Meta's ad-free tier, Google's AI image tools, Amazon's lead gen ads and more feature in this month’s list of search and social news.
Business Insider reports that Instagram, the widely popular photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, has turned on its advertising API, allowing a handful of tech partners to facilitate more ad-buying on the platform. This lowers the wall for brands that want to advertise on Instagram and automates the process some more. Previously, ad opportunities on Instagram were reserved for marketers who had a large ad budget. l. On a related note, Centro’s Shira Brenman gave an overview of this development earlier this summer during Instagram’s testing phase. In the coming months, users will be exposed to more and more ads… er, sorry, ‘content’ from brands. Furthermore, the frequency of this content will increase as more and more Facebook are approved to run ads. Is this yet another tactic and channel for programmatic native advertising? Yes, but it also depends on the marketer’s ‘content’ and how well it is targeted in a user’s feed. Now, the more challenging question is whether or not it is possible to dynamically create personalized ads that fit naturally with the photos around it, and do it with massive scale for a marketer’s multiple offerings.
Why Some Publishers Don’t Work with Ad Tech
Mike Shields of the Wall Street Journal highlights a few digital-native publishers who are not with ad tech vendors to monetize ad inventory. These publishers are relying more on selling premium native ad products. . However, these publishers aren’t snubbing all kinds of tech vendors. Many publishers typically engage with content recommendation companies to drive more traffic to their sites. It remains to be seen if the model can work. Many types of native ad products (such as sponsored content) do not scale very well because of the amount of time and customization they require from both advertisers and publishers. As mentioned above with the Instagram example, native could scale if programmatic buying (and selling) elements were added to it. Ultimately, if it’s difficult for advertises to buy ads on a site, the potential loss of ad dollars tends to sway publishers into changing their ways. Let’s see who breaks in this digital media game of chicken.
How a Large Ad Marketplace Gets Infected with Malvertising
Tim Peterson of Advertising Age conducts a Q&A with cybersecurity firm, Malwarebytes, to discuss how ads become infected with malware and how it spreads. The conversation is driven by a recent incident where a “malvertising” attack was spread via Yahoo’s marketplace. The malware problem stems from a lot of issues but the biggest of them could be the vulnerabilities of Adobe’s Flash software. Flash is used to make digital ad creative more dynamic via moving graphics and video but poses concerns related to CPU usage, security, and more. Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura explains that open-sourced HTLM5 (an alternative to Flash) allows anyone to identify vulnerabilities and submit fixes. However, it’s not an easy switch, as Segura points out that many sites and games still use Flash. For more on Flash vs HTML5, Centro creative director, Martin Betoni, gives a take on the topic. Now, in the case of large ad exchanges being infected with malware, this is a result of bad actors, which are harder to weed out because of the amount of buyers connected to the exchange. It’s like operating a large flea market – it would be difficult for the organizer to inspect every single buyer walking through to see if the buyer is using counterfeit cash. The best defense is making sure patches are installed and devices have the latest security updates.
That's it for this edition of the #ProgrammaticZeitgeist. Stay tuned for more programmatic news!