Internet Marketing News Update #258, February 15, 2017

Instagram launches new ad capabilities
Having seen its Stories feature attract 150 million users in just five months, Instagram is looking to cash in by introducing new advertising functions. One such function is 15-second full-screen ads, launched initially with participation by 30 different brands. Another function, called Insights for Stories, will provide advertisers with metrics on how their ads are being viewed.
Search Engine Journal

Google Home referrals may skew search statistics
It has been discovered that when someone is referred to a web site as a result of a query on Google Home, the resulting site visit is being counted as direct traffic. Normally, a visit would only be considered direct traffic when the user actually types in the url, whereas a referral from Google Home seems more analogous to organic search traffic.
Search Engine Journal

New Neilsen report offers insights into social media usage
According to a Neilsen report released in mid-January, women have a significant lead over men in social media usage, at an average of 6 hours and 33 minutes per week compared to 4 hours and 23 minutes. Members of Gen X edge out the Millennial cohort when it comes to average time spent on social media, while African-Americans lead all ethnic groups in percentage of social media users. The commercial implications of these statistics are reflected in the fact that over 75 percent of social media users made an online purchase last year, compared with 46 percent of non-social media users.
Search Engine Journal

Snapchat aims to make trust a selling point
In the wake of controversy about fake news on social media generally, Snapchat has put restrictions on posts to its Discover news channel. Potentially offensive or misleading images are now forbidden, and Snapchat has clarified previous guidelines on linking to outside news sources. This attempt to establish trust as a point of differentiation from other social media outlets comes in advance of an anticipated IPO for Snapchat.
The New York Times

Pirated content becoming mainstream with millennials
A new survey found that 69% of people between ages 18 and 24 watch pirated content, and for one-third of those this is a regular habit, occurring at least once a month. Desktop streaming and mobile apps are about even as the most common ways of accessing content illegally.

Vizio pays for crossing the privacy line
There are many fronts in the battle between consumer privacy rights and the profit motive for using customer data, and smart TV manufacturer Vizio will pay a $2.2 million price for crossing that line. That sum is a settlement with the FTC and the state of New Jersey for tracking details of smart TV purchasers' viewing habits and providing them to third parties. The undisclosed practice involved not simply aggregate data, but details on which programs were watched on specific sets. Besides paying the fine, Vizio will destroy the data it has collected.
MediaPost News

Integrated search campaigns enhance Super Bowl ads
Digital marketing firm Merkle rated 84 Lumber, Avocados from Mexico, Budweiser, Buick, Wendy's, and Wix as firms that parlayed their Super Bowl ads into successful search campaigns. The key seems to be not only having an attention-getting television ad, but then making sure the theme of that ad is consistently integrated into online content.
MediaPost News

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