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TikTok, Meta, Vevo announce new ad products and planning tools on NewFronts’ final day

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TikTok, Meta, Vevo announce new ad products and planning tools on NewFronts' final day

On the final day of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2023 NewFronts, social media and video platforms TikTok, Meta and Vevo announced new ad products and media planning tools, while Condé Nast showcased its exclusive access to popular live events.

  • Meta brings AR ads to Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and Facebook Stories
  • Brands can now buy ads on specific publishers’ TikTok content
  • One of the few publishers presenting at the NewFronts this year, Condé Nast promoted live event coverage
  • Vevo announced new ad tools and products, and teased its branded content studio
  • Read Digiday’s briefings on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 of the NewFronts, if you missed them

When Meta took the stage on Thursday, executives spent plenty of time talking about the growth of Reels across Instagram and Facebook and how the company is integrating AI into various ad products. The company also touted the growth of its creator marketplace, which competes with one TikTok announced last fall and another that Snap announced at its own NewFront earlier this week. However, there was that “M” word that nobody used: “Metaverse.”

During its NewFronts event, Meta pitched a number of new ad products for marketers. Along with a new way to pause a Reel ad for in-app reviews — and ways for users to swipe through multiple product images within the same Reels ad — the company also announced it’s bringing augmented reality ads to Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels and Facebook Stories. The expanded AR ads offering follows Meta’s introduction of AR ads last fall for Instagram’ news feed and Stories, all pretty similar to what Snapchat has had for years as a pioneer of AR based advertising.

Brands can now buy ads in publishers’ TikTok content

TikTok announced a new ad offering to brands at its closed-door NewFront presentation on Thursday. The offering, called Pulse Premiere, will let advertisers buy ads placed directly after videos from TikTok’s publisher and media partners in over a dozen categories (such as lifestyle, sports, entertainment and education). The Wall Street Journal reported publishers will get a 50% cut.

For now, brands can only buy ads next to content from publishers including Buzzfeed, Condé Nast, DotDash Meredith, Hearst Magazines, NBCUniversal and Vox Media, as well as Major League Soccer, UFC and WWE.

Ads can also be bought on TikTok across publishers’ content tied to tentpole events and advertisers can run evergreen campaigns to reach publishers’ audiences.

David Cohen, IAB’s CEO, said only about 100 people were invited to TikTok’s NewFront session. The event was closed to the media, but a TikTok spokesperson provided information on the Pulse Premiere ad offering. 

Samba TV CMO Meredith Brace shared results onstage of a recent partnership with TikTok, where the measurement provider’s tools were used to study over 30 of TikTok’s tune-in campaigns. Samba TV found that 97% of TikTok campaigns drove incremental viewership from households that would not have otherwise watched the program, with an average tune-in lift of 159%. Households that tuned in after being exposed to TikTok’s tune-in ads watched each program for an average of 86 minutes – 26% higher than unexposed audiences, according to Samba TV. 

However, advertisers and publishers considering TikTok Pulse might also want to consider the quality of TikTok traffic, according to the CHEQ, an Israeli cybersecurity firm that helps companies detect and mitigate fake traffic. When it analyzed 30 million site visits originating from TikTok in first three months of the year, CHEQ found 8.5% of global TikTok-based traffic to customer websites was likely invalid, such as from bots, scrapers, or click farms.

The company — which tested the traffic by running several thousand real-time security challenges to determine if visitors were legitimate or malicious — also found that fake traffic accounted for 9.6% of U.S.-based TikTok traffic. (CHEQ has conducted similar analyses of traffic on other social networks such as Twitter.)

Doubling down on live

Condé Nast was the only true publisher to present at the NewFronts this year. Gone are the days when other large digital media companies like BuzzFeed Inc. and Vice Media Group would throw splashy gatherings for marketers as part of the IAB’s event.

The legacy publisher focused the bulk of its presentation on live events, especially Vogue’s coverage of the Met Gala red carpet (exclusive to that publication), Vogue World, Vanity Fair’s coverage of the Oscars and GQ’s coverage of sports events like the Super Bowl. This September, Vogue World will take place in London and stream live, after debuting its tentpole fashion show and street fair in New York City last year.

There were 329 million global video views of the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party live coverage, up 80% year over year. Live coverage of the event also received about 2.2 billion social impressions, said Pam Drucker Mann, Condé Nast’s global chief revenue officer and president of U.S. revenue & APAC.

Condé Nast also pitched advertisers on new offerings including:

  • Inside Story, a custom branded video offering
  • Condé Nast Consulting, a new B2B service offering clients first-party insights and access to Condé Nast’s editors and creators
  • The company also announced a new global contributors’ network

The main pitch to advertisers: “Culture is the new KPI,” said Craig Kostelic, Condé Nast’s chief business officer of global commercial revenue. “When you align with culture… consumers follow.”

Condé Nast’s video content (not just live coverage) reached 14.8 billion views across all platforms, up 10% compared to the previous year, according to the company. On YouTube, Condé Nast has over 65 million subscribers, up 12% year over year. Those subscribers spend over 1.5 billion minutes each month consuming Condé Nast content. 

The company said Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, GQ’s 10 Essentials and AD’s Open Door drive over 700 million combined views annually. 

New ad opportunities around music videos and artists

Vevo, which positioned itself as a music video network during its pitch to marketers, announced new media planning tools and ad products and teased an upcoming branded content studio.

The Vevo Intelligence suite of tools “combines audience and viewership behavior, contextual and creative insights, along with brand campaign performance to create custom media opportunities,” said Aneessa Steilen, vp of media and distribution marketing at Vevo. The initial set of tools analyzes visual and audio content to match ads with music videos that have a similar “mood,” she added.

Steilen also demonstrated a music trivia Q&A ad product on FAST channels that advertisers can buy and embed their brand within the format.

Vevo’s branded content studio, called “On Set,” will offer advertisers the chance to pay to appear within live performances, behind the scenes videos and interviews with music artists.

Ten million people tuned into Grammy Awards programming on Vevo this year, according to Bindi Patel, agency partnership lead at Vevo. TV inventory is up 40% year over year, noted Kevin McGurn, Vevo’s president of sales and distribution.

Vevo closed out the event with a performance by Colombian music artist J Balvin.

Lack of privacy talk

Meta and Snap executives quoted Steve Jobs during the NewFronts this week – perhaps ironic coming from two of the biggest companies in ad-tech, especially considering how Jobs had advocated for protecting users’ information and offering transparency with their data — topics that were mostly nonexistent during this week’s presentations.

On Thursday, without mentioning Apple’s former CEO by name, Alvin Bowles, vp and president of global partnerships & engineering at Meta, said Meta helps give “people what they may not realize they wanted” — a strikingly similar line to when Jobs famously said people “don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” On Tuesday, Snap Americas President Rob Wilk cued up an update about Snapchat’s new chatbot by offering “just one more thing” — similar to how Jobs often ended his Apple keynotes.

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Facebook Faces Yet Another Outage: Platform Encounters Technical Issues Again

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Facebook Problem Again

Uppdated: It seems that today’s issues with Facebook haven’t affected as many users as the last time. A smaller group of people appears to be impacted this time around, which is a relief compared to the larger incident before. Nevertheless, it’s still frustrating for those affected, and hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon by the Facebook team.

Facebook had another problem today (March 20, 2024). According to Downdetector, a website that shows when other websites are not working, many people had trouble using Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has had issues. Just a little while ago, there was another problem that stopped people from using the site. Today, when people tried to use Facebook, it didn’t work like it should. People couldn’t see their friends’ posts, and sometimes the website wouldn’t even load.

Downdetector, which watches out for problems on websites, showed that lots of people were having trouble with Facebook. People from all over the world said they couldn’t use the site, and they were not happy about it.

When websites like Facebook have problems, it affects a lot of people. It’s not just about not being able to see posts or chat with friends. It can also impact businesses that use Facebook to reach customers.

Since Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, the problems with Facebook also meant that people had trouble using these apps. It made the situation even more frustrating for many users, who rely on these apps to stay connected with others.

During this recent problem, one thing is obvious: the internet is always changing, and even big websites like Facebook can have problems. While people wait for Facebook to fix the issue, it shows us how easily things online can go wrong. It’s a good reminder that we should have backup plans for staying connected online, just in case something like this happens again.

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan — A court in Pakistan granted bail to a Christian falsely charged with blasphemy, but he and his family have separated and gone into hiding amid threats to their lives, sources said.

Haroon Shahzad (right) with attorney Aneeqa Maria. | The Voice Society/Morning Star News

Haroon Shahzad, 45, was released from Sargodha District Jail on Nov. 15, said his attorney, Aneeqa Maria. Shahzad was charged with blasphemy on June 30 after posting Bible verses on Facebook that infuriated Muslims, causing dozens of Christian families in Chak 49 Shumaali, near Sargodha in Punjab Province, to flee their homes.

Lahore High Court Judge Ali Baqir Najfi granted bail on Nov. 6, but the decision and his release on Nov. 15 were not made public until now due to security fears for his life, Maria said.

Shahzad told Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location that the false accusation has changed his family’s lives forever.

“My family has been on the run from the time I was implicated in this false charge and arrested by the police under mob pressure,” Shahzad told Morning Star News. “My eldest daughter had just started her second year in college, but it’s been more than four months now that she hasn’t been able to return to her institution. My other children are also unable to resume their education as my family is compelled to change their location after 15-20 days as a security precaution.”

Though he was not tortured during incarceration, he said, the pain of being away from his family and thinking about their well-being and safety gave him countless sleepless nights.

“All of this is due to the fact that the complainant, Imran Ladhar, has widely shared my photo on social media and declared me liable for death for alleged blasphemy,” he said in a choked voice. “As soon as Ladhar heard about my bail, he and his accomplices started gathering people in the village and incited them against me and my family. He’s trying his best to ensure that we are never able to go back to the village.”

Shahzad has met with his family only once since his release on bail, and they are unable to return to their village in the foreseeable future, he said.

“We are not together,” he told Morning Star News. “They are living at a relative’s house while I’m taking refuge elsewhere. I don’t know when this agonizing situation will come to an end.”

The Christian said the complainant, said to be a member of Islamist extremist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and also allegedly connected with banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, filed the charge because of a grudge. Shahzad said he and his family had obtained valuable government land and allotted it for construction of a church building, and Ladhar and others had filed multiple cases against the allotment and lost all of them after a four-year legal battle.

“Another probable reason for Ladhar’s jealousy could be that we were financially better off than most Christian families of the village,” he said. “I was running a successful paint business in Sargodha city, but that too has shut down due to this case.”

Regarding the social media post, Shahzad said he had no intention of hurting Muslim sentiments by sharing the biblical verse on his Facebook page.

“I posted the verse a week before Eid Al Adha [Feast of the Sacrifice] but I had no idea that it would be used to target me and my family,” he said. “In fact, when I came to know that Ladhar was provoking the villagers against me, I deleted the post and decided to meet the village elders to explain my position.”

The village elders were already influenced by Ladhar and refused to listen to him, Shahzad said.

“I was left with no option but to flee the village when I heard that Ladhar was amassing a mob to attack me,” he said.

Shahzad pleaded with government authorities for justice, saying he should not be punished for sharing a verse from the Bible that in no way constituted blasphemy.

Similar to other cases

Shahzad’s attorney, Maria, told Morning Star News that events in Shahzad’s case were similar to other blasphemy cases filed against Christians.

“Defective investigation, mala fide on the part of the police and complainant, violent protests against the accused persons and threats to them and their families, forcing their displacement from their ancestral areas, have become hallmarks of all blasphemy allegations in Pakistan,” said Maria, head of The Voice Society, a Christian paralegal organization.

She said that the case filed against Shahzad was gross violation of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that police cannot register a case under the Section 295-A blasphemy statute against a private citizen without the approval of the provincial government or federal agencies.

Maria added that Shahzad and his family have continued to suffer even though there was no evidence of blasphemy.

“The social stigma attached with a blasphemy accusation will likely have a long-lasting impact on their lives, whereas his accuser, Imran Ladhar, would not have to face any consequence of his false accusation,” she said.

The judge who granted bail noted that Shahzad was charged with blasphemy under Section 295-A, which is a non-cognizable offense, and Section 298, which is bailable. The judge also noted that police had not submitted the forensic report of Shahzad’s cell phone and said evidence was required to prove that the social media was blasphemous, according to Maria.

Bail was set at 100,000 Pakistani rupees (US $350) and two personal sureties, and the judge ordered police to further investigate, she said.

Shahzad, a paint contractor, on June 29 posted on his Facebook page 1 Cor. 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols, as Muslims were beginning the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat.

A Muslim villager took a screenshot of the post, sent it to local social media groups and accused Shahzad of likening Muslims to pagans and disrespecting the Abrahamic tradition of animal sacrifice.

Though Shahzad made no comment in the post, inflammatory or otherwise, the situation became tense after Friday prayers when announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers telling people to gather for a protest, family sources previously told Morning Star News.

Fearing violence as mobs grew in the village, most Christian families fled their homes, leaving everything behind.

In a bid to restore order, the police registered a case against Shahzad under Sections 295-A and 298. Section 295-A relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine, or both. Section 298 prescribes up to one year in prison and a fine, or both, for hurting religious sentiments.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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Individual + Team Stats: Hornets vs. Timberwolves

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CHARLOTTE HORNETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES You can follow us for future coverage by liking us on Facebook & following us on X: Facebook – All Hornets X – …

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