Facebook SEC filings: Board of directors chosen, execs offload stock

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Facebook has officially decided its eight members of the company’s board of directors, a vote that was taken earlier this week at the company’s inaugural shareholders meeting. It has been a busy week for Facebook executives, some of whom also sold stock this week.

Facebook confirmed, in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company’s board of directors:

  • Mark Andreessen
  • Erskine Bowles
  • Susan Desmond-Hellmann
  • Donald Graham
  • Reed Hastings
  • Sheryl Sandberg
  • Peter Thiel
  • Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook Wi-Fi program for businesses expands with Cisco Meraki integration

wifi_lgCisco Meraki, which offers cloud-managed networking solutions, announced a partnership with Facebook last week to include Facebook Wi-Fi in its new Presence platform for businesses to gather location analytics and promote engagement among visitors.

Facebook Wi-Fi is a service that allows businesses to offer customers free Wi-Fi after checking in on the social network. It began as a hackathon project a year ago and gradually rolled out as a local experiment with a few businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now it’s a full-fledged commercial product thanks to the Meraki partnership.

The integration with Presence gives business owners access to Facebook page insights with aggregate demographic information about the customers who check in. The check-in also results in increased exposure for the business and leads users to a business’ Facebook page, which could lead to more Likes or interactions. It could be a useful feature for local businesses, retail locations, the hospitality industry or large events and conferences, which want to learn more about their visitors and generate word of mouth.

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3,800 developers bought Facebook mobile app install ads driving 25M downloads

mobile-developmentFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on today’s first quarter earnings call that mobile app install ads were “one of most important new ad products” the company offers.

COO Sheryl Sandberg pointed out that 3,800 developers used the product to drive a total of 25 million app downloads in the App Store and Google Play. Forty percent of the 100 top-grossing apps for Android and iPhone have advertised on Facebook, Sandberg said.

CFO David Ebersman said that mobile app install ads actually lead to a lot of incremental revenue, as many of these developers are newly spending on the Facebook platform, not just reallocating existing budget to a newer format.
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Facebook replaces ‘brand resource center’ with new website and assets

facebook-new-logoFacebook has launched Facebookbrand.com to replace its previous brand resource center. The new site is more visual and offers additional guidance about how to use Facebook’s logos and trademarks in print, film, broadcast and online.

The social network redesigned its “f” logo earlier this month, but as of last week hadn’t updated its brand resource center with the new version. Now instead of simply swapping in the new logo, the company has created a whole new site to communicate its brand positioning and rules around using its assets. Facebook is one of the most well-known brands in the world, but also one of the most misused. People and businesses regularly use altered or outdated logos, and refer to Facebook in ways that misrepresent its brand.

The new Facebookbrand.com includes clear do’s and don’ts and FAQ for advertisers, developers, publishers, filmmakers or anyone who intends to use the company’s name, logos or images in their work. There are a number of rules that these stakeholders might not be aware of and could result in enforcement from Facebook.

For instance, any use of Facebook assets in film or broadcast must be pre-approved by the company. The Like button image cannot be used online in any instance except the official Facebook plugin. In print and packaging, the Like button image can be used but it cannot be used to replace the word “like” in a sentence. You can review more of these rules and guidelines here.

Thanks to Tom Waddington for the tip.

Unified acquires PageLever

unified-pageleverEnterprise marketing technology company Unified today announced it has purchased Facebook analytics platform PageLever.

PageLever’s seven employees will join Unified full-time in the company’s San Francisco and New York offices. PageLever customers’ service will continue uninterrupted, and they can expect new social marketing solutions that combine the companies’ product sets in the near future.

Unified offers an all-in-one platform to help brands and agencies manage paid media campaigns across networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon, from creative and planning stages to reporting and analytics. Unified also focuses on helping advertisers understand the earned media value that is generated by people taking social actions after being exposed to an ad.

PageLever started as a two-person Mountain View company formed out of Facebook page consulting company BrandGlue. It has taken seed funding from SV Angels and Start Fund in addition to Y Combinator. PageLever released its analytics tool in August 2011 and most recently updated its platform to include real-time engagement insights in November 2012.

Unified launched its “Social Operating Platform” a year ago. Its latest update included a new ad monitoring application, improved insights and a self-serve version of its app suite that helps companies amplify their messages by integrating social features.

The companies, both of which are Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers, now serve over 300 customers including some enterprises among the Global 2000 and leading advertising agencies.

Facebook shares stats about businesses using pages and promoted posts

Facebook today announced that more than 300,000 pages have promoted 2.5 million posts since Promoted Posts launched for businesses in June. More than one-quarter of those businesses have been new advertisers on Facebook.

The stats, shared Facebook’s Director of Global SMB Markets Dan Levy at BIA/Kelsey’s Interactive Local Media West Conference, show the growth of product meant to make Facebook ad buying more simple for small and medium-sized businesses. Essentially, the promote button asks page owners if they want to pay as little as $5 to sponsor a post they’ve already made and reach more fans and their friends. Page owners do not have to go through the self-serve ad dashboard, which can be overwhelming to a new advertiser.

Levy called out other statistics that show Facebook’s growth among small businesses. There has been a 40 percent increase in active local pages since January, and the number of local business pages using Facebook advertising has nearly doubled. There are now more than 13 million local business pages on Facebook, with 8 million that are active monthly.

According to new stats today, a total of 150 million people visit Facebook pages every day, and nearly half of visits in the U.S. are coming from mobile. This is likely to increase as people use mobile devices more frequently and more businesses begin buying Facebook mobile inventory to drive users to their pages.

Facebook also announced that 3 million page owners are using its mobile page manager app, which launched six months ago. In September, page owners gained the ability to buy Promoted Posts through the mobile app.

Report: Facebook Exchange seen as key influence on real-time bidding growth

Advertising spending through real-time bidding is expected to nearly double this year, and the maturation of the Facebook Exchange likely to be a key influence on future growth in the industry, eMarketer reports.

Real-time bidding is a form of programatic buying where advertisers bid on each ad impression as it is served. Facebook entered the RTB market in June with its Facebook Exchange. Through the exchange, approved third-party platforms (DSPs) can place retargeting ads on Facebook after users visit external websites marked with cookies.

eMarketer’s report says real-time bidding will account for 13 percent of all U.S. display advertising spending this year, more than triple its share in 2010. The overall U.S. display ad market will grow 21.5 percent to $14.98 billion compared to $12.33 billion in 2011. RTB spending grew 98 percent to an estimated $1.9 billion this year, the report says. eMarketer predicts that by 2016, U.S. RTB ad spending will reach $7.1 billion.

This bodes well for the Facebook Exchange, also known as FBX, which marketers have been speaking highly of since it launched this summer. Early partners are reporting lower costs per acquisition than on other exchanges, and many advertisers are pleased that their ads appear above the fold and on brand-safe pages, which is not always the case with other exchanges where advertisers can’t be sure where their ads are being placed or how many others they’re competing against. The Facebook environment is much more controlled.

eMarketer says there are four key influences that will determine the growth of RTB, including the maturation of FBX. Other factors include the availability of video and mobile inventory, more premium ad inventory and an demand for better transparency across all display advertising.

Facebook says small businesses ‘just as important’ as big brands

As Facebook execs go on a speaking tour and court large brands and agencies during Advertising Week in New York, the company maintains that it wants the social network to continue to be a valuable platform for small businesses to connect with current and future customers.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in a press Q&A Tuesday that serving small business is “just as important” as helping large advertisers achieve their goals. She says the company’s current and future revenue is split between small businesses and larger brands.

Small and medium businesses often feel their interests aren’t represented or recognized by Facebook as the social network grows and develops relationships with Fortune 500 companies and other prominent partners. New advertising products like Facebook Exchange and Custom Audiences are likely outside SMBs’ scope, and key things like mobile ad placements are still not available in the self-serve ad tool.

That said, the social network has made it easier for SMBs to create basic ads on the site, streamlining the ad tool and introducing the Promote button on pages. This year’s Timeline for pages redesign eliminated the advantage some bigger businesses had in customized landing tabs. Now all businesses have the same basic canvas of a cover photo and profile photo to draw in fans. Page owners also gained some additional free admin tools like post scheduling. The company puts out videos, whitepapers and other resources for people learning how to use Facebook for marketing.

Sandberg acknowledges small businesses make up a “huge” component of Facebook. There are 11 million SMBs on the site, 7 million of which have an active Facebook page and 3 million of which make at least one post per week. Sandberg calls small business the “holy grail of the Internet” since the long tail of advertisers collectively spend a significant amount. The hard part, she says, is that SMBs are typically late adopters of technology. Facebook has an advantage, though, in that its marketing and advertising products are so similar to the features people use daily to connect with friends and family. In fact many business owners start by promoting their business on their personal profile and then create a page when they start to see interest and results.

Sandberg pointed to Promoted Posts as an example of how Facebook is trying to keep the social network approachable for SMBs. Instead of asking, “Do you want to become an advertiser today?” Facebook asks page owners if they want to pay a small amount to sponsor a post they’ve already made and reach more fans and their friends.

Of course, to convince small businesses to pay for distribution that used to be free, Facebook will have to do what it can to make sure SMBs are seeing results. Facebook has a team dedicated to increasing SMB adoption of its marketing tools. These employees help the product team understand what to build to make the platform more useful to small businesses.

For example, Facebook currently has a job opening for a Principal Writer, User Operations to “educate small and medium businesses on Facebook by conveying complicated technical topics in simple, jargon-free language.” The candidate must have “a passion for helping small businesses succeed in a new economy.” The company is also looking for a Product Marketing Manager, Advertising Interfaces, which calls for someone to identify and assess “product opportunities for helping small and medium businesses use Facebook advertising more effectively.”

Facebook roundup: stock price and customer satisfaction down, Washington to offer voter registration app, Zuckerberg visits Walmart HQ and more

Facebook stock again below $30 - Amid concerns that Facebook will report lackluster Q2 earnings, the company’s stock closed at $28.76 today. Not even news that Facebook will begin testing search-based ads could bring the share price above $30 where it closed last week. The stock is down more than 6 percent this week and more than 24 percent since Facebook’s initial public offering in May. The company’s earnings call is scheduled for Thursday.

Nasdaq to revise IPO compensation proposal – Nasdaq is expected next week to release a compensation plan for investors who were affected by technical issues during Facebook’s stock market debut. Fox sources say the deal will be all in cash, and likely above the $40 million originally proposed. Nasdaq is continuing to work with the Securities and Exchange Commission on a second draft of the proposal, after its initial plan was met with criticism from investors, who may have lost a combined $200 million or more from the IPO.

Washington state to allow voter registration via Facebook – Washington’s secretary of state’s office said Tuesday it will offer an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then share the story with friends. The app, which is the first of its kind, is expected to launch as early as next week.

Facebook falls in consumer satisfaction – Facebook, already the lowest-scoring e-business company, experienced an even further decline in customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. An E-Business Report released in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee showed Facebook dropped 8 percent to 61 on a 100-point scale, setting a new record-low score for e-business and placing it among the five lowest-scoring companies of the 230 measured by the ACSI. Google+ scored 78 in its first appearance in the ACSI.

Zuckerberg and team looking to foster relationship with Walmart – Facebook’s senior management team, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, are scheduled to spend two days at Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, meeting with executives and discussing ways to “deepen” the company’s relationship, according to Reuters. Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have already shared photos from their visit, which began today.

Zynga’s stock recovers as Facebook IPO looms

After starting off the week at an all-time low, Zynga’s stock is beginning to rise again while Facebook’s initial public offering approaches.

The stock closed today at $8.22 a share, down from its opening at $8.75 but still notably higher than where its price was at the beginning of the week. Since Monday, Zynga’s shares have opened above their closing point from the previous day. The stock could be improving as Facebook’s Friday IPO draws near. The social network will likely be valued at over $100 billion with a stock price between $34 and $38 a share.

Facebook recently revealed in an S-1 amendment that Zynga was responsible for 15 percent of its 2011 income. When Facebook’s February S-1 showed 12 percent of its income came from Zynga, the developer’s stock rocketed up to over $14 a share before starting to fall back to previous levels. If the social network’s IPO is as big a success as many believe it will be, Zynga’s stock will likely see an even more dramatic share price increase.

Zynga’s stock still hasn’t taken off like many investors hoped it would when it began trading in December; shares didn’t return to their original price until late January. The stock managed to stay above $10 for February and March, but began a significant slide in mid-April, especially after the company’s Q1 earnings call on April 26. Although the company reported record bookings, it also reported a net loss of $85.4 million and shares dropped from $9.50 to $8.52 the next day. Shares continued to drop over the past two weeks, hitting an all-time low of $7.45 last Friday.

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Inside Social Games.

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