2019.05.03 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s the last week in digital media, enjoy!

FACEBOOK F8 – Facebook Developer’s Conference
Last week Facebook held F8, their annual developer’s conference. The IPG Media Lab has a great read on what F8 means for brands, but here’s my take.

  • there was indirect support for Facebook Live, despite lingering concerns around brand safety. Facebook demonstrated that the Facebook Portal would support live-streaming. Indirectly signaling Facebook will continue to promote and support Facebook live.
  • WhatsApp is coming to the Facebook Portal, which might open the door to Portal being considered as a retail tool, where Facebook and WhatsApp communications don’t necessarily have to happen on a mobile device.
  • a lot of talk about Facebook moving to a privacy-by-design future balanced with a lot of conversation around Facebook Groups being the “public squares”. Reading between the lines, establishing the groundwork that activity in “public” environments would be the basis for ad targeting. Facebook is encouraging the use of groups with a new ad campaign.
  • eCommerce is increasingly part of Instagram’s future, with new tools that enable you to tap-to-buy on items worn or shown by a creator. This feature is in limited beta with select creators and brands need to be using Instagram checkout to participate in the beta.
  • Alphabet (Google’s parent company) released its Q1 results, missing some analyst estimates. Revenue came in at US$36.3B (vs US$37.3B estimates). This quarter also included a US$1.7B charge from the EU for anti-competitive advertising practices. Some are speculating that Alphabet’s slowing growth might be a sign that competition is heating up in search.
  • new fronts week saw announcements from retailers moving more substantially into advertising. Walmart, hinted at interactive content coming to Vudu via a JV partnership with Eko. This includes a move to introduce shoppable ads.  Vudu has indicated it will continue to be a subscription-free, ad-supported product.
  • Target Media Network has relaunched and rebranded as roundel. roundel will offer advertising services for anything, not just products sold through Target’s retail channels.
  • Spotify’s Q1 2019 results saw them report 216MM Monthly Active Users (MAUs), with premium subscribers coming in at 100MM.
  • you probably are not using it and don’t know anyone who was (as it was in Denmark only)… but Facebook is shutting down their youth-focused group video chat product Bonfire. Expect some of the features to be rolled into Facebook and Instagram.
  • Spotify has launched its standalone radio app Spotify Stations (launched in Australia first). Stations has been designed for lean-back listening, with a clean, simple, large-font interface.
  • in other Spotify news (there’s a lot this week), Spotify has launched an alpha of voice-enabled advertisements. What makes these different is that it doesn’t require a smart speaker, the voice-interactivity is handled within the Spotify app.
  • an interesting execution that might inspire an idea, a Belgian water brand has made custom plates for restaurants that when you try and Instagram your food, QR codes in the plate launch a link encouraging you to put down your smartphone.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week.


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