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AdTech News Digest | Fraud on Google Play, EU Rejects Copyright Payout Law, Facebook Blocking the Wrong Ads


In this week’s news digest, we’ll take a look at the state of app marketing, the value of the augmented reality market, the EU’s rejection of the copyright payout proposal and much more.

Want to read our previous digest? Here you go: AdTech News Digest | Chrome vs. HTTP, EU Banning Memes, No More Crypto Mining on iPhone

How Misleading Apps Can Fake Popularity on Google Play

There’s no denying that misleading apps are crowding digital marketplaces like Google Play. Unfortunately, deceitful developers have figured out another way to try to fool consumers into thinking their apps are legit.

This new manipulation technique consists of swapping the name of the developer, which is visible when browsing for apps, for a fake number of downloads. This deceives users and makes them think that the app comes from an established source with a vast number of users.

In other cases, malicious developers used terms that indicated legitimacy instead of their actual name. The best way to avoid these apps is by checking the number of downloads on every app’s individual Google Play page.

Facebook’s Political Ad Filter is Blocking the Wrong Ads

Facebook has been at the center of numerous scandals in the last few years, so it’s no surprise that the social media giant has recently incorporated new political ad policies.

At the same time, the platform has implemented an ads blocking system that relies on artificial intelligence. However, because part of the system relies on keyword recognition, multiple ads across the web have been erroneously blocked.

From small businesses like lawn mowing companies to juggernauts such as Walmart saw some of their ads removed because they contained terms like “Bush” or “Clinton”. These terms were associated with political themes so they triggered the filter and did not go live.

Political ads_Facebook_

Image by Bloomberg

At the time of writing this article, Facebook hasn’t released a statement about the erroneously blocked ads.

While the new political review system is far from perfect, other platforms like Twitter have also committed to new political ads policies to avoid scandals like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco.

AppsFlyer and Facebook Present the 2018 Lifetime Vale Benchmarks

In collaboration with Facebook, AppsFlyer released a report named Lifetime Value – The Cornerstone of App Marketing. This benchmark analyzes the profitability of apps and showcases 5 key findings:

  • Despite different challenges, revenue from app marketing has increased 80% since 2016
  • The gaming, travel, and shopping industries have distinct requirements and behave completely differently
  • Revenue generation from app marketing in the US and the UK is much higher than any other country, but emerging markets offer a great opportunity due to their low costs
  • Re-engagement campaigns are critical to overcoming a drop in revenue
  • The best way to establish your bottom line is to link costs and revenue

Mindfulness Boom: Calm Raises $27 Million in Funding, Boosts Value to $250 Million


The mindfulness app industry is growing like wildfire, which is one of the reasons why the meditation startup Calm managed to raise $27 million worth of funding in a series A round.

The investment, led by Insight Venture, gives the company a pre-money valuation of $250 million. The move confirms the rumors that emerge mid-March and gives Calm the resources it needs to become one of the most meaningful brands in the world.

Study Reveals that 4 Out of Every 5 Websites Have Issues

Speed is critical to a website’s success. Not only does it affect your SEO ranking, but slow websites won’t keep users around for long.

SemRush Report

Image by SemRush

In lieu of this fact, SEMrush recently conducted site audits by analyzing 150,000 random websites in order to assess their performance. The study found that a stunning 82% of all websites displayed issues that hindered their download speed.

Besides dissecting each issue, the report also proposes solutions like trimming down on page size, boosting the performance of your servers, and cleaning up redirects.

The Giants Rest Easy: EU Rejects Copyright Payout Law

The long-running saga involving the biggest technology firms in the world and a potential copyright payout law has finally come to an end.

EU lawmakers have rejected the potential law that would see online media companies like Google and Facebook paying billions of dollars to publishers, artists, and other content owners.

While many content creators and owners want to see big companies sharing more of their profits, the payout law would have likely forced tech companies to ban and remove risky material.

This may potentially result in censored material and a violation of free speech, which caused many influential tech leaders to deem the payout law as an “imminent threat to the future”.

By 2023, the Augmented Reality Industry To Be Worth About $8 Billion

The augmented reality (AR) industry is growing quickly thanks to the popularity of mobile technology. MarketsandMarkets released a report about the global forecast of the AR industry, confirming it’s a growing vertical with a lot of potential.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality space is positioned to grow from $1.1 to almost $8 billion by 2023. While widespread adoption is a crucial part of this prediction, many retailers are already using this technology to offer the ability to “test drive” before you buy it.

At the same time, AR advertising may also increase customer engagement and bring forth a deeper emotional response from consumers.

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