Facebook plans for ads beyond IDFA and Cookies

Driven by shifting regulations and other moves impacting data collection, Facebook is planning to reengineer its ads business around what it is calling Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) to place more value on privacy. The 3 elements of PETs are: Multi Party Computation; On Device learning; and Differential Privacy – all seem to have similarities with the privacy-approaches being taken by Google and others.  For example; the ‘differential privacy’ technique intentionally messes with datasets to obfuscate individual identities, similar to Apple’s objective with Private Relay.

However, Facebook see their own approach differently:

“We are advocating for a different and better approach to advancing privacy in advertising…One that is based on industry collaboration and a focus on supporting small businesses and an open internet economy. Apple’s approach is exactly the opposite: exerting its control over the App Store to benefit its own bottom line.”

Facebook spokesperson via The Verge

Similarly to Google, Facebook aims to continue delivering personalised ads in a privacy-safe environment, and the stakes are pretty high for Facebook given the reported impact of Apple’s recent IOS changes that made user tracking more difficult.  There’s an insightful interview with Facebook’s Graham Mudd (VP of product marketing for ads) on The Verge covering their latest PETs developments.

Google making friends with publishers?

In a bid to give publishers a louder voice – and provide Google with a sounding board for its developments – Google is meeting publishers to discuss Privacy Sandbox tech on a monthly basis.  The group is made up primarily of large Comscore 50 media properties, according to the reports, with the aim of providing a more accessible setting to learn, voice concerns, and eventually play more active roles in development via W3C representation.

“We are committed to open dialogue with publishers of all sizes as they develop strategies for the transition to a more privacy-centric web…We take every opportunity to engage with publishers and to listen, share information and solicit feedback on how we can build for a better future.”

Google spokesperson via Digiday

So far the main discussion points have included FLoC, first party sets and the changing timeline of Google’s Privacy Sandbox rollout, as well as more general topics such as first party data and how Google Ad Manager will support direct sales.  In a further Digiday article, members of the group – such as AccuWeather, Advance Local and Leaf Group – shared some thoughts on the group so far specifically highlighting the positive shift in Google’s active engagement with publishers 

Attention metrics emerge

Earlier this year Carbon hosted a thought-provoking podcast with the IAB’s Angelina Eng in which she alluded to the emerging nature of ‘attention’ as a potentially key alternative metric when Google deprecates third party cookies.  Whilst industry conversation has often centred on viewability, constant advances in technology are opening up more variables for indicating engagement.

Mediahub’s Ed McElvain shared some learnings from a year of working with attention metrics on Campaign.  Those learnings included insights around the importance of creative & media together; full-funnel evidence and how attention can drive lower-funnel outcomes; and how attention metrics reflect quality beyond viewability.  Omnicom are one of the major agencies investing more in attention and the implications for publishers could be significant.  For instance; buyers could be more willing to commit higher budgets to inventory that boasts higher attention as a way of driving both brand and performance metrics.

Numbers of the week

  • 62% of publishers are generating at least some revenue from affiliate commerce, up from 18% in Q3 2020; according to Digiday. The leading streams providing ‘large’ contributions were ‘direct sold’ (63%) and ‘programmatic’ (39%); with affiliate commerce bottom at 13% though it’s clearly a growing stream.
  • Mobile gaming on track to cross $120bn in 2021 with spending on mobile games at $1.7bn per week in H1 2021, 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels.  Furthermore, consumers spend more than 5bn hours per week on mobile games, and it’s not just younger audiences giving gaming media extensive reach.
  • A record 19.2m devices were bought by UK consumers in the year to July 2021, according to Deloitte, marking the fastest ever rise in technology adoption in the past decade.  Whilst wearables was the fastest growing segment, SVOD now reaches more than three-quarters of UK consumers.

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