This week, YouTube announced the addition of Nielsen television data to its audience planning tool, Facebook gives brands more in-depth control over ad placements and Amazon is rumored to launch its own cloud gaming service.


YouTube Integrates Nielsen Television Data Into Its Audience Planning Tool 

Google is adding Nielsen data to “Reach Planner,” its audience planning tool within Google Ads that launched last April.

Why it matters: Knowing that brands are using Google data from Reach Planner to help find audiences ditching traditional television, it’s likely that Google wants to control additional YouTube inventory within its auctions and borrow familiar television buying practices to attract big brand advertisers. 

The details: YouTube’s US director of video, Kristin MacGregor, said that many ad agencies use Reach Planner to estimate unique reach for large campaigns. With integrated Nielsen television demographics, brands can now compare YouTube and television reach on an apple to apple basis.


Facebook Gives Brands More Control Over Ad Placements

Facebook’s new brand safety tools will enable businesses to better control where their ads appear across the platform’s various ad delivery networks.

Why it matters: In 2017, YouTube lost millions of dollars in revenue after major brands pulled their spend due to concerns that their ads were displayed alongside extremist content and hate speech. Facebook’s new brand safety tools, which enable brands in-depth control, are the platform’s efforts to avoid the same issue. 

The details: Facebook is adding a new, dedicated section where brands can create blocklists, receive delivery reports and set account-level inventory filters. Facebook is looking to give advertisers the ability to white-list forms of content they appear on for in-stream video ads. Facebook also has a new brand safety partner, Zefr, who will join DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and OpenSlate to improve brand safety tools. 


Amazon’s Rumored To Launch Its Own Cloud Gaming Service Next Year

According to The Verge, job listings have given some evidence that Amazon is, in fact, launching a cloud gaming service.

Why it matters: Cloud gaming has become a popular new battleground for tech companies. With an already massive infrastructure and streaming know-how in place, Amazon is equipped to launch its own cloud gaming service and understands the huge potential for such a service.

The details: Amazon has experimented with cloud gaming before, with a game made by its own Amazon Game Studios in 2014. A report from The Information said Amazon’s new cloud gaming venture wouldn’t launch until 2020 at the earliest.


Snapchat Will Pay More Than $750,000 To Top Augmented Reality Stars

According to AdAge, Snapchat will triple what it paid out to augmented reality (AR) creators in 2019.

Why it matters: Snapchat saw a boost in downloads following the launch of its gender-swap and baby lenses. Still, the platform’s growth has been slowed by Instagram. Leading innovation on new AR tools will help Snapchat remain relevant and keep its users engaged.

The details: Snapchat’s commitment to pay AR creators more than $750,000 is significant considering it’s on track to generate about $1.2 billion in ad revenue in 2020. Snapchat’s ultimate goal is to iterate its Spectacles video sunglasses into fully functional AR devices.


Facebook’s New “Whale” App Lets Users Make Memes

The meme-making app is Facebook’s latest attempt to stay hip among Gen Z and millennials.

Why it matters: Whale could gain traction with younger users if the app continuously offers the latest meme templates. The app is in line with Facebook’s strategy to woo young users as it also recently launched music app AUX—meant for sharing music—and chat app Bump—which connects students through Q-and-A-style messaging

The details: Whale is available to Canadian users via Facebook’s experiential app division called NPE Team LLC. The app lets users make their own memes via simplified templates and tools without “hidden subscription pricing or distractions.”


Snapchat Says Political Ads On Platform Will Be Subject To Review

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel said the platform fact-checks all ads including those from political candidates.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s taken a different approach to political ads than Facebook and Twitter. Snapchat says it will allow political ads but also limit misinformation via fact-checking. Facebook will allow political ads that are exempt from fact checks whereas Twitter will ban all political ads, but will allow certain “issues” ads.

The details: Spiegel said that Snapchat tries to create “a place for political ads on our platform” especially because “we reach so many young people and first-time voters.”


Twitch Launches Free Streaming Software For Newcomers

The platform launched Twitch Studio, an all-in-one streaming app that takes the guesswork out of setting up a stream.

Why it matters: Twitch debuted the app in August to a select group of users. Now available to everyone, Twitch Studio will encourage those who aren’t sure how to get started with streaming to get on board.

The details: Twitch says the software is primarily geared toward new streamers. While most streamers use third-party streaming programs such as Xsplit or OBS, Twitch Studio is purpose-built for streaming on Twitch. When downloaded, the software starts a guided setup process that detects hardware and adjusts stream settings to optimize for connection speed. The app comes with starter layouts and overlays to help personalize streams as well as integrated alerts.


Facebook Is Testing An In-App Feature Similar In Feel To Instagram

TechCrunch spotted Facebook testing a feature called Popular Photos that mimics the experience of scrolling an Instagram feed but within Facebook.

Why it matters: Given Facebook has most of the same features as Instagram, it’s only missing an explore tab and a dedicated media feed now. Popular Photos could provide users with a more passive browsing experience that omits having to click links and eliminate the need to read updates.

The details: Popular Photos affixes a scroll of algorithmically selected pictures beneath the full-screen view of a photo opened in Facebook’s news feed. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that Facebook was running a small test of Popular Photos in October.


TikTok Tests Shoppable Video Links For Influencers

According to Adweek, TikTok is running beta tests that allow influencers to embed social commerce links in videos on the app.

Why it matters: TikTok currently allows brands to run shoppable ads, but this would mark the platform’s first foray into social commerce where users can shop directly from influencers. The feature would also enable influencers to make their content more shoppable.

The details: TikTok’s social commerce links were first spotted by a TikTok engineer on a Chinese web forum. TikTok confirmed to Adweek that it is, in fact, testing a social commerce functionality.


Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, November 22. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.