PPC News: Tech giant Q1 earnings, Bing Ads rebrands as Microsoft Advertising

Our roundup of the top PPC news headlines this week.

PPC News Roundup is a weekly roundup of all news related to the major PPC and digital advertising platforms. Published on Tuesdays, “PPC News Roundup” will help you stay up-to-date on all the important PPC ads news you need to know.

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PPC Videos This Week

The Key Takeaways From Alphabet's Lackluster 1st-Qtr Earnings

Google's Q1 earnings last week revealed slowing growth reflective of a maturing search advertising market.

The Mobile Shopping App Tapping Into the Gen Z Market

Gen Z is shopping in a fundamentally different way which has given rise to a new trend of social commerce. The new app Dote is specifically targeting this younger shopper, making it possible to buy products online in a way that neither Pinterest nor Instagram nor anybody else yet offers.

Amazon is posting amazing margins on the back of ads

Amazon has cemented itself as the third largest digital advertiser, as the company's Q1 earnings show. Whereas Google captures 37.2% of US digital ad revenue and Facebook 22.1%, Amazon is not far behind at 8.8%.

Twitter Daily Active Users hits 134 million, finally turns profit

Twitter saw daily active users jump from 126 million in Q4 to 134 million in Q1 2019. This comes amidst CEO Jack Dorsey's efforts to clean up the platform from spam, bots and fake accounts, as well as efforts to improve having conversations and following interests.

Snapchat reports Q1 earnings

Snapchat saw daily active users increase from 186 million in Q4 2018 to 190 million in Q1 2019. The increased daily active users contradict a report by eMarketer put out last month that said that Snapchat would lose users in 2019 overall as they jump ship towards Instagram.

PPC PDFs this week

Search, Social, and eCommerce Advertising Metrics and Insights for Q1 2019

Kenshoo released its Q1 report on search, social and ecommerce performance for the first quarter of 2019, providing insights into emerging trends for 2019. The highlights include:

  • Social media advertising is up 27% year-on-year in Q1 2019
  • Impressions are up 20% year-on-year
  • Instagram spending is up 44% year-on-year
  • Pinterest spend doubled, along with clicks. Impressions are up 81% year-on-year

IAB Video Advertising Spend Report

A new report on video advertising shows that direct-to-consuer (DTC) brands with marketing budgets greater than $1 million per year are expected to increase their video budgets in the upcoming year. In addition:

  • New digital video ad formats are expected to have significant increase in adoption in 2019–particularly stories and shoppable ads
  • New digital video ad formats are expected to have significant increase in adoption in 2019–particularly stories and shoppable ads
  • Buyers report that half of digital video budgets will be spent through programmatic buys
  • Buyers report that half of digital video budgets will be spent through programmatic buys
  • More than 8 in 10 advertisers agree that a unified multi-platform buying solution (TV + digital video) is important

Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q1 2019

Google continues to dominate search visit share, particularly on mobile devices. But DuckDuckGo has seen the strongest growth of late, with visits up 54% overall and 78% on mobile devices.

Amazon Ads News

Thanks to Amazon, more retailer sites will bombard you with ads

Amazon's digital ad success has other ecommerce sites like eBay and Walmart looking to follow in their footsteps, which means customers are likely to face increased ads in the future. Some possible consequences could include retail web pages loading more slowly because of the ads, and retail search results stuffed with sponsored listings and display banners.

Is Amazon's Ad Business Already Running Out of Steam?

While Amazon's emergence as the third largest digital adveriser has gained a lot of attention, investors may be worried about slowing growth. The "Other" revenue line where the majority of Amazon's ad revenue is reported grew only 36% in Q1 2019, as opposed to 132% in the first three months of last year.

Bing Ads News

Bing Ads is now Microsoft Advertising

First there was Microsoft adCenter. Then there was Bing Ads. Now Bing Ads is reverting back to its old brand, Microsoft Advertising. A similar rebranding was done by Google Ads last year when the AdWords name was scrapped.

Bing Ads getting rid of active destination URLs

Starting in August 2019, Bing Ads will no longer support the ability to create destination URLs at all entity levels (keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns). By the end of 2019 Bing Ads will no longer serve entities with destination URLs.

Facebook Ads News

Facebook accused of blocking wider efforts to study its ad platform

Facebook has been accused of blocking the ability of independent researchers to study how political disinformation flows across its ad platform. The ad archive Facebook launched last month has been called inadequate.

Shopify adds Facebook dynamic ads, Snapchat Story Ads

eCommerce platform Shopify has begun allowing merchants to create, manage and launch dynamic ads on Facebook and Story Ads on Snapchat to help users reach more shoppers.

Facebook ad revenue keeps rising, 3 million advertisers using Stories Ads

Facebook reported $14.9 billion in ad revenue during the first quarter of the year, up 26% year-over-year. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 93% of the company’s total ad revenue, which was up 30% year-over-year. The average price of an ad decreased 4% during the first quarter of the year, while ad impressions jumped 32%.

Facebook Stories somehow hits 500 million daily users

Facebook Stories have seen tremendous growth. After successfully launching on Instagram, it looks like the Stories format is the future of how Facebook will deliver content.

Google Ads News

Google's ad revenue grows 15.3% in Q1

Google’s advertising business rose 15.3% in the first quarter, a significant drop from 19.9% in Q4 and 24.4% in Q1 2018.

Despite this, the company continues to dominate search, particularly mobile search, where Google accounted for 96% of all mobile organic search-driven visits during the quarter.

Google Display & Video 360 to default to ads.txt inventory, support app-ads.txt

Starting in August, campaigns will default to ads.txt-authorized inventory only. This means only publishers that have adopted the standard and have placed ads.txt files on their sites will be eligible for bids from DV360.

Parallel tracking goes live for Google Ads display campaigns May 1

After launching for search ads last year, parallel tracking is coming to Google display campaigns this week. It will be mandatory for all advertisers that append tracking parameters to their display ad URLs in Google Ads on July 31.

Parallel tracking is designed to enable landing pages to load faster after users click your ads if you’re using third-party click measurement. It does this by separating the processing of tracking parameters appended to an ad URL from the landing page. This way, the user is directed straight to the landing page while the tracking functionality loads separately.

Instagram Ads News

The Amount Of Accounts Promoting Fake Luxury Products On Instagram Triples

Instagram is failing to clamp down on the abuse of its platform by groups of organized criminals promoting counterfeit luxury products including shoes, handbags, clothes and sunglasses, according to research by analytics firm Ghost Data.

Instagram Considers Hiding Like Counts

Instagram has considered hiding the like count on photos, so audiences can’t see how many people have liked an individual post.

Reddit Ads News

Even In A Brand-Safety Climate, Reddit Is Winning Over Advertisers

Brands are being tough on platforms, pulling advertising dollars after brand safety fiascoes and thinking critically about appearing adjacent to unpredictable content that can expose them to brand-safety risks. But so far Reddit seems to be thriving, with revenue growing by a factor of three in the past three years.

Snapchat Ads News

Snapchat is launching Snap Select

Snapchat is releasing a new feature called Snap Select which will simplify the process of buying video ads within Snapchat's 'Discover' section. The feature will be similar to YouTube's ad-buying option, which allows advertisers to easily purchase non-skippable ads.

Snapchat's 'Discover' section includes content from original shows or select publishers like ESPN or NBC. Pricing will be fixed and the ads will be human-curated which reduces the risk of brand-safety issues for publishers.

Snap Is Shutting Down Some Sponsored Content

Earlier this month, Snap added a new clause to its community guidelines which prohibits spam and deceptive practices, including content that imitates Snapchat ad formats. For many creators on Snapchat, this addition finally provided an explanation to why their sponsored posts have been mysteriously disappearing from the platform.

Twitter Ads News

Some people would be willing to pay $4 a month for Twitter

A Morning Consult survey showed that young adults were least likely to choose Twitter if they were forced to give up one of the four major social media platforms. The optimal price for a Twitter subscription was calculated at about $4.

Recently Twitter said it would abandon using the monthly active users, which it says is inaccurate, and choose instead to focus only on monetizing its 134 million daily active users. While Twitter recently turned a profit, entirely on the back of advertising, this data suggests a subscription model could be an alternative means of monetization for the platform.

Pew Survey Explains What Twitter Users Look Like

A Pew Research Center survey of 2,791 US adult Twitter users reveals the following behavioral patterns and habits:

  • 42 percent of adult Twitter users have at least a bachelor’s degree, which is 11 percentage points higher than the overall share of the public with this level of education (31 percent).
  • Twitter users are more likely to identify with the Democratic Party (36 percent) compared to US adults at large (30 percent)
  • 64 percent of Twitter users vs. 54 percent of Americans say black Americans are treated less fairly than white Americans. They are also more likely than the U.S. general public to say that immigrants strengthen the U.S. (66 percent vs. 57 percent) and that barriers exist in the society that  it harder for women to get ahead (62 percent vs. 56 percent).
  • The most prolific 10 percent of Twitter users produce about 138 tweets monthly. These active tweeters are also more likely to be female: 65 percent, compared with 48 percent of the bottom 90 percent of tweeters.

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