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Talk Social: 1 December, 2020 – UK government plans to create new ad market enforcer for Google and Facebook


UK government plans to create new ad market enforcer for Google and Facebook

The UK government has announced plans to introduce a new tech regulator that will limit the power of Facebook, Google and other tech platforms, in an effort to ensure a level playing field for smaller competitors.

The regulator, which will exist as a new branch of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will enforce a code of practice aimed at reducing the monopoly of a few companies in the digital advertising industry as well as mediate between platforms and news publishers so they are able to monetise their content.

It will likely have an uphill struggle on its hands when work begins. In France, attempts to tax tech big tech have led to threats of retaliatory tariffs on French goods by the US government.

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Facebook to pay UK media millions to license news stories

In response to the threat of a government crackdown over its dominance of online advertising,

Facebook soon announced plans to pay mainstream UK news outlets millions of pounds a year to license their articles.

Most British newspaper groups have signed up to the programme, under which their articles will appear in a dedicated news section curated by Facebook itself. In return, publishers are being promised substantial cash sums and the promise of new readers.

Facebook has not said how much money it will be put into the scheme but some publishers are privately expecting to make millions of pounds a year from the multi-year deals they have signed. This could make a big difference to the finances of many struggling news outlets.

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Twitter brings back verification with new rules

Twitter announced that it would relaunch its verification process early next year with new guidelines for users and brands coveting that small blue tick next to their profile name.

Under the new rules, accounts that would meet a specific set of requirements depending on their category, for instance, brands would need three or more references in the past six months from reputable news sources and have a follower account in the top 0.1 per cent of active accounts in their country.

Twitter also announced new draft rules explaining when a verification badge could be taken away, including if the user changes their display name or bio to mislead people on their true identity or for repeated breaches of service violations.

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Pinterest to get online events feature with dedicated Zoom classes

Pinterest is testing new features that enable users to sign up for Zoom classes while the organizers of those classes use boards on the platform to present materials and resources or to communicate via group chat.

More teachers have turned to Pinterest as a learning resource for their students. The addition of online events could make the app more comprehensive as a remote learning platform.

Likewise, this would open up new opportunities for event marketers and brands. Webinars or other online Zoom events can be linked to related reading, resources or even a product catalogue hosted on the platform.

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YouTube will now show ads on all videos even if the creator doesn’t want them

YouTube has begun running ads on some creator’s videos, without giving them a portion of the ad revenue because they’re not big enough to be enrolled in its Partner Program.

YouTube’s Partner Program requires creators to have accrued 4,000 total hours of watch time over the last 12 months and have more than 1,000 subscribers. Without this creators will be unable to stop ads from appearing on their videos and be unable to make money from the ad revenue. 

This has been a controversial update. Many creators choose not to run ads because they don’t want to be seen to be profiting from sensitive subjects or the nature of the video means that ads would be intrusive and ruin the experience.

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