Google I/O '18 - New Ad Features For App Promotion

It's May, which means it is time for Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O. Each year the conference attracts developer's from around the world, and with this attention comes a bunch of platform updates, including a small amount for advertising purposes.

1. Google Play Display Ads - additional content (beta) - going into testing over the coming months, this new component allows you to feature more rich content in your app's display ad on Google Play. For example, for Ecommerce app's you can plug directly into your product feed to showcase images in a carousel format.

2. Google Play Instant - This feature allows users to sample the game before fully downloading on their device, which is pretty useful. Instant was actually released in March, but will now be accessible via Adwords Universal App Campaigns. This means you can now reach not only Google Play, but also Search, Youtube and Display Network 

3. View Through Conversion (VTC) Reporting - OK this is interesting. A feature that has been available in Google Display Network for a few years now is being rolled out for app promotion. This essentially means that if a display ad has been exposed to a user, who later converts, that display ad will receive 1 VTC. According to Google these impressions will use the Media Rating Council (MRC) definition of viewability - meaning 50% of ad pixels need to be in view for at least one second.

4. App Advertising Viewability Report - A new IAB partnered ad report is being released that app owners can opt into, called IAB Tech Lab's Open Measurement SDK. This will build more trust with their advertisers, as the viewability metrics are said to be more stringent. This week developers using Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Doubleclick For Publishers can sign up.

5. Rewarded Ads Report - This will be available in AdMob, and will display estimated earnings, engaged users, and daily activity metrics from rewarded ads, which users can engage with in return for more lives, credits and other incentives for their favourite games.

Here's some non-advertising updates that caught my interest:

6. Google Maps AR - For those who struggle to get from A to B Google has an update for you. When you have a route in progress on Google Maps, simply take your phone and hold it up, so the app can see what's in front of you. Google will overlay your directions so you know exactly where to go, in an Augmented Realty way. However, there is no release date for this feature as yet.

7. Google Assistant Phone Calls - Google Assistant is getting smarter and more evolved, and the latest showcase of it's new found abilities extend to making reservations, in this case at a restaurant and a hairdresser. See the video below:

8. Gmail Auto-Complete - Gmail introduced smart responses a while ago, as quick reply options using language thats natural to you. Now it will start finishing you sentences based on previous conversations, which you can choose to use, or not depending on how relevant you think it is to the conversation. See screenshot below:

Google Smart Compose.jpg