Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Facebook Prepares Advertisers for When Users “Clear History”
Facebook has officially responded to the increased scrutiny over privacy and data collection by telling the world that its “clear history” feature will be implemented in the next few months. This is the tool that users can choose to use to erase their personal data from the social network.

Facebook said users will be able to delete data it gathers from sources (websites and apps) outside of Facebook which eliminates the possibility of using that data for advertising. This will drastically reduce targeting scenarios that have been previously powered by the company’s business tools, like “Pixel” and “Custom Audiences.”

This move is part of industry-wide rethinking of collecting data on people traversing through the internet and using that data to send highly targeted ads. The company is in the midst of a “privacy first” mindset and is also currently in negotiations with U.S. regulators on the whole process of data collection and targeting.

Google to push new ads on its apps to snare shoppers
Google has announced an expansion of its advertising real estate in order to increase revenue from mobile shoppers.

The company will now feature ads on the homepage of its smartphone app. It will also show more ads in Google maps and also place ads with image galleries in search results.

The company said the changes have nothing to do with competition. It is more about how shoppers behave. Google says people now shop in spurts and they want to make it easier for them to discover and buy new products while watching TV or sitting in the bathroom.

Paying People to Click Doesn’t Actually Pay Off
There have been many attempts over the years to “game” the digital advertising system. Now, according to Adweek, it appears that paying people to click, otherwise known as “human bots,” may not be worth the while.

A company called Integral Ad Science has release research that most of such paid traffic is less valuable to advertisers. The research claims browsers who are being “bribed” to click have much less spending power, with conversions being 65 to 85 percent more expensive than other sites across the Internet. In addition, the research shows that targeting these users behaviorally causes problems and wastes money for advertisers.

Integral Ad Science says although the traffic may be real in one sense, it is showing to be “worthless” in most every other. The company says advertisers paying for “disinterested eyeballs” are better off spending on sites that people would naturally end up visiting.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Confirm They No Longer Sell Location Data
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been informed by the major carriers that they have stopped, or will soon stop, providing outside aggregators information about customers’ location.

It’s a question the FCC recently asked the major carriers in early May and the answers had been recently published so that consumers are no longer “kept in the dark.” Apparently, AT&T, Mobile and Verizon stopped selling location data in March. Sprint has indicated it will do so by the end of May.

Questions from the FCC about data deletion didn’t quite get the same definitive answers. Sprint says it allowed data to be stored for certain time periods in response to subsequent claims. AT&T says it requires location data recipients to delete data subject to previous obligations.

Publishers Need To Adopt Strategies to Better Optimize Mobile Header Bids
From the first “Quarterly Mobile Index” of 2019, PubMatic confirms all the recent indications of the monumental increases in mobile advertising and that the industry is still making strides toward greater transparency and returns.

But the company described a particular obstacle–the need to adopt strategies to take advantage of in-app header bidding. But the numbers still show mobile header bidding volume doubling in the last two years, making up a third of all header bidding impressions so far this year. Last year, that number was less than a quarter. PubMatic says, due to app fraud, advertisers are moving to private marketplaces for Android inventory.

But, other than that, most of the trends are positive. PubMatic predicts 2019 will be a turning point for future mobile growth as users, for the first time, spend more time on their devices than on television.

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