Why is facebook’s move such a BIG deal

Yesterday whilst I was doing a talk about mobile marketing and social media with #fasterclass (sponsored by Justaxi and UKFast) something happened. Mark Zuck from that little company called Facebook did something rather special. 

But apparently not very many people noticed. 

Mark Zuckerberg started off by saying that “this is going to be a different kind of F8,” and by different he meant no major product releases or changes in direction. Instead, he emphasized that they were now focusing on building a stable mobile platform that would allow developers to build, grow, and monetize their apps.

For people in that community – i.e. use app developers and marketing peeps – this news is really rather large. There are three main bits I think for us all at ideas like Justaxi – Manchester’s Taxi Comparison App. 

Launch of Official Mobile Ad Network

Facebook Product Management Director Deb Liu took the stage at F8 to announce the official launch of Audience Network. With over 1 million advertisers using Facebook, mobile making up 59% of the companies revenue, and over 50% of Facebook users only using the Facebook mobile app, many saw this coming.

The tool will allow advertisers to easily place ads into third-party apps and with a streamlined experience.

Zuckerberg said: “We’ve done a lot of work already in the past years to help you build and grow your apps. This is really the first time that we are going to help you monetize on mobile.”

This is one of the reasons I bought Facebook shares with EToro just before the announcement 🙂 I personally think Facebook are about to move into something really very very profitable. 

Cross-platform tool: Applinks

Some new tools were revealed that will make life much easier for developers as well. One I really liked is “Applinks” which allows developers to link to other apps with just a few lines of code.

Essentially this means that apps will no longer have to be treated like stand alone silos with users having to navigate out of them to find other apps. With just a few lines of code, developers can insert links to other apps in their own, allowing for users to switch back an forth at will.

For instance you could be in your Gmail App but flip over to Soundcloud to change a song and flip right back via a convenient “return to” banner at the top of your screen – all without having to open up a browser or new window to complete the action. This seamless lateral movement for users combined with the ease with which developers can now implement it makes it a win/win for everybody.

I think this means that apps will start to become more and more like the web and so hyperlinking will become the norm – between apps and experiences. Which for us at Justaxi.co.uk could be a HUGE thing if we start partnering with people like YELP. 

Commitment to Mobile

Facebook also unveiled three new features to help support mobile applications.

Send to Mobile is a feature that allows desk top apps to easily send a reminder to the user’s device and prompt them to install it there. So instead of the user having to first remember the app, then second, go on a quest in the Play store to find an app, they can simply tap it in their reminders to have it installed.

The Mobile Like Button is a can’t miss, light weight version of the old Like button we’ve all come to know and love. This optimized Like button makes it easier than ever for the mobile user to engage with mobile content. User familiarity with the Like button along with the growing user base on mobile made this addition a no-brainer.

The Message Dialog allows the mobile user to easily be very selective about who they are sharing content with. In essence, the message dialog takes on the role of a private share button, allowing you to share content privately with whomever you want to message.

Over all a very happy day for developers and Facebook. Hat’s off to you Mark Z. 

As for the new analytics in Parse – as soon as our tech guys at Justaxi.co.uk Manchester’s best taxi booking app – have had a look I will report on that too. 

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Mobile advertising spend doubled in the UK in 2013, passing £1bn

Great info from Dave Chaffrey and the team at Smart Insights. Full Blog is here.

They report that “In April 2014 the IAB and PwC  published their regular survey giving full-year figures for online advertising in 2013.

[They] recommend using this annual research on online advertising to benchmark your investment in online media with other organisations in the UK. The main headline which should prompt examination of brands are reaching their audiences on mobile devices is that:

Mobile advertising spend doubled in the UK in 2013, passing £1bn

Other headlines from the latest ad spend report are:

  • Across all categories advertising on the internet and mobile phones overall increased by 15.2% or £853 million to £6.30 billion in 2013 – up from £5.45 billion in 2012.
  • Video advertising grew by 62% year-on-year to £324.9 million. Video now accounts for 18% of all online and mobile display advertising.
  • Mobile now accounts for over one third (35%) of total digital social media advertising
  • Tablet-dedicated advertising has grown more than 400% to reach at least £34.4m in 2013, which is up from £6.8m in 2012.

Percentage of overall ad spend on digital media advertising?

This research can be used to have an impact when discussing with colleagues how much a company should spend on digital media. Back in the 2011 IAB report it was reported that more than £1 in £4 of ad budgets were spent online  for the first time and online ad spend is now closer to 30% of all spend although the figures weren’t disclosed in the latest announcement.

We know many organisations spend significantly less than 25% of their communications budget on online media, but this may well be right for their market….

“Ed – for example my client over at Justaxi – being Manchester taxi comparison app – really only uses digital advertising and social media. We are doing some print materials and offline promotions but this is very limited and has a limited ROI. “

However with £3 in £4 still spent offline in traditional media like TV and print advertising it underlines the continued effectiveness of traditional media and the need to integrate these with online media.

“Ed- which is why we have QR code printed on our new range of beer mats with a special offer inside 🙂 for Justaxi.” 

Justaxi is Manchester’s taxi fare comparison and mobile bookings app – no need to call a taxi – the app gets you the best prices for taxis in Manchester instantly. No need for taxi numbers or remembering your local Manchester taxi services website – our app find the best taxi prices for you depending on where you are. With our app you can book your taxi in Manchester, even by credit card and paypal. It’s easy with Justaxi – Manchester’s taxi booking app.”