2016.11.11 Last Week in Digital Media

Another exciting week in digital, media and tech. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

  • Facebook randomly killed off half of the population on Friday due to a software bug. It was somewhat random if you got affected, although there was no way to be immune. Even Mark Zuckerberg was affected. If you were one of the unlucky ones, your page was memorialized. But in good news, by the end of the day – the bug was squashed and people were back to life and Facebook was sorry.
  • Last Friday was Singles Day in China, which is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Alibaba posted $17.7B worth of sales in the day, 83% from mobile and primarily from the Eastern provinces of China. Top 3 categories were Mobile Phones, Clothes, and Beauty. Note that some of the stats in the link don’t match what I am reporting, which I am sourcing directly from Chinese media (and some very tired former colleagues who worked 24 hours that day running media).
  • Adobe went on a shopping trip during the week and acquired TubeMogul for $540M. Adobe and others (AOL-Verizon, IBM, Oracle, Neustar) are aggressively building out their “marketing cloud” stack. So expect to see a few more of these acquisitions as the market consolidates into single stop shop solutions.
  • Yahoo! didn’t have such a great week, warning the market that Verizon may pull out of the $4.8B acquisition. It’s hard to imagine Verizon really walking away from the deal and, if anything, it may be posturing by both sides – Verizon to get a better price and Yahoo! to force Verizon to commit.
  • The past few weeks I have written about Facebook copying Snapchat. This week, Snapchat copied Instagram. Snapchat copied Instagram’s story rewind feature (which is really about adding missing useful functionality more than copying). At the same time, Snapchat introduced World Lenses. World Lenses are one of the more interesting advertiser/brand opportunities as they change the world around you (not just you, like the Selfie Lens). Check out this video to see World Lenses in action.
  • Snapchat Spectacles are now available ($130) but there’s a catch. Snapchat is selling them from vending machines only (Snap Inc. calls them bots). At the moment, from a single machine that’s only on location for 24 hours. Locations seem somewhat random and ephemeral (a bit like Snapchat itself). If you want a pair, then you need to watch the countdown timer and be ready to run like crazy to get in line when the location is revealed. Initial reviews and videos from the glasses look very cool.
  • Some good product updates rolled out to Instagram during the week adding much-needed functionality for our clients. This includes auto stitching photos to make videos (Boomerang mode) but most importantly you can now add see more links on Instagram. Finally making it easy to drive actions with Instagram outside of the platform.

That’s all for last week, have a great Monday!

Joshua