Monthly Archives: March 2019
Flip the “days since last Facebook security incident” back to zero.
The discovery was made in January, said Facebook’s Pedro Canahuati, as part of a routine security review. None of the passwords were visible to anyone outside Facebook, he said. Facebook admitted the security lapse months later, after Krebs said logs were accessible to some 2,000 engineers and developers.
Krebs said the bug dated back to 2012.
“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable,” said Canahuati. “We have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them,” but did not say how the company made that conclusion.
Facebook said it will notify “hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users,” a lighter version of Facebook for users where internet speeds are slow and bandwidth is expensive, and “tens of millions of other Facebook users.” The company also said “tens of thousands of Instagram users” will be notified of the exposure.
Krebs said as many as 600 million users could be affected — about one-fifth of the company’s 2.7 billion users, but Facebook has yet to confirm the figure.
Facebook also didn’t say how the bug came to be. Storing passwords in readable plaintext is an insecure way of storing passwords. Companies, like Facebook, hash and salt passwords — two ways of further scrambling passwords — to store passwords securely. That allows companies to verify a user’s password without knowing what it is.
It’s the latest in a string of embarrassing security issues at the company, prompting congressional inquiries and government investigations. It was reported last week that Facebook’s deals that allowed other tech companies to access account data without consent was under criminal investigation.
It’s not known why Facebook took months to confirm the incident, or if the company informed state or international regulators per U.S. breach notification and European data protection laws. We asked Facebook but a spokesperson did not immediately comment beyond the blog post.
The Irish data protection office, which covers Facebook’s European operations, said the company “informed us of this issue” and the regulator is “currently seeking further information.”
To prevent its own Cambridge Analytica moment and make sure it’s getting paid for its data, Twitter will audit developers using its APIs. Starting June 19th, Twitter will require developers of any app that calls recent tweets from or mentions a user more than 100,000 times per day to submit their app for review.
If a developer proves they have a legitimate consumer use case, like running a third-party Twitter client or doing research, they’ll be granted free access to the API at the same rate they have today. If they primarily use the data to serve business customers as a B2B tool, like for customer service or social media monitoring, they’ll have to pay to enter a commercial licensing agreement with Twitter with a custom price based on usage. Twitter refused to even specify the range those prices fall into, which won’t win it any extra trust.
Developers found to be breaking Twitter’s policies will be booted from the platform, while those that don’t submit for review will be capped at 100,000 requests per day for the user timeline and mentions APIs. Twitter says it suspended 162,000 apps in the second half of 2018, showing it’s willing to play hardball with developers that endanger its ecosystem.
The goal is “ensuring that our platform is safe and promoting the privacy and safety of our users, and providing a level playing field commercially,” Twitter’s head of site integrity Yoel Roth tells me. “We’re fundamentally different than other platforms that have APIs since almost everything that happens on our service is public. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a deep responsibility to our users.”
This is the second big platform safety move Twitter has made after last year requiring all new developers who sign up to have their use cases reviewed, and get white-listed if they publish more content to Twitter than a normal person could. But that still left all the old developers without proper oversight, which will change in June.
In the past, Twitter has thrashed developers with whiplash by suddenly changing its API policies. That led apps to break, businesses to fold and a perception of Twitter as an unreliable or even hostile place for developers to build. This time, Twitter is giving developers a three-month heads-up to minimize surprise and problems. At a time when developers are becoming increasingly suspicious of Facebook, treating them better so they keep building bonus experiences is a smart move for Twitter.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning has become essential if you are selling sales, customer service and marketing software, especially in large enterprises. The biggest vendors from Adobe to Salesforce to Microsoft to Oracle are jockeying for position to bring automation and intelligence to these areas.
Just today, Oracle announced several new AI features in its sales tools suite and Salesforce did the same in its customer service cloud. Both companies are building on artificial intelligence underpinnings that have been in place for several years.
All of these companies want to help their customers achieve their business goals by using increasing levels of automation and intelligence. Paul Greenberg, managing principal at The 56 Group, who has written multiple books about the CRM industry, including CRM at the Speed of Light, says that while AI has been around for many years, it’s just now reaching a level of maturity to be of value for more businesses.
“The investments in the constant improvement of AI by companies like Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce are substantial enough to both indicate that AI has become part of what they have to offer — not an optional [feature] — and that the demand is high for AI from companies that are large and complex to help them deal with varying needs at scale, as well as smaller companies who are using it to solve customer service issues or minimize service query responses with chatbots,” Greenberg explained.
This would suggest that injecting intelligence in applications can help even the playing field for companies of all sizes, allowing the smaller ones to behave like they were much larger, and for the larger ones to do more than they could before, all thanks to AI.
The machine learning side of the equation allows these algorithms to see patterns that would be hard for humans to pick out of the mountains of data being generated by companies of all sizes today. In fact, Greenberg says that AI has improved enough in recent years that it has gone from predictive to prescriptive, meaning it can suggest the prospect to call that is most likely to result in a sale, or the best combination of offers to construct a successful marketing campaign.
Brent Leary, principle at CRM Insights, says that AI, especially when voice is involved, can make software tools easier to use and increase engagement. “If sales professionals are able to use natural language to interact with CRM, as opposed to typing and clicking, that’s a huge barrier to adoption that begins to crumble. And making it easier and more efficient to use these apps should mean more data enters the system, which result in quicker, more relevant AI-driven insights,” he said.
All of this shows that AI has become an essential part of these software tools, which is why all of the major players in this space have built AI into their platforms. In an interview last year at the Adobe Summit, Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis had this to say about AI: “AI will be the single most transformational force in technology,” he told TechCrunch. He appears to be right. It has certainly been transformative in sales, customer service and marketing.
Digital campaigns are all about visuals in today’s digital world.
According to Deposit Photos on visual trends in 2019,
“To get users to pay attention, visual content across platforms has to have an edge. Brave, bold and sometimes daring choices of visuals are becoming prominent for a reason.”
Social Media Examiner’s 2018 Industry Report shows that 80 percent of marketers use visual assets in their content marketing. And 11 percent more B2C marketers than B2B marketers attest that visual content is the more important type of content today.
Retail marketing without visual content can be boring, unattractive, and will yield low ROI. Visual cues will, however, help direct attention while portraying a message with visual methods of communication, including videos, photos, infographics, memes, and comics.
Using the appropriate visual cues on landing pages will help direct attention and engagement to the intended CTA and if they will get any value from it. You could use bright banners, exclamation marks, arrows, product images, and more.
Here are four visual design cues ecommerce marketers should focus on in 2019:
Arrows are one of the most commonly used visual cues because they explicitly describe what you should do and are easily understood. They are often used to point to a CTA and could come in different forms. According to ConversionXL, when it comes to using explicit visual cues, an arrow outperforms a human’s line of sight as humans tend to spend twice the average time looking at forms with arrows.
The Gift Rocket design below is an example of a creative way to use arrows. They simply directed the top of the rocket toward what is important.
To get the best of arrow cues, ensure the color of your arrows align with the rest of the design and remember not to use more than one arrow, unless where necessary. Also, be creative with your arrows and remember that they have the tendency to increase traction and sales.
Color is one of the most important aspects of design and is also a form of communication. The choice and usage of your brand color play a huge role in how you interact with and engage your audience.
Colors have a strong connection with the human mind, as they could help set a mood, make a memory stick or invoke memory, and also affect decision making. It is then imperative that marketers learn how to implement various colors in a campaign to draw attention and help their customers decisions.
Your choice of color could be based on age, location, gender, or trends. Or you could simply use a color that depicts what the brand is about and represents the emotion you want your audience to associate with. Know what your brand stands for and choose a color that accurately depicts it. For example, the color blue could be associated with trust, loyalty, confidence, wisdom, and faith. A popular company that uses this color is Facebook, with its core value being transparency and trust.
The Oxford Summer School also uses the same shade of blue which stands for trust, integrity, and communication across its website and social media platforms. This does not only depict excellence and a professional brand identity but also helps improve brand recognition by 80 percent.
3. Line of sight
A line of sight can also function as an explicit visual cue. Based on the cognitive bias of deictic (or “pointing”) gaze, eye directions on an image naturally direct viewers to look in the same direction as the line of sight. People often follow the line of sight of others, so if someone on a screen is looking at a quote, form, or testimonial, others will follow. This technique can be used to influence attention and connect emotions to your offer.
This technique was used by both presidential candidates (Trump and Clinton) in the 2016 US elections. Using the line of sight on landing pages as seen in the pictures below, Clinton and Trump’s marketing team guided visitors to the forms on their respective landing pages.
Like arrows, the line of sight in an image can be used to draw attention to a CTA button or something significant on the image. It could be a simple eye illustration, an animal picture, or a human photograph looking towards the action point as seen in the image below.
This technique is particularly effective for social media ads with pop up forms, testimonials, and landing pages. Whatever you do make sure, don’t use a human looking away from the intended target.
4. Product imagery
Consistent and high-quality imagery that perfectly describes your product or service is one of the best ways to engage your audience with your brand.
Humans have a short attention span, which leaves you with three seconds or less to capture your audience. Your social media images represent your brand and how your customers view your products to determine if they will purchase or not.
To get the perfect product imagery for your social media that will engage your audience, use high-quality images and high color accuracy. Also, take great close-up photos from different angles to help your customers easily analyze the product.
Visual design is not limited to using videos and gifs on landing pages, and adding cues yield an effective way to convince visitors to act. Don’t be limited by your visitors’ attention span, grab the bull by the horn and guide visitors to a mutually desired outcome with the help of visual cues. Visual design cues, if maximized properly, will help increase conversion ratio, customer satisfaction.
Tell us how you have or plan to make your website stand out with interesting usage of visual design cues.
Pius Boachie is the founder of DigitiMatic, an inbound marketing agency.
The post Four visual design cues ecommerce marketers should use in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
News flash: a lead is not a lead.
Read more at PPCHero.com
In addition to testing out a new format for conversations within a prototype app called twttr and other features like a “Hide Tweet” button, Twitter today confirmed it’s also developing a feature that would allow users to subscribe to individual conversations taking place on its platform.
The new option was first spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a reverse engineer who often peeks inside popular apps to discover their yet-to-be-launched features and changes.
Twitter is testing "Subscribe to conversation" so you can get notified over a conversation without liking or replying pic.twitter.com/6hpSQcMJZD
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) March 15, 2019
Wong tells TechCrunch she found the “Subscribe to conversation” feature within the Android version of the Twitter app, where it’s a user interface prototype for now. The button simply reads “Subscribe to conversation” and is positioned at the top right corner of a tweet view, she says.
Reached for comment, Twitter didn’t provide details about specific launch plans. It noted the feature was under development, and pointed TechCrunch to its tweet confirming this. The company’s short statement reads, “This is part of our work to make Twitter more conversational.”
This is part of our work to make Twitter more conversational https://t.co/jB4PWv3A04
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) March 15, 2019
Healthier and better structured conversations are among Twitter’s top goals at present, as the company tries to make its app easier to use and less prone to abuse.
The new subscription feature would allow someone to follow a thread without directly signaling their interest, or having to join in the conversation themselves. With a click of the button, users could instead opt to receive notifications when new tweets were added to that conversation.
To some extent, this feature is another example of how the change from stars to hearts as Twitter’s favoriting mechanism has had a ripple effect on Twitter’s development. The star had indicated interest, but didn’t convey an emotion. Twitter wanted to evoke a more positive vibe, so it shifted over to hearts several years ago. But as a result, people felt they could no longer save tweets they wanted to later reference using the default engagement mechanism, as it indicates an endorsement. (And not all tweets you’re saving are those you support.)
Twitter later addressed this problem with a separate tweet-saving feature, Bookmarks.
Now it’s creating yet another way to track tweets – and, in this case, the resulting conversation, too.
If Twitter had kept stars, it could have built out its “Likes” page with all these variations on tweet-saving and more. It could have added toggles for notifications, and who knows what else – keyword search across your saves? bookmarking with tags? private and public boards or collections, like Moments, but built from bookmarked collections?
Aggregating these features in one place could have made Twitter a valuable reference and “Read It Later” tool to rival apps like Pocket and Instapaper – or even web browser bookmarking itself.
But that’s not the path Twitter took, so now we’ll have Likes (hearts), Bookmarks, and conversation subscriptions, it seems.
Twitter declined to say when the new feature would arrive.
Update: 3/15/19, 5 PM ET to clarify Twitter spokesperson also directly confirmed the development of the feature, as did the tweet the company posted.