Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Instagram will Start Putting Ads within the Explore Page
Instagram has announced it will be making more inventory available to ad placements. The social network site will begin placing ads on their “Explore” page. It is the page where users find new content based on their own interests.

The ads won’t appear on the Explore grid itself. The ads will show up once a user clicks on an Explore post and begins scrolling through that discovery feed. Instagram will begin working on placements with select partners in the beginning. They hope to have the Explore ads available for everyone in the next few months.

A company spokesperson says the Explore page is a fit for ad space because it’s a place where people are in the midst of discovering “new to discover new accounts or people or brands that they don’t already follow.”

Google Tests Carousel Format for Mobile Text Ads
Google is also seeking ways to increase its ad inventory on the mobile web. It is testing a carousel format for its mobile, text-based search ads.

Google will be conducting this test without user disruptions, the company claims. It currently permits a maximum of four ads to be displayed vertically in mobile search results. Inventory gets expanded through the carousel format where mobile users can swipe sideways to see more ad inserts.

Google feels search results and paid-search listings are more confined on mobile devices than on desktops. They saw some success with the carousel format on the Google Shopping platform. By using the format with mobile search, they are hoping to bring ad spend back and give mobile marketers more opportunities to engage smartphone users with sponsored messages.

Facebook Expands Rules on Political Ads to Canada and Ukraine
The list of countries where advertisers on Facebook must disclose their identity and who is paying for a political ad is growing.

Canada and Ukraine have been added to the list which also includes the United States, the European Union, Britain and India, that require ads about politics, elections or “social issues” to be labeled as “paid for.” These ads are also required to be placed in a publicly searchable archive for seven years and include information on who saw them and how much they cost.

Facebook has been under regulatory scrutiny based on charges that Russia used the social media platform to meddle in the 2016 U.S. elections. The company started rolling out “political ad transparency” on a country by country last year. All countries are monitored via automated and human review. Facebook the same rules will be enforced in Singapore and Argentina in the coming months.

Gen Z-ers Are Less Brand-Loyal, Less Politically Engaged
Some new research results from a study on the folks who make up the first of the “true mobile natives.”
Generation Z as a group seem to be less brand-loyal and less politically engaged.

Morning Consult found in a survey that just 53 percent of Generation Z say that there are brands they are loyal to, compared to 61 percent of other adults. Generation Z also values “making money” and having a successful career above all other life goals.

The survey also revealed a group of young people much more politically disengaged and skeptical of the power of institutions and the people in charge of them. Just 44% say that they have strong political opinions, which is 20 points lower than all older adults.
Forty nine percent of Gen Z gets most of its news from social media compared to 17% for all other adults. Comparatively, 42 percent of other adults get most of their news on television but just 12 percent of Gen Z’ers do. Gen Z adults are also more likely to use digital-first news publications as opposed to other generations.

2020 Political Spending To Hit $6 Billion, Digital Will Be Biggest Gainer
Digital media will see the biggest gains in political ad spending in the 2020 presidential election cycle, according to new research from Kantar’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG). It will nearly double to $1.2 billion from $650 million in 2016.
Digital will wind up with a 20 percent share of total political media spending this cycle, according to the research. However, broadcast TV will still see the largest share with 53.3 percent.

Overall, political spending in the U.S. will hit a record $6 billion in 2020, a 14.3 percent increase over what was spent on the 2018 midterm elections and a 37.9 percent increase over the 2016 presidential campaign year.

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