Ghostery Goes Open Source and Intros New Business Model

Ghostery, an ad blocker recommended by Edward Snowden, just published all its code on GitHub. The company was acquired last year by Cliqz, “the first browser with integrated privacy protection,” including anti-tracking and anti-phishing. Ghostery’s revenue model has been hard to understand for some users, who opt-in to share data about the ad trackers they find on the web. Ghostery then sells that data to e-commerce websites and other companies, a seeming incongruity with its stated mission. Continue reading Ghostery Goes Open Source and Intros New Business Model

Amazon Builds New Ad Goals on Thursday Night NFL Games

With its NFL stream, Amazon hopes for more digital advertising. Advertisers considering the platform see at least two things they like: Amazon’s promised “attribution,” which shows how ads led to brand awareness or online store sales (including on Amazon), data that advertisers haven’t gotten reliably on TV; and Amazon’s viewers, all $99 per year Prime subscribers, which makes them more likely to make online purchases. Sling TV, Showtime, Gillette, Pepsi and Hyundai are the first to buy an Amazon NFL ad package. Continue reading Amazon Builds New Ad Goals on Thursday Night NFL Games

Twitter Shifts Gears, Describes Itself as a Place to Get News

After years of struggling to effectively define its purpose, Twitter CMO Leslie Berland told a CES audience that the company has overcome that challenge. According to Berland, the platform no longer views itself as a social network, but rather a place to go for the latest news and world events as they unfold. “The beauty of Twitter is that you can see all sides of any conversation that is happening at any moment in time,” she said, placing an emphasis on neutrality. Instead of denying the many terms and clichés used to describe Twitter in the past, she embraces them. “We were a platform, a product, a service, a water cooler, a time square, a microphone, and we are every single one of those things,” she said. Continue reading Twitter Shifts Gears, Describes Itself as a Place to Get News

Clear Channel Outdoor Billboards to Track, Identify Passersby

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas inked a deal with AT&T and other companies to enable it to track people, via their mobile phones, who pass its tens of thousands of billboards across the United States. Called RADAR, the new service will, says Clear Channel Outdoor, give advertisers better tools to measure the effectiveness of billboard advertising. RADAR will be offered in Clear Channel Outdoor’s top 11 markets, which includes Los Angeles and New York, with availability across the country later this year. Continue reading Clear Channel Outdoor Billboards to Track, Identify Passersby

Hulu Gains Subscribers and Revenue, Plans Original Content

In October, Hulu reached No. 8 on the worldwide iOS Top Revenue chart and No. 10 on the worldwide Top Revenue chart for iOS and Android combined, a gain achieved after it made several moves to attract more subscribers. Among them, Hulu struck a deal with Epix when Netflix declined to renew its deal. It also debuted a commercial-free paid tier, the “No Commercials” plan, in September, priced at $11.99 per month. Pleased with the growth, chief executive Mike Hopkins says the company plans on producing original content. Continue reading Hulu Gains Subscribers and Revenue, Plans Original Content

Second Life’s Linden Lab Debuts New Virtual Reality Project

Linden Lab, which innovated the virtual world Second Life in 2003, is entering virtual reality with Project Sansar. The company has been working behind the scenes to build virtual worlds for Oculus Rift and other VR headsets, and relies on its experience with Second Life to inform Project Sansar. Second Life is user-centric, allowing players to create and explore virtual landscapes of their own making. Project Sansar, on the other hand, allows brands to build VR worlds and link to them from websites or third-party apps. Continue reading Second Life’s Linden Lab Debuts New Virtual Reality Project

Some Brands Wary of Paying Snapchat Top Dollar for Short Ads

Snapchat has reportedly set an asking price of $750,000 per day to advertise on its messaging app, a figure some say is too high for a young app. Companies such as Samsung, McDonalds, Universal Pictures and Macy’s were among the early sponsors who paid for quick videos and photos called “Snaps.” However, the new rate may prove unrealistically high, despite the name recognition of early sponsors. Snapchat says it offers the ability to reach millions of people through its Recent Updates and Our Stories live feed. Continue reading Some Brands Wary of Paying Snapchat Top Dollar for Short Ads

Instagram Launches Carefully Curated Autoplay Video Ads

Facebook’s Instagram introduced autoplay video ads into its users’ feeds last week. Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, Disney and Lancome are the initial advertisers to strike a deal with Instagram for the 15-second spots. The company reviewed all of the video ads before the launch to ensure that they fit with Instagram’s overall vibe and contain fresh content. Other social network competitors, like Tumblr and Snapchat, have also recently added autoplay video ads. Continue reading Instagram Launches Carefully Curated Autoplay Video Ads

Social Television: Twitter Acquires Video Platform SnappyTV

Twitter acquired SnappyTV last week, a video editing platform that helps TV networks and cable channels share their video clips on social media. SnappyTV already has Twitter data built into its platform, and Twitter plans to further integrate SnappyTV with Twitter Amplify, which distributes video clips and ads across Twitter feeds. The acquisition marks Twitter’s next step in its social television strategy, shortly after losing two top execs who served as champions of the initiative. Continue reading Social Television: Twitter Acquires Video Platform SnappyTV