Digital Dive: December 2022

The Big Story

Netflix rolled out its ad-supported tier in early November. It’s safe to say it’s off to a slow start, which doesn’t come too much as a surprise considering how fast it came into market with so many gray areas around advertising capabilities.

It’s recently been reported that Netflix has fallen short of viewership guarantees made to advertisers. Viewership cases seem to vary by advertiser, but some have disclosed to only deliver around 80% of the expected audience. This seems to mostly be happening for advertisers with shorter flights that do not give Netflix’s new technology enough time to learn and deliver accordingly.

On the bright side for advertisers, Netflix structured these initial ad deals on a “pay on delivery” basis so advertisers will only have to pay for the viewers that were actually reached and will be returned any ad dollars that were unspent at the end of the quarter. Some advertisers have reported to keep their advertising dollars with the streaming platform in hopes of seeing improvements as Netflix continues to build out its ad-tech.

Social Updates

US vs TikTok

TikTok security concerns continue to sweep the US, causing the Senate to get involved. In an unanimous decision this week, the Senate passed a bill that would ban the use of TikTok on government-issued devices. This comes only shortly after a growing number of states including Alabama, Utah, Texas, Maryland and South Dakota have banned the app on the devices of state employees and contractors. This legislation, led by Sen. Josh Hawley, will now move on to the House.

LinkedIn Analytics Updates

LinkedIn recently rolled out new analytics features to give users more insights into their followers and top-performing posts. The Follower Growth Over Time feature lets users see their follower growth from both organic and sponsored efforts during a customizable date range. This data can also be used to determine what is causing the growth of followers helping to inform marketing strategies. In addition to this, LinkedIn has also opened up a new demographics tool that summarizes your following by job function, seniority, company name, company size, industry and location. This new insight enables users to better understand their audience and create tailored content for them. Lastly, users now have insight into their top 3 performing posts ranked by either impression or interaction over a selected date range. With this, users can have a better understanding of what content resonates with their audience.

Meta Warns About Continued Use of Spyware

As Meta continues to crack down on spyware, the invasive groups seem to only get more strategic with their tactics. Meta has recently taken down 40 accounts on Facebook and Instagram linked to the Indian company, CyberRoot Risk Advisory, for luring users from all over the world into phishing schemes and to spy on them for its clients. Despite this win for Meta, spyware and surveillance-for-hire companies are starting to adapt to the forces being used against them and using software as a shield to continue practices undetected. Head of security policy at Meta, Nathaniel Gleicher, stated that they are trying to work with governments and other technology companies to fight this battle together as “no single company could tackle a ‘society-wide’ challenge such as spyware.”

Digital Updates

Google’s December Updates

This month, Google has rolled out a couple of different updates aimed at cleaning up their search results. The link spam update utilizes Google’s AI-based spam prevention technology called SpamBrain to detect and prevent any unnatural links like purchased links or sites used primarily to pass links to other sites. Google also started to roll out another phase of the helpful content update this month, which will work to improve the helpful content system that Google introduced in August. These efforts will ideally prioritize rankings for high-quality content that add a unique value to the web created by humans.

Amazon Rolls Out New Shopping Feature

Amazon started to roll out their new in-app feature called Inspire this month to select US users and will open up nationwide in the new year. Inspire serves as a content hub for customers to discover and explore products on the app. With this, users are able to select their topics and interests, then will be shown scrollable photo and video-based content to give them a more immersive shopping experience, similar to Instagram and TikTok.