Reading List: Facebook and Twitter to Save Web Ads

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Facebook and Twitter Want to Save Internet Ads: The dirty secret of Web advertising is that much of it has failed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big business and all; only it’s not as big as it should be when you think of how consumer attention is garnered. Search advertising is the only unique ad opportunity that has taken off on the Web. Search ads work because they’re unique to the way people use search engines. Banner ads, not so much. Facebook and Twitter could change that. Both are trying to find ways of making the ads on their platforms mimic how people use them. In doing so, they hope to reverse the downward spiral of engagment rates in “traditional” Web advertising. The only question is whether these laudatory hopes will run aground with the pressure to conform to standard practices in the name of efficiency. Forbes — Brian Morrissey  @bmorrissey
Big Data is Big: The endless articles about big data circulating online and off can be attributed to the fact that it really is one of the most important issues facing American business today. According to The Atlantic, data management, tracking and measurement are defining the success of not only advertising campaigns and branding efforts, but also the bulk of America’s leading companies. How those companies manage their data and derive insights from that data determines whether they become the next Amazon or another casualty of the economy. Now, the math geeks are sitting in the front of the room, just like in digital advertising. The Atlantic — Carla Rover @carlarover
Bubbling Up?: Is there a tech bubble developing? Or has venture capital money dried up? Both. Although several high-profile tech companies have raised a lot of money very quickly, the amount of venture capital available to startups in the tech space is down sharply. According to this report in Forbes, five companies — Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Zynga and Twitter — have skewed the numbers. However, those five companies are outliers and if VC funding is examined excluding those companies: It’s off 84 percent from 2000 levels. Forbes — Anne Sherber @annesherber
Classic Facebook Overreach: The backlash against Facebook’s Open Graph, which purports to help Web publishers get their stories shared faster by passively alerting readers’ Facebook friends when they consume an article, is in full effect. Following last week’s criticism from CNET, which blasted Facebook for “ruining sharing,” now it’s Read Write Web that is getting in on the action, calling seamless sharing “wrong.” It seems that since the Open Graph was introduced at F8 a few months ago, Facebook users are getting tired of seeing five notices in a row about what their friends have been reading on Yahoo News. In a way this is classic Facebook — push as much automated sharing as possible, only vaguely clueing on how far a new feature actually goes, then in most cases, pulling back just a bit. We’ll see if that happens again. For now, Facebook is pushing ahead. One question we have is whether people are getting annoyed with the frequency of announcements on what people are reading, or the lack of depth, since so few publishers are participatingRead Write Web — Mike Shields @digitalshields

Kindle Fire Devastating for Rivals: Given the fact that the Kindle Fire is currently retailing at under half the price of the iPad, Amazon looks well positioned to wrestle at least some tablet market share from Apple this holiday season. But that could have a “devastating” effect on sales for other tablet makers, according to analysts at Nomura. “We are struggling to see why a consumer would pay twice as much for a slightly larger tablet but with little content,” argues analyst Richard Windsor. Perhaps he has a point. Retail prices for the PlayBook were around $359, while Samsung’s Galaxy Tab sells at $499, for example. PaidContent — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall


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