The Year Of Facebook Branded Video; Shopkey Enables Selling Through Messaging Apps

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Playing Cupid

This could be a big year for Facebook’s branded video program, writes Ad Age’s Tim Peterson. The program, called Anthology, matches brands with publishers to produce Facebook video ads. Its split payment structure turned off marketers when it launched last year. “The notion of tacking together the cost of paying one partner a production fee and another an ad fee feels like an iterative relationship,” said Horizon Media VP Mike O’Hanlan. After the lukewarm reception, Facebook shifted the Anthology program’s economics in favor of its partners (as it also recently did to get more pubs onboard with Instant Articles). The change prompted seven new publishers, including Condé Nast, PopSugar and Refinery29, to sign up for 2016. More.

Buy Now

Shopkey, Shopify’s new iOS keyboard, will allow retailers using its software to sell products directly through messaging apps. Shopkey augments the function of a buy button, used by social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to facilitate transactions, by demonstrating contextual interest (think retargeting, but in social and messaging feeds). “It’s a much more organic and natural way of shopping we’ve been doing for decades,” Shopify Product Director Satish Kanwar told BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz. “Messaging has just opened us up back to those natural behaviors once again, but through the internet.”

The Web’s Rosetta Stone

One of the big search and hosting hubs for GIFs and entertaining graphics, Giphy, raised a $55 million round at a $300 million valuation. That number could come as a surprise considering Giphy has zero revenue channels and zero proprietary content. But GIFs, stickers and emojis are drawing attention from major players (including Twitter), and TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook notes that if anyone figures out how to squeeze marketing value from platforms like Slack or Facebook Messenger, which have huge, attentive audiences but no brand inroads, then it’s probably going to be a Giphy or Imgur. More.

False Profit

“Mobile display spend will hit $18 billion this year,” says Pat Dermody, president of the mobile location firm Retale. “Given the investment and with the majority of mobile banner clicks done accidentally, brands, marketers and agencies should reconsider their mobile strategies.” Retale data indicates 60% of all banner ad clicks are accidental. “Regardless of how much users hate mobile banner ads, though, the industry does turn a profit,” writes MediaPost reporter Ben Frederick. Of course, the same is true of telemarketing. More.

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