Amazon Refines Alexa Ad Partners; Social Identities Up In Smoke

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Finding Their Voice

Amazon is refining its ad partners program for Alexa developers. The ecommerce giant has Epsilon, Mindshare, Razorfish and AKQA on board as recommended agency vendors for brands hoping to tap Alexa users. The brand and commerce use cases are limited for now, but Epsilon Chief Digital Officer Tom Edwards tells Kate Kaye at Ad Age that Alexa can be a unique addition to a marketer’s arsenal. A vitamin brand could try and get potential customers to sync with Alexa’s reminder system (thus insinuating the vitamin brand into their morning routine). "You've got to be elegant here,” says Adam Marchick, CEO of VoiceLabs, one of three analytics services recommended to Alexa developers. “This ain't no IAB banner opportunity." More.

The Social Dox

A group of Stanford and Princeton researchers published a system for de-anonymizing online browsing histories with only publicly available social network data. The idea is that the links users post on Twitter (the focus of the study) or Facebook form a kind of fingerprint, distinct enough to identify an undisclosed user. The researchers were able to correctly determine more than 70% of the 400 people who donated browsing histories for the study. Not just anybody could apply the tactic for malicious or monetary gain. Individual agencies, advertisers and publishers may have some browsing data cobbled together, but not enough to de-anonymize audiences like these researchers were able to do with precise data from volunteers. More at The Atlantic.

YouTube Live

YouTube rolled out live streaming in its mobile app on Tuesday in a bid to compete with Facebook Live, the company announced in a blog post. For now, the feature is geared toward influencers and celebrities with more than 10,000 followers, but will be rolled out to general users soon. YouTube hopes that rolling out the product first with creators will entice fans to try it out. Along with the mobile streaming feature, YouTube launched Super Chat, a monetization tool that lets viewers buy chat messages highlighted at the top of the chat window in a live stream for up to five hours. Mashable has more.

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