The Sunnier Side of the Office – March 14, 2016
Time Warner Cable Develops Household Specific Targeting
Time Warner Cable is moving to addressable TV advertising, which, for those who don’t know, means that advertisers will be able to insert ads into live TV through the video-on-demand and TWC TV app. Addressable advertising will also enable marketers to get very specific with their targeting. Advertisers will be able to reach specific households based on location, age, gender, income, lifestyle, and purchasing preferences. In the past, targeting was limited to ZIP code.
Currently, TWC reaches 10.8 million homes, although only 80% use the on-demand options or TWC app. Nonetheless, 8.64 million homes is nothing to scoff at. It was also reported that 50% to 60% of impressions will be via a television set, with the rest coming from tablets, phones, and computers screens.
Pinterest Opens the Advertising Floodgates
Last week, Pinterest announced that it was opening up its advertising offering with a self-serve ad function. It’s primarily geared towards small and medium sized advertisers. In addition, Pinterest will be greatly increasing the number of interest-based ad targeting options from 30 to 420 (which potentially is the number of interests and an interest in and of itself). No word on whether users of Pinterest will see an increase in the number of overall ads, but they will no doubt notice a shift in the types of advertisers on the platform.
Because the self serve tools appeal mostly to smaller advertisers, Pinterest will still be working directly with bigger brands to create ad campaigns. But as Pinterest boosts its ad game, it’s likely that similar tools will be made available to bigger brands as well.
WhatsApp Is Fighting Its Own Encryption Battle
During the ongoing showdown between the US government and Apple, a smaller battle has continued between the FBI and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, a internationally popular messaging app. Last year, WhatsApp updated its encryption technology so that users’ conversations were no longer accessible to anyone except the sender and receivers. Previously, messages would pass thru a WhatsApp database where they could be accessed from within the company, and consequently the government by request. But now, they are completely private and the FBI wants access. The whole situation is wonderfully ironic because WhatsApp’s encryption tech was initially created and funded by the US government to help civil rights communications in countries with repressive governments. Go figure.
Given WhatsApp’s history with giving bigger entities, like advertisers, access to their users’ data, they will likely hold strong on the issue. Despite the fact that its owner, Facebook, has been compliant in government data requests in the past. However, WhatsApp has begun testing B2C functions for the app, which could mean that advertising will finally make its way onto the app. Which in turn could mean advertisers might begin to have some insight into user data, but most likely not users’ conversations.
If the FBI having access to an iPhone is akin to them entering through a front or back door, having access to WhatsApp is like having access to phone lines. And if technology has been growing exponentially, America’s wiretapping laws have been doomed for sometime (the term itself is pretty outdated) and the FBI is desperately trying to keep up. No matter where you stand on the issue, both legal cases bring up big questions about the future of digital media as it relates to consumers, information privacy, and the government.
Media Partner of the Week: Daily Mail & Elite Daily
Originally a British national newspaper, Daily Mail has now become the largest English language newspaper website read by over 19.3 million American millennials every month. In an effort to expand their total user reach, Daily Mail partnered with Elite Daily, another one of the world’s leading news providers for millennials.
Daily Mail and Elite Daily are both successful websites, in terms of traffic and social shares on websites like Facebook and Twitter. According to the tracking site Newswhip, Daily Mail is the 11th largest publisher on Facebook and Elite Daily is the 7th. The partnership between Daily Mail/Elite Daily allows brands to reach a broad audience and stay true to their own voice.
This Week in Social: The Rise Of Face Swap
Snapchat continued trend-setting in the world of bizarre social media and business practices with the introduction of the face swap selfie filter earlier this year. While face-swapping is nothing new to the meme world, it’s never been so accessible to people without Photoshop. This week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had acquired their own face swap app, Masquerade.
While the exact origin is not known, face-swapping memes began popping up in the early 2000s. In 2004, a series of photos emerged with terrifying face swaps of grandparents holding their grandchildren and, in 2009, a website dedicated itself to face-swapping actor Nic Cage, who has a history with the art form.
Face swaps became increasingly popular, but there was no tool accessible to the average joe with a mobile phone until late 2014, when a Face Swap Android app was released (an iPhone version followed a year later). So, when Snapchat integrated a face swap selfie filter into its app in early 2016, face-swapping was officially everywhere.