Your Ultimate PPC News Roundup: December 2019

The most important PPC news on all the major advertising platforms in December 2019.

Here's a roundup of all the major stories that occured on all the major advertising platforms in October 2019. We cover Amazon, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and a bunch of others.

This is the only news roundup you need to keep up to date with the fast-changing world of PPC. Enjoy.

Using any of these platforms for your advertising? Check out our smart advertising solutions to see how they can help.

Amazon Ads News

What to expect from Amazon in 2020
(31 Dec 2019) - In 2019 Amazon doubled down on Echo devices, launched HD and 3D music streaming and had record-breaking sales on Black Friday and pre-Christmas, but 2020 is posed with risks, including anti-trust investigations in Europe and the United States.

Amazon sellers must update ads by Jan 13th
(29 Dec 2019) Free shipping promotions will no longer be supported with all ending and active free shipping promotions being terminated by January 13th. Many sellers expressed disappointment with the decision.

How Amazon squeezes the businesses behind its store
(26 Dec 2019) - In more than 60 interviews, current and former Amazon employees, sellers, suppliers and consultants detailed how Amazon dictates the rules for those businesses, sometimes changing those rules with little warning. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retaliation by Amazon.

Is Google Amazon's biggest competitor?
(26 Dec 2019) - Google has the potential to become an essential partner to any retailer trying to compete with Amazon, which might make it Amazon's biggest competitor.

Amazon eases rules for agencies advertise on clients' behalf
(24 Dec 2019) - Agencies no longer have to submit vendor codes when registering nor wait for approval from Amazon to set up new advertising accounts. Now, agencies simply need the approval of the authorized Vendor Central account holder (their client) to register a new advertising account.

Walmart’s secret weapon to fight off Amazon: The Supercenter
(21 Dec 2019) - Walmart is betting on a future where its giant stores will quickly get groceries to your door, replace the doctor’s office and rent out computing power to passing drones and autonomous cars.

Amazon’s new area of domination: its own package delivery
(19 Dec 2019) - The company's own delivery network is already monstrous, and growing fast. Deliveries in 2019 will total 3.5 billion packages.

Amazon advertisers still focus spending on sponsored products
(15 Dec 2019) - eMarketer estimates Amazon will have earned 72% of its $9.85 billion in net US digital ad revenues from search ads in 2019.

Amazon ad spend rises over Cyber 5, but most efficient sales days still ahead
(12 Dec 2019) - While the five-day stretch between Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday saw Amazon sales increase $1.5 billion to $9.4 billion, on a conversation rate and cost-per-conversion basis, the best sales days are still ahead.

Are they listening? What Amazon knows about you
(9 Dec 2019) - You talk about shoes with a friend, you see ads for shoes in your newsfeed. Everyone has experienced this, and consumers are wary of buying echo speakers as a result.

Advertisers increased Google Shopping spend by 32%, Amazon Sponsored Product by 50% YoY this holiday cyber weekend
(9 Dec 2019) - The spend increase on Google Shopping came even in the face of greater competition from Amazon, signalling that search still has a key role to play for retail.

Prime customers are outraged by holiday shipping delays
(5 Dec 2019) - Amazon says it’s “off to a record-breaking start to the holiday season,” but some customer delivery times are paying the price.

Why Amazon Advertisers Pay Top Dollar for Clicks
(2 Dec 2019) - Advertisers are spending more on Amazon ads, and that means both prices and competition for ad slots are high.

Alexa, can't you stop all those ads on Amazon?
(1 Dec 2019) - Amazon is showing more ads and confusing customers. Is it enough to make them leave the platform?

Apple Ads News

Apple issues new blow to Google with this bold security move
(20 Dec 2019) - In a new platform security guide, Apple details how its iPhones, iPads and Macs are more secure than Google's Android devices, because the firm owns the whole ecosystem.

Apple’s ad-targeting crackdown shakes up ad market
(9 Dec 2019) - Two years ago, Apple launched an aggressive battle against ads that track users across the web. Today executives in the online publishing and advertising industries say that effort has been stunningly effective—posing a problem for advertisers looking to reach affluent consumers.

Facebook Ads News

Facebook Libra cryptocurrency has 'failed' in current form, Swiss president says
(31 Dec 2019) - Ueli Maurer, who also serves as Switzerland’s finance minister, said that Facebook’s Libra would not be accepted by central banks and therefore not work as a currency.

Is your brand ready? Marketing through OTT messaging
(30 Dec 2019) - OTT messaging platforms such as Messenger, Whatsapp and the DM capabilties of Instagram allow people to send instant messages back and forth through the internet. Here the best use cases for each OTT messaging platform are laid out.

What to expect from Facebook in 2020
(28 Dec 2019) - While Facebook had a rough 2019, the company has many long-term projects in the works that could come to fruition in 2020, including its own voice assistant, unified messaging across Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp, cloud gaming, its own OS system and its own cryptocurrency and payment system.

Facebook Messenger requires a Facebook account to sign up now
(27 Dec 2019) - The social networking giant said it's requiring new people who sign up for its Messenger communications app to tie it to their Facebook account, effectively forcing them to reveal their identities and tie their communications to their social networking profile.

Facebook ad prices near a tipping point, and that's a problem
(22 Dec 2019) - While it's arguably earned every penny of the price increases it's been able to impose on advertisers, Facebook could be close to pricing itself right out of the market.

Facebook to run first Super Bowl ad ever plugging revamped Groups feature
(20 Dec 2019) - The ad will focus on promoting the connective benefits of Facebook Groups, a feature the company hopes to make center stage of the newsfeed in the future.

Facebook to stop using phone numbers to recommend 'friends'
(20 Dec 2019) - Facebook is to stop using members' phone numbers in its friends recommendation system in 2020 following concern about privacy implications.

Facebook is building an operating system so it can ditch Android
(19 Dec 2019) - Facebook doesn’t want its hardware like Oculus or its augmented reality glasses to be at the mercy of Google because they rely on its Android operating system. To this end, they have tasked Mark Lucovsky, co-autor of Microsoft's Windows NT, with building the social network an operating system from scratch.

Facebook owns the four most downloaded apps of the decade
(18 Dec 2019) - The most downloaded app between 2010 and 2019 was Facebook's main app, followed by the company's Facebook Messenger app. WhatsApp came third, and Instagram fourth.

FTC may block Facebook from integrating messaging apps
(12 Dec 2019) - The Federal Trade Commission could force Facebook to back out of its plans to integrate its family of apps, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, according to a WSJ report.

Is Facebook Dead to Gen Z?
(12 Dec 2019) - Data shows that basically nobody younger than 20 is joining the platform. Facebook is dead;

Facebook has a theory that hiding ‘likes’ will increase post volume, and Instagram is testing that theory
(6 Dec 2019) - The theory goes that by hiding like counts, users may feel less self-conscious when they post photos or videos that don’t receive many likes. This in turn may serve as a catalyst for getting users to post more often.

Facebook sues Chinese company for compromising user accounts with malware and running ads
(5 Dec 2019) - The defendants allegedly used the accounts to run ads that often misused the images of celebrities to sell “counterfeit goods and diet pills.”

Facebook expands efforts against ad discrimination
(3 Dec 2019) - Ads in the United States that involve housing, employment or credit can no longer be targeted based on age, gender, ZIP code or multicultural affinity. Nor can the ads use more detailed targeting that connects to these categories.

Google Ads News

Google Ads is killing message extensions
(31 Dec 2019) - In a post on the Google Ads Developer Blog, Google announced that starting January 27, 2020, message extensions will no longer be available. After that date, advertisers will not be able to create new or edit existing message extensions.

What to expect from Google in 2020
(27 Dec 2019) - Google is pushing its Assistant in 2020, taking advantage of the wealth of search data it has at its disposal. Here's what to expect from the search giant in the upcoming year.

Google Ads will end social media customer support on Jan 1
(23 Dec 2019) - Google said it will disable direct messaging on both of Google Ads’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, instead encouraging customers to send requests via 1:1 communication through an online form.

France slaps Google with $166M antitrust fine for inconsistent ad rules
(20 Dec 2019) - France’s competition watchdog has slapped Google with a €150 million (~$166M) fine after finding the tech giant abused its dominant position in the online search advertising market.

Google prioritizing fact-checked articles in SERPs
(19 Dec 2019) - Web pages that contain ClaimReview markup are returned in search results with a snippet that says the page was fact checked. The markup lays out for searchers what the claim is, who made the claim, and whether the fact checkers found it to be true or false.

What we can learn from a decade of dead Google projects
(12 Dec 2019) - A helpful trip down memory lane of Google projects that failed to materialize and what we can learn from them.

Google Ads Now Includes Location Extensions Automatically
(8 Dec 2019) - If you have not connected your Google Ads account to a Google My Business location, Google will now link them if it detects a shared domain and country.

Google Ads Explanations Beta; Explains Large Performance Changes
(6 Dec 2019) - Google Ads launched a new beta feature named "explanations." Explanations gives marketers clear insights into large changes in their Google Ads account performance.

Google’s New Chrome Move: Another Reason To Switch To Firefox?
(6 Dec 2019) - Google’s Chrome browser has come under increasing scrutiny lately, especially after its Manifest V3 plans announced earlier this year which caused some ad blockers to break.

Google Ads’ Optimization Score Now Includes Display Campaigns
(4 Dec 2019) - Optimization score ranges from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning the campaign is following all of Google’s recommendations and no further optimization can be made.

Instagram Ads News

How publishers are using Instagram to promote commerce content
(20 Dec 2019) - Instagram might not be the best platform to drive site traffic, but some publishers are seeing the value that the platform can bring to their commerce and advertising businesses.

Instagram to ban vape ads as regulator cracks down on e-cigarette marketing
(18 Dec 2019) - Instagram has announced a clampdown on the marketing of e-cigarette brands, including a blanket ban on vape ads, following a series of bans issued by the UK's advertising watchdog.

Instagram wants to be a matchmaker between influencers and brands
(18 Dec 2019) - Instagram is testing a tool that facilitates brand-influencer partnerships through detailed insights on influencers and campaign audiences. The tool gives Instagram a more active role in influencer marketing, an anticipated $15 billion industry that has inspired the launch of adjacent agencies and marketing firms.

Instagram to now flag potentially offensive captions, in addition to comments
(16 Dec 2019) - Earlier this year, Instagram launched a feature that would flag potentially offensive comments before they’re posted. Now, the social media platform is expanding this preemptive flagging system to Instagram’s captions, as well. The new feature will warn users after they’ve written a caption for a feed post that Instagram’s AI detects as being similar to those that have already been reported for bullying.

Facebook has made AR ads available to all marketers through its ad manager
(12 Dec 2019) - Advertisers can now create and incorporate AR effects into their campaigns through Facebook's Spark AR engine and deploy the advertisements through the platform's ad targeting system.

Instagram Stories see 70% surge in ad spend
(11 Dec 2019) - Stories also now make up 10% of Facebook's total ad revenue, another indicator that Instagram will be the company's key growth engine in the year's to come.

Instagram to collect ages in leap for youth safety, alcohol ads
(4 Dec 2019) - Instagram said it will require birthdates from all new users starting on Wednesday, expanding the audience for ads for alcohol and other age-restricted products while offering new safety measures for younger users.

Removing likes won't fix Instagram's problems
(2 Dec 2019) - Instagram is trying to be more authentic, but the fundamentals of the platform leave users feeling empty and sad.

2019 Instagram Updates Marketers Should Know [Infographic]
(2 Dec 2019) - A handy roundup of the most important Instagram updates in 2019 that can help marketers better plan their 2020 advertising strategy.

LinkedIn Ads News

Microsoft paid $26 billion for LinkedIn, then mostly left it alone
(27 Dec 2019) - Microsoft closed its $26.2 billion LinkedIn acquisition three years ago this month. LinkedIn has done some things to integrate with its parent, and more tie-ins are coming.

LinkedIn publishes new data on ad engagement for B2B brands over holidays
(21 Dec 2019) - Ad engagement for B2B brands on LinkedIn increased 18% in December 2018, compared to the average engagement rate outside of the holiday season (February through October).

LinkedIn adds new features for groups to boost engagement
(18 Dec 2019) - Once a key feature of the app, LinkedIn groups gradually lost user focus as they became increasingly bogged down with random spam and self-promotion, to the point where, for most, they just weren't usable anymore. But it still seems like a great opportunity for LinkedIn's professional community. If LinkedIn can get groups right.

Microsoft Ads News

Microsoft caught putting ads in Windows 10 flagship apps
(18 Dec 2019) - Microsoft has once again begun including advertisements in both their mail and calendar apps that are built into Windows 10 and they can't be removed.

Pinterest Ads News

Social media is fast becoming your customers’ product research tool, so look beyond Google
(30 Dec 2019) - Historically, consumers have always headed to search engines to engage with products, leading to the rise of SEO and PPC. But users are increasingly moving to social media first, particularly Generation Z, and visual search apps like Pinterest are set to benefit.

Shoppable content will evolve toward sight, sound and motion
(19 Dec 2019) - eMarketer breaks down the details of why shopping online will move incereasingly toward visuals, and why Pinterest is well placed to take advantage of this trend.

Pinterest Publishes Listing of Top 100 Trends for 2020, Based on User Behavior
(11 Dec 2019) - Called the 'Pinterest 100', the list, which has its own, dedicated mini-site, covers ten key categories, which Pinterest has identified based on search and general usage trends throughout the year.

How Pinterest sets itself apart from other social media platforms
(5 Dec 2019) - At a time when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is getting grilled at Congressional hearings and TikTok is being sued for violating privacy laws, Pinterest is seeking to establish itself as the one social media platform where positivity still reigns.

Reddit Ads News

Reddit has released the most 'upvoted' posts of 2019, and it shows how much trolling is part of the platform's culture
(8 Dec 2019) - The list reveals just how much the Reddit community considers no topic too sacred to touch and embraces trolls.

Reddit revs up its pitch for UK ad buyers
(6 Dec 2019) - U.K. agencies are eyeing Reddit with more interest, just as it is pitching the community elements of its platform and ad products.

Reddit Outlines 2019 Performance Stats and Trends
(5 Dec 2019) - The stats include 430 million monthly active users, 199 million posts, 1.7 billion comments and 32 billion upvotes.

Reddit Users Are Growing Fast: How Does It Compare To Facebook And Twitter?
(4 Dec 2019) - Reddit says its monthly active users grew by 30% this year to 430 million, still a fraction of what Facebook claims, but possibly increasing its lead over rival Twitter.

Snapchat Ads News

Snapchat outlines rising trends for 2020 in new report
(22 Dec 2019) - Snapchat published an infographic this week providing key insights into what is trending for generation Z. Topics include Jazz, Uno, Monopoly and a host of others.

Snapchat tests new image recognition-triggered ads with popular brand logos
(20 Dec 2019) - It's taken a while, but Snapchat is now moving forward with its new 'Snapchat Scan' ad option, which will enable users to 'scan' a brand logo in order to unlock a unique, branded AR experience.

INFOGRAPHIC: Snapchat offers holiday marketing tips for app developers
(17 Dec 2019) - In a near infographic, Snapchat lays out tips for holiday marketing in 2019-2020, including planning beyond Christmas, marketing to Gen Z, running device-targeted campaigns and more.

Snapchat introduces swipe up to call ad format in Middle East
(15 Dec 2019) - As part of its effort to build ad products that are more relevant to consumers and that “feel innate to their behaviors,” Snapchat has designed a special Swipe Up to Call ad format that will help remove the friction between brands and consumers.

Snapchat's AR effects are getting more insane, and could live in smart glasses eventually
(12 Dec 2019) - Two years after the arrival of Snap's Lens Studio software, new tools are pushing larger-scale creations, while Spectacles hint at headsets to come.

Snapchat Publishes New Guide for Auto Marketers on the Platform
(3 Dec 2019) - With some 80% of millennials planning to purchase a vehicle within the next five years, Snapchat has released a report about how its own platform may be the best place to target this demographic.

Twitter Ads News

A Twitter app bug was used to match 17 million phone numbers to user accounts
(24 Dec 2019) - The researcher found that it was possible to upload entire lists of generated phone numbers through Twitter's contacts upload feature and then matched the records from users in Israel, Turkey, Iran, Greece Armenia, France and Germany.

Twitter wants to decentralize, but decentralized social network creators don’t trust it
(12 Dec 2019) - The goal is to move Twitter from being a self-contained platform and start delivering content from a decentralized system, but it's been met with skepticism.

Twitter wanted to be the town square. Now it’s also grappling with being a cemetery
(6 Dec 2019) - After outrage over a policy to delete inactive accounts, Twitter struggles with how to handle deceased users

Twitter’s new Twitter Retweets account highlights the best tweets on the platform
(5 Dec 2019) - @TwitterRetweets aims to highlight the best of Twitter by providing followers with 'Your best tweets. Retweeted.'

Twitter Publishes 2020 Marketing Calendar to Help with Strategic Planning
(3 Dec 2019) - To help marketers get a head start 2020, Twitter has this week published its 2020 major events calendar, covering all the key dates and events you need to be aware of, separated by type, along with helpful notes to focus your efforts.

YouTube Ads News

YouTube to limit data collection on children's videos
(30 Dec 2019) - Changes in response to federal privacy clampdown could hit creators’ wallets.

YouTube rolls out new copyright management tools for creators
(27 Dec 2019) - In response to growing concerns from the YouTube Creator community about copyright strikes, the platform is adding new tools that give creators more details on what content is triggering a copyright complaint.

YouTube goes to war with Bitcoin, Crypto
(26 Dec 2019) - Google has decided to remove hundreds of bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos from its video-sharing site YouTube in what's being called a "crypto-purge", leaving many who make bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related videos feeling unfairly targeted by the search giant.

YouTube reveals top 10 most-viewed ads of 2019
(17 Dec 2019) - Amazon clinched the no.1 spot, followed by Hyndai, Gillette and Apple. Other brands included Doritos, Audi, Stella and Nike.

Other Ads News

Spotify is the latest company to ban political ads
(30 Dec 2019) - The company says it doesn't have an advanced enough vetting system in order to allows only legitimate advertisements.

Pandora launches interactive voice ads
(12 Dec 2019) - In the new ads listeners are prompted to say “yes” after the ad asks a question and a tone plays. The ads will then offer more information about the product or brand in question.

2020 & beyond: What’s next for video advertising?
(12 Dec 2019) - Live video is growing rapidly and transforming the way brands think about the value of video content.

Why Netflix may need to cut prices and run ads
(10 Dec 2019) - Increasing competition in the streaming service space (Hulu, Disney, Amazon, Apple) may force Netflix to slash prices by offering a cheaper, ad-supported monthly subscription.

TikTok takes on Facebook in US advertising push
(5 Dec 2019) - Chinese-owned viral video app vows more spending and reveals ecommerce plans.

PDFs Worth Reading This Week

Facebook released 2020 topics and trends report
(12 Dec 2019) - A collection of likely trends to go mainstream in 2020 broken down by region, including some interesting topics like milk baths, kimchi, and 'plant parents.'

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