Brands concerned about social media backlash by consumers against their companies have justifiable fears — on Tuesday, public outrage caused Uber shareholders to give ride-sharing service CEO Travis Kalanick the boot.
In a recent post, "The End of Taxis," I extolled Uber—the elegant chauffeured automobile service you can call from a smartphone. In two-to-10 minutes, you will be picked up by a well-dressed driver in a spotless, roomy town car. He will deliver you to your destination and no money changes hands. The cost for this s-m-o-o-t-h service is roughly the same as a taxi. And you experience none of the grief (e.g., grungy car, no leg room and an unkempt driver yakking on a cellphone the whole way).
On Wednesday, Facebook launched its mobile ad network, Facebook Audience Network, so developers can make money without having to sell their own ads, do their own targeting, handle measurement or route payments. Facebook will take care of it all. Just as my scoop said, developers can integrate a tiny bit of code to run FAN in banner ads, or they can work directly with Facebook to create native ad units that feel like a natural part of their user experience. Facebook says developers can sign-up for Facebook Audience Network or talk to their ad rep about getting early access.