Facebook has removed around 364 Russian-sourced pages and accounts for coordinated inauthentic activity; some of them have ties to Sputnik, a Russian state-owned news agency. Additionally, the platform eliminated 41 Instagram accounts and 107 Facebook groups, accounts and pages that also were initiated in Russia based on information from US law enforcement.
Amazon has yet to very actively promote its influencer program, "Stores," which is based on individual pages from celebrities and other people with followings, but reports that the company has approached more potential contributors hint at upcoming activity. Agencies and brands are keeping a close eye on developments due to the initiative's potential.
AeroMexico's "DNA Discounts" spot from Ogilvy, which offers Americans who can prove Mexican heritage discounts on flights, has gone viral. The ad features residents from Wharton, Texas, giving their views on why they'd never visit Mexico, despite liking Mexican food and tequila, only to be told what percent of their DNA is Mexican.
Square's new debit for small businesses, offered with Mastercard, makes funds from Square sales immediately available. No bank is involved, as the money comes entirely from a business's balance in its Square account.
Chatbots have distinct limitations when it comes to engaging in human conversations for very long, but that may be about to change. Researchers from Stanford University and the AI Research team at Facebook say they've developed a chatbot that can improve itself by learning from natural-language interactions.
Facebook is bringing its output-focused Spectrum image processing library on GitHub out of beta. Spectrum is designed to make mobile image uploads better and more reliable across the company's array of apps for iOS as well as Android.
Podcasting platform Anchor is crediting its monetization program for a doubling in the number of ad-backed podcasts on the market since the program rolled out in November. The platform touts its one-stop package of production, distribution and monetization tools as particularly advantageous for smaller podcasters.
Ten million connected TV devices are now monitored by Vizio's Inscape research unit, up from 9 million, the company announced. Inscape's services are used by iSpot.tv to provide measurements for advertisers.
Instagram posted strong growth in 2018, but its path may not be as smooth in 2019, eMarketer argues. Among the challenges are an increased ad load that may turn off some users and disappointment with trolling and possible election meddling.
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