Russian to Conclusions, and more in Do Not Read Until Monday

We don’t want to box you in – it’s your move, but we’d suggest Do Not Read Until Monday.

 

Russian to Conclusions: Congress’s Social Hearings and what might come next

Congress continued its grilling of Google, Facebook and Twitter representatives this week, shedding more light into the full picture of Russian meddling in the 2016 election cycle (and beyond). Particularly interesting to note was that the intent seemed to be to cause strife and division among Americans above all else, targeting citizens across the political spectrum, right and left.

That coloring book is actually real though.

One interesting note was, while generally amicable to government requests, Twitter and Facebook stalled a bit when it came to sharing direct messages from the fake accounts, citing user privacy. In the case of Facebook, its Messenger product offers end-to-end encryption. Its sister service, WhatsApp, also offers this, to the point where the company itself cannot access user messages.

Which means messaging will be the next medium for misinformation.

 

What the hearings could mean for advertising

This is pure conjecture, but the continued delving into the advertising capabilities (and abuses) in the public forum will likely lead to distrust from the average user. Not specifically for the platform, though that will be inevitable, but for ads/advertisers on the platforms and the methodology of targeting. It would definitely be interesting to see a case study of ad effectiveness before and after these revelations.

One of Facebook’s solutions is to offer more transparency on who’s bankrolling political ads. It’s possible this could lead to it making targeting parameters more prominent as well.

 

This Week in Snapchat vs. The World: Snap gets ‘creepy’ for Halloween

Getting in the holiday spirit, Snap added a new feature its CEO once dubbed ‘creepy’ – tracking users via off-platform pixels. Pixels are pretty much an essential part of direct-response digital marketing campaigns at this point, so the move shows Snap accommodating this to draw in more ad dollars.

Snap could use that money to continue innovating, a key demand from investors and an initiative paying off in AR, where Snap’s being hailed as a leader. Sadly, it’s no longer leading App Store downloads – it didn’t even place top 10 in Q3.

The Verdict: Kind of a so-so week overall.

 

Odds + The End

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