Perhaps disgruntled Yammer CEO David Sacks was right. With so few good ideas out there to execute on, perhaps we really are in the twilight of Silicon Valley. And even if a company does have a good idea, don’t even mention the M word (monetization, spoken in a whisper), lest you incite the rabid boos of the NYC tech set.
But we have to imagine that this end-times mentality is what led a Michigan startup to hinge its entire business on getting companies to advertise on toilet paper. It’s a more literal take on the term “crappy advertising.”
We’re pretty sure that the vast majority of Betabeat users not only don’t use Internet Explorer, but also passionately despise it. But we’ll give props when props are due, and despite Microsoft’s one out of four star rating from the EFF on privacy, the company now appears to be taking a stronger stand on the issue.
Microsoft announced on its blog yesterday that Mozilla’s Do Not Track feature would be automatically implemented within all copies of Internet Explorer 10. The move, Microsoft says, will empower users to make more informed decisions about the way third parties handle their data.
Be Like the Virus
For avid Facebook users, it’s become second nature to “like” a brand or political position or angsty emo group like “When I say ‘I hate you’ I mean ‘I love you but you hurt me.’”And most informed users know that in the court of Facebook, your likes can be used against you–mainly, as ads displayed to your friends in some dystopian form of peer pressure: “Jessica likes Betabeat! You should too!”
But did you know that the links you share on Facebook can also be served to your friends as ads? As the New York Times reports today, that’s what happened to Nick Bergus, who jokingly shared an Amazon link to a 55-gallon barrel of lube.
Foursquare Be Hustlin'
Oversharers, beware: if you’ve recently tweeted anything embarrassing–say, how much you drank last night–be prepared to confront ads that directly address your tweets. For example: If you’re browsing a website even without being logged into its Twitter functionality, you might get served a banner ad about a hangover cure, or deals on Stoli.
It’s a new form of big brother-esque hyper-targeted advertising from New York-based startup LocalResponse that, according to a press release, “delivers more relevant ads across all platforms by learning from public consumer intent expressed over public social media channels.”
Tumblr's Very Own
Go back to your lives, citizens! The markets are now closed, and so we can all quit talking about Facebook for at least a couple of hours. Instead, let’s turn our attention back to another white-hot one-day IPO candidate attempting to monetize: Foursquare.
Ad Age reports that, on the heels of that paid media platform and those personalized coupons, the company has hired Steven Rosenblatt (already a consultant) as chief revenue officer. Previously he was director of ad sales and strategy at iAd and before that, SVP ad sales at Quattro Wireless, which pretty much cements our expectations, monetization-wise.
Once upon a time (by which we mean a few months ago), Tumblr CEO David Karp outright rejected the idea of ads. The scorn has lessened since the advent of sponsorship packages to the Tumblr Radar, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Karp has entirely come around to the inherent worthiness of advertising as a discipline.
This morning’s Internet Week keynote offered a little more insight into what he likes and what he doesn’t. To wit: None of your tacky traditional advertising, thanks. Tumblr wants “creative experiences.”
In a conversation with Internet Week founder David-Michel Davies, Mr. Karp elaborated on the kind of promotional content that doesn’t turn his stomach. As an ideal, he offered up the example of the Hunger Games promotion Capital Couture. Rather than registering hungergames.tumblr.com and slapping up the trailer, the film’s marketing team created a Panem fashion blog and invited fan submissions.
Be Like the Virus
It’s been a tumultuous past few weeks for New York startups, some of whom are scrapping long-held ideals in order to seek profitability. Looks like it’s time to finally make some money.
Last month, Tumblr announced it will now offer paid ads, a reversal from founder David Karp’s prior opinions about advertising–mainly, that it kind of makes him sick. And today, Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley told the Wall Street Journal that the location-based social network is planning to offer personalized coupons, tailored to each individual user, beginning in July. The news builds on earlier reports about Foursquare’s new paid media platform, scheduled to launch in June.
Taking a Tumble
Zynga’s stock price is dropping, so now the San Francisco-based company is attempting to devise creative ways to monetize some of its more popular games. Yesterday we reported that Draw Something is hemorrhaging users, but that hasn’t stopped its new parent company from thrusting more ads upon the once wildly-popular game.
A few weeks ago, Tumblr founder David Karp rather abruptly announced that he was reversing his long-held anti-advertising stance and opening Tumblr Radar up for sponsorship. According to an email from Tumblr communications rep Katherine Barna, the ad shop is officially open for business.
“We’re very excited to announce that Tumblr’s first official Sponsor products are now available to advertisers!” Ms. Barna wrote, directing folks to a new page for potential marketers. “We are constantly delighted by the creative ways that brands use Tumblr, and are confident that the world’s greatest marketers and media companies will use these products to set a new bar for creative advertising on the web.” Mr. Karp seemed a little more contemptuous towards advertisers at the Decoded Fashion conference earlier this week. But, like, in a friendly way, of course!
Apparently Tumblr CEO David Karp has overcome his distaste for ads, because he just announced that advertisers will be able to buy access to the dashboard’s “Tumblr Radar.”
About 45 minutes ago, Rex Sorgatz tweeted the following dispatch from AdAge Digital: “Karp just announced that the Featured spot on the Tumblr dashboard is going up for sale to advertisers.” Business Insider is reporting that the feature will go live as early as May 2.
Reached via email, Mr. Sorgatz provided more detail, telling Betabeat: