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Facebook Trying To Habituate Consumers Around Driving Transactions, Says Button CEO

“The Instagram effort is one that we predicted for a long time,” says Button CEO Michael Jaconi. “I wasn’t the most popular guy in the venture capital pitch room saying hey, the world is moving to commerce. They said advertising makes so much money. In reality, what I think Facebook is doing is very smart. They’re trying to habituate consumers around driving transactions from their platform. For the future of advertising, especially in mobile, the way that you’re going to be able to make money and build durability into your business model is to give consumers what they want.”

Michael Jaconi, CEO of Button, discusses how mobile commerce is rapidly replacing ads as the primary revenue source for publishers and social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram in an interview on Bloomberg Technology.

We’re Trying To Build an Internet Built on Actions, Not Ads

The Button platform really sits above the stack. Where we sit is really in this place where publishers integrate with Button to connect their consumers to their next step. What we’re trying to build is an internet that we think is going to be better, and an internet built on actions, not ads. What the publisher technology that we built does is it sits inside of an application, renders an actual button, and then connects them to the place of intent that their users ultimately may want to go. Whether that’s a mapping app going to Uber or an app like rewardStyle that is powering an influencer network to drive sales at ASOS.

There’s a lot of change happening and Button is trying to invest in that ourselves. You’re seeing the platform’s, Apple and Google, do a lot to make this easier with Facebook’s recent launch of Instagram Checkout. You’re obviously seeing that they’re investing a ton in making the checkout process more seamless. What we fundamentally believe when we started the company was that if we could build a method that would make consumers have a delightful experience, giving from that moment of intent to the moment of fulfillment, saying hey, I want a ride or I want to book a reservation, and having that be as few taps as possible, we would win and the companies that we’re building on top of our platform would win. 

You’re seeing innovation happen with sign-on and the actual account credentials being passed more easily between experiences. Apple Pay, of course, the Google Checkout experiences and  PayPal is making this easier. You’re seeing strides being made but there’s still a long way to go. It’s still a lot easier to purchase on your PC unfortunately. 

Facebook Trying To Habituate Consumers Around Driving Transactions

In our judgment, we think that the Instagram effort is one that we predicted for a long time. I wasn’t the most popular guy in the venture capital pitch room saying hey, the world is moving to commerce. They said advertising makes so much money. In reality, what I think Facebook is doing is very smart. They’re trying to habituate consumers around driving transactions from their platform. Everyone is looking at Amazon with a little bit of fear and a little bit of jealousy. What you’re seeing is that they’re looking at Amazon’s power as being the habituated source of transactions. They are saying look at how Amazon is growing its ad business.

If you look at Amazon’s business, the fastest growing channel it’s had in terms of revenue growth has been its advertising business for the past eight quarters in a row. What’s fascinating about that is that every company wants to grow and be a part of that puzzle or that story. That’s the thing that we’re seeing grow most quickly. For the future of advertising, especially in mobile, when display and all types of advertising are under fire, the way that you’re going to be able to make money and build durability into your business model is to give consumers what they want. For us, we’re trying to give that power to every publisher that exists and to every company that has intent.

Facebook Trying To Habituate Consumers Around Driving Transactions, Says Button CEO Michael Jaconi

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Designed From the Ground Up To Be a Great Medium Of Exchange, Says Facebook Calibra Head

Facebook announced today a new digital wallet for a new digital currency. It is currently in a test phase and will launch live in 2020. Here is how Facebook explains the launch in its announcement release:

“Today we’re sharing plans for Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020.”

“From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost. And, in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.”


A sneak peek at what the experience of using Calibra will be like.

David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Calibra, discusses the details of Facebook’s entry into cryptocurrency in an interview on CNBC:

This Is Designed From the Ground Up To Be a Great Medium Of Exchange

If you want to compare Libra with traditional cryptocurrencies the first big difference is that typically they are investment vehicles or investment assets rather than being great mediums of exchange. This is really designed from the ground up to be a great medium of exchange. Libra is a very high-quality form of digital money that you can use for everyday payments and cross-border payments, microtransactions and all kinds of different things.

There are a lot of issues that need to be solved. If you were to get out of the studio right now and ask anyone to send ten dollars on their mobile phones to Canada, they probably wouldn’t know where to start. This is 30 years after the web was invented and mobile broadband is available to so many people. We felt that it was time to try something new and this is the beginning of a long journey to launching this new network in this new digital currency.


Moving money around the world with Libra should be as easy and cheap as sending a text message.

When You Can Move More Value Around Profound Changes Might Happen

We are privileged. We live in a country that has a very stable currency and has very trusted institutions, easy ways to pay each other on mobile devices. That’s actually not the case for many people around the world. Definitely, cross-border payments are still very hard and very expensive. They cost an average of seven percent to send across one border. They sometimes take three or four days to clear. It is a very cumbersome and expensive process for many people around the world. If you think about it from a use case, cross-border payments are definitely going to be a primary use case.

But when you think about the effect that having an internet of value exists, or protocol for money on top of the existing internet, and all of the things that can be built on top of a low-cost system. Microtransactions are things that we’ve been talking about for decades and haven’t materialized because the amounts we are trying to transact are actually lower than the transaction fees. When all of these things change and you can move value around the Internet in a really easy way I think profound changes might happen.

Read the Libra White Paper

There’s Never Been a Better Moment For Us To Do This

I have a slightly contrarian view on this (trust). I don’t think there’s ever been a better moment for us to do this because of the way we’re doing it. We’re actually going to launch this new blockchain at some point next year. We’ve launched a test net today that people can start experimenting with. This new blockchain is actually going to be decentralized and run by the members of an association.

We’re just going to be one among many to govern over this new network and currency. When you look at how much effort we’ve put to limit our influence and limit our control over this network I think it’s a new way of operating. We don’t have control over the network and we don’t have control over the currency. What we have control over is going to be the wallets that are going to operate within Facebook and on top of the network.

We Aren’t Going To Be the Defacto Wallet

We aren’t going to be the defacto wallet. There will be plenty of competition. To earn people’s trust we are going to have to make strong commitments notably on privacy, ensuring that financial data and social data never get commingled and really earn people’s trust over very long periods of time. There are going to be a number of wallets that are going to compete with us on the network we helped create.

Designed From the Ground Up To Be a Great Medium Of Exchange, Says Facebook Calibra Head David Marcus

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A Facebook Coin is Probably the Next Big One, Says Blockchain Capital Limited Co-founder

“For multinationals to issue their own currencies and request that their consumers purchase in that particular currency is not that outlandish,” says Blockchain Capital Limited co-founder Gavin Brown.  “So perhaps with multinationals being what they are the fact that they are able now digitally and technologically to issue their own currencies and request their consumers to use it is perhaps not a sort of an unreasonable thing to think. It may not be the whole mission short term but certainly in the medium term for sure. I mean a Facebook coin is probably the next big one I think.”

Gavin Brown, co-founder & director at Blockchain Capital Limited discusses blockchain and cryptocurrencies in an interview on CNBC:

Wherever There is Potential for Mistrust Blockchain Can Be a Solution

We’re still very early in the technology, so a lot of people obviously associate bitcoin with blockchain, which is the underlying technology, which is understandable. However, the thing that most people fail to realize is that blockchain technology can obviously be applied to many different sectors and many different industries. I’m really keen, especially in the UK where I do a lot of work in my Future Economies Research Center which is a run out of Manchester Metropolitan University.

What we do there is we look at various industries where blockchain is a really good solution to manage lots of things around provenance and trust, scalability, traceability and things like goods supply chains. Really, wherever you’ve got the potential for mistrust blockchain can be a potential solution.

There Are Now Over 2,000 Cryptocurrencies

Regarding cryptocurrencies, If you look overall there are over 2,000 coins in total now. If you look at fiat currencies, the money we use day-to-day, there are 180 fiat currencies recognized by the United Nations globally. Yet there are over 2,000 cryptocurrencies most of which are trying to be some kind of money replacement. So the general play and the way I perceive it is that we will have a shakeout phase as we do with any kind of technology and we’re likely to see it coalesce around either one or a handful of winners.

Those winners will obviously win big. Identifying who they’re going to be is obviously the challenge. That’s why for most people they’ll probably want to run a portfolio inside the crypto asset space to try and maximize their chances. This is almost similar to a sort of leverage private equity-type model the way you’re running lots of different plays, where most will lose, but if you get the winner then you win big.

A Facebook Coin is Probably the Next Big One

What we’re seeing really is the democratization of money. If you and I wanted to we could create a CNBC coin and within three hours we could have it up and running and when we transact with people we could request that we do it using that particular coin. It raises the question of will people trust that coin? They will trust it if they trust your brand and f they trust your products. For instance, Starbucks has over a billion dollars worth of assets on its balance sheet of people who prepaid for coffee on their charge cards in advance. That’s because they trust the brand, they like the product, and they’re confident it will be there.

For multinationals to, therefore, issue their own currencies and request that their consumers purchase in that particular currency is therefore not that outlandish. We live in an era where McDonald’s has got a higher credit rating than the country of Ireland. So perhaps with multinationals being what they are the fact that they are able now digitally and technologically to issue their own currencies and request their consumers to use it is perhaps not a sort of an unreasonable thing to think. It may not be the whole mission short term but certainly in the medium term for sure. I mean a Facebook coin is probably the next big one I think.

A Facebook Coin is Probably the Next Big One, Says Blockchain Capital Limited Co-founder

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Kroger CEO: How We Compete for Software Engineers with Facebook

Kroger and all retailers are fast becoming tech companies and thus have the difficult task of competing with companies like Facebook for top tech talent. According to Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, one of their secrets to recruiting software engineers is the promise of more responsibility quicker than anywhere else.

Rodney McMullen, Kroger Chairman and CEO, reveals how Kroger competes with Facebook and the tech world for software engineers at NRF 2019, Retails Big Show:

How Kroger Competes for Tech Talent

In terms of the number of employees, I think you will have the same number but the skillsets will be a lot different. If you look at digital, for example, we have 500 people in our digital team. Within 2-3 years we will have a thousand. With software engineers, it is a completely different type of talent. Yes, we compete with (Facebook). It’s kind of fascinating.

It’s important for people to eat. It’s important for people to eat things they like. If you come to Kroger you are able to help people get exactly what they want when they want it. You get immediate feedback on something that is incredibly important. If the customer likes it you see it immediately. If they don’t like it you see it immediately. So you get great feedback.

More Responsibility Quicker Than Anywhere Else

I always tell people when we are recruiting them, I guarantee you that you will have more responsibility quicker than anywhere else. We have 25-year-old and 30-year-old people running $ 100 million and $ 200 million businesses.

On a couple of tests that we have going on right now, we have two interns that actually did the software work to get it in place. When their internship finished they went back to college and kept working with us to finish the project they worked on. It’s one of those things that you get a tremendous amount of responsibility incredibly fast.

The Future of Retail

I think the store will be multi-purpose. I think about one of our bigger stores. It wouldn’t surprise me if you had a small warehouse in the back of that store. You will use the same footprint, but half of it may be a physical store that is an experience space, half of it will be more warehouse efficiency space.

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SearchCap: Google Lens for iOS, Facebook search ads & eCommerce SEO

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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Steve Case: Facebook Needs to Pivot and Recognize They’re Not in the Garage Anymore

AOL co-founder Steve Case says that Facebook needs to pivot and recognize that they are not in the garage anymore. Case sees some of this as a backlash against big tech, which he predicted a few years ago in his book The Third Wave. As companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon become more important it is critical for them to engage more at the policy level.

Steve Case, CEO of Revolution and AOL co-founder, talked about Facebook’s response to the explosive New York Times article on CNBC:

People Are Looking for the Actions to Follow the Intent

The New York Times report was obviously very troubling. It’s a great company and I know Mark and Sheryl have done a fabulous job of building not only one of the most valuable companies in the world but also one of the most impactful companies the world. It has had a significant impact not just on business but on society, even in terms of politics. They have to understand that they do shoulder a great responsibility and hopefully they will make the moves necessary. They have the right intent, they’ve been clear about the intent. I think a lot of people are looking for the actions now to follow the intent and hopefully, in the coming weeks and months, we’ll see more of that.

Expected This Backlash Against Big Tech

Some of this backlash against big tech, backlash against Silicon Valley, I frankly expected that for several years. I wrote a book a couple years ago that’s called The Third Wave and talked about it. As these companies become more and more important and have more and more impact, engaging more on the policy level is going to be critical.

In the next wave of innovation, the policy issues, the regulatory issues, whether it be on the platform side of the internet or in healthcare or other other sectors of our economy, the entrepreneurs, the innovators need to engage with the policy makers and the regulators. Entrepreneurs don’t like to do that because they just like to have the freedom of action to move quickly, and that’s understandable. But the nature of the kind of issues we’re now dealing with, the opportunities we’re trying to deal with does require more of that engagement. Facebook is seeing that and Google’s seeing that and other companies will see that as well.

That’s going to do really define the winners in this next 10 or 20 years, the ones that are innovating and moving quickly but doing it in a way that is understanding they’re living in a broader context and are more respectful of the role of policy.

Facebook Needs to Pivot and Recognize They’re Not in the Garage Anymore

Facebook’s a great company, Google is a great company, Amazon’s a great company, they’re a lot of great companies out there. They’re going to still be a magnet for talent but it does become more difficult as you get larger. It does become more difficult when your company is attacked.

A few years ago everybody felt proud to be associated with Facebook and now some at the company, so the reports suggest, are a little more anxious. We’ve seen that in other large companies as well. Some of that this comes with the scale of going from a startup to a speed up to one of the most important companies in the world.

This is one of the reasons, but not the only reason, that they need to pivot and recognize they’re not in the garage anymore, it’s not a startup anymore. They have significant civic responsibilities and if they implement those appropriately they’ll be able to attract and keep people and attract and keep customers and that’s a key part of what they need to focus on.

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The Great Facebook Video Swindle

Back in the day, only digital publishers and marketers knew to never trust Facebook. You know, like that one time…

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Last Day to Join Persuasive Copywriting, and a Punch in the Mouth for Facebook

Heads up: The introductory rate for our Persuasive Copywriting 101 Course is ending today, November 1, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific…

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Facebook Showing Huge Monetization Potential for Non-News Feed Apps

According to Rich Greenfield, media and technology analyst at BTIG, Facebooks is starting to show huge monetization potential for apps that are not the news feed. “The reality is that as you look out more broadly over the next few years Facebook has got a lot of different initiatives that are at the very early stages of monetization,” Greenfield said. “They are just scratching the surface of Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Watch, and IGTV, which is the Instagram video platform.”

Rich Greenfield, media and technology analyst at BTIG recently talked on Bloomberg about newer monetization opportunities on Facebook that may eventually even surpass the core news feed app:

Facebook is Dominating Mobile Time Spent

I think it’s less about this war between Apple and Facebook or YouTube versus Facebook, the reality is Facebook is one of the dominant companies in terms of mobile time spent. Despite all this fear that people are abandoning Facebook or not using its application, the reality is that there is a billion and a half people using Facebook every single day. Not all the other applications, but Facebook itself.

800 Million People Using Facebook Marketplace

There are 800 million people using Facebook Marketplace. I have never used the Marketplace tab and I don’t know anyone who has used the Marketplace tab, but they’re saying there are 800 million people using that Marketplace tab to transact. They actually highlighted cars as becoming a place of real transfer where people buying and selling cars.

There are just so many things that Facebook is doing that are not always obvious to someone in the US. There are places in the world like Indonesia where Facebook Marketplace is the default way that goods are bought and sold. There are really some big differences globally such as the use of Messenger versus iMessage overseas and not all of that is apparent to a US investor.

Huge Monetization Potential for Non-News Feed Apps

The reality is that as you look out more broadly over the next few years Facebook has got a lot of different initiatives that are at the very early stages of monetization. They are just scratching the surface of Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Watch, and IGTV, which is the Instagram video platform. These are at the very early stages. What you do see is tremendous engagement across the family of Facebook apps and that creates a big long-term opportunity.

That’s what the Street is excited about, that they are just beginning to give hint of monetization of these things beyond the core news feed.

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5 Simple Steps for Using Facebook Groups to Grow Your Business

In January 2018, a lot of marketers expressed frustration with Facebook—some even gave up on the platform altogether—after noticing a sharp decline in the organic reach of their posts. Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri said that the company decided to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.” 

As it stands, the platform’s current news feed algorithm has basically ensured that brands won’t be able to grow organically through their Facebook Pages. But, this is not a problem with Groups.

A Facebook Group is basically a community that revolves around an idea, cause, or theme. There’s a group for anything and everything on Facebook. From doomsday preppers to Wiccans to those looking to learn more about SEO, you can find what you need in Groups. Since it’s more about ideas than hawking a product, a lot of brands underestimate the power of Facebook Groups and its capacity to build customers and yield high conversion rates. Don’t make that mistake.

Why It’s Better to Use a Facebook Group

You don’t need a strong social media following or a long email list for your Facebook Group to thrive and grow. For one, FB groups are more focused on collaboration. It might not allow for Facebook ads but brands will be able to engage and talk directly to their market, so you will know exactly what your buyers want or need.

This is also a great place to announce an offer to a highly targeted group. This same group can also give you immediate and extremely valuable feedback. You can create a poll or conduct a survey about product concepts or customer experiences. Facebook Groups also gives companies an advantage in terms of notifications. While new posts will appear on the news feed, members also receive a separate notification.

5 Steps to Use Facebook Groups to Grow Your Business

1. Be Consistent in Posting Content

Make sure that every piece of content you post in your Facebook Group page brings value. This will help boost engagement among members. Look for interesting content to share with members on Google news. You can also check out podcasts that are of interest to your members or utilize sites like Buzzsumo to see what topics are trending in your group’s category.

2. Get Members Interacting

Facebook Groups are famous for its members’ high level of engagement. Keep the ball rolling continuously by posting things that will encourage interaction. For instance, introduce daily theme prompts that will allow members to post photos or share their opinions. You can also create a poll and ask your group for advice. A live Q&A, a weekly challenge, or a tutorial are other exciting options to consider.

However, keeping up with active members is challenging and time-consuming. Consider hiring a community manager who can help you in monitoring posts, comments, and questions. This will give you more time to focus on content and on your group’s objectives.

3. Leave No Social Media Platform Behind

Put all your social media accounts to good use by using them to announce your group. You can even do a little cross-promotion if you want. Design an attractive post that shows your group’s logo and post it on your Instagram or Twitter accounts. Include a link to your Facebook group so people can simply tap on it and be taken to your profile.

4. Use Giveaways to Drum Up Interest

People love getting free stuff, so drum up interest or build up engagement by giving away gifts, points, or freebies. Companies have been using this strategy for years and it still remains relevant. Use this ruse and announce a giveaway on your group page. Utilize your other social media accounts to promote the giveaway. You can then choose a date and organize a Facebook event for this promotion.

5. Ask Loyal Members to Invite Their Friends

One of the best ways to grow your group and business is to ask loyal members to invite their friends along for the ride. Make things easier by giving them clear instructions on how to do this. Inform them to go to the right side of the group’s page. They’ll see “Add Members” and “Suggested Members.” Beneath that are the names of their friends and an “Add Member” button. They can simply click on the button beside the name of the friend they want to invite.

It’s a good idea to ask your members to be selective about who they choose to invite to the group. You want to make sure that only those who are really interested or who will have something to contribute will join.

Never underestimate people’s passion for a cause or their desire to be part of a community. Tap into this power by creating your own Facebook group. You’ll be able to build a solid consumer base composed of like-minded individuals.

[Featured image via Facebook]

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