2019.02.08 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s your weekly dose of Last Week in Digital Media, here’s what you might have missed.

GENERAL

MEDIA & TECH Q4 RESULTS
  • Snapchat’s Q4 results showed a positive turn around for the company. Ad revenue was up 36% (US$390MM), Global Daily Active User (DAU) numbers were flat at 186MM (79MM in the US). Snapchat also claims to reach 70% of those aged 13-34 with ads each month. Of the stats buried further down which is interesting to note is that the Snapchat Pixel (for conversion tracking) saw 600MM conversion events in Q4, up from 230MM. Meaning Snap seems to be making rapid inroads as a transaction platform.
  • twitter has a good Q4, with twitter’s results with Q4 revenue of US$909MM (up 24%). twitter did change how they report numbers, introducing the metric Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAUs) and stating the number was up 9% to 126MM. twitter said they will stop reporting Monthly Active Users (MAUs) but did say that MAUs were down 9MM from last year (sitting at 321MM). You can deep dive into the numbers in twitter’s investor report here (PDF link).
  • Alphabet (aka Google) released their Q4 results showing revenue from advertising came in at US$32.6B (total revenue was US$39.3B) (see full PDF report here). CNN noted that revenues were up 20% despite data and privacy concerns with regulators, consumers, and across the industry.
QUALITY, FRAUD, and SAFETY
REGULATORY 
PRIVACY and TRANSPARENCY
  • Motherboard has published an update to their January story about carrier location data being available for sale to bounty hunters and the like with one data broker processing more than 18,000 location requests in one year. This will definitely fuel further calls for a Senate investigation and regulation of the location data industry.
  • Facebook is making updates to its Custom Audience Transparency Tool. Detailed in a Facebook post, from Feb 27th, if a user clicks to find out “Why am I seeing this?” button next to an ad, it will reveal not only why a person was targeted, but if the advertiser used their customer list to target you.
  • TechCrunch has a story about several popular mainstream apps that have screen recording analytics software from a company called Glassbox. The problem (and there are many) is the recording of user behavior is not disclosed to users, does not ask for user consent, may capture and disclose sensitive user information, and the data may be monetized. Apple is not happy about this and has notified the developers of the apps in question that they are in “violation of (Apple’s) strict privacy terms and guidelines, and (Apple) will take immediate action if necessary“.  This is worth flagging with any client that has an app, as Glassbox isn’t the only company offering app screen-recording analytics services.

Have an awesome week!

Joshua

PS. Productivity and safety tip this week is this Chrome extension from Google, that will alert you if any of your passwords were exposed in a recent data breach and is part of Google’s move to provide Cross Account Protection so that a breach of one service shouldn’t compromise other accounts. You can read more about how it works in Google’s blog post.