Emotions first, thinking second. Those of you who have to deal with social media environments or any other media that allows commenting know and fear the troll. Here’s good reason to as well; while in theory they can add value (information) to a topic, what they definitely do is polarize readers and make them less open minded. Of course, the cynical already know this hence the existence of astroturfing.
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For a change here’s a summary of some of the big trends from December with nary a link in sight.
The Social/Local/Mobile movement has maintained its momentum throughout 2012 and is looking to be even more prominent in 2013. This month Facebook finally integrated the technology from their Gowalla purchase into a ‘nearby’ section. This adds features akin to Yelp and Foursquare into their mobile product.
Not to be outdone, Google+ has just released a new improved app as well as a new Community section, which frankly makes a great product even better. As users slowly find their way over it will become more and more a useful service for groups and communities.
A large number of digital pure plays are also still popping up to try to take advantage of the large opportunity in the local market.
Facebook as long been the poster child of how to do privacy wrong, and their newest addition to the family, Instagram, clearly hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Their poorly worded new terms created a massive public backlash (much to the benefit of Flickr) and it took them less than two days to turn complete tailspin, reverse their changes, and apologize.
Not as blatantly in your face on privacy issues, Google is also dealing more at the legislative level with various privacy issues. There are major pushes in the US and Europe for more regulation of the industry. This is one fight we all need Google to win.
Growth in mobile was THE story of 2012, and while growth of smartphones may slow a bit in 2013 (due to saturation) we expect tablet use to continue to accelerate. December has seen a lot of discussion of video on mobile, largely as the obvious end product of the trend towards digital for video and of user behaviour towards consumption on mobile devices. Inevitable man says it is inevitable.
The other thing to keep an eye on is the continuing ecosystem fight of native apps versus mobile websites. Responsive design and improved HTML5 have a lot of pundits switching sides, but there are still those who predict a native app future (I’m not one of them….). There has been a lot of focus on responsive design and device fragmentation lately, and it isn’t going away.
A very interesting recent development is Google moving to verified clicks. With a lot of grumbling about fat fingers and invalid clicking in mobile they are leading the charge for a second confirmation click. Cue my gentle reminder that clicks only measure clicks, they’re not a valid measure of advertising effectiveness, or even a valid indicator of it.
Native advertising has had a lot of articles on it this month. Irrespective of what you call it, integrated content/advertorial/content marketing/native marketing is going to be a big trend in 2013.
December has seen some renewed debate on paywalls in the press, but no new arguments. Also of relevance we note that the Guardian and Washington Post have both pulled their Social Readers from Facebook.
Next Issue Media (the Netflix of online magazines) is adding personalization and sharing features that are positioning them for Facebook integration at the start of next year. Their subscription model is well positioned as more and more magazines go digital and create app versions.
Of note this month is the awakening of Amazon as it announced it intends to enter the world of digital advertising as a major player. And in the background remains the inexorable creep of ad exchanges, RTB, and automation in the industry. Interestingly it is largely being championed by the very agencies whose existence automation will threaten.
Facebook, the biggest display advertising and page impression generator around has recently announced and has been testing an external ad network to rival Google’s display network. They are also continuing to develop new products and are expanding into traditional classifieds areas such as jobs.
Back next year, Happy Holidays!
Viewership of ad supported online video is continuing to increase, so here’s some recent numbers if you’re interested.
Here’s a reminder that you better make sure your sites are tablet and mobile friendly from about the evening of Dec. 24th and after. US focused article but the trend may be even stronger here in NZ.
Here’s a nice little essay on how brands will have to become media. Some such as myself believe this is already true, and has been for some time.
Or at least that’s what marketers in the UK say, where over half of them believe video ads to be at least as effective as TV.
Just a short little reminder that in an age of increasing automation (real-time bidding, etc.) that there will always be room for a personal touch.
A nice to the point reminder from Seth Godin that search marketing harvests demand, it doesn’t create it.
The truism that eventually ad spend follows media consumption time spent is more nuanced than we’d like it to be. For instance while digital spend has almost caught up with time spent in digital, when you talk just about brand spending it is still years behind! This article is a good discussion of the difficulty of getting more brand spend into digital (and there really should be more of it…)
Here’s an article from Mumbrella about how Facebook’s new brand posting algorithm has forced it to start unliking the brands it has previously liked. Definitely an effect brands need to be aware of.