Facebook Reducing Newsfeed Ads; Publishers Struggle With Innovation

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FB: Money Talks, ‘Likes’ Walk

On Friday, Facebook revealed plans to remaster news feed content with controls that edge out promoted posts from brands. In a blog post, Facebook explained that it’s not ads that irk users. According to its research, it’s an oversaturation of posts from pages users have “liked.” So, beginning in January, unpaid posts will further dwindle from the news feed. “It’s a clear message to brands: If you want to sound like an advertiser, buy an ad,” said Rebecca Lieb, a digital advertising and media analyst for the Altimeter Group. Though Facebook insists this will not decrease the number of ads users experience, Mindshare NA Chief Strategy Officer Jordan Bitterman points out, “Facebook is basically saying that their algorithm will be the arbiter of what’s promotion and what’s not promotion.” The New York Times has more.

A Publisher’s Burden

Publications are struggling to marry technology and media, and failure to do so could be fatal. Ad Age reports that Time Inc.’s head of print and digital sales, Moritz Loew, is heading for the exit. And as if on cue, Say Media says XoJane and its owned sites (ReadWrite, Fashionista and Remodelista) are up for sale. “The conclusion we’ve come to, and one lots of media companies wrestle with is, do you build brands or do you build platforms?” said Say Media CEO Matt Sanchez. “Those two are just completely different world views. It’s hard to create clarity for an organization.” Publishers: Embrace innovation or get out of the kitchen. Digiday has more.

LiveRailing

Jack Marshall offers up a Q&A with Facebook business and marketing chief David Fischer in The Wall Street Journal.  Among other topics, Fischer addresses his company’s LiveRail acquisition from July: “LiveRail is very early, the acquisition closed in summer. ... What we see as an opportunity is to take something that’s working successfully and to extend it as we bring in people-based marketing. That’s something we’ll do with LiveRail next year.”  Read it (subscription).

Agnostic Atlas

During ExchangeWire’s ATS Paris event last week, Facebook Atlas exec Francois-Xavier Pierrel said Atlas is agnostic. “What we [at Atlas] don’t do is send data back to Facebook, in the same way we don’t tell marketers who people are,” said Pierrel, Atlas’ Southern Europe regional manager. “Any time we gather information from Facebook, we are serving advertisers. To us, Facebook is just another company… [that] has an entire ecosystem with things like LiveRail, etc., so it’s not just Atlas. And Facebook as a publisher is just one point in the whole ecosystem. Being agnostic is our general stance to ensure that there’s a distinction between church and state.” Read the interview.

Owning The Social Data

A new offering from data company Umbel aims to help brand marketers take action on the data they collect from social networks like Facebook and Instagram. The platform offers tools to unify, visualize and convert data, with analysis tech that sorts through an enormous number of audience profiles. “With Umbel for brands, [brand marketers] no longer have to hand their valuable customer data over to the middlemen of digital advertising,” said Umbel CEO H.O. Maycotte. Even when brand marketers change vendors, added Maycotte, “They own the data. They can take action on it — on their own terms and without relying on others.” Read on at AllFacebook.

Addressable TV’s Horizons

Addressable TV is growing, but likely won’t threaten traditional TV anytime soon. At the Advanced Advertising Television conference in NYC last week, Jamie Power, a senior partner for GroupM’s Modi Media, estimated that addressable TV will reach 60 million households in 2015. “We’re getting extremely granular,” Power said, but cautioned that “addressable isn’t right for every advertiser. Generally advertisers that have a larger segment, it’s more efficient to spend the money in national cable.” Read on via Multichannel.

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