Data Targeting on Facebook Gets Complicated

Facebook Makes Third-Party Data Usage More Complicated

Facebook stated it’s ending the use of certain third-party data for ad targeting on its platform. In other words, Facebook used to partner with a number of third-party data aggregator companies to help advertisers better target their campaigns, via a program called Partner Categories, a program it’s calling off now. Brands and marketers can still use third-party data on Facebook, but they’ll need to get them from the data providers themselves, and to upload them on their own through Custom Audiences. AdExchanger reports the Custom Audiences process is “both more tedious and expensive” than Partner Categories, and suggests the performance of Facebook campaigns will suffer for brands that don’t already have enough first-party data to make those campaigns scale.

As others have observed, killing Partner Categories doesn’t really seem to address the sort of problems Facebook faced by partnering with the likes of Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica got its data from third-party apps. But Facebook is obviously battening down the hatches where new products and partnerships are concerned, including pausing the projected launch of a Facebook smart speaker and a video chat device, and halting the release of any new apps or chatbots on the Facebook platform. The connecting thread among all these disparate products and services is reliance on user data, which is evidently too hot a button for Facebook to mess around with at this point.

What’s Up With GroupM’s GDPR Publisher Contract?

GroupM has asked publishers to sign a contract addressing the sharing of user data under GDPR, and reportedly the agency will consider signing the contract a requirement for publishers to transact with them at all. According to Digiday, some publishers’ lawyer have raised concerns that the contract will hold pubs to the practice of sharing user data with GroupM, and that it may effectively call for pubs to handle GDPR compliance on the agency’s behalf. GroupM responded quickly, saying they acknowledge all parties along the supply chain share responsibilities for GDPR compliance, and that they’re simply asking publishers to do the same due diligence on their own sites as the agency will with its network. Plus, Group M argues, everyone else is fine with the contract: The agency’s statement says over 1,200 publishers, ad tech vendors and other supply-side partners have signed it so far.

28% of Web Traffic Could Be Bots, but That Could Be Partly Okay

According to a study Adobe conducted, 28% of web traffic shows symptoms of not being human. But not all bot traffic is bad, either. The Wall Street Journal cites “search engines, voice assistants and travel aggregators” as sources that send bots out into the web in search of product/service descriptions. Adobe says that with personal assistants like Google Home and Alexa gaining popularity, this trend will continue, and an increasing amount of traffic will be bot traffic— but not necessarily the malicious kind. Adobe is suggesting they’ll eventually fold a bot count of sorts into their analytics tools.

Meredith to Restructures Time Inc. Sales
Meredith is restructuring sales at Time Inc., reversing the method of selling by industry vertical categories that Time set up in 2016, and instead selling by titles—including by titles Meredith has said it intends to sell off. Time Inc. had said they had created this sell-by-category model in response to marketers’ recommendation that they have a single point of contact for various titles. But that strategy didn’t really pay off. The Wall Street Journal reports the new move is is “intended to strengthen ties with ad agencies and marketers and give specific magazines greater visibility at a time when print ad revenue continues to be under pressure.” Meredith is also moving branded/native content studio the Foundry into the building formerly known as the Time Inc. offices.

MediaMath Joins DigiTrust Consortium, Months After Leaving Advertising ID Consortium

MediaMath announced it joined the DigiTrust consortium, which is working on an industry-wide cookie-based user ID solution. That means the DigiTrust cookie ID will become standard on MediaMath’s platform starting in Q2 of 2018. You’ll remember that MediaMath had previously been a key member of the Advertising ID consortium (sometimes just known as the LiveRamp consortium, which itself is interesting, because MediaMath pulled out of that group in part because of the consortium’s reliance on the LiveRamp ID methodology). Now that MediaMath has joined forces with the older DigiTrust initiative, should we consider this shots fired, or are we overthinking it?