Headlines & Stuff March 21, 2014

Written by: Christy Wise
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Here are some cool things we read about this past week:

Pinterest Seeks 7-Figure Spend Commitment from Advertisers 
Pinterest hasn’t brought its ads to market yet, but it is asking for a hefty spending commitment: between $1-2 million from prospective advertisers and it’s looking to price CPMs between $30 and $40. The pricing makes it clear that Pinterest intends to have a premium ad offering – similar to Instagram. Pinterest began testing promoted pins on the web and mobile apps almost six months ago with a set of undisclosed businesses.

Facebook is Ending the Free Ride
Facebook is in the process of slashing organic paid reach down to 1-2%. This will impact all brands – meaning companies will have to pay to reach their Facebook fans moving forward.  Expect the changes to take place in the next month or so.

Viacom is Taking Tumblr to the Upfronts
Tumblr has struck a major ad deal with Viacom ahead of this year’s upfronts. Per the exclusive deal, Tumblr plans to host content from MTV, Comedy Central and other Viacom properties, while the network will offer ad partners the option of extending their campaigns across Yahoo’s social network. Last year, Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for Tumblr. Tumblr now claims an audience of more than 300 million unique visitors per month.

Will Twitter Be Removing @Replies?
Twitter is experimenting with a new version of its Android app that removes @ replies entirely, hinting at the possibility that it will phase out the communication feature sometime in the future. Twitter’s Head of News recently told an audience that hashtags and @ replies are “arcane,” and hinted they would be reworked to provide a more streamlined approach to the service to help new users understand the concept of Twitter.  @ replies may be replaced for Facebook-like mentions, although it is only an experiment at this stage.

Global Social Media

Twitter Blocked in Turkey
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced during a rally in Bursa that he will “eradicate Twitter.” Following his announcement, the Prime Minister’s office issued a statement saying that Turkish officials had “no option” other than to ban Twitter. Shortly afterwards, tweets and screenshots began to show that Twitter (and possibly Facebook) was being blocked in the country. Many users were sharing a forum on Wikileaks with advice no how Turkish users can still access the site. #TwitterisblockedinTurkey and #DictatorErdogan were the top trending hashtags worldwide by Thursday afternoon.  There are 10 million Twitter users in Turkey.

Here Come China’s Tech Giants: Weibo, Alibaba to IPO in the U.S.
Weibo, China’s Twitter, filed for its U.S IPO last week. The service, being spun off its parent company Sina Corp. is looking to raise $500 million from the public offering. Although Weibo’s 241 million active users are nearly all inside China, the company listed a variety of international services as its rivals including Facebook and Twitter.  Meanwhile, e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking to file an IPO as soon as April. If that pans out, it could be one of the largest tech IPOs in recent U.S history. It is worth roughly $150 billion. Yahoo owns a quarter of Alibaba.

Noteworthy Campaigns

Delta Wants to Put You on a Flight With An Inspirational Business Leader
Delta Airlines has teamed up with LinkedIn for an initiative called Innovation Class. The campaign is offering customers who are LinkedIn members, the opportunity to meet and fly with select industry leaders on designated Delta flights. The first winner was CEO of Patten Studio, James Patten who won a seat next to Pebble Technology CEO Eric Migicovsky on a flight from Salt Lake City to Vancouver for TED, and now stars in a brand video for the campaign.  The airline will host three other Innovation Class flights throughout 2014, including one en route to The James Beard Awards in NYC on May 5th with Sean Brock, finalist for outstanding chef the year.  The Innovation Class site  asks users to submit ideas for more mentors to offer flights with, hinting that the campaign may continue on beyond the initial four opportunities.