Instagram Tests Unskippable Video Ads; Ericsson to Collapse Ad Division; ITN Strikes Deal to Safeguard Content from AI 

On today’s news digest: Instagram Tests Unskippable Video Ads; Ericsson to Collapse Ad Division; ITN Strikes Deal to Safeguard Content from AI 

To the dismay of those subjected to the testing, Instagram has been trialling a new ad format which forces users to sit through unskippable video ads. The ads appear in the main feed with a timer at the bottom – users are unable to continue scrolling down the feed until the ad’s timer is up. Unsurprisingly, the ads are not going down well with users who have been included in the testing. If the social giant decides to roll out this ad format, we may see Instagram ads becoming similar to YouTube’s. 

While Instagram contemplates taking its ad business to new extremes, Ericsson has revealed plans to shut down its ad division. In 2017, the Swedish telecommunications-equipment company launched its ad division, Emodo, in a strategic play to provide its customers with monetisation opportunities through digital advertising. The venture, however, was largely unsuccessful – it failed to gain strong enough momentum in the ad marketplace, and fell short of reaching the intended financial goals. Emodo’s closure marks the latest of many telco-ad tech collaborations which have gone south.  

In the AI landscape, ITN – which produces ITV News, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News – is the first UK news organisation to announce a deal which aims to safeguard its archive from AI. ITN taking measures to safeguard its content from AI is born from fears that its content will be exploited to make disinformation, even deepfakes potentially. The deal with OpenOrigins will see all of its video clip footage validated and secured through blockchain tech. Each piece of ITN’s content will be given a unique identifier on the blockchain which will act as a mark of provenance to prove the original, untampered content. ITN will form part of Open Origins’ new AI licensing marketplace for video content which will give AI apps, companies, universities and research institutions access to video training data. 

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