Home Ad Exchange News Can Meta Thread The Needle Twitter Couldn’t?; The Ad Industry Learns To Cope

Can Meta Thread The Needle Twitter Couldn’t?; The Ad Industry Learns To Cope

Comic: InstaTikSnapTokTube

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Caught Thread-Handed

Tech companies rarely credit competitors when they copycat a feature or product. 

When Mark Zuckerberg published the first Instagram Stories post in 2016, he avoided citing Snapchat, although the term “Stories” itself is a blatant ripoff. When YouTube and Instagram unashamedly copied TikTok’s ideas, executives never mentioned where those ideas originated. 

But that rule only applies to challengers, because Twitter got a shoutout on Wednesday when Zuck posted the first “thread,” which is like a tweet, but on the Instagram-inspired Twitter clone, which is also called Threads.

“I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion-plus people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it,” Zuck writes in the thread. (He threads?)

The opportunity for a text-based social network is plain to see. Since Musk’s takeover, millions of avid Twitter users left the platform and millions more tried newbie alternatives, including Mastodon and Bluesky. Reddit stood to gain but bungled its chance through internecine strife. 

Now, Meta is taking its shot – and it may just be a slam dunk.

(Check the terms: Threads accounts can only be deleted if the user erases their entire Instagram persona, which is highly unlikely.)

The New Rules

July and August are typically quiet months for ad tech. But they’ll be messy this year, Digiday reports. 

Apple and Google privacy changes are going live or expanding to more users when iOS 17 releases and Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox APIs go from testing to generally available.  

Major changes include anti-fingerprinting measures by Apple, which will make life a lot tougher for website operators and analytics companies.

But aside from the changes themselves, the timing is difficult.

Advertisers don’t like taking risks during the holidays, but the needs of ad buyers and ad tech companies are not a priority or a concern for Apple, Safari and Google Chrome developers.

Google Ads, meanwhile, would never rush major changes in late summer. It’s the unwritten rule of ad tech that new products must be tested and adopted by October at the latest. 

It’s why The Trade Desk’s annual product launches happen in the summer and Google’s near-annual deadline delays for deprecating third-party cookies or Google Analytics happen in mid-to-late summer. If by September marketers still don’t know what they’re doing, it’s a no-go. 

Or, that’s how it used to be. The new kingmakers don’t care about the old court’s ways. 

Uncancel Culture

Canceling a subscription can be onerous – because publishers and advertisers prefer it that way.

Publishers, brands and video game companies are fighting an FTC proposal that would mandate “click-to-cancel” mechanisms that make it as easy to cancel a recurring subscription as it is to sign up for one, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Today, people sometimes have to call a customer rep to cancel a subscription, but there are never similar barriers to signing up, of course. And some businesses even manufacture delays that purposely extend a subscription to an additional billing cycle.

Supporters of multistep cancellations say companies are able to offer incentives to stay or at least gain some insight into why a consumer is leaving.

The News/Media Alliance says its members receive “very few” complaints about their cancellation procedures, relative to their millions of subscribers. The wheel isn’t squeaky enough to justify the grease.

The Association of National Advertisers argues that consumers are accustomed to complicated cancellations and that any efforts to simplify the process might only cause more confusion.

These are not very compelling defenses. 

But Wait, There’s More!

Twitter is already threatening to sue Meta over its Twitter competitor, Threads. [Semafor]

Ad agencies are launching entertainment production divisions so they own part of the creative (or … “content”) they make. [Ad Age]

TV’s golden era of content proved costly to streamers. [WSJ]

BuzzFeed, which bought Complex Networks for $300 million in 2021, hopes to sell off the Complex media and festival business for $150 million. [The Information]

You’re Hired!

Fubo appoints Spotify vet Dan Sormaz to lead product design. [release]

Hero Digital hires Katie Comerford as EVP for marketing and media services. [release]

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