Augmented reality projected to reach 40 million U.S. users this year
An eMarketer study projects that 40 million people in the U.S. will engage in some form of augmented reality experience this year, up from 30.7 million last year. The bulk of this usage is expected to come from Snapchat Lenses, though it is believed Facebook Stories will become more of a factor in the future simply because it is so widely available.
Millennials keen on sharing economy
A new study highlights the sharp contrast in degrees of engagement with the sharing economy between millennials and older Americans. Some particularly strong examples: 32% of the 18-34 age group uses Uber or other ride sharing services, compared to just 12% of people 35 and up; 17% of the younger generation participate in crowdfunding, compared to 7% of the older age group.
FTC cracks down on paid social media influencers
The FTC announced on April 19 that it sent letters to 90 social media influencers, telling them that any "material connection" (eg, compensation arrangement) between themselves and products needs to be clearly disclosed in endorsements of those products. The FTC appears to be looking for more than an abbreviated hashtag to denote sponsored content.
Direct Marketing News
Marketers wary of new tech investment
While marketers recognize that cutting-edge tools such as 360-degree video, virtual reality, augmented reality, chartbots and beacons have potential, they are more concerned with near-term ROI. Overall, a recent survey by OnBrand Magazine found that 65% of marketers don't plan to invest in such technologies in 2017. The contrast between short-term and long-term perspectives can be seen in the fact that only 14% plan to invest in virtual reality and only 7% in augmented reality, despite the fact that 70% say they recognize the value of these tools.
Google Home ad bothers some users
Some Google Home users reported recently that the device slipped an ad for a Disney movie into its usual greeting to customers. This rankled some users, since it represents crossing a new frontier in the invasion of advertising into private life. Google tried to finesse the situation by responding that the scripted plug-ins were not advertising, but rather "timely content."
Automated ad placement links major brands to controversial content
Traditionally, major brands like Mercedes Benz, Sandals Resort, and Honda would never have allowed their ads anywhere near controversial content. However, a study by the Times of London found ads from a number of major brands on controversial pages due to automated placement. It is expected that brands will demand that ad platforms give them tighter control over where their promotions end up.
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
Retail sales slump after Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Even though retail sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday set records, the holiday retail season overall is shaping up as a disappointment. Through the first five weeks of the shopping season, total dollar sales were down 3%, and retailers are resorting to unusually deep discounting. With more shopping taking place through digital channels, it appears retail shopping activity is becoming increasingly weighted toward the front end of the holiday shopping season, making early figures less representative of actual growth.
Search Engine Watch
New Adwords metrics released
Google provides advertisers with new data sets to ponder. The focus is on the physical shopping habits of mobile users and, with the new data, advertisers will be able to base their targeting on things like how far a customer typically is from a store when doing a related search, when physical store visits tend to peak, and how the timing of search activity correlates with related store visits.
Search Engine Watch