Snapchat In Cannes; Microsoft Exec Mark Penn Leaving

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Snapchat’s Spiegel At Cannes

As industry execs flock to France for Cannes Lions, all eyes landed on Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, who was interviewed onstage Monday by Cosmopolitan magazine editor Joanna Coles. Spiegel took a dim view of targeted advertising, adding that “not being creepy” is a top priority for the ephemeral messaging firm. Snapchat’s solution to the “creep factor” is 3V Advertising, a new ad offering that plays vertical video ads on Snapchat’s “Stories,” or aggregations of user photos and videos curated by Snapchat. The ads will leverage some data, like geolocation for targeting, but will largely be curated by Snapchat’s editors. More via VentureBeat.

A New Shark In A Crowded Tank

Microsoft’s EVP and CSO, Mark Penn, is leaving the company to form a private equity firm that will focus on investments in digital marketing services. The fund, Stagwell Group LLC, will hit the ground with $250 million to play with (it helps when Steve Ballmer, who has a net worth north of $20 billion, is “a core investor”), and “the capacity to use leverage to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.” Read more at the WSJ.

Insta Targeting

Facebook is gearing up to let marketers tap its suite of targeting tools on Instagram, Bloomberg reports. Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, said Facebook is working toward a streamlined buying process that could help advertisers buy across both platforms. But the focus for now is increasing targeting capabilities on the photo sharing platform, which “should deliver a better return on investment because the marketer is actually reaching someone who is interested,” Everson said. Facebook is expected to pitch its plans for Instagram to agency partners and clients this week at Cannes.

The Decision For Dorsey

In a prepared statement released Monday morning, Twitter’s board sent a crystal-clear message to the company’s co-founder and interim CEO, Jack Dorsey: Choose Square or choose Twitter. Dorsey, who is taking the reins from Dick Costolo on July 1, is CEO of digital payment company Square. In no uncertain terms, the board of directors wrote, “The Committee will only consider candidates for recommendation to the full Board who are in a position to make a full-time commitment to Twitter.” For Twitter’s next chief, it’s all or nothing. Read the statement.

Brands Gotta Feed

According to social analytics firm Shareablee, brands are not taking full advantage of user engagement with branded content on social media. According to the data, Americans engaged with branded content 52% more often in Q1 2015 than in Q1 2014. On Twitter, for instance, the average number of posts per brand went up 16%, but engagement per post went up 32%. Not to mention Instagram’s consumer engagement, which went up more than 20 times the rate of Twitter’s. Social media is a fertile marketing field. Ad Age has more.

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