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This Week in Social Media – April 20, 2018

Sharmin Kent April 20, 2018

Welcome to Friday! We’ve been busy as bees here at Pattern89: new brand, new website and a wide range of new enhancements and features to the product. Part of the reason we’ve updated our brand identity has to do with how our customers are approaching social advertising: they want more access to data, the tools to interpret it, and a platform that makes machine learning and data science integral elements of increasing return on ad spend.

This week’s news focuses on data, how social channels might use it and what the future might hold for an ad-free social channel.

New Kid on the Block?

As data security debates become more common, many social media users are looking for a channel that assures them their data will be safe from comprising activities. Enter Vero, a three-year-old social channel that promises to protect its users by going ad-free. Forbes asked its Communications Council for lessons brands could learn from this relative newcomer. Among those lessons: listen to customers, focus on value, build a loyal audience and pay attention to timing.

Of course, effective digital marketers should know all of these things already—but it’s their relation to social media data that makes the difference. For a growing number of online consumers, trust is becoming a major factor in how they use social media. An ad-free social channel is enticing, and if enough users get fed up, Vero could end up attracting more digital neighbors. Worth noting, though: Vero’s first million users will get free access to the app. Everyone else will have to pay a subscription fee. Sounds like that might put a cap on its user base.

Can Data Science Save the Day?

Pattern89’s platform is built on a strong foundation of data science, which gives our customers the ability to improve ad performance. Now, there are speculations that data science can save social media. A TechCrunch op-ed on Facebook and data science suggests there’s an answer to our data security questions: homomorphic encryption (HE).

The TL;DR of HE is that it draws insights from encrypted data without decrypting it. For social channels like Facebook, this could provide a secure way to deliver valuable ad data to brands without compromising its users. And Google already uses a tool based on HE technology to help brands see if their ads lead to conversions. If Google’s HE tool works well, why shouldn’t other companies adopt a similar tool? It could boost user and consumer confidence.

Brands Seek Help for GDPR

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects more than just Europe, and brands the world over are scrambling to get help with making changes before the deadline. A piece in Ad Age details how GDPR implementation has become a bit of a cottage industry. Searches for “GDPR” have spiked 172 percent between March 2017 and April of this year.

If anything, this rush serves to raise awareness of how GDPR will affect social ads and the data used to create them. Brands that aren’t directly impacted by GDPR should also pay attention to how these solutions are implemented–because while GDPR is a first step toward creating a multinational data regulation infrastructure, it almost certainly won’t be the last.

What’s the news in your neck of the woods? Drop me a line at my new email address,, and let’s chat about it.