Cayova – A New Phenomenon in Social Media Security?

Cayova Logo

Cayova Logo

Beta Testing

The Beta site for went live on 29th April 2013. They describe themselves as a ‘revolutionary’ new platform, connecting users through social media. Cayova is a Facebook-style social network with two powerful privacy-related features. With one download, Cayova members can block ads as well as advertising networks trying to gather information about their online searches. Cayova also allows members to set up multiple profiles — for relatives, work colleagues, friends and “the public,” for instance — and control which groups see which posts.

Cayova believe in user empowerment; the right to privacy and the right to capture value.  The user can choose what’s private and what’s public, or if they want to communicate in an open space or a private hub. It is also possible to make money from online activity. It’s all about choice. Cayova see themselves as a new way to engage with friends, a new way to share, and a new way to have private conversations with a selected few or a great many. Or indeed as a new way to capture your value.

Cayova Security

Cayova Security

I decided to take part in this beta testing solely for the security ‘perks’ that Cayova claim to have over other social networking sites. I have been getting more and more unsatisfied with Facebook as time has gone on, as they keep changing their settings. In the past few months on Facebook I had changed all of my settings so that no one could search for me unless they were friends with me, see my photos, posts, and no one could tag me or post anything on my wall without my approval. Just in the last few weeks I have noticed that I am not getting notifications anymore for tags or posts, that Facebook have changed yet again, and I haven’t been told. As I become more educated in digital marketing and social media, I have come to appreciate the value of privacy and don’t want this to be an issue. I don’t want to delete my Facebook either, as I keep in touch with many friends that I met on my travels this way. So as a result, I wanted to try out Cayova and see what a secure social network is like.

Competing against Facebook is going to require an enormous investment as 67% of online American adults are Facebook users, compared with 20% who use LinkedIn and 16% who use Twitter. However, due to recent reports shown that teenagers “have waning enthusiasm” for Facebook, and that social-networks are increasingly seen as a burden, may give Cayova a fighting chance. A number of reasons cited for the decreased enthusiasm in Facebook including an increasing number of adults on the site, the annoyance of friends sharing inane details, and the stress associated with managing an online reputation while keeping up with online drama. More teenagers were also turning towards Twitter. Although attracting a far smaller crowd than Facebook, the micro blogging service increased its teenage user-base from 16 per cent in 2011 to 24 per cent in 2013.

I received a great value in studying Cayova, as it has educated me towards the importance of privacy in social networking. People have personas online, sometimes many different ones, and it is important to portray that though a social network. Consumers want different groups of people to see then in different lights, and this is a perfect network for allowing certain information for friends, work colleagues, or family.  I would certainly like to see the social network get launched officially and how far it goes. I think I will continue using it just to see. This network is perfect if you only wish to use one social network. Coming from the hospitality industry where hardly anyone uses LinkedIn meant that I had to stay in touch with them over Facebook, including MDs and CEOs. However, Cayova is the network site to combat that, as I don’t wish to stay in touch with these people on a professional level anymore due to changing industry, just a personal one.

I had heard of Cayova through a close friend who was trying to win them for a business contract. I had a look on the site and after signing up, my initial thoughts were that the colour is similar to Vine and the layout is similar to Google+. The similar characteristics for the layout are the simplicity and the icons, as seen in the screen grabs below.

Cayova Profile

Cayova Profile

With Cayova, it is possible to have several different profiles for the different groups of friends. From their prospective, a user can have a school profile, a work profile, a public profile as well as a personal profile. From my perspective, however, it appears that ‘trolling’ will now become easier as the person will not have to log out of one account and log back in, all of their fake profiles will be under the one log in. It seems quite unsafe to do this, as a user can then have many different identities, and therefore is a possibility for easier trolling.

Cayova Fake Profile

Cayova Fake Profile

As part of the experience, I took part in a ‘Feedback Hub’, a community specially created by Cayova to acquire and monitor feedback on their social network. After monitoring and interacting in this hub myself, I realised that there is only really one person giving feedback to Cayova, and in turn being interacted with the company themselves. The company are, however, excellent at keeping track of the comments and suggestions and are continuously changing the system to keep up with the suggestions.

Market Me

Cayova has a Market Me section that wants users to stop giving away data for free. Cayova is all about privacy. The first page to the Market Me section brings up a box, explaining that Cayova helps to get its members profit from their personal data. After opting into personal advertising on the site, a user can earn up to 50% of the ad’s earnings. A bonus scheme is also in place where members are rewarded for taking part in the ‘Market Me’ activities.

To begin this process, the user must install a box in the web browser to block trackers from third party companies. This extension stops third parties from installing cookies or tracking technologies from tracking the users browsing, and essentially from selling details without consent. Cayova have Terms and Conditions for participating on the network, including staying active.

After a small period of time the Cayova box has been busy as I browse. I typically wouldn’t vary in the sites that I visit, with them whittled down to social media, news, entertainment and academic. The only sites that vary are the academic ones, as I research whatever topic I am studying at the time.

Cayova Tracking Monitoring

Cayova Tracking Monitoring

It appears that Google Analytics is the worst offender, tracking me over 1057 in a matter of weeks. With the Google trackers combined, they account for over 32% of my tracking. The Facebook tracking should be higher, but I deactivated my account half way through this study.

A technology called ‘The Rapid Information Overlay Technology’ (RIOT) has been developed to track people though social networking sites. This software uses location data embedded in photographs and other Internet postings to track users’ movements and personal activities. Repeated “check-ins” or postings on social media sites leave a trail of location data that enables RIOT to build up a detailed daily itinerary for the people it is tracking. RIOT shows the frequency of check-ins and postings from particular locations organized as pie and bar charts. It is currently a “proof of concept” design that they are working on with industry, national labs and commercial partners to help turn massive amounts of data into usable information to help rapidly changing security needs. The innovative privacy features of the software enables the sharing and analysis of data without personally identifiable information, like social security numbers or bank account information, being disclosed.


Cayova ask if the user would like to participate in seeing ads, and allows the user to decide what types they see, and how many a day. Strangely, the ads do not show up on the side of the screen like they do on other sites. There is a special tab for Advertisements that the user can go into and watch the ads as they please. This is quite a unique concept, as usually the user is bombarded with information on other sites such as Facebook and Google.

According to Cayova’s terms of use, the company gives a user half of any payments it receives for ads “targeted at you or for access to your content and data,” minus sales taxes and transaction costs, such as bank fees. Users then have the option of donating that money to charity, receiving a check or deducting that amount from their mobile phone bill.

Cayova Ad Earnings

Cayova Ad Earnings

In 2012 in America alone, people spent $170 billion on direct marketing of both the physical and electronic varieties. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. However, if the ad arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. For online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%. That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters. However, this information comes as a surprise seeing as how targeted online marketing can be. Cayova, with their optional ads, seem to have the right idea, although it remains to be seen how their theories pan out.

However, Cayova’s ads section will now have to compete with Twitter’s new expansion, who are expanding their year-old Twitter Cards program giving marketers a new way to directly obtain interested business leads via the social media service. The new Lead Generation Card is squarely aimed at business tweeters, allowing marketers to embed a card within a standard Twitter message, generally promising some sort of promotional offer. When readers expand the tweet by clicking on the embedded link, they’re prompted to send their information to you, using the contact details from the user’s Twitter account.

Overall, I’d like to see where Cayova goes with the final version of their network. They have some interesting areas that differentiate them from other social networks, and it would be good to see where they take them. I think at the moment they need to perfect their website and build up their users, but it is questionable on whether they will get far or not.


Social Media Man Fights Crime

Social Media Man Fights Crime

A hilarious attempt at a social media crime fighter, from a superhero’s perspective.

Bad Grammar, Bad Business?

After my last post on Facebook Etiquette, I received a lot of feedback on the point I made about bad grammar and spelling. I had written how  irritating it is to see people ‘rite lyk dis’ in my news feed. My point was very basic. Back in the day when you had to save your credit and could only fit 160 characters into a text – that’s when that style writing was acceptable. But now, 10+ years on, people seem to have forgotten how to write correctly. But sadly, using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’, ‘2’ instead of ‘two’ is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, after receiving numerous comments on ‘how gud mi lst post wuz’ – (their words, not mine), and having great fun pretending to write incorrectly for a bit, I started to notice a few companies using Facebook for their business who write horrendously through their social media interactions. For this post I actually have one particular company in mind, but won’t name them as it just seems unnecessary. I am sure we all know of at least one.

This particular company do a lot of their bookings through social media. They are a beauty salon based out of Dublin, and have set up their Facebook page as a personal page rather than business. They have almost 2,000 friends, presumably in the area but unfortunately I cannot see their stats due to the page set-up. They interact mostly through Facebook, and their Twitter account isn’t worth mentioning as they don’t use it. They have a lot of daily deals and special offers to communicate, and appear to do good business. I am taking a guess when I say this, but there appears to be two people using the Facebook account to interact with the customers. I have come to this conclusion by the fact that sometimes their grammar is excellent, and sometimes it’s woeful. Good detective work anyway on my side. The new Sherlock Holmes.

I think they have some great offers in the salon, and some really fantastic deals. It seems like you really need to book far in advance to get an appointment so they’re obviously really busy. However, I personally would be wary of using their services. I feel that they are cheapening their brand and their products by interacting that way on the internet. I can very sure that all of the employees have excellent qualifications and are extremely capable of doing their jobs, yet the use of bad grammar and bad spelling makes it appear the opposite. I would be tempted to use some of their more common services such fake tanning on a normal night out if a good offer was available, yet for the more important events I would go to a different salon that I now perceive as ‘more reputable’. I certainly would never use them for anything delicate like waxing – I just wouldn’t trust them to do the job safely. While I understand that they are targeting a ‘certain’ market in a ‘certain’ area, I truly believe that they are alienating other markets in the respect that they are discrediting their services. Writing well on social media doesn’t segregate or cause any harm, so what’s the harm in doing it?

I have no way of telling if it will hurt their cash flow in the short-term, but I am confident it will injure their brand in the long run. Once the damage is done, it will be difficult to undo, if not impossible. So, just be aware and watch this space for I will be watching them.

Facebook Etiquette

I was reading an article on a website today that had me almost annoyed. More irritated I suppose. It was called the ‘11 Things You Need to Immediately Stop Doing on Facebook‘. As the title suggests, it discusses issues that I can see irks more people than just me. These basic pet peeves that I have for Facebook, or indeed the users, or indeed… my friends, has me blocking people from my news feed left, right and center and on a daily basis.

I use Facebook much more personally than any other social media site. I catch up with old friends, I keep in touch with friends who do not live in the same area as me, and finally…yes, I’ll admit it – I do a little creeping to see what’s going on in people’s lives. But sure, isn’t that what it is for? If your ‘friends’ didn’t want you to see how great their Saturday night was, or how excited they are to be out for drinks, they simply just wouldn’t post if for all to see. As a result, I’m ok with admitting I’m a creep. I’m just very grateful it’s not like LinkedIn and they can’t see me actually do it. And in my defense, I’m not on it that often. I promise. Only every so often…(*cough*).

So in light of the above, I am going to suggest a basic Facebook etiquette for people to be aware of. Whether they adhere to it is one thing, but at least I’m putting it out there. I’m going to try not to rant too much, but these are just things I’m always aware of and they are outrageously annoying to me. These offences will get you blocked from my news feed or indeed, deleted from my page. So beware!

Offence #1

Terrible App Requests – Candy Crush is the one that kills me. A few years ago, it was Farmville. Yes, now you all know how I feel. No, I don’t care how many points you have. No, I don’t care what level you’re on. No, I do NOT want to play with you. So please stop asking. Thanks. And that goes for all silly Facebook games.

Offence #2

Bad Grammar and Spelling – PLEASE can you learn how to spell ‘you’. You’re making yourself look silly by using ‘text speech’ online. There isn’t a word limit, so there isn’t a need to ‘hav bad gramr – f i cn spel proprly u cn 2’.

Offence #3

Hashtags # – Yes, I’ve heard the rumor that Facebook will soon bring in Hashtags, but they aren’t in just yet. #SoCalmDown and #StopUsingThem. There’s just no need.

Offence #4

‘Why does life always have to go this way, I’m so upset right now’ – Stop your cryptic moaning. If you’re that upset, you wouldn’t be posting it on Facebook. And you certainly wouldn’t be dismissing your friends when they enquire about your problem with ‘It’s ok hun, I just need to sort things out’. STOP BEING CRYPTIC. Thanks. And by the way, you’ll get a much better response to your posts if you write something positive. Little tip for you there.

Offence #5

‘Like and share to win’ competitions – Seriously, you’re not going to win. Stop spamming my news feed with your plebbyness.

Offence #6

‘Ornaith is at Porterhouse’ – Listen. Mate. If you’re out with your friends, get off Facebook. Stop uploading photos and tagging yourself in places. Go have the craic with real people.

And, as I’ve been ranting a little (!) I have decided to post a little on what is great to see on Facebook to counteract my negativity and make you like me again.

Delight #1

Photos of your holiday – Yes, you’re abroad. Yes, I’m jealous. YES! I want to see everything that you’re doing. I’m excited for you. Fair play. Ironically, these kind of posts are supposed to make people depressed as they compare their own lives to others. But I like them, so keep ’em coming!

Delight #2

Posting once a day (or less) with good quality content – Yeah buddy! High Five! Yes I will like your post!

Delight #3

Funny videos – Sometimes you just need a humorous animal to brighten up your day.

Delight #4

Positivity – If something excellent has happened to you, I’m delighted for you. As a self-confessed creep, I’m glad you’re telling me in my news feed. Good on ya pal!

So, there you have it. I know there are a lot more offences but I decided to go easy on you. Seriously. I did, and you know it.


– Evangelist Blogging