Even if I summarize all the analytics solutions out there, like ads, Facebook stream, Youtube, Amazon, Netflix. What they usually do is they figure out what I did in recent history or in general and present me more of that. I don't know about other people, but that's absolutely not what I want. That's boring, or maybe even unnecessary.
Like, if I just bought a book about Linux system administration the only reason I would buy a second one would be because the first one sucked (and Amazon knows the ratings of the books). A reasonable suggestion after that would be something people do with Linux, like hosting a Wordpress blog. Honestly I might not even know what I would do with my newly acquired skill once I succeeded with that topic. Also it's quite tiresome to learn. Maybe after reading 30% of it I would like to insert a simple but interesting novel or comic book. Why not suggest something like that to me?
Or I just watched an action movie on Netflix. Then I don't need other action movie suggestions. After that maybe I want to watch a character focussed tv show.
What we need is not a "I know what you did and here is more of that" suggestion engine. What we need is a "oh that's getting boring, here is other awesome stuff that may surprise you" suggestion engine. Figure out the stuff I don't know I want and then suggest that.
And honestly, not a single of these billion-dollar-engines out there do that for me at the moment.
Of course ecomm audience management at their scale is super hard, but these are challenges most etailers face.
I really agree on this. The Youtube homepage exemplifies it for me. It recommends only content the same as or very similar to what I've watched before, and only the most popular of that. I've watched a ton of conference talks, programming tutorials, etc. yet those never show up. It's mostly junk with clickbait titles from big channels.
I do like Youtube's recommendation algorithm for the side bar suggestions on a video page, though I get more sponsored-looking content now than in the past. It's been useful at least for finding music. And YT does have a page for improving homepage recommendations, which granted I haven't tried yet.
Whereas the "related" sidebar while actually watching a video is great.
You do? It does ok if I'm watching something technical or some reviews. It's laughably bad at music and wider interest content such as a documentary. If you hit a music track, 50% of the recommendations are the same damn track in degrading levels of quality, 30% the same band. The 10% that's left for other artists are normally a really bad connection to the mood. The last 10% lately is taken by awfully bad match, clearly sponsored, junk though never identified as sponsored.
Most of the time I'd like suggestions in the same genre or mood of music. If I've just watched an upbeat rock track why not suggest other upbeat rock tracks? Last.fm radio was superb at this, for years, until CBS destroyed it. So it can't be that hard.
I think the only times I use the sidebar is if the vid I landed on is terrible quality or a bad hit.
I tried it out just now for an album I like. I get about 25% unrelated junk or stuff I've already watched, but the rest are also full albums that seem like fairly solid recommendations based on the album at hand (Jan Jelinek's "Loop Finding Jazz Records").
Start with a random metal track in mind an I find I get a band mix suggestion, a nordic folk metal mix, 11 more tracks from the same band, 3 tracks I listened to very recently, 4 connected other artists and "5 CREEPIEST Old Found Footages - Recommended for you" as a perfect example of the crap being injected recently. They must notice I've never once clicked one.
I do clear cookies and history periodically, so perhaps not having a multiple year history counts against.
In that other link I posted YT suggests pruning your watched history to get better recommendations -- but that's a huge undertaking given the thousands of garbage videos that I've clicked out of in five seconds. Seems like it would be better if the algorithm only operated on data from videos a user manually "likes".
Never hear of it. Can you share a link to it or a name of it?
I didn't look closely at it the first time, but now that I have, it's not that useful.
Adding insult to injury, I only buy lumber from their competitor, who, although having a sucky website where I can't look up dimensions, will let me use their compound mitre saw for free, saving me a $600-$1000 purchase.
I'd argue that the new algorithmic feed makes things less democratic because naturally the most popular images and posters will trend to the top of my feed, leaving the friends who post once in a blue moon towards the bottom (even though I'd like to see their images just as much). The randomness of chronological was nice, now I just browse in my bubble of existing interests.
What the hell do they want out of me at that point? I already pay for an account, and if I want a second account then I already know where to get one, from the same place I got the first one: eveonline.com
Jesus, the whole thing was farcical, for all their tracking and profiling.
On FB, that's the remarketing side, and it's a lot more manual. Generally the goals and data will be selected by the advertiser themselves. It works, but it's a bit blunt-weapon-y - let's say it'll catch 10% of people who are absolutely going to convert, and 90% of people who are absolutely uninterested for campaign X. All percentages here are pulled from nowhere, they're just to give you a general idea.
Remarketing is popular because conversions. Also, if you're well-off or otherwise a desirable target, you cost more to reach through Facebook - so you're likely to see more remarketing campaigns, because automatic campaigns will adjust to target less expensive individuals until they've gone through all of them.
Facebook's automatic targeting is a lot more sophisticated, and much more in line with the suggestion engine idea. Let's say it will catch 0.2% of people who are absolutely going to convert, 9.8% of people who might possibly convert, 45% of people who vaguely appreciate the ad being there without converting (including people who might Like/Share/comment on the post), and 45% of people for whom the ad doesn't really connect. It's not usually quite as powerful for conversion, but on average it's pretty accurate at guessing if you'll be interested.
Also, StumbleUpon was a decent suggestion engine once upon a time - if they could actually design a proper extension that did something similar, I'm sure it would be a success.
My favourite one is travels. They keep insisting that I travel to the place I just come back.
In the other hand, I see this as a good thing. We really don't want they target you perfectly, because that means that they know everything.
Advertisers with perfect information is, in my opinion, a scary proposition, but probably unavoidable in the long term.
That's actually what made me install adblock on my new system even though I was resolved to try to withstand ads this time.
"Oh you just bough a mobile case, let me show you ten other types" or "You just bought this book, here's the paperback version of it"
However, even with their inferior targeting FB and Google are making billions. So it might be the case that there is no further incentive to improve in this area and they are focusing on making their core product better to get even more users.
If I just added some hiking boots, show me fluffy socks, gloves and coats. Maybe a compass and rucksack. Nope, more boots x4. Also bought: More boots x2, 1 pair of socks and a USB stick. Top Sellers in Athletic & Outdoor Shoes: Guess what? Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations... At which point it's getting tedious.
The only time the also-bought ad engines work is when buying music or books. I often buy those in 3s and 4s, and same artist/author or similar genre work pretty well there. For most everything else I buy they just don't work and are about as welcome as a party political tv slot.
I'm amazed none of them have tried to get a bit better at this.
The Holy Grail is Just In Time or Contextual purchases. The opportunity to buy something when your need is greatest. Calendar app which advertises to you based on your activities. Or the Amazon Dash.
The problem is pretty much all advertising is corruptible and becomes evil. I press your Dash button when you aren't looking.
Part of the reason ads annoy me is that I'm just not purchasing stuff every day. (Who does?)
If I got the ads I'm supposedly interested in once a week, that might be more useful.
Like, I went to a coding bootcamp. Making that decision means browsing the web like someone who is interested in that bootcamp. I ended up seeing a ton of advertisements for the bootcamp I was currently enrolled in. If you do things that are similar to what a company's target market is, people will notice that and turn that into cash.
Basically, it's the end result of a process that confuses a measure with what it's measuring. You want to optimize for "interested in buying X". What you can actually look at is "things that people interested in buying X do more often than people who aren't interested". People buying advertising optimize for that, since it's actually possible to do so. And then since buyers actually care about the measurable proxies, that's what ad-space sellers give.
Advertisers create a cookie list based on people who visited a particular product page. They fail to subtract from that the users who visited the checkout page.
If you're paying on a CPC, the cost to you (the advertiser) is negligible. Most people who have already purchased aren't going to click your ad again.
If you're paying on a CPM or CPV basis, then you're liking wasting money. It probably gets lost in the noise of the waste in all advertising. I have no idea if it's negligible or not, but it would help the user experience if the larger players helped more.
Probably they just don't care enough about their ads being a few percent more efficient as long as they are profitable.
I'm genuinely curious because those of us that are experienced in the hands on management of this stuff know how hard of a problem that can be in some circumstances.
Fwiw exclusion lists can be very effective if you can properly cookie someone at the appropriate time or leverage a data broker to pipe in CRM data. But it is by no means an easy thing to solve for.
If I create an ad on Facebook and people click on it, leave comments, and share it, Facebook will mark it as quality content and discounts the price per impression. It seems that Facebook wants to create the ad experience of GQ or Vogue and gives money incentive for advertisers to do it.
Facebook knows I'm into technology and web development. There are lots of great products for web developers created every month. Facebook is a way for companies to find people who are interested in their products. It helps people learn about new products and it helps companies target people who are interested in their new products.
There was a fundraising concert last year for a local charity. I volunteered $300 and time to do Facebook advertising. It yielded several thousands of dollars in ticket sales. For $300 Facebook let me communicate to people who really cared about either the bands who were playing or to people who really cared about the project what was happening. Facebook let me target people who like Candelbox within 40 miles of the venue.
This is good. I don't understand why people hate on it so much.
I think following quote by Banksy/Sean Tejaratchi explains why there are so strong feelings about advertizing. Of course, not _all_ advertizing is bad, as your example shows. Only the vast majority...
"People are taking the piss out of you every day. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs."
Completely wrong. Advertisers have to follow the law and that includes these laws. For example, if an advertisers uses your photo without your permission, you can sue them for copyright infringement.
Advertisers must negotiate and pay a property-owner for the right to display their ad. Graffiti artists are able to enter into similar agreements. When graffiti is authorized and/or invited by property owners, the artwork is welcome. When unauthorized, graffiti is usually no more than vandalism of someone else's property and thus infringement on their personal rights.
(And just to note, I almost kept only the first paragraph of my original comment for why people have strong feelings against ads, but decided to include also the rest for some context.)
Perhaps because you're looking at specific subjective examples, rather than the overall end-user experience of advertising.
Take your example of a Candelbox concert ad. Let's say that band made more revenue as a result of your ad. But that money was diverted from other uses, perhaps depriving another band of revenue.
So, how does the losing side compete with that? Advertise too! Louder, cleverer, sneakier, anyway that works.
It's that adversarial aspect that makes the overall experience degrading for the viewer. Did you consider that the people you targetted also saw, say, five other ads on the same page? And several hundred ads online that day let alone billboards, commercial broadcasts, posters on the back of buses... cumulatively it's a bombardment, with each ad designed to have a subtle psychological effect and intended to siphon people's money in one direction. It's not benign.
TLDR: one ad might be cute, 1000 ads causes push-back.
Because they fundamentally misunderstand how advertising works. Read the comments on any article that discusses advertising and you'll see endless pages of people furious that Facebook or Google or Microsoft are "selling my data", as though an advertiser can click a few buttons and download a list of people's names and addresses and preferences.
It's the same confusion that exists about cookies, which people seem to think are super secretive bits of code that can somehow infiltrate your browser and watch everything you do.
The average person is completely misinformed about how advertising works, and the media breathlessly hypes up that misinformation despite the fact that they know very well exactly how advertising actually works and that nobody (well, nobody like Facebook or Google) is selling your personal information to anyone.
Why put words in my mouth, particularly when those words have nothing to do with what I actually wrote?
To address the meat of your conspiracy theory, Facebook and Google and indeed the vast majority of companies in similar positions with similar data collection activities all have very specific, highly defined privacy statements which explicitly rule out selling direct access to personally identifiable information, and all of them promise to give you notice ahead of time should anything change that would materially affect those agreements. I absolutely trust Google and Facebook never to sell my personal information to an advertiser and I am extremely confident that if they ever decided to do such a thing I'd have ample time to opt out.
None of which, by the way, has anything to do with the manner in which the general public misunderstands advertising. The general consensus is that their personal information is currently being sold to the highest bidder, and that's simply factually inaccurate.
People object to the collection and storage of the data in-and-of-itself. Most people understand that these companies will not sell their competitive edge under current market conditions - but market conditions change and companies change. The privacy policies are subject to change. Radioshack will give you a clue as to what might happen if one of these companies goes bust.
Another point to consider is that so called anonymized datasets have been de-anonymized repeatedly.
Some people aren't like you. They like having higher-level control over what they want; that is, they want to will what they want, and in that effort, they are working in opposition to advertisers, who are trying to make an argument that you should change what you want. The more information you give advertisers, the more leverage you give them to try and sap your willpower as you control your desires; i.e. the more "handles" they have to try and get a grip on your attention and direct it other than as the viewer wills.
If you try and live your life at a higher level than a hedonistic consumer flitting from one pleasure to another, you'll see that people who try and tempt you with new pleasures are not working in your interest. It's as simple as that.
Clearly you don't want what GQ or Vogue is selling. If GQ or Vogue targets your demographic and the ad is ignored, not interacted with, or the X is clicked, Facebook will still show the ad but will charge much, much more.
Facebook does try to encourage advertisers to show you content that you might have been happy to see if a friend or business associate posted it. Facebook by it's incentives to advertisers wants to blur the line between interesting content posted by friends and interesting content posted by advertisers.
To the degree that FB advertising could be used for either ends of the advertising spectrum, FB data gathering for this purpose is at best amoral while averaging immoral. But we both know most advertising on FB isn't selling thirsty people water.
But lets take the numbers: You spend 300$ and got several thousands in revenue. So I would expect something between a 3% to 15% share for Facebook. If you try to evaluate the volunteered time spend (only for the advertisement) and subtracted it from the result, the numbers would already look much worse.
In my case, as Indy developer, I would have to compete with other software companies and my (cheap < 100.000$) advertisement would most likely show up in unappealing places.
Since most small projects are now exclusively financed by advertisement revenues by itself, Facebook created something like a ponzi scheme and most of the advertisement cost trickles away. With minimal profit-margins you also loose the possibility to pay any attention to product quality.
You should also consider that you also had the choice to go from door to door in your neighborhood for transactions. Since Facebook also owns the main communication channel for the web this possibility is bared.
It is not the question if people hate Facebook instead you should consider that Facebook destroyed the free market.
Finally consider that Facebook, as stock cooperation, is growth-oriented. If the advertisement market is ruined they will sell their user data elsewhere.
On the internet, you usually don't pay anything for the content. In return, (1) you get to see ads, (2) whatever information about you can be harvested is potentially made use of in order to make money (other than that obtained by publishing ads).
To be clear: advertising is ok, but using the information somehow obtained by an individual for further advertising is not.
I still haven't managed to wrap my head around how exactly facebook makes money. Do so many people actually click on ads? And this somehow makes billions? I find it very hard to imagine (for myself).
Think of companies like beverage giants, car manufacturers, large consumer products giants, financial institutions etc or almost anyone who advertizes on superbowl on TV. Their primary objective is to build awareness & a certain brand perception among a large segment of consumers so that when you buy their category, you will choose their brand. Coca Cola doesn't necessarily want you to buy it that instant online you see the ad (though if you do, it's a nice bonus). Rather the objective is to build an equity that will make you think of yourself as a "Coke person" instead of say "Pepsi person".
Remember that bulk of the advertizing money in the world comes from such players. They pay facebook a premium for being able to deterministically show your advertizing to a given target audience.
Other small business ads such as local coffee shops, restaurants, etc. that advertise deals/coupons also convert very well and get shared like crazy.
Note that, people generally don't buy things the first time they see a banner about it. The process of today's digital marketing involves nurturing at multiple levels. For eg, I learned about the brand from Facebook. Then, I stumbled upon a blog post written by them. "Wow. Who are these guys? Why do I keep hearing about them?". I learned more about them and maybe bought something from them after a while. Undoubtedly, Facebook uninterrupted ads will (have?) become a major part of this funnel.
What does continue to amaze me is that users tolerate how much data FB collects, how they use the data, how duplicitous they have been over time with users, and how they manipulate your feeds/user experience to benefit their revenue/advertising income. But I have come to realize most people just don't seem to care about privacy that much.
On sites like Facebook? Yes. There's a lot of criticism, much of it justified, about spammy ads online. However, with a system like Facebook's or something like a search engine, the ads being shown are normally for something that might genuinely interest the viewer. That makes a favourable reaction much more likely, and it means far fewer resources are wasted showing ads to people who aren't likely to be interested.
Last one I can remember is from yesterday a new startup doing good, cheap luggage (both carry on and bigger ones) which had me go to their website, spend some time looking at some of their stuff and made me think that I new a new carry on since then and I'm very close in puttin $250 in a carry on...
I guess I travel pretty frequently I don't know if facebook is able to say that I travel a lot by different locations I check in, or from my use of google flights and booking.com etc. but yeah, I never googled anything about luggage or buying anything else related to travelling (except hotel and plane tickets). So pretty interesting to see
"Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy"
Today we got an interesting one. It was an offer to try Blue Apron. If we lived in Palo Alto, I'd chalk it up to geotargeting rich neighborhoods, but we don't live in one. Also, it came to wife who posts recipes on Facebook. It's enough to make us wonder if Blue Apron is somehow linking Facebook targeting data with real world names and addresses. Now I don't know if it's true, but if it is, that's creepy as fuck. That's autodoxing.
Or do you mean that random companies are allowed to put things into your mailbox? In the US, only the US Postal Service is allowed to put things into your mailbox - not even FedEx or UPS are allowed to use it.
That holds for other random companies too. It's allowed in general to put paper in mailboxes I think, especially local businesses such as take-out food places do it occasionally.
Do they perhaps match users' identities to public records? Is it possible to look up home ownership given just a name, demographic information, and contact information?
And this is paper mail!
A good ad is very much appreciated. This is why magazines still make money. This is why the SuperBowl is popular amongst non-football fans. Unfortunately, most ads are spammy which is why internet ads have earned this terrible reputation.
I'd like to see some data supporting this opinion. I'll form the contradictory opinion that no-one really wants to see ads but most recognise that some form of advertisement is necessary to lower the cost of access to some information.
Rather and a _want_, it's more of an acceptable evil, sometimes.
There is probably a threshold at which ads become acceptable, and that probably involve their level of intrusiveness, perceived relevance/usefulness and the privacy risk they pose (although I would guess that the implication of that last point probably fly under the radar of most regular users as it needs some technical understanding of how the web works).
Ads on the internet are nothing more than spam, a privacy risk and some are just outright dangerous.
This industry is pretty much out of control and its bad actors deserve to disappear. They probably still have a few years left before ad blocking becomes mainstream enough that it hurts them enough. We'll all be forced to find new -hopefully better- measures to keep having some of the content we love.
Hopefully, some of the fluff content whose sole purpose is to feature ads will also disappear. Good riddance I say.
Which is why adblockers exist:-p
More seriously, you are right but people only like ads that are entertaining by themselves,introduce them to something new and worthwile or perfectly fit their needs.
Targeted advertising promises to do 3, can't do 1 and actively subverts 2. So I'd say it fails
superbowl ads are popular because they are a spectacle. you know they are going to try to be different/unusual because the companies had to spend millions. you want to see them compete. BUT if you had to watch any of those fantastic ads 10 times everyday you would grow to hate the site of them.
ads in newspapers, magazines, flyers aren't as bad because they are passive. You can read them if you want to (i used to buy computer shopper magazines which are 99% ads). but TV and internet ads are desperate to engage with you.
auto-playing video ad with sound? I will make a note to hate your product and I will bad-mouth it any chance i get.
And the glorious thing is that by giving people the option of opting out, you would be able to cater to the desires of both people.
But now let us be honest.
Giving people what they want is the last thing advertisers care about...
Or a lite version, I could get a tailored magazine sent to my mailbox. That would be the single newsletter I'd actually appreciate.
Quality marketing is fun to watch.
Hence the people (including myself) who only watch the ads. It's hardly isolated to the Superbowl—look at the millions of views which some better ads get on YouTube.
Likewise, I definitely think for many people advertising is part of the magazine experience. I certainly don't mind some of the nicer ads in The New Yorker.
Most of these "quality" commercials could swap out products and the exposure would be the same. People don't want to be sold something, they just want to absorb interesting content. That's what modern advertisement gets wrong.
I think the Get a Mac campaign, for example, is both lots of fun and directly connected to the product being sold.
Now with the internet I do not even read magazines anymore...
Online ads I block. The ads in the magazine can't spy on me or serve me malware.
Yes, but they want to see other things too.
Looking at the same banners upon viewing any page on a website; or looking at more ads than the actual content; or waiting for the content to show up because ads haven't downloaded yet doesn't help.
The only solution I see is Google implementing strict policies to curb the menace. I am pretty sure it's in their technical prowess to implement ad placement restrictions but why aren't they doing it? Maybe, it's in their best interest financially to just be easy on the issue.
As always, people will remember the content of particular bits of entertaining advertisement, regardless of whether or not they remember the actual product or company being advertised.
When was the last time you saw an iconic Facebook app install ad?
If you want to enable sharing of your content on FB and other platforms easily but you do not want to support the tracking madness, you might want to use Shariff. It's setup to not send any tracking information to FB etc unless the user wants to share something.
It seems to me that a lot of that must come from either retailers or financial services, and in either case questions should be asked about how much people understand about what data is being collected for purposes other than simply making the intended purchase and what is done with that data.
Every coin had two faces, wonder how many faces bitcoin will have in the future
I mean this 100%: if you are participating in ad tech, collecting data on grandmothers in large databases, quit your job now. You are doing harm.
I work for a company that makes a lot of money selling targeted ads. If I thought it was harming people, I wouldn't work there. But you haven't convinced me of that.
But in brief: while you are making a lot of money selling targeted ads by enabling an apparatus that collates detailed information about the lives of everyone on the planet, where they live, how they live, who they speak to, other people are creating machines and systems of murder that increase the power to kill and persecute based on this kind of surveillance.
The 20th century was replete with histories of people who used systems of surveillance to terrorize, persecute and kill hundreds of millions of people. The technology you are building is not only likely to be, but IS being used to this purpose today.
I implore you to stop. What you're building is a system of power and control. It is immensely dangerous. I don't imagine I will convince you through this, or any comment I can make here, but maybe I can provoke a kernel of doubt.