Facebook's Andrew Bosworth Aims To Hyperlocalize Facebook; An Open-Source SDK Is Proposed

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Feed The Beast

Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth doesn’t think we use our smartphones – er, Facebook – enough. The VP of ads and business has plans to “hyperlocalize” the Facebook experience, making it a destination for users to do everything from buy tickets to order food, he told attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For now, Facebook has chatbots that help people buy things through third-party partners and a recommendation service that helps people figure out what to do in a given city. But in order to create better experiences for users, “Boz” puts the pressure on brands to fork over better creative and audience data. "At the end of the day, our ability to drive results is only as good as the creative we get and only as good as the audience we're given to target.” More at Adweek.

SDKnocking At The Door

The 4A’s and the IAB are pushing an open-source SDK solution that would provide consistent campaign data across apps and wouldn’t slow down performance with measurement integrations and viewability tags. “We believe viewability data ultimately becomes a commodity,” says Joe Barone, a managing partner at GroupM and 4A’s committee chairman, to Mike Shields of The WSJ. Of course, the stakeholders that marketers really need for the initiative to work – Google, Facebook, Amazon and Snapchat – are no closer to cooperating. “We hope that if there’s enough buying pressure, they’ll seriously consider it,” says IPG Mediabrands SVP Mitchell Weinstein. That said, Facebook’s measurement verification disclosures over the past four months had little impact on advertiser interest. So, good luck. Read more.

FCC Potholes

At a telecom conference last week, Citibank analyst Mike Rollins asked Marni Walden, Verizon’s executive VP and president of product innovation, how new FCC privacy regulations [AdExchanger coverage] impact broadband providers compared to internet service providers (i.e., the difference between Verizon/Comcast/AT&T and Google/Facebook/Amazon). She responded that Verizon is “on an aggressive path” to conduct targeted advertising, regardless of the regulations (the current ones may prove short-lived under a new presidency). Walden said the company “has moved more slowly than [she] wanted to bring Verizon data to AOL, due to privacy concerns, but plans to accelerate the data merging this year.” More at MediaPost.

It’s All Politics

Russia has banned the LinkedIn app from Apple and Android app stores, as it violates the country’s data storage laws. The decision follows a November ruling that backed local laws requiring data on Russian citizens to be stored within the country’s borders. The mandate is further proof that governments can force American tech companies with strong open internet policies to comply with oppressive laws, The New York Times says. On Wednesday, China pushed Apple to remove The New York Times’ own app from its app store to further shield the country’s view into Western culture. But for tech giants like Facebook that are desperate for user growth, internet freedom may be a necessary sacrifice to crack open international borders. More.

News You Can Use

Facebook added former CNN and NBC news host Campbell Brown to lead its news partnerships team. The job isn’t content-related or editorial, but Brown will take on the role of business liaison between news publishers and Facebook (relationships that have frayed considerably in recent years). However, a Clinton campaign source recently said that Snapchat’s addition of Peter Hamby, another former CNN-er, helped the platform make its case as a channel with editorial and live news clout. Facebook has also been reluctantly dragged into a spotlight around its role in promulgating fake news. Don’t expect social media to start setting up newsrooms, but this probably won’t be the last journalist hired by ad platforms (waiting on you, YouTube). More at The NYT.

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