Social Media Newsfeed: Facebook Ad-Targeting | IRS Email Snooping

By Tim Sohn 

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Facebook’s Partner Categories Enable Brands to Target Ads to Users Based on Activity Across Web (AllFacebook)
Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities took a giant step forward with Wednesday’s launch of partner categories, which allow brands on the social network to show ads to users based not only on their Facebook activity, but their activity across the Web, via both desktop and mobile, and even their offline purchases and tendencies. Partner categories were available to advertisers in the United States via power editor and the ads application-programming interface starting Wednesday. Inside Facebook Grocery habits, occupation and car ownership are among the new options self-serve advertisers have access to on the social network. Partner categories are similar to Facebook’s broad category targeting, but they are created with data from third parties that many advertisers already work with, Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon. The New York Times/Bits Blog Optimal, a San Francisco-based company that helps brands target their advertisements on Facebook, said the new product would allow companies to more precisely aim messages at the right customers at the right time. A barbecue sauce maker, for instance, could target customers who buy meat every week. Mashable As with other Custom Audience tools, the system purports to protect users’ privacy with a double-blind system. The data companies do not identify users by name to Facebook, and Facebook does not identify users by name to advertisers. GigaOM The project will launch initially with 500 categories that advertisers can target, like “frozen food buyers” or “full-size sedan buyers.” Jeff Roberts wrote recently about the company’s goals when it comes to advertising, and how the company will have to balance its efforts to make money with both concerns from privacy advocates about how user data is being appropriated, and also user distaste with ads filling their feeds.

IRS Thinks it Doesn’t Need a Warrant to Read Your Email (The Huffington Post)
IRS documents released Wednesday suggest that the tax collection agency believes it can read American citizens’ emails without a warrant. The files were released to the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act request. CNET Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers says that Americans enjoy “generally no privacy” in their email, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages and similar online communications — meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge. That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans’ email messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. In the case, the United States v. Warshak, government investigators said they had read 27,000 emails without getting a search warrant first. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled Dec. 10, 2010, threw out the emails as evidence.

Twitter Taking Mobile Advertising By Storm and Invading Google’s Turf (AllTwitter)
According to a report by IDC, “mobile publishers like Facebook, Pandora and Twitter are gaining control over the display advertising market,” snagging 52 percent of the mobile advertising space that Google and others previously controlled. “Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward,” said Karsten Weide, vice president of media and entertainment at IDC.

Bitcoin Crashes, Losing Nearly Half of its Value in Six Hours (ars technica)
On Wednesday afternoon, the Bitcoin bubble appears to have burst. As of this writing, its current value was around $160 — down from a high of $260, and some redditors have taken solace in a comment thread entitled “Hold Spartans.”

MTV Enables Instagram Voting for Sunday’s 2013 Movie Awards (LostRemote)
Always at the forefront of engaging viewers over Twitter with its live events, MTV is adding a new social network for this Sunday’s 2013 Movie Awards. In advance of the show, fans are voting for the “Best Hero” category over Instagram by tagging their photos with hashtags like #votesnowwhite and #votebilbo.

LinkedIn Shakes its New, Improved Moneymaker: Recruiter (VentureBeat)
The professional network service recently rolled out a new, expanded version of its search features, making it easier to drill down on specific companies, jobs, people and even content. But the Talent Solutions Recruiter product is a whole different beast: a supercharged way for professional recruiters to track down and hire even the rarest of candidates, aka “passive talent,” aka people who aren’t actually looking for a new job right now.

Could a Tweet Start a Thousand Wars? (AppNewser)
Residents of Yokohama, Japan, may have been a bit surprised Wednesday when they saw the city’s official Twitter account broadcasting that “North Korea has launched a missile.” The erroneous tweet went out to 40,000 followers with about 3,000 retweets before the city took down the original tweet and apologized for its mistake.

Reddit Gives Stoners Their Own Award Show, The Munchies (The Daily Dot)
Pot-smoking Internet addicts rejoice, there’s finally an awards show set to satisfy your weed addictions. Introducing The Munchies, a production of Reddit, to be hosted on April 20.

Google Releases Infographic Roadmap of Gmail on its Ninth Anniversary (SocialTimes)
Time flies, doesn’t it? It seems like yesterday that I was invited to join Google’s radically different email service. But it’s been nine years this month, according to Google.