Facebook is rolling out tools and launching tests to provide more advertiser transparency and enhanced brand safety, including whitelist creation tools, an advanced blocklist service and in-stream placements with integrated content-level whitelisting, and the platform has also added Zefr to its list of safety partners. This "is part of a two-plus year journey that we've been on to ensure that we provide advertisers with as many controls as possible to help their brands feel safe and secure being on our platform," says Facebook's Carolyn Everson.
Tech venture capitalist and author Roger McNamee spoke candidly about his fears that Big Tech firms have become too powerful and are in need of increased oversight. Pointing to the popularity of "Pokemon Go," McNamee detailed the problems that can arise when the public surrenders its privacy in the name of free apps and entertainment.
YouTube stars Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, and Mark Rober created a viral #TeamTrees movement with nonprofit the Arbor Day Foundation that, in less than a month, has already raised $15 million to plant trees globally and the Discovery Channel is airing a documentary about the initiative on Dec. 3. The company has pledged to donate $100,000 to #TeamTrees if the program attracts 100,000 viewers.
Twitter has expanded its Media Studio tool to include Conversation Insights to enable marketers to track tweet mentions and the individuals amplifying messaging. The platform is also testing tweet scheduling.
YouTube is integrating Nielsen TV data into its Reach Planner audience-coordinating tool for US users and Nielsen Total Ad Ratings for campaign performance measurement. YouTube's Kristin MacGregor says the integration will enable brands to "compare how different distributions of spend on TV and YouTube influence the overall reach and frequency of a particular campaign."
Comcast-owned NBCUniversal is planning on integrating its ad inventory into a single centralized platform that will enable buyers to easily implement campaigns across its linear TV and YouTube channel and other on-demand sources. "The first big thing that we want to do is provide a system that simplifies, abstracts and automates the process for the advertiser and the internal business stakeholders," said Ryan McConville, who has signed onto NBCUniversal as its first executive vice president of ad platforms and operations.
Extreme Reach's latest Video Benchmark Report reveals that 15-second digital ads are utilized most frequently, but 30-second spots accounted for roughly two-thirds of all impressions in the third quarter of this year, an increase from one-third in the first quarter of 2016. Fifteen-second spot accounted for 32% of video ad impressions and other formats accounted for less than 2%.
Amnesty International says that Google and Facebook are threats to human rights and is calling for regulation. The human rights organization says it is unrealistic to think people can avoid these major platforms online, and "the era of self-regulation in the tech sector is coming to an end."
PayPal is acquiring Honey, which produces browser add-ons for shopping, at a $4 billion price as the payment platform expands its services. Honey tracks prices on 30,000 retail sites, alerts customers and provides rewards program management.
Emerging 5G technology that operates "1,000 times faster and with 100 times less latency" than its 4G counterpart will present digital marketers with new opportunities for consumer engagement, writes Noor Naseer. She contends that faster load times will enable marketers have a bigger presence on mobile, deliver more location-based promotions, enhance engagement with virtual and augmented reality experiences, and bolster business-to-business targeting.
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