Sponsored Stories driving mobile revenues

“Sponsored Stories.. are on a $1 million a day annual run-rate (so $365 million a year), around half of which is mobile. Sponsored stories and newsfeed are the cornerstone of our mobile monetization strategy”
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook.

Most talk about Facebook’s revenues focus on its ads on the right hand side inside Facebook. Social advertising I suppose you could call it but this is really just standard targeted advertising which has been around for over a decade, albeit thanks to the nature of the social network the targeting is not bad. Like all fixed position advertising though, users train themselves to mostly screen out these ads. Not bad for branding, poor for direct response.

Sponsored Stories is the real innovation though. In stream, it is in the stream of information that users are actively scanning. Much better for brand impact and also better direct response. Even better for Facebook, this can work in mobile as well – and shows up in its most recent results – 50% of revenue from Sponsored stories came from mobile.

Like all interruptive advertising though, getting the balance right is key – with complete control of the platform though, Facebook can easily identify the right balance and quickly. Facebook could also potentially alter the frequency by geography and device as well – I am sure both these factors have an impact on how many ads you are willing to endure.

Being Bold

If every engineer takes those four concepts and applies it to their environment and their business, they will see the benefit and have an impact on what they’re trying to do

Jay Parikh, Facebook

The four concepts are: “Focusing on Impact”, “Moving Fast”, “Being Bold” and Bring Open”.

This Venturebeat article is a useful read for all those building out not just their engineering teams but also the companies themselves. Having worked with engineering teams that made use of traditionally slow release cycles and the more modern fast iterative development teams in the past, the ability to adapt and change quickly is for me its key benefit of the latter. The other behaviour that seems to fall out from this approach is an ability to  feel that anything is possible. Once inconceivable tasks suddenly become achievable.

That can only be a good approach for succeeding in building out fast growth successful companies.


Office is becoming irrelevant

However, with the rise of tablets, office workers have suddenly noticed that they don’t need Office anymore. All they need is an email app, a notepad, and something like Dropbox. You can open Office docs on any device, you can edit text on nearly any tablet, and $9.99 gets you a capable word processor on the iPad. In short, Office is becoming irrelevant.

Really? I’m not sure if John Biggs lives in the same business world as the rest of us. Journalists maybe, the rest of us. No.

(via The Post-Office Generation | TechCrunch)