Insta-Branding; Aol Ventures’ Brown Goes Solo

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As Facebook’s mobile advertising dollars soar, it’s time to get to back to work on building up revenue generation at its photo app Instagram. Last December, the app had to walk back plans suggesting the possible use of member photos in ads, but it appears that Instagram’s new “Photos of You feature” will give marketers a new way to highlight their images. “As a business or brand, Photos of You gives you a new way to curate and share the photos that best showcase your brand as documented by your biggest fans,” reads the statement on Instagram’s blog. Read more.

Aol Ventures’ Brown Goes Solo

Aol Ventures co-founder Mike Brown, Jr. is striking out on his own with another independent VC firm dubbed Bowery Capital, reports Fortune’s Dan Primack. The fund already has $33 million in capital commitments at its debut. “Bowery data suggests that just 5% of enterprise technology spend – both internal and external – was allocated to “next-generation” solutions in 2011, but that the figure will rise to 16% by 2016 and 25% by 2020,” Primack writes, citing companies like Jive Software taking market share from, or Splunk vs. comScore. As for Aol Ventures, its next steps are unclear. Read the rest.

Digitas’ YouTube Stars

Digitas, which founded the NewFront content and ad showcase six years ago, had some announcements of its own at its Thursday event. The Publicis interactive shop is working with Outrigger Media to find YouTube stars before they become famous. The Emerging Talent Tracker, as it’s known, will track data across 50,000 “professional” YouTube channels, along with gathering engagement stats for more than 25 million videos on the site. The Tracker will “help Digitas and their clients find and engage content producers on a very granular level,” says Outrigger CEO Mike Henry. In turn, it will help advertisers figure out on whom to best place pre-rolls. Read the release.

Facebook Retail Ads

SocialWire raised $1 million for development of its social ad platform for commerce brands. The company helps online retailers generate Facebook ads from their website data – for instance, by taking any organic site action like a wish list add and turning it into a shareable moment on Facebook. Also announced today, Chief Revenue Officer Bob Buch became CEO. Buch wrote in a blog post, “The reason we chose to do a Seed Extension round instead of a larger Series A was because we wanted to prioritize more product development before we scale out our sales and operations…Our seed investors understand that technology is not built overnight. It takes at least two nights…maybe three. “ More.

Define “Premium”

On the Right Media Exchange blog, RMX account services exec Shoen Yang takes a on a few industry definitions such as “premium.” Yang says, “Premium is any kind of variable that causes you to pay or bid higher than the ‘open market,’ fair-market value of an impression. Examples could include inventory on a household name publisher, a specific property that is rarely available, or original content or ad units that you can’t get anywhere else.” Read more.

Search Expansion

Agency holding company Aegis Media is acquiring nvi, a Canada-based search agency, in a play to expand its reach in search performance marketing. The plan is to add the search agency to Aegis Media’s iProspect network. “Nvi is a market leader in search and digital in Canada,” said Nigel Morris, CEO of Aegis Media Americas and EMEA, in a statement. “The Canadian performance market is evolving at a rapid pace and this acquisition will make us very well positioned to harness this growth.” Read the release.

Leaving Consulting

On The Makegood, new NY Times programmatic advertising director Matt Prohaska talks a bit about why he decided to leave his consulting gig to join the media giant: “This opportunity was the first available in two years that was actually better than being independent. I had to transition six great active clients over the last thirty days, fortunately being asked to stay on as an advisor with a couple ongoing partners.” Read more.

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