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The Frenemy Report: Facebook is Shook

Lots of buzz coming out of Code this week– Verizon go90’s future is looking uncertain…(just one less competitor for Viacom’s upcoming streaming service to take on) and the NBA and Magic Leap are partnering, hoping that making b-ball interactive will engage Gen Zers.

For the first time ever, Facebook is expected to shed 18-to-24-year-old users this year (down 5.6%). On the flip, eMarketer says Instagram will add 1.6 million users younger than 24, while Snapchat will add 1.9 million. Worth noting for publishers: Facebook’s new branded content guidelines and Snap’s expanded advertising API.

And ICYMI, here’s the WIRED cover story diving into Facebook’s inner turmoil. As Zuck works to bring the platform (or is it a publisher now?) back to community, expect to see more updates like a focus on local news and breaking news.

Oath’s Tim Armstrong casts doubt over Go90’s future [Marketing Land]

“The [Go90] brand will remain, I don’t know how long for, but for now, it’s remaining,” Armstrong said. Where Oath kept stubbing its toe was on Go90 as a distribution outlet. While it had hoped to attract a large audience to the platform, it had platforms like AOL and Yahoo that already had large audiences. So Verizon shifted its strategy with Go90 after folding it into Oath last year.“Go90 will be redistributed inside of the super-large distribution that we have [within Oath through AOL and Yahoo],” Armstrong said, describing Go90 as “a content engine, a content library.”

Facebook’s new branded-content guidelines will force some publishers to abandon a business model [Digiday]

“There were publishers who had built entire businesses on this content model, and as recently as six months ago, they were saying everything was great,” said the founder of one company that distributed Facebook content that way. “Gone are the days when social publishers enjoyed relatively cheap distribution of their low-quality content through influencer pages.”

Viacom will launch its own streaming service as everyone ditches cable [BGR]

“It’s going to be rolled out in the U.S., in terms of the amount of content that it’s going to have, it’s going to have tens of thousands of hours of content that cut across the library we have on a global basis. Viacom isn’t going after the big live TV market at all. Its programming is more competitive with the likes of Hulu and Netflix, and the package will probably look something like that.

Amazon’s streaming service Twitch is pulling in as many viewers as CNN and MSNBC [Business Insider]

In January 2018, Twitch had nearly a million people watching at any given point. Twitch primarily features live video streams of people playing video games, but the service has added other types of content recently.

The Winter Olympics Are Snagging Viewer Emotion Gold
[Broadcasting & Cable]

B&C partnered with Canvs, the emotion measurement company, to see how viewers have been emotionally reacting to the Games thus far. In fact, of the 2.7 million ERs in the last week, nearly 1.1 million of them were sparked by Olympics coverage — especially remarkable given that we’re only a few days into the Games. In fact, the Games are already starting to stack up impressively against the mighty social frenzy that is the Super Bowl. From Saturday through Monday on Super Bowl weekend, SBLII generated more than 3.3 million emotionally charged tweets; the Olympics are already a third of the way there and it doesn’t look like conversation will be slowing anytime soon:

Facebook is creating a news section in Watch to feature breaking news [TechCrunch]

The company had created a video tab as early as 2016, but only hosted generic videos that were being shared by friends and family. With Watch, Facebook was trying to own and control original content that it distributes itself exclusively on its own channel. Competitors like YouTube and Snap also have their own original content, but with Watch — and the news focus — it’s taking a big step forward.


The past year has also altered Facebook’s fundamental understanding about whether it’s a publisher or a platform. The company has always answered that question defiantly—platform, platform, platform—for regulatory, financial, and maybe even emotional reasons. But now, gradually, Facebook has evolved. Of course it’s a platform, and always will be. But the company also realizes now that it bears some of the responsibilities that a publisher does: for the care of its readers, and for the care of the truth. You can’t make the world more open and connected if you’re breaking it apart. So what is it: publisher or platform? Facebook seems to have finally recognized that it is quite clearly both.


Facebook is expected to shed 18-to-24-year-old users this year for the first time, according to a new report from eMarketer, which predicts a 5.6 decline for the age group on Facebook. Snapchat already has more 12- to 24-year-old users than Instagram, and is still adding more users in that age range than Instagram, eMarketer says. This year, Instagram will add 1.6 million users younger than 24, while Snapchat will add 1.9 million, eMarketer says.

Snapchat opens its advertising API to everyone [Marketing Land]

For advertisers, the Marketing API removes the need to go through Snap’s direct sales team, pay for third-party software or manually place each ad buy using Snap’s self-serve ad-buying tool, Ad Manager. For agencies, it can reduce the reliance on outside vendors to manage clients’ Snapchat campaigns and increase their flexibility and control over those campaigns. And for developers, it can enable them to erect new ad-buying dashboards to serve more niche needs than what may be satisfied by larger, more general ad tech firms.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on Why Logan Paul Wasn’t Kicked Off [Variety]

“We do terminate accounts all the time,” Wojcicki said, explaining that the company has a three strikes and you’re out rule for accounts that violate the platform’s policies. “He hasn’t done anything that would cause those 3 strikes.” Instead, YouTube decided to not run any ads against Logan Paul’s videos, and not share any ad revenue with him anymore. “We think that’s actually a pretty strong statement,” she said.

Magic Leap is partnering with the NBA to change the way you watch basketball [Recode]

The NBA has found at least one technology partner to share in the idea: Magic Leap, the highly anticipated augmented reality startup set to launch its first pair of glasses this year, is now partnering with the NBA and its broadcast partner Turner, the companies announced Tuesday at Recode’s Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, Calif.