Digital overtakes TV in US ad spend battle
TV has officially relinquished its ad spend crown to digital in the US. A report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has shown that US digital advertising revenue surged nearly 22% to $72.5 billion for the 2016 calendar year, up from $59.6 billion in 2015. And, according to eMarketer, TV captured around $71.3 billion in US domestic revenues in 2016. This is the first time digital ad spend has surpassed TV since the IAB began its digital records in 2004. Social media ad revenue played an important part in the 2016 digital growth, up 49% from the previous year to $16.3 billion.
Facebook gives marketplace an overhaul
Marketplace, Facebook’s major entry point into local commerce, is looking particularly lovely after receiving a virtual lick of paint. The changes are designed to make the feature easier to use, including a now-scrollable list of categories with brightly coloured icons as well as better filtering systems and clearer labels. These features are available on both the desktop and mobile versions of Facebook, though in a different layout.
Facebook tests videos as cover images
Facebook has confirmed that it is testing the ability for pages to upload videos to serve as cover images. The platform hopes it'll help businesses "create more engaging experiences and drive more rich experiences for their audiences." Check out the new feature in action on Netflix's Narcos Facebook page.
Facebook helps airline industry better target travellers
Facebook is looking to gain traction with the airline industry by launching dynamic ads for flights. The updates will let marketers target a person across devices based on route, schedule and price. Mobile will be a key focus for the platform - according to the platform's research, 85 percent of travel was planned on mobile devices, with 50 percent of people using mobile devices when first researching a trip.
Instagram's growth leaves Snapchat in the shade
Last week, the photo and video-sharing app Instagram announced it now has 700 million monthly users, doubling its size in just two years. The success of Instagram has led to comparisons with rival platform Snapchat, which now has 'just' 158 million daily users. Instagram credits its new features like "stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct" as reasons for its continued popularity growth, many of which are strikingly similar to Snapchat's offering. We doubt Snapchat will be flattered by this particular form of imitation.
The New York Times launches on Snapchat Discover
The New York Times' Snapchat Discover channel has now gone live, posting stories five days per week, Monday to Friday. The news organisation will share content based on its “Morning Briefing” feature, as well as the most exciting part of all - a small crossword puzzle that users can complete by drawing letters on the crossword image. It's available for users in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Snapchat launches viewability score for video ads
From 5th June, Snapchat will help select advertisers better measure the impact of their content by rolling out a new viewability score. The score will be validated by measurement firm Moat, meeting the Media Rating Council's (MRC) guidelines for whether videos warrant chargeable impressions. These guidelines include a requirement that 50 percent (or more) of an ad’s pixels should be “on an in-focus tab on the viewable space of the browser page”' and that video ads should have at least two continuous seconds of viewability.
Snapchat opens API to help brands buy Geofilter Ads automatically
Snapchat has opened up its API a little more to allow brands buy location-based promos automatically - namely, geofilters that layer fun text and graphics over users’ photos and videos. Until now, advertisers have purchased branded geofilters through Snapchat’s self-service buying tool.
Mixed news for Twitter
Good news first. The platform finally managed to shake up user growth, reporting that average monthly active users rose 6% from last year to 328 million, with daily users has been increasing at a faster pace each quarter for the past year. Slow user growth has proven Twitter's biggest challenge in recent years, so this is a big win. But here's the bad news - the platform posted an 8% drop in revenue from the same quarter last year - its first quarterly revenue decline since going public in 2013, with ad revenue also down - by 11%. In summary - good... but not quite good enough.
Twitter adds 16 more companies to livestreaming collection
Twitter is on a mission to be the go-to source for live content around the clock. The platform has added 16 more sports, news and entertainment companies to its livestreaming gang, including the WNBA who will livestream games every week during the regular season this year and 20 each year through 2019; BuzzFeed News, which will create a new morning news show focused on the latest “fire tweets,” along with appearances from reporters and special guests, and Live Nation, which will launch an online concert series with a livestream of the Zac Brown Band.
Twitter launches 'in-stream video ads'
Twitter's been busy this week. The platform has launched 'in-stream video ads' in order to help its ad revenue woes by capturing a larger chunk of the video advertising market. Here's Twitter's Senior product manager, revenue Mo Al Adham to explain what it's all about.
Twitter is home to brand-safe video from hundreds of the world’s top publishers. That means brands can now run in-stream video ads to align with videos—highlights, clips and livestreams—from Amplify partners including top TV networks, major sports leagues, major publishing houses and magazines and professional news outlets. This includes pre-roll and mid-roll ads.
In recent experiments, we’ve been automatically promoting videos with high engagement from select publishers. Not only does this drive more views for the publisher, it also allows advertisers to get their message in front of a larger target audience. We have seen early success in the U.S. and look forward to rolling this out more widely in the year ahead.
Tumblr launches Cabana app for video calls and more
Tumblr is launching what it describes as a 'digital couch' - an app called Cabana that lets up to six users at a time video chat with one another and watch YouTube clips in-app. The move demonstrates Tumblr's desire to move beyond the Gifs and memes it's best known for.
LinkedIn hits 500 million users and 10 million jobs
LinkedIn has been shouting about its latest figures this week and we can see why - the platform now has more than 500 million members in 200 countries, represents more than 10 million active jobs and provides access to more than 9 million companies and hosts more than 100,000 published articles each week. It's also shared its most connected countries, places, industries and job functions. Take a bow, HR.
Vogue livestreams Met Gala in 360 degrees on Facebook
If you've always wanted to be able to check out Anna Wintour's perfectly coiffed bob from the back, yesterday was your chance, weirdo. Vogue livestreamed its New York Met Gala in 360 degrees on Facebook, complete with ads from champagne brand Moët & Chandon. According to Vogue, its “partnership with Facebook and Moët offers our audience direct, front row access to experience all the action of the red carpet." And the perfect way to check for celebrity VPLs, obvs.
Samsung burns troll with emoji
When a troll known only as Edward decided to hijack Samsung's Galaxy S8 promo tweets, the phone manufacturer decided to fight back. In response to Edward's incredibly humorous bants (sharing a dick pic), the brand... well... you can see the results below. Bravo Samsung. Bravo.
Got your hands on the Galaxy S8? Show us the first photo you took. pic.twitter.com/HDTHWibR0A
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 21, 2017
@SamsungMobileUS It was a dick pic
— Edward (@savEdward) April 21, 2017
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 21, 2017