Facebook Engagement Wobbles; Google Fails To Assuage EU Anti-Trust Worriers

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Off The Grid

When Facebook announced it would downplay news and promote friend and family posts in the news feed, it cautioned investors that engagement metrics could slip. But engagement may have been falling before then, reports Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier. Nielsen and comScore said minutes spent on Facebook are declining in the US, and some of its recent actions indicate a preoccupation with user drop-off – like sending login requests masquerading as security alerts, or pinging users who stay away for a few days. More. Related in AdExchanger: In its Q4 earnings, Facebook reported that engagement stats did indeed fall.

Beyond Comparison

The European Union fined Google $2.9 billion last June because the bloc determined the search engine had abused its scale to favor its own comparison-shopping service. Google’s remedy is to make the product-ad slots atop commerce searches freely open to all bidders – when previously Google reserved inventory for itself. But now comparison-shopping rivals say that “despite the new system, they struggle to get products listed on the first page of Google’s search results,” writes The Wall Street Journal. “And when they do, they say it is so costly to outbid Google that they can barely make money.” More.

No Such Thing As Free

Who said marketers can’t get in front of ad-free streaming viewers? All original shows on Amazon have branded integrations, as do 90% of Hulu originals and 74% of Netflix originals. “Younger viewers, in particular, grew up in a world where they have been inundated with brands from every side,” says Gary Shenk, CEO of brand integration company Branded Entertainment Networks. “If you show a world that does not include those brands, the world looks unrealistic.” Though that’s cold comfort to the linear TV networks and production studios that gain no incremental value from prior brand integrations even as their shows get binged on streaming channels. More at MediaPost.

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