US Algorithm Bills, Meta Q4 Hit, & More News

Jess Alien | 28.2.22

Here’s a dose of your February monthly news from the digital marketing and mobile marketing fields.

The new bill could change how algorithms push content

In the United States, a new bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress to stop attempts by social media algorithm users to push harmful content. The bill, entitled “Social Media NUDGE Act,” studies the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s “content-neutral” ways to add friction to online content sharing.

Researchers need to develop a number of methods to reduce the spread of harmful content and misinformation on social media, such as asking users to read before sharing an article – a method adopted by Twitter. If the bill passes, the Federal Trade Commission will codify it so that social media platforms are forced to incorporate it into their algorithms.

In early February 2022, Meta announced its Q4 earnings, revealing that its share price had fallen more than 20% in after-hours trading. In June of last year, the meter market cap reached a staggering 1 trillion, but now does not hit even $ 700 billion. What could be the reason for this?

Apple’s app tracking transparency policy certainly has a hand here. With this new policy, Apple has taken away the reliance on the unique iOS Device Identifier (IDFA) on which digital advertisers rely for tracking, attribution and more. Meta relies heavily on it for its revenue, since IDFA is a major means by which advertisers were able to deliver targeted ads on the platform.

Meta itself has blamed many, including ATT, for its relatively low Q4 earnings. However, Meta has a plan to overcome this, as Metar COO Sheryl Sandberg has announced a growing return on advertising spending:

“We are working on measurement […] To help businesses continue to measure campaigns using Apple’s SKAD network, APIs and metrics, collective event measurement and conversion modeling. So we have specific products that people can accept that help us. In the long run, we need to develop privacy-enhancing technologies to help reduce the amount of personal information we learn and use. […] So while we’ve seen the effects of these changes, we’re not starting out where millions of our advertisers are using the tools that are 100% available. […] We still believe that the system has a lot of performance improvements left. “

Since Meta will have to build a completely new advertising infrastructure behind ATT (and other privacy reforms that have been introduced or are on their way), it is inevitable that this will affect its revenue. Especially since this rebuild is not a quick fixer-upper type job, but a complete overhaul from scratch – it will take time.

The Open App Markets Act affects Apple and Google’s in-app payments

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted significantly in favor of the Open App Markets Act, a bill targeting app-mediated payments for both Apple and Google. Once the bill becomes part of the law, all App Marketplace owners with more than fifty million US users (a category that easily falls into both Apple and Google) will be prohibited from forcing third-party developers to use their respective payment systems. Currently, both Google Play Store and App Store require third party apps to do this.

As a result of the law, Apple and Google will no longer have the right to block or fine developers for offering their apps on other platforms at different prices, allowing developers to interact with “legitimate business offers, such as pricing and product or service offers” with their users. Another element of this law refers to the installation of third party app stores, which is not currently permitted by any company and must be included in this law. Also, Apple needs to start allowing apps loaded on its devices, which Android already does.

As expected, the bill did not come without protest. Both Apple and Google have objected to this, claiming that it compromises user safety and privacy. Now, whether the bill passes or not is a matter for the Senate.

Why not Apple and Google Really Want to pass this bill? They charge a commission on all in-app purchases made within the app they download from the App Store, which is 15% of the first $ 1 million in app developers’ annual revenue from in-app purchases. Once developers turn over more than 1 million in revenue, the commission percentage doubles.

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