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November Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

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In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms.

Google Ads

What: Google Ads conversion reporting issues and fix

Details: Conversion reporting was impacted between 11-9-19 through 11-20-19. During that time, a bug caused Google Ads Search and Shopping campaigns to be overreported for those using non-last click attribution models. At this time, the data is correct everywhere except for Search Query, Geo, Keywordless Query, and Keywordless Category reports.

Impact: Advertisers should re-review any reporting downloaded during this time period. Additionally, the over-reporting may have led to more aggressive bidding/budgeting adjustments than merited, meaning advertisers will need to adjust based on the corrected data.

What: Google Extends Shopping ads to more Youtube Inventory

Details: Google is improving the visibility of Shopping Campaigns on Youtube along with an expansion of placements and categories. Advertisers must opt into the “Youtube and Discover on Display Network” targeting setting.

Impact: Advertisers should monitor performance closely given inventory and delivery are likely to ramp up on this placement during the holiday season.

What: Google Ads Editor v1.2 released

Details: The latest release for Google Ads Editor provides support for new campaign types and multi-account management. Among the changes includes support for Discovery Campaigns, shared negative keywords lists, searchable errors, and a condensed edit pane.

Impact: While some are still adjusting to the Google Ads Editor redesign, the most recent update streamlines aspects of cross-account management and creation of Discovery Campaigns. In particular, the shared negative keyword list addition is a longtime requested feature within the editor.

What: Learn about the “Top Signals” dictating your Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies

Details: Within the Bid Strategy Report, Google will share information on certain signals dictating bid changes. These include device type, location, day of the week, time of day, and keywords.

Impact: Advertisers have gained a level of transparency into their Smart Bidding Strategies previously unavailable. The information will provide insights on what is driving performance and help inform a broader market strategy.

What: Google expands Local campaigns inventory and Buy Online Pickup In-Store offers for Shopping Campaigns

Details: Updates include Promoted Pins in Google Maps and catalog ads in Display.

Impact: Local sales still drive a significant portion of retail momentum. Google continues its push to provide advertisers the opportunity to capitalize on this reality via online advertising. In the coming months, it’s expected that this trend will continue with Google seeking to influence and track offline retail efforts such as store visits.

Microsoft Ads

What: Microsoft Advertising releases “a new, modern design” for Editor

Details: Microsoft redesigned the look and feel of their Editor for Windows and Mac. In their words, the “refresh is simple, clean, and modern, while matching up with other Microsoft Products”. Lastly, the editor now offers five recommendation warning notifications which include campaigns limited by budget, set estimated mainline bids, add keywords, fix ad groups that don’t have any ads, and fix ad groups that don’t have any keywords.

Impact: The updated fonts, colors, and spacing should provide a more intuitive user experience. As for the recommendations, these offer a major upgrade to help identify certain pain points.  Previously, ad groups without active keywords/ads had to be identified via manual means, while now Microsoft Editor joins Google with a simple yet extremely valuable warning notification.

Facebook

What: Facebook rebrands to…*drumroll please*… FACEBOOK

Details: As stated in the press release, Facebook noted they are  “updating our company branding to be clearer that these products come from Facebook. We’re introducing a new corporate logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding.”

Impact: Aside from a couple of jokes and jabs, no perceived impact.

What: New brand safety controls for advertisers

Details: Facebook announced strides in a series of brand safety controls:

  • One-stop place in Business Manager or Ads Manager: Create blocklists, get a delivery report, and set account-level inventory filter rather than campaign by campaign
  • Improved delivery reports: Allows the advertiser to search by account ID or publisher without having to download a report.
  • New brand safety partner: Zefr joins DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate to help ensure the brand safety controls and tools added serve advertisers’ needs.
  • Dynamic Content Sets: Content-level whitelisting tool for advertisers working with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate, and Zefr.
  • Publisher White Lists: Available for Audience Network and in-stream ads on Facebook with select advertisers. Expected to expand availability next year.

Impact: Facebook has been in the spotlight for much of 2019, and often times not for the best reasons. Improved brand safety controls are likely to win back a bit of advertiser confidence. In particular, Publisher White Lists could open up test budgets for those previously unable to operate on the Audience Network due to brand safety concerns.

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @Will_Larcom

Feature image from Tamera Clark

PPChero.com

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Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued

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Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A judge in Kenya has ruled that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued in the East African country.

Meta tried to have the case dropped, arguing that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction over their operations, but the labor court judge dismissed that in a ruling on Monday.

A former Facebook moderator in Kenya, Daniel Motaung, is suing the company claiming poor working conditions.

Motaung said that while working as a moderator he was exposed to gruesome content such as rape, torture and beheadings that risked his and colleagues’ mental health.

He said Meta did not offer mental health support to employees, required unreasonably long working hours, and offered minimal pay. Motaung worked in Facebook’s African hub in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, which is operated by Samasource Ltd.

Following the judge’s decision that Meta can be sued in Kenya, the next step in case will be considered by the court on Mar. 8.

Meta is facing a separate court case in which two Ethiopians say hate speech was allowed and even promoted on Facebook amid heated rhetoric over their country’s deadly Tigray conflict.

That lawsuit alleges that Meta hasn’t hired enough content moderators to adequately monitor posts, that it uses an algorithm that prioritizes hateful content, and that it responds more slowly to crises in Africa than elsewhere in the world.

The Associated Press and more than a dozen other media outlets last year reported that Facebook had failed to quickly and effectively moderate hate speech in several places around the world, including in Ethiopia. The reports were based on internal Facebook documents leaked by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen.

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Mayor Woodards to Present 2023 State of the City Address

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Mayor Woodards to Present 2023 State of the City Address





This year’s theme is “Building Tomorrow Together.”

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Mayor Victoria Woodards will present the 2023 State of the City Address at the Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium (4634 S. 74th St. in Tacoma) on Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Building Tomorrow Together.” Topics covered during her address will include community safety, affordable housing and homelessness, and Tacoma’s ongoing recovery from the global pandemic.

 

Community members wishing to attend this free, public event in person can visit cityoftacoma.org/stateofthecity for additional information and to register. Ample free parking is available at the venue. Event doors open at 5:30 p.m. 

 

There will be American Sign Language interpreters at the State of the City, which will also be available in Spanish, Vietnamese and American Sign Language via Zoom. It will simulcast in Spanish live on VT Radio Universal at vtradiouniversal.com, on TuneIn Radio and on the VT Radio Universal Facebook page.

Follow the State of the City Address Live on TV Tacoma and Facebook

 

Woodards’ remarks can be viewed on TV Tacoma or tvtacoma.com, and on Facebook Live at facebook.com/cityoftacoma.

 

On Rainier Connect, TV Tacoma is available within Tacoma city limits and in Pierce County:



·      

On channel 512 in high definition



·      

On channel 12 in standard definition



·      

On channel 21 in standard definition in University Place

 

On Comcast, TV Tacoma is available:



·      

On channel 321 in high definition within Tacoma city limits and in Pierce County



·      

On channel 12 in standard definition within Tacoma city limits



·      

On channel 21 in Pierce County



·      

Not available in University Place

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John Carmack Has Some Great Advice About Games Preservation

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John Carmack Has Some Great Advice About Games Preservation

Screenshot: Star Wars | Kotaku

Doom co-creator John Carmack, legendary game designer, rocket guy and VR enthusiast, left Meta/Facebook late last year after a decade working on the company’s virtual reality efforts. Just because he’s gone, though, doesn’t mean the company’s decisions are out of his thoughts.

Accompanying the news last week that Meta had blown through almost $14 billion on failed VR bullshit was the announcement that Echo VR—a game first released on the competing Rift system before its developers were bought by Facebook—would be shutting down.

It was far from the only game to be killed off last week, with Rumbleverse and Knockout City suffering similar fates, their collective departures helping remind us that modern video games have a serious longevity problem, in that once discarded by publishers they’re extremely vulnerable to simply disappearing forever.

It’s a problem that Carmack recently addressed, sending a lengthy statement to UploadVR last week that covers all kinds of angles surrounding Echo VR’s shutdown. The stuff I’m mostly interested in, though, are all the bits about how it’s important for studios to keep old games alive, and that cost and manpower shouldn’t be the only things they’re thinking about when making those decisions.

“Even if there are only ten thousand active users, destroying that user value should be avoided if possible”, he says. “Your company suffers more harm when you take away something dear to a user than you gain in benefit by providing something equally valuable to them or others.”

Of course, his experience with this stuff is largely built on his time at id Software, whose older games—like Doom and Quake—were slightly more popular than some random VR game with only a few thousand users. His basic point is valid though! As he expands on here, with some tips built not just around good PR, but solid development fundamentals as well:

Every game should make sure they still work at some level without central server support. Even when not looking at end of life concerns, being able to work when the internet is down is valuable. If you can support some level of LAN play for a multiplayer game, the door is at least open for people to write proxies in the future. Supporting user-run servers as an option can actually save on hosting costs, and also opens up various community creative avenues.

Be disciplined about your build processes and what you put in your source tree, so there is at least the possibility of making the project open source. Think twice before adding dependencies that you can’t redistribute, and consider testing with stubbed out versions of the things you do use. Don’t do things in your code that wouldn’t be acceptable for the whole world to see. Most of game development is a panicky rush to make things stop falling apart long enough to ship, so it can be hard to dedicated time to fundamental software engineering, but there is a satisfaction to it, and it can pay off with less problematic late stage development.

To its credit, Knockout City—one of the games I mentioned above—is doing exactly this. When its existing version shuts down later this year, a new standalone release will drop that will allow for private servers, in effect letting people keep and play the game until the end of time.

Like Carmack says, there should be more of this, please!

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