FACEBOOK PRODUCT CHARTS

This category is all about the great Facebook Products, customer journeys and Facebook business.

Link to the Facebook Customer journey : CustomerJourney_SmallBusinessOwner

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Is the Internet ubiquitous?

Would I be writing this article if it took me few seconds extra to upload this article? Would you be reading this article if it took you some a few seconds extra to load this article?

The answer is mostly going to be “NO”. We are very accustomed to high speed internet. However in this era, the true power and potential of technology can be realized only if internet is ubiquitous. Technology as an equalizing force can be achieved down the line can be achieved only of there is widespread proliferation of internet.

As per recent statistics, only 3 billion of the worldwide 7.2 billion world population has access to internet. [1] Well, less than just 50% of the world population has access to internet. When we dwell deep behind this number and look at the number of users by country & number of users by region, the disparity and the problem is palpable.

Nearly 75% of all internet users in the world, live in the top 20 countries. The remaining 25% is distributed among the remaining 178 countries, each representing less than 1% of total users.[1] There are countries such as Eritrea, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Ghana where less than 2% of the population has access to internet. This in essence means that less than 2% of this population can use Google search, Facebook or any of these applications that most of us take for granted.

Here is link to the list of countries and the % of population in each of these countries that has access to internet. Internet Proliferation.[2]

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The solutions for this problem needs to be profound and scalable to proliferate internet in these countries.

  1. How can we as individuals help improve this situation?
  2. How can organizations like Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. help improve this situation?
  3. How can governments around the globe and other agencies help improve this situation?

Even India which has a huge proliferation of tech companies faces this problem: Only 20% of the population has access to internet. It’s time we think about this problem and a way to solve this.

My research and efforts are going to be geared towards this problem. I look forward to hearing from you guys about my article and if you guys can think of any solution to this problem.

Lets join force to make technology an equalizer for the world.

Thanks

—R

References:

  1. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=number%20of%20people%20using%20inernet%20in%20the%20world
  2. http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_Internet_users#cite_note-ITCFactsAndFigures-2014-16

Web Tracking – Why is it done?

Web tracking is the ability of a website to keep tab on website visitor. [1] Well you search for a flight lets assume from Chicago to Pittsburgh (something I do very often!). You are done with your search you don’t buy a ticket and you go on to Facebook. While you are surfing through Facebook, you see an advertisement for flights from Chicago to Pittsburgh from the website you were viewing your tickets earlier. All this and much more is possible due to web tracking.

 

Some people argue that this is against personal privacy, some may argue this is unethical but companies on the other end advocate that they do web tracking to improve the online experience for users. We as users get better online experience and companies get better sales. WIN – WIN situation is what it sounds like. Let us look at few reasons as to why web tracking is done:[2]

  1. Web tracking for advertisements – Tracking individual web surfing patterns enables companies to provide better advertisements.
    1. Personalized Advertisements: In the above example, I much more likely to be interested in the Chicago to Pittsburgh flight ticket ad than an advertisement for some body deodorant. As a user, I get better experience and the airline website is more likely to increase its sales.
    2. Contextual Advertisements: In contextual advertisements, advertisements are displayed on a page depending on certain words. If the page does contain certain keywords then certain advertisements are displayed on the page.
    3. Behavioral advertisements: Advertisements displayed can also vary depending on the age, gender and geographic location of the user.
    4. Semantic advertisements: While contextual advertisements depend on certain keywords, semantic keywords understand the context in the page and then provide relevant advertisements. This is a very sophisticated form of advertising.
  2. Web Analytics – Web tracking can also be used to get a sense of the overall performance of a website. It can be used to track the number of visitors to a page over a period of time. Companies and web owners can track the source that is diverting traffic to their website. They can analyze from where their users landed and can also customize their website depending on the results. This can track the geographic dispersion of the visitors.
  3.  Clickstream Analytics[3] – Clickstream analytics is used to analyze which pages the visitors visit in what order and also result of successive mouse clicks that each visitor makes. There are 2 types of clickstream analysis – Traffic analysis and e-commerce analysis.
    1. Traffic analysis is performed at the server level where the path taken by the users through the site is examined. It also determined how many pages were served to a user, time taken to serve each page and also activities such as how many times user pressed back button, how many users refreshed a page and so on.
    2. E-commerce based analysis is used to determine the pages that a user lingers on, the items user puts into a cart and removes. It tracks all the way up to final purchase made by the user.

References:

  1. http://whatismyipaddress.com/web-tracking
  2. http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/means-and-methods-of-web-tracking-its-effects-on-privacy-and-ways-to-avoid-getting-tracked/
  3. http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/clickstream-analysis

COOKIES – How is web tracking done?

Cookies are small files stored in the users computer. Cookies are used for session management, authentication of visitors.

Basic Information:
Standard cookies cannot be more than 255 characters and not more than 4k in disk space. Cookies have 2 mandatory fields: name and value. Expiration time, requirements of secure connection, domain name and path for cookie are generally included in the cookie although they are not mandatory.

Zombie Cookies:Zombie cookies are a huge threat to security. They can create themselves via backup after being created. They can be stored online and as cookie on the machine. Standard cookies are confined to one particular website while Zombie cookies can track activities of multiple websites. They are also browser independent and can track the activities of multiple web browsers.

In terms of space, Zombie cookies can occupy 25 times more space as a standard cookie. Cookies are created using Adobe Local Shared Objects (LSOs). These cookies are managed by the flash plug-in.

Third party Cookies:

Suppose we visit a webpage and that webpage contains images/information from a third party website (some other website), then the cookies created for that third party website is called “third party cookies”. These cookies are sent to the third party sites during the next visit regardless of the context/ page as long as there is information being retrieved from 3 party.

Third parties can insert dummy undetectable images called “web bug” in web pages. So every time a user visits this page, third party cookie is sent back to the third party.

Other Cookies:

Persistent cookies (Tracking cookies): These are used to determine how a user reached a particular website. these cookies can be made permanent using the maxAge option. They are in charge of a lot of useful functionalities such as authentication, language, theme-preferences, in-site bookmarks and favorites.

Session cookies: These cookies expire at the end of each session and do not have any potential negative effects.

There are other cookies such as secure cookies, HttpOnly cookies.

Thank you reading this article on cookies. I am also learning about them along the way. Please feel free to let me know of any mistakes I may have made in the article. Feedback is most welcome!

Thanks

–R

References:

  1. http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/means-and-methods-of-web-tracking-its-effects-on-privacy-and-ways-to-avoid-getting-tracked/