The President Tweets While Twitter Burns, but Don’t Overlook the Bright Spots

On Wednesday, the president of the United States used Twitter to issue military directives. The next day, Twitter reported a surprise drop in monthly U.S. users. Anyone who thought Trump's tweet-storming and high profile trolling would help the platform grow is apparently going to have to reconsider: It seems that the politics and news that fuel much of the conversation on Twitter may also be driving some people away. "There is a Trump effect," said one agency executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of close ties to Twitter's ad team. "People flocked to the platform because of him, and they are abandoning the platform because of him." Continue reading at

Facebook Gets Brands Ready for 6-Second Video Ads

Facebook is working with some of its advertisers to develop video ads as short as 6 seconds, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday. Video was top of mind for Sandberg and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as they discussed the company's second-quarter earnings on a conference call with Wall Street analysts. Facebook's 47% surge in ad revenue from the quarter a year earlier, to nearly $9.2 billion, owed in large part to strength in both video and mobile advertising. And those two components are tightly linked, according to the executives. "Video is an important part of our mobile strategy," Sandberg said. Continue reading at

Facebook’s Video Helps Drive $9B in Ad Sales, Up 47%

Facebook ad sales topped $9 billion last quarter, proof that its heavy investment in video is paying off, according to industry watchers. The company is holding steady at about 2 billion monthly users, the company also said as it released its latest quarterly results on Wednesday. Its nearly $9.2 billion in ad revenue represented a 47% gain over the period a year earlier. For Facebook, it was a more lucrative quarter than even investors expected. Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at 4C, a major buyer of Facebook ads on behalf of marketers, said the social network saw a "step change" in the amount of video ads brands were buying on the platform. Goldman speculated advertisers may have tested out Facebook video advertising during a period when YouTube was facing criticism for hosting offensive content, which led to a tempory revolt by brands. Continue reading at

‘Facebook Has Not Reached Saturation’: 5 Things to Expect From Wednesday’s Earnings Call

Some say Mark Zuckerberg is acting like a presidential contender. Currently on a 50-state listening tour, he's been photographed in highly orchestrated settings showing off his everyman side, visiting farms, factories, military bases, coffee shops as he mingles with the locals. The reality is Zuckerberg already is the unelected president of a massive community, a milestone the company will likely emphasize in its next public quarterly report on Wednesday. In June, the social network announced it topped 2 billion monthly users. Here's what to expect from Zuckerberg's state of the network, as Facebook releases its second-quarter numbers this afternoon. Continue reading at

What Snapchat’s Dancing Hot Dog Means for the Future of AR

Snapchat's augmented-reality hot dog has started an obsession. It might not look like much, and its dance moves aren't even all that, but it is ahead of its time. It's so advanced, Snapchat hasn't even gotten around to selling the creature or building one for brands. It is the first character that uses the company's 3D "World Lens" technology, which renders the bopping brat as a fully formed creature inside the Snapchat camera. People can walk around it, filming it like it was really there. While Snapchat continues pushing its augmented reality studio to release new project after new project, Facebook, Apple and Google are working as fast as they can to catch that dancing dog, which debuted earlier this month. And there's nothing frivolous about this augmented arms race. Continue reading at

Facebook’s Subscription Plan Gives Publishers Hope at Last

Credit: Illustration by Tam Nguyen/Ad Age Facebook's plan to let publishers sell subscriptions on its platform is renewing some of its media partners' optimism about their future together. Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, confirmed at an industry event this week that the social network will let publishers set up paywalls on the content they publish using Instant Articles, which let Facebook users read without actually visiting publishers' sites. Continue reading at