AOL's Strengthens Programmatic Focus; Google Now Gets More Personal

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AOL’s Sales Correction

Details are in on AOL’s sales reorg, and the changes can be spun as a correction in favor of its programmatic business. WSJ’s Mike Shields reports platform division chief Bob Lord was promoted to oversee all ad products, sales staff and technology. About 150 have been let go, most in sales, and a handful of owned and operated pubs – among them The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and gaming site Joystiq – will be shuttered. WSJ. TechCrunch.

Google’s Personalization APIs

Google’s Now app for Android will start pulling outside data from 40 apps. The mobile assistant of sorts, which has similarities to Siri, will integrate third-party apps like Airbnb, Instacart, Lyft, Pandora, Shazam, eBay and Belly to create a more tailored mobile experience. In a blog post, Google director of product management Aparna Chennapragada said the goal is to streamline users’ access to information in real time, “without [users] having to ask for it.” Next up: customizing the ad experience?

Google’s UK Response

The latest development in Google’s data privacy regulation saga is an agreement reached late last week with the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office. The agreement will align Google’s privacy policy with the UK’s Data Protection Act, limiting how Google can collect and use personal data in the UK. Embedded in the document Google released in conjunction with the agreement, Google outlines seven future commitments to privacy.

Facebook’s Urban Takeover

Facebook is rolling out a “Place Tips” feature by installing beacons in eight locations in New York, such as Strand Bookstore, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dominique Ansel Bakery and music venue Brooklyn Bowl. The service will also roll out in some public spaces, like Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, to push location-specific content to mobile device users who opt in. “For now, the service is free for businesses, but Facebook said it could one day sell ads tied to the information, giving it another way to make ads more personal, and potentially relevant,” WSJ says. Read on at WSJ.

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