Google's New Mobile Ad Formats; The Facebook-Twitter Merger Argument

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Google’s Mobile Ad Push

At its AdWords conference on Tuesday, Google debuted new ad formats for mobile. The first, Automobile Ads, gives mobile browsers a carousel of interactive images with added info like horsepower and average gas mileage. The second format, Hotel Ads, aggregates prices, reviews and maps of nearby locations into the mobile ad and offers the option to book rooms on the spot. “Our investments in mobile are driven by consumers’ expectations for immediacy and relevance in the moment,” Google said in a blog post. “Based on your feedback and our insights about how people search for information, we’ve built a whole new generation of ad experiences that are richer, more engaging and designed for screen-swipes instead of mouse-clicks so we meet consumers’ needs.” The NYT has more.

All Atwitter

Writing for Fusion, financial journalist Felix Salmon argues Facebook should buy Twitter. “Twitter would be one more platform for Facebook to sell to advertisers, which could perform in ways that native Facebook ads cannot,” he writes, adding that though Twitter wouldn’t diversify Facebook’s business like WhatsApp or Oculus Rift did, “It would do something more immediately valuable to Facebook’s shareholders: it would diversify Facebook’s revenue streams.” Also consider that MoPub – a more entrenched mobile exchange than LiveRail – could round out the Facebook ad stack.

Merkle Shops Across The Pond

Merkle snapped up London-based Periscopix, a performance marketing agency that specializes in search, analytics and programmatic media.The buy will kick off a string of planned international acquisitions, CEO David Williams told AdExchanger. “As Merkle’s clients have become increasingly global, their business needs have evolved, with many looking for a performance marketing partner that is well versed in the use of data, analytics and technology in widely varying markets around the world,” Williams said in an email. “Merkle has begun to pursue a series of international acquisitions which broadens our existing footprint in the UK and China.” Periscopix’s 117-strong team will be rolled into Merkle’s Digital Agency Group, led by EVP Craig Dempster. Read the release.

TV Becoming VT

TV networks and advertisers are pushing towards a unified advertising system that rolls linear TV, streaming, DVR and video-on-demand all together. Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales at NBCUniversal, writes for The Wall Street Journal that “major media companies are driving important innovations under the umbrella of VT (video technology).” Yaccarino points out that people migrating to new mediums doesn’t hurt networks, because hit shows still post high numbers and new tech has added nearly a full hour per day to the average American’s entertainment viewing. The biggest hurdle comes in the form of metrics and ROI, she adds, as “there is no universal measurement standard that adequately captures audience size across every possible screen.”

Measuring Mobile

The MRC issued its first guidance on what constitutes a mobile viewable ad impression. The standards for online and desktop display standards are in effect (50% of the ad’s pixels in view for at least one second for display and two seconds for video), but “a new wrinkle has been added: ‘Loaded Ads.’” MediaPost reports that if “over 50% of an ad’s pixels were in-view, but [the measurement firm] cannot determine how long they were in-view for, that ad is considered a ‘Loaded Ad’ but not a viewable impression.” Another day, another viewability hitch.The MRC emphasized that more extensive guidance is coming later in the year.

Foursquare, B2B Stack?

Foursquare debuted two new data repositories on Tuesday, Location Cloud and Places, and both make Foursquare seem more like a B2B data provider than a social platform. The Location Cloud will act as a data repository for Foursquare and its spinoff Swarm, but also for outside partners Twitter and Pinterest – with potentially others to be added. “By aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of smartphone sensor data, businesses can understand consumers, predict behaviors, and identify trends,” Foursquare explained in a blog post. TechCrunch has more.

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