Facebook Reports Today As Questions Swirl; Owner IQ Sees Green

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Facebook To Report

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth has questions for Facebook ahead of the company’s Q3 2012 earnings release later today.  Among his Qs: “Can Ad Revenue Re-Accelerate? What Will the Sponsored Stories and Mobile Run-Rate Be? How Will Web Marketplace Ad Revenue Fare in the Mobile Transition? Is Sponsored Stories Revenue Incremental? Are Sponsored Stories Weighing on the User Experience? How Big Is the Facebook AdExchange…How Big Can It Be?” So many questions, so little time.

Compete Slapped

TNS-owned Compete has settled with the FTC over charges it didn’t sufficiently disclose its data collection -- and then failed to protect the data it did collect. “The proposed settlement will require that Compete obtain consumers’ express consent before collecting any data from Compete software downloaded onto consumers’ computers, that the company delete or anonymize the use of the consumer data it already has collected, and that it provide directions to consumers for uninstalling its software.” Earlier this year the agency settled with Upromise, which licensed Compete software. Read more.

Ancestry Acquired

PE Firm Pemira has agreed to acquire genealogical info site Ancestry.com in a deal valued at $1.6 billion, Bloomberg’s Aaron Kirchfeld and Mark Milian report. Read it. The company stumbled when it tried to produce a TV show that failed. But in the end, it’s online data make it an attractive asset, especially considering that it just passed the 2 million user mark. “The business model lends itself to being privately owned,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward Williams. “They have a very strong cash flow -- a very predictable cash-flow business -- and I think that the reason to go private, generally, is that the public market is not valuing you appropriately.” For more background, read this data-driven, AdExchanger Q&A with Ancestry EVP & GM Josh Hanna from May 2011.

Past Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting OwnerIQ says it will generate $30 million in revenue this year and is "on a growth trajectory that puts us at a $100 million company in a couple years," CEO and co-founder Jay Habegger told Boston Business Journal’s Kyle Alspach. Habegger points to targeting that’s based on what audience members already own to develop profiles of what they might be interested in when it comes to online ads. At the same time, he vows that all user data is anonymous. "When we get that ID, we then look into our database to say, 'Do we know anything about ID 1234?'" he said. "And if we do know something about ID 1234, we make a decision on whether we want to buy this ad spot or not." Read more.

Declining CPCs

Facebook marketing agency TBG Digital published its Q3 analysis of Facebook ads yesterday. InsideFacebook’s Brittany Darwell analyzes the data as “mobile and desktop News Feed ads have driven down costs per click to averages not seen since 2010.” She adds, “When more users click on ads, Facebook can earn its target CPM while advertisers spend less per click.” Is there a connection between declining Google CPC’s and declining Facebook CPC’s? There’s more inventory than ever - everywhere! Read the article.  And, see the report.

App Glass Half-Full

Mobile analytics provider Flurry has some good news and some challenging news for app makers. Results of a study of 230k apps and their usage shows that app makers are getting better at holding a consumer's attention longer. At the same time, usage rates are lower “because consumers have more choice than ever and are splitting their time across more applications,” Flurry rep Peter Farrago writes in a blog post. Read it.

Human Power

Writing for ClickZ, Larry Allen takes exception to dream of automation. He writes, “There is still a lot of education needed. And the best way to make that happen is to put a seller in front of a client...We still have the marketer and the traditional media agency, but we also have the trading desks and demand-side platforms (DSPs). These folks need to be educated too.” Read more.

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