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You’re the product: Facebook’s business model explained

Do you prefer organic food? Did you study in Mexico? Do you like red shoes? Such bits of information about Facebook users may seem insignificant in isolation but, once harvested on a grand scale, make the internet giant billions. Here's how: 'If you're not paying, you're the product' Newbies signing up for Facebook are greeted with the promise that the social network is "free, and always will be". But if users don't pay, then how does Facebook generate its massive profits, nearly $16 billion last year, up 56 percent…

Google bans cryptocurrency advertising

LONDON: Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Wednesday it was banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, the latest internet company to clamp down on the sector amid growing concerns about scams. Google’s action, which takes effect in June and follows a similar move by Facebook earlier this year, sent the price of the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, down more than 10 percent to its lowest in a month. Interest in cryptocurrencies has surged in the last year as their prices rocketed. That…

BuzzFeed to cut jobs, refocus advertising

NEW YORK: BuzzFeed said on Wednesday it was cutting an estimated 100 jobs as the news and entertainment website reorganizes its advertising efforts in the face of disappointing revenues. The cuts will be mainly in the business and advertising divisions in the US operations, with a number of editorial and business employees cut in Britain, a spokesman said, confirming an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal. The reductions represent around eight percent of its US workforce and less than six percent of BuzzFeed's…

Instagram adds advertising to Instagram Stories

Instagram is bringing more than 30 advertisers into one of its fastest-growing features, Instagram Stories, in a bid to boost advertising revenue, the company said on Wednesday. The social media company will become a more important player in maintaining Facebook’s growth in advertising revenue in 2017. During the last two earnings calls, Facebook executives said they may soon reach a limit on the amount of ads they can place in front of users, which had been one of the key factors driving ad revenue growth. Media…

Google starts big advertising push around new Pixel phone

Google's new "Pixel" smartphone is off to a fast marketing start with $3.2 million in television ads in two days since it announced the upcoming launch, and ad executives expect Google to spend hundreds of millions more to keep up with rivals Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. Google's launch of the first phone it has designed itself puts it in direct competition with the two dominant smartphone makers, which each market heavily. While Google's brand is known around the world, and its Android operating system powers most…

New York Times swings to loss as advertising revenue slides

The Times reported a net loss for shareholders of $211,000, compared with a profit of $16 million in the same period a year ago. Overall revenues edged up three percent to $219 million, but ad revenues slid 11.7 percent to $131 million. Print advertising revenue fell 14.1 percent while digital advertising revenue decreased 6.8 percent, underscoring the challenges for the newspaper's efforts to emphasize its digital edition. Circulation revenues were a bright spot, led by a 15 percent jump in digital-only subscriptions.…