2017.09.22 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s the news you may have missed :

  • Instagram has added the ability to use face filters in live broadcasts. The feature is rolling out globally over the next few weeks. While no ad opportunities are available yet, it may prove useful for branding events where live streaming is popular (concerts, sports, festivals, etc).
  • Google acquired part of HTC, a handset manufacturer who made the most recent Pixel phone. This is not the first time Google made the move into hardware, acquiring Motorola Mobility in 2012, only to offload it in 2014. So don’t read too much into this, it could be more about Google ensuring that key Android device makers stay afloat rather than a double down on hardware to become Apple-esque.
  • IPG’s MAGNA released their US ad marketplace report. Ad Revenue is forecast to grow at 3.6% but digital and social will outperform the industry. Full metrics can be viewed here.
  • iOS 11 became available during the week. The key changes important to marketers are that apps cannot permanently track your location (they must provide opt-out), the Apple Camera now scans QR codes natively and iOS 11 integrates Augmented Reality (AR) as a core feature. Ikea was one of the first brands to make smart use of AR in their app, it’s worth checking out. A more subtle update was that Apple bumped the over the air (OTA) download limit up to 150mb (previously 100mb). Keep this in mind for clients with app download campaigns.
  • the FT reports that Amazon is working on smart glasses. Integrated with Alexa, rumors are that it is a step up from Google Glasses and Snapchat Spectacles, with a bone conduction audio system so you can hear Alexa without headphones.
  • Staying with rumors and innuendo, there was a leak this week about Google’s next version of the Google Home, the Google Home mini. Similar in size to the Echo Dot, it is expected to be released October 4th along with a new Pixel 2 phone.
  • If you have clients struggling to get inspired with the 6 second ad format, then look for inspiration on YouTube’s 6 second ad leaderboard published during the week. Don’t forget this ad format is available across YouTube, Facebook and FOX.
  • Microsoft is the latest company to join the Coalition for Better Ads which seeks to reduce annoying, intrusive and frustrating advertising experiences for consumers. So expect Microsoft to also adopt better ads policies in their Edge Browser. It’s important you stay across the standards being adopted, as it could have a major impact on your media performance. Google is already a member and will be applying the standards on Chrome from next year.
  • Amazon announced a new Fire HD tablet. What’s notable is it has an Alexa Hands Free mode. Meaning it can operate like an Alexa device. In fact, in some sense it’s a cheaper and better version of the Echo Show (their full screen Alexa device) as it has app support.

Finally, thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch my live thinkwithGoogle chat during the week. If you missed it, the full 10 minute video on micro moments, mobile and marketing is now on YouTube, or if you prefer to read, there’s a article here.

Have a great week.

Joshua