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Friday, 12 December 2014

Google's European battles continue

It is actually pathetic how far European regulators are capable of ruining their economies. The recent decision by Google to shut down its news service in response to the Spanish government's idiotic new law shows the extent to which politicians are captured by the local press. The law actually forces publishers to charge Google for linking to their sites, in other words, publishers are not allowed to let Google report their articles for free. No doubt the law was inspired by the German experience (where powerful national papers were also bullying the government). In Germany many papers opted out of charging Google. Spain forces the publishers to charge Google with a minimum fee, essentially creating a powerful newspaper union. Not only does this protectionism hurt the economy, it also weakens the government that is - evidently - already at the mercy of the national press.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Facebook Ad effectiveness

The past year's media covering Facebook's prospects as an advertising medium have been full of contradicting information. We heard that youngsters are turning their backs to the platform and that people are fed up with Facebook's lax privacy policy. On the positive side, members ended up more than tolerating Facebook's strategy of putting, so-called native advertising in the newsfeed and markets appreciated the smooth transition of ad revenues from desktop to mobile. Overall, Facebook has done really well. A recent study by Kenshoo (however believable) is a good summary of the year-end verdict: while the cost of Facebook ads have grown significantly, ROI has almost doubled. Social advertising is indeed becoming mainstream.