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Snap opens up marketing API to appeal to broader set of advertisers

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Snapchat is opening up its marketing API to all brands, agencies and tech platforms – meaning any company big or small will be able to use Snap's tech to either automate their ad efforts or build and sell tools for brand use.

Advertisers themselves have been able to access the app's self-serve buying tools since last year. However, the latest announcement from Snapchat means that privileges previously only reserved for a handful of tech partners – like the ability for brands to integrate external data sets to better target audiences or the chance for retailers to automatically optimise or suppress ads for products based on current stock – will be democratised.

The move from Snap follows a strong revenue performance and user increases in its recent Q4 results filing, both of which its leadership put down to its adtech investments and increased traction with both large and small advertisers.

Snap boss Evan Spiegel said in its first annual earnings call this week that over 90% of ad on Snap were bought programmatically during Q4, with Snap's director of revenue programs James Borow today saying it had been "listening closely" to third-party developers.

He said that the marketing API will "give every developer tools to build the Snapchat ad solutions that perform best for them and their customers," hinting that Snap hopes the rollout will go some way in attracting new advertisers to the platform amid growing competition from Instagram and others.

The move from Snap comes just one day after it was reported that the Venice Beach-based firm's head of sales, Jeff Lucas (who was tasked with leading its ad sales arm during the rollout of its programmatic ad system) has departed. Snap hasn't commented publicly on any plans to replace him.

Snaphat, which now has over 187 million users worldwide, has had a rollercoaster of a year. It's been almost 12 months since its parent firm's IPO and since then it's experienced intense rivalry from Instagram, staff cuts, shiny new AR products for brands and a controversial new redesign.

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Manchester United unveils official global mobile app

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Manchester United has unveiled an official mobile app powered by its digital transformation partner, HCL.

The new app features exclusive content, including the United Now feed – which collates the latest news, polls, stats, videos and blogs about the club– and a live matchday experience, including line ups, up-to-the-second match updates, live blogging, player stats and score updates from rivals.

The app will also provide exclusive content and behind-the-scenes player access.

Manchester United’s group managing director, Richard Arnold said: “This app will allow our 659 million Manchester United followers to easily connect to the club they love, wherever they are in the world. Fans will now have the opportunity to follow all Manchester United matches through the app with up-to-the-second notifications and updates.

"The app was created by a dedicated project team from HCL Technologies and Manchester United, ensuring a truly collaborative approach to the project. The team not only built the new app and website, but also created an advanced underlying platform that will give the club the ability to adapt as new technologies emerge.”

HCL Technologies’ corporate vice president, Ashish Gupta said: “Our partnership with Manchester United has been one of continuous co-innovation. HCL’s digital experience platform has driven significant business transformation combining digital product strategy and technology innovation to deliver a compelling user experience. The Manchester United official app has received excellent reviews from a worldwide fan base with downloads in over 210 markets."

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The Drum presents: Tom Ollerton talks to Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios

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Talking about the latest marketing technology in order to make sense of it for brands and agencies to apply it through his podcast 'Shiny New Object' is Tom Ollerton, AI consultant and the former innovation director at We Are Social. In this latest installment, Rachel Falconer, head of Goldsmiths Digital Studios offers her thoughts on the impact blockchain will have on the marketing industry.

Each episode of The Shiny New Object Podcast will be distributed in partnership with The Drum and can be followed by subscribing through the Apple podcast app (which also currently features the SheSays Says series) here on the website or follow The Drum's SoundCloud page.

Tom Ollerton is a consultant in the field of creative artificial intelligence. He helps brands use the speed and scale of AI to make their content and media budgets work harder. Tom runs a monthly meetup called ‘I’ll Be Back’ that studies the intersection of creativity, ads and AI. Each week he interviews an influential marketer about their favourite new marketing technology.

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Sony Pictures Network unveils a digital campaign for the 18th Asian Games

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Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India has unveiled the #KoiKasarNahi (No stone will be left unturned) campaign for the 18th Asian Games to be held in Indonesia.

As part of the campaign, SPN will be hosting a ‘Fan Flame’ on its microsite . Inspired by the Asian Games torch that burns in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, the virtual Fan Flame will have message of support that will be passed on to the participating Indian athletes.

To feature on the virtual Fan Flame, fans will need to use hashtag #KoiKasaNahi on social media platforms. SPN will broadcast live more than 300+ hours of the Asian Games in both Hindi and English.

It will also have a live studio show with panelists like wrestler Jagdish Kaliraman, hockey champions Sandeep Singh, Viren Rasquinha, and Jagbir Singh, tennis players Somdev Devvarman and Gaurav Natekar, badminton player Aparna Popat, and expert columnists Ayaz Memon and Boria Majumdar.

Rajesh Kaul, president, Sports and Distribution Business, Sony Pictures Networks India said: “At Sony Pictures Networks India we have always promoted a multi-sport culture and it doesn't get bigger than the 18th Asian Games.

"As our athletes compete across 36 sports and against sportspeople from 45 countries, we will bring fans and viewers the ultimate experience to enjoy the Asian Games. As patriotic fans, it’s our utmost duty to give our unrelenting support to our athletes just as they will give on this stage.”

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