Here’s all the news you may have missed.
- Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference occurred last the week and the IPG Media Lab has a detailed write-up, as well as good photos of key presentation slides. I am only providing details of updates that immediately impact clients, brands, and advertisers.
- Facebook App and Bot approvals are now back, so if your client has an app or bot releases on hold, they can now re-apply for approval. This does not mean that the audit of historical apps has been completed (this is still in progress).
- Media and marketing opportunities didn’t get a specific mention at F8 this year except for the announcement that AR effects are expanding across Instagram and Messenger (a Nike AR example was demonstrated).
- VR got a big kick start, with Facebook launching the Oculus Go, a $199+tax standalone VR headset. No need for a phone, this has everything you need out of the box (including native Hulu support). The future success of VR rests on the Oculus Go, as at $199 this is the cheapest, complete, consumer-ready VR offering in the market.
- There are new tools coming to protect privacy, with Facebook planning a “Clear History” feature. Not available yet, the tool will “remove identifying information (such as) history of the websites and apps you’ve used (so that they) won’t be associated with your account”. Anonymized data may still be retained.
- 3rd Party App native sharing integration is coming to Facebook and Instagram. Both examples demonstrated were UM clients (Spotify and GoPro), where you could share a sticker of an artist or song you like direct to an Instagram story. It’s important to note, this doesn’t require you to actually connect accounts (so less of a data risk).
Facebook Non-F8 News
- There are rumors that Facebook is doing market research around user interest in a paid, ad-free Facebook subscription offering. While Facebook has previously always resisted the idea, the success of ad-free offerings from Spotify and Hulu show there is user demand for both ad and non-ad-supported services.
- Not announced at F8 (surprisingly), but a few days after, Instagram has added a native-payments feature to the platform. Available to some users in the US and the UK, this feature would make buying Instagram shoppable-tags much more useful for marketers and in eCommerce.
- twitter has inked a deal with 30+ video deals with Disney, NBC, Viacom, and more for new original video content. The content is all themed around being current and real-time, aligned with how users experience and use twitter as a platform.
- Google will now sell the 2 minutes of local ad inventory it has access to as part of its live YouTube TV offering. The TV inventory will be packaged with Google Preferred and live TV ads cannot be bought independently of GP or within specific types of programming. There will be the ability to specify that you want to buy ads where the audience is watching on a TV-screen.
- Snapchat missed quarterly revenue and user growth forecasts. Daily Active Users (DAU) sits at 191MM. The share price has fallen as a result. The redesign has been blamed (in part) for the challenges and Snap has hinted that it will be taking steps to clean up the user experience.
- In positive news for Snapchat, during the week, Apple (for the first time for any social platform) featured a “Parents Guide to Snapchat” on their iTunes store. Maybe this will help boost Snapchat user numbers next quarter?
Brand Safety / Security
- Cambridge Analytica has filed for Bankruptcy. It doesn’t mark the end of the investigations and serves as a strong reminder that if you don’t respect data and privacy, it can quickly end your business.
- Mark Zuckerberg received notice from the UK Parliament to appear before them to discuss Cambridge Analytica with a formal notice that if he declined the invitation, he could be subject to a UK summons on his next visit to the UK.
- Google has released their policies for election advertising. Overall, Google’s position is similar to Facebook, in that election advertisers must be verified and there will be transparent reporting of who, what and how ads have been targeted.
- If you want to understand Facebook’s approach to removing objectionable content or as they call it “bad stuff”, they have published a brief overview here. 99% of some “bad stuff” is removed before it is seen or reported by a human.
- PSA. twitter had an internal security failure around password encryption, as a result, you need to update your twitter password (and if you use the same password elsewhere, change it there too).