July 31, 2018


Facebook featured on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

You know you’ve made it when some late night TV show features you. Or when your market cap is over $500 billion.

Well, Facebook has it both. Kinda… they’re floating around $500 billion market cap at the time of writing so might go below when you read this.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver went through the recent history fails of the company, and they ended up giving their version of how an honest advertising campaign for Facebook should look like.

It gave us a nice laugh to start the day, the video is 4 mins total if you want to check it out.

Trying to capitalize on FB’s struggles – yet another “FB alternative” 

Just like mushrooms after rain, whenever FB is struggling, you are bound to see some social apps trying to position themselves as a “private alternative to FB”.

Fabric is the latest one on the list. They basically say you can share personal moments in a private timeline and that they won’t monetize through ads. Instead, they will build paid features into their product.

We’ve given our thoughts on this before too but to refresh everyone’s memory.

Paid features can work and Facebook is also building such revenue streams. In other words, Facebook is the one disrupting Facebook so we would not bet on “alternatives” too soon. We would bet on FB changing so much you barely recognize it in 3-4 years. Just like now it’s very different from 4-5 years ago.

One other reason why “FB alternatives” will have a tough time

Advertisers still spend money on FB. Even the “bad” earnings call saw a 42% YoY growth in revenue.

And Facebook’s been spreading just about in all app types. The current star of the lineup is Instagram.

Influencer marketing is turning heads more and more, sharing stories is becoming super popular and well, advertisers are throwing their money there too!

Instagram ad-spend saw 177% growth year-over-year. The number of available impressions grew 209%, and the average CPM decreased by 10%.

In contrast, FB’s average CPM was 70% higher and the number of impressions was down 17%.
Putting these together, we can say that Instagram should be very interesting for advertisers right now. Growing in impressions faster than people spend money on it!

How do you answer “How much should I spend on FB ads?”

Since we just said spending money with FB is still a good idea, we thought we’d feature a great and true answer to the age-old question “… but how much should I spend?”

It was Josh Klemons who asked how the Facebook Ad Buyers group would answer the question.

Some good answers there, discussing numbers based on the total marketing budget, audience, niche and goals.

That said, we like the quote from Katie Guastini: “Whatever you want to spend. If you do it right, you get what you give”

This is a nice way to say “it really depends on many factors, including your available marketing budget and your skills.”


Behavioural Economics, Innovation and Beyond with Rory Sutherland

There are two ways to create economic value.

You can find out what people want and work out a way to supply it, or you can work out what you can supply and find a clever way to make people want it.

Rory Sutherland says in his talk about behavioural economics that the biggest economic gains in the future are going to come from the second way of creating economic value.

Who is this guy? Just the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy.

To determine if something is good or bad does not exclusively depend on what it is, it also depends on what you expect and how you look at it.

By changing what people pay attention to you change what’s important, and by changing what’s important you can make something bad good, or something good bad.

He talks about the evolutionary psychology that explains why we buy things that are overpriced or not even needed at all.

While economists presume almost exclusively rational behaviour in our purchasing decisions, our decisions get influenced a lot by things like status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness.

It’s a 40-minute video, but if you are interested in marketing psychology it’s something you will absolutely love!

Why use HTTPS

Just like with GDPR, unless you’ve ignored your inbox, you were probably warned by affiliate networks and traffic sources that you should change your links to HTTPS.

We bet some of you are thinking “… but why?”, just like STM Forum member expadz did.

STM veteran and admin, Zeno, gave a very good answer that explains the topic, and what you should do better than we ever could.

  • Chrome and other browsers will make insecure HTTP URLs looks worse over time.
  • Some traffic sources and platforms require HTTPS links to be used for outgoing traffic (e.g. ads)
  • The “secure” symbolism in browsers can only do harm, now likely to make people trust you less
  • HTTP > HTTPS redirection blanks referrer as a browser standard. This can cause tracking issues, so use HTTPS fully or not at all across your stack.
  • Using HTTPS is not necessarily slow, it is getting faster and adopting it can make it easier to use HTTP/2 which does have significant performance impacts. Check out this page. If you are using Cloudflare + their SSL, you may potentially see performance improvements just from the move to HTTP/2.
  • Ultimately, the point of HTTPS is security, so using it with your pages/tracker/etc. does decrease the likelihood of your systems or your customers being compromised. It could stop a breach of some customer where they would blame your site for it and cause negative press. E.g. they get their CC details intercepted, get defrauded, publicly rant on FB about how your site is a scam and so on.
  • If using HTTPS you can use Brotli compression (better than Gzip), as well as enable HSTS which forces browsers to access your server via HTTPS, reducing issues with HTTP>HTTPS redirects and mixed-content errors.
  • The latest versions of TLS have gotten much better with performance and it is only a matter of time before all webservers (Nginx, Apache, etc.) support the latest versions with these improvements (e.g. zero round trip time negotiation).
  • Some browsers penalise not HTTPS content and this can impact your conversion rates. I believe Advertizer (by Monetizer) mentioned enabling HTTPS saw CVRs skyrocket on Safari/iOS.

For those who want to dig deeper into the topic, he recommends this post that tackles HTTPS performance overhead.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Upgrade from Business to JetClass

We wish this was a sponsored post but it isn’t. It’s just a cool service some people in the industry might actually want to use.

Their name is already pretty intuitive but if that didn’t give it away… JetClass is a company where you can book private jet flights at prices similar to business class.

You won’t be the only one on the jet, of course. Otherwise, it couldn’t be so cheap. But you will have all the other benefits of using a private jet.

The luxury, the speedy check-in, the hassle-free check-out. Plus, it’s a private jet!

They’re currently only operating in Europe, and you can check their routes on their website.

Hey Paul, if you’re reading this: Sorry we’re late with the solution to your flight issues from last week. You have a good one for next time you spend time in Europe 😉 

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