Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ask.com Promises Not to Tell

I found this NY Times headline interesting this morning partially because it arrived so late in the game.

Ask.com Puts a Bet on Privacy - New York Times

Why shouldn't privacy be a market differentiator? Why did it take so long for someone to market it? Lately Ask (disclosure, I work for a separate IAC business) has been trying the spaghetti approach to marketing, throwing it up against the wall and seeing what sticks. My feeling is that they have done a nice job with their marketing. Even the tremendous failure of the "algorithm" campaign got them headlines proving the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity. I think privacy is good tool to pull out of the box out this point in time. On the heels of the Facebook beacon fiasco and growing legislative and regulatory scrutiny privacy is in the game.

Internet consumers may start to realize that they transact in their privacy every day. Every time I perform a Google search, I am selling a bit of my privacy on the market in exchange for the information that Google provides. In effect, Ask is telling us they are going to charge us less for each search. If they can get this point across to enough of the marketplace then they may get another few points of market share.
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