Home Daily News Roundup AppLovin Takes A Stake In Flip; Google Incognito Gets Called Out

AppLovin Takes A Stake In Flip; Google Incognito Gets Called Out

Comic: PET Shop

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The Flip Side

AppLovin continues to expand beyond gaming – this time by investing $50 million in Flip, a shopping app with a social video feed, as part of its $144 million Series C round

Flip will also consolidate to AppLovin’s buy-side ad tech AXON. 

It’s a sensible arrangement. Social commerce hasn’t boomed since 2020, as optimists hoped, so Flip needs AXON’s monetization (plus, $50 million doesn’t hurt). AppLovin is hurting, too, alongside all of mobile gaming. 

More than anything, though, they’re mobile challengers to Google and Apple, in AppLovin’s case, and TikTok and Amazon for Flip. And both are exhausted. 

Following data policy changes by Apple and Google and privacy laws in Europe and elsewhere, the standards for data scale have changed. 

Google, Amazon, Meta and a few others still have that critical mass. Companies like Snapchat, Pinterest and AppLovin turned profits in 2019 and seemed poised for major growth, but were derailed by macroeconomics and Apple’s ATT. (It’s easy to forget that Snapchat, which has worked its way back up to an $18 billion market cap, was a $130 billion company not so long ago.)  

Consumer tech and data challengers like AppLovin and Flip must band together to achieve cumulative scale. 

Private Eyes

Google agreed to delete billions of data points derived from users browsing in Chrome’s Incognito mode.

The company settled a class-action lawsuit that began in 2020, which alleged Google misled users about how “private” Incognito mode really was. 

Google does collect browsing data in Incognito mode, but it claims it never uses it for personalization.

The settlement also hastens the cookie’s demise: Google will disable third-party cookies in Incognito mode for the next five years.

Google must delete basically all private browsing data gathered prior to 2024 and remove a header field from Chrome’s log data that could detect when users activate Incognito mode. 

The settlement also mandates Google to partially obscure a user’s IP address while using private browsing.

Google will add new disclosures to Incognito mode’s splash screen alerting users that it does collect data from third-party websites regardless of which browser mode they’re using.

But Google will pay $0. Not bad, considering the potential penalties could have reached $5 billion.

A Google spokesperson said the company “is happy to delete old technical data that was never associated with an individual.”

As long as everyone’s happy!

Traitor Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is a grocery anomaly. 

Online shopping? Pass. 

Advertising? Nah.

Retail media?! Don’t need it. 

But it’s still a marketing case study. 

Trader Joe’s has a well-earned reputation for burning brands it works with by reverse engineering their product and releasing its own version, often a clone in terms of brands and packaging, at an unmatchable low rate, writes food publication Taste.

Food brands hate this dynamic – they have no power in the equation with retailers, and it’s legal to copy their recipe (which is why the Coca-Cola formula is a secret, not a trademark).

Trader Joe’s is comparable to Shein or Temu, since it so adeptly recreates popular products on the cheap, groan artisanal food entrepreneurs.

However, Temu and Shein are examples of the power of advertising. Both platforms pay for their positions of prominence in online search, social media and app stores. 

Trader Joe’s is the opposite: It recreates products at low rates largely because it doesn’t advertise. 

Trader Joe’s can ignore the low-hanging data of online shopping and CPG advertising. Its data-driven focus is what’s in the food itself – and in the manufacturer’s supply chain. 

But Wait, There’s More!

Yahoo is buying Artifact, the personalized news app from the Instagram co-founders. [The Verge]

Meta denies that it gave Netflix access to Facebook Messenger chat history. [TechCrunch]

Why some marketers worry that Meta is ‘broken.’ [Modern Retail]

The ecommerce mar tech company Proxima raises $12 million Series A. [Axios]

What creators really think about brand deals, the future of platforms and creativity. [Adweek]

Target has big promotional plans for its new paid membership program. [Ad Age]

You’re Hired!

Doceree names Deepak Kandaswamy as SVP of corporate development and strategy. [release]

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