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Last week paid blog post network Izea went public with a stock on the OTC board. Jason Calacanis has his explanation of the transaction on the Launch blog calling the transaction a, “back door IPO”. Izea CEO Ted Murphy created a video to demonstrate why Izea is a good investment.
Today Izea has announced the acquisition of Berlin-based Magpie. The press release notes the transaction was a cash and stock transaction but no acquisition amount was noted. The release explains that the reason for the acquisition was to help Izea grow their base in Europe.
I haven’t heard from Magpie in what feels like years. I think Magpie was the first paid ad network to pay Twitter users to post content into their streams. Since their launch, a number of other paid tweet ad networks have launched. Customers of Magpie will be transitioned into the Izea SponsoredTweets product. It should be interesting to see what happens to paid tweets once Twitter launches their own paid in-stream advertising product later this year.
Update November 10 – Google has officially announced the rollout of the new Google AdSense interface.
Earlier today we received a tip from a source that Google has begun to beta test a new user interface for Google AdSense. Doing some basic research, I noticed the first mention of this new interface last week by Justin Germino of Dragon Technology Blog. I can’t find any mention of the new user interface on the Google AdSense blog – although a post about blocking categories does display the new interface.
Below are some screenshots of the new Google AdSense interface. It looks and functions in the same fashion as Google AdWords and appears to be a good upgrade from the current version which, I believe, has been in place since the early days of Google AdSense.
It appears Google is moving all of their reporting tools into a common interface design. Last week Google launched a new interface for their RSS tool FeedBurner.
We broke the news last week regarding the launch of Twitter’s in-stream advertising offering. Just as we expected, Twitter did officially announce and launch their in-stream ads service yesterday with Hootsuite as their first partner.
Below is a screenshot of my Twitter feed inside Hootsuite — as you can see, Sprout Social has “promoted a tweet” (aka advertisement) into my twitter feed. Viewing my Twitter feed inside of twitter.com does not display the advertisement. The ad behaves in the same manner as the promoted tweets ads currently visible in search results. The link “promoted by Sprout Social” takes you to the Twitter promotions overview page. You can perform the normal functions on the ad – reply, retweet and/or favorite the ad.
I am not following SproutSocial and am unsure at this point what targeting was used to send that ad to my stream. My @AllenStern account follows very few accounts (less than 60). If I can gather any info on the targeting, I will update this post.
A note regarding the screenshot below: the highlighted color of the ad was based on my rollover on the ad – the ad is not highlighted in yellow by default although my guess is that if the ads don’t receive the expected response rates, highlighting as seen below may be the next step is gaining a higher response rate.
Thanks to RWW for linking to us yesterday when Twitter posted their official announcement.
Yesterday I wrote about how new surveillance cameras were installed in several NYC subway stations. Earlier today Visa launched a program where subway riders could use their iPhone devices to pay their fare.
Just over a year ago, the NYC MTA began a program to “wrap” subway cars with advertising. The program focuses mainly on the 42nd Street Grand Central-Times Square shuttle (which is only one stop and only runs three-car trains).
Today the MTA announced the launch of a test program where advertisers can buy ad space which includes a video display. The video monitors will feature baseball highlights (clearly they will show the Yankees winning each night) and the content will be refreshed daily. The displays will have no audio. In some cities the advertising monitors allow for audio on a specific AM or FM frequency but that feature is not part of this new test rollout.
From the announcement, “On the subway, the inside and outside of a train serving the 42nd Street Shuttle (S) are fully wrapped with advertisements promoting TBS’ coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2010 postseason. While subway car wraps have become increasingly popular with advertisers, this campaign is the first to make use of moving images. Video screens inside the subway cars are showing replays of the previous night’s baseball highlights.”
The MTA reports that this program costs the taxpayers nothing as their partnership with CBS Advertising and the advertisers foot the bill. The MTA also reports that they take in over $100 million in advertising revenue per year.
Continue reading “NYC MTA Adds New Video Advertising Screens to Trains” »
When I left NYC last month, I knew I would have to buy a car. Since I am not a big fan of car dealerships (both used and new), I wanted to do all of my research online. Once I selected the brand and model of car I was interested in, my goal was to handle the negotiations online via email and chat and only go to the dealer to pick up the car and sign the paperwork. I will save my test drive experiences for another day as I have plenty to share regarding style, technology and usability of the entire passenger sedan market.
This post is to put automobile manufacturers and local dealers on notice that I have purchased a vehicle. There is no need to show me any more automobile ads. From the start of my research, it seems I can’t visit a web page without a car ad unit being displayed somewhere on every page. Here are a couple of the ads from Mazda and Nissan for reference:
From what I can tell, Nissan appears to have the largest online ad budget from the car manufacturers that were displayed as I browsed the web.
Perhaps there should be a simple way to update/ping the ad networks on my change in behavior — “Allen has bought a car and is no longer interested in seeing auto ads, instead show him x based on his online behavior.” The auto manufacturers wouldn’t spend money when they know the viewer has absolutely no interest in the ad anymore and the viewer (in this case me) would see ads that might actually be valuable.
I am sure the ads will eventually drop off — but how many impressions is Nissan wasting when those ads could be directed at potential car buyers – not buyers who have already made a purchase.
Here’s a twist on typical pre-roll and overlay online video advertising. Twitter video hosting service TwitVid has launched a new advertising platform today called SocialAds. The goal with SocialAds is simple: to get you (or your brand) more Twitter followers and/or retweets of your advertisements.
Here’s how SocialAds works…after creating an account, you setup an ad campaign. TwitVid says they host videos for major music groups including Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and The Jonas Brothers. They also work with the NBA and the PGA. The ad campaign focuses either on obtaining new followers or retweeting an ad. The ads are displayed within the videos hosted on TwitVid and you only pay when the desired action is completed.
Bidding will begin at one dollar per follower and seventy-five cents per retweet, with higher bids receiving better placement on the advertising units.
TwitVid notes, “during a private beta test of SocialAds, participating brands received more that 400 new followers in less than an hour. Two percent of those viewers who were shown the advertisement followed a brand.” I have no idea if this would be considered good or not. I think the more important stats would be how many remain connected to the brand after 30 and 90 days. It’s also important to note that most won’t unfollow others on Twitter – similar to how most won’t remove a RSS feed.
Currently SocialAds is running on TwitVid’s main site but the company plans to integrate with partners in the future.
This new launch is yet another reason I continue to suggest that Twitter is just one big advertisement. The idea of buying Twitter followers appears to be a concept Twitter itself is also considering in the near future.
In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise walked by several advertising panels in a mall that changed and talked directly to him. Many wondered when ads like this would start to appear in real life and not in a movie.
A subway station in Berlin will create a new advertising experience beginning on July 8, 2010. Berlin U-Bahnhof Friedrichstraße station will feature all digital advertising – something many stations around the world offer in limited-use. The station will be fitted with a number of digital advertising panels and two Bluespot terminals on the platform. Passengers will be able to interact with the Bluespot terminals.
Intel will provide the first advertisements on the new panels and interactive displays.