2017.10.27 Last Week in Digital Media

It’s almost a 2 years since I started this blog and update, so experimenting with a new look. This involves grouping the news around topics. Topics will change week to week based on news of the week. Now here’s the news you might have missed during the week:

Industry & Partner News

  • Facebook is testing a news feed without publishers, breaking publishers into a separate feed where they’d have to pay to get promoted in your main feed. Currently being tested outside the US, it is already reported to be having a negative impact on publisher traffic. Whether this test will go broader is unknown, but might be worth checking if any of your preferred publishers overly rely on Facebook as a source of traffic.
  • Snapchat has added an important feature – the ability to share links natively within iOS. This may not seem like a big deal, but it may reveal if Snap is able to drive traffic to websites organically within the platform. An interesting thing for clients to keep an eye on, to see if their sites or product pages are getting traffic from Snapchat (this is all the more interesting given Facebook’s no publisher feed tests).
  • The Information reports that Snapchat has 100,000’s of unsold Spectacles sitting in warehouses. Snapchat’s quarterly report is due out Nov 7, so the reality should be known soon enough.

Video & Streaming

  • Instagram has added a new feature enabling you to live stream and add a friend (guest), so a shared stream where it’s almost like a TV interview live-cross. You can also drop and invite new guests during the live stream.
  • Back in August, Linked In allowed users to start uploading video’s. This past week, the CEO (Jeff Weiner) has hinted that Linked In may start developing original programming, citing Shark Tank as an example of something that would work on the platform.
  • YouTube’s original series “Best.Cover.Ever” now has a confirmed premier data – November 20th. This is one of Google’s big bets on original content, so will be worth keeping an eye on.

Voice & Assistants

  • there are rumors are that Google is developing their own screen-based assistant similar to the Echo Show, code name Quartz. This is based on a tear down of the Android source code, so may or may not be true.
  • Amazon is now offering paid subscription Alexa skills (free for Prime Members). The first premium skill is based around the game show Jeopardy! and unlocks additional daily questions.

Dynamic Creative

  • Facebook has released new tools to help deliver dynamic creative on their platform. Facebook’s tool can support up to 10 images or videos and 5 each of text assets (title, body text, description, CTA). Don’t forget to talk to UM Studios if you’re interested in exploring opportunities like this.

Trust & Safety

  • the IAB is lobbying the US Senate for industry self-regulation of political advertising. Shortly afterwards, twitter announced new transparency disclosures for political advertising. Including clearer disclosure that the ad is political. This is also very important for all advertisers, as twitter’s transparency center will also disclose non-political promoted only ads (name of advertiser at least). More details to come on this.
  • Google is bringing fact checking to search results for news stories. Partnering with Poynter’s International Fact Checking Network (ICFN). Google’s involvement will include funding fact checking services and surfacing fact checked results.
  • More broadly on trust and safety, keep November 1 marked in your calendar. Facebook, twitter and Google will be appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee where trust, safety, data targeting and disclosure of political advertisers (and maybe all advertisers) will be the topic of conversation.

Happy Halloween 🎃