Internet Marketing News Update #221, January 28, 2014

The daily deals fad may have expired.
Flash sales and daily deals were popular among mobile marketers a year ago, but seem to have become almost extinct now. Survey figures from BDO USA show that while 30% of mobile marketers used flash sales and daily deals a year ago, just 5% do now. Gaining instead are text messaging (used by 33% of mobile marketers, up 10% from last year) and mobile coupons (used by 28%, up 8%).

Smartphone and PC usage on social networks are similar across demographics.
While the degree of social network engagement varies somewhat by age, gender, and race, one trend that is consistent across most demographics is that people within each group use smartphones and PCs to access the Internet at fairly similar rates. What's also true is that tablet use on social networks generally trails other devices, though it has achieved parity at the highest income bracket surveyed.

Internet ad revenues still growing at a double-digit annual pace.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that US online ad revenues grew to $10.69 billion in the third quarter of 2013. This represents a 15% year-over-year increase, and a 4.2% improvement over the second quarter. Mobile ad growth is showing even more spectacular growth, hitting $3 billion in US revenues during the first six months of this year, compared to $1.2 billion for the first six months of 2012.
MediaPost News

IBM gets patent for encrypted data-mining technique.
IBM has been granted a patent for a process by which companies can analyze encrypted data for marketing insights without having to compromise customer privacy by decoding the data. IBM claims the process will make cloud computing more secure.

Internet security advocates start playing hardball.
Approximately 4.6 million Snapchat users recently had contact information published online, in an apparent attempt to embarrass the site into addressing security concerns. Gibson Security originally publicized the site's vulnerability because it felt the site had failed to address these concerns, and hackers then followed Gibson's lead by exploiting that vulnerability to further dramatize the security issue.

Revenue figures suggest free apps ultimately earn the most.
Analytics firm Distimo reports that better than 90% of non-advertising app revenue comes from free apps that then offer products for purchase within the app, as opposed to from coming from fees to purchase the apps themselves. In another significant development, Apple's lead in app store revenue share declined from 70% to 63% between June and November of 2013, with Google Play being the beneficiary.

Gartner forecast includes a milestone for Android, and changes for tablets as the market grows.
Influential technology consultants Gartner project that 2014 will be the year that Android devices cross the 1 billion units threshold. Tablets remain a dynamic driver of growth, with total units shipped expected to rise by 47% in 2014. However, two characteristics of tablets are expected to get smaller even as their market grows: screen size is trending down from full size to 7 inches, and average price is also falling.
MediaPost News

Pinterest acquisition could signal a new basis for ad targeting.
Pinterest has acquired VisualGraph, a company with technology that combines image recognition with data mining tools. The move is expected to pave the way for Pinterest to allow advertisers to target ads at people according to the types of images they regularly post.
Direct Marketing News

Facebook to discontinue Sponsored Stories.
Effective April 9, Facebook will no longer offer advertisers the option of marketing via Sponsored Stories. Sponsored Stories have been a controversial form of advertising, in which users who indicated that they liked a brand could find that preference end up being referenced in an ad without their permission. Facebook had previously paid to settle a class-action lawsuit over the practice.
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