Google will be matching up to $1M in donations to the Red Cross in support of relief efforts.
Here’s the news from last week in digital media:
- Snapchat’s Chief Strategy Officer (Imran Khan) is leaving the company. There has been a steady stream of executive departures from Snap which is fueling some investor frustration. Khan was a key dealmaker at Snap.
- in other executive departures, Oath: CEO Tim Amstrong is leaving the company. Armstrong oversaw AOL’s acquisition by Verizon and overall advertising/adtech aspirations. Armstrong will be replaced by Oath:’s COO, K. Guru Gowrappan. There is speculation that Armstrong’s departure is a sign that Verizon’s enthusiasm for adtech is waning.
- The New Yorker magazine ran a profile piece on Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a long piece and while it doesn’t reveal anything new, does trace the history of Facebook and the challenges it has faced which provide a perspective on Zuckerberg’s management style, thought processes, and why the organization has struggled with recent challenges around fake news, data, and privacy.
- Also during the week, twitter CEO Jack Dorsey held an hour-long interview with NYU’s Jason Rosen. Dorsey talks about how twitter struggles as a public space, whether twitter can be a neutral set of pipes and compares twitter to Washington Square Park (the often requested tweet edit button is also discussed).
- Apple announced new iPhones and a new Apple Watch with better health functions. There’s more than enough news from Apple to fill an entire email, so, instead, I encourage you to read the IPG Media Lab blog on everything brands need to know from the 2018 iPhone event.
- Adblock company EyeO, have been beta testing a programmatic offering. This is not as contradictory as it may seem, EyeO is a proponent of the Acceptable Ads Program (AAP) (not to be confused with the industry Coalition for Better Ads program), and EyeO encourages users to accept some ads. Given markets like the UK show that Ad Blocking is the new normal, solutions that specifically identify ways to reach users that block ads may become increasingly important for certain audiences.
- Oath: has formally announced their unified Oath: ad product offering which is the result of integrating all of the various adtech acquisitions over the past few years (Yahoo!, Gemini Brightroll, etc). This includes a unified DSP, a machine-learning optimization engine, as well as a native and search offering. Visit the Oath: marketers website or talk to your Oath contact for more details.
- Pinterest has confirmed in a blog post that it has 250MM users per month. There are also 1.5MM businesses on Pinterest and the total number of pins is up 7% from last year (175B).
- An update on Snapchat’s incubator/accelerator program “Yellow“, nine (9) companies have graduated and they are an interesting mix across fitness, wedding planning, animations, content to art. Some of the ideas could result in new content for Discover (with associated ad opportunities).
- Vertical Video Ads are now available on YouTube for TrueView and Universal App campaigns. In a mobile-first world, vertical video for YouTube is a great addition to the platform. This is true vertical video (no black bars) and also means you can now use the same vertical video ad creative across YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram.
- Facebook has released new ad products for the holiday season. Notably some new holiday templates for video ads and better instant storefront integration. While these templates are targeted at SMB advertisers, it does show Facebook’s priority for holiday will be video and eCommerce campaigns.
- Snapchat is allowing up to 20 news partners to create curated stories from user-generated content on Snap within the Discover section of the app. Launch partners that will have access to this capability include CNN, Buzzfeed, NBC, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and Telemundo.
- Pew Research has a study that shows 2/3 of Americans get their news from social media. Interestingly, reddit stands out as one of the sites with the most news focused users (73% of reddit users source their news from the platform). The top social sites for news are (in order) reddit, twitter, then Facebook.
TRUST, SAFETY, AND PRIVACY
- the EU is considering a move to penalize companies who don’t remove extremist content within the hour provided the content is flagged by authorities. Proposed penalties include up to 4% of annual global turnover. The proposal still needs to get EU member country and parliamentary approval. For now, the EU’s voluntary Code of Conduct for Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online (PDF link) applies (Google, Facebook, twitter, Microsoft have signed on to the voluntary code).
- Facebook has taken steps to make the Facebook Audience Network (FAN) more transparent. It will now be possible to view a complete list of the publisher sites and apps where ads appeared by downloading publisher delivery reports (across in-stream, instant articles and FAN)
- a few people have asked for more updates on potential regulation of the tech and data sector. I’m not yet ready to write a “this week in tech regulation” newsletter, but a good reference point for key dates this year is the FTC website on Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.
- Mark Zuckerberg has published a lengthy post on steps being taken to prepare and protect the integrity of US elections. This covers everything from fake accounts, ad transparency, to cooperation with government regulators. The post is not just US-centric perspective.
- FEMA will be conducting a National Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Sept 20, 2018 at 2:18pm EDT. If circumstances, such as a major weather event, cause the IPAWS National Test to be postponed, the backup date is Wednesday, October 3, 2018. You can learn more about the FEMA test on their website.
Have a great week and if you want a distraction, check out the Web Design Museum, it shows you website design trends from major companies from 1995-2005.