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Prime Day was Biggest Day in the History of Amazon

Screen-Shot-2016-07-13-at-3.44.00-PMAmazon knocked it out of the park on yesterday’s Prime Day with customer orders surpassing Prime Day 2015 by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the United States. Amazon said it was also the biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally and set sales records for every Amazon device category including Kindle, Alexa, Fire TV, and Fire Tablets. Globally, the Fire TV Stick was Amazon’s best-selling device.

“Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”

Small businesses and selling partners on Amazon with Prime deals had nearly triple year-over-year sales, both worldwide and in the US. “We offered customers our best products at great deals and they responded in a big way,” said Dov Brafman, CEO of Sharkk, which offers cool and unique audio solutions and other consumer accessories. “Prime Day helped us reach our highest sales day ever.”

“Sales were much higher than I was expecting with that 60% growth rate,” says R.J. Hottovy on CNBC. Hottovy is a Consumer Equity Strategist at Morningstar. “That will probably put the company ahead of where it was last year. You are talking about sales in the $500 to $600 million range for this day alone. The real take-a-ways for me are that international markets seem to be adopting Prime and competing sales from the likes of Walmart don’t seem to be impacting Amazon sales at all. We estimate there are more than 70 million Prime members globally, about 80% of that, or 56 million, coming from the US. What it has shown is that there is real stickiness to this business.”

The real impact of Prime Day for Amazon is not sales but in enticing more “sticky” Prime memberships. “Sales are really besides the point, it’s about driving Prime membership,” said Shelly Banjo of Bloomberg. “One estimate had Amazon adding 6 million Prime members. What that does is lock you in an average of 7 years according to one estimate. Prime is Amazon’s secret sauce.”

People get “hooked on Prime” she says and no longer making shopping lists to go to Walmart or somewhere else. Instead they think of something to buy and with a couple clicks of the phone it’s done.

Rich Ord

Facebook Upgrades Analytics For App Developers

Facebook announced the launch of some new analytics features for app developers aimed at improving performance measurement and better tracking user retention.

For one, they’ve added “label cohorts,” which let you categorize groups of people who use your app, and measure revenue, time spent on app, etc. As the company notes, you can use these for A/B testing purposes.

“With label cohorts you can test different tactics with two different groups and then measure which performs best,” says Facebook’s Ravi Grover. “For example, you can provide 10 percent of people with a free item within your app, and then measure whether that group spends more than people who didn’t get the free item. This is just one of the many strategies this new insight can unlock – it gives you the flexibility to define your own cohorts, which makes App Insights more powerful in building your apps and measuring growth.”

Grover lists the following examples of label cohorts a developer could use: install source, action-based, time-based, story-based, or of course creating your own.

Facebook is also giving developers new App Event retention charts to show what percentage of people took an action for any number of days after installing an up up to 14 weeks.



“With this data, you can determine if certain changes you made to your app resulted in a significant change in engagement,” says Grover. “From there, you have the option to run ads or make other changes as a result of knowing this granular, time-specific information. In order to take advantage of this feature, you must be logging App Events with Facebook.”

The charts are available for all events you log.

Image via Facebook

By · September 16, 2014

Already Bitching About Facebook’s New Video Ads? Well, Stop.

Facebook’s new video ads are pretty much the most tolerable kind of video ad around, so stop your bitching before it even starts.screen-shot-2013-12-17-at-4_1312173_320x245

You know, unless you want to quit internetting altogether. In that case, you probably have a point – Facebook’s just-announced autoplay video ads are just another reason to scream at your phone. We’re all just walking, talking, farting wallets. I get it. Can’t anything just be free? Grr, I quit.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on continuing to use the internet (and Facebook, naturally) like a normal human being, you should sit back and thank Zeus that Facebook’s video ads are the most non-intrusive, easily avoided ads of their kind that you’ll likely come across.

Before you call me a Facebook apologist, let me just say that I’m not a Facebook apologist. I’m really not. Now, that’s out of the way. What I am is someone who spends a lot of time sitting through ads – and I’m a realist. You’re going to have to deal with ads on Facebook. There wasnever a time – never – when the possibility of a Facebook utopia, one free of all advertising, existed.

And from what I know about Facebook’s upcoming video ad offering I can say, with confidence, that oh man – it could be so much worse. Still, you’ll probably see a lot of this in the coming weeks:


Ok then. Here are some things that we know about Facebook’s imminent autoplay video ads:

– Yes, they autoplay – the same way your friends’ videos also autoplay in your news feed right now.
– They will appear in your news feed just like any other piece of content with which you’re familiar.
– The will be silent unless you tap/click them and force fullscreen

My point is simply this: How many other major forms of media consumption (for many so vital to your daily life) allow you to simply ignore the advertisements with one quick flick of the thumb?

“If you don’t want to watch the video, you can simply scroll past it,” says Facebook.

Just keep scrolling and all of the content that you want to see awaits you – your friends’ witty statuses and their cute babies. Your redneck uncle’s insane Obama rants and a photo of the cutest goddamned puppy you’ve ever seen – it’s all there and completely unaffected by the autoplay video ad that you so casually ignored with a simple scroll.

Let’s think about other common forms of media consumption – YouTube and live television. Video ads? Of course. Can you skip them? Not immediately – maybe you can after 5 seconds or if you’re working from a DVR’ed program.

With most types of video ads you encounter, the ad itself stands between you and the content you want to see. Want to watch this YouTube video? Here, sit through an ad. Want to watch the second half of that NFL game? Here, sit through 45 thousand ads. “Autoplay” ads, I might add. Many websites employ autoplay video ads that divorce you from the articles for at least 5 seconds or so. The fact that Facebook’s autoplay video ads basically do nothing to separate you from that real content you desire is kind of astounding.

What if Facebook made you watch a video ad before you accessed your feed? Seriously – now that would be reason to grab the pitchforks. Don’t get any ideas, guys.

Here’s another thing: the new ads won’t bleed your data dry.

“On mobile devices, all videos that begin playing as they appear on the screen will have been downloaded in advance when the device was connected to WiFi – meaning this content will not consume data plans, even if you’re not connected to WiFi at the time of playback,” says Facebook.


Facebook is and will always be free. For that to happen, you’re going to have to deal with some ads. And before you immediately start the ol’ “fuck ‘em, I’m quitting” bit – just know that it’s highly unlikely that Facebook’s new video ads are going to negatively impact your experience at all.

Or, if you really want to, you can just quit – I’m not trying to call your bluff or anything.


About Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a Writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Sriracha and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolfGoogle+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

Has Yahoo Improved Its Homepage? Many Think Not.

Yahoo has been testing various redesigns of its homepage for months, but now it has announced the “new Yahoo experience”.

Note: We’ve updated this article from its original form, and since it was first posted, the negative comments have flooded in. While you will typically see this with any redesign of a major property, we’re not seeing a whole lot of positive ones to balance them out.

Anything you do like about it? What do you or don’t you like about the revamp? Let us know in the comments.

“Over the years, Yahoo! has evolved from a directory of links to a place that helps millions of people go about their daily habits,” a spokesperson for the company told WebProNews on Wednesday. “Beginning today, you will start to see a new Yahoo! that’s designed to be more modern, intuitive, and personal, and I wanted to make sure you got the news from the company.”

Here’s what the homepage looks like now:


New Yahoo homepage

New features include:

  • A newsfeed with infinite scroll
  • Newly designed apps for stock quotes, sports scores, weather, Flickr photos, friends’ birthdays and horoscope
  • Yahoo and Facebook login, which let you see personalized articles based on what your friends have shared
  • A more consistent experience across the web, smartphones and tablets
  • Under-the-hood improvements to speed things up

CEO Marissa Mayer wrote a blog post about the new experience.

“Designed to be more intuitive and personal, the new Yahoo! experience is all about your interests and preferences,” she says. “Since streams of information have become the paradigm of choice on the web, we’re introducing a newsfeed with infinite scroll, letting you experience a virtually endless feed of news articles. Whether you are a sports fanatic or entertainment buff, you can easily customize your newsfeed to your interests. And, to make Yahoo! even more social, you can log in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID to get articles from thousands of news sources as well as those shared by your friends.”

“Because you come to Yahoo! everyday for must-know information, we’ve also introduced newly designed applications,” she adds. “From your local weather forecast to Facebook friends’ birthdays, you’ll always have the information you need. We’ve also refreshed some of what you love most — including our Yahoo! editorial features, and the daily snapshot into popular trending web searches.”

Mike Kerns, VP, Product, discussed the new Yahoo experience in more detail in a post on Yahoo’s blog.

“To view more personally relevant content in the newsfeed, just sign in with your Yahoo! or Facebook ID in the upper right corner of your screen,” he explains. “The newsfeed defaults to a ‘blend’ of story types, but also allows you to filter your view through a handful of popular categories, such as news, local, entertainment and sports. For additional choices in the newsfeed filter, just click the ‘More’ button to choose from other categories that interest you like business, technology, politics or science. If you want to see fewer stories about a particular topic in the future, hover your cursor to the right of the story and click on the ‘X’ button. And remember, the more feedback you provide, the more personalized and relevant your experience will be.”

New Yahoo

new Yahoo

“In addition to seeing news stories that your friends have read and shared, you can easily share with them,” he says. “When you come across a news item that you’d like to share, hover over it to view a button that allows you to share the story via email, Facebook, or Twitter.”


New Yahoo

There are a total of seven new applications on the right side of the screen for: weather, stocks, sports, friends’ birthdays, horoscopes, Flickr photos, and popular videos from Yahoo. These can be personalized by hovering over the upper right side to clic the gears icon.

“For example, getting ready for March Madness? Add your favorite teams to the Sports application to catch up on the latest scores,” says Kerns. “Keeping an eye on your investments? To view stock quotes, click on the gears icon in the Quotes application to integrate your portfolio, look up quotes, or add new stocks. Travel often? Add as many cities as you’d like to the Weather application.”


Customize new Yahoo

You can also click the “x” button in the upper right corner of the application box to remove the application, should you see fit. There’s a “restore all” button a the bottom if you want to bring it back later.

As mentioned, the new design is consistent with the mobile experience, which lets you swipe through the “Today” stories. You can scroll down the newsfeed, and swipe left to take action on the content (like share it). You can also swipe left to access the applications.


Yahoo Mobile

The new design is in the process of rolling out in the U.S. Mayer says they’ll be making additional (but unspecified) changes in the coming months. We’re already seeing a lot of feedback (sadly, most of it is negative). It will be interesting to see how Yahoo responds.

Yahoo has indicated that it is focused on search, as it released its Q4 and full year 2012 earnings helped significantly by it. Whether or not Yahoo’s future search plans include Microsoft remains to be seen. Even if Yahoo wants to abandon the companies’ “Search Alliance,” Microsoft will do its best not to make it easy.

Right now, Yahoo needs to be concerned about keeping users on its still massively popular homepage. Yahoo has a realtime counter that shows how many people have visited the homepage up to the current time on any given day. At the time of this writing, tt’s just 8:40 Eastern, and it’s already received nearly 40 million views today so far.


The Fate Of The Free Internet Goes Up For Vote In December

The fate of the free Internet will be decided at a private meeting in Dubai on December 3. UN member nations will argue for or against a plan that would give control of the Internet to the ITU, instead of the current NGO multiple stakeholder approach. Some within the US government have alreadyvoiced their opposition, and now the EU is joining them.

Wired UK reports that the European Parliament has issued a resolution against a potential takeover of the Web by the ITU. The resolution contains many of the same arguments that people like Vint Cerf have said about the proposed UN regulation.

Should the UN and its member nations be given absolute authority over the core framework of the Internet? Let us know in the comments.

There’s a lot of good stuff in the EP resolution, and other nations, including the US, would be wise to wied these arguments during negotiations next month:

1. Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations are compatible with the EU acquis and further the Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place, where human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of expression and assembly, are respected and the observance of free market principles, net neutrality and entrepreneurship are ensured;

2. Regrets the lack of transparency and inclusiveness surrounding the negotiations for WCIT‑12, given that the outcomes of this meeting could substantially affect the public interest;

3. Believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over either internet governance or internet traffic flows;

4. Stresses that some of the ITR reform proposals would negatively impact the internet, its architecture, operations, content and security, business relations and governance, as well as the free flow of information online;

5. Believes that, as a consequence of some of the proposals presented, the ITU itself could become the ruling power over aspects of the internet, which could end the present bottom-up, multi-stakeholder model; expresses concern that, if adopted, these proposals may seriously affect the development of, and access to, online services for end users, as well as the digital economy as a whole; believes that internet governance and related regulatory issues should continue to be defined at a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder level;

6. Is concerned that the ITU reform proposals include the establishment of new profit mechanisms that could seriously threaten the open and competitive nature of the internet, driving up prices, hampering innovation and limiting access; recalls that the internet should remain free and open;

7. Supports any proposals to maintain the current scope of the ITRs and the current mandate of the ITU; opposes any proposals that would extend the scope to areas such as the internet, including domain name space, IP address allocation, the routing of internet-based traffic and content-related issues;

8. Calls on the Member States to prevent any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations which would be harmful to the openness of the internet, net neutrality, the end-to-end principle, universal service obligations, and the participatory governance entrusted to multiple actors such as governments, supranational institutions, non-governmental organisations, large and small businesses, the technological community and internet users and consumers at large;

9. Calls on the Council to coordinate the negotiation of the revision of the ITRs on behalf of the European Union, on the basis of inclusively gathered input from multiple stakeholders, through a strategy that primarily aims at ensuring and preserving the openness of the internet, and at protecting the rights and freedoms of internet users online;

10. Recalls the importance of safeguarding a robust best-effort internet, fostering innovation and freedom of expression, ensuring competition and avoiding a new digital divide;

11. Stresses that the ITRs should state that the ITU recommendations are non-binding documents which promote best practices

There’s a lot here, but the central fears of an ITU takeover are two-fold. For one, the proposed Internet tax system would greatly affect how companies do business around the world. A leaked document said that some nations are pushing for a global Internet tax. In effect, nations would have the power to tax companies like Google in return for being allowed to operate in those nations. One can already see the potential abuse this system would bring.

The other is far more serious, and one of the reasons why nations like Iran and China are pushing so hard for this. It would allow individual nations to control how the Internet operates in their country even more thus leading to even more censorship. Iran is already developing its own private Internet, but a change to the ITU would make that internationally endorsed.

Do you think nations should have the right to charge an Internet tax to companies like Google? Let us know in the comments.

As you can see, there’s a lot at stake here and many are concerned about the potential impact the ITU meeting will have on the Web. Companies like Google are already beginning protest movements and asking for people to submit their stories on why a free and open Internet is important to them.

Following Google’s lead, Mozilla has also started its own campaign to help organize protests against an ITU takeover of the Internet. The non-profit put forth a compelling reason to reject any potential takeover of the Web:

Whether the Internet is regulated by governmental treaties via the ITU and to what extent, is a vitally critical question. In fact it is so critical it can’t be done behind closed doors. The Internet as we know it today is just too fundamental to our lives to leave it to governments to decide its fate.

Mozilla’s mission is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web. We do this first and foremost by building great products. But, as any Mozillian knows — the story is much more than the latest release or coolest hack. The Internet depends critically on a human network of communities and relationships, and Mozilla builds movements that strengthen the Web.

ACTA and SOPA were expected to pass with little to no resistance, but the Internet proved those assumptions wrong. The ITU would be wise to heed the voice of the Internet, and not go forward without taking its users into account. If not, it’s only a matter of time before it’s deemed irrelevant alongside everything else that refuses to acknowledge the Internet as a living, breathing entity that can’t be contained.






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