Reading List: Facebook Wants Advertisers to Use Verbs

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Facebook’s Verb Ads Opportunity: If there’s any doubt that Silicon Valley speaks a language difficult for Madison Avenue to understand, read Robert Scoble’s take on Facebook’s huge ad opportunity. There’s little doubt that Facebook does have an enormous, mostly unrealized potential as a media platform. But Scoble is hung up, like many in the Valley, on Facebook’s “verbs.” The idea is that it feeds what people are doing into its ticker — Brian is reading this, watching that, listening to something else. Facebook is thinking in these verbs while advertisers typically think in nouns; but this isn’t totally true. Behind every product is a need state, which brands try to match. There isn’t as big of a hurdle as Scoble makes out to be for Facebook to meet Madison Avenue halfway. The trouble is, people in Silicon Valley are typically only interested by “disruption,” while there’s often more opportunity in cooperation with a huge, successful industry like advertising. Scobleizer — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey
Could Siri Hurt Google?: As iPhone 4’s users become accustomed to Siri — their voice-activated “virtual assistant” — they’re interacting less with search-results pages and, therefore, ads. Though the loss of a few mobile clicks is unlikely to concern Google greatly at this point, the technology hints at an interesting possibility. If voice-centric search becomes commonplace, the search giant might have to rethink how it monetizes those queries. MarketWatch — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall
Spotify is Siriusly Still Small: If you work in the digital media world, it’s easy to convince yourself that the whole world either gets all their music from Vevo, piracy sites or Spotify. But Splatf pulled together some data that puts all these digital services in perspective. According to the site, Sirius XM has 21.3 million subscribers, making it 85 times bigger than Spotify’s paid-subscriber base. Of course, the two companies are headed in different directions, but, still, such data is a reminder that the average American still listens to a lot of radio (old-school terrestrial radio is, of course, way bigger than satellite) and much more music is consumed in cars rather than on social networks. So it’s going to be a while before Spotify and similar services can expect a massive ad business. Splatf — Mike Shields @digitalshields
Google and Facebook, the New Titans: It seems like just yesterday the battle for tech supremacy was epitomized by Google vs. Microsoft. It’s telling that the new battleground is around Google and Facebook (well, Apple too). Google and Facebook have different DNA. Google was founded on its algorithm-based discovery while Facebook was born of a much newer trend toward people-based discovery. Google has many advantages as the incumbent, but Facebook has the wind at its sails. Fortune takes a long look at this multi-front battle. In the end, it will be determined by whether Google can successfully morph its search model to a social world, eerily reminiscent of the challenge Google presented to Microsoft shifting from the desktop software world to the Internet-based model. Fortune — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey
Silicon Valley’s Pied Piper of Data: Reid Hoffman is emerging as the latest Wise Man of Silicon Valley. The LinkedIn co-founder and venture investor is advising top entrepreneurs there — and preaching the gospel of data. Hoffman believes the next iteration of the Web will be driven by data. It’s why he’s invested in companies like location-based service Shopkick and deals giant Groupon. LinkedIn itself is an underrated data play. Facebook might get all the press, but if you’re IBM only looking to reach engineers who make buying decisions on enterprise servers, LinkedIn has more valuable data. NYT — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey
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