What Are Vanity Metrics and Why You Should Be Leary of Them

You’ve been told that social media marketing will bring you money. You go out and create an Instagram account, a Facebook Page, a Twitter account and you start creating. One of your posts go viral. And then your revenues remain the same. What’s going on? You got hundreds of shares on that Facebook post. Why aren’t they pouring into your eCommerce store and buying up all your stuff? You might have fallen victim to the classic marketing blunder. Vanity metrics. Here’s what they are and why you should focus on other metrics instead. What Are Vanity Metrics? Vanity metrics are impressions like comments, followers, shares, open rates, views, likes, traffic, etc. You might know these as engagement metrics. And there’s nothing wrong with measuring them. The only problem is, they don’t actually represent money. They only represent engagement. And if people aren’t moving down your marketing funnel, these metrics are […]

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Facebook Users Can Sue Over Facial Recognition, Court Rules

Facebook users in Illinois claim the tech giant violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires companies to obtain consent when collecting their biometric information. August 9, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on PC Mag A federal appeals court is allowing a group of users to sue Facebook on claims the social network collected their facial data without consent. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected Facebook’s efforts to dismiss the ongoing class-action lawsuit, which could potentially require the company to pay billions in compensation. The lawsuit dates back to 2015 when three Facebook users living in the state claimed the tech giant had violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires companies to obtain consent when collecting their biometric information. Since 2010, Facebook has been using its own facial-recognition technology for photo-tagging purposes. It works by generating a digital template from your photos, […]

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Facebook Denies Being a Social Network in Lawsuit Response

Facebook denies a consumer can create an account, make friends, and build a social network, which are all things you can do on Facebook… July 12, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag This week, Facebook responded to a lawsuit relating to the Cambridge Analytica scandal by claiming it isn’t a social network and not somewhere you can make friends. As Ars Technica reports, the lawsuit was filed in December last year by District of Columbia (DC) attorney general Karl Racine. It stated that of the 70 million individuals who had personal information taken by Cambridge Analytica, 340,000 were residents of DC. Racine is demanding $5,000 in civil penalties per resident, which would mean Facebook has to pay out $1.7 billion. As you’d expect, the social network is fighting the case hard. The reason it has taken so long for a response to be forthcoming is because Facebook spent nearly seven months […]

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Everything We Know So Far

Facebook’s big blockchain play will reportedly create a crypto-based payments ecosystem across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and beyond. June 18, 2019 11 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Facebook’s long-rumored cryptocurrency is about to get its big debut. The formal launch is expected sometime in 2020 after a testing phase later this year, but the social network is gearing up to officially announce it with a white paper on Tuesday laying out the basics of its crypto token. Here’s everything we know so far. We’ve heard rumblings about a secret blockchain project since last May, when Cheddar’s Alex Heath reported that Facebook had been exploring blockchain and the creation of its own cryptocurrency for use within its apps since 2017. Facebook’s goal is to launch a virtual token allowing the company’s billions of users across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp to make digital payments. This includes both internally among other users within […]

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$100k in Debt to Facebook Ads Expert—Monica Louie and Her Amazing Journey

Monica Louie: But we paid off in two years $120,000 on a single middle-class income. So we definitely hustled. Pat Flynn: Wait, how much on— Monica: $120,000. Pat: $120,000. How? Give me the plan. How did you make that happen? On a single income? That doesn’t even seem real in just a couple years. Monica: Yes. In two years . . . Pat: You’re listening to Monica Louie, our featured guest today from MonicaLouie.com. She has an amazing story to tell about how she got out of debt on a single income, $120,000, in two years. Not only does she tell us this story, but she tells how this milestone led into a new blog, which then she sold. And then because so many people were asking her, she then developed her own agency around a special skill that she learned, and now serves the world with this skill. That […]

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Our Security Efforts Will Suffer if Facebook Is Broken Up

‘The amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems I believe is greater than Twitter’s revenue for this whole year,’ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told journalists. May 24, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Mark Zuckerberg is countering calls to break up Facebook, saying that doing so would only diminish his company’s billion-dollar attempts to fix the social network. “The amount of our budget that goes toward our safety systems I believe is greater than Twitter’s revenue for this whole year,” Zuckerberg told journalists on a press call on Thursday. Zuckerberg made the comment in response to co-founder Chris Hughes’ call to break up Facebook. According to Hughes, the Federal Trade Commission made a grave mistake in letting Facebook buy WhatsApp and Instagram, which helped the company gain control over the social networking market. Zuckerberg disagrees. During the press call, he pointed to competing products […]

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Some of the Oddest PPC Ad Targeting Categories on Facebook

You just left a lunch meeting. You had just been talking about how you were excited about the newest NHL team coming to Seattle soon. You open your phone to check your Facebook and up pop ads for ESPN coverage of NHL games. How did they do that? Targeted ad marketing is a funny thing. And sometimes Facebook tracks odd things to figure out what people want. Here’s a bit about the weird things you find in Facebook ad targeting lists. First, Why Use Ads on Facebook and Messenger? Since 10% of Facebook users will buy things from a Facebook ad, Bear Newman from Bear Fox Digital Marketing Agency says that Facebook Messenger Ads are a great way to connect with your target audience. Facebook messenger especially is a personal environment. People are more likely to engage with content on messenger than they are on any other platform. Facebook ads […]

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Facebook’s Dead Users Will Outnumber the Living Sooner Than You Think

Every user who passes on joins the rapidly swelling ranks of Facebook’s army of the dead. May 3, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Death is coming for us all. But in the internet age, those who remain are faced with the very 21st-century problem of figuring out what to do with the data, social media accounts, and other digital remains of those who’ve passed on. Facebook has been planning for this eventuality. The company rolled out a Legacy Contact feature several years back that lets you designate a loved one to take over your account when you die. And it recently announced a Tributes section on deceased users’ profiles, giving friends and family a place for a memorial. Issues have arisen that the company never foresaw. Facebook is now using AI to stop users from getting painful notifications, such as birthday reminders or flashback posts from friends and family who […]

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After a Rough Year, Facebook Is Giving Privacy a Try

‘This isn’t just about a few new features. This is a big change in how we’re building these products and running our company,’ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says at F8. May 1, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Longtime Facebook watchers might be skeptical of the social network’s new commitment to digital privacy, but according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company is in it for the long haul. “The future is private,” Zuckerberg said at the company’s F8 annual developer conference today, later adding: “This isn’t just about a few new features. This is a big change in how we’re building these products and run[ning] our company.” What will a privacy-focused Facebook look like? Expect a lot of encryption. At F8, Zuckerberg confirmed that end-to-end encryption will become the default standard on Facebook Messenger, as The New York Times reported in January. Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images “We’re going to enable 2 billion people […]

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Facebook Stored Up to 600 Million User Passwords in Plain Text

Facebook engineers built applications that stored unencrypted passwords on internal servers which could be searched by over 20,000 employees. March 22, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag It looks as though Facebook is in hot water once again today as it has been revealed up to 600 million Facebook users had their passwords stored in plain text on the social network’s internal servers as far back as 2012. As KrebsonSecurity reports, a Facebook source who asked for anonymity confirmed that between 200 and 600 million users had their passwords stored free of encryption on the company’s servers. The data was being collected by a number of applications, leaving them available to view in plain text. The internal servers are accessible by over 20,000 employees, meaning any of them could have searched the list and potentially abused the data. Facebook is thought to be carrying out an internal investigation to […]

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What Businesses Need to Learn From the Facebook Crash

I thought it was just my internet. Or maybe Facebook was just mad I’d deleted their app and bragged about it. But as it turned out, Facebook’s uptime took a massive hit….all around the globe. This included Instagram and Whatsapp. Ironically, everyone went to Twitter to complain about it. Until then, I hadn’t realized how many businesses rely on Facebook. Not only for advertising, but for communication and different forms of team-building. From what I read, it seems like this is akin to all copies of Microsoft Windows crapping out simultaneously because of a bug in 1998. This reminds me of an oft repeated not well followed quote: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” But that’s the problem with monopolies. You only have one basket and someone chained it to your wrist. Fortunately, Facebook isn’t yet a full monopoly. You can still diversify your means of communication and […]

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Facebook Pulls Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Ads on Breaking Up Social Network

‘Curious why I think FB (Facebook) has too much power? Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power,’ the presidential candidate said in response to the political ad takedown. March 12, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up Facebook because the company has too much power was met with an ironic response on Monday: The social network decided to pull several of her political ads. The ads had been promoting Warren’s recently-announced plan to split up Facebook, Google and Amazon for their dominance over the internet sector. But the social network reportedly decided to take down the ads, not for their content, but because they used a corporate logo, a Facebook spokesperson told Politico. However, the social network was quick to backtrack on its decision. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the […]

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Why I Delete My Facebook App: Why You Should Too

Imagine it’s the year 2000. You’re a freelance writer and you work for every major corporation on the block. A time machine (a TARDIS for you nerds out there), appears in your home office and out steps me. Before you grab your Louisville Slugger, I hand you a special device that both acts as a cell phone and a high-powered PDA (personal data assistant for those who can’t remember). This is before the advent of Facebook, so all you can do with the device is access e-mail, basic early aughts internet, messaging, texts, your calendar, and your Rolodex. It’s basically your cell phone, your iPod, your pocket calendar, and your computer and it fits in your pocket. Your productivity soars. You’re no longer missing appointments and deadlines. You’re able to work on the go (you can tether this thing to your laptop? WTF?!). And you won’t ever forget a contact […]

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Facebook’s Constant Tracking on Android Can Now Be Limited

Facebook for Android is always tracking your location, even when you aren’t using the app. However, the latest update finally allows you to limit this tracking rather than disabling it completely. February 21, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Until now there’s been a big discrepancy over the level of privacy available to users of Facebook’s app on iOS and Android. iOS users could limit precise location tracking to only when the app was in use or never. Android users had an all or nothing option, meaning if location tracking is enabled, Facebook will always be tracking you even when the app is closed. Facebook blames Android for this difference being present as Location Services can either be turned on or off. However, it seems the social network had the power to do something about that and they’ve finally decided to do so. An updated version of Facebook for […]

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How I Turned a Facebook Group Into a Thriving Startup

Want to float an idea for a new startup? this boating expert asks. A Facebook group could be just the place to find your new crew. February 19, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This past summer, Facebook announced that it was removing more than 5,000 ad-targeting settings from its platform in response to accusations that those options enabled discriminatory behavior by advertisers. While that may have been beneficial to users, it makes it much harder for businesses to reach the right audiences with their ads. In addition, Facebook posts don’t have the organic reach they once did. In fact, according to research from [email protected], Facebook business pages with more than 500,000 fans see an organic reach of just 2 percent. As Facebook continues to change the algorithm behind its news feed to make the platform more about connecting people and less about displaying posts from businesses, you’re […]

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Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook With ‘The Facts’ Op-Ed

His impassioned defense of Facebook’s business model arrives ahead of its 15th birthday. January 25, 2019 2 min read This story originally appeared on Engadget Despite seeing off Congress and the European Parliament, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook apology tour shows no signs of stopping. His latest peace offering is a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled, “The Facts About Facebook.” It sees him pausing to reflect on Facebook’s past ahead of its 15th birthday — “I built a service people could use to connect and learn about each other” — before diving into a defence of its ad-targeting exploits. The message remains the same: Zuck explains that Facebook is a free service and therefore it serves users “relevant ads” to make money, but never sells their data. This time, however, it’s meant as much for Facebook’s investors (who read the WSJ) as its users. It was only in November that Zuckerberg said he would not be stepping down […]

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Facebook Gets More Political With ‘Community Petitions’

The new feature will let users create and support petitions, and tag politicians and local officials. January 23, 2019 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Though usage trends have changed and engagement declined, Facebook has made itself indispensable to millions through features like Events, Fundraisers, Groups, Pages and other community organization tools. Now the network is pushing event further into local activism with Community Actions, a new petition feature allowing users to rally around a cause and tag public officials. As TechCrunch reports, Community Actions will start rolling out in the U.S. this week. The feature essentially builds Change.org-style petitions into the Facebook News Feed, letting users add a title, description, and image for their petition and tag local government agencies and officials. From a Community Action, users can then create related events, fundraisers, call your representative drives, or join the petition with a click of a button. Users will be able to see […]

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‘The People at Facebook Live in Their Own Bubble’

Early investor Roger McNamee explains his concerns about the platform’s trajectory. January 18, 2019 5 min read By now we all know the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s rise from his Harvard dorm room to becoming a 23-year-old billionaire. But how the past couple of years have played out, particularly the handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has given Roger McNamee, an early investor in the company and former mentor of Zuckerberg, some pause. McNamee, the founder of venture capital firm Elevation Partners and co-founder of equity firm Silver Lake Partners, penned an essay for Time Magazine about his unease and suggested solutions for how to make Facebook and other Silicon Valley players more accountable as they grow. “My early meetings with Zuck almost always occurred in his office, generally just the two of us, so I had an incomplete picture of the man, but he was always straight with me,” […]

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Some People Would Need at Least $1,000 to Ditch Facebook

Though 2018 had many people thinking about deleting Facebook, some are in too deep, and would need some serious cash to cut the cord with Zuckerberg and Co. December 20, 2018 3 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag The average Facebook user in the U.S. would need to be paid about $1,000 to walk away from the social media giant for one year. Researchers at Kenyon College, Michigan State, Susquehanna University, and Tufts worked out, via a series of auctions, how much it would take for people to leave the platform, according to a study published by science Journal PLOS One. While many users were willing to step away from Facebook for a shorter period of time for a much smaller sum — $1.84 for one hour, $15.73 for three days, or $38.83 for one week — the price rapidly went up as time increased. Related: The Most Successful Companies Led By Entrepreneurs […]

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I Downloaded All 840MB of My Facebook Data. It Was Boring, Baffling, and a Bit Scary.

If an online product is free, then you are what’s for sale. Related posts: Mozilla Pulls Facebook Ads Over Privacy Flap Here’s How to Check If Facebook 3rd-Party Apps Have Access to Your Personal Information Can We No Longer Trust Facebook? How to Tell if Cambridge Analytica Scraped Your Facebook Data Facebook to End Targeted Ads Built with 3rd-Party Data Mining Facebook Denies Collecting Call and SMS Data Without Permission Is Facebook and Twitter Killing Your Data Plan? How To Stop It 4 Ways to Reinvent the Facebook/Google Data Model in the Wake of Cambridge Analytica

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