A Happy St Patrick’s Day and welcome to another last week in digital media.
- The internet turned 30 this week. It’s OK if you forgot to get it an eCard, you could be like Stephen Colbert and give it all your data instead, If you’re after a retrospective, the Verge published their favorite memories from A-Z.
- Facebook made changes to the way they report metrics. Facebook’s metric changes are detailed in this blog post, One change is Facebook will provide more details around ad relevance, helping you understand factors that influence ad performance. This change will be rolling out over the coming months. A major change is that “potential reach” will only include people who have seen an ad on Facebook in the past 30 days, not all users on Facebook who would be eligible to see the ad (regardless of whether they are active accounts or had ever seen an ad). Coming soon, Facebook will also show how many people saved an ad (posts saved) which may provide useful insight for advertisers who promote offers on Facebook.
- Apple has sent out invites for a March 25th event, which is where Apple is expected to announce their own streaming TV service. Also expected to be announced is Apple’s subscription-based news service.
- Looking to just target users on smart speakers? Pandora has started selling ads that target users listening in on connected speakers. The theory is that a user could hear an ad and then order a product by just speaking the right command – the audio equivalent of clicking on a banner ad.
- Facebook saw two (2) executives depart during the week. Announced in a note from Zuckerberg, the executives (both called Chris) had responsibilities across the newsfeed and messaging products. There is speculation that the departure is tied to Zuckerberg’s recent announcement of Facebook’s pivot to privacy.
- you may not see it yet, but twitter is rolling out an update which lets you swipe left to open the camera (the update is slowing rolling out to all users). Right now, the camera doesn’t have filters, stickers, etc. and still encourages users to add text and hashtags.
- Facebook suffered an outage during the week, with one twitter user commenting that Facebook AI had become self-aware and in an attempt to fulfill Zuckerberg’s Privacy Promise, had shut Facebook down. The truth was far more mundane, with Facebook blaming a server configuration error. If your client was impacted by the outage (Ads Manager was down for many) you should contact your Facebook rep. The Facebook outage was good news for some, Telegram (an independent messaging app) claimed to have gained 3MM users during the outage.
GAMING / eSPORTS
- Microsoft demonstrated their game streaming service “Project xCloud” during the week, showing the game Forza running on an Android device. The demo came a week before Google is expected to announce its own game streaming service (Google’s Game Developer Conference is 3/19).
- a new eMarketer report claims that eSports digital ad revenue will be over US$200MM in 2020 (although ad revenue will still come 3rd to sponsorship and media rights). eMarketer also predicts that 30.3MM people will watch eSports at least once per month.
- Facebook continues to push into the gaming world, recently revealing 700MM people play games or interact with game content (e.g. videos, streams) on the platform. Some of those 700MM users will start seeing a gaming tab within the core Facebook app, as Facebook looks to grow in the gaming category.
- Snapchat’s gaming platform “Project Cognac” is expected to launch April 4. It’s reported that Snap has been working on a gaming offering for over a year.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- It’s hard to believe, but it has been one (1) year since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Guardian has an interview with Chris Wylie and his thoughts on what has (and hasn’t changed). It makes for an interesting read.
- the IABtechlab have released the final version of app-ads.txt (the mobile equivalent of ads.txt). The full app-ads.txt specification (PDF link) makes it a requirement that developers publisher a website in their app store description so that media buyers can then verify an app-ads.txt file exists. Adoption of app-ads.txt will take time, but it’s important we all encourage everyone buying or selling mobile inventory to adopt the standard.
- the New York Times reports that Facebook’s data deals are under criminal investigation. It is reported that smartphone and device manufacturer records have been subpoenaed.
- Google published an update on the number of bad ads it has taken down – a total of 2.3B during 2018. A key stat to know, 734,000 publishers/app developers had their accounts terminated. Google also published a whitepaper detailing how they worked with WhiteOps to assist the FBI in taking down the 3ve fraud (PDF link).
Have a great week.