Micah, really enjoyed this post. AWS is ingenious on Amazon’s part, and @Meghan – they sure are trying to attract start ups! Every startup community I was a part of in the last 2 years received a nontrivial amount of free credits towards AWS.
I’m curious as to how Jeff Bezos views AWS in his overall strategy. Amazon promises online retail, delivery drones, Echo for home automation, that IoT dash button, lots of ingredients going into a black box to dominate the consumer purchase world. AWS seems like a different consumer segment, and I wonder where it fits in.
Great post! The disparity between CTR for FB display ads and Google AdWords is interesting to look at. When I was experimenting with ad platforms (my budget was small, a couple thousands of $), I actually found that I could achieve conversions (emails, then pre-orders) more cost effectively on FB, and I also liked that a FB advertisement post that had accumulated likes and comments could add validation to your brand.
At the same time, to your point about user intent, I was definitely concerned about conversion quality. Are people using Newsfeed to look at products, or to connect with their personal networks? What type of people are willing to buy something after seeing it in their FB news feed?
FB has such rich user content, and I’m very curious to see where their monetization strategy goes from here.
Thanks for the interesting write-up and data. Web products especially struggle with how to monetize without alienating users and disrupting user experience. I’m curious if others have been able to reach profitability by going the other direction, by asking for donations as a reward for the great product (e.g. Wikipedia). As a user, considering how long reddit gold has been running, I had the impression reddit must have reached profitability at some point!
The challenge of targeted ads without log-ins is also tough, and it seems that the key is to get freemium to work (which could solve both the log-in/data and revenue problem). What about exclusive subreddits? I’d love to see a discussion board for say, our section, to talk about different articles. Take the case method online.