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Airline Tickets, Hotel Bookings Will Be Mobile Influenced in India by 2022: Facebook-KMPG

In hotel bookings, lack of "relevant ads" and "clear call to action" are top friction areas for both men and women

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay
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With more and more Indians using phones for shopping experiences, nearly 9 in 10 airline ticket purchases and hotel bookings will be mobile influenced in the country by 2022 — creating a $19 billion and $12 billion sales opportunity for airline and hotel brands respectively, a Facebook-KPMG report revealed on Wednesday.

Nearly half of the total consumer loss in airline ticket purchases (11 per cent out of 23 per cent) and hotel bookings (16 per cent out of 32 per cent) is on account of media friction (consumer drop-off from their purchase journey).

In fact, the mobile can help airline and hotel brands tap into a potential sales opportunity of $9 billion and $2 billion by reducing media friction, the report added.

“At Facebook, we want to help brands convert better by connecting better with their consumers. Our latest report aims at assisting travel brands and marketers in designing relevant mobile marketing strategies, which can help them reduce friction in consumers’ path to purchase and consequently increase sales,” said Pulkit Trivedi, Director, Facebook India.

India currently has over 400 million smartphone users and over 700 million feature phone users.

Additionally, mobile-influenced journeys are 24 per cent shorter for airline ticket purchases and 19 per cent shorter for hotel bookings than offline-influenced journeys, said the report which is the fourth in the series under the Facebook programme “Zero Friction Future”.

Authored by KPMG in India and based on the primary research and insights from a survey conducted by Nielsen, the report defines frictions at each stage of the travel purchase journey and highlights the significant role mobile and Facebook can play to influence Indian travellers’ purchase journeys.

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India currently has over 400 million smartphone users and over 700 million feature phone users. Image: Pixabay

In airline ticket purchases, nearly 70 per cent of men are impacted by the friction, leading to dropouts early in the purchase journey.

“Most men believe that offer communication shared by the brands are either not clear or don’t capture sufficient details,” the findings showed.

Women, however, seek more information and assistance with the purchase as they are likely to ignore advertisements on offline mediums such as print and radio.

In hotel bookings, lack of “relevant ads” and “clear call to action” are top friction areas for both men and women.

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“It has become critical for brands to engage with travellers with one comprehensive message and all the information they expect, in a timely fashion. Any disruption in the journey impacts the purchase decision of the traveller,” said Arvind Gupta, Head-Management Consulting, KPMG in India.

According to Ashish Karnad, Executive Director, Marketing Effectiveness, Nielsen India, the report will not only give advertisers and consumers the current category landscape but also provide a bird’s eye view on the possible opportunities being missed by marketers due to media friction. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)