Snapchat Redesign Splits Media And Social; AppNexus DSP Polices Ads.txt

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Snappy Look

A major redesign of the Snapchat app aims to “separate the social from the media” by splitting out interactions with friends and followers from news and media content, writes CEO Evan Spiegel in an Axios op-ed. Read it. Snap is trying to avoid fake news and the echo chamber effect, both of which are rampant on other social platforms. Most of the changes are consumer-facing, but advertisers should take note that the redesign will highlight Sponsored Stories, a new ad unit Snap launched last week, as tiles on top of its media Discover section. Snap’s other ad units will stay the same.

We Check Ads.txt

Beginning in January, the AppNexus DSP will disable ad network inventory if the company doesn’t appear on a publisher’s Ads.txt file. DSPs like MediaMath and The Trade Desk have integrated Ads.txt in recent weeks, but integration only means that publishers with the file uploaded can trace the sale of their inventory through the exchange. By demanding proof of an authorized publisher relationship, AppNexus is taking a much bigger step in enforcing Ads.txt. Though even then, some ad networks and supply-side vendors have found shady ways to secure Ads.txt footholds [AdExchanger coverage]. More at The Drum.

Follow My Voice

Amazon spiked the ball with a release touting record-setting sales over the Thanksgiving holiday. Though total merchandise is perhaps less interesting than Amazon’s revelation that the top-selling products across all categories were the Echo Dot speaker and Fire TV Stick, which are both vehicles for Amazon’s Alexa voice-based service. On Prime Day in July, which was Amazon’s biggest-ever shopping day until this Cyber Monday, the Echo Dot was the most popular buy. And expect these trends to accelerate moving forward. (The best-selling product in Whole Foods stores this past weekend was … drum roll … the Echo Dot.) Voice-activated devices and personal assistants may not have strong real-world marketing applications yet, but brands and retailers ignore the channel at their peril, writes Sarah Halzack at Bloomberg.  

Race Card

Facebook has temporarily turned off audience suppression by ethnicity, after ProPublica recently found real estate marketers could suppress African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics from their ad buys. Some believe that violates the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Facebook Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, “Until we can better ensure that our tools will not be used inappropriately, we are disabling the option that permits advertisers to exclude multicultural affinity segments from the audience for their ads.” More.

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