Earlier today, Twitter announced that it will allow advertisers to target their promoted content based on the keywords in a tweet. I had a brief conversation with Senior Director of Revenue Products Kevin Weil who laid out Twitter’s perspective on the announcement’s significance.
“People always say that you are what you tweet,” Weil said. (Always?) At the same time, he noted that the content of those tweets haven’t been a significant part of Twitter’s ad targeting — instead the company uses things like your device, geographic location, and “interest graph” based on people you follow. With today’s announcement, he said the content in public tweets have now become a “first-class citizen.”
Coverage of the announcement, including TechCrunch’s, has emphasized the ability this gives Twitter to target ads based on purchase intent, similar to Google’s search advertising. Weil made a similar point, but with a slightly different spin. He said that Twitter’s current interest graph targeting allows advertisers to find the “who” — in the other words, the audience that’s likely to be interested in the topics that they want to promote.
“With keyword targeting, you get the when,” he said. So an advertiser isn’t just targeting based on your general interests, but also what you’re interested in right now. Twitter’s blog post described this as reaching an audience “at the right moment, in the right context.”
Weil said that this shouldn’t change the experience for the user. They won’t see more ads — it’s just an extra way to target those users. Nor does it change Twitter’s emphasis on only showing ads that are genuinely engaging to users, he argued. Engagement rates for Twitter’s ads are usually 1 percent to 3 percent, but they’ve been significantly higher in early tests of ads that also use keyword targeting.
He added that this is something that could be useful to both small and large advertisers. For example, if there was a big sporting event, a large brand advertiser might want to run an ad targeting anyone who’s talking about the game. A neighborhood bar, on the other hand, could advertise their happy hour deal by targeting similar keywords, then use geotargeting to limit their audience to users nearby.
Weil will be speaking on our advertising panel at Disrupt NY, and I hope to get more details about the program from him then.
Originally posted here: Twitter’s Kevin Weil Says The Big Advantage Of The Company’s New Keyword Targeting Is Timing
Mobile ad startup Drawbridge offers technology that helps identify when multiple devices are being used by a single user — something that’s pretty appealing to advertisers, but could also have significant privacy implications. Drawbridge is announcing today that it’s partnering with privacy management company TRUSTe so that people who see Drawbridge-served ads can opt out of the targeting.
We hear about companies working with TRUSTe all the time — there are enough of them that announcements can start to feel pretty ho-hum. But the Drawbridge partnership seemed worth pointing out because it’s another sign that TRUSTe’s AdChoices model, where consumers can opt out of data collection and targeting, is spreading to mobile. And it’s also the first time that opting out has applied across multiple devices.
Founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan said that as with other TRUSTe-enabled mobile ads, ads served by Drawbridge will now carry an AdChoices icon. If you click on the icon, you’ll get the option to avoid any interest-based ad targeting from TRUSTe partners, or to avoid any Drawbridge ads. Once you’ve opted out, that choice will apply across all the devices that Drawbridge knows are yours, Sivaramakrishnan said — she described it as “a very conservative approach to privacy preference management.”
VP of Product Eric Rosenblum added, “We always felt that a strong commitment to privacy controls was going to be important to our business model.” He noted that not many people actually use AdChoices to opt out, but it’s important to offer the option, he said, because “it would be a pity to in any way inhibit [cross-device ad targeting's] growth because of people’s concerns about privacy.” And even if you don’t opt out, he and Sivaramakrishnan said that from the start, Drawbridge has not collected any personally identifiable information.
I also asked whether the approach that Drawbridge takes to privacy might change if people become more comfortable with the technology over time, and Sivaramakrishnan said, “”We want to be setting the standard around this. But look, it’s an evolving space, it’s a new space. It’s sort of the next frontier. … That’s not to say there won’t be new thought processes along the way.”
Drawbridge’s integration with AdChoices went live last week.
Cybercriminals have started targeting Android device owners looking to connect and modify their smartphones and tablets. They are using searches for phrases like “Windows Android drivers” and everything in between to serve up malware for Windows computers as well as malware for Android devices distributed via fake Google Play stores.
One such Yahoo search result is for the Samsung Galaxy GIO S5660 but naturally it is very likely cybercriminals are targeting more than just one device and on more than just one search engine. Nevertheless, visiting the Russian URL in question automatically downloads a file called install.exe, detected by GFI as as Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT.
The Trojan modifies Internet Explorer’s homepage to a sign-up page for a Russian “escort” site. Yet the scam doesn’t stop there. If a user accesses the same site via an Android device, he or she is led to various different malicious sites.
One of them takes the user to Russian sites containing fake search results. All the links on the search pages direct users to one of five fake Google Play stores:
GFI says: “Thinking that they’re on the actual Google Play website, it is highly likely that users may end up downloading malware onto their mobile devices.” We don’t think it’s “highly likely,” especially given that the searcher set out looking for USB drivers, but it wouldn’t be the first time Android users are duped by fake Google Play stores.
Either way, there are two kinds of Android Trojan premium SMS apps being distributed on these fake stores, both detected as Trojan.AndroidOS.Generic.A. Like the majority of Android malware, these malicious apps sends expensive international text messages to earn their creators revenue. Some variants even connect to a Command & Control (C&C) server to send and retrieve data, as well as await further instructions.
GFI offers the following advice:
These fake markets are looking more and more sleek and professional, so extra care is advised. Only visit and download genuine apps from the real Google Play website by keying in play.google.com to the address bar of your mobile or PC internet browser. This ensures that you will not be directed to sites that merely look like the actual site. This also ensures that the readily available apps you wish to download are not malicious.
Yet GFI has forgotten about the other side of the story. Windows users looking for Android USB drivers should heed the same advice: only navigate to official sources to download tools for your phone. These include the site for your phone’s manufacturer as well as your carrier’s site.
Image credit: Carl Silver
Adelphic Mobile, a mobile ad startup founded by executives from Quattro (which Apple acquired and turned into its iAd program), has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Google Ventures.
The startup previously raised a $2 million seed round led by Matrix Partners, who also contributed to the new funding. In the funding press release, Google Ventures managing partner Rich Miner said Adelphic is “pioneering a new way to identify mobile consumers by taking vast amounts of data and mining it to develop a holistic picture of the mobile user for brand owners.”
The company says it uses predictive modeling to deliver better targeting for advertisers, analyzing 30 different signals to determine a visitor’s age, gender, time, and place, and that’s already leading to a big improvement in campaign results.
Jennifer Lum was vice president of ad operations at Quattro, and she founded Adelphic with her former Quattro colleague Changfeng Weng back in 2010. She told me activity on the platform is now approaching a total of 20 billion transactions, and the round will help Adelphic continue to grow, both by expanding the tech team and by hiring more marketers — with a team of 22, it hasn’t really had much of a marketing team before this, she said.
Since Adelphic first publicly announced its technology and funding in March, we’ve seen the launch of a number of other mobile targeting startups (including AdMobius, which was also founded by team members from Quattro and iAd). Lum said that seems like a “natural evolution” of the industry: “To take mobile advertising to the next level, we really need to move away from devices and carriers to real people and consumers.” At the same time, she said Adelphic’s technology “is still pretty unique” — there are other companies offering data management, or connecting desktop targeting with mobile, whereas Adelphic is “really focused on mobile as a channel” and helping brands understand their audiences on that channel.
Read the original: Ad Targeting Startup Adelphic Mobile Raises $10M Led By Google Ventures
Nexage is hoping to expand the capabilities of its mobile ad exchange with the launch of a new service called Nexage Connect.
Mark Connon, the company’s executive vice president of corporate and business development, said advertisers and publishers can do a number of things (largely related to targeting) in the desktop world that they don’t have easy access to in mobile, due to restrictions on third-party cookies. So Nexage is taking a platform-style approach by integrating with outside services.
For example, one of the company’s initial partners is PlaceIQ, which can give advertisers more location analytics about the people viewing their ads. Another is TRUSTe, which allows publishers to give readers an opt-out option from behavioral targeting. Nexage Connect is launching with four partners, and Chief Marketing Officer Victor Milligan said the company plans to “expand the number of ecosystem partners” significantly next year.
In many cases, Nexage customers could integrate these services on their own, but in this case Nexage gets to handle all the technical hassles, and it offers a single place where advertisers and publishers can add services as desired. The exact details of the integration will differ from company to company, but Connon said there will “literally be check boxes to allow these attributes.”
Nexage recently raised a $15 million Series B from SingTel Innov8, Hearst, and others.