Hello, and welcome to the newsletter.
This week we have seven stories, including Facebook’s new limits on targeting, Instagram’s new shoppable posts, Carat at SXSW, and Netflix’ first car show.
Facebook makes it harder to use 3rd party data in targeting
It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for Facebook. There has been the Cambridge Analytica revelations, the #deletefacebook hashtag, and concerns about storing details of phone calls and even videos people thought they had deleted. Of course the information about data use and retention was in the terms and conditions of signing up to a free service, but, as we’ll see when GDPR comes into effect, everyone is going to be a lot more mindful of their data and permissions from now on. Facebook has announced that it will restrict how 3rd party companies like Acxiom use its platform, and I think this shows that Facebook is taking more active control over its own platform.
Facebook will clearly still be a very important part of our personal and work lives, but as it makes these changes it will be a more restrained ad platform, and may start to see lower lower usage and lower ad revenues. Not surprisingly, Facebook and ad tech stocks have been suffering.
Instagram rolls out shoppable posts
Elsewhere in Facebook, Instagram has given more markets the ability to create shoppable ads and posts within Instagram. It's pretty clear that these will be effective if used correctly - you can see an example of it here (you need to view it within the Instagram app)
Thanks to Anton L'Agbesi for the link!
Carat at SXSW
A great summary of trends and happenings from this year's SXSW from the Carat US team, looking at Privacy, Diversity, Storytelling, and even the Evolution of Eating, each tagged with relevant industries that could be affected.
Hollywood & TV are now making more content for over 50s
This article argues that recent reboots like Rosanne are to attract the over 50s to watch - and that movies may follow suit. You could argue that Ready Player One, with all its 80s pop references is also capitalising on this; and it's a reminder that over 50s often have more spending power than Millennials.
A new smart speaker from Alibaba
AliGenie 2.0 is similar to the Echo and Google Home in many respects, but also has a camera that can read text, and potentially recognise faces at some point in the future. The camera can also help the elderly - it can recognise the labels of 40,000 different medicine bottles so that they take the right medication. I've recently bought a Pixel 2 phone, and am having lots of fun playing with its visual recognition. This seems like a natural feature to add to smart speakers.
& finally - Netflix now has a car show
Netflix' Fastest Car launches on 6th April. The format is interesting, and much more down to earth than The Grand Tour: A reality show where three owners of regular cars race against the owner of a supercar, a bit like some of the challenges that feature in The Grand Tour and Top Gear.