Instagram To Try An Algorithm Based Feed; VOD Ads Diminishing User Experience

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Instant Return

In a few months, Instagram will roll out an algorithmically powered feed designed to surface posts that – hopefully – users find important. A company blog post announced the product this morning, claiming that people miss on average 70% of their feed content. Showing more and better content certainly sounds nice, but Instagram is treading on perilous ground. Twitter set off a mini user revolt when it recently introduced a similar product, which is a boon for monetization. More.

Demand Better

Ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) services are growing, but viewers aren’t happy with the untargeted experience, according to a recent Nielsen survey. Almost half of all TV viewers between 15 and 34 years old view VOD programming daily, and 60% of all audiences prefer it because it’s cheaper. But duplicate ads (running multiple times per show or on other programs) and products that viewers don’t want undercut the experience. More at MediaPost.

Hotel Points

If you want millennial customers, you need to go where millennials are. Which is why Hilton jumped onto Snapchat last month, according to a Digiday story. True, millennials might be more likely to grab a room via Airbnb, and they might not be willing to sign up for Hilton’s HHonors loyalty program quite yet – a program the company hopes to promote through Snapchat. But for now, Hilton just wants to plant that seed. Loyalty, after all, takes time to cultivate, and right now Hilton is starting the process with special Snapchat access to live events and on-location promotions. “Loyalty means more than just a plethora of benefits,” said senior director of loyalty marketing Kasey O’Leary to Tanya Dua of Digiday. “More than anything, it’s about access – and no platform provides guests access the way Snapchat does.” More.

Data Hog

A recent study by Enders Analysis said that anywhere between 18% and 79% of data downloaded from publisher mobile sites comes from ads. Six percent to 68% comes from JavaScript, which delivers richer interactive elements in both advertising and editorial content. “Publisher mobile pages are bloated, and advertising is an enormous part of that,” said the report. As consumers turn to ad blockers to avoid the data siege, publishers are scrambling to monetize by optimizing their websites, publishing content on platforms like Google AMP, deploying less intrusive formats and directly asking for consumer support. But the report concludes that ad blocking has “the potential to fatally undermine the business models of media owners that depend on advertising.” More.

Measurement Play

Facebook unveiled two measurement tools on Wednesday that use its people-based data. Lift API will expand on its Lift Measurement Tool, launched in January, by letting more advertisers and third-party measurement partners measure brand lift. The second tool (name unannounced) will help brands track the path to purchase so they’ll know which ads led to conversions. "People discover products in new places, they're using multiple devices on their path to purchase, and they're purchasing both in-store and online. ... Measuring through cookies and clicks fail [and] mislead advertisers about how well their ads are working or how people get from discovery to purchase,” said a Facebook rep. More on Adweek.

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