they called a “misleading advertising scheme” involving “Sponsored Stories,” but the terms were undisclosed at that time.
The Facebook juggernaut appears to be lumbering along at a slower pace, maybe because we’ve all suddenly realized that in-person relationships are also valuable. Or it’s more likely that almost everyone who is going to join Facebook is already on it, which makes it harder to grow. And those of us on Facebook are spending less time on it, to boot.
Every time Facebook changes its privacy settings to allow for more invasion of users’ private information and photos, the company — and especially its founder/figurehead Mark Zuckerberg — talk about how it’s all in the interest of being public and transparent and other things that aren’t true. Meanwhile, Zuck’s own public Facebook page is essentially a non-entity and the man is incredibly private about his personal life. Thus, our former in-laws at Gizmodo have decided it’s time to change the privacy settings on Zuckerberg’s life.
This time last year, Mark Zuckerberg stirred up some controversy when he said the company was willing to fight for the right to allow children under the age of 13 to use Facebook. He later said his statement had been taken out of context, but now it looks like the social media mega-site is actually working on ways to legally allow pre-teens to join.