Originally published at posts.postlight.com on Mar 4, 2016. Google AMP is out and Facebook Instant Articles are coming April 12, for every publisher (note that everyone on earth is now a publisher). Welcome to the future of publishing tightly controlled standardized HTML, just not to the open web! But that can be good; according to the Wall Street Journal, “Some [publishers] say their Instant Articles currently generate the same amount of ad revenue on a per-view basis as pageviews on their own mobile properties.” Good for publishers (for a little while), probably good for readers (who get free content paid for by passively sharing data with advertisers), less good for viral firehoses (that now have to really compete with tons of national publications), and great for ComScore, which chargestens of thousands of dollars for social media analytics because who wouldn’t?
The New Yorker is really into snapchatting, but doesn’t release any usage statistics. Snapchat just raised another $175 million, albeit at the same, boring $16 billion valuation (on $200 million revenue) as last year.Bloomberg Businessweek explained Snapchat to old people this week, in an article full of fun facts:
In late February, Snapchat announced it would provide detailed demographic information about users through Nielsen’s digital ratings service, a welcome development for some advertisers wary of the hype. “Snapchat is awfully expensive, and there’s pretty much a lack of data and visibility,” says Thom Gruhler, a marketing vice president at Microsoft. Another complaint: Meetings with Snapchat executives are rare. “Whether it’s Imran [Khan, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer] or Evan, it’s like getting an audience with the pope,” says an executive at one of the largest ad agencies. With Facebook and Twitter, the big agencies get as many meetings as they want.
So the web is dead, right? Just Snapchat and Facebook for us all now, until death? Not really. Morgan Stanley says (PDF):
Google “App Disintermediation” Bear Case Generally Not Playing Out:Our findings also run counter to the common GOOGL “app disintermediation” bear case that people will migrate to mobile apps rather than mobile search/browser.We find that mobile traffic in 3 of Google’s biggest search spend categories — Retail, Finance and Travel — over-indexes toward browsers, and that ~90% of the companies analyzed in these 3 categories are driving over 50% of their mobile traffic growth from browsers.This speaks to the structural advantage of GOOGL’s search product (still at the top of the mobile consumer funnel),and the need for companies to continue to spend on GOOGL paid search to grow.
Also, retail browser traffic is 6x larger than retail app traffic. Who knew!
Basically there’s so much going on that any single VC-style pronouncement(“Bots! Bots are all!”) cannot in any way provide a useful framework for understand the scope of technology. I.e. Barnes and Noble isactually doing pretty good, considered: “Sales of other goods like toys and games grew 12.5 percent. The increase was driven by interest in items like adult coloring books and vinyl records.” It is, however, shutting down theNook app store. Which probably won’t give anyone a heart palpitations, but even if it did, JAMA found that mobile-phone blood pressure apps aren’t accurate. I worked hard to make that connection, don’t judge me.
Email is also not dead yet, and not for lack of trying. Bill Simmons’s The Ringer will launch Feb 17, as an email newsletter, and Lena Dunham’s newsletter has 400,000 readers. This newsletter is just a few feet behind and on pace to catch up. See you next week!
Todays’ GIF Battles
- Today’s React component: react-magic — Automatically AJAXify plain HTML with the power of React.
- Today’s freely available programming book:High Performance Browser Networking — Ilya Grigorik.
- Today’s variety of religious experience: Reformed Druids of North America.
- Today’s public data set: Rapid7 Sonar Internet Scans.
- Today’s Creative Commons media link: Boundless — Open textbooks all under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
- Today’s North Korean slogan: “Let us thoroughly implement our Party’s policy of putting all the people under arms and turning the whole country into a fortress!”
- Caricatures (Thu, Mar 03)
- Fun Photoshop File Format Facts (Wed, Mar 02)
- Track Changes: Apple vs. the FBI and Paul vs. Rich (Tue, Mar 01)
- Risks We Accept (Mon, Feb 29)
- Nine fine vines (Fri, Feb 26)