Google’s Ad Blocking Strategy; Snap’s Ties That Bind

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Google’s Ad Blocking Rationale

Google Ads and Commerce SVP Sridhar Ramaswamy clarified the tech giant’s rationale for baking an ad blocker into its Chrome browser. In short: Google wants to ensure there’s no need for third-party ad blockers in mobile. “It’s only technology that’s holding ad blockers back on mobile,” Ramaswamy said at Google’s Publisher Leadership Summit in Chicago, in conversation with Local Media Consortium CEO Rusty Coats. “It’s literally too computing intensive for mobile browsers to look at all the content on the page and enable ad blocking as on desktop.” The Chrome ad blocker, Ramaswamy said, is just a small part of Google’s strategy, and he argues that quality publishers should have no problem getting their ads shown. He predicted only porn or torrent sites will continue to host lousy ad experiences blocked by Chrome. “Our early hope is that once this is in place, there’s no need for ad blocking on mobile,” Ramaswamy said – and ad blocking rates on desktop will drop.

Starting Early

Snap is sinking its hooks into early-stage startups by offering advertising credits worth up to $100,000. The program gives startups free media, creative services and branded filters as well as advance access to Snap’s new ad products and business and tech support, Business Insider reports. The benefits grow as startups scale on the platform. Mobile startups with performance goals will benefit from the new program the most, a Snap spokesperson said, but the platform is after dollars from companies in all stages of the startup life cycle. “Snapchat is trying to be strategic in how they drive their revenue growth by leaning into the investor community and startups instead of trying to fight the narrative and modify the behavior that Facebook, Google and Amazon have managed to create,” says Tom Buontempo, president at social agency Attention. More.

The Anti-Amazon Prime

A new consumer ad campaign promotes Google’s Express shopping service and its breadth of retail partners, including Walmart, Target, Costco and Walgreens. Express offers similar free shipping guarantees as Amazon Prime, except without the annual fee or the massive fleet of benefits that accompany Prime and only if an Express shopper hits a retailer’s minimum charge (typically about $35). Express is an ecommerce app and voice-activated search extension for Google Home, the company’s home device rival to Amazon Alexa. Alexa jumped out to a big lead in voice-activated commerce, with a 70% share of the home device market compared to second-place Home’s 23%. But the campaign points to Google’s main pitch as the Alexa challenger: a superior, more organic search functionality. Ad Age has more.

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