This week, Facebook both excites advertisers with the ad potential of their new Watch service and moves to protect brands from having their ads displayed next to less than stellar (i.e. violent and hateful) content, Google makes it that much easier for us to bounce between search results and similar content, and Apple limits ad tracking in Safari which prompts an open letter from industry leaders.
Google Search App now makes content suggestions on iOS
For Google Search app users on iOS in the United States, it’s now that much easier to flip between relevant content to your search terms, without having to backtrack to the original SERP. With the current update, all it takes is a swipe up from the bottom of the screen and you’re presented with related content, suggested from Google. However, many search queries are about finding answers, and the related content tends to be more broad, with the intention of user discovery.
But sometimes the answer isn’t to find a specific answer, such as searches for recipes. Say you have a blog dedicated to gluten-free desserts. With the search term “gluten free cake,” users can easily browse recipes for different flavors and styles of cake they may not have initially intended, giving your blog more of an opportunity to be discovered. Similarly, online shoppers may have an easier time flipping through products, increasing impressions for product pages.
Apple will limit ad tracking in their Safari browser
In a move to protect user’s data privacy, Apple updated their Safari browser to include a 24 hour limit on data tracking, making it more difficult for ad buyers, who rely heavily on third party data, to target niche audiences. As a result, CPMs and conversions for advertisers will suffer which prompted industry leaders to pen an open letter to Apple stating this will destroy the internet economy.
Apple has a history of skepticism when it comes to digital advertising. After shutting down their iAd service last year, Apple refocused on selling pricy products for their main profit source in direct opposition to companies like Facebook and Google, who rely heavily on ad revenue.
Publishers who rely on third party data with potentially be the most affected by this change due to declining ad performance, reduced demand, and ultimately lowered CPMs. But if you’re a publisher who relies on direct sales, you’ll be spared.
Though industry groups feel as if Apple is out to ruin their profits, this isn’t a change that will abruptly cut of revenue streams. Safari users only account for 4% of desktop traffic and 29% of mobile traffic, according to NetMarketShare.
Facebook rolls out new ad controls to ease marketers minds over brand safety
Amidst concerns over brand safety, viewability, and online ad metrics, Facebook made sweeping changes to their ad controls in order to ease wariness of advertising partners.
First, Facebook released new guidelines for which creators and publishers can earn money and what kinds of content can be monetized. With this, context is key when it comes to ad placement, especially in Instant Articles and in-stream ads. Advertisers will also be able to view which publishers ran their ads with the new post-campaign reporting in the coming months. This will offer placement and category opt-outs if a disconnect between content and advertisement is found. Through pre-campaign reporting, advertisers can see which publishers are monetizing their sites, offering a list of publishers that might be excluded before the ad even runs.
Heeding the desires of the industry for more independent third-party verification, Facebook is seeking accreditation from the Media Rating Council in three areas, first-party ad impression reporting, which is currently underway, third-party viewability partner integrations and the imminent two-second video buying option. In addition to MRC accreditation, they have added DoubleVerify and Meetrics to their roster of 24 third-party verification services and viewability partners.
Finally, in fashion with their long term commitment to combating fraud and violent or hateful content, Facebook is in the process of joining TAG, or the Trustworthy Accountability Group, to limit fraud, and has added 3,000 employees to their team of content reviewers to more efficiently uphold Community Standards across the site.
What is Facebook Watch and what does that mean for marketers?
Earlier last month, Facebook released Watch, a, original video streaming service in the realm of HBO, Netflix, and amazon, though you won’t need to pay a monthly subscription to get access. The company has partnered with networks such as A&E, National Geographic, and Mashable to deliver original shows that range from sports to comedy to reality TV.
The feature increases the bottom line for Facebook by offering content that can’t be seen anywhere else thus keeping users coming back to the site and offering more space to sell ads. Producers of shows end up with 55% of the profit, with Facebook keeping 45%. Audiences will be targeted through hyper-personalized recommendations through a “discover” tab and connects fans and creators through show-linked groups.
But what will the ads look like? Viewers aren’t quite attuned to mid-show breaks, meaning pre-show ads are more likely, however publishers have the option of offering their shows for free without the placement of ads. Product placement is also an option, with sponsorship tags for transparency.
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