October 4, 2018

Guess who’s the WiFi Sponsor at Affiliate World Asia 2018?

Yep, it’s your favourite industry newsletter – WHAT THE AFF.

Affiliate World made the official announcement right here on their FB page. Go give it some love!

So, if you’re coming to the conference, we’ve got your back. You’ll still be able to do all that important stuff you do that requires an Internet connection – checking campaigns, uploading ads, Tinder… and, we hope, reading our newsletter!

Speaking of which – we’ve been told that Google and Outlook sometimes hide these emails from you. 

We’ve worked our fingers off (because we’re typing, get it?!) to get these emails to you every workday.

If you do enjoy them, we just want to ask for one small favour – drag us into your Inbox and add us as a contact. And tell your friends to do the same!

That way, you make sure we reach you as we promised: 11 AM GMT, Monday to Friday.

On with today’s news!


California asks bots to identify as such

From July 1, 2019, in California automated accounts will need to identify themselves.

A new bill just signed into law bans bots from pretending to be real people to“incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election”.

Bots will still be allowed to interact with users, but they have to disclose that they are not human. The disclosure must be “clear, conspicuous, and reasonably designed”, which means you clearly cannot just hide it in the fine print.

It seems the legislators’ main concern is that bots might be able to influence elections and they are less worried about i.e. e-commerce stores since the bill only applies to platforms with more than 10 million unique monthly visitors from the US.

So Facebook is continuing its copy & paste strategy. But we don’t bet on seeing Ninja or PewDiePie streaming there anytime soon.


Forecast downgrades 2018 Snap ad-revenue outlook by 36%

In its latest advertising forecast, eMarketer has lowered its projections for Snap’s US ad revenue for 2018 by 36% from $1.03 bil to $662 mil.

The reason for the downgraded figures is mainly Snap’s shift to a mainly programmatic ad delivery system. The transition to a self-serve format in 2017 has increased the number of advertisers but has led to lower ad prices overall.

Programmatic ads are typically cheaper because the automated auction infrastructure reduces the need for salespeople.

Some advertisers report strong ROI from programmatic ads on Snapchat, but many others remain skeptical because measurement and targeting still lag behind Facebook.

Snap controls 0.6% of the US digital ad market, For comparison, Google (37.1%) and Facebook (20.6%) control a combined 57.7% of US digital ad spending.

Snap also needs to restore user engagement, after its worldwide daily active user count fell by 3 mil in Q2. Usage declines are a big red flag for advertisers.


When FB supports actually answers… And you’re still left disappointed.

It’s generally very difficult to reach support at Facebook. It got easier with more people having the live chat option though, so that’s good.

Unfortunately, even reaching a real person at Facebook doesn’t guarantee you good customer service.

Hammad Bin Iftikhar posted his short conversation in the Facebook Ad Buyers group.

His issue was that he got an error when trying to publish ads, while other users on the ad account could do it.

Two things made that conversation a bit awkward.

First off the customer rep asked for the first 6 and last 4 digits, and expiration date of any card. 

When trying to clarify, Hammad got an answer that shows possible issue no. 2. The rep’s English is not at a very advanced level.

At least not the level you’d expect when in a B2B relationship where you pay thousands of dollars a month if not more. We quote:

“Yes that is correct, the card requested is not necessarily have to be used for Facebook Advertising since we only need the detail to assist you further on activate your Payment setting in your personal profile”

We also don’t see the connection between the details of any card, even if not used for FB Ads and this.

Now, in fairness, 10 digits and expiration date won’t leak your card, even if the FB rep goes rogue. So what we’d do is share the details then keep a close eye on the spend from that card.

We actually did that when we had payment issues. We got asked the exact same information but… The rep made no mistake to specify “the card you want to be reactivated in your ad account” in very clear English.

Our conclusion? FB needs to upgrade its customer support with people who have mastered the language they offer support in. And perhaps explain any “privacy invading” requests much better.

Happy birthday! Facebook Marketplace turns 2

Alright, we’ve never bought or sold anything on Marketplace so no first-hand experience from us… yet.

Because on its second anniversary the Marketplace is starting to show some promise, FB is showing off some new features for it.

First off, like any Facebook product, it gets more AI poured into it.

The main things it deals with is personalization, translations, and now price range suggestions and automatic categorization.

The auto-price range sounds similar to what Airbnb uses. If you’ve ever hosted, you know Airbnb has an option to let its algorithm dictate the price for your listing based on similar listing prices.

The same goes for FB Marketplace – your product will have a suggested price range based on what similar products sold for.

Maybe this starts to grow into a relevant channel to do local sales for your store.

Which brings us to the next update.

FB has added “a variety of content from businesses including cars, home rentals, home services as well as shopping and deals from e-commerce merchants.”

So yep – it can go there and it might even compete with the previously mentioned Airbnb. Cars seem to be the popular one though.

The last one is the broken-record-type-update – Building a Safe, Trusted Community. This means detecting and removing certain inappropriate content, ratings for buyers and sellers and more reporting tools.

Speaking of safe and trusted…

You’re safe, hackers didn’t get access to connected apps

That’s what Facebook said. To be more exact, they found no evidence that hackers accessed connected apps.

This is in relation to the 50 to 90 mil accounts that have been attacked last week.

And of course, with great power comes great ability to say “Sorry!”

If we didn’t know better, we’d think Facebook is a Canadian company.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Crypto still has high valuation – $8bil for Coinbase

While cryptos themselves haven’t been on any glorious moon run recently, the same can’t be said about companies in the space.

Coinbase is probably one of the biggest names and its latest funding deal puts the company at a $8bil valuation.

That’s quite high – maybe not outrageously high compared to some other companies but still very impressive.

The investment round is supposed to be around $500 mil total, with half coming from new investors and half from existing.

The goal? Get cryptos more mainstream, and be profitable while doing it. There have even been rumours of a Coinbase IPO…

WHAT THE AFF… is wearing

We did say on Tuesday that we have two announcements today, right?

Alright, so aside from being the WiFi sponsor for Affiliate World Asia 2018, we’ve put together a special Q4 design for y’all.

Meet The FB Reaper.

You can get it on a premium T-shirt or hoodie right here, straight from TeeSpring.

Before you go though, we have an extra bit of good news. Use the code WTAFF15 to get 15% off from each item you buy from our TeeSpring. The code is valid for 48 hours.

Oh, and we may or may not have a special prize at AWA for the best picture taken in a WHAT THE AFF tee or hoodie 😉

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