In Newsfeed Test, Facebook Isolates Pub And Brand Pages; Snap Dials Up Programmatic

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No Free Lunch

Facebook is testing a product that splits its news feed into a primary feed for friend-and-family content and a secondary feed with brand and media pages. Promoted posts remain in the primary feed. Some media owners say that if implemented, the change would ring a death knell for their businesses. The trials are happening in six countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka and Serbia. Matti Littunen at Enders Analysis calls it “classic Facebook playbook: first give lots of organic reach to one content type, then they have to pay for reach, then they can only get through to anyone by paying.” Facebook issued a statement confirming it’s testing split feeds in response to feedback from users who prefer more personal content. More.

Calling All Backfill

Snap will open more programmatic supply as it struggles to fill ad space for its scripted video shows, unnamed sources tell Digiday. According to one, “Snap struggled to fill ad inventory because of two reasons: inexperience with selling this type of content and a lack of data to show advertisers how successful the program was.” On Friday, shows from broadcasters like CNN, E News and NBC were running without ads. Advertising is critical for broadcasters to monetize Snap because the platform, which takes a 50% cut of all ad revenue, doesn’t front production costs. While big broadcasters may be able to write off the expense as an experiment in digital, smaller digital media pubs with fewer resources won’t be able to justify it as easily. More.

A Friend Indeed

Rubicon Project will be the first (and so far only) non-Google exchange to integrate its private marketplaces with DoubleClick Bid Manager. The deal, struck Monday, will open access to roughly 35,000 Rubicon PMPs to DBM buyers. PMPs are expected make up 75% of the $33 billion spent on programmatic ads this year, according to eMarketer, and Google isn’t one to leave an opportunity on the table – even if it means playing nice with competitors. More at AdAge.

Bolt From The Blue

Last week Facebook acquired the social app tbh, a forum that generates polls for people – teenagers, rather – to anonymously compliment each other. It’s fun, young and positive, and was the No. 1 free app download for weeks. The price was unspecified, but TechCrunch reported it was less than than $100 million and would process without regulatory review. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this deal is worth approximately $80.7 million,” writes Ben Thompson at Stratechery. The Department of Justice antitrust threshold for acquisitions is $80.8 million. Thompson and others have decried old standards that don’t consider data during M&A review, with Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, among others, skating by. After being rebuffed in a $3 billion bid for Snapchat, Facebook has pretty effectively bodychecked a rival out of true contention. Tbh, “new as it is, is attacking greenspace,” Thompson writes. And once again greenspace becomes bluespace.

But Wait, There’s More!

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