April 3, 2018: Facebook nixes Partner Categories, Colbert goes commercial-less in new CBS & Google partnership, Pinterest releases Following Tab, Amazon Spark struggles to catch fire and Facebook releases much-needed updates to privacy settings
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

Facebook Axes Third-Party Partners

It’s time to say goodbye to third-party data on Facebook. Last week, Facebook announced plans to limit how much data it makes available to advertisers buying hyper-targeted ads on the social network. Specifically, Facebook says it is disabling a form of ad targeting known as Partner Categories, which allowed third-party data aggregators – companies like Experian and Acxiom – to provide clients with offline data like purchasing activity to inform ad targeting.

What it means, IRL: FB is pulling the plug on third-party data sources – which actually isn’t necessarily a bad thing  given that advertisers are (and should be) switching back to first-party data sources. In fact, advertisers are cautiously optimistic about the change – seeing as though Facebook has advised marketers to target broadly  for years. As for the immediate future, it’s likely that we’ll begin to see brands begin to do more with their own first-party data, or build more resources to gather it.

Make it work: Marketers have the opportunity to think broader in their ad efforts and their first-party data strategy. Over the past few years, CPG companies like P&G have begun focusing less on highly targeted ads and more on broadcasting to the masses. Not only are highly-targeted ads more expensive, but P&G in particular found they’re getting the same results from broadcast buys. It turns out, a little waste is a good thing – especially when you end up reaching engaged audience segments you didn’t even know existed.


Commercial-less Colbert

When you can no longer buy media in the ways you’re used to on Facebook, where do you go? It may be time to return to TV. Thanks to a new collab between CBS and Google, Stephen Colbert has a little more work cut out for him than his usual late night gig. During today’s broadcast of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert will fill time that is usually dedicated to commercials with more of himself. And the new ad-free segment will be sponsored by Google. Sounds like a nod to the ‘brought to you by’ era of Mad Men advertising if you ask us.

Similar to the early days of TV when sponsorships frequently took place in-show, the CBS & Google partnership highlights the return of the “regularly-scheduled” advertising break. If brands are going to be increasingly sponsoring dedicated show segments, it opens up the opportunity for creative collaborations with mega-influencers and celebs to create content to create new content formats to fill the ad space void that consumers actually want to watch.


The Chronicles of Chronological Feeds Continues

Pinterest just took the algorithm out of the feed. Last week, Pinterest introduced a new tab that will show a feed of Pins from the people and boards users are following. The new tab named ‘People You Follow’ will be almost entirely chronological – posts won’t appear higher just because they’ve received more engagement or AI thinks you’ll like them more. Previously, the Pinterest experience revolved around a feed of Pins, but it didn’t take into account who you follow.

With over 200 million monthly users, the importance & value of Pinterest continues to increase for marketers and influencers alike. Pinterest’s new feature allows for both brands and influencers to more directly engage with people on the network.


No Fire For Amazon Spark

It’s been nine months since Amazon launched Spark and brands and influencers alike are still waiting on the social media platform to catch fire – no pun intended. Recently, Digiday spoke to eight agency buyers, all of whom report Amazon barely mentions Spark in its pitches to them. And two influencers said they see no interest from brands they work with on other platforms in paying them to post on Spark. Given that Amazon isn’t the type of company to launch something and see it fail, it’s likely that Amazon is still working on growing spark and maybe it’s just not a priority rn. Stay tuned &  don’t sleep on Amazon… we expect to see investment expand in this feature from the retail-giant in the near future.


For Your Coworker With Trust Issues

Facebook adjusted its privacy settings page – and it’s about time. In an effort to ‘put people in more control over their privacy,’ the privacy settings page now features shortcuts with images to make it easier to navigate, especially on mobile. Previously, Facebook’s privacy settings on mobile were spread across multiple screens  making for a confusing user experience. Users can now enable two-factor authentication, control what they share or have shared, manage who can see their posts, and learn more about their ad preferences.

By launching these updates, Facebook is desperately trying to restore public trust on their platform – aiming  to restore confidence in unhappy advertisers and investors. But is it too late? Only time will tell.



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