All posts in category: General

Affiliate Summit East 2017

ASE 2017

We attended Affiliate Summit East 2017, which was held in New York for 3 days, from July 30 to August 1.

Affiliate Summit East is one of the biggest themed events in the digital advertising field. Attending ASE is mandatory for all companies that seek to develop their North American direction. This is an ideal meeting place with potential clients from USA and Canada, as well as with partners from many other parts of the world.

We visited seminars from leading industry companies, held many useful meetings and negotiations, which in the future will certainly turn into a long-term partnership.

The Affiliate Summit East 2017 was very useful events for us. Now our next stop is Webmasteraccess 2017 in Amsterdam and DmExco 2017 Cologne, which will be held one after the other in the middle September.

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Affiliate World Europe Conference 2017

Last month OrbitSoft team attended Affiliate World Europe Conference 2017 which took place in wonderful city of Berlin 14-15 June.

Affiliate World Europe Conference is a great event to meet with our current and potential clients. There was a lot of companies from all around the world, so we spent most of the time in exhibition hall speaking with other AWE
participants.

Our team also participated in the several discussion sessions with very interesting speakers from leading companies of affiliate marketing industry.

And the most important – at this conference just in few days we had a lot of personal meetings with potential clients, what gave us a priceless experience.

We spent a wonderful time in AWE, met interesting people and established new contacts. And this is only the beginning – see you at Affiliate East Summit 2017 in New York 31 July – 1 August!

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Collecting User Data in Segments for OrbitSoft DSP – a Great Idea for Targeted Advertising

orbitsoft-dsp

There’s nothing more valuable for any modern business than data about its clients. As any enterprise grows, so does
its customer database; however, it is obvious that in order to attract clients, it is not enough to send them all
identical emails with identical offers. All clients are different, and it is logical that your marketing strategy
should not be a one-size-fits-all solution.

Personalization helps solve this issue. All clients love an individualized approach, and the effectiveness of the
sales process is very much dependent on how clearly you understand the needs of your potential customer.

Most modern internet advertising platforms offer a way of collecting data about the user and the tools for targeting
the ads toward a certain audience. OrbitSoft DSP is no exception. In addition to the typical targeting settings
(geotargeting, the user’s language, platform category, user’s device), there are also more specific settings, such
as showing the ads only to users from the remarketing list, showing ads only to those users who have converted
earlier, as well as connecting third party DMP systems.

The nature of the DSP technology as it relates to Open RTB assumes a large amount of web traffic. The inquiries for
ad viewing contain a great volume of information which could be useful for more targeted advertising campaigns.

Recently, a client working with our OrbitSoft DSP platform suggested adding the capability of collecting and storing
open-source user data, which is located in the inquiry for ad viewing, assuming utilizing the gathered data in the
future for creation of audience segments. In the future, these segments can be used when targeting advertising
campaigns. Since this type of project takes a lot of effort and touches many platform services, we decided to split
it up into several phase. The goals which we wanted to accomplish at each phase were set in such a way so as to have
a finished, working solution at the completion of each phase.

The first phase was meant to collect information about users from sites under the client’s control. In the second
phase, we aimed to simplify the data collection process, trying to gather users into segments, bypassing the
remarketing code. Finally, in the third and last phase, we want to offer the possibility of adding people into
segments on the basis of data analysis from bid requests.

As a result, after each phase was completed, we neared our final objective – to gather data about users in various
segments, and to employ this data for creating targeted ad campaigns. As you can see, there was no need to stop the
platform from functioning for extended periods of time, while losing auction bids. After the completion of the third
phase of this project, we plan to continue to expand the capabilities of this bid requests tool, as well as to
polish the user interface for a more flexible and effective control of audiences.

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A Trip to the Caucasian Mineral Waters

The OrbitSoft team has recently embarked on a new adventure! This time, we set off for the hospitable Pyatigorsk, followed by the wondrous nature of Kislovodsk and Karachaevo-Cherkasiya, the famous springs of Essentuki. We had three days to fully enjoy these natural wonders!

Our first stop was the Kislovodsk Park, which is the second in size in all of Europe. It boasts a valley of roses, Narzannaya Gallery, an aerial tram, and amazing vistas toward the greenery of the Caucus Mountains. Six hours flew by in the blink of an eye!

We spent our second day of the trip at Medovie Vodopady waterfalls. This awe-inspiring place is located in the sunny republic of Karachaevo-Cherkasiya. Medovie waterfalls are made up of a whole cascade of waterfalls of different sizes. The height of the tallest one reaches 18 meters. We were astonished by the beauty and force of these falls.

After a lunch of local delicacies, we continued on our way. However, we were not able to leave this place just yet. We encountered beautiful horses, a large herd of lambs, and even some friendly deer! This is not something we would ever see at home!

Our final stop was the Castle of Deviousness and Love. It takes its name from a legend about a star-crossed love affair between the daughter of a local nobleman and a sheep herder.

Thus, our spring break in the Caucasian Mineral Waters came to an end. We left with tons of great experiences and a desire to come back soon!

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Android Plug-In – Our Latest Development

Android Plug-In

Our OrbitSoft team has started the New Year off by working on developing an Android plug-in. The purpose of this plug-in is to offer the ability to look through a catalog of video files and to watch the actual video files.

In the process of developing catalogs for video files, we worked to fulfill various requests, such as:

  • Receiving the list of videos with the ability to sort and filter by category
  • Searching by key words

The list of video files is presented as an endless list. In order to create this list, we used the RecyclerView widget, which is a more advanced and flexible version of ListView. It’s a container for displaying large data sets that can be scrolled very efficiently by maintaining a limited number of views. The RecyclerView widget is a great tool when you have data collections whose elements change at runtime based on user action or network events.

For the purposes of personalizing the user’s data, we set up a PIN code. If the user sets up a PIN in the settings, then the plug-in will ask for the PIN when the plug-in is turned on. Security is paramount!

In order to view video files in the plug-in, we integrated ExoPlayer, which is an application level medial player for Android. It provides an alternative to Android’s MediaPlayer API for playing audio and video, both locally and over the Internet. ExoPlayer is a cutting-edge tool which supports features not currently supported by Android’s MediaPlayer API, including DASH and SmoothStreaming adaptive playbacks. ExoPlayer is easy to customize and extend, and can be updated through the Play Store application updates.

We used a video controller for monitoring the videos and their quality, based on the user’s preferences. As a user, you can take a range of actions with the videos, including:

  • Add a video to selected
  • Mark a video as liked or not liked
  • Download a video
  • View a list of similar videos

You may be wondering how to view a video when not online. The answer is simple – the plug-in uses a service for downloading video files. You have the option of downloading the file into your phone’s internal memory or onto an SD card. User’s activity on the plug-in can be tracked through the Flurry Analytics service, which we have integrated for this purpose.

Finally, as could be expected, the Android plug-in displays advertising from the Orbit Ad Server platform. The plug-in will feature banner ads, as well as interstitial ads on the pages of the video player.

As you can see, we’ve had a busy start to the year. We will continue working hard to bring more technological advantages to our clients throughout 2017 and beyond!

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ClickHouse – A New Tool with Great Potential

Clickhouse

Just like many other software companies, we frequently run into the issue of collecting, storing and analyzing statistics. As our clients know, our products are capable of registering a large number of occurrences every second. For this very reason, we were very interested in the new ClickHouse product that has recently entered the market.

ClickHouse is a tool developed by the Russian IT company called Yandex to meet the challenges of Yandex.Metrica, the second-largest web analytics service in the world. ClickHouse allows analysis of data that is updated in real time. It manages extremely large volumes of data in a stable and sustainable manner. Since becoming publically available, the product has been actively expanding its capacities based on users’ requests.

So what are the main advantages of ClickHouse? Well, it allows users to…

  • Run more queries in the same amount of time
  • Test more hypotheses
  • Slice and dice your data in many more new ways
  • Look at your data from new angles
  • Discover new dimensions

ClickHouse permits companies to add servers to their clusters when necessary, without investing additional time or money. This easily adaptable tool scales well both vertically and horizontally.

You may be wondering what sort of a solution ClickHouse would offer if it needed to add a new dimension or metric to its aggregated structure. Well, the dimension can be added easily enough, but what will happen to the previous periods, since you will most likely not have the original data for recounts?

ClickHouse has answered these questions and shared their philosophy about the necessity of keeping all data. For this purpose, they are offering great compression technology, as well as incredible speeds for processing requests. Their site has benchmarks, which allow the users to compare ClickHouse’s performance with that of its competitors: https://clickhouse.yandex/benchmark.html

All in all, ClickHouse seems to be a one-stop answer for many common issues – the volume of data collecting, speed of processing requests, the renewal and accessibility of data, and so on.

Some users may be turned off by the fact that ClickHouse does not permit users to delete or change data. Yes, data can be deleted through partitions, but they are made up of a month’s worth of data – and that’s a huge stratum of data for large systems. Furthermore, ClickHouse does not offer transactions. When fulfilling a request, during aggregation, it’s imperative that the results fit into the working memory on a single server. So be prepared for hardware with large working memory.

ClickHouse also has a fantastic mechanism of working with outside dictionaries, using different sources (example: CSV file, MySQL database, MongoDB or any other ODBC source). However, be careful! For example, the dictionary identifier should be a number that fits into Ulnt64.

All in all, this new product is showing a lot of promise. Even though its community is only just developing, it already offers great capabilities for storing and analyzing statistics. If you have lots of stats – definitely give this tool a try!

External links:

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Native Ads – What’s All the Fuss About?

Native Ads

Native ads – materials in an online publication that resemble the publication’s editorial content, but are paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote a product or service – are certainly not new on the market. However, native ads have lately generated much interest, whether they are located on YouTube or Vine or show up in blog articles.

Native ads take into account the specifics of the platform and users’ behaviors on it. Brands and advertisers love native ads, mainly because the click-through rates tend to be much higher than typical advertisements and engagement is usually much stronger. The ads await the users in a space where users normally seek information and/or news, instead of on the sidelines of the site, where there are already at least a dozen ads.

With all that, native ads are typically not irritating to the user. The term “native ads” can apply to branded content (promotional videos, sponsored content, listings, etc.) and even search ads. The format of native ads has been adapted by social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), and lately begun to noticeably pop up on various news platforms. In the United States, media giants such as Time, Inc., Forbes, Wall Street Journal and New York Times are already using native ads formats.

In 2015, with the release of the OpenRTB standard 2.3, native ads became accessible in RTB. We immediately began working on integrating this format into our own SSP. Now we are delighted to offer our clients the opportunity to place native ads.

Native ads API allow us to describe any placement in terms of assets, the summation of which permits us to understand the possibilities for specific ad placement. For example, Publisher can create a placement which consists of:

  • Title
  • An image of a certain size
  • Display URL, which allows the advertiser to customize the link

The full list of available attributes can be viewed in the specs. That way we can describe almost any placement, from an Instagram post to a block of sponsored links in a blog.

During the initial SSP planning, we went in with the understanding that there will be a necessity to expand and add new formats. This allowed us to adapt quickly to new specs and support native ads API with minimal code changes. Our protocol for native ads in Orbit Ad Server allows us to place the ads into any space, from html content to in-app advertising. We are thrilled to provide our clients this latest offering in the digital advertising space.

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Attendance of Affiliate Summit West

The OrbitSoft team attended the Affiliate Summit West 2017 in Las Vegas in January 2017. Held in the Paris hotel, the Affiliate Summit West offered attendees three tradeshow areas packed with affiliates, merchants, vendors, networks, technology providers, digital agencies, traffic sources; multiple tracks of relevant educational sessions delivered by industry experts; and a variety of networking events.

This was the first time our team attended this event, although we plan on participating in more of these in the future. The goal of our attendance was to connect with current and potential clients and supporting our clients who were exhibiting their products. Our team spent a lot of time on the exhibit floor, as well as viewed several product demonstrations.

It is crucial for technology companies to take part in industry events such as Affiliate Summit West in order to stay current with what is happening in our field. At OrbitSoft, we make it a priority to stay on top of the latest trends in digital advertising software, so that we can offer our clients the most cutting-edge solutions. We enjoyed attending Affiliate Summit West and look forward to many more similar events in the future!

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Development of SDK for SSP

SDK (software development kit) is a library that is given to the developer by the system and integrated into the application.

In mobile application, SDK is used for:

  • Sending queries to the ad system
  • Getting ads
  • Showing Ads

When sending the query to the platform, SDK passes along several parameters:

  • Application ID
  • Ad ID (IDFA, Google Advertising Id)
  • SDK version, that the app is built
  • Geographical data (allows to do country targeting)
  • Type of connection
  • Width and height of the screen
  • Device maker and model
  • OS device version
  • User agent

Thanks to all passed parameters, it’s possible to “track” the user on different platforms and to target advertising to an interested audience, which is an important advantage of the SDK versus WEB. SDK supports the following ad formats – banner (text, image, rich media), fullscreen, video, appwall, icon, dialog, and tray. These ad formats can be divided into two types: advertising within and outside an applications.

Advertising in applications includes banners (text, image, rich media), fullscreen, video, and appwall. Advertising of these types is displayed in the application during its use. Banner displays a small “ram” on top of the main application window (displays one ad at a time). Fullscreen is displayed over the entire screen. Video can be displayed on the basis of banner, fullscreen, or loaded in the player before viewing the main video. Appwall is displayed in a new window and can show multiple ads from multiple campaigns in a single display.

Advertising outside the app includes icon, dialog, and tray. These types of ads are displayed when the application is closed. Icon installs an icon on your desktop (clicking on the icon leads to the desired effect in the campaign: download application/ Open link/ call/send SMS). Dialog means a dialog box appears on top of the desktop, with two buttons “Yes” and “No” (clicking on the “Yes” button leads to the desired effect in the campaign). Tray is when an application is on the taskbar, and you receive a notification from this application, clicking on which leads to the desired effect in the campaign.

In recent years, developers and advertisers have tried to get away from the use of advertising outside of the application. Advertising outside an app is very intrusive application, resulting in a large number of non-target clicks, which in turn increases costs and reduces the quality of the advertising campaign. By virtue of these factors, some stores do not allow you to download applications that support external advertising. Thus, now the most popular types of advertising are banner (text, image, rich media), fullscreen, video, and appwall.

sdk-for-ssp

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