Facebook’s 2018 continues to be a bit grim on the news front. Election manipulation, Instagram founders leaving, and now the social network is under fire from its [real] customers — advertisers. But hey, they’re still working on that dating app? Apple’s started highlighting apps that feature Siri shortcuts and we couldn’t be more excited! Check out our faves and more!
Did you REALLY watch that video?
A small group of advertisers has resurfaced complaints that Facebook has inflated video viewing metrics and failed to disclose the error to advertisers who didn’t catch it on their own, reports The Wall Street Journal. Facebook initially let advertisers know of the measurement error in August 2016. However, after reviewing over 80,000 pages of internal Facebook records, a class-action lawsuit is suggesting the problem is way, way worse than The Zuck & Co. initially claimed.
Originally, Facebook only counted video views that lasted more than three seconds when calculating its “average duration of video viewed” metric. Views under three seconds weren’t factored in, and so inflating the average length of a view, sometimes by incredibly wide margins. Facebook said it had “recently discovered” the issue in 2016.
Online marketing agency Crowd Siren has now said Facebook’s initial reporting of the error wasn’t good enough. While Facebook initially said that the overestimated average time spent watching videos was inflated by 60% to 80%. Crowd Siren believes that figure is much, much larger, and average viewership metrics may have been overstated by as much as 900%.
The problem is that unlike mobile video ad platforms, Facebook video doesn’t support real-time viewability measurement and reporting. The Association of National Advertisers had called on Facebook to allow independent verification of its metrics, but the closest Facebook has come is allowing third-party sources to validate its own data. For many advertisers, that may not be enough.
“Hey Siri, do something cool!”
After years of trying to duct-tape together solutions to get Siri to do much of anything beyond basic iOS functions, iOS 12 finally gave users the ability to create shortcuts for app activities that support them, similar to some of the functionality that users can enjoy between services like IFTTT. According to Apple, shortcuts “use powerful on-device intelligence to help users get things done faster, whether it’s commuting, being more productive, staying healthy, and more.”
The company is now promoting apps that take advantage of these new Siri shortcuts, and we’ve got a few favorite Siri shortcuts below!
- Pandora — It’s been eclipsed by Spotify, the original algorithm-based streaming app lets users choose a specific station, album, or playlist and record a custom phrase to say the next time they want to hear it.
- Things — Everyone needs a better to-do app. In the popular planning app Things, users can ask Siri to “Show Today” or “Add To-Do.” They can even record specific shortcuts for things you add to your to-do list app a lot, and say things like “Add an errand.”
- SkyGuide — Wondering what that star is? Ask. With SkyGuide, users can say “Hey Siri, what star is that?” after pointing your phone at a bright star, planet, and so forth. Or a rocket. You know, because.
- Bear — Ready to take some notes? Tell Bear. The super-focused note-taking app now lets users start taking notes just by voice command.
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