Facebook Fights Mobile Load Times; EU Telecom Regulators Ban Network-Level Ad Blocking

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Speeding Encouraged

Continuing its crusade against slow mobile load times, Facebook will “pre-fetch” the contents of advertisers’ mobile websites. Word of the Google-like initiative was buried at the bottom of a blog post explaining how advertisers can improve their mobile web performance with Facebook’s existing suite of products and a few outside hacks. Speeding up mobile load time is important because up to 40% of mobile users abandon a site that takes three or more seconds to load, Facebook said. "The users have been trained that if an experience isn't fast it's OK to leave or to bounce," Jarrod Dicker, The Washington Post’s director of ad product and engineering, told Garett Sloane of Ad Age. "Advertisers need to take their creative and their message and make it as fast as possible." More.

Se-EU-Later

EU telecom regulators have banned network-level ad blocking, which some European carriers were already testing or hoping to implement [AdExchanger coverage]. The guidelines “advised local telecoms regulators that while consumers should be allowed to install ad blocking apps on their phones, network-level blocking should be prohibited,” reports Nic Fields at the Financial Times. The Israeli startup Shine, which speaks for the one-company industry that is network-level ad blocking, says the law will be challenged and fail. More.

Happy Meal

Turns out DDB didn’t win McDonald’s all on its own, writes Alexandra Bruell for The Wall Street Journal. Employees from Google, Facebook and NYT’s T Brand content studio supported the pitch by talking about their role in a proposed dedicated agency for the brand. The new agency and its 200 employees will also lean on Omnicom’s network for support, including creative agency Sparks & Honey and digital agency Critical Mass, said DDB CEO Wendy Clark. The “size and scale” of McDonald’s account “makes sense for them to have people embedded as part of the agency,” Clark said. “They can see the inner workings and know the campaigns.” The dedicated client model isn’t new and it hasn’t always worked out (remember Dell agency Enfatico?), but bringing in content experts outside the agency world may do the trick. More.

Pintent

A new Pinterest tag will allow advertisers to identify nine events on their own websites, including signups, add-to-carts and purchases, to retarget that user on Pinterest. The platform will also expand and rebrand its lookalike audience targeting to “actalike” audiences, as 87% of browsers make a purchase after seeing a product on the platform, the company wrote in a blog post. “Actions like these express someone’s intent to try, or do and ultimately buy something,” the company said of the enhancements, which it collectively refers to as “engagement retargeting.”

Academic Shade

Social is now the main source of news for a plurality of 18-24-year-olds, according to an annual news industry report from Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for Journalism. The report also casts a warning to the multitude of publishers swarming to video (and its higher prices), as a strong majority of readers prefer only text. Media companies “that have nailed their colours to a distributed future like BuzzFeed are gaining ground in terms of reach. But these new brands and platforms are mostly used as secondary sources and for softer news subjects,” write the Reuters Institute authors in the full report. More at Adweek.

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