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As IPO Nears, Reddit Signs Agreement With OMG; Facebook Asks Federal Judge To Dismiss …

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Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

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Reddit is moving to give advertisers deeper access to its platform – and rake in some dough. The social platform has signed its first-ever enterprise partnership agreement with Omnicom Media Group, a deal that encompasses OMG’s media-buying shops, including Hearts & Science, OMD, PHD and Resolution. Read the release. The deal means that OMG clients will have access to Reddit’s creative strategy team, education and training tools, early ad product and feature testing, measurement and reporting, data, and other offerings to more effectively engage with Reddit’s 52 million daily active users. Marketing Dive reports that the deal comes as Reddit seeks to expand its advertising revenue to help support the company’s valuation as it prepares for a possible initial public offering. Reddit has more than 100,000 communities, called “Subreddits,” which give advertisers a way to interact with an audience that can include brand loyalists or consumers who are most likely to convert into customers. With the expected deprecation of audience tracking technologies like third-party cookies and device identifiers in the near future, Reddit is leaning into its strengths in contextual-based advertising to its communities.

Cookie Crumbles

The death of the third-party cookie may not have agencies as concerned as brands are about the change hurting their business. According to a Digiday poll of 146 buy-side professionals across advertising agencies, consultancies and brands, close to half of brand-side respondents this year agreed the changes would hurt, while close to one-third of agency-side sources agreed. Digiday also looked at how media professionals are preparing for the end of third-party cookies in the first quarter of 2020, including their ability to target and measure ads without third-party cookies. Seems that the buy side’s concerns about those challenges have subsided somewhat — from 76% last year to 69% this year for the ability to target ads, and from 76% to 70% for the ability to measure their effectiveness. Still, it’s expected to hurt, and the IAB says brands are not ready for the looming data restrictions from Apple and Google, and that publishers risk losing $10 billion when the cookie crumbles. 

Saving Face

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Facebook is pushing back. The company said that the Federal Trade Commission “utterly ignores the reality of the dynamic, intensely competitive high-tech industry in which Facebook operates,” and asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss antitrust lawsuits by the FTC and state attorneys general. Facebook maintains the government has no valid reason for alleging the company is suppressing competition, according to The New York Times. Facebook took things a step further and filed a second motion arguing that the states’ case “does not and cannot assert that their citizens paid higher prices, that output was reduced, or that any objective measure of quality declined as a result of Facebook’s challenged actions.” The filings in U.S. District Court in Washington marked Facebook’s first legal salvo since the FTC and 46 states sued Facebook in December, claiming that it has essentially operated as a monopoly by freezing out and buying up potential competitors (Instagram, WhatsApp). 

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But Wait, There’s More!

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene has introduced the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, legislation that would create a national data privacy standard to protect personal information. [release]

Facebook is testing a way for creators to make money through Stories: sticker ads. [The Verge]

Parler tried to get back on the App Store last month, but Apple rejected its application, citing Nazi symbols and hate speech from users. [Business Insider]

Marketers are evaluating their media spend to BIPOC outlets in the upfronts. [Ad Age]

Advertising inventory in NCAA’s Men’s College Basketball Tournament – “March Madness” – is “virtually sold out.” [MediaPost]

Check out the state of TV viewing across Comcast properties. [Effectv]

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HBO Max is launching a Latino audience initiative, HBO Max Pa’lante. [CampaignUS] And in other HBO Max news, WarnerMedia will highlight the service’s debut with a SXSW installation that offers an immersive look at its library. [Adweek]

Integral Ad Science has announced that Xandr’s buying platform, Xandr Invest, now offers IAS’s contextual targeting and contextual avoidance capabilities across all programmatic buying. [B&T]

See also  Facebook delays its brand safety audit a year after ad boycott raged

You’re Hired!

BEN has appointed Vanessa McCullers vice president, DE&I and strategy. [release]

GainShare has appointed Matt Kelley as senior vice president of customer experience. [release]

Teads has appointed Heather Unsinger and Ben Eason as group directors in the US to oversee the growth of strategic CPG and Auto clients, and grow Teads’ agency partnerships, respectively. [release]

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Programmatic media solutions provider MiQ has appointed Giles Ivey as EMEA CEO, Van Sidera as EMEA COO and Freddie Turner as managing director in the UK. [release]

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

See also  Facebook reverses policy to allow posts speculating that COVID-19 was made in a lab

However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

See also  Facebook reverses policy to allow posts speculating that COVID-19 was made in a lab

Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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