Net Briefs: August 2017


Creepy vs. Cool in Data Collection

Consumers are warming up to data collection practices if it means a more relevant experience. According to the third annual "Creepy or Cool" international survey from RichRelevance, the majority of U.S. respondents (63 percent) said they would allow retailers to collect more of their customer data to improve their online experience - with most suggesting it should be collected anonymously (40 percent).

Seriously, How Long Can You Ignore Podcasting?

Now would be the time to start that podcast you have been thinking about as the practice is proving increasingly lucrative. In fact, recently released data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows podcast ad revenue grew 85 percent since last year and is on track to reach more than $220 million in 2017.

App Usage is Proving to be Promising

It can be difficult for brands to decide whether to invest in application development, but new research from App Annie indicates the average smartphone user is using over 30 apps per month indicating they are likely open to apps outside of the top categories (e.g., games, social).

Stock Photos Held for "Ransom"

Photobucket recently decided it would begin charging anyone ($400 a year) who uses the free, ad-sponsored version of its service, resulting in claims the company was essentially holding images for ransom. After making the change last month, billions of images were instantly unavailable (Photobucket did notify users) for sellers on sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy replaced with an image requesting that users "unlock" their account.


Web Performance of Retail Sites is Disturbingly Low

While the intent of using third-party applications on ecommerce sites is to enhance user experience, new research from Yottaa and RSR Research found they are often the cause of slow page load times (a factor that can significantly undermine a shopping experience). The data indicates that between 50 and 75 percent of page load time was attributed to third-party apps, and websites with above-average use of third parties were 20 percent slower than those below the average.

Where Mobile Programmatic Ad Fraud is the Worst

Mobile ad tech provider AppLift has released a study revealing international fraud distribution data as related to mobile programmatic. In what will likely come as a surprise to few, the countries with the most amount of impression fraud on real-time bidding include India (31.29 percent), Indonesia (21.23 percent) and Singapore (18.18 percent). Countries with the least amount of impression fraud were Hong Kong (4.13 percent), South Korea (5.48 percent) and Germany (6.23 percent).

The Cloud Disappoints

The Cloud? Meh. That seems to be the sentiment from IT operations professionals. Data from cloud infrastructure management company Fugue revealed that only 20 percent of IT professionals felt they are getting the most out of the cloud. Further, 39 percent said security and compliance are slowing them down; 36 percent said customer experience officers fail to understand the complexity of the cloud; 26 percent said IT leadership doesn't understand the complexity of the cloud; and 20 percent said developers do not understand the complexity of the cloud.


Proof Social Commerce is Happening

While seemingly lost in the abyss of marketing trends, there are reasons to believe social commerce will resurface if it has not already. Read more.

Best Online Business Ideas for 2017

There are many entrepreneurial ideas to consider when looking to subsidize income and grow the initiative into a full-time business. Read more.

The Indispensable Welcome Email 

Welcome emails have, on average, four times the open rate but not all companies are optimizing these valuable interactions. Read more.


+ Business management platform LivePerson has released a version with an IBM Watson-powered bot built in, signifying that a new and more sophisticated phase of the AI trend has begun.

+ Product discovery and review platform Influenster announced the launch of an automated tool, the Real-Time Disclosure Monitor, to check for social media compliance to Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

+ Call analytics provider CallRail announced the launch of Keyword Spotting, a feature that identifies keywords and phrases within call transcriptions and categorizes calls for automated analysis of conversions.

+ Chirpify has introduced the ability to link personal social media and chat IDs with loyalty program and CRM databases, as well as a new dashboard that will make it possible to segment members, view engagement history and respond to consumers.

+ User-generated content platform Stackla announced a new machine learning recommendation engine, dubbed Co-Pilot, designed to help brands deliver and optimize personal content marketing at scale.

+ Content analysis and discovery solution Unmetri introduced Xia, an AI offering that provides insights from branded social media content.


+ Turn a landing page into a chatbot.

+ Upload, edit and schedule Instagram posts from the Web.

+ Simple spam testing and email rendering service.

+ Paperplane: A collection of responsive email templates.

+ API Tester: Cloud-based API testing framework.

+ Soapbox by Wistia: Chrome extension to record, edit, and share videos

+ Screenful Metrics for Github: Analytics for Github issues

+ Metisa: Product recommendations that learn as customers shop

+ Quantifi: Research and development platform for digital advertising

+ Civic Token:
Access to identify verification via the blockchain.

+ Live Tasks (Reply): Convert prospects into customers with live tasks suggestions

+ Roadmap: Plan projects and manage resources.

+ UX Flow: Wireframe Prototyping system.

+ CoolHue: Gradient hues and color swatches.