17th November 2023

Weekly Prompt: Roblox’s new video ads and more

Roblox unveils in-game video ads and real-world commerce features

Roblox is currently testing a new functionality that allows brands to showcase in-game video advertisements directly linked to their experiences on the platform. This feature, an extension of portal ads, is slated for a full launch in the first half of 2024. Portal ads, which transport users to new worlds upon entrance, have been a core product in Roblox's immersive advertising package since last year. Until now, creative for these ads has been limited to static images.

According to Roblox, over 34% of brand activations this year have included the purchase of portal ads, and more than 90% of the traffic generated by these ads corresponds to new users who had not previously engaged with the respective brand experiences.

The platform is not stopping there. In the coming year, Roblox plans to test the ability for brands to drive users from their Roblox experiences directly to their external websites through a direct link. This move is intended to bridge the gap between virtual and physical commerce.

These new features were announced during Roblox's recent investor day, when the company also revealed plans to introduce age and genre-based targeting for brands, starting in early 2024, allowing brands to specifically target users interested in topics such as sports, action or shopping with the aim of enhancing the relevance of ads by aligning them with users' preferences. Additionally, Roblox is set to improve measurement capabilities through new partnerships with third parties, ensuring advertisers have more accurate insights into the performance of their campaigns.

These advancements signify Roblox's ongoing efforts to develop its advertising business, spurred by a 20% year-over-year increase in average daily active users, reaching 70.2 million in Q3. The company also recently appointed a new VP of global partnerships and expanded its partnerships team to include additional ad sales roles.

Sources: AdAge, AdExchanger. Digiday  

Additional prompts

Amazon has announced that it would allow Snapchat users in the United States to buy some products directly from the app as the e-commerce giant looks to capitalize on the growing use of social media for shopping. This follows Amazon’s other similar recent tie-ups with Meta and Pinterest. Read more

Google has introduced a new feature allowing users to 'follow' selected search topics, enabling access to regular updates on relevant information. The platform also expanded its "Perspectives" filter to desktop Search, showcasing social media and forum content within search results, and is testing a "Notes" option for searchers to share tips and advice directly on Search. Read more

Instagram is adding new features, including custom AI stickers, photo filters, a clip hub and more. It is also adding new Reels metrics called “Replays” that will enable creators to understand their reach in terms of individual users. Later, they will also be able to see how many people are watching their Reel in an interactive real-time Retention Chart. Read more

Microsoft has renamed Bing Chat, the AI-powered chatbot it launched earlier this year, to Copilot as it competes with ChatGPT. It will still provide a combined Search and chat experience but it will just be called Copilot going forward. For people who may not want that combined experience, Copilot will have its own standalone ChatGPT-style experience. Read more

TikTok will provide further insight into how TikTok ads drive conversion with a new measurement that will better link ad exposure to conversion activity. TikTok’s new "Engaged View-Through Attribution" (EVTA) metric links ad exposure to conversion activity, specifically tracking conversions occurring within seven days after a user views an ad for six seconds or more, even if they didn't click on the ad. Read more

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