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    商業 - 科技

    Facebook推出加密貨幣,助推廣告業務

    Facebook有很大幾率能夠獲得大量關于用戶如何花錢的新數據,而接受Libra的商家將可以投放更具針對性的廣告。

    Facebook公布了Libra加密幣計劃的細節,該計劃雄心勃勃,想把像比特幣這樣的數字貨幣帶給全球數十億人。合作伙伴包括Uber和萬事達(MasterCard)等數十家企業,可能重塑全球支付行業。但這對Facebook有什么好處?

    首先,Facebook能用自己新的數字錢包Calibra與PayPal的數字支付應用Venmo等同類產品競爭,同時提供更便宜的跨境支付服務。Facebook的新貨幣Libra也可以幫助公司節省交易成本。但如果要猜一猜Facebook的主要動機,最佳答案是Libra計劃能夠幫助這家社交網絡公司做它最擅長的事情:收集數據、銷售廣告。

    具體來說,新貨幣能夠讓Facebook有機會在Instagram和WhatsApp上插入支付服務,用戶在這些平臺上看到廣告后,可以立刻下單購買。

    營銷和電子商務高管向《財富》雜志表示,這對Facebook及其廣告客戶來說大有益處。支付行業初創公司Amino的首席執行官威爾·盧特雷爾表示,擁有數字貨幣能夠讓Facebook更好地和亞馬遜不斷增長的廣告業務競爭。他認為,通過該項目,Facebook可以清楚地知道用戶什么時候會受廣告影響進行消費,從而向營銷人員提供他們夢寐以求的確切的“投資回報”指標,Facebook能夠在該領域實現前所未有的突破。

    在營銷技術領域工作了幾十年的杰里米·愛潑斯坦在聽到Facebook的項目介紹時也同樣提到了亞馬遜。

    “該項目的意義在于可以形成閉環。它能把支付數據傳送回Facebook,讓Facebook知道誰在買什么。”愛潑斯坦說,“現在,Facebook不像亞馬遜那樣知道最后一步的情況。”

    然而,一切的前提是Facebook有權訪問其用戶的支付數據。在Libra的項目公告中,Facebook明確表示,這兩個系統互不聯通,Calibra錢包將作為一個單獨的子公司運營。

    這很有可能,但是Facebook的承諾中包含一個免責聲明,這點很重要。我的同事羅伯特·哈克特解釋說,如果用戶同意,數據可以相互混合。哈克特寫道:“如果有人明確同意將他們的Calibra賬戶鏈接到另一個Facebook產品上——比如導入他們的WhatsApp聯系人——就可以為數據共享打開通道。”

    尤其是,如果Facebook問用戶是否愿意把Facebook好友添加到Calibra錢包中,或者把該錢包接入Instagram進行購物,大多數用戶肯定會同意。

    結果就是,Facebook有很大幾率能夠獲得大量關于用戶如何花錢的新數據,而接受Libra的商家將可以投放更具針對性的廣告,并能夠準確地看到這些廣告的效果。這就像在一天營業結束時打開收銀機,知道每一美元的來源。

    當然,并不是說一切都盡在掌握。要想在2020年推出Libra貨幣,Facebook還有很多工作要做,包括和一大批難駕馭的合作伙伴建立區塊鏈網絡。此外,它還必須說服用戶試用這種加密貨幣。

    區塊鏈集團Consensys負責廣告技術的阿蘭娜·岡伯特表示,Facebook可能會推出獎勵系統——用戶完成觀看視頻等任務時,獎勵用戶可以用于消費的Libra。

    “必須要簡單好用,而且是你以前不曾擁有過的實用,就像你可以用Apple Pay訂閱《紐約時報》(New York Times)一樣。”她說,“真的很難強迫人們接受一種貨幣。”(財富中文網)

    譯者:Agatha

    Facebook has revealed the details of its Project Libra crypto coin, an ambitious plan to bring digital currency like Bitcoin to billions of people worldwide. The plan will be carried out with dozens of partners, including Uber and MasterCard, and could remake the global payment industry. But what’s in it for Facebook?

    For starters, Facebook will be able to use Calibra, its new digital wallet, to compete with the likes of PayPal’s digital payment app Venmo, while also offering cheaper cross-border payments. Facebook’s new currency, called Libra, could also help the company save on transaction costs. But if you had to guess Facebook’s main motive, the best answer is that Project Libra will help the social network do what it does best: collect data and sell advertising.

    Specifically, the new currency gives Facebook an opportunity to bolt a payment service on top of Instagram and WhatsApp, and let customers make instant purchases in response to ads they see on those platforms.

    Marketing and e-commerce executives tell Fortune this will be a boon for Facebook and its advertisers. According to Will Luttrell, CEO of payments startup Amino, the digital currency will let the company better compete with Amazon’s growing ad business. He predicts that Facebook will have unprecedented insight into when a user makes a purchase in response to an ad—delivering specific “return on investment” metrics that marketers crave.

    Jeremy Epstein, who has worked with marketing technology for decades, likewise mentions Amazon upon hearing a description of Facebook’s project.

    “It makes sense in terms of a closed loop. It will bring payments back in house and show Facebook who’s buying what,” Epstein says. “Right now, Facebook doesn’t know the last mile like Amazon does.”

    All of this, however, is premised on Facebook having access to the payment data of its users. And in its Project Libra announcement, the company explicitly stated the two systems are not connected, and that its Calibra wallet will be operated as a separate subsidiary.

    That may well be, but Facebook’s promise comes with an important disclaimer. As my colleague Robert Hackett explains, the data can be blended if users give the go-ahead. “If someone were to explicitly agree to link their Calibra account to another Facebook product—importing their WhatsApp contacts, say—then this would open up the data pipe for sharing,” Hackett writes.

    It’s a good bet most users will give this permission, especially if the company asks them if they would like to use Facebook to add friends to the Calibra wallet, or to connect the wallet to Instagram to make purchases.

    The upshot is that Facebook is likely to gain a trove of new data about how its users spend their money, while merchants that accept Libra will gain the ability to target specific ads, as well as see exactly how effective those ads turned out to be. Effectively, it will be like opening a cash register at the end of the day and knowing the source of every dollar.

    None of this is a sure bet, of course. Facebook has much work to do in getting the Libra currency ready for its 2020 rollout, which includes building out a blockchain network with an unwieldy consortium of partners. And then it must also persuade its users to give the cryptocurrency a try.

    According to Alanna Gombert, who leads ad tech at the blockchain group Consensys, Facebook will likely introduce rewards systems that give users Libra to spend in return for doing tasks like watching videos.

    “There has to be an ease of use that you didn’t have before, such as when you can use Apple Pay to sign up for the New York Times,” she says. “It’s really hard to force people to adopt as a currency.”

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