Reading List: What Twitter and Facebook Can Learn From MySpace

Each day we bring you the five most important stories in digital media and marketing from around the Web.

Twitter Ads in the Stream?: Facebook ad chief Carolyn Everson says it isn’t 1 percent there with its ad product. If that’s the case, Twitter must be scraping along at click-through rate level, about .01 percent. Twitter’s understandably put the user experience first. Yet advertisers will need more from it to run large campaigns. The FT reports that Everson’s Twitter counterpart, Adam Bain, is telling advertisers it will soon push ads directly into users’ stream of updates. This will make promoted tweets far more prominent than how they currently only show in response to searches. The FT also reports Twitter plans to finally roll out promised enhanced tools for companies using the platform. Curiously the report also mentions Twitter doing a daily deals service, something it has already tried and which didn’t work. The report has already brought up the inevitable TechCrunch post of a “user revolt” in response to ads in their sacred timeline. My guess: won’t happen. FT

Will Facebook Make Ads Persistent?: A report from British publication The Drum — I can’t say I hear of it previously — says that Facebook is testing a change to its design that will make its ads persistent as users scroll down the page. It will also bring with it some navigation features, but this would be about advertising. This would be an interesting move, since Facebook has faced user revolts over design tweaks that haven’t been overly ad-driven. This might not go over so well. The Drum
The Rise and Fall of MySpace: Coincidentally for Twitter and Facebook, Bloomberg Businessweek has a cautionary tale for them: where MySpace went wrong. Going crazy with advertising at the expense of the user experience is a big part of the story of how MySpace went from the hottest site on the Web to something of a joke. Writer Felix Gillette details the low-rent ads he finds on MySpace: a blonde in a tight t-shirt for a dating site. The question remains out there, particularly in light of reports of millions of user defections, whether Facebook could go the same route. It’s possible but not for the reasons MySpace failed. MySpace was the quintessential cool place. Its founders were cool guys, not tech nerds. Facebook has never tried to be cool. It’s tried to be useful. Facebook has a great future if it keeps that focus on utility while not overreaching in its pervasiveness. David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, once told me the greatest risk to Facebook probably lay in governments regulating it as a utility, not falling out of favor with the cool kids. Bloomberg Businessweek

Media with Benefits: Doug Weaver has a great new term “media with benefits.” It was used in an agency meeting Weaver attended. The fact is the days of buying “holes on pages” are over in a world of programmatic buying. Publishers doing just that aren’t going to do so well since, as Weaver notes, Google and Facebook are going to rule that part of the display world. Instead, agencies are demanding publishers provide something more: better creative, better research and added CRM options. The Drift
The Web Really Is Dead: Wired got a flurry of attention last September by heralding the death of the Web, made irrelevant in a world of apps and mobile platforms. Not so, claimed many critics. A Yahoo writer revisits the argument, making the specious claim that admittedly specious stats from a mobile analytics company showing mobile app use surpassing Web use. These arguments will never end. The Web itself is changing. Is it dead? No. Just like all the other things people proclaim dead aren’t really dead. (OK, Second Life might really be dead.) Just because people are using apps and mobile platforms more doesn’t mean much. There’s an equally good argument that HTML5, which allows cross-platform development, will make apps dead. It most likely won’t, but it will lead to a bleeding in terms of what’s the Web and what’s not. Yahoo

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