Mozilla blocks ad tracking from new Android browser
Mozilla introduced a new Android version of its Firefox Focus browser which defaults to blocking third-party ad tracking. Mozilla previously backed off from blocking ad tracking by default on its desktop/laptop version after protests from the advertising community, but said it was making this move not just because of privacy concerns but because ad tracking slows down mobile devices. The new download also comes with an icon that lets users easily delete their prior browsing history.
Ad spending turns around in May
After showing a decline in April, year-over-year U.S. ad spending returned to the positive side in May, with 7% growth industry-wide. According to the latest figures from Standard Media Index, digital media displayed particularly strong growth of 16% share of ad spend. Social media ad spending led the way with 59% growth.
Google For Jobs now included in search
Google search results will now include relevant listings for job openings. Google For Jobs is designed to match job openings with related queries, and draws from postings on a long list of social media and employment sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and CareerBuilder.
Search Engine Journal
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