Facebook’s end goal: To be the cross-platform platform

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Facebook is making its pitch to games developers: to survive you need to be cross-platform. To be effectively cross-platform, you need to dance with Facebook.

While Facebook celebrated another successful quarter last week, there was a little bit of troubling news about the future of the company’s games economy. Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner summed up Facebook’s games dilemma in the quarterly earnings call:

Our current games payment revenue comes entirely from desktop usage and we are seeing declines in the number of people using Facebook on desktop, a trend that will make growing this business challenging going forward.

So at Casual Connect in San Francisco, Facebook made its sales pitch to game developers from all over the world: go mobile with us.

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PMD IgnitionOne adds analytics enhancements to digital marketing suite

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IgnitionOne, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, announced recently an update to the company’s digital marketing suite, adding deeper analytics capabilities.

The company’s DMS Analytics 2.0 now offers a proprietary Focus Heat Map product to help social marketers identify areas of importance based on performance. The new system makes reporting faster by more than 50 percent and adds flexibility to digital marketing analysis.

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, described the company’s newest offerings:

We are upping our game by not only improving our analytics capabilities, but by leap-frogging other platforms to bring our clients the most complete digital marketing hub analytics available. IgnitionOne’s goal is to make marketers’ lives easier – and that is exactly what DMS Analytics accomplishes.

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Facebook Gifts shop to shutter Aug. 12

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This holiday season, Facebook (may) not prompt you to shop in its gift store for loved ones. Facebook is ending its Gifts program, which allows people to buy physical presents and digital gift cards for friends, on Aug. 12.

The news was first reported by TechCrunch, but Facebook has confirmed this decision to Inside Facebook:

We’ll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook.

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Instagram launches Bolt in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa

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The newest app from Facebook/Instagram — leaked last week — Bolt, is official. The company announced Tuesday that Instagram Bolt has been launched for iOS and Android users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Bolt is a way for people to quickly share images via one-on-one messaging, somewhat similar to the most recent app Facebook launched, Slingshot.

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Study: How can retargeting supercharge a Facebook ad campaign?

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More advertisers are discovering Facebook’s complex ad models, such as retargeting via Facebook Exchange and Website Custom Audiences. How effective can these techniques be? A new study by AdRoll, a Facebook Exchange partner, showed that by using both FBX and Website Custom Audiences, the CPM of News Feed ad impressions on mobile was 57 percent lower than desktop, generating a 10 percent higher click-through rate. It led to a 61 percent lower cost-per-click for News Feed ads on mobile compared to desktop.

The study took into account more than 800 million impressions from 215 AdRoll clients running retargeting campaigns on mobile and desktop.

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SPMD SHIFT Q2 report: Which verticals grew on Facebook?

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Facebook’s Q2 performance has earned rave reviews, but how did advertisers do?

SHIFT, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, broke down Q2 ad performance by vertical. Some highlights:

  • SHIFT saw entertainment achieve the highest CTR in Q2 at 1.8%, with CPG not far behind at 0.9%.
  • SHIFT saw Auto and Entertainment achieve the most efficient CPC in Q2.
  • Auto had the highest increase in CTR in Q2 compared to Q1 with a 48% increase.
  • The top five verticals through SHIFT’s platform (Auto, CPG, Entertainment, FinServ and Telco) achieved 200% or more increase in CTR year over year.
  • The increase in CTR across the board means advertisers are reaching the right people at the right time, and as a result they are taking action.

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Infographic: Inside a large-scale Facebook advertising campaign

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You’ve seen major advertising campaigns from big brands land in your News Feed.

But how did they come to fruition?

SocialCode, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, has handled social  campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. They’ve worked with more than 30 percent of the Fortune 100 list. The company recently developed an infographic, showing how brands work with agencies to create engaging and interesting ad campaigns on Facebook.

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Facebook’s future looks bright: video, Audience Network and mobile are keys

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Facebook is knocking on the door of bringing in $3 billion in a single quarter — and that might just be a stepping stone.

The company announced Wednesday that Q2 was its highest-performance quarter to date, with revenues of $2.9 billion and worldwide growth in revenue-per-user. They’re just getting started.

Much of Facebook’s economic growth of late has come from mobile. The highly-touted mobile app install ad has led to more than 350 million app installs, and the ad format is moving beyond games and into retailers and consumer packaged goods verticals. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that U.S. users spend an average of 40 minutes per day (including 1 of 5 minutes on mobile), but he wants a bigger slice of the digital media pie.

Mobile now accounts for 62 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, and that figure could rise in the next couple years as Facebook develops more relevant and targeted video ads in concert with Audience Network — both of which are still in their infancies.

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Facebook’s Q2 2014 in charts: best quarterly revenue, now at 1.3B users

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Facebook, after a momentary (and expected) dip in Q1 2014, is back to posting record numbers in Q2. The company had its most successful quarter to date, drawing more than $2.9 billion in revenue and growing to more than 1.3 billion users around the world.

We’ve talked about the effect of the World Cup on Facebook advertising, and it shows: revenue grew in every area of the world, with big quarterly gains in Europe and Asia.

Facebook’s userbase continued to grow, as well. Overall, Facebook has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users and 829 million daily active users. On mobile, Facebook continues to trend upward. In Q2, Facebook reported 654 million mobile DAUs and a little more than 1 billion mobile MAUs.

For a closer look at Facebook’s Q2, look at the charts below.

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The Buy button — Facebook’s next big thing?

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Facebook is testing a way for advertisers to make the direct sales pitch to people, and it could be a game-changer for advertisers and retailers. Through the Buy button, users can complete a transaction while staying in Facebook.

Marketers are already excited about the possibilities. Among the call to action buttons, the one closest to the bottom of the funnel has been Shop Now or Buy Now, prompting the user to finish a transaction on the external website. Even if someone doesn’t complete the transaction after clicking Buy, advertisers can know that the user is interested in making a purchase of that particular product, and they can target them with ads for that specific item.

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