Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media. Before the general news, the big news comes from Google.
Google has decided to delay the phase-out of 3rd party cookies at least until 2023. This extends the life of 3rd party cookies by two (2) years, along with a 90-day phase-out period as agreed by Google with the UK competition regulator.
Google’s decision is not surprising given all of the headwinds facing the FLoC/Privacy Sandbox proposals (antitrust, privacy, security, publisher opt-outs). The delay doesn’t mean 3rd party cookies will be around forever, but it does buy the industry more time to come up with an alternative.
It’s also worth keeping in mind there are still separate issues resulting from Apple’s various iOS 14.5+ changes, with more to come in iOS 15 remain. So with or without Google delays, a replacement for 3rd party cookies and Mobile Advertising IDs (MAIDs) is needed.
In short, all of this doesn’t change the inevitable. The industry must adapt to a future without 3rd party cookies and Mobile Advertising IDs (MAIDs), one that is more privacy-centric and respects privacy regulations and the public.
Now onto the other news…
- Facebook’s live audio rooms product and podcast offering is now available in the US. At the moment, audio rooms are only available to “public figures and select Facebook groups.”
- as everyone looks to copy Clubhouse, the app is trying to carve out space, accidentally leaking (then removing) a text chat messaging function called Backchannel.
- 3rd party app integrations are coming to TikTok thanks to a new program called “Jump.” TikTok Jump is relevant to creators and brands, as it can drive actionable behavior in the app. Worth connecting to your TikTok rep. to learn more.
- Instagram is taking a page out of TikTok’s playbook and testing algorithmically suggesting content.
- there’s a new entrant in the global streaming space, this time from Univision. Univision’s offering, PrendeTV, includes both free ad-supported and subscription-based options and will launch in the US and Latin America in 2022.
- Facebook’s proposed move into advertising on Oculus has hit some bumps. As a result of user and player backlash, the first title that was going to carry ads, Blaston, publicly withdrew from the test.
- Roku is claiming that its original content, acquired from Quibi, is a success. Reporting that the Top 10 content on the Roku Channel was all originals and Roku’s original content had been watched by “millions” – although specific viewing numbers were not released.
- Facebook introduced some new eCommerce and shops offerings on Instagram and WhatsApp. Including a “Shops Ads” product. “Shops Ads” is an ad offering optimized for the conversion journey.
- podcasts continue to be a hot area for acquisitions, with Amazon buying Art19, a company/platform for podcast analytics and podcast monetization.
- a somewhat unexpected development from twitter, they are testing the ability to share tweets as stickers on Instagram stories.
- the Amazon Web Services (AWS) group within Amazon has acquired the secure messaging app Wickr. The acquisition should be considered in the context of AWS ensuring it secures corporate and government contracts, not as a move by Amazon to get into social and consumer messaging.
- Microsoft revealed details of Windows 11. This may seem like an odd thing to draw your attention to, but Microsoft made a direct reference to creators in the closing remarks. A sign that the creator economy is increasingly mainstream and needs to be front and center of business and media strategy.
- twitter’s ticketed spaces and super follow experience is now open for applications. For ticketed spaces, you need at least 1,000 followers, hosted 3 spaces in the past 30 days, and be over 18. For Super Follows, you need at least 10,000 followers, 25 tweets in 30 days, and to be over 18 years old.
- the EU has launched an antitrust investigation into Google, citing concerns about anticompetitive conduct. The investigation is wide-ranging and includes everything from ad serving, limits on data access, and includes Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals (Google’s decision to delay Privacy Sandbox this week is, no doubt, just a coincidence). There is no deadline for when the investigation will be completed.
- the German Federal Cartel Office has opened proceedings against Apple, investigating the entire Apple ecosystem, including the App Store, iCloud, Music, and Apple TV+, as well as restrictions on data collection and use.
- in the UK, there are calls to regulate streaming services like Netflix, etc. A whitepaper proposal is due from the UK’s Secretary of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport soon. The calls come after claims of “factual errors” in the Netflix series “The Crown.”
- the proposed acquisition of MGM by Amazon has hit a hurdle, with the FTC planning to review the deal.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- the privacy-focused Brave browser now has a beta of a privacy-focused search engine. Brave Search promises to be more transparent and proposes that it will have community-curated open ranking models. Brave Search also runs on its own index, not relying on Google or Bing.
- Google is testing a warning label in search results if the query is for a topic where there is little information, the facts and changing, and the sources may not be that reliable. It stops short of actually labeling a site in the results as being unreliable.
Have a great week.
PS. The distraction of the week is this Ocean Noise Generator. Visit it on desktop and make a mix of ocean and beach sounds to get you in the mood for summer. It’s also perfect for ambient background noise when you need to focus.
PPS. A reminder, as shared back in May, next week will be the final issue of Last Week in Digital Media.