theEweekly Wrap: China opts in, Chrome users opt out
|China might||The chairman of China Mobile Ltd has been in talks with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Bloomberg revealed this week. Wang Jianzhou of the state-own network revealed he met with the social media pioneer on his visit to China last month; apparently, they discussed “the possibility of cooperation”, although no deal was made. During his visit, Zuckerberg also visited the head offices of Baidu, China’s most popular search engine.
China’s infamous firewall began blocking several websites including Facebook in 2009, following riots in the Xinjiang region. China Mobile also blocked its network in Xinjiang, with restricted text messaging only being reintroduced in January 2010. According to the China Internet Network Information Centre, the country has 457 million internet users, so cooperation could be very lucrative indeed for Facebook.
|No more cookies||Google has launched a tool available to download as an extension to the Chrome browser, which will allow users to opt out of personalised ads. The ads, which use browser tracking cookies to ensure relevance to the user, appear on many e-commerce and content sites, and are particularly common in paid social media marketing. This should have minimal effect on advertisers as ads will still appear. Google warned: “Your experience of online ads may change: You may see the same ads repeatedly on particular websites, or see ads that are less relevant to you.”
The plug-in, known as Keep My Opt Outs, is similar to the tool provided by the National Advertising Initiative. However, this tool had an inherent flaw in that it wiped the user’s preferences and opt out choices whenever they deleted their browser cookies. Google has made Keep My Opt Outs open-source so versions for other browsers should be available soon.
|iPlayer on iOS||A full year after it was first announced, it seems the BBC iPlayer app for iOS is nearing completion. Paidcontent.co.uk reported that the service would soon be available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, six months after being given the go-ahead by the BBC Trust.
While many of the BBC’s services are being scaled back due to harsh cuts, the iPlayer is going from strength to strength. The service is soon to launch worldwide with a subscription charge, while 145 million programmes were viewed in December; around four per cent of these were on mobile devices. The iPlayer app for iOS, as well as a dedicated BBC Sports app, will be available in the app store soon. There is still no word on an Android iPlayer app.
|Professionals only||Social media marketing has come to LinkedIn, the network for professionals. The self-service PPC ads centre – innovatively named LinkedIn Ads – was officially unveiled on Wednesday after two years of beta testing. In keeping with the nature of the network, the ads can be targeted depending on job title, company or group, as well as the usual location, age and gender.
Although LinkedIn has 90 million members, some analysts question whether it is the best way for advertisers to spend their money. Search Engine Land concluded it is “expensive on a per-click basis”, while according to the Wall Street Journal, “the average Facebook user spent nearly five and a half hours [last month] flipping through user profiles, commenting on photos and playing games. The average LinkedIn user was there just 12 minutes.”