Sunnier Side of the Office
Facebook last week announced it was simplifying some of its metrics for advertisers, a move that comes after some previous metrics mishaps and advertiser confusion over its data.
According to the Wall Street Journal: “Facebook is taking steps to appease advertisers after acknowledging over the past year and a half several discrepancies or flaws in its data, which undermined marketers’ trust in the company’s data-reporting practices. In the wake of those errors, Facebook agreed to undergo audits by the media industry’s measurement watchdog, the Media Rating Council, a year ago.”
One new change will be that Facebook will more clearly mark when data points are estimated or still in development.
Snapchat plans to double the number of publisher produced video shows it will release this year to roughly 80, according to Digiday. This move is likely a way to attract brands seeking to promote premium video content, an opportunity many publishers lost with Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm update.
In 2016, Snapchat launched its Shows section. Since then, the offering has been dominated by companies like NBCUniversal, A&E Networks, and ESPN, while digital publishers have been encouraged to create magazine-style content for Discover.
Snapchat’s expansion of video content feels very similar to Facebook’s development of Watch, a video streaming service. However, there are key differences that set the two apart:
Funding: While Facebook Watch contributes funds to produce shows on their platform, Snapchat will not be subsidizing the production of its programs.
Revenue: On Facebook Watch, brands keep 55% of ad revenues whereas those on Snapchat’s platform will keep an even 50%.
Rights: Brands will also own the rights to the shows they produce for Snapchat, unlike those that do the same for Facebook Watch.
Here’s an interesting twist on ad blocking. Scroll is a new startup working to get publications on board with charging readers for an ad-free experience, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Readers would pay $5 a month for a subscriptions service that lets them read articles on participating publishers’ websites, without being interrupted by ads. A number of publications have already signed up for the service, including Business Insider, Fusion Media Group, the Atlantic, MSNBC and Slate.
Tony Haile, former Chartbeat CEO, co-founded the company in 2016 amid the rise in popularity of ad blocking software. Publishers have been under intense revenue pressure for years, though that stress has come into sharper focus in recent years, not only as ad blocking gains popularity but as Facebook and Google’s dominance in the digital ad revenue market continues to strengthen.
As the Journal notes, “Scroll is unlikely to stop the use of ad blockers or persuade a majority of news readers to sign up, but it does offer publishers a way to appease consumers who want to avoid the intrusion of advertising while making incremental revenue.”
Is Snap, Inc doing well? According to the stock market and lip gloss maven Kylie Jenner, no. Jenner tweeted last week,”sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.”
Less than 24 hours after her tweet, Snap’s stock fell $1.3 billion in market value, according to Bloomberg. Countless headlines ran saying Jenner killed Snapchat, but that’s likely an oversimplification.
For one, “before Jenner announced her Snapchat betrayal, Wall Street wasn’t so hot on the company,” said Fast Company, adding that after the app’s recent redesign, “Citi downgraded Snap’s stock from ‘neutral’ to ‘sell’ the day before the Jenner tweet.”
Snap’s stock prices have had a tumultuous ride since CEO Evan Spiegel rang the NASDAQ opening bell in March 2017 for its IPO. Its most recent trouble was a data leak that revealed low user numbers. This led to promises to investors that the aforementioned redesign was coming, and along with it, hopefully, user growth.
How have others responded to the redesign? Well, there’s been a flood of memes pointing out how difficult Snapchat’s new design is to navigate. Not to mention a Change.org petition, which has 1.2 million signatures, asking Snap to revert to the old version of the app.
Snap responded saying it hears everyone’s complaints but isn’t going to revert back to the old design just because people are complaining.