The New Chrome and Safari Will Reshape the Web


APPLE AND GOOGLE are cracking down on obnoxious online ads. And they just might change the way the web works in the process.

Last week Google confirmed that Chrome—the most widely used web browser in the world—will block all ads on sites that include particularly egregious ads, including those that autoplay videos, hog too much of the screen, or make you wait to see the content you just clicked on.

Apple meanwhile announced yesterday that Safari will soon stop websites from automatically playing audio or video without your permission. The company’s next browser update will even give users the option to load pages in “Reader” mode by default, which will strip not only ads but many other layout elements. The next version will also step up features to block third parties from tracking what you do online.

But the two companies’ plans don’t just mean a cleaner web experience. They represent a shift in the way web browsers work. Instead of passively downloading and running whatever code and content a website delivers, these browsers will take an active role shaping your web experience. That means publishers will have to rethink not just their ads but their assumptions about what readers do and don’t see when they visit their pages.

For years, browsers have simply served as portals to the web, not tools for shaping the web itself. They take the code they’re given and obediently render a page as instructed. Sure, browsers have long blocked pop-up ads and warned users who tried to visit potentially malicious websites. But beyond letting you change the font size, browsers don’t typically let you do much to change the content of a page.

“Browsers have always been about standards and making sure that all browsers show the same content,” says Firefox vice president of product Nick Nguyen. “It’s been a neutral view of the web.”

The problem is that this complacency has led to a crappier web. Publishers plaster their sites with ads that automatically play video and audio without your permission. Advertisers collect data about the pages you visit. And criminals sometimes use bad ads to deliver malware.

 Many people have taken the matter into their own hands by installing plugins to block ads or trackers. About 26 percent of internet users have ad blockers on their computers, according to a survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Some 10 percent have ad blockers on their phones.

Now browser-makers are starting to build these types of features right into their products. Firefox added tracker-blocking to its private browser mode in 2015, and Opera added an optional ad-blocking feature last year. Meanwhile, newer companies like Brave and Cliqz have launched privacy-centric browsers of their own.

Now, thanks to Apple and Google, this trend is going mainstream. About 54 percent of all web surfers used Chrome last month, according to StatCounter, and about 14 percent used Safari. In other words, nearly all browsers will at the very least let users curb the worst ads on the sites they visit. And websites will have to adjust.

The Business of Blocking

It might seem weird for Google, one of the world’s largest advertising companies, to build an ad-blocking tool right into one of its core products. But the search giant may be engaging in a bit of online judo. Google only plans to block ads on pages that feature types of ads identified by an ad-industry trade group as the most annoying. Google may be hoping that stripping out the worst ads will eliminate the impetus to download much stronger third-party ad blockers that also block its own ads and tracking.

Apple, which doesn’t depend on advertising revenue, is taking a more radical approach. In addition to blocking cookies that could be used to track people across sites, the company will also give users the choice to display only the main content of a page, throwing out not just ads but extras like lists of “related stories” and other enticements to stay on a particular site. The page’s prescribed fonts and color scheme get thrown out as well.

Safari has offered the reader view as an option since 2010, but traditionally you’ve had to load a page before you can turn the option on. Letting people turn it on by default means they could visit pages and never see the original versions. That’s a big change that goes well beyond ad-blocking. It means that a page’s code could soon act more as a set of suggestions for how browsers should present its content, not a blueprint to be followed as closely as possible.

That doesn’t just change the way companies have to think about ads. It changes the relationship between reader and publisher—and between publishers and browser makers. For example, Brave—the privacy-centric browsing company founded by Firefox creator Brendan Eich—hopes to essentially invert the advertising business model by having the browser, not the webpage, serve up ads, then share the revenue with publishers. That’s just one new model that this new paradigm makes possible, whether publishers like it or not.

How to Protect Your Company’s Reputation on Social Media



Posted: February 6, 2017 | Social Media Marketing

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.” It’s true, many brands invest valuable time and resources into building their online reputations over the years, but sometimes it takes just one foolish mistake for it to come crashing down. From account hacks to controversial statements, brands often struggle to recover from embarrassing social media blunders.

In fact, social media marketing requires a lot of patience and maintenance. Once you’ve established your social media presence and are generating engagement and measuring your ROI, the most important stage is to protect your hard work. Companies well-versed in social media marketing have taken all these steps to grow and establish their brand’s online presence, but are they doing enough to protect it? Monitoring and protecting your social media presence from decline or extinction is just as pivotal as demonstrating it in the first place.

Every company that engages in social media marketing needs to uphold a strong and credible reputation while looking for ways to continuously improve it. Controversial posts, account hacks, and inadvertent mistakes are all examples of threats that could harm your brand’s reputation. Luckily for marketers, many of these troubling factors are avoidable or correctable. To protect your social media reputation, you must have a careful eye for potential problems, a plan for handling crises, and a team you trust to write and manage the content. Here are three common mistakes that plague social media marketers and the best ways to avoid them:

1. Unsupervised Content Publishing

Imagine a situation where multiple employees have access to your corporate social accounts and one member accidently posts an image with poor taste that was meant to go on their personal profile. If you have a large and distributed social media team, an incident like this is more likely to occur and will require major damage control. In fact, something very similar happened to US Airways when their employee inadvertently tweeted an inappropriate image as a response to a customer complaint. This reply went out from the company’s official Twitter account, and worse, it stayed up for over an hour before being deleted! By the time US Airways apologized, it was too late and the damage had been done.

One way to prevent this from happening is by controlling the roles and permissions of your social media accounts. For example, Facebook allows you to assign different roles to different employees including admin, editor, moderator, advertiser, and analyst. Simply go to your Facebook Business Manager page and follow the steps listed. For Twitter, you can use the “Teams” feature on TweetDeck to control who can be granted access as an owner, admin, or a contributor. For LinkedIn, another popular social platform, there are limited options for managing team roles—either you’re an admin or not—but you can avoid posting mishaps by only granting admin roles to select members in your team.


If you’re looking to take the level of security a step higher, consider adopting a social media management platform that will allow you to manage highly distributed social media teams and protect your data. This way, you’ll ensure that each employee has the level of access necessary for their role (e.g. administrator, contributor, or editor) and prevent employees from posting content that falls outside of corporate guidelines.

2. Controversial Content

Even if you’ve avoided personal content from being shared with your company’s followers, there’s still a possibility that controversial content will slip through the cracks. For example, if you’re using artificial intelligence, then things can get ugly. This is a lesson that Microsoft quickly learned after their newly launched A.I. bot “Tay” was shut down after making offensive and racist statements.

But since a situation like this isn’t likely to happen to everyone, it is, at the very least, imperative that social media managers understand right from wrong when it comes to writing and posting content, which should not be offensive or incite a damaging reputation. Those who manage social media should also be trained on handling negative mentions, aggressive commenters, or unhappy customers so they are prepared for whatever comes their way. It’s also a good idea to create a social media escalation policy to indicate who should respond and how for these unique situations.

3. Account Hacks

Online hacking has become a sharper reality on social media. It can also have adverse effects on all strides a company has made in trying to portray a positive brand image and engaging potential and existing customers. That’s why you need to tightly guard your social accounts by implementing some of these simple tricks:

  • Keep your passwords complex and frequently change them. This is especially important after an employee who had access leaves the company. A simple trick to creating robust passwords is to turn letters into look-alike numbers or symbols, for example ‘O’ can become the number ‘0’ and an ‘a’ can become an ‘@’ sign.
  • Review social media platforms’ privacy settings. Keep an eye out for blogs published by Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to stay on top of their new updates.
  • Turn on notifications to be alerted about suspicious activity. Implementing a system like LogDog will ensure that your Facebook and Twitter profiles are constantly monitored for suspicious activity such as hacking or identity theft. In case something does happen, they will immediately alert you so you’re ready to take action.

Following the general guidelines of a smart social media strategy will help you create safe content that engages your audience, leads them to a solution you’re offering, and forges the essential relationship for generating sales. The founding rule of social media marketing is to expand your reach and communicate your company’s core message. By sticking to these values and implementing an effective strategy, you can protect your social media reputation and ensure it doesn’t decrease or spin out of control.

Have you ever had a social media crisis? How did you recover? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Content Marketing is the New Advertising!!


Why should companies use content marketing?

Risk mitigation, lead generation, lead nurturing and lead scoring are some of the benefits today’s companies are reaping from their content marketing efforts.

How are companies using it?

Some of the most popular ways, by percentage of companies, are non-blogging social media (79%), article posting (78%), in-person events (62%), e-newsletters (61%), case studies (55%), blogs (51%), white papers (43%) and webinars/webcasts (42%).

Are content marketing budgets growing?

Most definitely, with 51% increasing spending over the next 12 months, 45% maintaining their current level of spending, and only 2% planning to decreasing content marketing spending.

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