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AddThis Analytics Performance

The AddThis Network has grown tremendously over time. Although we have been working hard to expand our infrastructure to accommodate this growth, some of our customers are experiencing delays when trying to view their analytics reports.

We will be rolling our additional capacity to address this problem, and appreciate your patience as we expand AddThis to be better than ever. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The AddThis Team

Clearspring Named 2011 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Company

(Also posted on the Clearspring blog.)

Today, I’m honored to announce that Clearspring has been named as a 2011 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Company.

The winning companies represent leaders in on-demand computing, digital media and entertainment, and greentech, and were selected because of their innovation and leadership.   We’re flattered to be included with so many great companies.

Thanks to AlwaysOn for this award and for recognizing us throughout the years.  Here are some of the other AlwaysOn awards that we’ve won leading up to this one:

It’s been a busy first half of the year. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements & innovations. We’re working on some really cool stuff. :)

Heads Up Publishers, UK Changing Policies Around Cookies

New rules governing the use of website “cookies” were issued by the United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), effective May 26, 2011. These new rules require web publishers to enable users to “opt-in” to the use of cookies for purposes such as tracking, etc.  There is a 12 month transition period (ending May 26, 2012) for companies to meet the new requirements.  During that period, companies have to take steps to comply with this new regulation although complete compliance is not required before May 26, 2012.

The new UK rules apply to all websites hosted in Europe and websites hosted elsewhere if they target UK residents.  U.S. websites that market their sites to UK residents or that have a large number of UK users may be subject to the new rules and be required to comply.

The AddThis toolset does use cookies to enable some aspects of the service, such as menu personalization and content analytics.  Though the legal requirements don’t specify any specific steps required over the course of the next year, we’ve already been evaluating different ways to make sure that if your website falls under the jurisdiction of the UK regulations, we can help you be fully compliant while using AddThis.  Expect updates via this blog and our support forums as we roll out configuration features to support the opt-in capabilities, and if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Problems with Sharing to Twitter

11:18am EST – We have deployed a fix.  Sharing to Twitter should be working fine again.  Let us know if you’re finding any issues.

9:20am EST – Good morning, we’re getting reports from users that they are having problems with sharing to Twitter. Our team is investigating. We’ll report back soon with more information.

Improved Privacy Features

As you may know, we’ve been working hard to leverage data from AddThis to enable advertisers and publishers, like you, to create better and more personalized experiences to acquire and retain users.   For instance, our Audience Platform enables brands to power interest-based ads to users.  Though we all believe personalization is the future, we also have a responsibility to balance a users desire for a more personal experience with their right to privacy.

Today at Clearspring, we have announced the first in a series of efforts to push forward on providing users with more notice and choice.  First, we’re proud to announce that AddThis is now a member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI).  Second, we’ve enabled the Evidon Platform as an option within all online ads powered by data that we’ve collected through AddThis.

Being a member of the NAI means following strict privacy best practices, as well as becoming part of their universal opt-out tool.   This tool enables users to easily opt-out from data collection from one, or more NAI members using simple point and click tools.

The Evidon platform further enables notice and choice.  Users will now see a button within online ads that indicates the ad is powered by interest-based data.  If the user wants to learn more about interest-based ads, or opt-out, they can simply click on that button and easily learn more or opt-out of data collection.

We’re really excited about participating in this ecosystem.  Stay tuned.  We’ll be continuing to roll out new features and controls to give end users the maximum amount of notice and choice about what’s happening with their data and privacy online.

For more about Privacy, check out the AddThis Privacy Policy.

 

 

JS/Agent.agx Virus False Alarm

We wanted to let you know that Avira, an antivirus software provider, has erroneously flagged one of the AddThis assets as containing a virus in a recent definition update. This may cause various antivirus products that rely on these definitions to report a virus originating from the AddThis assets. Specifically, the warning will refer to JS/Agent.agx

This is a FALSE POSITIVE from Avira, who have acknowledged that this is an incorrect update and a false alarm, and is fixed in VDF version 7.11.05.197.

You can read more about the issue on Avira’s support forum.  Rest assured that there is absolutely no virus being distributed through the AddThis toolset.

 

Problem with Sharing to Facebook

**UPDATE** 3/11/2011 10:00 AM EST: Facebook’s fix has been stable so we’ve reverted back to our normal sharing integration. We’ll continue to monitor Facebook sharing but everything is back to normal now.

**UPDATE** 3/10/2011 10:00 PM EST: Facebook has deployed a fix intended to address the core issue.  We are running a full suite of tests and will revert to our normal integration once this is confirmed fully functional.  We are currently still on an alternate integration, which works as expected with minor limitations on posts with multiple images.  We will update here once we resume fully normal operation.

**UPDATE** 3/10/2011 1:30 PM EST: Facebook has reenabled our workaround so we have been operating correctly for a few hours now.  We will continue to monitor in case of any changes.

**UPDATE** 3/10/2011 6 AM EST: Facebook has indicated a fix will be deployed on their side by “no later than Thursday evening”.  We are working with Facebook directly and will provide updates as they are available.  The mobile endpoint workaround will stay in place in the interim, so Facebook sharing is currently functional.  You can follow Facebook updates on this issue on their Live Status Page.

**UPDATE** 3/10/2011 12 AM EST: In an effort to keep the system as stable as possible while Facebook works on a fix for the root cause, we are currently leveraging Facebook’s mobile share endpoint for all shares. Though the user experience is geared to a smaller form factor, it does function correctly and allows us to continue to support sharing functionality.  Facebook has let us know that a fix will be deployed quickly; we will resume our normal operation as soon as that happens.

**UPDATE** 3/9/2011 6 PM EST: We deployed a workaround to restore core Facebook sharing functionality via AddThis while we await a more permanent solution from Facebook. We are continuing to monitor progress on the issue from their side and will keep you updated with additional information as we have it. In the interim, we believe the workaround re-enables all sharing features. Thanks for your patience.

This morning we got reports that their were problems with sharing to Facebook.  After some investigation,  it appears that overnight Facebook may have introduced a bug as part of an update that has broken Facebook Sharing.

With the bug, any url that hasn’t been previously cached within Facebook will initially not show the title and image of the page and then get an error when shared.

This bug has been discovered by a number of other developers and reported to Facebook.  We’re escalating the issue through our channels and hope to have it resolved as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to see the issue first hand or if you have a few extra special URLs, Facebook does make a tool that you can force URLS to be cached in their system.

We’ll keep you updated as things change.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter as well for the latest updates.

Data from Last Night’s Oscars

Like the rest of the world, we were glued to our televisions to see who’d take home Oscar gold at the Academy Awards last night.

The AddThis sharing platform provides sharing and social analytics to more than 8MM sites and over 1B unique users monthly.  So, we’re able to have our finger on the pulse of activity on the Web.

While watching the show, we kept an eye on which actors and movies were getting shared about and searched for. Here are some interesting data points that we found…


AddThis Stats from Super Bowl 2011

Like many people across the United States, I was glued to the television last night to watch the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Being that I’m not a huge sports fan, I was more excited by the commercials then I was by the game.

Additionally, we were keeping a pretty close eye on the AddThis data on how people were sharing and searching for the brands that advertised.  Because AddThis is on over 8 million domains and is loaded over 2.3 billion times per day, we’re able to get a pretty unique perspective into the activities of users across the Web.

Here are sharing and search graphs that we pulled from activity that happened during the game…

(Click the graphs to see them larger.)

Here are two graphs which show percent changes in searching and sharing about some of the brands that advertised…

(Click the graphs to see them larger.)