The mobile web sucks

Same old apps vs open web debate but what’s interesting here is that things like Facebook Instance Articles are really tech heavy and cumbersome to use:

You might think I’m being hyperbolic, but Facebook launched five Instant Articles with great fanfare on May 13th, published another on June 9th, and just one more last Monday. That’s seven articles in two months. The Verge publishes something like 40 a day. It’s harder than it looks, and in the end all those engineering hours are being spent trying to display text and video on a screen, just like the web has done for years. The entire point of the web was to democratize and simplify publishing using standards that anyone could build on, and it has been a raging, massively disruptive success for decades now.

via The mobile web sucks | The Verge.

Coming Soon: More Text Spam From Mobile Apps

I tried to read the ruling last week but couldn’t cut through it.  I read some articles about how it would handcuff app marketing but this article (paywall) says it will enable more:

Developers eager to drive down the cost of acquiring new customers are now in the clear to rely more on texts, one of the last, relatively spam-free digital communication channels.

via Coming Soon: More Text Spam — The Information.

Which is winning? YouTube vs Facebook Video

After seeing conflicting headlines about who is winning the recent battles, I’m convinced that nobody really knows at this point:

What’s going on here? While it’s not easy to sum up the motivations of hundreds of creators, several major factors seem to be holding back YouTube stars from fully embracing Facebook. First and most obvious is that Facebook lacks an established ad revenue model for content producers. Plus, Facebook’s news feed as it stands now may prove to be a poor fit for some of the more popular YouTube genres. And YouTube’s Web video-centric nature and community make it particularly well suited for Web video stars to build fan bases.

via YouTube Stars Keep Facebook at Arm’s Length For Now – CMO Today – WSJ.

Your startup is a bubble when your COGS are greater than revenue

Business practices like this are what the public are going to scrutinize because it’s hard to rationalize this into a story that doesn’t sound flawed. recently listed these 12 items on its website but filled orders for the items by buying them from other retailers. As a result, Jet paid a total of $518.46, or nearly twice as much as it charged the customer.
Frenzy Around Shopping Site Harks Back to Dot-Com Boom – WSJ.

Mobile deep linking will not improve app discovery

Fundamental differences between mobile and desktop web:

Because [apps still need to be installed before being accessed], the expansion of mobile deep linking will lead to a wildly different outcome within the app ecosystem than what hyperlinks produced on the web. Deep linking will lead to further concentration of viewership within the top of the app economy’s food chain for two reasons.

via Mobile deep linking will not improve app discovery.

Wait, I thought Apple was supposed to protect us from those evil purveyors of targeted advertising??

Wait, I thought Apple was supposed to protect us from those evil purveyors of targeted advertising??

Apple Patent: July 16 2015- Method and system for targeted advertising of goods and services to users of mobile terminals


Method and system for targeted advertising of goods and services to users of mobile terminals, based for example on the users’ profile. Goods and services are marketed to particular target groups of users sharing a common profile which may be selected to increase the likelihood of the users responding to the advertisements and purchasing the advertised goods and services. The common profile of users may be based on the amount of pre-paid credit available to each user. An advantage of such targeted advertising is that only advertisements for goods and services which particular users can afford, are delivered to these users.

via United States Patent Application: 0150199725.

Unsanctioned Web Tracking

W3C TAG Finding 17 July 2015:

Finds that unsanctioned tracking is actively harmful to the Web, because it is not under the control of users and not transparent.

Believes that, because combatting fingerprinting is difficult, new Web specifications should take reasonable measures to avoid adding unneeded fingerprinting surface area. However, added surface area should not be a primary factor in determining whether to add a new feature.

Asserts that when a new feature does add fingerprinting surface area, it should be documented as such.

via Unsanctioned Web Tracking.

Google’s product strategy: Make two of everything

Trying to make sense of Google’s product strategy:

Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? It’s a saying that extolls the virtues of diversification—always have a “Plan B.” Judging by Google’s messy and often-confusing product line, it’s something the company takes to heart. Google likes to have multiple, competing products that go after the same user base. That way, if one product doesn’t work out, hopefully the other one will.

via Google’s product strategy: Make two of everything | Ars Technica.