2017.12.01 Last Week in Digital Media

Since I missed a week with the Thanksgiving break, this week it’s 2 weeks for the price of 1.

Industry News

  • Co-Founder and CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, wrote an op-ed on Axios on how Snapchat wants to separate social from media and gave perspective on what role Snapchat fulfills in both (and Spiegel takes issue with brand messages getting interfused into news from friends). It’s worth a read. Especially as it gives indirect insights on how brands and advertising need to operate on Snap.
  • Snapchat is getting smarter with filters, now offering object recognition filters. So if the Snap was of a turkey, you’d get turkey relevant filters (Nom! Nom! Nom!). As TNW points out, this has the potential to be huge for advertisers as Snap can offer product and location-aware with advertising e.g. Snap and see yourself wearing the outfit.
  • Google is adding more real-time data and insights to the Google Trends tool. This includes insights from news, shopping, and YouTube. All useful as you plan media or look for insights around an audience segment, or if you’re trying to get insights into how a campaign is performing e.g. what’s the interest in Jumanji
  • Meredith is to buy the publisher Time Inc. The deal is expected to close early 2018 and would give the combined entity digital reach across 170MM monthly uniques.
  • A whole range of new features are being tested on Instagram. The most interesting being the ability to search and ad GIFs to posts. This is one of the reasons brands need to start thinking about GIFs as an advertising format (including GIF keyboards as used in iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Android, etc).
  • Google has started banning apps that contain lock screen ads.At the moment this is not apps whose only function is to provide lock screen apps, but apps that provide other functions and then use lock screen advertising for monetization.
  • Video ad serving company, Innovid, has acquired taykey, a real-time data marketing company. Taykey’s platform is popular for contextual real-time, trend-based dynamic marketing.


  • Google is gearing up to compete with Facebook Pages, specifically around local businesses. The offering is called Google Posts and is an expansion of a format introduced during the US election. Available within the Google My Business console, it allows local businesses to give very specific offers and actions to organically surface in search results e.g. Learn More, Reserve, Sign Up, Buy, and Get Offer. Search Engine Land has a good summary of all of the features. For clients that have a physical retail presence, this is an offering to start talking to Reprise about now.


  • YouTube has hopped on the “stories” train with a beta offering for creators called “reels“. Videos are capped at 30 seconds, can be stitched together and link to other YouTube videos and also support stickers.
  • twitter is strengthening their in-stream video advertising offering, partnering with Innovid for ad delivery, analytics and measurement.


  • Mobile might be taking more and more audience time, but a recent survey from AppAnnie, users are not likely to click on the ads. This is not surprising and mirrors what has been the case for years on the desktop. What is interesting though was the insight that if you want to drive Mobile Commerce – in app, not mobile web is the way to go.

Quality & Brand Safety

  • Google is adjusting their algorithm to devalue certain news sites. It’s interesting because it’s the first time Google has really stepped into the Fake News debate and gone on record about taking action.
  • Facebook will now alert users who have engaged with Russian backed accounts. Facebook is also building out additional transparency tools around advertising and news – all scheduled to be available by the end of 2017.

Have a great week.



PS. Trivia of the week. Android 8.1 delivers on the Google CEO’s promise of making the location of cheese on the hamburger emoji the top priority to resolve.

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