Yahoo Gemini Turns Heads; Instagram Releases API

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Yahoo Aims High With Gemini

The Journal’s Mike Shields reports that Yahoo’s proprietary ad-buying platform, Yahoo Gemini, is starting to turn heads. Yahoo has been beefing up its targeting capabilities since debuting Gemini in February and hopes its focus on mobile will help its solution standout. Cadreon Global President Arun Kumar, for one, thinks Gemini is promising. “I think this is Yahoo’s big play,” he said. “It’s picking up quite well in the market.” The challenge for Yahoo now will be to build awareness among big marketers and agencies and integrate the offering fully into BrightRoll, the digital video ad tech firm Yahoo snapped up in November. Read more.

Instagram Unwraps API  

Facebook-owned Instagram has named 11 marketing partners to a new ads API, which recently went live. Those partners are 4C, Brand Networks, Ampush, Kenshoo, Laundry Service, Publicis-owned agency MediaVest, Nanigans, Olapic, Resolution Media, Salesforce, SocialCode, Social Moov and Unified. The news comes as Instagram embraces more of the data-driven ad approaches that have done so well on Facebook proper. Instagram made no comment on the new program, but back in June it said in a blog post, "Working with Facebook, we will enable advertisers to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers."

(Home) Page One

Twitter looked different to certain users in the US on Monday, as the company began experimenting with a “news tab.” A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the trial phase in a statement to BuzzFeed, hailing it as an exercise in exploring new ways to surface content to users. BuzzFeed reporter Alex Kantrowitz writes, “Though no ads currently accompany this experiment, Twitter’s News tab could have significant revenue implications for the company if it’s implemented as a core platform feature.” Can Twitter monetize the wires? More.

A GIFt To Marketers

Messenger apps and keyboard extensions are giving rise to more visual, less text-based dialogue.  The NYT profiles some of the emoji companies behind these add-ons, including Riffsy (which enables users to send GIFs via text) and Giphy (a library and search engine for GIFs). Both have raised money recently, but (surprise) neither has a meaningful revenue stream. Read on.

The Fault In Our Stars

Writing for Medium, YouTube series star Hank Green alleges that Facebook’s meteoric rise as a video platform obscures a certain deceitfulness around analytics. This partly has to do with Facebook’s perspective on what makes a video viewable (three seconds of mute action). Green takes issue with Facebook’s habit of letting users rip videos from YouTube and removing them only once views are logged. Content creators have been howling over Facebook’s treatment for months, but Facebook has yet to respond. Read on.

Another Ecommerce Challenger

India-based ecommerce startup Snapdeal raised $500 million, Re/code reports. Alibaba is among a group of investors that also includes SoftBank, as the Chinese ecommerce giant looks to expand its global footing. The Indian ecommerce market is hot right now, mainly due to a rising population whose first point of contact with the Internet is increasingly mobile. As a result, mobile shopping in the region is booming. But time will tell if Snapdeal gives Alibaba the boost it’s looking for to steal global market share from Amazon. Read on.

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