Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Facebook Stays Out of the Corner
Facebook released its second-quarter results and it has proven, once again, it can take a punch, or even a few punches, and still deliver. The social media giant beat analyst’s expectations with 28 percent growth year over year to $16.9 billion, which also represents a slight uptick from the previous quarter.

Facebook also added about 39 million to its monthly active users which grows the total to 2.41 billion. And its shares are up 56 percent, which is described as a solid performance in the face of extreme regulatory scrutiny and the largest privacy-related fine in FTC history.

Everything connected to Facebook showed growth in the 2nd quarter. Its platforms, daily usage and even the Facebook app. It even added one-million daily users in the mature U.S. market. All told, there are 2.7 billion people using Facebook platforms each month. Three quarter of those users check in each and every day.

Snap Posts Record User Growth
The parent company of Snapchat, Snap, Inc., also had a strong second quarter. In fact, it reported its best user growth ever for the quarter.

The Santa Monica, CA social media company daily user base grew by seven percent from the previous quarter to 203 million, marking the second consecutive quarter for growth. The previous three quarters were either stagnant or showed decline. Not since its initial public offering in 2017 has Snapchat added more than the 13 million it added in Q2 of this year.

These are all positive signs that Snapchat app improvements and a leadership changes are translating into gains for the business. Its ability to increase its user count is important for the company to attract more advertisers and collect more revenue. As a result, the price of Snapchat’s shares on Wall Street have increased and have doubled in value this year.

Heads up, Advertisers: Facebook is Shrinking Mobile News Feed Ad Space
Facebook has announced it is changing the aspect ratio for post and ads on its mobile news feed. They’ll soon be displaying at a 4:5 aspect ratio, which is a bit shorter than its original 2:3 aspect ratio.

Ads on mobile will show fewer lines of text. Advertisers will also have to deal with the maximum height for photos or videos being reduced to fit the new design. According to Facebook, these changes are part of creating a more consistent experience for users on mobile. And it follows a trend on social media that “less has to be more.”

The company recognizes that this forces marketers to change their thinking on branding. Less space creates the need for shorter messages to be delivered more frequently in order to “cut through the noise.” The company is providing tools to help marketers. New editing and resizing options were included in Facebook’s Video Creation Kit, making it easier to create content with multiple aspect ratios.

Study: Instagram and Amazon are True Contenders to Duopoly
New research claims that Instagram and Amazon may prove to put a serious dent in the Google-Facebook duopoly. Digital marketers are choosing to increase their investments in both platforms.

Marin Software surveyed over 450 B2B and B2C digital marketing professionals in both the US and UK and their responses indicated a leveling playing field with paid search in digital advertising. Paid search still has 39 percent of total budget but paid social now captures 18 percent of budgets and display 16 percent. The survey also brands spending almost as much on Instagram as on Facebook, 21 percent to 27 percent. And yet, the cannibalization factor is not in play because the marketers say the Instagram spend will come from incremental budget.

Marketers are also planning to increase spend on Amazon, according to the survey. Sixty percent said they plan to do so because most of them see Amazon as a growth opportunity. However, the survey revealed Amazon has some things to work on—37 percent were not in favor of campaign management tools on Amazon and 23 percent said reporting tools are not as established as other channels.

The survey also confirmed Google as the most trusted publisher by respondents. It scored an average of 4.5 out of five. A total of 98 percent rated the search giant as a four or five on the trust index.

Report: Gen Z, Millennials Unhappy With Social Media’s Impact on Their Lives
A company called Full Screen spoke to thousands of Gen Z’ers and millennials and, believe it or not, despite having come of age with social media, more than half daydream about life without social media.

This is a group where virtual “likes” determine their personal worth but the survey showed a lot of young people are realizing social media activity is too closely tied to their mental wellness and sense of identity. For example, 83 percent readily admit their mood is affected by the number of likes, comment and share they get from their posts on social media.

In addition, 54 percent report being constantly connected to their devices worsens their mental well-being, and 51 percent say they often think about what life would be like without social media.

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