Onto the news:
- Facebook has released the “Youth Portal“. It’s a “your guide to all things Facebook… from people your age, in their own voices”. The site is intended to help younger people make more informed decisions about data, privacy, and social media. The content isn’t necessarily bad, but calling it “Youth Portal” is hardly the best way to market a product to teen audiences (and has been met with some cynicism).
- Net Neutrality got a surprise boost, with the US Senate voting 52-47 to disapprove the FCC ruling to replace net neutrality rules. It still needs to pass the House (where the odds are stacked against it) but it should make Net Neutrality a mid-term election issue.
- Next week, YouTube Red will be renamed YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium will also include a newly launched music service. An $11.99 subscription will get you both ad-free. YouTube Music will roll out May 22nd and is positioned as a competitor to Spotify and Pandora.
- A leak from Germany has revealed that Facebook is working on an influencer search engine. The tool (screenshot) only pulls in Facebook data (not from non-Facebook owned platforms). It seems that the tool is not designed for creators to promote something on behalf of an advertiser to their audience, but a way for advertisers to connect with creators for co-created content that can then receive paid support on Facebook.
- A follow up to the Google Duplex news from last week, details are leaking out that there will be a disclosure that the call is coming from an AI assistant and not a human. Addressing some of the ethical issues that have been raised about the service.
- Google is rolling out new features to maps, positioning the service as much more of a competitor to Yelp! and foursquare. Of the call-outs is that maps will recommend places based on your location history. Making the sub-text of the update being Google will have a GDPR-compliant way of monitoring location for things like visit-lift studies.
- 6-second non-skippable video ads are now live in Snapchat. The non-skippable ads only appear in shows, the professionally produced content from companies like NBC and Disney.
- Facebook has started testing ads in Facebook Stories. Ads are 5-15 seconds in length and skippable. Facebook Stories currently reaches 150MM daily active users and there’s a handy chart here, that shows how this reach compares to other story offerings from Facebook and Snapchat.
Trust, Safety & Transparency
- The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) which includes Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Nestle as members published a global media charter, with 8 principles aimed at agencies, platforms, and publishers. The principles are 1. zero tolerance for ad fraud; 2. strict brand safety protection; 3. minimum viewability thresholds; 4. supply-chain transparency; 5. 3rd party verification; 6. removal of walled garden issues; 7. improved data transparency; and 8. better consumer experiences.
- Facebook released their Transparency Report which covers standards enforcement, legal requests, and internet disruptions. The standards report covers the removal of inappropriate content and fake accounts. Of note, there were 538 million fake accounts deleted between Jan-Mar 2018 (no word on whether there was any impact on ad metrics from these fake accounts).
- Facebook provided an update on their app audit, confirming 200 apps have been suspended. A suspension doesn’t necessarily mean wrongdoing, it’s that the apps have been flagged for further investigation. More updates are expected as the investigation continues.
- One of the apps suspended is the myPersonality app, which collected data from around 6MM people of which 40% shared that data with the app developer (so ~3MM exposed). Alexandr Kogan, who has been a central figure in the Cambridge Analytica incident is alleged to be associated with the app. although it is reported that Cambridge Analytica never got access to the data.
Have a great week.