Would you buy ads on a free-phone-call community? eBay’s Meg Whitman is betting you will, according to a Reuters story carried on ZDNet. That idea is part of Whitman’s justification for eBay’s rather expensive purchase of Skype. The company’s also talking pay-per-call merchandising opportunities on its auction service or Shopping.com.
Not sure how I feel about ad-supported phone calls. I’ve talked to companies selling these types of ads to subsidize mobile phone service (seemingly caught on better in Scandinavia, if I recall correctly, but this was 1999-ish). I think people calling users would hear audio ads instead of a ringing tone (a variation on the ringback, I guess). You could also potentially imagine visual ads as part of the interface (if it was a desktop app like Skype).
Despite the fact that it faces growing competition from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Google-owned YouTube is still one of the most popular ... read more
Amazon prides itself on being the most “customer-centric” company in the world, but according to investigative journalism non-profit ProPublica, Amazon’s algorithms are often anything but ... read more