Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

The Politics of Advertising

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Good morning. And congrats to the Washington Nationals on the District’s first World Series victory in 95 years. What a series.

And on the subject of D.C., Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced yesterday that the company would stop accepting all political and issue ads on its platform globally starting November 22.

Dorsey stated in a Tweet that “we believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” and that “this isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach.”

No word yet on whether or not Mark Zuckerberg provided a RT.

Apple earnings were out late yesterday, reporting Q4 revenue of $64B (up 2% YoY), with growth fueled by services, wearable and iPad.

Samsung, OTOH, saw its operating profit drop 56% to $6.6B on revenue of $53B, but still beat estimates.

Facebook’s Q3 saw revenue of $17.7B, up 29 YoY, and its daily active users rose 9% YoY. Political ads or not, Facebook is still printing lots of Benjamins.

Funding Rounds: U.K.. commission-free stock investing firm Freetrade raised $15M in a Series A…IoT back-end platform Particle raised a $40M Series C led by Qualcomm…Crunchbase raised a $30M Series C to help folks find “signals in the data” (meaning, they intend to become a dealmaker info resource).

Written by turbotodd

October 31, 2019 at 9:32 am

LinkedIn, Algoed Up

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Happy Tuesday.

Yesterday was a bad tooth day. I had my first root canal since I don’t want to remember when. 

The headphones with classic rock with Pandora, some deep bone antisthetic shots to fully numb my tooth, and a steady stream of nitrous oxide made a root canal a nearly fun experience. 

Endondontists everywhere, more nitrous for all root canals.

While I was down in the endo’s chair, I learned this AM how a small ISP in Pennsylvania “tanked a big chunk of the Web” yesterday.

According to a story from Slate’s “Future Tense,” a Web outage in the Northeast affected “Verizon users and thousands of Website serviced by Cloudflare.”

Cloudflare provides security and performance services to 16 million websites and demonstrates how “one little error…can cause swaths of the Web to break with little warning.”

The outage started around 7 a.m. and affected Verizon before spreading to Amazon Web Services, web-hosting provider WP Engine, live-streaming platform Twitch, Reddit, and several others.

While we wait for the 404s to fade away, know that Axios is reporting some big time algo changes over at LinkedIn.

Axios reports the company has made the algorithm changes over the past 12-18 months to favor conversations in the LI feed that cater to “niche professional interests,” as opposed to elevating viral content. 

Specifically, Axios reports LinkedIn is focused on:

  • Elevating content that users are most likely to join in conversation, which typically means people that users interact with directly in the feed through comments and reactions, or people who have shared interests with you based on your profile.
  • Elevating a post from someone closer to a users’ interests or network if it needs more engagement, not if it’s already going viral.
  • Elevating conversations with things that encourage a response (like opinions commentary alongside content), as well as posts that use mentions and hashtags to bring other people and interests into the conversation and elevating posts from users that respond to commenters.
  • Elevating niche topics of conversation will perform better than broad ones. (When it comes to length, LinkedIn says its algorithm doesn’t favor any particular format, despite rumors that it does.)

This matters because…advertisers want higher-quality engagement, which in turn leads to happier advertisers, which in turn leads to more ad revenue for LI.

Have *you* noticed a difference in your LI feed?

Written by turbotodd

June 25, 2019 at 10:04 am

Russians, Bots, Guns, Rinse, Repeat

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So how long did it take before the Russian Twitter bots kicked into high gear after last week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida?

According to a story in The New York Times, it only took about an hour:

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

If you want to keep a lookout for such bots, the Alliance for Securing Democracy has some recommendations: Look for a high volume of posts or content that conspicuously matches hundred of other accounts.

And this is just the latest example of Russian bots going into action…they were also seen in the Russian election manipulation, as seen in the first major Robert Mueller indictment last week…they were featured in the national anthem NFL boycott (#standforouranthem, #takeaknee)…and now, guns.

Seeing a trend yet?

Any significant issues dividing the American public along partisan lines, there’s an increasingly good chance at least a few Russian bots will be standing smack dab in the middle of the dividing line.

Written by turbotodd

February 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

How Are YOU Watching These Olympics?

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So how are you watching these Olympics (if at all)?

I have to say, the whole time 15 hour time difference between here and PyeongChang isn’t exactly helping, either.

I don’t have cable, but have been recording the games via my TiVo and over-the-air broadcasts on NBC. 

The problem is, by the time I’m ready to watch a prior’s day performance, fast forwarding through the parts I want to watch, the morning news shows have already blown the news: Shaun White won his THIRD gold medal in snowboarding!

I guess you can’t embargo the news of a gold medal so easily (although NBC has tried). And I still go back to fast forward and see all the juicy bits, like Shaun flying through the air in one of his “1440s.” That way, I skip all the commercials.

The Wall Street Journal’s “CMO Today” e-newsletter today reported that NBC’s partnership with Snapchat for the Olympics is paying off, with 32 million users having watched its coverage thus far. Snap reports well over 90 percent of its audience watching Olympics coverage is under 35. All the people over 35 still think Snap is a tea-like drink (Snapple).

I also tried to download the NBC VR app so I could see Shaun flying through my VR goggles. Boy, was that a mistake. NBC wanted me to first lay claim to which cable provider I use.  Will they never learn?  Here I was, ready to go out of my way to download this VR app from NBC, and they were worried about whether or not I was paying a cable bill, instead of getting my eyeballs (and, presumably, driving up their ad rates).

The very same day, Ryan Murphy, he of “Glee” and “American Horror Story” fame, signed a $300 million, multi-year deal with Netflix.

Not with NBC or Disney or ABC.

This is the beginning of the end of the beginning, a new day for content consumption is at hand.

Stay tuned.

Written by turbotodd

February 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

Chrome’s New Ad Blocking

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TechCrunch is reporting that Chrome’s built-in ad blocker will go live tomorrow, the first time Google will automatically block some ads in Chrome.

They note that this is not an alternative to AdBlock Plus or uBlock Origin, but rather Google’s effort “to ban the most annoying ads from your browser.”

Uh, that would be all of them, wouldn’t it?

The user experience will go a little something like this: If you end up on a site where Chrome’s blocking ads, you’ll see a small pop-up in Chrome that allows you to sidestepFull page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web. the ad blocker and allow ads for that site.

The Verge reports Google will be selecting for specific types of ads:

Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome’s ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web.

This should be fun.

Written by turbotodd

February 14, 2018 at 11:39 am

Snapchat Opens Up Its Marketing API

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Happy Humpday.

First, congrats to the Flying Tomato, U.S. snowboarder Shaun White, who flew through the bruising air of Pyeonchang yesterday to take the gold medal in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding competition. And that, ladies and germs, is a full-on gold medal American sweep of the Olympics snowboarding competition.

Now, Snap to it, because Snap is now opening its Marketing API for all developers to use.

According to a report from VentureBeat, the company first opened its API to a limited number of advertisers back in 2016, which allowed tech and creative companies to deliver ads and put it on the road to programmatic advertising.

“Our advertising business changed profoundly over the past year as we migrated the sale of our Snap Ads to an automated auction,” said Snap’s cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel during its recent earnings call. “Over 90 percent of Snap Ads were bought programmatically during Q4, which means that the auction transition for Snap Ads is largely behind us.”

With this move to open up its Marketing API, this should provide more accessibility to Snapchat to even more advertisers, and in the process create some economic upside for developers.

Written by turbotodd

February 14, 2018 at 9:12 am

Posted in 2018, advertising, snapchat

Tagged with ,

Google’s Getting AMPed

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How about that gold medal for America’s own Chloe Kim in the halfpipe snowboarding competition in Pyeonchang.  She was flyin’ like an eagle, in spire of the harsh winter winds.

Keep on truckin’, US of A.

Meanwhile, over at the Alphabet, Google has unveiled some new capabilities that seemed to be aimed squarely at Snapchat and Instagram in some friendly competition of their own.

The new capabilities, as reported in today’s Wall Street Journal, let publishes create visual-oriented stories in a mobile-friendly format not dissimilar from Snapchat and Instagram. 

Starting today, publishers can try out the developer preview of AMP stories, which include swipeable slides of text, photos, graphics and videos.

The Journal writes that “AMP stories are reminiscent of the immersive, vertical stories pioneered by Snapchat,” but that AMP stores don’t yet allow advertising to be incorporated, suggesting that Google is in the process of “building support for ads but didn’t disclose a time frame.”

It’s only a matter of time.

Written by turbotodd

February 13, 2018 at 9:31 am

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