Snap’s first partner summit revealed lots of ambitious plans for its image-messaging app Snapchat, such as a mobile ad network, gaming platform, camera features and original shows. The planned Snap Audience Network will let marketers reach users of third-party apps with ad inserts resembling the full-screen, vertical videos in Snapchat. Read more…

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Facebook and Google, which bought ad-serving network Doubleclick in 2008, have similar platforms that give marketers broader campaign reach among apps and mobile websites, even among digital audiences who don’t use their services. That extensive reach is the major reason why Facebook and Google are called the “duopoly.” The two companies have a combined market share of about 60% of the $129.3 billion U.S. digital ad market, researcher eMarketer estimated. So far, the biggest threat to the duopoly is Amazon, whose rapidly growing ad business is denting Google’s dominance, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Snap doesn’t share personal data about the people who use Snapchat, in stark contrast to Facebook’s looser policies that let app developers collect data about millions of users and all their social connections. Such promiscuous data sharing let political campaigns recreate Facebook’s social graph for ad targeting, and directly led to last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook has changed its data-sharing policies in the past year, and this week called for governments to regulate the internet more closely to protect privacy and prevent the sharing of harmful content.

Tech companies are pushing into videogames as multiplayer gaming becomes a focal point for social networking. “Fortnite,” the hit battle royale game from Epic Games, exemplifies the trend as an online gathering place. Not only does “Fortnite” host multiplayer games among its 250 million users, but it also is adding live events like the concert from Marshmello. The popular DJ’s February 2 concert had a virtual attendance of a stunning 10.7 million people, the equivalent of about 150 outdoor stadium concerts (10.7 million attendees divided by stadium size of 70,000 equals about 150). “Fortnite” players showed up for the 10-minute show by using their player avatars to dance, jump around and rush the virtual stage.

Apple this year will release Apple Arcade, a game-subscription service with more than 100 exclusive video games. Google is planning a videogame platform called Stadia that will let players stream games from the cloud without the need for an expensive console like a Microsoft Xbox or Sony Playstation. Facebook last month added a dedicated gaming tab to its mobile app and has games on its Messenger app. More than 700 million people play games, watch gaming videos or participate in gaming groups on Facebook every month, the company said. Viewership of live videogaming content on Amazon’s Twitch streaming service surged 41% to 8.9 billion hours last year from 6.3 billion hours in 2017, per researcher Newzoo.

Snapchat’s remaining announcements focused on the user experience, including camera features and original programming. The company added Photomath and Giphy as partners for Scan, Snapchat’s camera search feature. The new services add to features that let users press and hold on the camera screen to unlock experiences, such as scanning Snapcodes to unlock filters and lenses; scanning physical products or barcodes to see Amazon search results; and identifying music tracks with Shazam.

Snap’s upcoming slate of Snap Originals, its exclusive shows for Snapchat, next month will be available on Snapchat’s Discover page. The shows include a range of genres such as serialized scripted dramas and comedies, character-driven docuseries, unscripted social commentary, among others. Production partners include Bunim/Murray Productions, Dakota Pictures, New Form, Bazelevs and other film and television writers and producers, per an announcement. Snap’s original programming is another way for the app to keep users engaged on its platform, and to sell video ad inserts.

Facebook this month will add a feature to its app and website that lets users see how their contact information is used for ad targeting. Read more…

Other reading:

Germany to restrict Facebook’s data gathering activities

How Facebook’s Tiny China Sales Floor Helps Generate Big Ad Money

Delay, Deny, and Deal Flow: Two New York Times Reporters Cash in on Seven-Figure Facebook Opus

Happy Birthday, Facebook! 15 years today — and what a rollercoaster it has been. We created a friendship anniversary video for Mark Zuckerberg to mark the day.

Verizon Communications Inc. cut the value of its AOL and Yahoo acquisitions by $4.6 billion in a public filing.

The write-down is another indication of heavy competition in digital advertising, which is dominated by Google and Facebook.

The move erased about half of the value of Oath, Verizon’s content business.

Oath’s brands include: AOL, Yahoo, HuffPost, TechCrunch, Flurry, Tumblr, Engadget, Autoblog, Makers, Kanvas, Build, Ryot and MSN.

Related Reading:

Ad Verification Company Integral Ad Science Taps Former Yahoo Executive as CEO (The Wall Street Journal)

AOL Takes Over Majority of Microsoft’s Ad Business, Swaps Google Search For Bing (The Wall Street Journal)

Oath isn’t just a terrible name — it’s going to be a nightmare ad-tracking machine (The Verge)

House Votes To Allow Internet Service Providers To Sell, Share Your Personal Information (Consumer Reports)


Facebook’s yearly revenue growth fell dramatically to 16 percent in the third quarter, according to researcher Standard Media Index.  Its data include ad revenue from national marketers, not local advertisers and small- to medium-sized businesses.

“Facebook’s growth from national marketers is slowing, indicating that major brands are concerned with recent events there and are focusing on brand-safe environments,” James Fennessy, SMI CEO, said in a statement. “National marketers don’t have the same issues with platforms like Roku as we saw their revenues jump by 67 percent in Q3, albeit from a much smaller base.”

The overall digital market rose 14 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to SMI.

Facebook’s ad revenue from national marketers was up 25 percent for the January to October period from a year earlier.

During that same timeframe (January to October) in 2017, Facebook grew ad revenue from national marketers by 41 percent from the prior year.

Facebook has maintained double-digit growth in ad revenue from national marketers. The growth rate has slowed each quarter in 2018. The overall digital market was up 14% YoY in Q3.

2018 Quarter

Yr. Change







Source: Standard Media Index

Related Reading:
Facebook Removes Data-Security App From Apple Store (The Wall Street Journal)

Facebook Bug Potentially Exposed Unshared Photos of Up 6.8 Million Users (The Wall Street Journal)