S ilicon Crisis, Amazon Ads and Instagram Chronology

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Nick Cotton Mar 23, 2018

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there.

Silicon Valley Is Having An Existential Crisis Over “Time Well Spent.” But So Are We.
By Charlie Warzel from BuzzFeed News
  • “Across the tech industry, a reckoning is afoot. Faced with the consequences (harassment, misinformation, radicalization, polarization) wrought by the unprecedented scale of its platforms, Big Tech is — at least publicly — looking inward.”
  • “A similar reckoning is taking place for those of us who live on these platforms, too. In the last two weeks alone, it’s taken the form of a number of familiar stunts that involve ‘unplugging’ from or altering the way that we interact with the internet.”
  • “Our collective struggle to get a handle on what the internet has wrought is not unlike discussions happening now in open-plan offices across Silicon Valley. Something’s wrong, and Big Tech has (slowly) begun to admit some fault.”
Watch out, Google and Facebook: Amazon ads are on the rise
From Fast Company
  • “Overall, eMarketer expects Google and Facebook to control 56.8% of the digital ad market this year, down from 58.5% in 2017.”
  • “This year, for the first time, Amazon’s ad revenue will top $2 billion, and Snap’s will top $1 billion. The two upstarts are still tiny in comparison to Google ($40 billion) and Facebook ($21 billion), but they are growing far faster.”
  • “For marketers, Amazon represents the best of both worlds: search intent, like Google, combined with identity, like Facebook. Amazon also lacks some of the platform dynamics that have created tension between Google and Facebook and their advertisers.”
Instagram tweaks its feed to be more chronological after years of complaints
By Hayley Tsukayama from The Washington Post
  • “Instagram is making some changes to address one of its users’ biggest pet peeves — not seeing posts as soon as they are made. A post on the company’s blog Thursday said the photo-sharing app’s feed now gives more weight to when a post was made and will prevent old posts from showing up high in your feed.”
  • “Instagram, which was bought by Facebook in 2012, used to show posts in the order in which they were posted. But it introduced a Facebook-like algorithm in 2016 that sorted posts based on other factors,”
  • “Keeping the user feed relevant is crucial for the company, which needs the data on what people look at, when they look at it and why for its advertising networks.”

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