Instagram and Facebook limiting data access for third-party developers

Both Facebook and Instagram have made changes that will limit the amount of data that third-party developers can access, as the company is still reeling from the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The news came as a shock to many developers, especially the scale of the changes. Instagram has instituted a 96% cut to how often software developers can pull data from its API for mobile apps. The API now allow permits third-party apps to request 200 data updates an hour, down from the previous 5,000.

This has the effect of limiting the total volume of information that these apps have access to. This will affect everything from games apps to those that are designed to help marketers keep track on user posts or complaints. These apps are now likely to stop working once they hit the limit.

Some developers report being cut off completely and Instagram has reportedly stopped accepting some new apps entirely.

Facebook will also be restricting developer access to data such as lists of event attendees and group member lists. Apps that are designed to access group pages on Facebook, access page data or allow users to log in with their Facebook credentials will now have to be approved by Facebook.

Facebook also plans to launch a feature that will let users see a list of the apps that they installed and the information they are sharing with them.

Influencer effects?

Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and co-founder of influencer marketing platform Traackr believes that this change in access to data will likely affect the way influencers spend their time and brands spend their money.

“Whenever a platform makes significant changes in how they operate and move toward less open sharing, it creates more challenges for influencers to grow their audience as fast as they could otherwise, making it harder for them to earn top dollars from brands,” he says.

“Over and over again, influencers have demonstrated their ability to switch platforms and bring their audiences with them. Influencers will always transition to platforms that make it easier for them to engage their followers, publish content easily and measure their success. Marketers will need to observe if shifts to other platforms take place in the coming months.

“From the brand’s point of view, without metrics and KPIs available to them, they are forced to look at the platform as a silo, and based on history, decrease investment in these platforms. I expect that 2018 marketing dollars might not get spent in the way they were intended just a few days ago”

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 6 Apr 2018

Why the GDPR Is Actually a Good Thing for Brands

Putting an end to data gossip

In less than four months, the European Union data regulator will begin enforcing the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to strengthen the security and protection of EU residents’ personal data. Companies that don’t comply with the GDPR not only risk losing their customers’ trust, but they could also face fines of €20 million or 4 percent of global annual revenue.

Like many regulations, the GDPR is not an easy to understand or practical manual for how brands should go about protecting their customers’ data. Therefore, figuring out how to interpret it and making changes across your organization to adhere to the regulation will be an expensive undertaking on its own. The IAPP and EY predict that Fortune’s Global 500 companies will spend a combined $7.8 billion working to achieve GDPR compliance.

With more questions than answers, I’ve found that the complexities and costs associated with the GDPR tend to overshadow the many benefits for businesses across the globe.

Here’s why I think the GDPR is a good thing for brands:

It will cut the ‘data gossip’

Consumers expect the brands they buy from to adhere to strict standards around protecting personal data. They also expect brands to obtain consent for collecting their data in the first place. According to a recent study from Accenture, “87 percent of consumers believe it is important for companies to safeguard the privacy of their information.”

The GDPR will promote responsible use of data that aligns the law with customer expectations. Specifically, the GDPR requires that businesses be more transparent about how they collect and use data. This means the standard for valid consent will be far higher, and it will be difficult to rely on third-party consent.

As a consequence, marketing departments will likely need to reduce their reliance on third-party data. Third-party data is user or behavioural information that companies purchase rather than collect themselves. It is often aggregated from multiple websites and segmented based on user interests, demographics, shopping behaviours and more.

This data is often collected with questionable consent and shared across companies without explicit consumer permission. That’s why I call the act of companies sharing third-party data with each other “data gossip.”

If you’ve ever received an email promotion from a company you never shared your email address with, you’ve experienced data gossip. Your customers wouldn’t tolerate their grocer telling their banker what they just purchased, and data gossip is no different. Moving away from third-party data will improve customer trust, which in turn will boost your brand’s reputation.

Brands will have to personalize without compromising trust

Reducing third-party data usage doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Third-party data is often used to personalize customer experiences, and customers increasingly expect this. The Accenture study mentioned above found that “58 percent of consumers would switch half or more of their spending to a provider that excels at personalizing experiences without compromising trust.”

Many companies purchase third-party data to personalize their websites or show ads to a specific audience based on previous behaviour. The problem for these companies is the last part: “without compromising trust.”

How can your company deliver on respectful, private and personalized experiences? The answer is by activating your own first-party data. First-party data is data on how your customers use your products or services. This includes information on which products a customer views or purchases from you, how often they visit your website or mobile app and even your CRM data.

First-party data is valuable for showing customers that you’re attentive to their needs, showcasing products that fit their interests, or removing irrelevant content. It also has many advantages over third-party data.

First-party data is not usually shared with other brands, which is beneficial for both your customers and your business. It’s typically more accurate than third-party data, as well, because it reflects actual customer behaviour from your own channels (web, mobile, in-store, etc.).

Companies must ensure they always use first-party data in line with the principles of the GDPR: transparency, accuracy, fairness, minimization, purpose limitation and security. I believe the GDPR will accelerate trends leading away from third-party data and toward the ethical use of first-party data to deliver helpful, respectful customer experiences.

As a result, I think the GDPR is good for brands—even with its complexities.

Peter Reinhardt is an aerospace engineer turned CEO and co-founder of Segment, a customer data platform.

Source: adweek.com; 22 Feb 2018

Cutting cookies: How Apple is sparking an internet advertising revolution

2017 has been a tough year for advertisers – from increased ad costs to growing ad blocker usage and the resulting need for more personalisation, it’s been a difficult year for the industry.

Apple’s recent news hasn’t helped either.

The company’s new “intelligent tracking prevention” is set to completely change the advertising scene.

So, what exactly does it mean? To put it simply, iOS 11, Apple’s forthcoming software update, will make it harder for advertisers to put cookies in consumer devices. This has the potential to hurt user experience and campaign targeting massively. Advertisers have already raised a call to arms to try and stop this.

Whilst it’s a fair point, we have to remember that it’s not the first-time advertisers have had to regroup and come up with new ideas. In 2015, the new iOS allowed mobile ad blocking, and the industry rallied on. It will do so again now.

So, what does the future hold with the new iOS? In my opinion, Apple has just sparked the real Internet advertising revolution. Here’s how.

The end of cookies
Cookies are soon to become history. This is a hunt that started a while back, when advertisers realised that cookies could only provide a mere snapshot of what users are actually up to day-to-day. What about when they’re not using your app or site? How can you track people’s time spent outside it accurately enough?

This time last year mobile web browsing overtook desktop for the first time accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%. New studies reveal that in 2020 50% of all viewings will be done on a mobile screen. It’s about time we start tracking people’s engagement outside of a specific app, or a website we have cookies on.

The fact that most cookies will soon start being purged on Apple devices is just an extra incentive to activate this sooner rather than later.

Alternative methods will have to be accurate, scalable, and have valuable data points, such as behavioural intention and past browsing history. In other words, we need a method where you can intelligently target consumers taking real time behavioural data signals.

This is where companies like Ogury come in – considering that people currently use their mobile devices over four hours a day on average, using data that represents all activity across all apps and websites will provide marketers with a much more complete picture of user behaviour.

The rise of Android advertising
While it’s understandable that advertisers have panicked when faced with the new “intelligent tracking prevention” on Apple products, they need to take a look at the figures.

Recent Gartner data shows that Android devices take as much as 81.7% of smartphone market share. Advertisers shouldn’t be worrying about Apple, which only owns 17.9% of the market share – they should instead be focusing on Android.

As Apple cuts cookies, networks and advertising technology providers will need to concentrate on the Android market more, and search for opportunities to put more budget into that part of their business.

But the Android market share is big enough for advertisers not to see this as a threat, at least not for now. Plus, having obstacles in their way will encourage them to become more creative and develop new ideas. Change will be for the better, no doubt.

Happy customers = happy advertisers
Advertising has long been something that’s forced onto customers – not something that they genuinely want to see.

There’s a general feeling that ads, particularly cookie based ones, don’t really show consumers what they want (think of an ad for gloves, just because you looked at a scarf 3 weeks ago). The rise of iOS 11 has forced us to realise this more than ever before.

More granular targeting – whatever the means used to achieve it – will significantly reduce the amount of useless ads that consumers see, such as being followed round by the same ad for weeks (as cookie based retargeting does), rather consumers will have a much better chance of getting a more relevant ad.

Change can be scary, but in the case of Apple iOS 11, this isn’t likely to mean that things will change for the worse. Rather, moving away from the comfort zone means it can be the beginning of a new and exciting era in the industry.

Cookies will slowly be phased out, advertisers will focus more specifically on Android and other methods of targeting the right user accurately, and customers will probably receive better ads!

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 11 Dec 2017