Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media, but here’s the news you may have missed:
- Google is rebranding YouTube Google Preferred to YouTube Select. There is no material difference in the offering as part of the rebrand, other than a reference to emerging lineups and brand lift studies and an emphasis on brand suitability
- some Facebook new product insights from reverse engineer, Jane Manchun Wong. Facebook is working on a feature called Neighborhoods (possibly to take on Patch and Nextdoor) and separately, video stickers.
- TikTok has a new CEO, ex Disney streaming executive Kevin Mayer. Mayer will also serve as COO of Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok. The move is seen by some to help better position TikTok, given heavy regulator scrutiny.
- twitter is testing a way to limit replies to a tweet. This is a limited test across iOS, Android, and web (so you might not personally see it), and when you tweet, you can select to set replies to Everyone, People ou Follow, or Only People you Mention. The change could help improve the tone of conversations on twitter but could also change the way people think about twitter (and brands who use it) as a place for public conversation.
- Facebook is introducing Facebook Shops so that any small business can sell online. The move is notable because it also talks about integrated customer direct message interactions across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp; live shopping features on Instagram; as well as plans to integrate loyalty programs. It’s worth reading the full announcement.
- Buzzfeed has launched an interesting new offering called Buzzfeed Quiz Party. It takes the viral fun of Buzzfeed quizzes but lets you do them along with friends. Up to 4 friends (including the host) can take the quiz together.
- Microsoft has struck a collaboration between their Edge browser and Pinterest to enhance the Edge Collections offering. Edge users will be able to share content to Pinterest, but more importantly, Pinterest content will be used to help users discover new content and find inspiration.
VIDEO & AUDIO STREAMING
- not strictly advertising, but notable. Apple has purchased the distribution rights to the Tom Hanks film “Greyhound” for Apple TV+. Sony had originally intended to release the film in cinema in June. Apple is also rumored to be interested in acquiring older TV shows for the platform.
- signs that the Podcast market is hot continues with Spotify securing the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. There are also rumors that Amazon is in talks to secure exclusive original podcasts for its Audible business unit.
- Samsung is making its connected TV inventory available programmatically (via SpotX). This is a significant move in Samsung’s advertising ambitions as their CTV inventory was previously only available via direct IO.
- foursquare has released the foursquare recovery index that looks at foot traffic on a rolling 7-day basis pre and post-pandemic, so you can get a sense of recovery.
- Adobe has published a consumer and brand study on advertising strategy during the pandemic. One of the more interesting findings is that the public no longer wants “we’re with you ads” and instead wants to know how brands are engaging with the community and things that take minds away from the crisis.
- Two US House Republicans wrote to the founder of TikTok about potential illegal use of data about children and alleged ties to the Chinese government. The letter is also reported to seek clarification on whether TikTok is complying with the FTC consent decree.
- Digital Content Next, an industry trade group, has obtained and published a copy of a Civil Investigative Demand sent by the Texas Attorney General (PDF link) to Google. The document, dated September 2019, provides the best insight into the various state AG investigations into allegations of anticompetitive conduct by Google.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- after Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy, Adam Mosseri, who runs the Instagram business unit, has come out to say he both sponsored the deal and that data was not a factor in the decision.
- from July, the New York Times will no longer use 3rd party data. The move is no surprise as 3rd party cookies get phased for privacy reasons. Instead, the company will offer addressable 1st party data audiences using New York Times subscriber data.
Have a safe Memorial Day weekend.