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Facebook Commits to New Asia_Pacific Subsea Cable Project to Boost Global Connectivity

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As part of its broader effort to connect the world to Facebook, The Social Network has today announced that it will be contributing investment to the new ‘Apricot’ subsea cable connectivity project, which aims to improve web access in the Asia Pacific.

As explained by Facebook:

“The 12,000-kilometer-long cable will connect Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore. Apricot will feature a state-of-the-art submersible reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer employing wavelength selective switch for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration, based on space division multiplexing design.”

I think I blacked out for a moment trying to read that. I assure you, that’s the exact sentence taken from Facebook’s announcement

Technical jargon aside, the Apricot project, lead by Google, will increase overall transpacific web capacity by 70%, helping to connect even more people to the web, and provide more functionality for both individuals and businesses in the region.

As explained by Facebook’s Head of Connectivity and Access Policy Asia-Pacific Tom Chottayil Varghese:

“APAC is the growth driver for Facebook. Asia has two-thirds of the world’s population living in the region. The region is home to half of the world’s mobile subscribers. More than 90% of businesses in APAC are SMBs, the backbone of our global economy. The region is also leading the use of video consumption and messaging on Facebook.”

Indeed, looking at Facebook’s most recent stats, Asia Pacific usage has clearly seen the most significant growth over the past two years, making it a key focus for the company.

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Facebook Q2 2021

With North American usage flatlining, and European MAUs actually declining in the most recent quarter, Facebook needs to focus on these growth areas, and with developing regions like Indonesia still in the midst of their respective digital transformations, the company could further embed itself as a key utility for many millions more users.

So long as they can actually access Facebook’s apps.

According to estimates, over two billion people in Asia and the Pacific currently have no access to internet, either because they live in remote areas with no connectivity, or it’s too expensive for them to do so.

You can see, then, why the investment makes sense for Facebook, both from a PR perspective, in facilitating global good (especially in light of the pandemic) and in a business sense.

On a related note, Facebook has also announced the addition of four new branches to the 2Africa subsea cable project, which will expand web connectivity to the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands, and Angola, and bring a new landing to south-east Nigeria.

2Africa web connectivity project diagram

Facebook has invested $1 billion into this initiative, providing another means to connect the next billion-plus users, and ideally expand Facebook’s global presence and business interests.

Of course, there is also some question around whether corporate entities should be able to maintain any ownership or association with such projects, but the basic fact is that many of these large-scale connection pipelines require corporate investment, or they simply won’t happen. There are strict provisions in place to regulate such, with Facebook and Google essentially banking on their own capacity to win over more users, as opposed to ‘owning’ web access, as such.

But it’s a careful line that needs to be managed, as the companies look to also use such projects to maximize their own business interests.

Socialmediatoday.com

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YouTube Announces New Targeting Options for CTV Campaigns, Improved CTV Buying Tools

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YouTube TV Reaches 5 Million Subscribers

Connected TV has become a key video consumption trend, with YouTube reporting that CTV viewing – i.e. people watching YouTube content on their home TV sets – is now its fastest-growing content surface.

And with that comes new opportunity for advertisers, with the capacity to run TV-like ad campaigns for much lower cost, and with much more specific targeting, which could be hugely effective in building brand awareness and recognition.

And now, YouTube’s looking to provide more options on this front, with the addition of specific audience ‘guarantees’ for video campaigns, as well as improved processes for buying CTV inventory.

First off, on audience guarantees. Using Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) YouTube will now give advertisers the opportunity to maximize audience reach among specific target markets, based on vetted audience reach insights, in order to maximize your messaging.  

As explained by Google:

When setting up your guaranteed deal, you can now choose a specific age and gender demographic, like adults ages 18 to 49, and pay only for the ad impressions that reach your target audience as measured by Nielsen DAR. This feature works for all types of video campaigns – including for connected TV ads – and comes at no additional cost for advertisers.

The option essentially provides more control for your campaigns, in terms of exact audience reach. Nielsen’s DAR insights incorporate census-based data, advanced machine learning methodologies, and third-party datasets, to facilitate deduplicated insights to specific consumer segments, helping to ensure that you’re reaching exactly the right people with your ads.

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That could be a big help, especially for brands that are looking to measure the resonance of their campaigns with specific audience subsets.

YouTube’s also looking to simplify CTV media buying, by providing more ways to purchase CTV inventory.

“To help CTV buyers deliver more coordinated ad campaigns, YouTube ads can now be purchased within Display & Video 360’s insertion order dedicated to connected TV ad buying. This simplified workflow features parameters designed specifically for CTV campaigns to help minimize technical blockers that typically limit reach on CTV devices. Because it puts YouTube side-by-side with other top CTV inventory, it also makes it easier to optimize for common goals or control ad frequency across your entire CTV media mix.

That could make it easier to incorporate YouTube CTV inventory into your broader media mix, which is more aimed at larger-scale advertisers, but could also provide optimization opportunities for smaller brands too.

And again, with CTV viewing on the rise, it’s worth exploring your opportunities in this respect, and considering how TV-aligned messaging could help to improve your reach and resonance.

Indeed, according to eMarketer, CTV consumption is projected to steadily increase over the coming years.

Traditional TV is losing its appeal, as consumers get more accustomed to watching whatever they want, when they want it, while the shift to short-form video has also exacerbated the trend towards more compact video content, even on your home TV set.

And as younger generations get more accustomed to these new consumption trends, you can expect this to become a more embedded activity, which is why CTV trends should definitely be on your radar for media placement.

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Audience guarantees are now available for Programmatic Guaranteed ads running with publishers on Google Ad Manager in the US, with more regions coming soon.

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