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Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending May 4, 2018)


f8 buzz

Highlights from the F8 Developer Conference

Summary: (1) Facebook will introduce a dating service on its platform, (2) launching a $199 virtual reality headset (which includes experience in an experiential theater for concerts, (3) Oculus TV to stream content from ESPN, Netflix, and more), (4) Messenger is getting a makeover to simplicity, going all-in on Instagram Stories (third parties can create AR filters), (5) WhatsApp gets a few additions like stickers and group video calls. 

Opinion: Snap, Facebook is eating your lunch... and dinner.  Tinder, they are coming for you next.  

LiveNation Announces Facial Recognition at Concerts

Summary: LiveNation has partnered with a company so that your face is associated with your ticket.  No scanning of the ticket (or your face) needed.  You also be able to buy refreshments at venues using this technology if you have a valid credit card attached to your user profile.  It will roll out at several LiveNation venues and its corporate office.  

Opinion: I'm conflicted but leaning towards a feeling of violation.  How will this work if you sell your tickets or buy for friends? What if I don't want LiveNation to have all this data on me?  How do I, or can I even, opt out of it?  If it's mandatory for all, will this help from a crime perspective to avoid horrible tragedies like at Ariana Grande and Eagles of Death Metal?  

Facebook Will Be Losing Money on Political Ads

Summary: Facebook will be hiring thousands of people to monitor political ads on Facebook.  The added cost will cost the company more money than it makes to run the ads.  

Opinion: With this platform being a relatively new advent into our everyday lives, it's hard to know what and how it will affect it.  Nevertheless, with the amount of profit the company garners, it is the duty of the company to address the issue even if it is at its own expense.  I see this is an obligation more than something warranting praise. 

YouTube Brings in Will Smith to Show How Safe it Is for Brands

Summary: YouTube brought in actors like Will Smith at its annual Brandcast pitch to advertisers to show that they are safe for advertisers.  The platform has attracted scrutiny because of questions of quality.  With 1.8 billion logged in viewers on the platform monthly, the platform is still a very relevant hub of activity.  They are devoting tremendous resources to help ensure quality.  

Opinion: Like Facebook losing money on political ads in the coming future, YouTube has an obligation to its advertisers to allow them to associate with people and brands that align with their particular values.   Again, I see it as an obligation more than something warranting praise.  

Marketing in the Digital Age: News Round-Up (week ending 4.20.18)


Jet skiing + seeing Kimmel live, all for charity of course... 

Donate-to-Win: Oscars' Jet Ski + Seeing Kimmel Live  

Summary/opinion: Remember the jet ski from the Oscars?  I thought Kimmel was kidding when he said he would award it to the person with the shortest acceptance speech.   Well, he wasn't kidding, and it was generously donated by costume designer Mark Bridges to MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund), an organization for which I am on the board.  It's just $10 to enter and it all benefits current and retired members of the entertainment committee.  

YouTube Ads on Extremist Channels

Summary: CNN uncovered ads from prominent brands like Under Armour, Nordstrom, Amazon, Adidas, and even tax-funded ads from the government, ran on hundreds of extremist sites without advertiser knowledge. 

Opinion: I agree with eMarketer's Nicole Perrin's comment that the most effective way for this to stop is for brands to pull out advertising on YouTube.  Once their bottom line is hit, the changes will come swiftly to prevent unwanted associations of this kind.  

What Zuckerberg Didn't Say About What Facebook Knows About You

Summary: Facebook does track data on website you visit that use your Facebook login info and is converted into a set of "ad interests".  Even when you opt out of interest based ads, Facebook still continues to track you only just without using your own data.  Regulators are coming to the conclusion that our personal data is too sensitive, and too lucrative, to be left unchecked. 

Opinion: It's like an episode of Black Mirrors, our personal data being used and exploited for profit and political manipulation.   Sadly, it's real life and a level of regulation should be set forth.  The challenge will be creating that regulation since this is a new space and this amount of information harvesting hasn't been seen in the past.  Regulators also don't have experience with this area of business, so that in and of itself is another challenge.  Maybe this is a job for, ahem, consultants to work with them on creating sound pieces of regulation.

Twitter Doesn't Care People are Building Bot Armies in SE Asia

Summary: A number of Twitter users have reported an influx of bot follower requests.  Bot followers tend to have no profile pic and few to zero tweets.  They have been coming out of Southeast Asia and have been following influential voices in regions.  Particularly with Southeast Asia, Facebook has been beset with controversies from inciting ethnic hatred in Myanmar to allegedly assisting censors in Vietnam.  

Twitter has issued no comments on the behavior. 

Opinion: I almost forgot about you, Twitter.  If you have learned nothing else from the problems of YouTube and Facebook, learn that you need to get on this issue before it becomes a bigger problem.