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Snapchat rolls out non-‘creepy’ ads that still might get creepy

ComputerWorld

Ads are officially coming to Snapchat, in a form the company says is not “targeted,” but Snapchat’s own terms of service suggest it could do something very much like that.

The first ad will appear this weekend in the U.S., in the “recent updates” section of the app. That means it won’t be pushed to users like a personal message, and users can choose whether to open it or not. It will disappear after it is viewed or within 24 hours, the same way the “Stories” feature works, the company said Friday in a blog post.

The company did not say who the first advertiser would be, and a spokeswoman declined to comment further.

How Snapchat will determine which ads to show users is not clear. The company said its ads would not be “creepy” or “targeted,” probably an allusion to Facebook or Google. However, the best ads should promote “stuff that actually interests you,” Snapchat said in its announcement.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company will use any information about users to choose ads for them. But Snapchat does have a decent pot of data on some users that might be employed for targeting ads, even if the company doesn’t like the word “targeted.” According to its own terms of service, with users’ consent, Snapchat may collect users’ location data and information collected by cookie files and other tracking technologies.

Read on…

IDG’s Social Media Marketing Success Story

Media Shepard

IDG worked with Samsung late last year to promote the company’s 10.1 Galaxy Note tablet. For Samsung, the goals were clear: promote the product during the holiday season in order to reach the campaign’s target business audience. IDG’s job was to leverage its industry contacts and brand following to create awareness and engagement.

That job fell to Colin Browning, marketing services director at IDG, who heads the Performance Marketing group within IDG Strategic Marketing Services. Browning’s team is responsible for the implementation, management, analysis, and optimization of social media and lead generation programs for clients.

mediaShepherd asked Browning to explain how IDG designed and implemented an effective B2B social media campaign: platforms used, specific approaches, goals, strategies and results.

mediaShepherd: What were the goals of the campaign? How were you defining “success” both for your client and IDG?

Colin Browning: The overall campaign goal was to increase the IT leadership’s awareness of Samsung’s new 10.1 inch tablet as a superior device for use in the workplace. For the social component we wanted to get the target audience discussing the broader advantages and flexibility of tablets while including Samsung’s messaging.

mS: There is often a fine line between promotional and valuable content, especially with custom marketing campaigns. How did you ensure that you would be pushing out valuable content to your audiences to facilitate real engagement? (Did the survey(s) you conducted play a role in this?)

CB: The program content, including the Twitter chat topics, were designed to be thought leadership based. While these are all informative pieces and conversations, they were also aligned to the key value propositions of the Samsung Tablet. This enabled us to have broader audience conversations about the use of the tablet in the workplace and what IT’s needs are, without coming across as overly promotional.

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China’s social media adspend to triple

Warc

HONG KONG: Advertising expenditure on social media in China is forecast to triple over the next five years, overtaking Japan to become the region’s largest market, new figures have shown.

Data from analyst Forrester Research indicate that spending by advertisers in this channel will grow from $535m in 2014 to $1.7bn in 2019. In comparison, spending in Japan will double over the same period, from $864m to $1.6bn.

“Chinese consumers are addicted to social media,” Wang Xiaofeng, Forrester Research analyst, told the South China Morning Post, as she estimated that upwards of 95% of metropolitan internet users were on social networks.

Accordingly, marketers are following them onto the various domestic platforms that have sprung up, although sites such as Sina Weibo, QQ and Renren have been in danger of falling out of fashion as messaging apps like WeChat gain in popularity.

They have reacted with new initiatives and new focus. Thus, for example, Renren made a strategic shift earlier this year to focus on college students and the younger generation, while Weibo looked to integrate itself with TV shows and live events.

Read on…

With New Ad Platform, Facebook Opens Gates to Its Vault of User Data

The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook built itself into the No. 2 digital advertising platform in the world by analyzing the vast amount of data it had on each of its 1.3 billion users to sell individually targeted ads on its social network.

Now it is going to take those targeted ads to the rest of the Internet, mounting its most direct challenge yet to Google, the leader in digital advertising with nearly one-third of the global market.

On Monday, Facebook will roll out a rebuilt ad platform, called Atlas, that will allow marketers to tap its detailed knowledge of its users to direct ads to those people on thousands of other websites and mobile apps.

“We are bringing all of the people-based marketing functions that marketers are used to doing on Facebook and allowing them to do that across the web,” David Jakubowski, the company’s head of advertising technology, said in an interview.

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Africa’s Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

IDC PMS4colorversion no shadow 300x98  Africas Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

Spurred by increased infrastructural investments, improved connectivity and affordability, positive government interventions, and the spread of mobility, the African digital media landscape is rapidly evolving, according to global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its ‘Assessment and Outlook of the Digital Media Ecosystem in Africa’ report, IDC today said the future remains bright for the continent, although key challenges such as low propensity to pay for applications and content as well as lack of ubiquitous high speed broadband infrastructure continue to hamper progress and will take a while to resolve.

“The digital picture in Africa is changing rapidly,” says Leonard Kore, a research analyst for telecommunications and media at IDC East Africa. “Internet penetration is on the rise, buoyed by increased infrastructure investments, while the landing of undersea fiber-optic cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world has greatly reduced transmission time and costs while increasing bandwidth capacity. Although only an estimated 19% of the continent’s 1 billion population is online, this situation is expected to improve as investments in infrastructure continue to gain momentum; this includes 2G and 3G network infrastructure expansion and fiber to the x (FTTx).”

Mobile usage has had a transformative impact in Africa. Other key factors include the high digital appetite for social media and the impending digital migration, while other sectors such as ecommerce have had a tough time gaining traction. The digital disruption has significantly changed consumer behavior, and service usage patterns have altered as a result, with consumers now seeking devices with intuitive interfaces, content-rich applications, and faster connectivity capabilities as they spend more time online.

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Instagram begins serving ads in the UK

The seven UK advertisers are trialling Instagram’s new “Sponsored” paid-for ad unit to increase the reach of their content on the platform, which now has more than 200 million monthly active users.

The Facebook-owned photo app first began trialling the format in the US in November.

The units are charged on a cost-per-mille basis and brands can currently choose to target audiences by age, gender and geography. A threshold has not yet been set for the number of ads a user is likely to see on any given day, but this is likely to remain minimal as Instagram continues to roll out advertising “deliberately slowly”.

Waitrose was interested in being among the first brands to trial the format because it believes Instagram can help the retailer build on its already-existing “Love Food” brand platform in a highly engaged social environment, Rupert Ellwood, Waitrose head of marketing communications, told Marketing Week.

Read on…

Pinterest has hired its first media partnerships manager. Why now?

GIGAOM

Pinterest has hired a head of media partnerships for the first time. The company has brought on Robert Macdonald, formerly of Google, to do the job. Macdonald previously managed publisher relationships at Dstillery, Scribd and Google. In an interview with the New York Times, Pinterest’s head of partnerships — general, not just media — said, “We don’t think we’ve invested enough yet to totally capture the opportunity and to help these publishers.”

When asked what publishers Pinterest will be courting, a spokesperson told me, “We are looking to work with a wide range of traditional and digital publishers across all verticals, many of which are already using the platform.” A handful of companies swear by Pinterest’s traffic referral potential. For example, Buzzfeed’s second biggest social driver of traffic is Pinterest, after front-runner Facebook. As I previously reported, Pinterest is also looking for someone to manage their relationships with Hollywood, so it’s going after media organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Read on…

Does it matter that some New York Times editors and writers don’t tweet? Yes and no

Gigaom

BuzzFeed recently ran a post on what it called the New York Times‘ “Twitter graveyard,” which turned out to be a list of accounts set up by the newspaper’s editorial staff that are either dormant or unused, including some that still have the default egg avatar given to Twitter newbies. But does that mean some staffers just haven’t taken to a particular platform, or does it mean the paper’s writers and editors aren’t doing enough to engage with readers?

That was the underlying question behind a discussion I had with a number of senior NYT staffers on Monday — including the paper’s deputy digital editor and co-author of the recent internal “innovation report” — after one (a senior member of the paper’s development team, Jacob Harris) referred to the BuzzFeed piece somewhat dismissively, implying that using Twitter accounts as a proxy for whether journalists are doing their jobs is neither fair nor particularly enlightening (I’ve also created a Storify collection of some of the relevant tweets).

I tried to argue that focusing solely on whether someone is on Twitter is trivial, and may even be unfair, but the larger point being made by BuzzFeed and others is that the Times may be lacking in the area of social engagement with readers. And this is important because it could literally be the key to survival for media companies and journalists alike, as social starts to replace search.

Engaging means more than just listening

A number of Times staffers, including deputy international editor Lydia Polgreen, made the point that there are plenty of reporters and editors who use Twitter regularly and are open to engaging with readers, a group that includes media writerDavid Carr, Polgreen herself, science writer John Schwartz, columnist Nick Kristofand others. As she pointed out, readers have far more engagement potential with NYT writers than they have ever had.

Foreign correspondent Damien Cave and others echoed a common refrain, which is that just because a New York Times reporter or editor doesn’t tweet a lot doesn’t mean that they aren’t listening to readers and following conversations about stories — a point that deputy digital editor Amy O’Leary also made. Others noted that there are lots of different ways to respond to readers and engage with them, including Facebook, email and in person.

As I tried to argue, however, listening is only part of the equation when it comes to engagement, and it’s likely the easiest part. The hard part is having to respond when someone criticizes your piece or points out an error — but that is also when engaging is at its most powerful, and it can ultimately result in better journalism.

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Facebook Announces Facebook Media — A Resource For Media Organizations

Marketing Land

Facebook today rolled out Facebook Media, a new resource to help media organizations and public figures with their Facebook efforts. Facebook Media is modeled after Facebook for Business, a hub for advertisers on the social network.

Facebook director of media partnerships Nick Grudin explained the purpose of the effort in a blog post:

Every day, content creators around the world — from digital publishers, to public figures, to video producers — use Facebook to connect with their audiences in innovative ways. They reach new fans, start conversations and drive discovery of new stories. In the process, they make Facebook more vibrant.

At Facebook, we are committed to building a platform to make these connections broader, richer and more dynamic. That’s why today we are introducing Facebook Media — to highlight great examples and new trends illustrating how public figures, organizations and media are using Facebook to connect with their audiences.

Facebook Media is filled with best-practice advice, much of which applies to anyone using Facebook as a marketing tool. For instance, there’s a good list of tips for driving referrals to digital properties that should be required reading.

 

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