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Sep 23, 2015

The Washington Post will publish approx 1,200 articles a day on Facebook Instant Articles

It was clear that Facebook would not give up on Instant Articles - we should expect the opposite, especially when after an initial phase of excitement the topic gets very quiet. The potential of this product is too big, and if you want proof that Facebook means business, think about what a blog post like this means:

But what about the publisher side? According to recode (link below), FB will now put Instant articles in more users' newsfeeds and expand the number of publishers who can use it, including the Washington Post, which goes "all in". It may be hard to understand that a few weeks after they announced that they will be integrated in Amazon Prime, they basically give away their full content of 1,200 articles daily in Facebooks newsfeed - but the overarching story remains the same: Can a newspaper produce quality journalism and survive on the advertising business models that run on their own platforms like apps and web? WP says: probably not. So prime integration as well as articles that become own little business cases floating around newsfeeds, attached to advertisements that the operators of the newsfeed sell, may be an answer.

In the US, apps (continue to) kill the mobile web

New numbers are in, and the trend continues. While in 2013 the split in the US was 80% apps and 20% mobile web (in time spent), we now have 90% apps and 10% mobile web. And the time spent, in the same period, has significantly increased from 2:38 (hours per day) to 3:40.

The end of the ad supported web?

I dislike all these "This is dead"... "that will die"... "the end of xyz" headlines. But this article is worth reading since it at least points out which problems display advertising will face in future. And there are some huge ones: first and foremost, the mobile shift as such. Second, at least in the US, the mobile shift drives people into apps. Third, ad blockers on iOS.... and so on.

Instagram grew 100mn users in the last 9 months to reach 400mn

In its 5th year only, it has reached 400mn MAU - monthly active users - and is officially bigger than Twitter. 75% of its users come from outside the US. Instagrammers create 80mn photos and 3,5bn likes daily. Some predict that in its first year, served through the Facebook advertising editor, Instagram can make around 600mn USD with ads (including video ads in a TV-style 30 seconds format), and surpass the billion in the year after.

Also see a comparison between Twitter and Instagram growth:

Sep 8, 2015

Facebook tests new mobile ad format

It's kind of an instant article, only fopr advertising. with autoplay video and image carousels. See the demo video... advertising on mobile is still one of the biggest issues the publishing industry has to solve. Native will not be the answer to all problems, and real time bidding/programmatic will only work well with ... the right format. And I don't mean skyscraper versus medium rectangle, but rather targeting and media format. The only ones who seem to be seriously developing and testing new things are Facebook. 

US Mobile Apps top10: 8 of 10 owned by Facebook or Google

According to comscore, Facebook has the #1 and #2 spots with the social network and messenger, and Instagram on #9, while Google dominates the middle (positions #3 to #6, #8) with YouTube, Play, Search, Maps and Gmail, in order of popularity). Only Pandora Radio and Yahoo! Stocks, both probably very US-American phenomenons, make it on #7 and #10. Note that the comscore metric only counts distribution (downloads) and not usage. 

The whole model of search may change

Facebook challenges Google on so many levels. With most publishers, Facebook is already the #1 traffic source, unthinkable only a few years ago, and with instant articles and suggested video (in-stream) and atlas (destination) they will get into the value chain of virtually any publisher in the world. As they announced M for Facebook messenger, we could take it as a serious sign that Siri and Cortana were not pet projects or marketing gimmicks. Probably search will change (also consider Amazon's Dash & Echo activities), and who knows if Google is in a pole position here?

Will action sports overtake team/ball sports with millenials?

Interesting article in NYT about "2nd tier sports" - actions sports. Apparently, they are more popular than football (american & soccer), Basketball etc. if you look at the online consumption. This might have various reasons, the major one probably being the value of license rights that makes the popular team sports less present online, but would count for more rather than less popularity. But: Less presence may easily lead to a shift in interests. "Action sports" may not have the huge mega-events the way traditional sports work, so they are less interesting for linear TV broadcasting, but are much more suitable for highlight clips, on demand, activity that is taken out of the competitive context - something that makes 90-99% of traditional sports clips attractive. We will see that in other content categories, too: on-demand capabilities that we "overlooked" because we used to produce for traditional TV first. And with on-demand capabilities comes audience, with audience come new production budgets like with Red Bull or, popular example in this article, "We are blood", probably the most expensive Skateboarding film ever made. 

Sep 7, 2015

Everything you need to know about branding

Ok, not everything. But a lot. From 1969. In this pitch video to rebrand Bell Systems, later AT&T. You can actually feel the Mad men type of guys behind this video. They knew something.