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EU Advances Its Investigation Into Google

Global Marketing News – 7th April 2016

EU advances its investigation into Google

The European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said that the Commission is “advancing” its investigation into Google’s Android operating system and AdSense advertising service.

The European Commission has allegedly been sending out questionnaires to companies using Google’s AdSense advertising service, asking them whether Google is forcing them to use AdSense exclusively and not use competitors.

The move suggests that the European Commission may be about to press more formal charges against the company.

This is not the first time Google has faced trouble in Europe.

The search engine company is already under investigation by the European Commission for allegedly boosting the ranking of its own Google Shopping price comparison services, whilst pushing rival services offered by competitors further down the search results.

Australian advertisers embrace people-based targeting

Research by Econsultancy has found that Australian advertisers are keen adopters of people-based targeting.

People-based targeting is believed to improve return on investment (ROI) and ad relevance, and relies on first-party data such as customer relationship management and point-of-sale data.

The study found that 61% of advertisers said they used such first-party data to target their ads.

Many also used audience targeting tools to help narrow down the number of people their ads were displayed to, such as Facebook’s Custom Audiences which was used by 62%, Google’s AdWords Customer Match which was used by 53%, and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences which was used by 37%.

Australia has an internet penetration rate of 90%, equivalent to 21 million people.

UK has embraced contactless payments

The UK has embraced contactless payments, according to research by Visa.

Brits have made 36 million transactions totalling £900 million since September last year, when the contactless transaction limit was raised from £20 to £30.

The number of transactions worth between £20 and £30 has increased by 19% over the last 5 months, with transactions worth under £20 growing by 8% over the same time period.

Uptake has been especially strong in restaurants and supermarkets, where the use of contactless payments has grown by 155% and 100% respectively.

One fifth of all face-to-face card payments below £30 are now contactless.

Android Auto OS launches in 18 new countries

Google has launched its in-car operating system, Android Auto, in 18 new countries, taking the total number of countries it is now present in to 29.

The new countries include Russia, India and Brazil, which have some of the fastest growing car markets in the world, a promising sign for future growth for Google.

Android Auto allows users to synch their smartphones with their cars and use apps via their car’s screens.

Its biggest rival worldwide is Apple CarPlay.

Facebook launches system to help blind people “see” images

And finally, Facebook has launched a system to help blind and visually impaired users “see” what’s in its images.

The technology, which is powered by artificial intelligence, can recognise around 80 common objects and activities.

It can recognise different types of transport, environments, sports, food and human appearances.

In a demonstration video released by Facebook, the system is shown describing images in ways such as “this image may contain one or more people, jewellery, smiling” and “this image may contain outdoor, clouds, foliage, plant, tree”.

2 billion images are uploaded to Facebook and its subsidiaries such as Instagram every day, meaning that image recognition systems are extremely important for blind and visually impaired people.

In a statement, Facebook said that it hoped the new technology would be an “equaliser” that would empower people with visual impairments.

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, with almost 1.6 billion users from all over the globe.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Gemma Houghton

Director of Marketing at Webcertain
Gemma has worked in international search marketing for over 15 years and is Director of Marketing at Webcertain, overseeing all marketing activities for the Group. She also organises and programmes Webcertain’s International Search Summit and International Social Summit, Barcelona-based conferences focusing on international and multilingual digital marketing. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute, and a BA joint honours degree in French and German.

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