Nausicaa Renner and David Uberti:
The tech giant has come under fire in recent months for providing publishers and advertisers faulty metrics to evaluate audience reach. In September, Facebook apologized for long overestimating the time users spent watching videos. After additional measurement discrepancies were uncovered over the following months, it pledged to undergo an audit by the Media Rating Council, an industry watchdog.
Many of the government officials who were involved in the decisions surrounding the GSE conservatorship are now in the private sector, working on proposals for much-anticipated GSE reform.
Without getting too deeply into the weeds of this even more complicated tale, government officials have been working with Wall Street lobbyists for years on a plan to have a consortium of private banking interests step into the shoes of Fannie and Freddie.
If this concept actually goes through, it would be the unlikeliest of coups for Wall Street. Having nearly triggered a global depression eight years ago, the usual-suspect, too-big-to-fail banks would essentially be put in control of the same housing markets they all but wrecked last time around.
This would be a nonstarter politically, the ultimate public-relations disaster, were it not for the fact that Fannie and Freddie are about the only companies on earth less popular than the Wall Street banks. Still, replacing the one with the other would be madness by any objective standard.
Are the gory details of that plan what the government is working so hard to keep under seal?
We may never know. Judge Sweeney has yet to rule on the vast majority of the documents, and there’s no guarantee that she will ultimately unseal the remainder of the material. We may never find out what the government was so keen on keeping secret.
The only thing that is clear is that there’s something odd going on, with the Obama administration asserting privilege over a volume of papers so large, it would make Nixon blush.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” says David Thompson of Cooper and Kirk, one of the attorneys fighting to unseal the material.
Related: sharing only part of Madison’s $460,000,000 k-12 budget.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.
The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.
Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said.
Unacceptable ad types would be those recently defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that released a list of ad standards in March. According to those standards, ad formats such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads with sound and “prestitial” ads with countdown timers are deemed to be “beneath a threshold of consumer acceptability.”
Some ads are more equal than others.
Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke:
An e-monopsonist and his cousin the e-scraper are robbing an upstream bank. The alarm is triggered. The nearby antitrust enforcer, seeing them holding bags of cash, asks: ‘Have you seen any suspects running away from the scene?’
Let us unpack this tale’s moral.
With the rise of Google, Amazon, Facebook and other ‘super-platforms,’ we tend to look down rather than up. It seems like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are using their power in the marketplace to deliver great value to us — wrestling lower prices from producers in the case of Amazon, bringing news onto a single platform in the case of Facebook, and organizing the world’s information, in the case of Google.
While these companies appear to be furthering our interests, a closer look reveals how these super-platforms may wield their power downstream to harm us, the consumer. As our book Virtual Competition explores, the super-platforms can use our personal data to better price discriminate and their disincentive to protect our privacy (and promote technologies that do).
Less discussed, but of significant concern, are the upstream effects of these super-platforms. They are in fact harming many of the companies from whom they buy or acquire content — and that harm ultimately harms us. Our competition laws deal with this kind of buyer power. These concerns, however, are often low on the enforcement agenda due to the indirect effects on consumer welfare. In the digital age, that urgently needs to change.
Lindsey Rupp , Lauren Coleman-Lochner , and Nick Turner:
The battered American retail industry took a few more lumps this week, with stores at both ends of the price spectrum preparing to close their doors.
At the bottom, the seemingly ubiquitous Payless Inc. shoe chain filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to shutter hundreds of locations. Ralph Lauren Corp., meanwhile, said it will close its flagship Fifth Avenue Polo store — a symbol of old-fashioned luxury that no longer resonates with today’s shoppers.
And the teen-apparel retailer Rue21 Inc. could be the next casualty. The chain, which has about 1,000 stores, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the situation. Just a few years ago, it was sold to private equity firm Apax Partners for about a billion dollars.
Simplify your presentation.
Discuss price and activity.
Agent App CMA.
Americans spend 72% of their internet time on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Stay on top of the market with agent and public app notifications.
A cool feature: notifications are branded with my preferred agent and broker.
Kamil Klamann and Sekoul Krastev
In the summer of 2016, pedestrians on New York’s Fifth Avenue encountered crowds of (mostly young) people, hastily running into Central Park, smartphones in hand, shouting out Pokémon names and cross-street locations. Within days of its release on July 6, 2016, Pokémon Go, an app that brought the 1990s gaming craze to virtual life, became a phenomenon. Its 40 million daily active users (at its peak) surpassed those of Tinder, Snapchat, and Twitter and created a level of in-app engagement that Facebook could only envy. It took complete control of the commutes, lunch breaks, and social gatherings of legions of people around the world. Intent on “catching” Pokémon in the wild, gamers thronged into museums, streets, even Arlington National Cemetery.
Although the Pokémon Go fad now has predictably faded, it holds important lessons for companies intent on reaching and engaging consumers where they are, especially retailers: The game, the first truly social augmented reality (AR) experience, enthralled the new breed of omniconnected consumers as nothing else had done previously. Players not only shared an insider world where they could fight each other, but they also walked together and gathered at PokeStops in the middle of the night. The people who embraced the augmented reality of Pokémon Go live in a world where the line between real and digital is so blurred that they essentially became one and the same — constantly augmented and improved by invisible technologies. And they are hungry for better, more personalized experiences.
American Press Institute:
When Americans encounter news on social media, how much they trust the content is determined less by who creates the news than by who shares it, according to a new experimental study from the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Whether readers trust the sharer, indeed, matters more than who produces the article —or even whether the article is produced by a real news organization or a fictional one, the study finds.
Branding is back, folks. Geeky grandson of Draper is here. If you’ve been living unhealthily off SEO and are feeling the pinch, go hit the gym. Start building new muscles. Your arms are skinny from disuse. Performance marketing. Social media marketing. PR. Branding. Look at your unaided awareness numbers. If you don’t know what that means, go figure it out. Start bulking up. Oh, and you’ll probably need money, too. Good luck.
z-estimate was brilliant PR, despite its lack of substance in many cases. However, Zillow has also embraced seo tactics.
Eric T.K. Lim and Chee-Wee Tan
While technology has been making more devices “smart”, and we carry phones with all sorts of sensors, these haven’t yet been systematically applied to advertising’s central problem – engagement. The blockchain, however, will make advertising much smarter.
Traditional advertising – think of posters on bus stops and TV commercials – is easy to ignore and its effectiveness is hard to measure. Even online advertising has problems measuring engagement. But with the blockchain, advertisers will be able to tap into the data in our devices, automatically pull together multiple sources of information, and even offer rewards to consumers.
What is the blockchain again?
Think of the blockchain as a kind of a public spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is stored simultaneously on a bunch of different computers and is encrypted.
Joichi ItoNeha NarulaRobleh Ali:
Even years into the deployment of the internet, many believed that it was still a fad. Of course, the internet has since become a major influence on our lives, from how we buy goods and services, to the ways we socialize with friends, to the Arab Spring, to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Yet, in the 1990s, the mainstream press scoffed when Nicholas Negroponte predicted that most of us would soon be reading our news online rather than from a newspaper.
Fast forward two decades: Will we soon be seeing a similar impact from cryptocurrencies and blockchains? There are certainly many parallels. Like the internet, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are driven by advances in core technologies along with a new, open architecture — the Bitcoin blockchain. Like the internet, this technology is designed to be decentralized, with “layers,” where each layer is defined by an interoperable open protocol on top of which companies, as well as individuals, can build products and services. Like the internet, in the early stages of development there are many competing technologies, so it’s important to specify which blockchain you’re talking about. And, like the internet, blockchain technology is strongest when everyone is using the same network, so in the future we might all be talking about “the” blockchain.