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Services Are The Future; Tracking Twitter Ad Quality

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At Your Service

Silicon Valley investor Darren Herman penned a Medium post on how ad and marketing tech startups should approach the market. Valuations are coming down, the biggest competitors aren’t IPOing and seed-round funding is getting harder to find, so what’s a startup to do? Well, try being a services company. Many tech players tie themselves into knots trying to become subscription or SaaS models because they get better multiples (Facebook trades at 19X its revenue, while Omnicom trades at 1.6X), but what the market might need is a services-oriented approach. More.

Twitter’s Quiet Quality Play

Facebook and Google have algorithms that quality-score all advertisements on their platforms, a pretty straightforward idea for companies that rely on their consumer audience. So Search Engine Journal has a contributor look at Twitter’s “Quality Adjusted Bids,” which the company started applying to ads without a formal announcement, for the key ways to hack the Twitter ad quality score. Not a true hack, bear in mind, but he finds that very narrowly targeting your audience pays back orders of magnitude in ROI since Twitter’s algorithm apparently puts a huge emphasis on engagement.

Off-Platform Parlay

As mobile devours desktop attention share, brands and publishers are grappling with ways to maximize off-platform engagement. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Snapchat have hundreds of millions of monthly users – and huge potential for brand engagement. But how can brands or pubs reach users on ad-free properties? The Drum reports that we’ll see more brands wrapping purchasing opportunities into messaging apps (Uber is trialling a full integration in the US with Facebook Messenger) and off-platform publishing via Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. More.  

A Door Closes, A Window Opens

Silicon Valley’s cold shoulder sparked a major restructuring at Akamai. The company will divide its web security and media delivery divisions into separate business entities, reports The Wall Street Journal. As giants like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft build cost-saving video and software solutions in-house, Akamai is losing its grip on its top media customers. Despite the revenue loss as giants like Microsoft, Apple and Facebook drink Akamai’s milkshake, the company is making up for it with a new client category: “besieged websites” desperate for security improvements.

Why Mayer Missed Mobile

“Can we blame Yahoo’s recent suffering on missing the smartphone boat?” asks the New Yorker. Yahoo policy VP Shashi Smith attributes the company’s mobile issues to its lack of an operating system or widely used browser (like Google’s Android and Chrome). But there’s more than one poisonous root. Yahoo stretched its resources too thin over multiple subpar apps, rather than strengthening its core suite. It was late to hire mobile engineers and its acquisition of Tumblr proved a bust. Tripling Yahoo’s mobile audience was too little too late for Mayer, who already missed out on the cross-device logins that make Facebook’s and Google’s products so strong. More.

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YouTube: For (More) Mature Viewers?

Can premium content survive on YouTube? The Verge highlights one of its major growing pains. The platform might have originated as a place where people would display their homemade videos but as YouTube tries to mature (Read: Rake in that corporate cash), its content is becoming way slicker. And now many of the top creators who got big on YouTube run the risk of alienating their core viewers. Attracted by the scrappy, bootstrapped nature of YouTube personalities, will audiences be as welcoming to more “corporatized” videos? And attempts by content producers to grow audience simply by flinging money into YouTube aren’t exactly a recipe for success. More.

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