Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media. Here’s the news you may have missed:
- twitter’s fleets (their take on disappearing stories) are now available to everyone. There were some small technical issues during the rollout but judging by my twitter feed people are giving them a test. At the moment, there are no advertising opportunities, but brands with twitter accounts can fleet. And if you’re not a fan of someone’s fleets (or fleets in general), it is possible to mute just fleets.
- Facebook’s New Product Experiment E.gg is now officially available to everyone. The iOS-only app lets users create freeform collages that can be shared with anyone and are viewable as a webpage for those without the app.
- BuzzFeed has acquired the Huffington Post from Verizon in an all-stock deal. Content from both publications will be syndicated across Verizon, Verizon will have a minority stake in BuzzFeed, and Verizon Media will have access to advertising opportunities on the sites.
- in other acquisition news, the data company Experian has agreed to acquired adtech firm TapAd. The acquisition being driven by Experian’s desire to have ownership of TapAd’s cross-device graph.
- Facebook reportedly had a conversion lift measurement problem that went undetected for 12 months. Affected advertisers have apparently been notified via email.
- YouTube will start monetizing videos of users who are not memberships of the YouTube Partnership Program. Or in short, YouTube can make money off a video and not sure ad revenue back. YouTube did state (via twitter) that existing brand safety and monetization thresholds will remain in place.
- in other YouTube ad news, YouTube is beta testing audio ads for when people have YouTube on in the background (primarily music). However, it does open the door to asking the question as to whether YouTube has been making money from non-viewed video ads.
- with newsletters gaining in popularity (just FYI, this newsletter has been around since 2016), a newsletter curation service called Listory. Developed by executives from Outbrain and leveraging Outbrain tech, the service plans to make money through subscriptions and advertising.
- Nielsen is the latest company to get behind the proposed Unified ID standard. Nielsen is intended to connect the Nielsen panel to Unified ID for cross-media measurement purposes.
- Axios reports that Instagram is considering paying publishers for content. It could take the form of a revenue share arrangement, with the test expected to roll out in the coming months.
- there’s an interesting market-focused blog post from Pinterest that claims that Pinterest trends saw them predict trends even in an unpredictable year. Even taking into account it’s a PR piece, it’s a reminder that Pinterest does provide powerful insights.
- there are multiple reports that Federal and State Attorney Generals are finalizing an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. In focus will be Facbeook’s acquisition of both Instagram and WhatsApp and how Facebook uses data.
- the US Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Censorship and the 2020 Election played out during the week. You can read the prepared testimony from Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey (PDF links). If you separate the partisan noise, the real issue concerns S230 of the Communications Decency Act. The other big observation is that there’s an increasing divergence of views between Facebook and twitter on various issues, from the addictiveness of services, algorithmic transparency, and content moderation. All of which suggests that it’s increasingly unlikely we’ll see coordinated industry self-regulation.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- Facebook published its latest quarterly Community Standards Enforcement Report (CSER). This is the first report to include reporting for the prevalence of Hate Speech on the platform, with a measure of 0.10-0.11% or ~ 10 out of every 10,000 views of content. You can read the whole report or view the CSER data snapshot (PDF link). Facebook also accompanied the CSER with the release of its latest Transparency Report. Of note, Government requests for data increased 23%.
- Google, Facebook, and twitter have agreed to work together to fight COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. The move comes as the UK’s Labour Party calls for emergency legislation to censor COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation.
- Apple and Facebook are having a public dispute about privacy and competition. Facebook is not impressed with Apple’s moves on limiting data collection, so it has started criticizing Apple as being anti-competitive. There is some speculation that Facebook is taking this path to distract from its own regulatory headaches. It also comes as Apple confirms it is moving ahead with its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature (you can read the letter from Apple here).
Have a great week.
PS. There will be no newsletter next week. It will resume after Thanksgiving. For those celebrating, have a Happy Thanksgiving.