Finding Your Mobile Message

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

Like most aspects of running a business in the modern digital age, mobile marketing is all about the relationship between your business, brand or service and your customer. Just because that relationship has shifted away from traditional forms of presentation doesn’t make it any less valuable or relevant. Mobile marketing is a great opportunity to effectively reach your target audience if used properly. Marketers can always choose to ignore the mobile platform, but they do so at their own peril.

The mobile relationship

Building and maintaining a relationship with the customer is one of the most integral components of a successful mobile marketing platform. Many customers seem to have a personal connection with their Smartphones and tablets, often accessing them to browse the Internet, read e-mail or check in to a location. Your marketing platform needs to take that viewpoint into consideration and be well-designed and easy to navigate, regardless of the mobile device a customer happens to be viewing it on. By engaging the customer and building a dialogue, you have an almost unprecedented opportunity to create and maintain brand loyalty. You can only do this, however, if you’ve carefully cultivated and respected the aforementioned relationship.

A better reach

Google recently released a study that reported 90 percent of consumers typically transition between two or more device screens within a single day — such as moving from a desktop to a laptop computer or a laptop to a tablet. Throw Smartphones into the mix and you open the door to marketing to consumers wherever they are, whether checking their phones at a stoplight or browsing the Internet while riding the subway. Mobile marketing allows you to maintain a relationship with the customer as they move from screen to screen throughout the day. An engaging mobile marketing campaign offers great potential to connect with consumers while they’re on the go.

The mobile platform is growing at a seemingly exponential rate. In the last five years alone, the number of people accessing the Internet from a mobile environment has greatly surpassed those who view the same information from desktop and laptop computers. Your mobile marketing campaign can put your company, brand or service in front of mobile users more than ever before.

Consequences and lessons

Certain companies have learned the hard way that it isn’t wise to take that mobile marketing relationship for granted. Papa John’s has been the subject of a $250-million dollar lawsuit based on the fact they were spamming their customers with annoying, unwanted and illegal text messages. To be successful on the mobile frontier, treat customers with the respect they want and deserve. Allow that customer base to establish a relationship, but give them the opportunity to put a stop to it as well. Collect data during the authentication process, but always allow customers to opt-out if they so choose.

By learning from the mistakes of other companies, as well as the mistakes you will invariably make along the way, you can create a compelling mobile message and support it with a rock-solid marketing platform. Mobile puts your brand in front of a wealth of customers who may have otherwise been inaccessible even in the recent past.


Joseph Baker has worked in the business world for more than 10 years, specifically in management. He has led development and management teams, and implemented budget reductions both professionally and as an independent contractor. He is also an avid blogger and inbound marketer, with published topics ranging from social media trends to search media metrics and algorithmic trends.

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Finding Your Mobile Message

Yahoo Q4 Results Top Analysts’ Estimates

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Latest News, test

Yahoo’s fourth-quarter earnings surpassed analysts’ projections thanks to higher ad prices and increased earnings from its international investments.

Yahoo reported non-GAAP earnings of $272.27 million or 32 cents per share, on sales of $1.35 billion.

The results surpassed analysts’ expectations of 28 cents per share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) revenue was $1.346 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a two percent increase from the fourth quarter the previous year. Revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was $1.221 million for the fourth quarter, a four percent increase compared to the same period in 2011.

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Marissa Mayer

For the full year of 2012, GAAP net earnings included a net gain of $2.755  million due to the sale of Alibaba shares. Non-GAAP net earnings for the full year of 2012 was $1.407 million, a 35 percent increase from 2011.

This is the first full quarter CEO Marissa Mayer has had the reins of the floundering search engine firm. And investors are obviously happy with her progress — Yahoo shares rose in after-hours trading following the earnings report.

“I’m proud of Yahoo!’s 2012 and fourth quarter results. In 2012,Yahoo! exhibited revenue growth for the first time in four years, with revenue up two percent year-over-year,” Mayer said in a statement. “During the quarter we made progress by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television, and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo Mail and Flickr. At the same time, we achieved tremendous internal transformation in the culture, energy and execution of the company.”

Yahoo’s new CEO has charmed investors with her plans to bring the floundering search engine into the future. Despite her warnings that change won’t happen over night, Mayer, of Google fame, seems to have won Wall Street’s confidence.

Mayer, who took over as CEO last July, has said she will focus on devising a comprehensive mobile strategy for the search engine. She is also determined to work her magic on Yahoo by focusing on users’ “daily habits” such as e-mail, the home page and Internet search as well as mobile devices.

Small acquisitions to acquire talented staff members is also a part of Mayer’s plan to bolster Yahoo’s mobile and social offerings.

Yahoo, in recent months, acquired OnTheAir, a small startup specializing in broadcasting video chats or interviews to online audiences and earlier this month snapped up Snip.it, a social platform for collecting, organizing and sharing articles, videos and images on the Web.

The following is an in-depth breakdown of Yahoo’s fourth quarter results:

Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Financial Highlights

Display

• GAAP display revenue was $591 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a three percent decrease compared to $612 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. GAAP display revenue was $2,143 million for the full year of 2012, a 1 percent decrease compared to $2,160 million for the prior year.

• Display revenue ex-TAC was $520 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a five percent decrease compared to $546 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Display revenue ex-TAC was $1,899 million for the full year of 2012, a two percent decrease compared to $1,932 million for the prior year.

• The number of ads sold on core Yahoo! Properties decreased approximately 10 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

• Price-per-ad on core Yahoo! Properties increased approximately seven percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 15 percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Search

• GAAP search revenue was $482 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a four percent increase compared to $465 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. GAAP search revenue was $1,886 million for the full year of 2012, a two percent increase compared to $1,853 million for the prior year.

• Search revenue ex-TAC was $427 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a 14 percent increase compared to $376 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Search revenue ex-TAC was $1,611 million for the full year of 2012, a nine percent increase compared to $1,478 million for the prior year.

• Paid clicks, or the number of clicks on sponsored listings on Yahoo! Properties and Affiliate sites, increased approximately 11 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and increased approximately eight percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

• Price-per-click increased approximately one percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 and decreased approximately two percent compared to the third quarter of 2012.

Cash Balance

• Cash, cash equivalents, and investments in marketable debt securities were $6 billion at Dec. 31, 2012 compared to $2.5 billion at Dec. 31, 2011, an increase of $3.5 billion.

• During the fourth quarter of 2012, Yahoo! repurchased 80 million shares for $1.5 billion. During the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, Yahoo! repurchased 126 million shares for $2.2 billion.

 

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Yahoo Q4 Results Top Analysts’ Estimates

Google Initiatives Help Safeguard User Privacy

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Google has your back when it comes to privacy, says a company official.

Google senior vice-president and chief legal officer David Drummond took to the company blog Jan. 28 to reassure its users the company is not cavalier when it comes to releasing user information to authorities (courts and government agencies).

Google’s recently released Transparency Report revealed government requests for user data has continued to rise globally and, once again, the U.S. is leading the charge.

In the July to December period of 2012, Google received 8,438 requests for information from the U.S., a six percent increase from the first half of 2012. Google complied with 88 percent of requests from authorities made by subpoena or search warrant.

“It’s important for law enforcement agencies to pursue illegal activity and keep the public safe,” Drummond said. “We’re a law-abiding company, and we don’t want our services to be used in harmful ways. But it’s just as important that laws protect you against overly broad requests for your personal information.”

To strike a balance, Google employs three initiatives to protect user privacy and security, he said.

1. Backing Law Updates

Google is actively advocating laws such as the U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act be updated so e-mail and online documents receive the same protection under the law as personal documents kept in a home filing cabinet or safe.

“We’ll continue this effort strongly in 2013 through our membership in the Digital Due Process coalition and other initiatives,” Drummond said.

2. Request Scrutiny
When a government agency requests a user’s personal information the Google team carefully examines the request  to ensure it satisfies the law and its own policies. Google said for requests to be considered, generally, they must be made in writing, signed by an authorized official of the requesting agency and issued under an appropriate law.

Drummond said if a request is too broad, Google frequently refuses to provide the information or seeks to narrow the request. The company also notifies users about legal demands “when appropriate so they can contact the entity requesting it or consult a lawyer,” Drummond said. “Sometimes we can’t, either because we’re legally prohibited (in which case we sometimes seek to lift gag orders or unseal search warrants) or we don’t have their verified contact information.”

Google also requires government agencies conducting criminal investigations to obtain a search warrant before releasing user’s search query information and private content stored in a Google account such as Gmail messages, documents, photos and YouTube videos.

“We believe a warrant is required by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure and overrides conflicting provisions in ECPA,” Drummond said.

3. Keeping Users Informed
Google releases bi-annual Transparency Reports to try to keep its users informed about the process. Google this week has added a new section to its report to answers users’ questions such as: Why might a government agency request my data? or I received an e-mail from Google saying that someone has requested information related to my account. What does this mean?

“We’re proud of our approach,” Drummond said. “We believe it’s the right way to make sure governments can pursue legitimate investigations while we do our best to protect your privacy and security.”

 

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Google Initiatives Help Safeguard User Privacy

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 29, 2013

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Google News, Latest News, Social Media News, test

U.S. Leads in Requests for Users’ Twitter Info

The United States, it seems, is the leader when it comes to requesting user information from technology and social media sites.

According to Twitter’s transparency report, released Jan. 28, 81 percent of all information requests came from U.S. agencies.

Google, which released its report Jan. 25, also had the majority of requests from American government agencies and courts.

Twitter received user information requests from 30 different governments in 2012. During the second half of the year, it received inquiries from 23 countries with an increase of 160 requests over the first half.

The U.S. far surpassed all other countries making 815 user information requests about 1,145 Twitter user accounts last year. In second place was Japan with 62 requests about 75 accounts.

Twitter complied with 69 percent of requests from U.S. agencies, giving  “some or all information” requested.  Sixty percent of the requests were subpoenas, 19 percent were search warrants and 11 percent were court orders.

WhatsApp Breaches International Privacy Laws

Cross-platform app WhatsApp breached international privacy laws because users must consent to the use of their address book for the app to work properly, according to a ruling by Canadian and Dutch data protection authorities.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Dutch Data Protection Authority released their findings Jan. 28 from a collaborative investigation into the handling of personal information by the California-based mobile app developer.

“The investigation revealed that users of WhatsApp — apart from iPhone users who have iOS 6 software — do not have a choice to use the app without granting access to their entire address book. The address book contains phone numbers of both users and non-users,” Dutch Data Protection Authority chairman Jacob Johnstamm said in a statement.

The two agencies said WhatsApp relies on users’ phone numbers to “populate” the instant messenger’s contacts list. The phone numbers are transmitted to WhatsApp to “assist in the identification of other WhatsApp users” but, instead of deleting the phone number of non-users, WhatsApp saves the numbers in an unreadable hash form.

This contravenes both Canadian and Dutch privacy law, which maintains personal data can be retained only as long as is required for the fulfillment of a particular service.

“Our investigation has led to WhatsApp making and committing to make further changes in order to better protect users’ personal information,” Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said in the joint statement.

Apple Likely to Release 128GB iPad

Apple is getting set to launch a 128 GB version of its iPad, sources have told 9to5Mac.

The gadget would be a new SKU for the current fourth-generation iPad with Retina display line, the site reports.

The WiFi-only model iPad would sell for $799 while the cellular-compatible device would retail for $929.

According to the site, the fourth-generation iPad — not a new design — will be offered in black or white.

“It is a more premium SKU that will join the current line of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB fourth-generation iPads,” the site says.

 

 

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Technology News Briefs — Jan. 29, 2013

U.S. Continues to Inundate Google with Requests for User Info

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Government requests for Google’s users’ data continues to rise globally but, once again, the United States is leader of the pack.

In the July to December period of 2012, Google received 8,438 requests for information from the U.S., a six percent increase from the first half of 2012, according to the search engine giant’s latest Transparency Report. Google received 21,389 requests for information globally, a two percent rise from the first half of the year.

Countries that made the most requests were:

• The United States — 8,438 requests for information about 14,791 users.

• India — 2,431 requests for information about 4,106 users.

• France — 1,693 requests for information about 2,063 users.

• Germany — 1,550 requests for information about 1,944 users.

• The United Kingdom — 1,458 requests for information about 1,918 users.

• Brazil — 1,211 requests for information about 2,526 users.

“User data requests of all kinds have increased by more than 70 percent since 2009, as you can see in our new visualizations of overall trends,” says Google’s legal director Richard Salgado in a blog post. “In total, we received 21,389 requests for information about 33,634 users from July through December 2012.”

The report also details the legal processes used by American authorities making the requests.

• Sixty-eight percent of the requests were via subpoenas. These are requests for user-identifying information, issued under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and are the easiest to get because they typically don’t involve judges.

• Twenty-two percent were through ECPA search warrants. These are, generally speaking, orders issued by judges under ECPA, based on a demonstration of “probable cause” to believe that certain information related to a crime is presently in the place to be searched.

• The remaining 10 percent were mostly court orders issued under ECPA by judges or other processes that are difficult to categorize.

Google complied with 88 percent of requests from authorities made by subpoena or search warrant.

“We’ll keep looking for more ways to inform you about government requests and how we handle them,” Salgado says. “We hope more companies and governments themselves join us in this effort by releasing similar kinds of data.”

Click here to read the complete report. Unlike previous reports, Google has opted to release data about requests for content removal separately. That report is to be released in the coming days.

 

 

 

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U.S. Continues to Inundate Google with Requests for User Info

New Android App IDs Phone Thieves

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Phone thieves and nosy friends beware: a new app has been released to catch you in action.

Lookout Mobile Security has released an update of its Lookout app to include a Lock Cam that snaps a picture of anyone trying to access a protected Smartphone.

“Lock Cam is a free feature that notifies you if anyone tries to access your device, whether it has been stolen, or if someone else may be trying to take a peek when you’re not around,” reads the company’s blog.

“Lock Cam takes a picture of anyone who enters an incorrect password three times into your Android lock screen with the front-facing camera on your device. You’ll then receive an email with the picture and the location of your device, giving you valuable information about who tried to access your device and where it happened. You can then use this information to take steps to further protect your device, like changing or strengthening your password.”

lookout_web_application_and_phone

So far, Lock Cam is only available in English. It is rolling out to users this week. Premium users will have immediate access to Lock Cam.  Then it is simply a matter of going to ‘settings’ in the app to ensure advanced protection and Lock Cam are enabled.

The new feature will only work on devices with front-facing cameras running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or above.

Premium users can also add a customized message of up to 300 characters to the Lookout Lock screen of their phones. If the phone is the lost, the new feature gives the person who finds it the information he or she needs to return it.

Simply log into Lookout.com from another Smartphone or computer, click the ‘missing device tab’ and select ‘lock.’

The new version of Lookout can be downloaded from Google Play.

To see the app in action, check out the video below from Lookout Mobile Security.

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New Android App IDs Phone Thieves