Apple’s web browser is set for two updates that should make the desktop browsing experience more enjoyable for users. The company announced at WWDC that the Safari browser in the forthcoming macOS High Sierra desktop operating system will:
- Start blocking auto-playing videos on websites. Auto-play videos will remain paused by default, and only play once users decide to unpause them. This feature aims to eliminate one of the most frustrating and disruptive facets of online browsing. But while it improves the user experience for consumers, it also harms online media businesses that lean on auto-play videos to drive up video views and attract advertisers.
- Nullify ad trackers that follow users on the web. Safari will block the trackers that enable ads to follow people across the web, safeguarding user’s data privacy and browsing patterns from third parties. Apple was short of detail on this new feature, and it’s unclear how effective it will be, but it’s certainly a step in the correct decision as far as improving data protection and the browsing experience for users go. For digital advertisers, on the other hand, it’s another obstacle that hinders their ability to monetize.
These new Safari features are unlikely to have a seismic impact on the digital media ecosystem, given that Safari only accounts for 3.6% of desktop browsing activity. Google Chrome’s upcoming ad filtering tool, in comparison, should have a much larger impact, since it has roughly 55% market share in both desktop and mobile web browsing. Regardless, these moves by Apple and Google to strengthen their browsers’ defenses against disruptive ads and content points to a new trend in the industry — one that publishers and advertisers alike will need to heed.
Trust is timely. In an era in which fake news is trending, and brands are pulling advertising from large publishers because they don’t want their messaging associated with offensive content, trust is a critical factor that brands consider when re-evaluating digital ad strategies.
Digital trust is the confidence people have in a platform’s ability to protect and promote the interests of its users.
The Digital Trust Report, a brand new report from BI Intelligence, examines consumers’ perception of major social platforms. It rates Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn on security, community, user experience, and content authenticity and shareability. These insights help brands and marketers make informed decisions about where to spend their marketing and branding dollars.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Digital trust has been shaken by a proliferation of malicious content and data breaches, which has significant consequences for brands that use these platforms.
- The top platform won by a huge margin on most attributes. Content on this platform is more likely to be viewed as forthright and honest, which increases the persuasiveness of ads and marketing messages that appear alongside it. This also creates ideal conditions for thought leadership and branded and sponsored content to flourish.
- The second-ranked platform was bolstered by users’ confidence sharing content they find there. Users were most apt to share content they found there, which, together with its massive audience and high engagement, makes it the right platform to maximize reach.
- The social platform that finished dead last did so because of its abusive comments section and extremely annoying ads. Still, this hasn’t dissuaded people from visiting, as evidenced by the time spent monthly and massive user base. This platform also resonates more with older generations.