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$40 Million fine? Facebook will take it.
On video and other things.
An intro. Good Monday morning. I hope that you all had a restful weekend and are ready to tackle the workweek. This week’s newsletter will be all about video.
Well, let’s get to it. Remember pivot to video? Publishers began slashing written content in favor of social video. Facebook was a major player in the game, opting to prioritize video on its own platform. The tech giant bragged about its daily video viewership.
Then, there was a problem.
Facebook disclosed that it actually incorrectly calculated video views on its website for two years. Advertisers sued the company, citing that the inflated views greatly impacted publishers and accused Facebook of knowing about the miscalculations well before the company admitted it.
Under a proposed settlement, the company will acknowledge the error but won’t admit to any other allegation and will be hit with a $40 million fine.
It seems like a lot, right? Nope.
Facebook’s annual net income for 2018 was $22 billion. Do the math. That’s a fine that will cost the company 0.18% of its income. That’s chump change for a company as big as Facebook.
Wall Street Journal: “This is a recurring theme that we keep seeing: Facebook gets called out on something, but marketers continue to use the platform,” said Ms. Boulos. “It does not seem that we’re close to any straw breaking the camel’s back in terms of something hindering or pushing marketers away from the platforms.”
Who to watch: Elizabeth Warren. She’s been feuding with Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg over advertising on the platform and shows no signs of backing down.
CNN: “The Warren fight over ads highlights the collapsing distinction between traditional broadcast media and 21st-century digital platforms, experts say, raising fresh questions about how decades-old regulations concerning political speech should apply to massive online platforms that can influence millions of voters.”
Some media reads. Pay attention to video. It’ll be a big player in the 2020 elections and it’s the way to reach young audiences. A Pew Research Center study found that 85% of teens use Youtube and 32% of teens say they use the platform the most, only second to Snapchat (35%).
“[T]he tool, called Instant Reserve, is a new reservation tool in Google Ads. The company is testing with advertisers across multiple industries. The goal is to allow marketers to plan and book campaigns with a fixed budget and forecasted reach in advance of the campaign launching.”
“The video depicts a scene inside the “Church of Fake News,” where parishioners rise as Mr. Trump — dressed in a black pinstripe suit and tie — walks down the aisle. Many parishioners’ faces have been replaced with the logos of news media organizations, including PBS, NPR, Politico, The Washington Post and NBC.”
What Does PewDiePie Really Believe? [New York Times]
“One crucial thing to understand about YouTube is that there are really two of them. The first YouTube is the YouTube that everyone knows — the vast reference library filled with sports highlights, music videos and old Comedy Central roasts. But there’s a second YouTube inside that one. It is a self-contained universe with its own values and customs, its own incentive structures and market dynamics and its own fully developed celebrity culture that includes gamers, beauty vloggers, musicians, D.I.Y.ers, political commentators, artists and pranksters.”
A song for the week
A tweet for the week
If you don’t know, now you know.
A story for the week
As I prepare for my first ever 5K this weekend, I’m thinking a lot about Eliud Kipchoge and his sub-2-hour marathon. Like The Atlantic writes, it’s the “Greatest, Fakest World Record.”
“The whole thing was as close as you can get to a mobile marathon spa treatment—if going to a spa were paired with the worst discomfort of your life.”
But’s still pretty darn cool.
— Have a great week.