Yahoo Binging On Startups; Sponsored Content

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Yahoo Binging On Startups

Yahoo is continuing its startup acquisition binge. The company confirmed on Friday that it would add the team from IQ Engines, an image-recognition tech company, to help the aging photo site Flickr. TechCrunch ruminates that this could be an attempt to upgrade Flickr’s mobile capabilities. As a result, IQ Engines informed users of its product that its existing API for image recognition would only be available another 30 days. LinkedIn says IQ Engines has around 15 employees. In related Yahoo news, Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson provides a long-form bio on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, which includes a recounting of former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn’s unexpected, final days. Read it.

Sponsored Content

Without ever mentioning the phrase “native advertising,” The Wall Street Journal looks at the native ads craze and distills it as “sponsored content” for its readership. The WSJ’s William Launder quotes a marketer, “‘We can spend a ton of money and put a lot of content on our website, but it just sits there,’ said Ryan Koechel, Spectrum Brand’s e-commerce director. By promoting the content on other sites, Spectrum was able to reach more of its target audience of female viewers, Mr. Koechel said.” Read more (subscription).

App Track

Claire Cain Miller takes a look at the app phenomenon and consumer privacy in an article in The New York Times. She uses predictive search app Google Now to highlight app marketplace challenges and describes the app’s effect: “The thing is, I had never told my phone I had a reservation. Or where I was, or the route I planned to take. Google had spotted the OpenTable reservation in my Gmail inbox, knew my phone’s location and checked Google Maps for traffic conditions. I was creeped out.” Read more — including Google’s response.

SMBs Don’t Want To Grow

Greg Sterling covers a new study from Yodle that speaks to the quagmire of local advertising as half of SMBs may not want to grow — they like their lifestyle. Sterling picks out a follow-up data point: “The reason that 56% of SMBs in the Yodle survey don’t track their marketing spend may be that it’s not important to them. As long as they’re making their ‘nut’ they’re OK. Anything more may be unnecessary. In fact, growth may represent a potential loss of the lifestyle benefits that motivated them in the first place.” Read it.


AppNexus has created two new roles, CMO and CIO, but will the two get along? Thomas Butta will serve as chief marketing officer and Igor Shindel has been promoted to chief information officer. A number of other position changes have occurred at the company as well. “With Tom and Igor focused on growing our global brand and perfecting our core product offerings, we’re reaffirming our commitment to building the world’s leading ad-tech company,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO of AppNexus. Read the release.

Programmatic Publishers

Digiday’s Josh Sternberg says that Gannett is letting its USA Today display inventory flow into exchanges in a reversal of previous strategy. Gannett officials say they’re being deliberate about their exposure, but anonymous buy-side sources tell Sternberg that there are “millions” of Gannett-owned USA Today impressions available every day through exchanges. Read more.

“Rich” Mobile

Over the years, the meaning of “rich” in rich media has evolved to mean almost anything not static in a piece of creative. PointRoll takes its rich-media definition to Facebook and says it’s infusing Facebook mobile ads with richness. From the press release: “Among the methods now open within the rich ads: Dynamic content, surveys and polls, sweepstakes and promotions, and video games.” After testing the new ad units, PointRoll claims a 39% CTR lift in the mobile news feed. Read the release.

Microsoft PLAs

Is the Microsoft Bing version of Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) far away? Given new changes to Bing “product search” navigation, PLAs may be coming soon. The Bing blogger blogs, “One of the central ways we do this is by better understanding what you are trying to get done and removing clicks and navigation that might stand in the way. With that in mind, we’re introducing a new product search experience that does just that.” Read more. Graphical display is increasingly being integrated into search. It’s all about selling “clicks” to the consumer.

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