04/19/17: Facebook rolls out new Messenger, augmented reality products

Good morning. It’s
Wednesday April 19, 2017 and this is your your first early morning
Digital briefing!


iFrame (Inline Frame): An IFrame is an HTML document embedded inside another HTML document on a website. The IFrame HTML element is often used to insert content from another source, such as an advertisement, into a webpage.





It’s safe to say that Facebook didn’t anticipate some of the difficulties that came with launching its live video product. Since Sunday, in headline after headline, the company has seen Facebook Live mentioned in connection to a horrific live-streamed murder in Cleveland. (The hunt for the suspect, mercifully, ended yesterday.) It’s hardly the first time that alleged criminals have used Facebook Live to broadcast violence. And as Facebook tries to convince advertisers to pour big-time dollars into the platform, this kind of thing is becoming huge a problem. During his opening keynote of the F8 developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed his condolences, and promised that Facebook “will keep doing all of what we can to keep tragedies like this from happening.” He said that the company will work to strengthen civic engagement and communities. As for keeping live-streams like this off of Facebook Live, at the moment Facebook relies on users to flag objectionable content, then removes such content after the fact. Some have suggested that the company might eventually use AI to make the review process move more swiftly.  


The F8 conference brought some other announcements, including the launch of a ton of new Messenger features. For instance, the company unveiled a new tab, called Discovery, that enables users to browse and select bots from select partners, including Fandango, the Wall Street Journal, and Spotify. And the company is also introducing new “chat extensions,” enabling users to share select content – for instance, Spotify songs – directly with friends through the Messenger app.

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PR-wise, it hasn’t been the best few months for programmatic advertising. Nonetheless, there’s no sign that usage is slowing down anytime soon. According to a new forecast from eMarketer, spending on programmatic display ads will reach $33 billion this year, accounting for almost 80% of all U.S. display ad dollars. EMarketer says the number will increase to 84% by 2019. EMarketer also notes that buyers and sellers have made a big shift over to private marketplace deals, with 74.5% of U.S. programmatic display ad dollars being transacted through programmatic direct deals and private marketplaces.
Sling TV, Dish Network’s OTT TV service, said that its programmatic ad sales rose by 51% during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. During the tournament, Dish says it was “quietly working” with the video ad tech company Tremor Video. According to a blog post from Tremor exec Adam Lichstein, Tremor served as Sling TV’s supply-side platform during the tourney. Just last month, Sling TV launched a programmatic TV offering allowing advertisers to target ads to specific devices during specific times of day.
Did you really think they would stop at AOL and Yahoo? In a new interview with Bloomberg, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company is open to M&A talks with companies like CBS, Comcast and Disney. The comment suggests that that Verizon may be hunting for a blockbuster deal similar to the AT&T/Time Warner merger. Time will tell. Verizon so far hasn’t made any further comment about the interview. 
The Emmys have revamped their Interactive Media category for the 69th edition of the ceremony, adding four new category awards and a new juried award. The four revised categories: Outstanding Interactive Program, Outstanding Original Interactive Program, Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program, and Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within an Unscripted Program. The new juried award for Innovation in Interactive Programming will be geared toward emerging uses of interactive media in TV. 
Facebook keeps on finding new ways to step on Snapchat’s toes. In another notable announcement at the F8 developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will now let artists and developers work on building augmented reality lenses using AR Studio, a new development environment. (Facebook has released AR Studio to developers in a closed beta.) In addition, artists and developers will be able to design custom frames for the Facebook camera, which will overlay images over photos or videos. If that sounds similar to Snapchat’s lenses platform, that’s because, well, it’s pretty darn similar. 
Yahoo’s Tumblr has launched a new collaborative viewing app. Similar to Houseparty and others, the app – called Cabana – lets friends watch YouTube and Twitch videos together in real-time. Up to six viewers can use Cabana at once. 
To determine the TV ads generating the most digital response, attention analytics company iSpot.tv measures digital actions across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major search engines. Here, a look at the brands that advertised during Saturday Night Live’s first coast-to-coast live broadcast on NBC.
“For the first time, SNL was simultaneously broadcast live in every city from New York to Los Angeles. The program’s top advertiser also focused on the unprecedented: General Electric’s ‘What if Scientists Were Celebrities?’ celebrates Millie Dresselhaus, the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering, while discussing women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). GE’s ad was tops in online activity prompted by commercials that aired during the show, garnering 33.1% of the digital share of voice. Apple Watch was next at 31.5%, followed by Alfa Romeo, Toyota and Chipotle.” – iSpot.tv

The ListenFirst Television Interest (TVI) Rating (TM) is a standardized measurement of the most buzzed-about TV programs on linear TV and streaming services. A complement to ListenFirst’s other syndicated data products (such as the ListenFirstDigital Audience Rating – TV), the metrics included in the rating capture organic actions that are largely unaffected by paid media. Programs that surface on the TVI leaderboards are the most hashtagged on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Tumblr, as well as most searched for on Wikipedia (used as a proxy for organic search volume).
Streaming Series (4/10/17 – 4/16/17)

Source: ListenFirst. The TVI Rating aggregates metrics that measure organically generated activity by fans of the TV show. The metric includes total volume of official hashtag mentions on FacebookTwitter,Google+, and Tumblr, along with Wikipedia page views (as a proxy for organic search volume) for a show as a percentage of the total volume of the same activities for all shows. 
If you’re going to work for Bleacher Report, it can’t hurt to have the same name as a former baseball star. The Turner-owned digital-media sports unit has hired Keith Hernandez as its new SVP of Brand Strategy and Sales. Hernandez began work at the company last month. In his new role, he’ll work with advertising clients, as well as BR’s ad sales team, to develop millennial-oriented branded content campaigns. Hernandez most recently served as President of Slate. Before that, he was BuzzFeed’s brand strategy chief for North America and Australia. And just so we’re crystal clear, he’s never played for the New York Mets.
Vimeo announced that it has named Josh Normand as its new SVP of Sales. Normand, who most recently served as VP of Strategic Sales at Hootsuite, will oversee the company’s sales efforts, including plans to expand VHX, Vimeo’s OTT product. Speaking of which, Vimeo announced a number of new updates to VHX, including a video ad monetization feature, player SDKs for web, Android, and iOS, in-app subscription APIs, and others.  
A 1969-set drama about women in the newsroom debuted on Amazon Video last year, but it wasn’t renewed for a second season. What was it called? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: The recently-debuted Netflix series 13 Reasons Why was based on a young adult novel. Who wrote it? Answer: Jay Asher. Kudos to Andy Pittman-TAMU/TX, Monica Bloom-Tribeca Shortlist/NY, Joseph Consentino-Big Bear Films LLC, Louis Lewow-Lewow Media Group/GA, Alyssa Novak-Jupiter Entertainment/TN, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/TN, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, and Julie Syers-Briggs & Caldwell/TX
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As mentioned further up, Facebook announced a slew of new Messenger features at its F8 developer conference. The company’s new sizzle reel briefly showcases the new products; check it out here.

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