July 6, 2018 By FTI Consulting
You may be forgiven for being slightly distracted from the latest updates in digital communications as most of us are still recovering from one of the most nail biting penalty shootouts in recent memory. But don’t you worry, in true millennial fashion we have been keeping one eye on the screen and the other eye on… well, another screen full of the latest online triumphs and tribulations.
One announcement which did grab our attention was the launch of new advertising transparency tools by Facebook and Twitter. Recently both platforms faced criticism from commentators who suggested that advertising on the platforms during the 2016 US Presidential election was opaque and potentially misleading. The new ad centres are the companies’ response. On Facebook users will be able to see the ads that specific Pages are currently running and on Twitter you’ll be able to search for handles and see the ads they have run over the past seven days.
Ultimately the companies are keen to avoid further accusations that they have enabled interference in foreign elections, but what does this mean for advertisers? The obvious implication is that we must be happy for any audience to see any advert we run. Another new element for advertisers is that they will be able to see how their competitors are advertising. Whilst this may make it easier for companies to establish best practices, it will certainly make it more challenging to be ahead of the curve in digital advertising.
A couple of weeks ago we were lamenting the possible loss of our beloved memes. Well clearly we weren’t the only ones who were upset as Wikipedia’s Italian, Spanish and Polish sites have temporarily shut down access to their free encyclopaedia services in protest against EU copyright law.
The controversial articles 13 and 11 fundamentally threaten the existence of crowdsourced sites like Wikipedia as the laws would force websites to filter user content for copyright breaches and impose a “link tax” on companies for linking to publishers. Founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has argued that the legislation would benefit larger platforms such as Google who can afford to set up filtering, whilst shutting down smaller players who cannot.
Whilst all companies will appreciate the importance of copyright law, Wikipedia is an incredibly important source of information for us all with 18 billion monthly page views, therefore we are keen to see it stay afloat. In the end the vote was tight but came out against the new law, so we can hold on to our memes, for now…
Cast your mind back to December 2017 and you may recall that Morrisons was experiencing a data breach, in which thousands of its staff had their payroll data leaked.
Beyond the obvious anger at the responsible individual and the organisation, there was also a great deal of frustration about the lack of communication from company.
The struggle that Morrisons faced was that it has a highly mobile workforce who aren’t in front of computer screens. It is a challenge that many businesses face. This week WhatsApp launched a feature which could change the way we communicate within organisations like Morrisons. The messaging app has launched a new feature to enable one-way broadcast communications in groups, allowing admins to create groups where they are the only ones capable of sending messages. The feature will enable organisations to communicate important announcements to people who are on the move or without access to a computer. We expect to see more and more companies using this, particularly as work environments become increasingly flexible and mobile communications take centre stage.