The Week We Searched For- February 27- March 2, 2012
Facebook pitches “Premium on Facebook”- Facebook announced  a new suite of advertising products, called Facebook Premium, on Wednesday at its first ever Facebook Marketing Conference. The goal of Facebook’s new services is to better integrate paid advertisements into its traditional platform and mobile interface. Key highlights from the conference included:
- Facebook launched Premium Ads, which uses the same content businesses post on their Facebook Pages as ad copy. According to Facebook , “Premium ads and Sponsored Stories on Facebook can now appear in two new places: on the Facebook log-out Page and mobile News Feed. Sponsored Stories for mobile News Feed increase the visibility of stories related to a business or organization to help Pages share their fans’ activities. Offers are a free and easy way for businesses to share special discounts and promotions to their community through Facebook. Offers let a business share a discount or promotion directly from a Facebook Page.”
- Facebook also launched its new “Reach Generator” product at the conference, which, for a fee, will guarantee your Posts reach at least 75 percent of your fans/month, which represents twice the average reach on Facebook.
- At the end of March, all brand Pages will be updated to the new Timeline format, including a large cover photo. Here’s an example of a brand Timeline page:
1 Billion Users to Use Mobile as Primary Internet Access in 2012: According to a new survey  from Google, conducted among mobile users in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan, more than 1 billion people will use their mobile devices as their primary internet access point by the end of 2012. The survey also concluded :
- More than 1 billion people will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point.
- There will be 10 days where >50% of trending search terms will be on mobile
- Mobile’s role in driving people into stores will be proven and it will blow us away
- “Mobile driven spend” will emerge as a big category
- Smartphones will prove exceptional at driving a new consumer behavior
- Tablets will take their place as the 4th screen
- New industry standards will make mobile display easy to run
- 5 new, mobile first companies will reach the Angry Birds level of success
- The ROI on mobile and tablet advertising will increase as a result of the unmatched relevance of proximity
- The intersection of mobile and social will spark a dramatic new form of engaging consumers
- 80% of the largest 2,000 websites globally will have an HTML5 site
- One million small businesses globally will build a mobile website
For more information on Google’s survey and the future of mobile search and commerce, check out this presentation  from Jason Spero, Google’s head of mobile sales, from this week’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
Yelp’s IPO values company at $900 million- The online review site Yelp Inc. will come out on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, with its IPO stock priced at $15 a share , valuing the company at roughly $900 million.
Tech coalition launches Core Mobile Web Platform- Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and 27 other companies have partnered to launch  a Core Mobile Web Platform (coremob), a collaborative group through the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) for developing next-generation mobile web standards. (Note that Google and Apple are not on the list.)
Facebook and Twitter buttons influence buying decisions- According to new research  from the University of Miami School of Business Administration , Empirica Research , and StyleCaster Media Group , the presence of Facebook and Twitter buttons affects the consumers buying decision making process. The study found that when consumers saw a Twitter of Facebook button while shopping for products that might embarrass them (e.g., Spanx, Clearasil), they were 25 percent less likely to purchase the product. On the other hand, when a Twitter or Facebook button accompanied a publically more desirable product (e.g., sportswear or a desirable fragrance), consumers were 25 percent more likely to purchase the product.
“Our study finds that the mere presence of social media icons on a web page where we shop appears to cause us to feel as if our purchases are being watched by our social network, and we adjust our buying decisions accordingly,” Claudia Townsend, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration, said in a statement. “Marketers should be aware that the placement of these symbols in their web design strategy could have a major impact on buying behavior.”
Facebook’s value drops- Facebook’s implied value  fell 5 percent to $93 billion from $98 billion in an auction of a fund that holds shares of Facebook’s stocks.
What we’re reading:
- We Are the Mobile One-Percenters-  Matt Grebow from The Search Agency discusses how traditional online marketers should approach mobile search marketing in an increasingly mobile-centric marketplace.
- Twitter, the Startup That Wouldn’t Die - Despite its long struggle to monetize its product offering, Twitter is still alive and tweeting. Brad Stone takes a closer look at the ‘start-up’ and the role its new management is playing in transforming the company into a viable business in his new piece in Business Week.
- Substantial Growth in Ads is on the Way to Facebook - Tanzina Vega from The New York Times explores how Facebook’s newly improved suite of ad products could impact advertisers and users.