Uber Zero

Seldom, if ever at all, have I read such a long, elaborate and so well thought-out post about something — like Uber Zero — that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Free, ad-supported Uber rides are inevitable, and if Uber doesn’t do them, a different competitor – perhaps Google! – will do it.

To which my only counter-question is: What is it, 1998 all over again?

There are three aspects of this post that trouble me. The first is: what’s wrong with actually paying for a service? Why does everything always have to be paid for by somebody else (by an advertiser)? The second is: what kind of ads would they show me? Ads for a new car, for example? But why should I pay for a new car when I can get a nice one plus a chauffeur for free? And why can’t I get the car for free as well, while advertising something else? Where does the nonsense stop? And the third: doesn’t advertising work when the cost of adding one more ad is basically zero and all profit? Think newspapers, television, Google, Facebook etc. In this case, every ride costs on average 20 bucks. Which means the CPM would be 20,000 USD. What kind of luxury product can spend that kind of money in ads? Worse yet: in ads “targeted” towards people that won’t even pay for their cab ride…

And you call this an analysis

And you call this an analysis? Twitter’s new CFO on Facebook

On mobile there are fewer ads since there is no right hand rail. But mobile monetizes better which is rare….a key question here is why does mobile monetize better? Is it due to higher prices per click or higher click through rates. If its the latter ie click through rates than its enormously positive because higher click through rates are highly correlated with better ROI which leads to ad spending.

What about: because ads on mobile are much larger? They take up the whole damn screen, rather than being small and unobtrusive as on the desktop. Unobtrusive is a nice word, but what it means is that nobody sees them. And what happens on mobile, ads being huge and people having large, fat fingers, is that people click on them, whether they intended to do so or not. Fat fingers. That’s about all the “magic” of mobile if you ask me.

Their own private web

Ironically, just at the time when a market leader appears most firmly ensconced at the top of its industry, it may be vulnerable. Its system may be so superior that potential competitors may decide that it is hopeless to compete against it on its own terms.

New and Improved. The story of Mass Marketing in America, pg 245

That’s exactly the situation Google was in: complete dominance of the online space. Then, Facebook, aka the new AOL, became huge with their own private web, and Apple launched the iPhone and another private environment, Apps.

Social Media Marketing Bullshit

I’m taking a look at books on the subject of Social media Marketing. I’m having a ball merely by reading the titles: Social Media Marketing essentials, blueprint, tactics, tips, zen, secrets, strategies, for beginners, for everyone, for dummies…

Very imaginative indeed. Even more shocking to me: not a single book that says that this whole field is nothing but a bunch of useless shit. That’s about to change.

This is the intro to my upcoming short book: What Happened To Advertising?

From the blue “e” to the white “f”

Remember when the average Joe thought that Internet Explorer’s blue “e” icon somehow stood for “the Internet”? You thought that was bad?

Many in the world are at risk of growing web-literate, so to say, thinking that the Internet is a white “f” on a blue background on their Android phone.

And any time you speak of “Social Media”, you’re doing them a favour.

Facebook, plus of course Instagram, Whatsapp for those who like things simple, and their own Messenger, which they are styling after Line and WeChat and trying to make into a platform in its own right, is not “a” Social Network, but rather THE Social Network. The new AOL, as Jason Kottke said back in 2007. Facebook is what we used to have before Facebook, i.e. the Open Web, but behind closed doors, delivered very well and a bit sanitised. There are plenty of reasons why you should be worried.

One of the main reasons why I am worried is precisely because you are not.

Clickable Ads on Instagram

Clickable Ads on Instagram are a shock to me even if I’ve been saying that so-called “Social Networks” are just ads platforms for longer than I can remember.

The following is from my upcoming little E-Book…

Together with Web2.0 came the horrible but very telling idea of User-Generated Content (UGC). According to this crude view of the world, people were using – or being used, and being duped into using, if you listen to Richard Stallman – Web-based tools little more than to provide content against which advertisers could place their ads. Then at some point the whole circus started being called “Social Media”. Why the word “Media”? Are Social Media what Social Networks become once you have to try to monetise them by sticking ads all over the place?

I’m not surprised at all that Instagram is pushing towards more ads. Nor am I surprised that the ad they chose to show in their short video about the new format, the so-called Carousel Ads, is about a non-profit that helps kids in Africa.

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