The Webrepublican Nr. 31, September 2016

04 Sep 2016 / by Simon Wüthrich / Webrepublic / Comments

Google and Facebook fighting ad blockers – and each other, measuring success in content marketing, payments in virtual reality, underestimating Apple's artificial intelligence, 1227 readers, an anticipated open rate of 48%, and 3 minutes and 3 seconds of reading time. That’s Webrepublican No. 31.



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E-commerce companies are turning their backs on AdWords! Or are they? Two studies did the rounds in mid-August, announcing a decline in the significance of AdWords. But the studies aren’t comprehensive in their approach and their credibility is therefore limited. iBusiness has written a good article about the topic (albeit under a sensationalistic title) and concluded that Google's ecosystem is in fact gaining in importance: but to succeed in it, you’ll need to get up earlier...


Google is going one step further to improve user experiences on mobile devices. From January 2017, the search engine giant will punish websites that display ads covering the entire screen on mobile devices in its organic search results. In other words, advertisers who strive for a positive user experience will be rewarded – and it’s also a kick up the backside for ad blockers.

 Google geht gegen solche Interstitial Ads vor


While Google challenges ad blockers indirectly, Facebook is going head-to-head with them: since mid-August, the social network has been throwing technological punches in ad blockers’ direction. The argument is that “Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.” At the same time, social network marketers are launching increasingly sophisticated tools to reach their target audiences.


360° videos may be entertaining, but are they worth the elaborate production process? A study by Google says no, if regular video metrics like view-through rates are to be believed. But if you look more closely, you’ll see that videos lead to an active audience and achieve better results when it comes to virality.


Is content marketing worth it and can its success be systematically measured? Natalie Schönbächler examined these issues as part of her master's thesis and came to a clear conclusion.


China just copies the west and cannot be expected to drive true innovation – it’s high time this cliché was thrown overboard. Take a look at e-commerce and m-commerce, for example: the rest of the world is lagging far behind. So it’s no surprise that the Chinese internet giant Alibaba is launching a payment solution for virtual reality as early as September.


After Facebook attacked YouTube with native videos, YouTube is reportedly planning a massive counter-attack. Now Mark Zuckerberg is opening up a new front in the battle of the Silicon Valley giants: it wants to attack Google's core business, search advertising.


Which companies are driving the commercialization of artificial intelligence and machine learning? Google and Facebook – but definitely not Apple. Well, Apple is now publicly opposing this widely held view: AI and ML have long been integrated in our products, but nobody has noticed yet.

The iBrain is here


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