Ad Tech Stocks Surge; Hyp3r Kicked Off Instagram

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Taking Stock

Ad tech stocks seem to be staging a comeback. Aside from Criteo, independent, publicly-traded ad tech companies are on a growth streak. The Trade Desk is up more than 5X since May 2018, when GDPR became law, and now boasts a market cap above $12 billion. Rubicon Project tripled in value in the past year. LiveRamp has surged since it spun out of Acxiom as a standalone SaaS ad tech company. And Telaria has more than doubled since the video SSP rebranded from Tremor Video two years ago. The ad tech business Cardlytics, which manages performance-based campaigns in consumer banking apps, reported quarterly earnings of $48.7 million on Thursday, up 37% from Q2 last year. Cardlytics has more than tripled its share price since a low point last December, and is now worth $750 million.


Instagram marketing partner Hyp3r was kicked off the platform for taking advantage of a security lapse that allowed it to scrape user data like location, bios and stories meant to disappear after 24 hours. The scheme had been going on under Instagram’s nose for more than a year, despite being in flagrant violation of its policies, Business Insider reports. Hyp3r, which ingests about 1 million Instagram posts per month, said it didn’t break Instagram’s policies because the information it scraped was public. “We do not view any content or information that cannot be accessed publicly by everyone online,” said Hyp3r CEO Carlos Garcia in a statement. While Facebook has caught flak over data security on its main app, the incident shows that Instagram and WhatsApp have similar leaky user data vulnerabilities. More.

Somehow, We Manage

Facebook media pros are venting about the sorry state of Facebook Ads Manager, the ad-buying software system used across Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has been plagued by ad network outages since the start of the shopping season last Thanksgiving. The ad blackouts cost Facebook tens of millions of dollars per outage, though it’s an ever bigger headache for the advertisers trying to spend that money. “The outages, which can last for hours at a time and make it impossible to start a new ad campaign or manage an existing one, seem to happen every month,” Bloomberg reports. Facebook acknowledged the technical issues in a press statement and said it’s “committed to getting better.” But substantive explanations for the Ads Manager shutdowns haven’t been disclosed. More.

Fixing Discovery 

Podcasting has many roadblocks to mass adoption for both consumers and advertisers, but one of the biggest is the lack of content discoverability. Google is fixing that problem by surfacing playable podcast episodes in its search results. Read the blog post. Podcast seekers can now type in a simple search like “podcasts about grilling” and Google will spit back the most relevant episodes based on its understanding of what the episode is about, Fast Company reports. The feature is currently available in the United States, and Google plans to extend it to Google Assistant later this year. More.

But Wait, There’s More

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