Here’s the last week in digital media:
- It’s official! Acxiom Marketing Solutions is now part of the IPG family. This quote from Michael Roth states it best “(Acxion will) add a foundational, world-class data asset, covering two-thirds of the global population, to our capabilities“. More to come on this, all of which will be communicated via official internal IPG channels.
- Snapchat, in a memo leaked to Cheddar, has outlined priorities for 2019. The full memo is on Cheddar, but the highlights include a focus on profitability, growing the Snapchat use in developing markets, being a leader in AR, helping Snapchatters communicate with their best friends and widening their moat. On the latter, there a few not-too-subtle digs in the memo at Facebook and others copying Snapchat’s features. The priority that stands out the most though is “best friends” and indirectly that Snapchat is about true relationships not large networks of everyone you might know. This has consequences for how brands use the platform and will cement Snapchat more as an advertiser platform vs a brand-driven community engagement platform.
- Facebook is testing a redesigned version of nearby friends that functions and looks more like Snapchat’s Snapmap feature. Facebook has confirmed that users will be able to opt-out of using the feature.
- Instagram is introducing a “Nametag” feature, a way to add friends by quickly scanning their…well… nametag. This update is actually useful for brands who should (if Instagram is an important channel) consider adding the Nametag to their retail locations or at the point of sale.
- Google is expanding the search-based advertising opportunities in YouTube. This includes additional ad extensions, such as the ability to add movie showtimes. Also coming soon will be the ability to setup brand lift studies directly in Google Ads. More details for both features are on the Google blog.
- Pandora has entered into a deal with Soundcloud, to be the exclusive US advertising and sales representative. The deal should see a significant increase in ad-inventory available to Pandora across both original music and podcasts.
DATA & MEASUREMENT
- Facebook is introducing a first-party cookie option for the Facebook Pixel. This may seem like a reaction to ITP 2.0 and the tension between Facebook-Apple, but it is the way the entire industry is heading (Google and Microsoft made this change in response to ITP as well). The change becomes default on October 24th, but you can turn it on earlier (or opt out) – see the Facebook Business Blog for details. Not taking advantage of the change means clients could miss tracking conversion events, insights, and optimization opportunities and while Facebook promises no new data will be shared or exchanged, Facebook’s mixed record on security and data this year means being prudent and doing extra due diligence matters. You should talk to your client and AdOps lead to decide what is the right move and timing for your clients.
- Social listening and intelligence tool/firm Crimson Hexagon are merging with a competitor in the space Brandwatch. In the short term, both products will continue to exist independently but expect them to full merge and operate under a single name (Brandwatch) and UI. The deal is expected to close in Q4.
- In a great move for data transparency, various industry groups (ANA, IAB, and ARF) have come together to release a “Data Transparency Label“. The data label looks a bit like the FDA food nutrition labels (see this example of the data transparency label). The label is currently open for public comment with the goal to have a centralized database of data labels in the next 6 months. It’s worth starting now in asking data partners to disclose more information in line with the label specifications.
- Reverse-engineering guru, Jane Wong, has discovered that Facebook is working on Pet Talent Show (there’s an audition UI hidden within the main app). Jane also discovered an updated Facebook voice assistant UI. There’s been no comment from Facebook on either discovery. BTW, Jane also discovered the above reported Facebook nearby people maps change.
- In a move that should bolster podcasting, Spotify will be making it possible for anyone to make their podcast available on Spotify (previously the podcast had to be hosted on Spotify). The capability is still in beta but would open the door to more ad-supported opportunities in Spotify even for paying subscribers, given that podcast ads can be integrated into the content/narrative.
TRUST, SAFETY, AND PRIVACY
- Bloomberg published a lengthy investigative piece detail alleged infiltration of the computer hardware supply chain with compromised hardware. The short story is that essentially a small non-approved microchip installed directly in the hardware during manufacturing enables remote access to the server bypassing any other security systems in place on the machine. If true, this is and should be the biggest technology story of the year, as the report cites companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Apple as purchasing hardware from an allegedly compromised server manufacturer. There have been denials from Amazon and Apple and questions about the legitimacy of the claims (see this analysis). Both articles are worth a read.
- Facebook continues to provide updates on the up to 90M accounts that were compromised last week. Facebook has stated that their “investigation has so far found no evidence that the attackers accessed any apps using Facebook Login“. That said, reiterate my advice from last week to reset your passwords and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Further, regulators are still investigating the issue so the matter is far from closed.
- The IAB is working on a blockchain based solution for privacy called “PrivacyChain“. The idea is that there is a distributed ledger to consistently manage and record peoples opt-in/opt-out consent. The proposal is open for public comment and pilot testing by interested companies.
- DoubleVerify now has the ability to authenticate the quality of twitter video ads, specifically ad fraud and viewability (on mobile and desktop). For more details reach out to your DoubleVerify or twitter contact.
Have a great week.