Net Briefs - April 2016

The Power of eBay

New data from TrueShip is shedding light on just how successful the 20-year-old eBay marketplace is, revealing that at any given time there are more than 800 million items on sale, and more than 160 million potential bidders/buyers. Perhaps the most surprising stat of the study, however, is that 80 percent of the goods on eBay are new.

Just DEAL with Ad Blockers

The IAB is taking on ad blockers with the release of its Publisher Ad Blocking Primer, a guide that outlines tactics for publishers to persuade people to stop using the technology. The primer uses the acronym "DEAL" as its recommended approach, encouraging publishers to: Detect ad blocking to initiate a conversation; Explain the value exchange advertising enables; Ask for changed behavior to maintain a reasonable exchange; Lift restrictions or Limit access in response to consumer choices. The guidance comes at a time when ad blocking adoption is growing fast among consumers, with recent data from Tune showing the number of ad blocking mobile users has more than tripled from Nov. 2015 to Jan. 2016.

More Than A Like

Brands on Facebook now have new types of interactions to measure, as the social network has finally rolled out its anticipated "Reactions" feature, which provides Facebook users with a new way to express their sentiment. In addition to "like," users can choose one of five different reactions, including love, haha, wow, sad or angry. It will be interesting to see how Reactions impact brands, as audiences may be more likely to engage with posts if they can express the way it makes them feel beyond the traditional "like" option. Product Videos Equal More Conversions Ecommerce retailers are finally catching on to the power of product videos. Invodo's 2015 Product Video Benchmarks Report reveals that the use of product videos by ecommerce retailers grew by 41 percent in 2015 compared to 2014, with total video views increasing by 42 percent year-over-year (YOY). What's more, the data found mobile views increased by nearly 150 percent YOY. The highlight of the study, however, was product videos' impact on conversions, with the data showing that video viewers are 1.7 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers.

Social Media Managers Rejoice!

It only took five-plus years, but Instagram now supports users who manage more than one account on the platform, enabling them to switch between business and personal profiles without having to completely sign out of each account first. While it seems like a simple change, it's removing an annoyance for many social media managers, which might encourage greater time spent on the platform for business purposes.

The Mighty Mobile Experience

Consumers take their mobile experiences really seriously. In fact, an overwhelming 93 percent of survey respondents from a recent Sitecore study say they take immediate action if their mobile expectations aren't met, while 33 percent never purchase from the brand again. On the bright side, when a good mobile experience is achieved, 76 percent of respondents say that it has an influence on their loyalty to a brand.



$175 Million

In an extension of its Series F financing round, Snapchat reportedly raised $175 million in new funding from Fidelity Investments and other investors.

$42 Million

Social media management platform Sprout Social closed its Series C investment round, raising $42 million from Goldman Sachs, Merchant Banking Division and New Enterprise Associates.

$2.6 Billion

IBM Watson Health announced plans to acquire Truven Health Analytics for a whopping $2.6 billion, which when completed will make IBM's health cloud one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of health-related data.


Which software program is most important for the success of your business operations and why? To answer this question and possibly be included in an upcoming issue, visit Website Magazine's Question of the Month online.


POPULAR WITH Supercharge Your SEO with JSON-LD

+ It's difficult to miss the rich snippets appearing on Google's search engine result pages (SERPs), including review stars, product pricing information and more. Web professionals would be wise to know how to implement this type of information coding.

The Great Debate: Developer vs. Designer

+ It can be difficult to differentiate between Web design and Web development. While it's a non-issue for most, designers and developers must figure out where their job starts and ends to set expectations and even boundaries with clients and teams.

Avoid These 7 #OnlineShoppingProblems

+ Online shoppers have no problem voicing their concerns on Twitter with the hashtag #OnlineShoppingProblems. Merchants can take a look at these grievances to provide better shopping experiences and avoid being a future Twitter punchline.



See what has the 'Net community all abuzz with Website Magazine's #WebTechWatch series, a monthly roundup profiling both emerging and established technologies and some of the most useful solutions for today's Web workers. Submit your own recommendations by tweeting us @WebsiteMagazine.

: Peek In : Watch users interact with a Web app in real-time.

: Smoochbot : Use this open source on-boarding bot for conversational apps.

: Simbla : Drag-and-drop with this responsive website builder.

: : Create multi-app workflows in a drag-and-drop interface.

: Survey Count : Develop and distribute surveys with this lightweight solution.

: : Track packages across multiple shipping carriers with a single API.

: Since You've Been Gone : Deliver personalized on-site and email product updates.

: Automate Ads : Track user events, attribute conversion and automate ad operations.

: Zefyr : Access insights about the people and companies being emailed.

: ATTENDIZE : An open-source event management and ticket selling platform.



The Key to SMS Messaging for Merchants

Shopify merchants will now be able to serve their customers via SMS, thanks to the new iOS keyboard app dubbed Shopkey. The ecommerce keyboard gives Shopify merchants instant access to their product catalog across their messaging and social apps. This is beneficial because messaging apps are becoming a popular customer service channel, and having the Shopkey keyboard handy enables merchants to better serve - and sell to - their customers.

Discover additional apps at