Apple Takes On Facebook; Snowflake Issues Challenge To Walled Gardens

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Direct Competitors?

Apple unveiled new social features at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday as part of its forthcoming iOS 15 update for iPhones that could potentially position it as a more direct competitor with longtime rival Facebook. It’s the kind of stuff that will drive Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg crazy, according to CNBC. The features, slated to roll out in the fall, will include the ability for iPhone users to hold Facetime video calls with Android and Windows users for the first time and  hold a FaceTime call while simultaneously watching a streaming movie, listening to music or sharing your screen with contacts. IMessage is also getting a boost with new features that make it easier to share web links, photos, Apple Music tracks and Apple News articles with your contacts. In short, Apple is laying the groundwork for a suite of social features designed to let you do a lot of what you would normally do on Instagram and Facebook, only with more emphasis on privacy. [Related in AdExchanger:WWDC 2021: Apple Calls Open Season On IP Address Tracking And Targeting”]

Snowing Competition

But Apple isn’t the only rival that Facebook has to think about. The $74 billion cloud computing and database  company Snowflake is rolling out a data-sharing marketplace this week that will provide an alternative to what CEO Frank Slootman called an “advertising world obviously totally dominated by Google and Facebook.”  At its virtual Data Summit today, Snowflake is also launching a developer platform and a marketing and support program to help companies compete with the walled gardens of Facebook, Amazon and Google. How? By helping customers make the most of the vast “data cloud” of information stored via its products. Snowflake is building a proprietary platform whereby  companies that use its software can build apps, websites and services which store all the data they care to collect – and then they can use the Snowflake Data Marketplace to sell that data or swap it with other companies. Business Insider has more.

Pie In The Skai

Kenshoo, a mainstay of the search-and-social ad tech sphere, rebranded to Skai as it refocuses its business on retail and commerce media. “This is a turning point for the world, and we are answering the call of our partners and customers by building a complete intelligent go-to-market engine,” said Kenshoo (pardon, Skai) CEO and co-founder Yoav Izhar-Prato in a release. Referring to its rebrand as “a turning point for the world” may be hyperbole, but we are reaching an inflection point for companies that live in the world of search and retargeting. Kenshoo’s name change comes a week after Criteo, the largest retargeting company, announced a rebrand of its own (although Criteo kept its moniker). Criteo, too, is refocusing  its attention on its new positioning as a commerce media company.  

But Wait, There’s More!

The Stagwell Group made a concession in the terms for its proposed merger with MDC Partners in the face of opposition from Indaba Capital Management, one of MDC’s biggest shareholders. [Ad Age]

Here’s why Facebook actually has not agreed to everything MRC requires in its brand safety audit. [Digiday]

Apple’s new IP-address killer Private Relay feature will not be available in China. [Reuters]

PubMatic and MediaMath have signed on to support Lotame’s Panorama ID for cookieless advertising across the open web. [release]

According to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS, the broadcaster’s upfront is “going to be off the hook.” [MediaPost]

The vast majority – 75% – of the pandemic-driven increase in mobile gaming activity will persist indefinitely, according to new research from IDC and LoopMe. [release]

Ecommerce startup Stackline landed $130 million from TA Associates as part of its Series B round. [GeekWire]

Amobee integrated with LiveIntent to help advertisers add email to their media plans. [blog post]

You’re Hired

Integrated marketing agency Just Global has appointed Alex Crowther as president of North America and Emilie Sanders Lee as SVP of global analytics. [blog post]

Audience targeting company GWI has hired former Brandwatch chief product officer Bex Campbell to lead its own product development efforts. [Daily Research News]

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