Jan 31, 2017

Snapchat expands major advertising feature to all brands ahead of IPO

Snapchat announced Tuesday it's opening up its automated API platform to all advertising partners, not just a handful of high-level test partners, like Unilever and Gatorade.

What's an API? An API, short for application programming interface, is a set of rules or standards that govern how applications can communicate, or share data. For example, your computer uses an API to transfer different formats of data when you cut and paste text from email into a Word document.

How does Snap's API work? Snap's API, called Snapchat Partners, connects technology and data partners to expand the range of data-targeting options advertisers can use to reach custom audiences. It also allows media buyers to purchase ads at scale through a streamlined process that optimizes creative content in real time. Today Snapchat announced it was adding 16 new agencies and vendors to its API platform to expand its capabilities. They are also adding a new feature, called Ads Partner Licensing, a self-service tool that lets brands use API partners' software in-house, to give them more control of ad campaigns.

Why it matters: Ahead of their IPO, Snapchat executives have been touting their ability to monetize their highly-engaged audience through different advertising features. According to AdWeek, we should expect to see case studies from four months of test partner campaigns in coming weeks. Revealing test campaign results from their API platform just before their highly-anticipated IPO means we can expect good results.

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HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.