WP Engine secures $250M investment and announces revenue milestone

WP Engine, the world’s leading WordPress Digital Experience Platform, announced today a $250 million investment from Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, and the company’s achievement of more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue with over 75,000 customers globally, up 30 percent year-over-year.

Silver Lake’s investment in the company will help accelerate innovation on WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform and fuel future growth internationally.

As part of the transaction, Greg Mondre, Managing Partner of Silver Lake, and Lee Wittlinger and Mark Gillett, Managing Directors of Silver Lake, will join WP Engine’s Board of Directors.

“We are partnering with Silver Lake because of their incredible track record as technology investors, their understanding of digital platform businesses like ours and because of the alignment in core values we share,” said Heather J. Brunner, Chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine.

“This partnership will help us further invest in our Digital Experience Platform and bring the power of our platform to WordPress users all around the globe.”

Founded in 2010, WP Engine is a market leader in one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet, providing digital solutions for companies of all sizes to build, manage and deliver compelling websites.

The company’s Digital Experience Platform is the world’s leading software and services solution for websites developed on the WordPress content management system (CMS), the preeminent open source software for website building that powers approximately 29 percent of the Internet, up from 13 percent in 2010.* Today, WP Engine powers more WordPress websites than all other managed WordPress hosts combined among the one million most trafficked websites on the Internet.

Pinterest Board Sections feature – Helps to organize your ideas

Pinterest Board Sections feature :

On Pinterest, the more ideas you find and save to your boards, the more ideas you have to try in real life. But if you’ve saved hundreds of ideas to a single board, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for.

That’s why we’re launching board sections—a new way to organize your Pins on Pinterest. Now you can save all your favorite ideas to a single board, organize them into sections and easily find them when you’re ready to try them.

We’ve been testing this feature with a small group of passionate Pinners, and their feedback inspired ideas to make sections even more useful. With the addition of some cool new features, we’re now ready to roll it out to everyone. Here are just a few of the ways we think they’ll help you stay organized.

Organize your ideas

To start organizing, go to one of your boards and tap “Add section.” From there, pick the Pins you want to add and voila—you’ve got a section! You can save new ideas to it like you always do, like using the Pinterest save button for your browser.

Need a little inspiration? Here’s how I’m using Pinterest Board Sections on my Seasons Eatings board.

Clean up your boards

Do you have separate boards for each room in your house? Or for each project you want to try? Now you can move all the Pins from your similar boards into one board with sections.

Just head to your board, tap “Organize” and pick the Pins you want to move.

Plan for the holidays

From party planning to wishlisting to getaway-ing, sections make it easy to get ready for the holidays. Here are just a few ways you can use them for your own holiday prep.

  • Secret shopping: Start a secret board with sections for each person who’s getting a gift this season

  • Friendly feasting: Organize your Friendsgiving board by main courses, sides, pies and wines

  • Lots of layers: Move your winter styles to a new board with sections for warm sweaters, tall boots, wool coats and more

  • Deck the halls: Light up your home with decoration ideas organized by each room in the house

Pinterest Board Sections feature is available for everyone on iOS, Android and web. Update your app to iOS version 6.38 or Android version 6.43 and head over to your profile to start organizing!

Article Source : Pinterest Blog

2018 could be the year Facebook banishes news from its feed

Will News disappear from Facebook news Feed ?

Publishers have a lot to gripe about when it comes to Facebook, from the platform choking off their referral traffic, dominating digital advertising and giving them whiplash with its constantly changing video strategy. But what if it got even worse?

In 2018, Facebook could take a step further and separate news from the Facebook news feed. It’s not a crazy idea. The platform tested a newsless news feedcalled the Explore Feed, in six countries outside the U.S., causing a major publisher freakout. (Facebook said it didn’t expect to roll out the test further.) In the past year, Facebook also launched Watch, a TV-like video tab; and prioritized Facebook Groups, communities for people who share interests or characteristics — also underscoring the idea of separating user interaction from other media content.

Other platforms have made moves to separate users’ messages from media and brands’ content. Snapchat redesigned its app to separate users’ Facebook news feeds from brands’ content. Instagram is testing a private messaging app, which would take peer-to-peer chat out of the main app. Twitter has its Moments tab, a dedicated home for news and entertainment stories.

Fundamental to the success of platforms like Twitter and Facebook is keeping users happy, and as such, they’re always running experiments to see if changes will get people to return more often and stay longer. Given a lot of news is negative or controversial, a feed with no news (unless it’s shared by a user) could be less contentious and more enjoyable for users. And another group that likes less controversy, of course, is another important Facebook constituency: advertisers.

“Sometimes people get really annoyed and confused when they’re reading about their cousin’s bar mitzvah or whatever and they see a very serious story afterward,” said Andrew Montalenti, CTO and co-founder of web analytics firm Parsely. “All of the platforms, what they’re really concerned about with fake news is that I think you kind of draw on a bank account of trust with the user. If you come across that stuff too much, you declare it to be a problem, and you stop using it. So they have to play this delicate balance — ‘We can’t show you too many ads or show you too much spammy content.’”

Another factor is the fake-news imbroglio that blew up in Facebook’s face in the past year, leading lawmakers to threaten regulation. Facebook responded by trying to police fake news, which has proved to be a challenge. Further de-emphasizing news or taking it out of the feed altogether is one way to deal with the problem.

As to the Explore test, Facebook said: “There is no current plan to roll this out beyond these test countries or to charge pages on Facebook to pay for all their distribution in Fecebook News Feed or Explore.” That was cold comfort to those publishers who depend on the news feed to reach audiences, though. As much as Facebook has declined in reach, it’s still a significant source of traffic for many publishers, which have already seen their direct traffic from Facebook decline in recent months, if not years, as Facebook has prioritized users’ posts and video content in the news feed.

Some publishers whose audience strategy is closely tied to Facebook and follow the company closely are starting to consider the possibility of a newsless news feed. An executive at a traditional publishing company said this is “definitely on our minds” given the company gets a “ton of traffic from Facebook,” and it’s a risk the company has to think about in the next few years. “It would be seismic shift,” said another publishing exec.

 

“There’s good reason to be concerned if publishers’ content becomes separated out of the main news feed,” said Vivian Schiller, a former Twitter news executive. “Their criteria [for the Explore test] was about user experience. That’s their business. But it’s hard to imagine this not having a deleterious effect on publishers.”

There are other reasons for Facebook to go in this direction. Facebook could make an exception for publishers and other commercial content providers that pay to be in the news feed, which could mean more revenue for Facebook. Separating news from the feed also could give Facebook a way to test a potential new product, similar to how it took Messenger out of the site and made it its own app, Schiller said.

Of course, none of this is a fait accompli. There’s good reason to think Facebook will keep news in the feed. Scrolling through the news feed is the core daily habit for most Facebook users. It’s what Facebook uses to promote its many other products, like the Watch video tab and Marketplace. It’s hard to get people to toggle from the news feed to other places on Facebook.

That said, even if a newsless news feed doesn’t materialize, publishers have to adapt. Facebook, and Google, are here to stay, and Facebook has proven time and time again that it’s not always going to act in publishers’ interests. Publishers have to take matters into their own hands, and take advantage of other audience and revenue opportunities.

 

Article Source : DIGIDAY.com

Snapchat Is Finally Opening Up Pixel Tracking for Marketers

A year ago, TechStyle—the parent company to ecommerce brands Fabletics, JustFab and ShoeDazzle—began running Snapchat ads to promote shoe and apparel merchandise. But like other stats-obsessed ecommerce companies, TechStyle’s advertising has one goal: Sell more stuff, and the retailer didn’t have a direct way to tell if someone bought a product after seeing an ad.

In recent weeks, the retailer has been one of the first advertisers to test Snapchat’s long-awaited conversion pixel that allows advertisers to create pieces of code on websites to track specific actions that someone takes after seeing an ad. Dubbed Snap Pixel, Snapchat’s proprietary conversion pixels are the first step in building out Snapchat’s performance-based advertising model that’s geared toward direct response marketers that want to connect the dots between ads served within the app and website traffic.

Facebook, Google and others also offer pixels or tags that help advertisers measure and target their ads. Before beginning to ramp up its ads business a couple of years ago, Snapchat famously shied away from sophisticated targeted ads, with CEO Evan Spiegel calling those ads “creepy.” But like all ad-supported tech platforms, Snapchat is building out an ad-tech stack with measurement, analytic and tracking tools to compete alongside heavyweights in digital advertising.

“It’s still pretty early days so there are some things that we’re testing and learning on, but we want to get as much data as we can,” said Laura Joukovski, svp of media at TechStyle Fashion Group. “The pixel gives us a whole new and better way of seeing what’s going on and a new opportunity to harvest direct-response signals beyond the click.”

Advertisers first create a pixel within Snapchat’s ad-buying tool by picking a website to track. For example, a retailer may want to see how many people visited the page on their ecommerce site after someone makes a purchase to measure who saw an ad and then converted on a website. Or, an advertiser could track the confirmation page of a website that someone sees after signing up for an email newsletter to see if Snap Ads led someone to fill out a form.

Once a pixel is set up, marketers can keep track of campaign stats in real time and analyze data collected within 28 days after someone has viewed or engaged with an ad. By the end of the year, the tags will include ad targeting that will allow brands to hone in on specific audiences and groups of people who have visited their websites. Snapchat will allow users to opt-out of retargeting.

“If you look at other digital marketing platforms, you’ve got Facebook and Google—they have very sophisticated tooling for direct-response advertisers,” Joukovski said. “Snapchat understands that if they want to play the game with us, they’ve got to give us tools.”

However, unlike Facebook and Google, Snapchat’s pixels are only being used for measurement initially. By the end of the year, the tags will include ad targeting that will allow brands to hone in on specific audiences and groups of people who have visited their websites.

“The pixel can be used to optimize the auction bidding around your conversion and try to serve ads to people who are most likely to convert based on their understanding of people’s behavior on other sites,” explained Joukovski. “Snapchat is not there yet.”

The results so far are promising. In its first test with Snap Pixels, TechStyle lowered the cost-per-purchase from its ads by 40 to 60 percent, which tracked the number of people who bought something within 24 hours of seeing an ad. For ShoeDazzle specifically, the cost-per-purchase was 63 percent while cost-per-sign up was 48 percent under their goal.

In terms of driving new leads, the retailer achieved a cost-per-sign up that was 30 to 50 percent lower than their goal. TechStyle claims that it was able to attribute 28 percent more conversions from its Snapchat ads by looking at a one day’s worth of view-through attribution. TechStyle did not provide specific revenue or sales data about its brands.

“There’s a whole population of people who are exposed to these ads that we’re going to be able to learn about—how are they interacting with the ads and how it’s driving them to the site,” she said.

Signet Jewelers—which owns Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared—also plans to use Snap Pixel, and Omnicom’s Resolution Media is testing the tool for several retailers during the fourth quarter, though the agency declined to name specific clients.

Sarah Perkins, U.S. social lead for Resolution Media added that the upcoming ad-targeting portion to Snap Pixel will be particularly intriguing for setting up sophisticated placements. “It will make our targeting much more sophisticated and smart compared to some of the other targeting ways on the platform,” she said.

Article Source : Adweek.com