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Found 12 results

  1. Facebook is making the HTML of its web ads indistinguishable from organic content so it can slip by adblockers. But in exchange for taking away this option for controlling ads from people, its allowing them to opt-out of ad targeting categories and Custom Audience customer lists uploaded by advertisers. Today all desktop users will see an announcement atop the News Feed explaining that while web adblockers may no longer work, they can visit their Ad Preferences settings to block ads from particular businesses. Facebook commissioned research firm Ipsos to investigate why reports say 70 million Americans and nearly 200 million people worldwide use adblockers. It found that “The main reasons cited for using ad blockers include avoiding disruptive ads (69%), ads that slow down their browsing experience (58%) and security / malware risks (56%).” Privacy wasn’t the top answer. So Facebook thinks if its can make its ads non-interruptive, fast, and secure, people won’t mind. View the full article
  2. If you're a Spotify user, your friends and family aren't the only ones who are able to check out your playlists. The popular streaming service is now the latest platform that is opening its data to targeted advertising. Everything from your age and gender, to the music genres you like to listen will be available to various third-party companies. Spotify is calling it programmatic buying and has already enabled it. Advertisers will have access to the 70 million people that use Spotify's free, ad-supported streaming across 59 countries. By viewing your song picks, these buyers will be able to look for specific users who might be the best matches for the products they're selling. View the full article
  3. Snapchat has proven to be a great resource for people to connect all over the world through the power of their smartphone. However, a sizeable user base also brings with it a sizeable opportunity for advertising revenue, and that's exactly what the company appears to be promoting - just maybe not in the way you'd expect. The company has filed a patent for a system using object recognition to serve users sponsored filters. The technology outlined by the company would identify items in pictures, then offer users image overlays from related brands. It's essentially tailored advertising on a pretty unnecessary in-depth scale. Despite the application including details about the object-spying described above, its primary purpose is to offer a more general system of recognition-based photo filters. View the full article
  4. In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything. As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising. So where’s a streaming company to find new profits in a tight market? According to some people, the answer is for Netflix to start showing ads, like competitor Hulu does. That would give the company new revenue streams without forcing them to raise prices. Of course, there’s a group of stakeholders that’s still left unaccounted for here: Netflix’s customers. We decided to ask them about the issue. And, in a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, we got some pretty clear answers. View the full article
  5. Publishers would love internet users to decide that, actually, they don't need to install an ad-blocker on their browser of choice. But a new report from research firm eMarketer suggested on Tuesday that there's no such hope on the horizon. U.S. internet users running ad blockers will grow this year to 69.8 million, or 26.3% of web users in the U.S., from 51.9 million, or 20%, last year, eMarketer said. In 2017, ad-blocking web surfers in the U.S. will total 86.6 million, or 32%. Desktop and laptop computers are still far more popular for ad-blocking than smartphones, the report found. In 2016, 23.8% of U.S. internet users will have a blocker installed on a desktop or laptop, while only 7.8% of these users will have one installed on a smartphone. View the full article
  6. Facebook will now display ads to web users who are not members of its social network, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to significantly expand its online ad network. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook will use cookies, "like" buttons, and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike. The company says it will be able to better target non-Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them, though its practices have come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns. Facebook began displaying a banner notification at the top of its News Feed for users in Europe today, alerting them to its use of cookies as mandated under an EU directive. "Publishers and app developers have some users who aren’t Facebook users," Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, tells the Journal. "We think we can do a better job powering those ads." View the full article
  7. A commissioner at the US Federal Trade Commission who is leaving the agency after six years of working on consumer privacy issues has some critical words for the ad industry. Speaking with Ad Age, departing FTC commissioner Julie Brill lamented the current state of consumer tracking and data collection on the web, linking the rampant rise of ad blockers with the ad industry's foot-dragging and non-cooperation in the commission's efforts to create privacy systems based on user consent. "We've seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen back then," said Brill, who has tackled a host of consumer privacy issues during her tenure at the FTC. Like many critics, Brill points to Do Not Track, the failed system meant to allow consumers to opt-out of invasive tracking by flagging their browsers, which the ad industry fought tooth-and-nail and eventually killed by ignoring the flags outright. She says that the industry's resistance to doing things the “easy” way is at least partly to blame for the consumer response. View the full article
  8. Blocking adverts, both on the web and on smartphones, is becoming increasingly popular. Just today, Opera announced it would be introducing a native ad-blocker in its desktop browser. Tomorrow, March 11, Samsung will start shipping its new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones to pre-orderers and they’ll be able to block ads while browsing the web immediately, thanks to Adblock Plus. The new Adblock Plus for Samsung Browser only works on Android Marshmallow, which is the OS found on the S7 and S7 edge. View the full article
  9. Mobile networks in Europe plan to start blocking online ads to target Google’s stranglehold on digital ad revenue, according to a report in the Financial Times. The newspaper says that “several” carriers have installed ad-blocking software — developed by an Israeli company called Shine — in their data centers, and plans are afoot to switch the technology on by the end of the year. The software stops most ads from loading, though “in-feed” ads like the ones you find on Twitter or Facebook aren’t affected. Citing a source at one European carrier, the report suggests that the network will introduce an opt-in ad-free service initially, but is also considering extending it to its entire network automatically. It’s not clear whether this would be a paid or free offering, but ultimately it’s designed to target the major online ad companies such as Google. View the full article
  10. Good news for advertisers, but maybe not-so-great news for users concerned about their personal data: Starting Monday, Facebook will use data it gleans from users for its new ad network, Atlas, which it will serve up ads on non-Facebook sites based on what Facebook knows about you. Atlas is a former Microsoft property that Facebook bought last year for around $100 million that Facebook has now rebuilt from the ground up. Atlas is distinct from Audience Network, a mobile ad network Facebook introduced in April that was aimed at app developers. In contrast, Atlas is a sort of alternative to Google's AdWords, which will let advertisers follow users across the web and mobile devices. For instance, Atlas advertiser Pepsi could use Atlas to advertise one of its products on a sports site or a game app that is unaffiliated with Facebook. View the full article
  11. Researchers at Malwarebytes noticed strange behavior on sites like Last.fm, The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post. Ads on the sites were being unusually aggressive, setting off anti-virus warnings and raising flags in a number of Malwarebytes systems. After some digging, researcher Jerome Segura realized the problem was coming from Google's DoubleClick ad servers and the popular Zedo ad agency. Together, they were serving up malicious ads designed to spread the recently identified Zemot malware. A Google representative has confirmed the breach, saying "our team is aware of this and has taken steps to shut this down." Malware served through ad units (or "malvertising") is nothing new, but this incident is notable because of the unusually broad reach of the attack. "It was active but not too visible for a number of weeks until we started seeing popular sites getting flagged in our honeypots," Segura says. "That's when we thought, something is going on." The first impressions came in late August, and by now millions of computers have likely been exposed to Zemot, although only those with outdated antivirus protection were actually infected. View the full article
  12. Through its ubiquitous "like" buttons on publisher sites across the web, Facebook has long been able to watch the web surfing behavior of its 1.28 billion monthly users. Soon it will begin to use that information for ad targeting on Facebook. Facebook already enables retargeting to users who've previously visited specific websites and apps, which advertisers can turn on by affixing tracking software to their products. Additionally, ads can be retargeted to Facebook users on their desktop screens via FBX, the company's ad exchange, which a plethora of demand-side platforms like Turn and AdRoll are plugged into. But what Facebook is now enabling is far more expansive in terms how it uses data for ad targeting. In a move bound to stir up some controversy given the company's reach and scale, the social network will not be honoring the do-not-track setting on web browsers. A Facebook spokesman said that's "because currently there is no industry consensus." Social-media competitors Twitter and Pinterest do honor the setting. Google and Yahoo do not. Facebook will honor the settings to limit ad tracking on iOS and Android devices, however. View the full article
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