20/01/2019  - Images not loading? No problem, just read in browser.

Yesterday we told you about a record FCC fine and it turns out we clickbaited you by mistake. We forgot to add it in, so we apologize for that. It's here this time!

In other news, Facebook continues it's privacy focused changes and also launches a Youth Portal to educate young users. Good sportsbetting news from the States and Amazon is going to ads war with Google and Facebook.

Facebook suspends 200 apps for privacy concerns

Back in March, Zuck promised to investigate all the apps and suspend those who might be overstepping their data collection boundaries.

Facebook updated the world on this topic. So far they have investigated thousands of apps and suspended about 200. All these apps are going to be undergoing a thorough investigation to see if they misused the data.

So far it seems Facebook is following through with their promises so there will likely be more changes that affect advertisers in the months to come.

Also on the topic of privacy, Facebook recognizes that it cannot be a literal babysitter for its users and is putting more effort into education and information. In other words, they are trying to make users less gullible.

The latest on this topic is what FB calls the Youth Portal - focused on educating teen users on all things privacy and security on Facebook’s apps, and responsible social media use.

An educated user base means Cambridge Analytica is less likely to ever happen again.

Speaking of which, it seems some of the data collected was freely available for anyone to download for a few years.

Certainly not great news because it adds fuel to the fire.

We all want a sustainable online advertising environment to run our campaigns and make a living!

Groups to the rescue?

For about a year now Facebook has made changes that reduced organic reach for just about all business pages.

The privacy concerns from the past few months don’t help either - it’s unlikely that Pages will get better organic reach.

The move is to restrict paid reach too
, until the ads are thoroughly verified to not be malicious in any way (misleading, fake news, political without approval, etc.)

What more and more people are doing is building groups around their brand instead.

Groups still have great reach and they can serve as a much more engaging environment than pages.

Plus, Facebook actually wants you to use groups more for your business.

Building a useful group cannot be summarized in this newsletter but the folks at Digital Marketer have an extremely detailed guide + case study on how to build a community around a business with a Facebook group.

So if you’re running Facebook or need more creative ways to gather eyes on your product, check it out.

Record $120 million fine by the FCC for illegal spoofing

We often talk about how affiliates can use their skills to take more mainstream businesses to new heights.

While all this is true, some people use the same skill set to go deeper down the rabbit hole.

Adrian Abramovich from Miami used “neighbour spoofing” on ~96 million robocalls. Neighbour spoofing means the number is masked with one that uses the area code and the first three digits of the recipients’ phone numbers so they are more likely to pick up.

When they did pick up, they were forwarded to an agent who made them listen to ads and sold them all sorts of products. The agents posed as reps from companies like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Hilton, etc. Sound familiar?

Well, TripAdvisor reported the operation and now Mr Abramovich was hit with a $120 million fine by the FCC.

It’s a good reminder that while pushing boundaries is what affiliates do best,
you must draw the line early and use those skills in legit businesses.

Gambling affiliates - it’s party time!
In a six-to-three decision, Supreme Court Justices struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on sporting events in most states.

Draft Kings and Fan Duel seem like clear early winners. Anyone who ran those offers a few years back know they were big cash cows. Probably made millionaires out of some affiliates.

That’s not all though. This is a positive move towards opening up online gambling more in general in the US.

It could open up with the big players like Facebook, Google and Twitter allowing gambling ads in the US.

Maybe you can soon say you are running white hat gambling on Facebook. What a time to be alive!

The only bad news is that this decision only allows states to legalize sports betting,
but there’s no universal regulation by the Federal Government.

Amazon is not messing around

Just yesterday we brought up how Amazon might have stopped buying Google Shopping Ads.

Well, it’s no surprise then that Amazon is taking its most assertive step yet into the digital-advertising market by testing a new display ad, rivaling, you guessed it, Google.

The tool lets merchants selling on Amazon’s online marketplace purchase spots that will follow shoppers around the web to lure the consumers back to Amazon to buy.

The company is inviting select merchants to test the new ads later this month.

Some people have concerns about this move, namely Chad Rubin, co-founder of Skubana, which sells e-commerce management software.

"They are going to make this a platform and make money from it instead of doing it for sellers pro bono," Rubin said. "It gives sellers more reach, but they have to pay for it instead of giving it to them for free."

Just how dare Amazon want to increase its revenue? Really though, you can’t get “free reach” if Amazon has to pay publishers where those ads are served.

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Donald Trump appoints Donald Trump as the President’s top AI adviser.

It first sounded like an article from The Onion but seems to be real.

The White House formed a committee to advise the president and the Federal government on the topic of AI.

Looks great at first but then it turns out the committee meant to advise the president is chaired by people who don’t exist and… Trump appointed himself as the top AI adviser. *self-five*

Guess there’s a shortage of artificial intelligence specialists in the USA.

Anyway, we’re putting in our applications for the White House’s Time Travel Committee. If we get a positive response, we might have to cancel the newsletter.

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