Mobile Web Opportunities; Video Race

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URLs vs. SDKs

People talk about apps making the web obsolete, but Flipkart, the Indian ecommerce giant, has partnered with Google to create a site that steals utility from apps (i.e., it can send push notifications, read info while the user is offline, access hardware like a phone’s camera and grab location-based data), according to Katie Benner at the NYT. It’s likely to ring consumer alarm bells, and the capabilities on offer show the value Google gains from cross-pollinating hardware, media, tech and services. Wrap Media founder Eric Greenberg summed up the incentives for Google: “As long as the web isn’t really usable on a mobile phone, Apple wins.” Read on.

Video’s Photo Finish

A pair of WSJ articles examine the two most prominent competitors for YouTube’s digital video throne: Facebook and Snapchat. Mike Shields reports that web publishers are following in Facebook’s footsteps by embracing autoplay videos. Facebook’s video views jumped from 4 billion in April to 8 billion now, though the autoplay nature of its clips creates genuine engagement and user experience concerns. Snapchat is racing Facebook, “like stock cars trying to pass each other,” reporting video growth from 2 billion to 6 billion in the same period. The obvious question to ask: “When autoplay videos pass through a scrolling feed of content, what counts as a view anyway?” More.

The Insta Filter

Instagram announced in a company blog post Monday that it has created a partner program (which includes 40 vendors) “to make it easier for advertisers of any size to find the best-in-class technology.” Since opening its ads API a few months ago, Instagram has had to beat back user and observer complaints regarding a drop-off in ad quality. What it boils down to is that the Instagram feed is prized for its image quality and design, but inept SMB marketers without agencies are mucking it up.

The App-Install Lotto

“There isn’t a single brand in the world, consumer product, automotive or travel brand, that will spend as much money on mobile ads as apps,” according to Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva. Even though any given user spends a huge majority of his or her time in just a handful of apps, app-install ads are driving much of mobile marketing. According to Digiday’s Garett Sloane, it’s a twofold push, as gamemakers behind hits like “Clash of Clans” and “Game of War” throw nine-digit budgets at app installs, while VC-funded startups hope to be among the 10% of apps that don’t flame out of existence. More.

Demandbase’s Data Cloud

Demandbase has its head in the clouds. The B2B advertising platform rolled out a B2B data cloud, built on the back of a behavioral data repository it inherited through an acquisition of marketing data company WhoToo. B2B marketers are in want of more data and ways to bridge the gap between demand generation and branding campaigns. Demandbase sees the B2B data cloud as an inroad there, and wants to give B2B marketers the pipes between CRM, marketing automation and digital advertising. Release.  

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