05th Jan 2018 by Jess Bashford

Google Ad Blocker Is Coming, Snapchat Could Make Ads Unskippable, YouTube Star Falls From Grace & There's A New App In Town

Google set to release Ad blocking version of Chrome next month

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Google has decided to start 2018 with a bang and is set to release an integrated ad blocker for Chrome on 15th Feb to cut down on spam and intrusive advertisements.

It’s not all bad news for advertisers though, as Google announced that the blocker won’t be removing all adverts but just the ones that are considered bad, including the likes of full page ads, ads with auto playing sound and video and flashing ads. Websites will even get a notification from Google’s Experience Tool of adverts they may publish that are likely to get blocked and given the chance to redesign them in order to meet the standards Google sets. Once publishers believe the ads meet these standards they can then submit it again for a manual review to have the ads re-enabled.

Google says the goal of the program is to help publishers weed out the bad ads on the internet, which will essentially cut down users with blanket ad blockers. However, the only downside to this technique is the fact it gives Google almost full control of what can be advertised and how it is advertised, which some may be sceptical about, but it is only for the Chrome application so users using any other type of browser won’t be affected...for now.

Snapchat to use unskippable ads

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On the other side of the spectrum, Snapchat is in discussion to introduce non-skippable ads into the app. Snapchat had some rough times towards the end of 2017 in terms of profitability and it seems its potential answer to their problems could be a pain for users of the app.

Ads have already intercepted the app auto playing at various times after your friends stories, but up until now no one has really batted an eye to them since you can skip them immediately and most users do flick away from these within a second. However Snapchat is now pushing hard to make these ads un-skippable at least for the first 3 seconds, forcing users to watch the ads.

Doing this will keep brands that use the feature happy and Snapchat will gain more money from being able to charge more for ad space due to exposure. However, it could come with a negative response from users.

For now though it seems Snapchat is still weighing up their options, but we’re sure it won’t be long before we hear the next instalment in the channels plan.

With great YouTube power comes great responsibility

Image result for logan paul disgraced

YouTube is probably the most popular platform in terms of introducing audiences to influencers and the influencer culture. If you’re young and you aspire to become an influencer you’d probably look to YouTube as your starting point. However, with influencer fame, comes great responsibility and sometimes it’s easy, or downright stupid, to get things a bit wrong. It’s a ruthless culture and it can make you or break you in seconds and that’s just what 22 year old YouTuber Logan Paul discovered this week.

The YouTube vlogger that has over 1.5 million subscribers and was once a respected and loved ‘star’ carelessly posted a vlog on the site that featured highly sensitive content during his visit to the Aokigahara forest, also known as Japans suicide forest. In the video Logan Paul can be seen joking and laughing, and even filming a hanging body – which yes was real-for the world to see and the millions of viewers this reached were deeply concerned and upset and with good reason.

YouTubers rise and fall, and this is not the first time a YouTuber has been in the news for insensitive content. Previously the most subscribed YouTuber ever PewDiePie was attacked by the Wall Street Journal for apparently posting Nazi content and racist jokes and comments, all accusations that have since been proven false. Nevertheless, PewDiePie’s reputation was tarnished somewhat with his ‘verified’ statuses being taken away and several deals, including Disney, dropping the star. However Logan Paul could be in luck, as since his ordeal PewDiePie has gained his reputation back and is back to the top spot, so there is a chance Paul could make a comeback.

With viewers ranging from 16 years old, Logan’s videos can influence and are viewed by a young audience and adults reacting to the video are slamming not only Logan but also YouTube for not doing something to protect viewers from seeing this. It will only be a matter of time before YouTube gets called out again for not having some sort of algorithm or video approval system especially for users like Logan who have more than 1 million followers. This is something Facebook already does and is expanding on so maybe it’s time YouTube joined this movement, in order to prevent content like this being posted live and not only protecting audiences who view the content but also the young stars that may be foolish at times.

It’s safe to say that Logan’s 2018 has not kicked off to a very good start, but luckily for him it’s only January. Maybe he could turn it around.

Now For Something A Little More Positive...

An app released at the end of last year is gaining positive feedback and popularity. ‘Swatches’ is a free iOS app that parses the data from your phone camera to create live colour swatches. But the best part is its colour identification system. Like Shazam recognises the name of a song, Swatches reveals each hue’s colour name in whatever system you want, whether that be the RGB value or the Hex code. You can even find out what clothes are trending based on the colour of the year.

Just open the app and aim your phone at whatever colour you want recognised. A little colour pointer appears allowing you to capture the colours you want. These can then be grouped into palettes or shared on social media.

This is a fantastic app and not only a little bit of fun but also very useful, especially for those fashionistas out there who want to know what’s trending, or whether that dress is really blue and gold or grey and pink, or those designers out there who want to recreate a scene to the exact Hex code. We think this is going to take off in 2018 and as visual content becomes more and more popular, we dare say more colour identification technology will be brought to light.

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