Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending Sept 28, 2018)


How many new ways can we get advertised to now? Let me count the ways…

Facebook Shadow Profiles

Summary: Even if you changed your ad settings not to target on Facebook, Facebook has still found a way to target ads to you with near psychic like prediction. By using information you handed over for security purposes, like a cell for two-step verification, or even info you didn’t hand over at all, like your contact number stored in your friend’s contact list that s/he connected to Facebook, these “shadow profiles” are being used to target ads to you. This practice wasn’t limited to Facebook but also extended to Pinterest, Google, and Twitter.

Opinion: I would have that Facebook would get a jump ahead on rectifying this situation with the amount of security breaches and scrutiny it has been under the past few months. I guess not. In addition, it seems none of the other culprits are learning from what Facebook has endured either and are doomed to repeat the same mistake. These actions seem all too familiar when it comes to seeing businesses thinking they are too big to fail (i.e. banks, entertainment industry).

Snapchat’s New Monetization Strategies

Summary: Snapchat announced Collections, which will allow brands to provide links to purchase their products without having to swipe up on the ad. Collections will appear between users’ Stories and in the Discover section. In addition, Snap also announced it will allow users to purchase products on Amazon by pointing the Snapchat camera at an object around them.

Opinion: These seem like great tools to bring more concrete engagement metrics to brands that advertise on Snapchat. One thing to note, with Instagram announcing a similar purchase link a week and a half ago, it’s suspect how independently these companies actually run.

Facebook Goes After YouTube Advertising

Summary: Facebook announced In-Stream Reserve which will allow advertisers to reach people watching video from a selection of the most watched videos. Advertisers can select specific categories to advertise within, like beauty, sports, etc. YouTube has a similar option called Google Preferred. Facebook also announced ThruPlay, which allows advertisers to pay for ads that are viewed through completion or at least 15 seconds only (akin to TrueView with YouTube).