a whole year of
of View’ articles
together to give
you a complete
picture of how
the industry has
developed in 2013.
Acquisition by Facebook of ATLAS from Microsoft
Samsung’s Tizen-Based Phones
Facebook Goes Into the Search Business
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
CES 2013 Summary
Google ‘Shopping Ads’
Vine,Video Sharing by Twitter
Pinterest Price Drop Notifications
YouTube to Introduce Paid Subscription
AOL Buys Video Exchange Adap.tv
TYNY July 2013
Twitter’s Ad API
Firefox 22 And Cookie Blocking
Twitter Goes on the Offensive
FACEBOOK REVEALs ‘NEW LOOK’ NEWS FEED
Twitter’s Upcoming IPO
Mobile World Congress 2013
Grand Theft Auto V
SxSw interactive 2013 wrap-up
Google goes secure
Twitter to Launch Music Service
An Update From China
Twitter Brings Keyword Targeting to Social
Hummingbird Algorithm – Google Gets
Twitter Launches Music Service - UPDATE
Pinterest: Promoted Pins
Facebook’s New Video Ads
Facebook’s new app advertising format
taking a bite out of apple
Instagram: Photo stream ads
WHERE NEXT FOR YAHOO?
Twitter expands into TV
DoubleClick Bid Manger gets FBx access
YAHOO BUYS TUMBLR.
New Google AdWords Ad Rank Formula
Microsoft and the Xbox One
Google Banner Ads
Face-scan technology to target ads
Facebook Simplifies Ad Offering
YouTube One Channel
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One
All POVs are written ‘in the moment’ (we start
Sony and the PlayStation 4
Yes We Cannes
TV-Sync Facebook Ads
Twitter’s “Conversation Targeting”
Apple Buys PrimeSense
with January and go through to November) and
were correct at time of writing.
Facebook of ATLAS
Facebook has confirmed that it has
entered an agreement with Microsoft to
purchase Atlas, the digital ad server and
Although the financial details haven’t been disclosed, the acquisition says
a lot about the digital fortunes of both Facebook and Microsoft; the latter
limiting its ambitions in selling online advertising, whilst the former is
using its considerable clout - one billion users and counting - to become a
hub for advertising. Amidst murmurings that Atlas’ direction was waning
under Microsoft’s stewardship, the purchase is certainly exciting news for
With Facebook’s eagerness to discover innovative ways of monetising its
service and turning a profit for its shareholders - something that’s proved
particularly challenging in the face of stiff competition from Google - the
world’s largest social network will now be hopeful of proving its value to
brand marketers. Atlas will enable Facebook to show advertisers how well
its ads drive sales or help to achieve other marketing targets.
Part of Atlas’ appeal is the ability of its advertiser
solutions to decide which ads should be displayed
to which internet user. However, its major selling
point is the proprietary data that tracks media
attribution for online purchases, detailing how ads
have influenced and encouraged transactions. If
somebody buys a new coffee machine, for example,
Atlas will show marketers if the same customer was
exposed to any of the brand’s online ads in the days
leading to the purchase. In addition, Facebook will
be able to track further touchpoints in the consumer
journey by combining Atlas’ existing features with
the capabilities of Nielsen and Datalogix.
“To do a much better job
of making sure the right
messages get in front of
the right people at the
Brian Boland, Facebook’s director of monetisation
product marketing, said the acquisition of Atlas
is driven by a desire to achieve a ‘holistic view’ of
campaign performance, allowing marketers and
agencies ‘to do a much better job of making sure
the right messages get in front of the right people at
the right time.’.
Facebook plans to invest in Atlas’ capabilities by
scaling its back-end measurement systems and
upgrading the current suite of advertiser tools on
both desktop and mobile, while user interface and
functionality will also be improved.
While good news for Facebook and its marketing
potential, Microsoft’s sale of Atlas is continued
fallout from the disastrous $6 billion purchase in
2007 of Atlas’ former parent company, aQuantive
Inc. At the time, Microsoft believed the purchase
would position it as a leader within the digital
In reality though, the value of Microsoft’s digital
advertising business continued to fall, while some
advertisers have argued that the company has
allowed Atlas to drift. Rather than brokering ads
across the internet - a la Google - Microsoft has
cut its losses and will instead focus on selling
advertising on its own platforms and products.
Facebook’s acquisition of Atlas should result in
a significant increase in the sophistication of ad
campaign analytics, giving brands a more complete
view of how their Facebook advertising spend is
performing. For brand marketers, the enhanced
attribution and ROI features Atlas will provide for
Facebook campaigns will enable them to justify
shifting more advertising dollars to the social network.
Marta Mattioli & Matt Mint
Samsung has announced plans to launch
multiple devices using Linux-based mobile
operating system Tizen
For advertisers it
problem of needing
to produce mobile
and tablet assets for
Samsung is currently using Google’s Android OS as well
as an OS of its own (Bada), but it is thought Samsung
will quickly transition all devices onto Tizen. This move
is being largely interpreted as Samsung’s response to
Google’s acquisition of competitor Motorola for $12.5
billion in May 2012.
For Google this could mean gradually losing a powerful
distribution partner in the market and therefore losing
some ground to Apple’s iOS.
Given the proliferation of operating systems and the
barriers put up by their owners to make switching
seem complicated and therefore undesirable, it’s
possible we’ll begin to see the launch of ‘switching
services’ – helping consumers transition content from
one operating system to another. Those that can
offer favorable conditions can poach users from other
operating systems and devices, ensuring that the
consumer buys content through them and not their
For advertisers it exacerbates the problem of needing
to produce mobile and tablet assets for multiple
operating systems. Most global advertisers will need
to ensure they produce assets for the key operators
including Apple, Android, Windows and now Tizen.
This represents a significant move away from the
Google-owned Android operating system it has used
in most, but not all, of its devices to date. Based on
Samsung’s market share, this move could see Tizen
quickly establish itself into the 3rd or 4th most used
operating system behind Apple and Android.
Released at the beginning of 2012, Tizen is a free
Linux-based, open-source software platform for
multiple device categories, including smartphones,
tablets, netbooks, in-vehicle infotainment devices,
smart TVs and more. This means Tizen can provide
a consistent user experience on multiple devices. It
is led by Samsung, which in 2012 invested $500k
to become a platinum-level member of the Linux
foundation alongside IBM and Intel. It supports both
Intel and ARM processors and its SDK and API allows
developers to use HTML5 to write applications. At the
moment Tizen is not the default OS on any mobile
devices, but during Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
in Las Vegas in 2012, it was shown working on a
This new OS is not the only one challenging Android
and iOS in the smartphone market: earlier this week
it was announced that the Ubuntu OS would soon be
available on smartphones, and Windows continues to
make gains. Although these may not be the biggest
threat for Apple and Android thry do represent a
further fragmentation of the market which should
lead to more control for consumers and less
autonomy for operating systems.
Just a few short months ago Facebook
couldn’t do anything right
Universally derided for its IPO debacle, every pundit
in town took their turn lambasting the former
darling of the media industry. What a difference a
few months make. Not only has Facebook’s stock
nearly climbed back up to its original IPO evaluation
(around $30 as of writing), the company has also
kicked off 2013 with a bang by announcing a major
new feature, Graph Search.
Graph Search will
enable users to ask
basic questions and get
answers based on the
Graph Search enables users to get information
through their network of friends, or their
“social graph”, and importantly includes brand
pages, thus encouraging marketers to invest in
stronger fan hubs within Facebook as well as on
the Web. Graph Search will enable users to ask
basic questions such as “What’s the most liked
Mexican restaurant in London” and get answers
based on the Facebook ecosystem - friend’s data,
applications, brand pages, etc. The initial beta
will be limited to US English Facebook users. In
addition to Facebook content, Web search results
will also be included, all powered by Bing, and
including Bing advertising. Further roll-out by
user, language, and market will happen after the
A Facebook search product has been one of the
industry’s long-standing rumours, and is clearly a
direct challenge to Google, which is busy layering
G+ social intelligence into its search algorithm,
which remains its prime business and core strength.
Facebook’s approach relies on incentivizing its
1 billion + users to tap into more of the social
network’s features by simply making it convenient
to stay within its ecosystem to perform the
Internet’s most basic functions. However it will take
some persuading to get consumers and advertisers
to migrate such ingrained online behavior into
Graph Search given Google’s dominance in search,
(in some cases over 90% of a market as in the
UK). Bing has tried for years, even going so far as
to weave in Facebook data, but has struggled to
significantly change market share. Sticking Bing
into Facebook is a logical move but may not be
enough to fundamentally alter a consumer’s kneejerk reaction to ‘Google’. ‘Graph Searching’ doesn’t
exactly roll-off the tongue.
In addition to taking on Google, Facebook may
simply be looking for ways to bolster usage on
its platform. Recent data and research from
SocialBakers indicates that Facebook’s users are
dropping out or simply less engaged, all of which
would mean less inventory and less people to target
with advertising. Facebook deny this and other
assertions, including the long-dreaded youth exodus
to places like Tumblr. Functionality such as a Graph
Search will potentially give such people a compelling
reason to stay and engage.
After a difficult 2012, Facebook now has some clear
momentum going into 2013. Its share price has
rebounded in the market as investors have regained
confidence in its ability to monetize the platform,
particularly in the mobile space. Graph Search open up
a new revenue stream while providing existing users
another reason to stick with the platform, growing ad
inventory in the process. This may be the first of several
new Facebook features and enhancements lined up
over the next few months. No doubt Google is just
around the corner with its response.
It’s extraordinarily difficult to capture
the madness of the annual Consumer
Electronics Show in one pagE
Imagine the world’s largest Best Buy electronics
shop pumped up on steroids and populated by a
strange mash-up of intense tech geeks, cuttingedge marketers, and advertising and media
honchos….all in Vegas. Here’s a quick take on some
of the key talking-points and trends.
Will or won’t Apple get
into the TV business? The
consensus is yes, most
likely next year.
The Internet of Things
More and more things getting connected to the
Cloud as objects get chipped, connected, and
cognizant. Nearly everything on display from
washing machines to toothbrushes to cars had
some IP-enabled capability. Connected automobiles
in particular seem poised to break through the
CES price-prohibitive showroom into an everyday
dealership offering. Interestingly both Ford and GM
are opening up their dashboards to third-parties so
they can create new utilities and applications, either
in car or residing on smartphones, which will control
your auto remotely.
The merging of the smartphone and the tablet into
a new device, sized conveniently in between the
current ones. Samsung’s new Galaxy Note has been
the leader in the field, but expect fierce competition
as everyone tries to capitalize on a growing category
set to double from 25 million units sold last year to
over 60 million in 2013. Next up: foldable phablets
and screens that can be rolled up into your pocket.
It was impossible to avoid the myriad stunning new TV sets dominating the
central hall. Large 4k resolution TV’s were everywhere. These new HD screens are
simply stunning in their clarity, often feeling better than real life. I spent a good
30 minutes gawking at LG’s new OELD HD display. All of these sets are of course
IP-enabled offering new advertising and marketing opportunities, although the
ecosystems are still somewhat closed and fragmented into walled gardens. One
major player missing was of course Apple, a company known for scaling closed
ecosystems. Will or won’t Apple get into the TV business? The consensus is yes,
most likely next year.
The Elephants in the Room
Largely missing from the main event: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft,
Yahoo, and many others. Most were lurking in the shadows hosting big-wig
meetings and meals up and down the strip, busily building relevance and
experiences on top of all of the gizmos and gadgets in the conference hall.
Apple continues to be the main hardware and software player missing-in-action.
Rumors continue to circulate around a forthcoming Apple TV, even a new fitness
watch (iWatch). Ironically the one company missing from Vegas may be the
biggest game changer of them all.
Google is no longer
dependent on revenues
from search only
In December last year Google announced
plans to roll out Google Shopping.
In December last year Google announced plans
to roll out Google Shopping. These new and more
distinct looking shopping ads are based on Product
Listing Ads (PLA) and appear both in a stand-alone
shopping section and blended with traditional
sponsored links. The change means an end to the
free product listings, pulling in advertisers own
product SKU feeds, that have been in place for years.
The new format will use the same data feeds with
enhanced presentation and of course will charge
for each click. The new PLA format has been trialed
in the USA and Google plans to start introducing
it across the UK and Europe, Brazil, Australia and
Japan starting in February 2013.
Mindshare has run PLA activity in both the USA and
Germany. For clients running PLA we have observed
between 1-5% of overall paid search budget going
to Google shopping. Most clients have experienced
an above average CTR compared to traditional
sponsored links on the search results page. Good
news for advertisers who now no longer rely on text
only to attract clicks on the search engine results
page, but can include images of their products and
display them more prominently. In short, initial
findings are reassuring from a consumer response
and campaign efficiency perspective.
The days when Google looked more like a one trick
pony than a global conglomerate are long gone. Years
of pursuing growth through an acquisition strategy
have paid off: Google is no longer dependent on
revenue from search only. The world’s biggest search
engine experienced years of organic growth in the
search space, but now the question is how it further
monetises with growth slowing to a pace that doesn’t
satisfy Wall Street. Google has up to 85% marketshare
in most markets. The new model will help reinvigorate growth and no doubt become a staple
format along with the long-established sponsored
links top, right and sometimes bottom of the search
Google’s first step in generating further revenue
from paid search is through Product Listing Ads
(PLA) – already accounting for 11% of overall
paid search spend in the US according to Adobe.
In fact, according to Adobe almost all of Google’s
search market share growth in the US came from
PLAs in the 12 months to January 2013. In the
wider context of online commerce this move isn’t
surprising. E-commerce is experiencing double
digit growth globally and Google wants an even
bigger piece of the pie. Selling your products, with
Google as the middleman, was never going to be
free forever and Google has the power over retailers
to start charging – or close the opportunity! Google
PLA will undeniably be a success as many retailers
simply cannot afford not to be present on Google
product listings as they look to grow their own
revenues. Those retail advertisers not already
using PLA should get onboard quickly –never mind
Google eating into their profits. Most advertisers
will be used to paying Google for sponsored links
anyway. New format old monetization model!
Vine is the new social network app created
by Twitter that lets you create and share
short six-second long videos and publ ish
them to Twitter and Facebook.
Vine has been
described as the
It features no post-capture editing and it limits the
user to a fixed set of possibilities, just as Twitter
did when it first launched. At launch the app is
only available in the iOS App Store optimized for
the iPhone and iPod Touch. There’s no word yet on
when the app will be available on other platforms.
Vine has been described as the new “Instagram for
video” as it enables users to quickly capture video
and publish it to social networks. Vine enters a
crowded field of other similar standard or quality
compromised video capture tools (e.g., Cinemagram,
GLMPS, Tout, even YouTube with its recent camera
Vine features a feed-like stream of recently
published looping videos, with additional user
filtering by popularity, editor’s picks, and some
curated hashtags. Video starts loading and playing
only when it is on the user screen, and in contrast
to similar apps, it only plays the focused video’s
audio, which goes away as the user scrolls to a
There’s an innovative way to capture the video and
edit at the same time by touching the screen the
recording “head” advances and stops allowing for
a video narrative to be composed until reaching a
maximum of six seconds. Then users are confronted
with a screen allowing them to share to Vine, Twitter
Vine’s videos are captured in a video standard that
is already native to most phones and browsers,
thus enabling the videos to be supported by Twitter
cards and embedded and expanded from single
tweets when seen on the desktop version of Twitter.
In contrast to Facebook’s new video capturing tool,
Vine is a stand alone app positioned as a new “art
form” separate from Twitter’s text based tradition.
Vine is another way for brands to use Twitter as a
channel for social interaction with the consumer,
albeit via short visual bursts with more emotive
content. Similar to Facebook video posts, brands
should explore the most compelling video territory
for their followers and fans. However, the six-second
format will limit the possibilities, either focusing
a brand’s efforts or frankly confounding them.
Traditional creative agencies may struggle meeting
the new formats, and indeed consumer, publisher,
or artistic curated content may be more compelling.
At launch some brands have started to experiment
with Vine creating playful and uncompromising
videos “just for fun”. For now it is mostly news
organizations and TV channels, although we have
already seen some examples by FMCG brands. It will
most likely take some time for the platform, and
brands approach to it to fully mature.
In terms of management, it will be challenging to
manage shared login detail access by community
and content managers, as for now there’s no
back-office self-serve way to manage Vine or to
connect it to social media management tools,
which may cause problems. For example, a few
days after launch Vine hashtag searches resulted in
many videos containing sensitive content (nudity,
violence, or medical procedures). As a result, Vine
has created a process to censor inappropriate videos
and warn users of sensitive content with a preload
warning message screen. However, expect more
may be more
Consumers, brands, and agencies are just starting to get introduced to the app.
With online video advertising set to grow by over 46.5% this year, Twitter may
be setting the stage for a new online video advertising format to add to their
growing efforts to commercialize the platform. A Twitter promoted Vine ad
format may just be on their 2013 roadmap, along with an IPO.
Maxine Hamilton & Eridani Baker
Founded in February 2005 and bought by Google in 2006,
YouTube has become the go-to site for video on the web.
With approximately one hour of video uploaded
every second, the site is rich in content. In recent
years, much of YouTube’s focus was on categorising
some of that content into “channels”. YouTube
is now looking to leverage that effort via a paid
For a marketer this
assurance of quality
content should make
YouTube ads more
YouTube is still often
associated with cat
videos and squirrels on
YouTube paid subscription channels are planned to
launch in April this year. Costs will be tiered and will
likely allow users to choose ad-supported or ad-free
subscriptions. The first step has been to reach out to
a small group of channels that have already gained
a large audience, asking them to submit ideas to
create channels that users would have to pay to
access. No partners have been officially named
yet, but potential channels include Machinima –
the number one video entertainment network for
gamers around the world. Machinima’s existing
YouTube network has almost 190 million subscribers
and has been viewed over 40 billion times.
The initial subscription cost would be $1-$5 per
month putting YouTube in direct competition with
other video streaming companies such as Netflix
and Amazon Instant Video. There is also talk of a
pay-per-view model for live events such as concerts
and sporting events and content libraries.
YouTube’s current targeting has proven successful
for advertisers, high-end brands have been able to
advertise to a high-end audience through clever
audience targeting. That said YouTube is still
often associated with cat videos and squirrels on
skateboards. The introduction of a paid subscription
model will set clear boundaries between premium
and non-premium content and allow for better
targeting. For a marketer this assurance of quality
content should make YouTube ads more appealing.
Content creators are also likely to be attracted to
the new paid YouTube channel, Salar Kamangar the
CEO of YouTube has hopes that the new offering
will attract smaller ‘indie’ type channels that can’t
afford to run in a standard paid TV environment.
YouTube is not charging for all its channels, and is
instead only applying the model to strong niche
channels and new channels. A test-and-learn
approach is a pragmatic means of ensuring it
balances subscription costs with audience reach.
Overall the new model should increase the amount
of quality content available on YouTube and so
make the space more appealing to brands seeking
association with premium content. For brands there
are multiple opportunities with the new model,
including subsidised consumer subscriptions,
exclusive sponsorships, migration of more TVC
budget to online video, improved targeting, and of
course development of their own exclusive YouTube
channel. However, YouTube is not the only option in
town. Even Netflix has expanding its subscription
business model by developing new original content
(“House of Cards”).
Sony and the
It’s been seven years since the PS3 was released and gamers
and the industry have been waiting with bated breath for
the start of a new console generation.
One of Sony’s areas of
focus in this console
generation is making
gaming a more social
The wait is now over as Sony finally unveiled the new PlayStation 4
during a live press conference in New York on the 20th of February,
which was live-streamed to over 3.2 million viewers around the globe.
Sony highlighted several key developments including the new
PlayStation Cloud service and the heavily updated Dual Shock 4
controller. Sony also briefly touched upon the merging of its online
content services across music, video and gaming, all of which will tie
into its comprehensive social network capabilities.
One of Sony’s main areas of focus in this console generation
is making core gaming a more social experience though the
introduction of a new PlayStation Eye camera packaged with every
unit and the new Dual Shock 4 controller, which includes a frontfacing touchpad, microphone socket and a social sharing button. At
a touch of a button, players will be able to automatically upload ingame screenshots or video content onto their Facebook profiles and
UStream accounts, video chat with friends whilst playing and even be
a spectator in each other’s games.
The new PlayStation Cloud service will offer users Sony’s back
catalogue of titles as well as a way for them to trial new game demos
instantly. Sony says it’s planning to drip-feed more details on the
new cloud service over the next few months, the majority of which is
expected at this year’s E3 in June.
With the focus on social and a rapid increase in user generated content, branded
in-game integrations will have a wider impact as it’s not just gamers, but also
their various networks of friends who would see brand presence in games. Brands
could sponsor in-game events or integrations and could host competitions for the
best user-generated videos around branded content.
The PS Cloud service is rich in potential for brands as well. By opening up Sony’s
vast library of software for PS4 users, brands could capitalise on consumer
nostalgia by offering customers free access to classic titles or new releases.
Although not yet confirmed, Sony is also likely to package the PS Cloud
technology as a subscription service for its connected TVs, tablets and mobile
products. And as Sony is also linking all its content services together, it’s likely
that the social network that Sony is creating for the PS4 will also be present
across its whole product range, which would also mean that the social sharing
functionality would become more impactful across passion points, such as music
and video, as well as games.
Additionally, the new technology of the PS Eye, touchpad and the integration
of Move motion functionality into its new controller could be used to create
innovative activations on the platform, much the same as how Kinect has been
used for advertising purposes for the Xbox 360.
Sony is keen to show that it’s learned from its
previous mistakes with regards to its content
strategy, social capabilities and developer support,
by focusing heavily on these areas in the PS4.
But considering Sony’s current financial
predicament, the success of its drive towards
comprehensive content services will indicate the
survival of the console industry as a whole as
console USPs are gradually being eroded by mobiles,
PCs and connected TVs. Whilst it’s likely that there’ll
be a demand for consoles for another decade yet,
eventually I believe small entertainment oriented
PCs will take over the living room for our gaming
and entertainment needs.
& Marta Mattioli
Twitter’s Ad API
Twitter is opening its Advertising API (ApplicationProgramming Interface), which will enable marketers to
better use Twitter data streams to manage campaigns and
For now it’s only open to five bid management
technology suppliers (Salesforce’s Buddy Media,
Adobe, TBG Digital, Hootsuite, and SHIFT).
Mindshare uses Saleforce’s BuyBuddy as its
preferred partner and early results from limited beta
test campaigns show promising results. A wider rollout is expected in the near future.
Access to performance
data and the rise
and fall of trends
will make for better
and more engaging
The API will enable advertisers to layer in
additional analytics, trends and insights as well as
performance data to compile new audience profiles.
In addition, the dashboards will take full advantage
of the real-time reporting data, which will make
targeting and set-up of multiple audiences a lot
more manageable. Access to performance data
and the rise and fall of trends will make for better
and more engaging advertising and marketers will
be able to compare the performance of Twitter
campaigns side-by-side with campaigns on other
platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
As the Twitter platform becomes more attractive
from a marketing perspective, users can expect
more real-time ads that capitalize on trending
topics such as Oreo’s rapid response to the recent
#blackout during the Super Bowl. The net effect will
be Twitter further cementing its emerging position
as the “second-screen” of choice for advertisers and
consumers. Given simultaneous TV and smartphone
usage is on the rise (85% of US smartphone users
watch TV and use their mobile phones at the same
time), its scale in mobile users and the fact it’s
an experience built for small screens, it has an
edge in this space. Twitter’s recent acquisition of
Bluefin (a social TV measurement tool) is a further
demonstration of its intent to maintain its perceived
leadership position over Facebook when it comes to
For advertisers, the API also means efficiencies both
in terms of time spent managing Twitter campaigns,
and better return on investment. The flip side is
that lowering the entry barriers and increasing
efficiencies will drive up competition. On an auction
based platform, competition means increased cost
of inventory. First movers will undoubtedly harvest
the highest returns, while later adopters will find
that their competitors have built quality, history and
learning that could be costly to outbid.
First movers will
the highest returns,
while later adopters
will find that their
competitors have built
quality, history and
learning that could be
costly to outbid.
The launch of the Twitter API is good news for
marketers and is expected to further accelerate
the already robust growth in advertising spend on
the platform. Twitter users should also get more
engaging and timely ads, particularly ones like
Oreo’s ‘dunk in the dark’ that react to trending
topics in real-time. Now expect the next move in
the social wars from Facebook.
Twitter specifically highlights that the launch of
the API has had no effect on its actual algorithms.
A good user experience is still the main focus of the
company; bad performing tweets will still be pulled
and the number of ads served won’t change.
Firefox 22 And
we will have no
into their users
for targeting or
Mozilla has announced that it intends to
introduce a cookie blocker into it’s Firefox
22 release, which is due in June 2013.
Although widely reported in the press, the proposal
is still under internal discussion at Mozilla.
Firefox and Safari (which has been doing the same
for the past 10 years) constitute a fair proportion
of the Web’s audience who, if Firefox goes ahead
with its blocker, will now be largely invisible to
third-party data collectors (ad networks, trading
desks, research companies and their clients).
Microsoft’s move was
widely ignored by the
industry because it was
a “machine” decision
rather than a choice
made by the user.
We have to let industry privacy experts manage the
discussion with Mozilla. GroupM is engaged in this
The self-regulatory AdChoices program has gained
real momentum. The more AdChoices icons we have
accompanying our clients’ advertising impressions,
the more consumers will understand how sharing
data contributes to a better web experience.
The proposed Firefox policy will allow cookies
presented from a domain that users actually visit –
dubbed a “first-party” site – but will actually block
those generated by a third-party domain unless the
user had previously visited the cookie’s site-of-origin.
This means that if Firefox goes ahead with the
plan, we will have no transparency into its users for
targeting or analysis purposes.
The industry has been debating what Do Not Track
(DNT) means with the Worldwide Web Consortium
(W3C) and privacy activists for the better part of
a year. As recent as February there was another
meeting in Boston to try and move the DNT
discussion forward, but with no success.
The W3C wants third parties to have to obtain
permission before setting cookies on a user’s
browser, whilst so called first parties (those parties
collecting information off their own site such as
Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook) would
be exempt from these requirements.
Mozilla has been a staunch supporter of the W3C
point of view.
The advertising industry contends that this is an
imbalanced view and it discriminates against the
smaller players who are trying to use third-party
data for targeting, attribution and research. The
W3C view puts the power firmly in the hands of the
major players and is prejudicial toward the many
companies who use or depend on third-party data.
Join the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and
use icons on campaigns where data is collected.
The more transparent we are with consumers, the
more they will learn to trust us with their data.
Wherever you have the opportunity, please
stress to anyone who is prepared to listen, that
Do Not Track is a bad option – it is bad for the
Internet, for small business, for growth, for new
jobs and for consumer privacy.
We also believe that the current AdChoices selfregulatory opt-in model is more privacy friendly.
It offers consumers transparency (about who is
collecting data) and choice (users can opt-out of
data collection). The W3C model, on the other hand,
gives users little choice and no transparency: a) you
either agree to the first-party terms or are denied
access. b) once you are a user of their services, the
first parties offer very little control over how your
data is collected and used.
On the surface, Mozilla’s move is much more
aggressive than Microsoft’s recent decision to
include a default DNT header in IE10. Microsoft’s
move was widely ignored by the industry because
it was a “machine” decision rather than a choice
made by the user.
Laura Murphy &
LOOK’ NEWS FEED
Facebook has announced it will soon be rolling
out a new, more visual and less cluttered, look
which will enable users to filter the type of
content they see in their news feeds and create
a seamless experience between mobile and PC devices.
said to be leaving
Facebook in droves
The main changes are: The News Feed
stream will be more prominent, with the
home page reduced from four columns
to three (the news ticker on the righthand side is disappearing); Page posts
and ads will become more visual – e.g.
larger format, caption overlay on some
photos, cover photos in Sponsored Page
‘Like’ Stories; Ability to filter News Feed by
Photos, Groups, and Following and finally
the Navigation sidebar will come with
bookmarks and contacts to match the look
of Facebook mobile.
The Facebook News Feed changes are
aesthetic only and the EdgeRank algorithm,
which determines what content will be
surfaced in News Feeds, will not be affected.
the best way to
engagement rate is
to produce and post
high quality photos
A focus on producing visually appealing content:
The changes to the News Feed have made it clear
that the best way to increase your engagement
rate is to produce and post high quality photos
Re-engage your fan base: The addition of the
‘Following’ tab on the right-hand side of the
Facebook home page will allow users to filter
content by the pages they ‘like’. Stay tuned
for paid opportunities in the “Following” feed
available later this year.
Choose your page cover photo carefully: In
addition to the profile photo, Sponsored Page
‘Like’ Stories will now also include the brand
page’s cover photo, which may influence users’
decision to ‘like’ your page.
Facebook’s redesign has streamlined the look
of the News Feed and aligned it with mobile
apps to improve the user experience. However,
it’s also likely that the changes are an attempt
to win back users with an ever-decreasing
attention span (teenagers in particular are said
to be leaving Facebook in droves) as photobased competitors such as Tumblr, Pinterest,
Snapchat and Instagram steadily capture their
Nacho Suanzes & James Lynn
NFC MWC hosted the NFC (Near Field
Communications) Experience, a showcase to
demonstrate to delegates and attendees the
magic of the technology. There were scores of
announcements about freshly-forged partnerships
that will drive mobile payments, mobile advertising,
and mobile commerce to new heights this year
including: Foursquare’s integration with MasterCard
and Visa to offer special discounts for card holders
when checked in to specific locations and Visa’s
announcement that it is partnering with Samsung
to build Visa PayWave into future Samsung
smartphones and also partnering with ROAM to help
bring the Visa payment platform to more retailers.
This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC)
was the biggest yet.
Over the course of the event,
Barcelona welcomed more than
72,000 attendees from 200 countries.
Here are the highlights of the world’s
biggest mobile get together:
LG brought six distinct handsets to MWC, and although its
smartphones were announced prior to the conference, the topend devices still made a splash. LG also unveiled Dual Recording,
which enables users to shoot video simultaneously from the
front and rear-facing cameras so that the recording embeds the
filmmaker’s reaction to the subject in the same movie. Nokia
showed off four new handsets that will join its Lumia and Asha
lines, aiming to bring smartphone functionality to more costsensitive markets. Huwaei announced that it was launching
two new handsets. MWC also showcased an impressive array
of devices that blur the line between smartphone and tablet,
“phablets”. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 8.0, an eightinch hybrid (the launch of Samsung Galaxy S4 is Thursday 14th
March). Other different sized screens included the 5.5” screen on
the LG Optimus GPro and Lenovo K900, and the 5.7” screen on the
ZTE Grand Memo, to the larger 7” screen on the Asus FonePad.
Media Takeaway: The mechanism for mobile
payments and mobile wallets offers a range of
opportunities for brands to engage with consumers,
e.g., click-to-wallet solutions that seamlessly deliver
discounts/coupons, a platform on which to build
loyalty schemes and new data streams to utilise.
However, any activation in this space must consider
how the platform impacts and can improve the
current user journey.
Connected Cities The GSMA (The GSM Association
- the organization behind MWC and made up of
the world’s mobile operators) is moving beyond
the connected home to focus on the Connected
City, showing how retail, municipal and personal
can be networked together to increase the
efficiency and safety of dense urban habitats. AT&T
showcased energy consumption and home security
management systems, Deutsche Telekom and IBM
demonstrated how mobile helps create better public
transportation, and Vodafone showed how they can
monitor solar energy production while remotely
controlling street lighting and signage for maximum
energy efficiency. All of these technologies focus
on machine-to-machine connections, also known
as ‘the Internet of Things’, in many places cutting
humans out of the loop to create the best results.
Media Takeaway: Connected devices open a
wave of new opportunities for brands to create
intelligent products, services and communications.
Developments in this space offer new routes for
content delivery and a rich stream of data to
generate actionable insight.
Practical Mobile Emerging markets featured
heavily in presentations at MWC, with both Nokia’s
and Mozilla’s CEOs highlighting that the next
billion internet connections will come from mobile
users in these low-to-middle-income countries.
This anticipated growth meant that the event saw
manufactures launching devices to target these
markets. The most exciting development was
Mozilla’s announcement of the launch of Firefox OS,
an OS built on open web standards and capable of
operating on much less sophisticated devices.
Media Takeaway: Recognition must be given to
nuances in consumption patterns and a focus
on emerging markets is crucial. Test and learn
strategies must be deployed to explore the most
effective means of communication. Keep in mind
that smartphone penetration levels, while growing
dramatically, are still low in many markets.
Alternative marketing tactics (SMS, MMS, browserbased marketing) may be the norm not the
users to shoot video
the front and rearfacing cameras
Neil Carty, Joe Migliozzi, Gabe Misarti, Mark
Evans, Smita Allex, Meg O’Brien
SxSW Interactive began as the multimedia portion
of the SxSW Film Festival back in 1994.
The most exciting
of the launch of
current trends on
the horizon require
Its original intent was to focus on community-driven
technology creativity with a specific emphasis on how the
Internet can create a positive impact on the world. It has since
become a crossover event consisting of three key areas (Film,
Music & Interactive). However, in 2013 we saw the emergence of
a new category, fashion, with numerous panel sessions centered
on fashion tech as well as ancillary events from designers like
Every year, tons of startups and technologies flood Austin while
we as marketers look to navigate the madness in the hope
of finding the next Twitter, Foursquare or game changer. The
event itself has been criticized in recent years for not delivering
companies of such caliber. However, it’s important to appreciate
that the disruptive trends of 2008-2010 at SXSW stemmed from
smart phone growth and changing user behaviour. These were
mostly software based and quick moving, while the current
trends on the horizon require slower moving hardware and
This year, the team from Mindshare US identified key trends
seen on the ground.
1. Brand as Narrator: Austin hosted a slew of panels focused on storytelling
and positioning brands as characters with a unique voice and as the
narrators. Using specific tactics to get that story across must be taken into
account as well as developing rich character arcs early on in the content
strategy and development process.
2. Behavior Design: The use of technology to stimulate small changes in our
behaviour that over time leads to life changing habits. This trend is closely
tied to the “Quantified Self Movement” via wearable technologies (Nike
Fuel, Fit Bit, Jawbone UP) as well as an overarching trend in the adoption of
3. Digital Health & Wearable Technology: Continuing the trend that began
with the iHealth devices at CES, there were a large number of digital health
sessions that gave perspectives on navigating the pitfalls of health data
compliance in an increasingly digital/social world.
4. The Future of 3D Printing: Bre Pettis of Makerbot kicked off SxSW with a
keynote focusing on the future applications of 3D printing. The company
announced a technology that models objects up to 8” in height into digital
3D models. This move turns the company from a 3D hardware company
into a 3D ecosystem. More importantly, the innovations 3D printing
will drive in manufacturing, rapid prototyping and biotech printing are
5. LoMo With A Side of So: There were a lot of conversations around
location-based mobile and how companies can get better at using data
on a more localised level to have more relevant conversations with their
audiences. Facebook and Google focused on how the mapping/check-in
data can be aggregated into more social sharing functionality. In addition,
social mapping app, Plotter won the SxSW Accelerator competition.
6. Promotion of The Startup Ecosystem: City governments vied for
attention this year as they looked to promote their own growing tech/
startup ecosystems. Representatives from Silicon Valley (SF), Silicon Alley
(NY) Silicon Prairie (Midwest), Silicon Beach (LA) and Las Vegas (SxSW
V2V) were all in attendance. Which will be the next to emerge? Our bet is
Detroit, with its ties into the automotive industry, low real estate prices
and the rise in in-auto technology.
7. Crowd-Sourcing Transportation Solutions: An ongoing trend at SxSW
has been crowd-sourced transportation solutions. Travelscout was a new
app that launched around SxSW that gives users every possible option to
travel between destinations with the goal of decreasing the number of
cars on the road. This also follows other apps including SideCar and Lyft,
where ride sharing is a central theme in the app. Waze is a leading social
network for drivers that facilitate the sharing of current road conditions
and destination information, all in real time.
8. Local Content Curation: With the fragmentation of TV viewership and
consumers viewing more and more content on their mobile devices,
companies like Local and Narratively have emerged to help viewers curate
news based on location. Both in their web-based and mobile experiences,
users can localize news, entertainment and sports content based on their
geographic location, drilling down as far as the city level.
9. The Chameleon-isation Of Tech: As seen at CES and followed at SxSW,
companies that provided technologies to help weather-proof devices
from water, sand and the elements were everywhere. Technologies ran the
gamut from heavy duty casing to spray on waterproofing adhesives.
10. Big Data, Big Data, Big Data: One of the hottest topics for brands is what
to do with the onslaught of data that is now available to them. The data
landscape has changed immensely in the past few years and chances
are it will continue to change at an accelerated rate. The conundrum of
big data is that it is largely disjointed – both in source methodology and
analysis. Brands and agencies are searching for a way to not only make
the mounds of data meaningful, but to find a way to use it in real time to
impact their strategy and business.
11. The Return of Analogue: Today, many of us consider our mobile devices
as our default screens. As a result, consumers are re-embracing the analogue
world. Some call it a “digital backlash” while others believe it to be the next
iteration of retro cool. A number of Kickstarter projects were circulating
analogue projects like Lomography and Projecteo. One panel in particular
focused on Creating Digital Keepsakes in an Analogue World. Another,
hosted by JWT highlighted a recent study, Embracing Analogue. While it’s
unlikely we’ll experience a full-fledged backlash, brands need to think about
complimenting their digital experiences with the tangible to remain relevant.
Sasha Hudson, Ollie Killick & David Norris
In January, Twitter launched Vine, a six second
(or less) video sharing service. Now it is set to
launch a music service. eight out of ten of the
This is a highly competitive market. Facebook recently launched its OpenGraph
technology which enables services like Spotify and SoundCloud to heavily
appear in news feeds, and Google has confirmed that it is looking to introduce
a music subscription service of its own. Spotify recently hit six million Premium
subscriptions, and there are many other major global music streaming services
such as Deezer, Napster, rara.com, Music Unlimited and Xbox Music. It is not yet
known whether Twitter will charge subscription fees to use the app, but it has
been refining its commercial model recently, with revenues forecast to increase
to $1 Billion by 2014; 58% of this from mobile. Vine videos have enriched the
promoted tweet product – brands like GE and Gap have been using Vines within
promoted tweets. It’s possible that Twitter will encourage the music industry to
use Twitter Music in a similar way to promote new tracks, or it could even look
to generate revenue from paid downloads or commissions on ticket sales.
most followed accounts are musicians.
Twitter recently acquired We Are Hunted, a software company whose search algorithms are built to aggregate
popular new music. We Are Hunted’s music discovery service was accessible by web, iOS, Android and Spotify
apps. Twitter is using this software to develop its own standalone music discovery and streaming service and
will leverage its existing relationship with SoundCloud for the streaming element. The service will be called
Twitter Music and will be launched as a standalone iOS app very soon. When you load up the app for the first
time, Twitter Music will suggest that you sign in using your Twitter account – your experience will then be
personalised based on your Twitter social graph. It’s rumoured that there will be four main tabs in the app:
‘Suggested’ will recommend tracks for you based on artists you follow and artists other users you follow are
following. The hashtag ‘#NowFollowing’ will aggregate tracks tweeted by people you follow when they use it –
meaning you can recommend tracks easily to your social graph. ‘Popular’ will bring in songs that are trending,
and ‘Emerging’ which will bring in tracks from up-and-coming artists. If you want to learn more about an
artist, you’ll be able to click through to a short bio and play other tracks on their SoundCloud account. You’ll
also be able to follow artists on Twitter directly from the app.
eight out of ten of
the most followed
As a brand this
will no doubt open
This move by Twitter highlights another example
of a world where music and media are converging.
Leveraging Twitter functionality and scale with
SoundCloud for content should – in theory –
make both media brands stronger and enhance
the experience for the end user. The ambition to
keep people in Twitter makes perfect sense and
harnessing content (Twitter Cards, Vine and now
Twitter Music) will do that. Twitter Music looks
like the focus will be more fun (than serious muso)
where you can easily find a new tune, and for
people to dip in and out. The company is looking
to integrate more content into its platform to raise
engagement. As a brand this will no doubt open
up sponsorship integration opportunities – Twitter
Music Charts, etc. - but also the ability to use
SoundCloud with scale – which for the right brand
and brief when combined with this functionality
could be very powerful.
After years of rumour last week finally saw
the release of the Facebook phone.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that Home will help sell more Android
phones. However the fact that it was launched on a phone retailing at $99
suggests that in fact Facebook is using Android’s mass-market dominance as a
Trojan Horse; this isn’t something aimed at the early-adopters – it’s for those for
whom Facebook essentially is the Internet.
This is a clear play by Facebook to try to replicate its dominance of the desktop
web on mobile devices – many put its disappointing IPO down to the fact that
it wasn’t adapting to mobile quickly enough. It’s certainly an ambitious and
aggressive move, potentially building up its already massive data pools, and
enabling it to create truly personalised ad opportunities with mobility at their
core. Some have suggested that Apple will be forced to start to mimic the
flexibility of the Android platform in order to allow people to download Facebook
Home, but it could equally have the entirely opposite effect.
The recent move to align Android and Chrome under one team, following the
departure of founder Andy Rubin, could have many reasons. But one could
be that it is starting to become hard to see how Android materially benefits
Google’s bottom line. Samsung & Amazon barely mention Android anymore,
China’s fastest growing mobile company uses it, yet most of Google’s services are
banned or limited in that country, and now one of Google’s biggest competitors
has launched a product that could well cut Google’s products out of the picture.
Except it wasn’t a phone at all, rather a phone running Facebook Home, an
application which changes many aspects of how the phone operates. Rather than
get involved in a lengthy, and costly manufacturing and development battle with
Apple, Android and all of the device manufacturers, Facebook has decided to take
a short-cut in its attempt to rule the mobile web.
The elements of Home that have generated the most comment are the Cover
Feed and Chat Heads. The first swaps out a phone’s lock and home screens for live
versions of the owner’s News Feed. Chat Heads allows people to use Facebook’s
messaging services even when using another app. Both of these highlight how
tightly integrated Facebook is in the new system, replacing or overlaying on top
of previously core functions.
Whilst the new system was previewed on a mid-priced new HTC Android phone, it
will be released through Google Play and available on a wider variety of handsets
overtime. Facebook clearly has designs on the hundreds of millions of Android
handsets worldwide. There will be no Apple equivalent, as Apple would never
allow such tinkering with its core product.
this isn’t something
aimed at the earlyadopters – it’s for those
for whom Facebook
essentially is the
Facebook’s mobile strategy is now clear to see: try
to dominate the platforms from within, rather than
replicate them. For advertisers who have invested
heavily in Facebook up till now, this could well offer
opportunities to start to take their messages to
every-day phone-owners as they go about their dayto-day.
But equally Facebook’s ambitious attempt to takeover the main parts of the mobile experience could
well back-fire, whether due to consumer concerns
about the amount of data Facebook will now have
access to, or because Google decides it is no longer
interested in building its competitors’ businesses as
well as its own.
Ollie Killick &
Twitter has announced a significant enhancement to
The process works in a similar way to paid search. Advertisers
create a keyword list, set a bid, and when a user tweets or
interacts with a tweet that uses words that match something
in the keyword list, they are served an ad. Unlike search, the
user is not served the ad immediately; instead, it will show
up in the user’s timeline within the next several minutes. For
example, Bob sends a tweet about looking for a new computer.
If Dell has the words “new computer” in its keyword list, the
next time Bob refreshes his timeline he gets served a Promoted
Tweet from Dell. Further, if Bob does not send a tweet, but
instead interacts (replies, favorites or retweets) with someone
else’s tweet that references a “new computer,” he could also be
served a Dell Promoted Tweet.
Twitter will launch keyword targeting with two types of
Phrase Targeting – A series of words in the exact order,
with no words in between.
Unordered Match – A series of words that appear in any
order, with words in between.
its Promoted Tweets.
“Keyword targeting in timeline” allows brands
to show ads to users who have tweeted or
interacted with a tweet that contains specific
words and phrases. This new functionality gives
advertisers a paid search style model within
Twitter similar to Google’s.
options are not as
robust as Google or
Bing, but they are a
good first step
These targeting options are not as robust as Google or Bing, but
they are a good first step. Twitter will offer some keyword tools
at launch to help marketers with word tenses and plurals. Also,
bulk keyword management is supported immediately. Users
of Buddy Media and SHIFT will see the changes incorporated
into both technologies within the week. The biggest issue with
match types is the lack of negative keywords. In SEM, negative
keywords keep brands from wasting spend on irrelevant
queries or being associated with unfavorable keywords. In
social, there is an additional use: sentiment. Twitter will use
an algorithm to help identify negative sentiment within a
tweet, but language interpretation can be extremely hard for
an algorithm, particularly when hashtags are involved. It is
easy to see how an algorithm could miss the nuance of a tweet
such as: “Can’t wait to eat at McDonald’s again! #notreally
#neveragain.” The addition of negative keywords should
help to ease these concerns, but there may never be a 100%
accurate sentiment solution.
in timeline is a win
Keyword targeting in timeline is a
smart move by Twitter that will further
enhance the appeal of Promoted
Tweets. Performance remains to be
seen, but, in theory, keyword targeting
will be a large boost to the efficiency
of Promoted Tweets. Twitter is now a
“pull marketing” platform where the
user first expresses intent. Maybe
most exciting, marketers can still
make use of three targeting options
– location, device and gender – in
conjunction with keyword targeting,
this gives a great level of relevance. The
enhancement also allows for scale and
speed of what was once a very manual
process – responding directly to
Tweets. It will allow marketers to have
larger keyword lists and to serve ads to
users within minutes of their tweet.
Even with concerns about match types
taken into account, keyword targeting
in timeline is a win for marketers.
Keyword targeting in timeline will allow
advertisers to quickly respond to users
whilst the interest is still there, and
will prove especially valuable in when
used in conjunction with Twitter’s other
Music Service UPDATE
On 18th April 2013 Twitter launched its much anticipated
stand-alone, free ‘Twitter #music’ service, either on music.
twitter.com or a downloadable app from the App Store
Twitter’s move into the music world could be part of its attempt to reposition itself as an
entertainment online hub, according to reports. It is moving from short snippets of content (the
maximum of 140 characters in a tweet or Vine’s six seconds of video), which allows it to compete
with Facebook and its multimedia social network that has been in progress over the past two
years. Furthermore, the unique feature of finding new tracks and emerging artists separates
Twitter from the competition; it is not a free music streaming service, but a discovery service.
Since the launch there have been mixed reviews of the service with music analysts debating
whether it is enough to make users choose Twitter over Facebook, and how much value it adds
onto the already existing platform. Twitter works with iTunes, although Twitter #music directs
listeners to streaming services rather than to Apple’s iTunes to buy songs, potentially causing
problems. In addition, U.S. streaming service Pandora is not yet one of Twitter #music’s partners.
Right now there are no advertisements featured on either the website or the app, although it can
be assumed that this will follow to create a better marketing platform, enabling brands to tap
into targeted audiences. Until then, the platform can an informer on what’s happening in social
media surrounding music and platform a way for potential adaptive marketing and to encourage
On 18th April 2013 Twitter launched its much anticipated stand-alone, free ‘Twitter #music’ service, either on music.twitter.
com or a downloadable app from the App Store. The service has been created to help people find music on Twitter, based
on the artists they follow or from across the network, by using existing user-generated Twitter activity (such as Tweets and
other engagement) to spread the most popular singles and emerging artists.
The app currently uses three sources: Spotify, iTunes and Rdio, although this is expected to expand in the near future. Users
will only hear previews in iTunes, yet those with a Spotify or Rdio account can log on to hear the full track. #NowPlaying will
show users all the songs being tweeted by musicians they follow, whether they are famous or not. You can discover more about
artists by finding and following them, uncovering who they follow and share tracks as you listen to them, all of which will
ultimately lead to more music discovery. As expected, Twitter #music encourages instant sharing, therefore users can tweet
what they are listening to directly from the platform.
The service is available on the #music site or in app format, on Apple iPhone and iPad devices in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland,
Australia and New Zealand. Along with the expected launch in other markets, it is also expected an Android version will follow soon.
Twitter offering a music service is a ‘sound’ move. More than half of all users on
Twitter follow a musician and eight out of the top 10 most followed people are
musical artists. People share and discover music all the time, Twitter #music just
makes this easier. It is also a useful platform for the artists to engage with their
fans and to encourage recognition for new, emerging artists.
However, it can only feature 30-second snippets. Users then have to transfer to
Spotify or Rdio to listen to the full-track. So, expect to hear a boom in 30-second
(or less) tracks, and reworked edits.
This adds some value to Twitter, consumers will play with it and it’ll go down well
with the music industry – they can push their music as well as their artists.
Many companies have tried and failed to tap into the social music industry. An
example could be Apple’s Ping service, which was built into the iTunes software
that promoted music it thought users may like. Apple closed it after two years.
Let’s see if Twitter has got it right. We think this is a step in the right direction.
Marta Mattioli, Ruth Corrigan,
online video advertising is growing globally, many
platforms are looking to capitalise on this opportunity
Among these platforms, Facebook is looking to
launch a new video ad format later on this summer.
There has been no official announcement as yet,
but it is rumoured that the video ads will appear in
the newsfeed and auto-play without sound. It will
then be possible to activate the audio and the video
will restart from the beginning. Each video will last a
maximum of 15 seconds, suggesting Facebook has
taken note of Vine’s offering – which is limited to a
6 second video format.
and to capture some share of TV advertising revenue.
A small number of big brands will be part of the
initial trials, including Unilever, Nestlé, Ford, Diageo,
American Express and Coca-Cola. To create more
impact (at least at the beginning) users will only
see video content from one of these advertisers in
any one day. The ads will be bought on a cost per
thousand basis with rates predicted to be in the low
$20s, a cost per engagement model is not currently
it is rumoured
that the video ads
will appear in the
newsfeed and autoplay without sound
Each video will last a maximum of 15
seconds, suggesting Facebook has
taken note of Vine’s offering
Facebook has up to 70 different ad types already,
so what will make this new format stand out from
the rest? It allows Facebook to tap into the rapidly
expanding online video advertising market - 41%
growth Y.O.Y, US 2012. The new ads are expected to
generate up to US $1.5m new daily revenue and up
to $4m per day by the end of the year.
Some brands, such as Unilever and Volvo, have
already conducted research into how TV and social
video can link together to drive lifts in brand
awareness and ad recall. Facebook’s new video
format will offer a new source of consumer data for
advertisers that can feed into such research.
The customary consumer uproar that accompanies
the launch of ad products on social platforms will
undoubtedly ensue; the auto-play feature is likely
to be the most talked-about change. There is also
the possibility that users could learn to ignore the
ads as they will be easily identifiable as ads. This
problem could be avoided if Facebook makes the
ads work in the same way as sponsored stories, as
users are more likely to watch a video which has
been validated by their friends first.
Consumers naturally share video on Facebook, so
the introduction of video ads in the newsfeed seems
to be a natural addition to the social giant’s large
bank of ad formats. There is no mention of whether
this video format will extend beyond desktop, but
with large volumes of people now watching video
on their mobile and Facebook beginning to prove its
revenue potential through the channel (30% of its
revenue in Q1 this year was on mobile), it is likely to
be in the plan.
taking a bite
out of apple
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook hinted this week that Apple has some big plans for Q3
and a solid line-up for 2014. Apple’s relative silence during its recent stock price
plummet may in fact indicate a quiet confidence in its future product releases.
Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a massive cash reserve of $137bn to weather the
storm. The key question is what are those Q3 and 2014 plans?
Apple has recently been under intense pressure as
competitors, particularly Google and Samsung,
continue to gain market share by introducing new
and highly competitive products.
As a result Apple’s share price has dropped and its
stock market value has tumbled by 40%. Has the
post-Job’s Apple finally lost its shine?
Given that the early adoption phase for smartphone, tablets, and phablets is
now over in many markets, it should come as no surprise that Google’s Android
OS is gaining share as HTC, LG, Motorola and others battle over the mass market
audience, which has never been Apple’s natural customer base.
Apple’s business has been built on a disruptive smaller volume, larger value
approach compared to Google’s larger volume, lower margin formula. Apple’s
strategy is threefold: 1) create brilliant and connected products in a largely
closed ecosystem; 2) appeal to early adopters and latent followers with enough
cash to pay for expensive devices; 3) squeeze incremental revenue through
services, applications, and to a lesser extent advertising. To put things in
perspective, consider that Apple makes a $368 profit for each iPhone while
Google makes roughly $10 per phone. Furthermore, Apple makes 30% from sales
of iTunes applications compared to Google’s measly 5%. Sustaining such margins
was always going to be difficult; Apple’s most recent Q2 2013 results indicate
that even with decent sales of iPhone and iPads, the company suffered a Y.O.Y.
quarterly drop in net profit to $9.5bn compared with $11.6bn last year.
An Apple watch would
capitalise on the recent
wearable tech craze
Speculation is rife that Apple, while still iterating and improving on its existing
product portfolio, has moved on to the next big thing and is quietly preparing
to disrupt yet another industry. Pundits have long speculated that Apple is due
to launch its own TV set, a highly cluttered and competitive market with tough
margins and all kinds of broadcasting and content legal challenges. However, the
TV set remains the one screen in a multi-screen ecosystem where Apple doesn’t
fully play (note: the current Apple TV product has an Apple EPG and streaming
ability to your existing TV). Don’t bet against Apple redefining the TV experience.
A second area of speculation is an iWatch wristband; the long-mooted Dick
Tracey phone watch may actually be functioning somewhere in an Apple lab. An
Apple watch would capitalise on the recent wearable tech craze (Jawbone, Nike
Fuelband, Google Glass) and could port iTunes content, Siri, Facetime, and of
course your phone to your wrist. It’s the type of disruptive, jaw-dropping product
Steve Jobs would have loved.
On the other hand, Apple may be preparing to simply improve its iOS experience,
and unleash new, graphene-powered, memory-boosted iPhones and iPads. With
Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 giving Apple a run for its money, an upgrade beyond
recent releases may be necessary to defend its share.
Apple has excelled in disrupting and defining
industries with its technology. CEO Tim Cook has
hinted something is on the way; Steve Jobs may have
planned a few more surprises for us. Stay tuned.
Many felt that Yahoo’s decision to appoint ex-Googler
Marissa Meyer would result in a surge in its fortunes.
Things have certainly started looking up at Yahoo,
with the company making a number of acquisitions,
releasing improved earnings, making content
announcements, and generally making more noise
in the market than it has done for some time. But
does this mean things have really turned around?
The reborn flickr is, Implications
once again, a truly
Yahoo is still a massive company, and one with millions of loyal users around the
great product. But
world: its Mail & News services are still the dominant players in their sectors in
it may just have to
many markets. But in a world increasingly defined by search, social, video, data
make do with playing and mobile Yahoo has struggled to provide a USP other than its scale and legacy.
There is no doubt that Meyer has brought a much needed focus to the company,
second fiddle to
and if nothing else, has managed to create good news stories about the company
– important in an industry that often works from feeling as opposed to logic
Since coming on board, Meyer has signalled a renewed focus on product. Flickr,
which probably should have seen success on the scale of Facebook & Instagram,
but had been unloved for years, has been given new focus and a sharp new app.
Ditto weather. The start-up news aggregator Summly was snapped up for $30
million and, within weeks, some of its features were baked into Yahoo’s main apps.
On the media side, Yahoo hasn’t abandoned its plans to be a media and a tech
company, announcing a raft of new exclusive programming, as well as deals
with ABC and Saturday Night Live to replay their content across its properties. At
the same time, Yahoo has announced new ‘native’ ads that will be matched to
the device and content type the audience is consuming. And all of these would
appear to be feeding into results, with the share price up 50% since Meyer joined.
But much of this financial success is due to the fact that Yahoo has a 24% stake
in the Chinese company Alibaba, as well as 33% of Yahoo Japan, which is in a
much better place than the core business, whilst the inability to finalise a deal
to buy video site Dailymotion (though the blame for that lies with the French
government) shows that it’s not all going to be plain sailing. As one analyst put
it, “If you own Yahoo (stock) for Alibaba, you’re doing just great…(but) if you own
it for the core business, you’ve got some speed bumps.”
But the question is whether she will ever be able to do enough to truly turn the
company around and push it back to the top of the pecking order. Metacafe
would have been a great opportunity, and it is a great shame that the deal
couldn’t be done. The reborn flickr is, once again, a truly great product. But
it may just have to make do with playing second fiddle to Instagram, which
essentially stole the market flickr created. And as for search, the alliance with
Bing hasn’t provided much of use to either party as yet, with most of Bing’s gains
in the US coming at its partner’s expense.
It may well be that Yahoo is just going to have to get used to being a very good
second or third best. As display revenues for its core brand are currently going
backward, that would actually be a pretty good outcome, though it may not be
enough to satisfy Wall Street.
Whilst nowhere near the company it once was, Yahoo
is definitely looking better than it has done in some
time. But in a world where Google, Amazon, Apple and
Facebook are continually developing their software,
hardware and services, Yahoo is unlikely to ever scale
such heights again. The media world needs diversity,
so we should all hope for Yahoo’s resurgence, even if
we should accept stabilisation.
Brands that have an official affiliation with
Manchester United would have a legitimate reason
to join the Twitter conversation, demonstrating
their partnership with the club and providing an
authoritative opinion. Some sponsors decided
against activating in the social space, which is
no criticism. Given the huge interest on Twitter,
perhaps some brands felt they that would refrain
from commenting as they wouldn’t be adding
value to the conversation. However, those that
did activate lacked the imagination required to
cut through the clutter – SHARP mentioned an
unofficial Manchester United twitter account in their
message, whilst Thomas Cook’s #SirFergieHoliday
didn’t capture the public’s imagination (4 RTs).
The End of an Era: Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement
and how Twitter, the real time information network,
captured the moment #ThankYouSirAlex
At 9:17am on Wednesday 8th May, Manchester
United’s Press Office (@ManUtd_PO) sent out a short
tweet explaining that Sir Alex Ferguson had retired
as Manchester United manager after 26 and a half
years, accompanied with #ThankYouSirAlex.
Within the hour the tweet had been repeated 18,000
times and there were 1.4m mentions of the story
on Twitter, taking eight of the 10 UK trending topic
spots, and four of the 10 worldwide trends. In an
era where brands want, and need, to be part of
the consumer conversation, this was the perfect
opportunity to capture the moment.
Sport is a live show,
so brands must be
prepared to activate
at a moment’s notice.
Brands not officially associated with Manchester
United were free to provide the type of reactive
marketing that this story allowed. Nando’s
kept their Manchester restaurants open for an
extra five minutes yesterday evening, calling it
#NandosFergieTime. The announcement garnered
in excess of 16,000 RTs (about half the number @
ManUtd_PO received), whilst mentions praised and
endorsed the restaurant chain; there has since been
subsequent national PR from the activity
Ever since Oreo released details of its ‘Dunk in the
Dark’ activation, explaining that the brand had
a whole host of creatives and clients in a room
watching the Super Bowl, the emphasis for brands
has been how to maximise the ‘in the moment’
activity. Brands that simply prepare and activate
content calendars planned weeks in advance
will quickly start to fall behind in social, and the
emphasis will be on immediate response. Sport is a
live show, so brands must be prepared to activate at
a moment’s notice.
The activations by Nando’s and Paddy Power just go
to show that, given the right messaging and adding
value to the conversation, timing is everything. Sir
Alex Ferguson’s retirement cannot be compared to
Oreo’s Super Bowl activity (a planned event), but
it is just another example that social media, and
especially Twitter, is the perfect environment in
which brands should play if they wish to join the
consumer conversation – however it is key that they
activate in a way that cuts through the clutter and
captures the moment.
Paddy Power was at its best on Twitter, releasing
light-hearted messages as the day unfolded,
intertwined of course with its Next Manager specials.
The activation drove over 1,000 new followers on the
day, along with sizeable traffic to site.
Brands not officially
were free to provide
the type of reactive
marketing that this
Amazon is doing two good things here, encouraging consumers to hit the buy
button on new apps, games, and in-app items, and with the likely increase in
revenue available, encouraging app developers to develop for the Amazon Kindle
platform. Up to now iPad owners, being less price sensitive, have proven most
receptive to spending money on, and in, apps. Kindle and Android owners have
proven less so, although this is changing fast. Revenue per Android user is 2.5
times more than it was a year ago (Google IO conference May 2013).
Jay Bryan & Massimo Sparvoli
Following a recent announcement from Amazon, every
Kindle Fire owner in the U.S. will find $5 worth of free
Amazon Coins deposited directly into their Amazon
They will also receive a discount of 10% on further
Coin purchases. Tens of millions of dollars of
Amazon Coins will be in customers’ accounts to
spend on new apps and games, or to purchase
in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song
collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in
Angry Birds Star Wars.
Any brand with a
tablet strategy, along
with iPad and Android,
should now also
This investment in
fostering use of the
Kindle tablet platform
is further proof that
Amazon gets it.
Amazon Coins is a great way to promote monetisation and use of the Kindle
platform. It also appears to be less complicated than Microsoft’s points system on
Xbox marketplace. Amazon has confirmed that it will continue to add more ways
to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities with ebook
This investment in fostering use of the Kindle tablet platform is further proof that
Amazon gets it. Amazon and eBay are the e-commerce kings and, by operating
on razor thin margins, are not likely to get knocked off their perch or suffer from
eventual margin decline that other tech players are currently suffering from.
Amazon invented the recommendation engine, which spawned content and music
discovery platforms and is now embedding itself into content delivery with Kindle
tablets. The Kindle Fire is with us for the long run. Any brand with a tablet strategy,
along with iPad and Android, should now also incorporate Kindle.
Amazon Coins could also be used as an encouragement to consume branded
content; particularly brands with young audiences that are into social gaming (think
FMCG, Mobile sectors). It will also become interesting for brands with more mature
and affluent audiences once/ if Amazon Coins are enabled for ebook purchases.
Additional opportunities may be found by brands using Coins for incentives:
“Get the new Smartphone with 5,000 Amazon Coins preloaded” or for messaging
in social channels to drive and foster engagement: “Do you have an Amazon
account? Participate in our competition / like on Facebook / re-tweet on Twitter
and get 100 Coins for free”.
Let’s be clear here, Amazon Coins is not a virtual currency like Bitcoin, but
more like Facebook’s Credits, Tencent’s QQ Coins, or Linden dollars. Coins are
not transferable among people, nor are they exchangeable for real currency.
Nevertheless, Amazon Coins is a smart way to nudge Kindle Fire users to stay
within the Amazon content eco system. Marketers should include Kindle in their
tablet strategy and utilise Amazon Coins where appropriate.
As part of an ongoing strategy to revitalise the once
dominant internet brand, Yahoo has bought the popular
social-blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash.
It is the biggest move yet by the CEO,
Marissa Mayer, following a series of small
to mid-sized acquisitions, primarily of
mobile apps. It is hoped that Tumblr,
which has a relatively young audience,
will provide a boost to Yahoo, which has
struggled to keep up with Google and
Facebook in recent years.
It is hoped that
has a relatively
will provide a
boost to Yahoo
Mayer has made a series of bold moves since joining Yahoo in
July 2012, but this is undoubtedly the biggest. Whilst many will
compare it to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, it differs in one
big way; Facebook used stock for a large chunk of its purchase
(so ended up paying less than $1 billion after its IPO) whereas
Yahoo is using none. Yahoo also appears to have less cash in the
bank than Facebook, so it’s a bigger bet in terms of the potential
It also differs in that Tumblr had already started to monetise its
audience, as opposed to Instagram, which still has no advertising.
But Tumblr’s ad business is still very young, generating just $13
million in 2012, which is hardly surprising seeing as Tumblr’s CEO
David Karp, who will retain control, said in 2010 of advertising “[it]
really turns our stomachs.”
Yahoo and Mayer have already stated that they expect to ramp up
monetisation, but have promised not to ‘screw up’ the blogging
service. The question is whether Yahoo will be able to do one
without the other.
Whilst the purchase is being described as brave,
it could equally be suggested that it’s a sign of
desperation. Yahoo has essentially given up on
search and whilst it has belatedly thrown resources
at flickr, it’s hard not to feel it missed its real chance
with social when it originally bought flickr and
del.icio.us (and failed to convince a young Mark
Zuckerberg to sell Facebook). It will remain to be
seen whether its recent splurge on mobile apps will
deliver any real results or whether Yahoo should
have simply doubled-down on its Asian investments,
which are currently paying many of the bills.
Tumblr may well have a young audience that many
advertisers crave, but it is also largely made up of
user-generated content, as well as a lot of borderline or straight-up pornography, both of which make
advertisers nervous. Young audiences also tend to
be fickle, and there is already a lot of noise about
users abandoning Tumblr now that it has been
bought by the man, or the woman, in Mayer’s case.
If Mayer can convince advertisers that Tumblr has a
real place on most brands’ media schedules, she will
definitely have earned her keep.
Predictions of what will happen when it comes to internet buy-outs and mergers
are notoriously unreliable, but a few things seem clear about this deal. Yahoo will
need to find a way to keep Tumblr’s users, and its CEO/co-founder happy, whilst
also managing to make it a more advertiser friendly property.
If Mayer can do that, then Yahoo may well have its very own YouTube, which
Google bought for a similar amount back in 2006. But it’s equally possible, if not
more likely, that with its fickle audience and hard to monetise content, Tumblr
will instead end up being another bebo, or Geocities 2.0.
the Xbox One
Microsoft has finally revealed its contender in
the upcoming console war, the Xbox One.
Microsoft is actively courting publishers and advertisers with the Xbox One, in
stark contrast with Sony’s approach of courting developers and gamers. Microsoft
will be looking to replace set-top boxes and PVRs and it’s likely that the console
will be packaged together with entertainment provider packages, opening it up
to a much larger market of non-gamers. Alongside the Kinect 2.0, which offers
more opportunities for innovative campaigns, from gesture and voice control to
the bio-metric feedback of heart rate and skin temperature monitoring from the
camera itself, the Xbox One is an interesting play for advertisers.
As always, Microsoft has taken a very US-centric approach at the outset, with
many of the new features geared towards live TV viewing and sports content.
Whilst this may be a recipe for success in North America, it will need a wider
variety of market-relevant content and partners in the rest of the world in order
to remain attractive. Also, in an age of time-shifted viewing, streaming media
and multiple screened mobile devices, is Microsoft offering something truly
revolutionary? Do we as consumers want to make Skype calls from our TVs
rather than our tablets or mobiles?
Live-streaming from its headquarters in Redmond,
Microsoft has taken a very different approach than
Sony in its message, with a strong focus on its
credentials as a multimedia entertainment hub,
but this has received mixed feelings from the press,
developers and fans alike.
Microsoft is aiming
its hardware to be
an all-in-one hub
of the living-room
Microsoft is aiming its hardware to be an all-in-one hub of the living-room
entertainment experience. The Xbox One is designed from the ground up to
seamlessly switch between games, live TV, and films at a press of a button or a
wave of your hand. Packaged together with the Kinect 2.0, Microsoft has ramped
up the functionality of voice control and weaved it throughout the whole Xbox
experience. This makes it a very powerful tool once you throw Skype video
calling, Smartglass and its new multi-tasking capability, Snap Mode, into the mix,
enabling users to second-screen on their main screen.
Live TV played a big part in the reveal, as Microsoft demonstrated the Xbox
One’s ability to be integrated with live sports, giving real-time data on players
and even updating fantasy sports leagues. However, outside of the expected
parade of several large-scale game franchises (Madden, FIFA, Call of Duty), very
little was actually said on games (declining to even show any live gameplay
on stage) as Microsoft looks to this year’s E3 to finish the second half of its
Sony and Microsoft have two diametrically opposed philosophies. The Sony PS4
is geared towards gamers, with strong support for independent titles, usergenerated content driven features and a more global approach, all thanks to a
singular focus on gaming.
The Microsoft Xbox One is instead aiming for a much wider audience, positioning
as a big and bold multimedia hub that only just does everything, but runs the
risk of having many of its new core features only be relevant to a smaller number
of markets at launch. However, Microsoft is playing a bigger game and instead of
viewing Sony and Nintendo as its long-term rivals, Microsoft is looking beyond
gaming to challenge Apple, Google and PVR suppliers over control of the TV and
the lucrative advertising dollars that come with it.
One big trend to take note of is that we’re seeing the big console manufacturers
moving further towards a purely service-based business model. This is likely
to be the penultimate console generation before the big three stop producing
dedicated hardware and focus instead on providing services across publisher
The debut of iOS 7 is an important milestone for Apple
Six years into the iPhone and five years into the
App Store, the smartphone landscape has changed
and Apple, for the first time, faces real competition
from Samsung and the domination of Android
in the market. The new iOS has received mixed
reviews from the tech world, the press and die-hard
Apple fans, not to mention ruffling the feathers of
the music streaming world with the announcement
iRadio gives a Geniuslike experience to the
entire 26-million title
Apple has flattened the interface, taken away the
quirky faux wood and leather icons, and made
a concerted effort to not waste space or time by
having greater synergy between hardware and
software design. Multitasking, a Control Centre,
improved Safari functions, Camera and Photo
upgrades and platform integration are just a few
of the developments. The biggest however is the
introduction of iRadio, which gives a Genius-like
experience to the entire 26-million title iTunes
catalogue. You can see the full list of songs on
each station by clicking history, with purchase
and preview buttons built in to send you to the
iTunes store. iTunes Match users will get an ad-free
experience and anyone without iTunes Match will be
able to use the app for free with a few audio and text
ads. Other developments included: iOS7 enabling
you to use an HDTV as a second display using Apple
TV and AirPlay; Siri given a new look, with a new
voice and in a step away from Google, iOS7 will now
pull in data from Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing.
Apple’s announcement will have far reaching
implications for social networking, consumers
and game and app developers. Photos and videos
are what people want to engage with on social
networks, (e.g. rapid rise in Vine), and Apple has put
photos in the centre of the new iOS. With the ability
to create a shared photo stream, the iOS platform
becomes like a social network itself. Twitter is more
deeply integrated in the system, where shared links
in the safari browser will let users see all the URLs
in their twitter timelines. The well-known security
barriers surrounding social login are reduced with
new iCloud Keychain, which stores information on
iCloud and then syncs across trusted iOS based
devices. As for the new Safari web browser which
unifies Google search and your own search history,
we can expect to see an impact on mobile search
and display advertising. Perhaps the new fullscreen look could increase click-through rates?
From a music standpoint, Spotify (and Pandora in
the US) have reason to be concerned about the new
streaming music service, which enables users to
create custom radio stations while discovering new
music and integrating with social networks. In the
gaming world, implications are equally as big. For
the first time since 2008, Apple is removing barriers
which have previously stopped third party game
controllers from gaining popularity by opening
up iOS to them, enabling console-like gaming
experiences to be powered by its mobile devices.
With all of this, who’s to say that Apple won’t next
march into the home console market? Given Apple’s
dominance of handheld gaming and the fact that
the new 16GB iPod Touch and Apple TV are growing
in popularity, Sony and Microsoft could have more
than just each other to worry about. Definitely a
big watch out for our gaming client’s future plans.
Finally, due to being able to have multiple apps
opened at the same time, each individual app may
not have the user’s undivided attention.
With the ability to
create a shared
the iOS platform
becomes like a social
The new iOS has
reviews from the tech
world, the press and
die-hard Apple fans,
the big console
further towards a
purely service based
Many of the features are geared towards making
the smartphone the essential device with which you
cannot leave home without- your keys, your phone,
your wallet, your map. Apple is ready to disrupt
businesses again and established platforms and
businesses like Spotify and Microsoft need to keep
innovating to avoid Apple swooping in and stealing
Facebook announced last week that it will be
cutting back its ad products over the next six
months, and Sponsored Stories, accounting for
over half of the ad types available, will be among
the first to go. Advertisers might be surprised that
Sponsored Stories will be disappearing as they
have been proven to have higher engagement rates
than regular Facebook ads. However, rather than
completely disappearing, Facebook will be applying
the social context layer that makes Sponsored
Stories so successful into all of its ad types, creating
a simpler product offering designed to deliver
Facebook has become a complex ecosystem for advertisers
to navigate due to the plethora of ad units available,
however that’s all about to change.
The overall idea with the changes is to give
brands fewer, but better, options when it comes to
advertising on Facebook. A lot of the changes are
based on feedback received from marketers about
Facebook’s ad products, where simplification was
one of biggest issues raised.
Also facing the chopping block is Facebook Offers,
an ad product that allows brands to post discounts
and offers to their customers on their Facebook
Page. Offers has been usurped by Page Post Link
Ads, which has been shown to be more effective
for direct response offers. Questions Ads will also
become redundant because it is more convenient
for brands to ask questions and collect replies via a
post’s comment field.
the addition of social
context to all of
Facebook’s ad types
will mean that all
Facebook ad campaigns
should see a boost in
Advertisers will surely welcome the streamlined ad
offering from Facebook as an easier way to find and
engage with their target audience on the popular
social network. Although some brands will be sorry
to see Sponsored Stories disappear, the addition
of social context to all of Facebook’s ad types will
mean that all Facebook ad campaigns should see a
boost in engagement.
The changes are part of a wider refresh of the News
Feed, which will become more visual, less cluttered
and provide a seamless experience from desktop to
mobile. By Q4 2013, Facebook plans to give all ads
on the platform a similar look and feel, which will
make it harder for brands to stand out and place a
greater importance on brands to build ‘likes’ and
adopt robust social posting strategies.
The changes will
create a better
experience for both
It would seem that Facebook has finally taken
a breather from launching new ad products at a
breakneck speed and is pausing to take stock of its
current situation, which sees brands overwhelmed
and struggling to find their way in the complex
Facebook advertising ecosystem and users being
fed up with a cluttered News Feed. The changes will
create a better experience for both the advertisers
and users alike, ensuring that Facebook remains the
social media destination of choice.
Earlier this year YouTube began the roll out of
its new channel design called One Channel.
After an optional adoption period and beta
testing, on the 5th of June YouTube switched to a
mandatory use of One Channel for all users. The
aim in YouTube’s own words is to “evolve from a
video-based site to a channels-based site, where
One of the main changes is the new dynamic layout making channels look good
on any browser used, across all screens and devices, allowing you to customise
how to organise your videos and playlist so it fits your audience in the best way.
Activities available for the new channel include:
Creating a trailer which will only play for new visitors who are not yet
subscribed to your channel
YouTube noticed a
20 percent page view
increase on channels
that had already
opted in before the
5th of June.
Channel Art, which makes it possible to create a header ( at 2560 x 1440),
to give the channel a visual identity and it also allows you to integrate your
social links better than you could before
InVideo Programming in the form of interactive tiles that lead both to your
channel (if being watched off channel) and feature a video of your choice
making it easier to pull consumers through your brand content
New Social buttons will allow users not only to easily subscribe to your
channels it will also allow them to easily connect with your social networks
such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
The trailer activity is a great way to awaken interest in new visitors and win a new
subscriber. Because the trailer is only shown for new visitors the trailer should be
treated as if it were an ad – keep it short and engaging and have a compelling
call to action at the end. The benefits when it comes to users that have already
subscribed are that you will be able to easily expose your brand messaging to
subscribers at regular intervals and create stronger brand enthusiasts. YouTube
subscribers are highly engaged and likely to share content with friends, they
are potentially strong brand advocates which is why it is important to try to get
users to subscribe. Recent research from YouTube shows that subscribers tend to
watch twice as much video as non-subscribers, so having a good video strategy is
important to be able to foster real engagement around a brand.
The Social buttons which are placed on the channel header give a clear call to
action and are aimed at getting viewers to learn more about your brand join and
start conversations. In addition to the social buttons you can also add extra links
to the header in order to drive traffic to your website or elsewhere.
Organising videos and playlists on the channel into ‘sections’ with various
layouts to highlight your best content
The new features with One Channel should help advertisers better engage their
target customer base by encouraging and emphasising channel subscriptions,
allowing advertisers to create a community on YouTube. YouTube noticed a
20-percent page view increase on channels that had already opted in before the
5th of June.
One Channel is a good way to get users to become subscribers, which has
become more critical than a few years ago. Mainly because people who subscribe
to channels on YouTube generally watch more content more often than those
who don’t. They are also more likely to be the opinion leaders who informally
influence people who surround them to watch the videos too. The new Social
buttons will also help to start conversations outside of the channel, allowing
brands to build an ongoing relationship with their subscribers.
having a good video
strategy is important
to be able to foster
around a brand.
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