How to go about bringing in revenue is a problem Facebook has failed to solve in the four years since it acquired WhatsApp. The world's most popular messaging app cost roughly $22 billion, but other than a brief experiment with charging an annual 99-cent subscription fee, there has been no clear plan on how to monetize the service.
The company's reluctance to serve advertisements to its now 1.5 billion users is admirable, but it looks like that could change starting next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are plans to show ads in the Status section of the app. Read More
Ads are big business. They're how the Google services we use — Search, Gmail, Maps — are available free of charge. Now, Google has announced that it's restructuring various advertising products, retiring the AdWords and DoubleClick brands in favor of some new, more straightforward brands: Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager. Read More
As you're hopefully well aware, pretty much everything you do online is tracked. Information about your activity is sold to advertisers, who then serve you ads based on a profile of you built up based on your habits. It's what keeps many services, like Google's, free. Now, Google has updated its Ad Settings to provide enhanced transparency about the whole process. Read More
After the 2016 US election, social media services have felt increasing pressure to improve the integrity and quality of information its users discover in their ecosystems. This week, Twitter announced US election labels, which essentially act as enhanced verified badges specially made for candidates running in this year's US midterm general election. The company also announced its "Political Campaigning Policy" to make it easier for users to understand exactly who is backing political ads. These are two steps Twitter is taking to make good on its vow to protect its users from misinformation and bad actors abusing its platform. Read More
It's clear Google is trying to push the Assistant more than ever in 2018, particularly in the face of stiff competition from Amazon's Alexa. Google's presence at CES was entirely Assistant-themed and with many Chromebooks and other smart home devices getting support for the Assistant this year, it's going to be on hand pretty much everywhere.
Google's latest TV commercial, aired during the 2018 Oscars, is an ode to laziness. With the help of celebrities like John Legend, Kevin Durant, and Sia, the ad reminds us of things the Assistant can take care of to make our lives easier. The slogan for each example is "Make Google do it." Take a look for yourself below. Read More
It's fairly simple to create unobtrusive advertising on computers, phones, tablets, and other devices with a screen - users can simply ignore the ads. However, that doesn't translate to smart speakers, since the only interface is speaking. There's no unobtrusive way to stop in the middle of a sentence and start talking about a sale.
Thankfully, at least for the moment, Amazon agrees that ads have no place on smart speakers. According to a report from The Information, Sony approached Amazon several times about running ads on its Jeopardy Alexa game. The company refused each time, explaining that advertising could alienate users. Read More
As you may be aware, Google has been having problems managing YouTube lately, especially when it comes to advertising. The famous 'Adpocalypse' taking a toll on many creators' incomes has been a prevalent topic, but Google has been seemingly oblivious to another major problem - disturbing videos specifically targeting children.
These videos take on many forms, but they usually involve characters children are familiar with, so the videos will appear in searches from kids. Some of them are live-action videos of people dressed up as these characters (Spider-man, Elsa from Disney's Frozen, etc), some show kids unwrapping 'Kinder eggs' with toys inside, and others are just re-uploads of TV shows. Read More
Last month, we heard rumors that Google was planning to relax its ban on real-money gambling apps in the Play Store, but after reaching out to Google we didn't get a response either way. With an update to its developer policy page, Google has now confirmed that some of these apps are going to be allowed on the Play Store in the UK, Ireland, and France. Read More