Here’s all the news you may have missed.
Industry & Partner News
- as we honor Veterans Day, in China 11/11 is Single’s Day – a shopping event bigger than Black Friday, with Alibaba selling $25B in merchandise volume. Of note, over 90% of sales came via mobile devices.
- the biggest news of the week was the almost $1B acquisition of musical.ly by toutiao, a Chinese AI-powered news aggregator. While it might seem surprising that it musical.ly was acquired by a Chinese internet company, it’s worth keeping in mind that musical.ly is actually a Chinese social network based in Shanghai that has resonated well in the US market.
- Google continues to take steps on better advertising and acceptable ads, detailing on the Chromium Blog (Chromium is the underlying core browser tech. in Chrome, Android, and Chromebooks) about steps to stop certain types of redirects. This is good news for clients and the industry, as it prevents unscrupulous publishers from trying to manipulate metrics by hijacking browser behavior.
- Google and Salesforce have partnered with their respective analytics and marketing cloud products. Announcing Google 360 integration with Salesforce Sales and Marketing cloud, enabling customer attribution analysis from Salesforce CRM across various digital touch points; including integrated audience matching capability to find new prospective customers. The integration is officially available in 2018 and Google details even more features that will be available in a blog post announcing the partnership.
- twitter launched their $99 per month small business advertising product “Promote Mode” which auto promotes tweets. It’s worth noting this is not a product suited to agency clients – as there’s zero control of what gets promoted and only offers 5 broad targeting criteria. KPIs are also loose, with the Promote Mode FAQ stating you will reach about 30,000 people per month.
- in other twitter news, back in September twitter tested 280 characters, well now it’s official. Interestingly, the blog post announcing the change claims that during the test, most tweets stayed on or around 140 characters. There have been a few brands taking advantage of the new 280 limit – my personal favorite is Cookie Monster. The most creative use though is people using the 280 character limit to play games like Chess and Checkers.
- Snap Inc’s 3rd Quarter earnings results disappointed Wall Street, but the notable news was the announcement by Snap to redesign the Snapchat app to make it more usable. The new Snapchat design is rumored to hit December 4th. The other interesting news on Snap was that Tencent (a major Chinese internet player) has purchased 10% of Snap Inc.
- Pokemon Go went from viral sensation to wasteland but did cement AR as a tech. to watch. Niantic (the developers behind the app) have announced that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be their next app. A release date is not yet announced – although some Harry Potter fans are speculating it will be Sept 1 (the start of term at Hogwarts).
Internet Policy & Regulation
- Senator Franken (D) has called for more transparency on content users of Facebook, Amazon and Google see, essentially getting to the heart of their algorithms. This is important it goes beyond just how news stories get surfaced which is a hot topic right now, but also impacts how all advertisers get visibility on these platforms.
Have a great week.