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The Frenemy Report: Video is the Key to Gen Z

Viacom’s been trying to get in with the next generation, first acquiring WHOSAY and now VidCon, a popular annual video conference (Read: extravaganza of YouTubers and their fans, creators who can now post stories on Patreon). Speaking of creators, Facebook Watch is planning a more direct assault on YouTube.

After what feels like 365 days of negative press, Snap is rejoicing– Snap beat analysts’ expectations for Q4 2017, and their stock soared 27% yesterday. Snap’s going for the Gold!

Viacom Acquiring VidCon [Variety]

VidCon likely fits into Viacom’s efforts to connect with youth audiences, who gravitate more and more to digital platforms than the linear cable channels that are the conglomerate’s core assets. Just last month Viacom also acquired WhoSay, an influencer marketing firm that specializes in targeting young audiences online with branded content.

Facebook is planning a more direct assault on YouTube, sources say [CNBC]

Facebook has talked to media buyers about expanding Watch to more individual creators and creating an advertising system where everyone would get a split of revenue, similar to YouTube. The company has also indicated that it will allow brands to select which shows they want to advertise on and potentially create a tiered advertising system to allow companies to advertise on top Watch videos.

How Facebook stole the news business [TechCrunch]

Again and again, Facebook has centralized attention typically spread across the web. A few years back I wrote about “20 New Ways Facebook Is Eating The Internet,” and its appetite has only grown. It’s trying to do the same with Watch (YouTube), Marketplace (Craigslist and eBay) and many other features. It’s a smart plan that ends up arguably improving the experience for individual users — or at least offering new options while making Facebook more essential and much richer.

Snap Stock Soars as Company Posts First Earnings Beat Since IPO [Variety]

Those design changes have put a bigger emphasis on user-to-user sharing, as opposed to content created by publishers and brands. “There is a really big difference in talking to your friends on a telephone, and broadcasting on a TV channel,” Spiegel said Tuesday about the logic of separating the two.

Why Facebook and Instagram should kill the Like button [Mashable]

The Like has become the currency of carelessness — a way to show we approve without being deeply invested. In many cases, it covers for a lack of attention. It helps fake news propagate, discourages meaningful conversations, encourages shallowness, and exacerbates the most psychologically damaging effects of social media.

Patreon Launches Lens, Its Take on Stories, to Let Creators Connect With Supporters [Variety]

Creators can annotate their photos and videos with captions, and everything expires 24 hours after posting — just like stories on Instagram or Snapchat.

Advertisers Following Viewers as They Move to Over-the-Top [Multichannel News]

The survey, conducted by Kagan, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence, found that 100% of advertisers said the biggest change in their strategy was the result of changing viewing habits. The survey’s advertising respondents said they expected higher return on investment on OTT, where they are able to use data and adopt audience-based buying.

Instagram Gives Brands New Way to Sell in ‘Collection’ Ads [Ad Age]

On Tuesday, the photo- and video-sharing app, owned by Facebook, started testing ads that blend videos and product catalogs where consumers can complete purchases without leaving. Instagram calls them “collection” campaigns, and they were first tested on Facebook.

When Technology Disrupts Marketing, Talent Is Next [Ad Age]

So I came to a crossroads. While I loved my agency experience, I felt the need to begin work at a technology company. In January 2018, I joined the product marketing team of Quantcast—an AI technology company that operates the world’s largest audience behavior graph. I wanted to work side by side with cutting-edge technologists to help brands and their agency partners grow in the AI era.

Warner’s warning: YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is susceptible to “bad actors” [Fast Company]

“Companies like YouTube have immense power and influence in shaping the media and content that users see,” Warner told The Guardian. “I’ve been increasingly concerned that the recommendation engine algorithms behind platforms like YouTube are, at best, intrinsically flawed in optimizing for outrageous, salacious and often fraudulent content.”

NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed are teaming up for a new parenting channel called Playfull [Digiday]

Playfull launches today on Facebook and is the first publishing brand that will be co-owned by the longtime partners. NBCUniversal has invested $400 million in BuzzFeed since 2015 and has embedded the digital publisher within its Digital Enterprises group, which oversees NBCU’s digital media investments including other partnerships with Vox Media and Snap.

NFL Star Von Miller to Host Live Comedy-Variety Show for Facebook Watch [Variety]

Denver Broncos star Von Miller is heading to Facebook Watch as the host of a live weekly comedy-variety series to originate from his mansion in the Mile-High City.

Facebook Watch may be finding its groove thanks to Tom Brady and Stephen A. Smith [Business insider]

Moreover, “Tom vs. Time” has the potential to get people to think differently about the Facebook video experience, since it looks far more polished than the typical web series. That could give viewers, and advertisers, a reason to take the rest of Watch more seriously.

Netflix’s ‘Altered Carbon’ Is The Best Hard Sci-Fi Show On TV This Side Of ‘Westworld’ [Forbes]

Netflix, slow down. I just finished processing Black Mirror, Altered Carbon came out Friday, and now you’re dumping a new Cloverfield movie on me after the Super Bowl. I love sci-fi but man, you’re crazy.

Snapchat to Show Live Video of NBC’s Olympics Coverage [WSJ]

Deal could forge closer ties between traditional TV networks and Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc.