- Given it was AdWeek in New York there was a lot of news, some of which does not have any official links that I can share so you’ll just have to trust me.
- Hulu hinted transactional ads are coming to their platform next year, where users can push information from an ad to their phone or interact via voice.
- Snapchat said that it has on average 203MM Daily Active Users (DAUs), spending 30mins per day on Snap and opening the app. on average 20 times.
- Snapchat shared that their video ad unit will now extend to 3minutes, with users still having the ability to skip ads.
In other general news:
- Amazon announced a lot of new hardware as it moves to bring Alexa to everything. As is often the case, the best summary of the Amazon hardware event comes from the IPG Media Lab. The short update is that Amazon is moving Alexa out of the home and as part of that they are launching Echo Earbuds and Echo Frames (glasses).
- more of an FYI. Yahoo! updated their logo. It is the first change in about 6 years with the logo now cleaner and more contemporary.
- messaging app Kik is, well, no-longer the messaging app Kik, and will be shut down as the company focuses on the cryptocurrency Kin (and an ongoing SEC battle).
- Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, Sony, BMW, Baidu, Verizon and more announced the Voice Interoperability Initiative, with the intent to make it easier for voice services to work together and multiple voice services to work on a single product all while safeguarding user privacy. Notably absent from the announcement are Google and Apple. You can learn more about (and join) the program here.
- Facebook has started a limited trial of hiding like-counts on the core Facebook platform for users in Australia. Authors of content will still be able to see like counts but other users will not.
- somewhat overhyped as “Facebook Buys Mind Reading Start-Up”, Facebook acquired a company called CTRL-Labs who specialize in reading neural signals so that they can be used to manipulate digital environments (so not-quite mindreading). The best place to get a sense of the technology is from CTRL-Labs YouTube channel.
- in other Facebook news, the company held its Oculus Connect event, mapping out their vision for VR software and hardware. One of the big announcements was Facebook Horizon, a ReadyPlayerOne style virtual world. It’s difficult to fully articulate, so I recommend this Facebook Horizon video and you can sign up for the beta here (Oculus account required).
- Disney and Roundel (Target’s advertising arm) are partnering that will enable Disney advertisers to access Target shopping data. Disney and Target claim that there’s a 70% overlap of their customers, giving the Roundel offering particular strength in closed-loop measurement.
- NCC Media, the combined sales arm of Comcast, Charter, and Cox rebranded as AmpersandTV. Positioned as more than just a rebrand, the newly named entity is increasing the emphasis it places on data-driven media activation.
- ESPN is looking to bring interactive programming to Facebook Watch. As part of a new deal, ESPN will bring content to Facebook watch exclusively and leverage features such as Watch Parties, polls, or live talent Q&As.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- the US Attorney General is seeking a DOJ probe into Facebook (concurrent with the FTC investigations). There are few details other than an anonymous source reporting that it will focus on “conduct separate to the FTC investigation”.
- as regulatory oversight of Facebook gains momentum, there are reports that Snapchat has kept a dossier on all their competition concerns about Facebook.
- the US Justice Department has shared policy details on how forensic genealogical data can be used to solve crimes. The policy comes into effect from November 1. Worth keeping in mind if you have ever done a DNA test on Ancestry.com or 23andme.
- a firm warning to any company using data-driven targeting, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found several advertisers illegally discriminated against women and elderly workers. A reminder that when targeting you need to be mindful not only of who you target but who you exclude (and not be discriminatory in the process)
- with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) due to come into effect on January 2020, there are still lobbyists seeking to further strengthen the CCPA law including requiring opt-in consent from teens aged 13-15, as well as restricting access to ethnicity and financial data.
Thanks for reading and have a great week
PS. A little tip for those of you reading on a Sunday, it’s not too late to register to have your name on the next NASA Mars Rover mission. The deadline is September 30.