Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Twitter Used Phone Numbers Provided for Security to Target Ads
Twitter has confessed to “unintentionally” using phone numbers and email addresses that it collects for “two-factor authentication” for ad targeting. The social media site also claimed it has addressed the underlying cause and that no personal data was ever shared with third-party partners.

Twitter said the phone numbers and email addresses are now only collected for security purposes. The company has apologized for the security mishap and is taking steps to eliminate the possibility of it occurring again.

Twitter could not say how big the impact was and if anyone suffered any harm as a result. In May of 2018, the social media giant asked all 330 million of its users to change their password due to a breach which allowed passwords to be exposed in plain text.

Amazon Holds its First Big Ad Conference in Seattle
Amazon attracted nearly 400 people to its first-ever invite-only advertising conference in Seattle. The conference featured case studies from prominent brands, techniques to reach new customers and best practices for what the company calls “hardlines” and “softlines” and consumables.

The two-day inaugural event was called AdCon 2019 and its selling point was top-level Amazon executives educating businesses on how to best use Amazon advertising opportunities across the purchase journey.

Amazon’s ad unit is now a major profit center for the company, topping $10 billion in annual revenue last year. It charges brands to promote their products across Amazon properties in different ways. eMarketer is on record predicting that Amazon will account for 10 percent of all U.S. digital ad spending by 2020. Amazon would then be third, behind only Google and Facebook, in terms of controlling the market. Eventually, it will surpass web services as the company’s top profit center.

For Sale at YouTube: Political Ad Space in 2020
YouTube is increasing efforts to lure more political ad dollars away from local television and Facebook. It has introduced a new tool that provides political operations an automated way to reserve ad slots on the video platform. And they are booking slots like crazy for the early primaries.

YouTube has always been a utilized destination for political ad spending but its new Instant Reserve tool aims to get a bigger slice of the growing sums being spent on advertising by an unusually large field of Democratic presidential candidates. The tool reflects an old “traditional TV” advertising tactic of locking in desirable slots months in advance for discounted rates.

Research firm eMarketer expects YouTube to generate $11.38 billion in global ad revenue this year. This would represent a 20 percent increase over last year. Google’s total ad revenue was $116.3 billion last year but the company doesn’t disclose how much YouTube contributes to that amount. The company is also said to be testing the tool with other ad buyers, including media and consumer-goods.

Instagram is Testing Group Stories
An app researcher has discovered that Instagram is testing a feature called “Group Story.” It will allow users to create stories in collaboration. User will be able to share content to a Group Story location before choosing to send the content to close friends or a group.

You may already know that Instagram-owner Facebook tried out a similar feature in its app but took it down last month. But the thinking is, Instagram is more of a “stories” outlet than Facebook, so the “Group Story” idea may work better on Instagram.

There is always a chance that Instagram may not ever activate “Group Story” but the fact they are testing makes the feature likely to appear for everyone at some point. Instagram is also testing out the idea of allowing GIF replies to Stories.

High-tech Digital Ads set to Dazzle Travelers at San Jose Airport
The international airport which is in the heart of Silicon Valley is about to become the first to feature an all-digital advertising effort, a high-tech, cutting edge system for brands to sell products to air travelers.

San Jose International Airport will be the first to continuously feature digital ads that will appear on an assortment of platforms throughout the airport and in traditional and unexpected spots. They will replace the paper and cardboard ads that are usually found in airports.

Google and Alaska Airlines are two of the first major brands to sign up, according to Clear Channel Airports, which is behind the effort. The company says large screens, overhead meshes, columns, and panels will all be deployed around the airport, providing consumers with something they’ve never seen before.

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