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Instagram replaces TV as way to advertise to young people: Cowen

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The reign of television is coming to an end.

The medium, once considered all-important, has now been almost completely superseded by Instagram as the key way for advertisers to reach young people, according to new study by financial service firm Cowen.

The findings underscore the extent to which media consumption habits have changed due to the internet — and serve as a reminder that for all the scandals sand controversies surrounding Facebook, which owns Instagram, its core advertising business remains wildly profitable and successful.

Cowen surveyed 50 US ad buyers, who together represent around $14 billion in ad spend. They were asked “to identify the primary platform they would use for a new branding campaign” for two different age groups: 13 to 34, and 35-plus. The differences were stark.

For the 35+ target market, television dominated, with 64% of respondents (on a spend-weighted basis) saying they “would start a new branding campaign on TV.” Next was Facebook, with 32%, then Instagram (2%), YouTube/Google Video (2%), and other (1%). Snapchat, notably, got 0%.

Cowen

But for branding campaigns targeting the younger 13-34 demographic, it was all about Instagram.

61% of respondents (on a spend-weighted basis) picked the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, followed by 21% for YouTube/Google Video, and 11% for Snapchat. TV comes in fourth place, with just 3% — incidentally, the same amount as the core Facebook service itself. “Other” squeaked in at 1%.

Cowen

The data demonstrates just how crucial Instagram now is to the Facebook mothership as the company attempts to reach young people, and that television, while still supreme for older people, has now completely lost its luster for the younger generation.

It also further underscores the wisdom of Facebook’s decision to buy Instagram, for $1 billion back in 2012 — analysts estimate that Instagram alone would be valued at $100 billion as a standalone company. The app is now helping the Silicon Valley tech giant remain strong even as opinions on its core app sour following years of scandals.

Ad buyers surveyed by Cowen said that they expected the Facebook empire of apps to show a roughly steady share of digital ad budgets over the next few years. Facebook itself will likely drop, but this will be offset by Instagram’s continued growth, Cowen projects.

Cowen

In fact, Instagram seems almost uniquely insulated from the woes facing Facebook and the broader tech industry. Cowen analysts wrote: “Instagram and Pinterest were the only 2 major social networks not impacted by privacy issues, with Instagram likely to benefit the most, as 42% of respondents expect to increase spend on Instagram amidst the current environment.”


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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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