This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are the show notes for the Brave Ad World Podcast. Each story is discussed at a deeper level on the podcast.
Yahoo Moves Forward with Recycling User IDs (Read more at PC Magazine)
Yahoo announced about a month ago its plans to reclaim usernames that have been inactive for at least 12 months. Users had that time to log into their Yahoo accounts and prevent them from being reissued. This raised concerns around privacy, particularly email addresses used as password resets, which could make data accessible for data thieves.
Now, Yahoo has entered into the next phase—a Wish List page that allows users to submit five preferred names along with a contact email address. Yahoo will let users know which username has been assigned to them on August 14 via email. After that, users will have 48 hours to click a link and claim the name.
Yahoo will implement an email header that asks users to verify account creation dates. This will prevent someone who gets a recycled username from getting the previous account holder’s data. The system is called RequireRecipientValidSince, and it works with Facebook. Yahoo’s blog describes it as the following:
If a Facebook user with a Yahoo email account submits a request to reset their password, Facebook would add the RequireRecipientValidSince header to the reset email, and the new header would signal to Yahoo! to check the age of the account before delivering the mail. Facebook users typically confirm their email when they sign up for the service or add new emails to their account, and if the “last confirmed” date that Facebook specifies in the RequireRecipientValidSince header is before the date of the new Yahoo! username ownership, then the email will not be delivered and will instead bounce back to Facebook, who will then contact the user by other means.
Yahoo’s senior director of platforms, Dylan Casey, says Yahoo has been making efforts along with Facebook to educate other service providers on the process, and Casey believes it will become more commonplace in the industry.
All of this has proven to be an interesting experiment in terms of who owns a username, but more importantly, how to transfer that username if it isn’t being used. Yahoo is working to reinvigorate all of its properties, and it clearly sees allowing users to claim the Yahoo identity they want as an important component of that.
The approach has been to involve users in the process from the very beginning, which may be helpful in terms of building a sense of personal investment in the Yahoo platform. If Yahoo can pull this off without too many issues, it will undoubtedly be a formula other businesses follow in the future.
Foursquare Displays Post Check-In Ads (Read more at AdAge)
Foursquare introduced post-check-in ads based on the type of venue a user checks into. The feature allows brands like Captain Morgan, an early advertiser, to display ads when users check into bars suggesting they order a Captain and Coke. Another advertiser, Toys R Us, is targeting parents who check-in at places like pools and daycares. Advertisers cannot, however, target ads at competitors, so Peets, for example, cannot target ads to people who check-in at Starbucks.
Advertisers are charged an undisclosed price on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis.
These ad units follow the introduction of another Foursquare unit called promoted updates, which display when users search for locations. They work in the same way as the post-check-in ads in that when someone engages with a promoted update, the advertiser pays.
The new post check-in ads offer a potential revenue source for the network, which is under pressure to show an ability to generate cash.
The challenge is that Foursquare has a fairly active user base, but many have stopped checking-in. As long as Foursquare can encourage check-ins, these could be very successful, especially given their highly targeted nature.
Internet Companies Lobby Government Over PRISM (Read more at AllThingsD)
Internet companies, including the likes of Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, AOL, Digg, Dropbox, Meetup, Mozilla, Salesforce, reddit, Tumblr and The Wikimedia Foundation, have petitioned the government to allow them to release information about national security requests they’ve had to deal with.
Currently, all of these organizations are unable to communicate any information, and they, understandably, would like to allay user fears around how their data is being used. Right now, several companies release transparency reports, but those cannot include anything related to national security.
They would like to be able to release transparency reports related to national security, including the type and number of requests and numbers of individuals, accounts and devices from which information is requested.
These companies have already petitioned the government, but this is the loudest call for greater transparency from these companies yet.
They clearly see the growing prominence of privacy and data in the public’s mind and aims to curb concerns. Now, the question is whether or no they’ll really be able to do anything about it. That’s up to the government. Although, it’s unlikely users will change their behaviors and cut back on sharing because of the PRISM program. However, they’d rather be safe than sorry.
News Quick Hits
- Hulu, the streaming video site, was previously up for sale, but the site has now been taken off the auction block as existing shareholders, including 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company and NBCUniversal, retain control. They’ve instead invested another $750 million to help the site after evaluating its growth potential during the bidding process. (Read more at VentureBeat)
- Facebook lost some key talent this week, including Instagram lead designer Tim Van Damme, who will be going to Dropbox, and head of North American sales Tom Arrix. Arrix has been with the company for seven years. (Read more at Business Insider)
- Tumblr founder David Karp stated during an interview with Stephen Colbert that pornography on the blogging platform is “just not something we want to police.” (Read more at Mashable)
- Faceboook photo comments have been extended to all pages globally. The feature was introduced to allow users to respond to comments using photos. Now, Page administrators can do the same. (Read more at AllFacebook)
- A recent study by social-login platform Gigya found that 52% of social logins occur through Facebook with Google coming in second with 24%, Yahoo third with 17% and Twitter fourth with 4%. Facebook takes a backseat to Pinterest, however, when users want to share ecommerce purchases. (Read more at InsideFacebook)