Recent months have sparked reflection and introspection about who we are and what we value — as individuals, teams, and organizations.
Our more careful consideration of how to identify users, how to offer viable alternatives to tech giants, and how to create new products that meet changing needs are the inspiration for this week’s theme: questioning our identities.
We’ll explore why Taboola and Outbrain no longer identify with each other, potential new identities for Apple and Facebook, why you’ll want to get to know Gen N, and more.
What We’re Reading
Identifying the Right PartnersThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) named David Cohen as its new CEO this week; he’ll also head up the IAB Tech Lab, which will help companies navigate new, cookieless identity solutions.
Taboola and Outbrain have called off their potential partnership. After initiating talks in 2015 and starting negotiations last fall, the highly-anticipated merger between the content recommendation companies is officially off the table. Tech Crunch, AdExchanger, Digiday, and other industry media sources all covered how and why talks broke down, including questions by antitrust regulators and about balance sheets shaken by the pandemic. Publishers’ reactions appear mixed, given what Josh Sternberg describes as “a Faustian bargain, where publishers choose between taking money...and pissing off readers.”
Searching for New IdentitiesFollowing last week’s big news about the IDFA delay, Digiday offers industry perspectives on Apple’s “more conciliatory tone” as it balances the desire for greater user privacy with the need for advertising revenue. In another about-face, Facebook announced it will continue collecting the IDFA across its apps and Audience Network, at least in the short term.
As Apple updates its identity with the ad industry, it may also be searching for a new one — as a search engine. Toolbox reports on new and significant updates to the Applebot web crawler that are sparking new interest in Apple’s ongoing efforts to gain a competitive edge over Google in the search engine market.
Facebook is returning to its roots with the pilot of a new college-only section. Facebook Campus, like the original, is designed to connect college students (not their parents). Tech Crunch notes that while Facebook won’t include advertising in its Campus feed — it will allow advertisers to target users by interest — say, within Campus.
As for who will win the identity war, Goodway Group’s Jay Friedman makes the case for identity solutions beyond Facebook and Google — and that deliver on the IAB and PRAM (Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media) principles of privacy and equal access — and Rob Tarkoff explains how Oracle hopes to turn its identification models into viable products.
Identifying New ConsumersFast Company cites the creation of a new generation of consumers — Generation Novel — who stem from and identify with our pandemic-related concerns and digitally-focused activities, including the surge in e-commerce. As publishers look to update their platforms, improve their ad experiences, and regain ad revenue losses, it may pay to get familiar with Gen N.
Getting PersonalA malvertising scam last weekend personalized the online attack experience for users in the US, EU, and UK. First identified in Europe this summer, Morphixx credit card scam ads targeted site visitors using their IP address. Some users saw what looked like a personalized survey, while others saw fake Flash updates — and the combined global efforts generated an estimated $5–$10 billion in fraudulent credit card charges. (Related: Our tips for preventing broken ads, including malvertising)
It’s Not Me, It’s You (or Facebook)Digiday reports that streaming platforms are grappling with the same creative separation US TV advertisers seek leading up to Election Day. As brands grow increasingly wary of their messages appearing before/after those for political candidates (with whom they may not identify), programmatic publishers, in particular, face new challenges with properly labeling ads and available slots.
Speaking of creative separation, Facebook has cited a “technical issue” for running interstitial ads from its Audience Network on publisher sites without their knowledge (or permission). Facebook told Digiday the accidental ads appeared within recent news content in the Facebook App.
What We’re Writing
- Want to identify the right tool for your geotargeting? Member Chris Shuptrine outlines key considerations and ‘top 5’ takeaways: Best IP Geolocation Tools for Publishers
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