DIAL: Digital Innovations Awesome List (June)

At Centro, we know that keeping up with the trade pubs and latest trends can be tough and time consuming. To make that easier, we’ve compiled all the articles, reports, and other bits of awesomeness you may have missed, but should definitely read. Enjoy our latest list below!

2017 Internet Trends Report
Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report explores where the industry sits right now, along with solid projections on where the growth opportunities exist. The report includes a look at the continued disruption of media — with an emphasis on how digital is evolving, the growth of online advertising, the impact of interactive games beyond just gaming, and much more over the course of 355 slides (up from 213 last year).

The Disappearing Computer
After 26 years of writing nearly every week about personal technology, Walt Mossberg’s final column dives into how far technology has come, along with a handful of predictions on what we can expect in the future. His main prediction is ambient computing, where all the technology that has (literally) been in our faces will become not just a seemingly natural extension of our lives, but won’t even be noticeable. Related: Check out Steven Johnson’s book How We Got to Now to learn how past innovations became inconspicuous.

Marketers are Skeptical of Google’s New Attribution Tool
Google has rolled out a new free tool called Google Attribution, in an attempt to make attribution across Google Analytics, AdWords, and DoubleClick more accessible to marketers, though many marketing executives are cautious about the lack of “separation from church and state.”

Hulu’s Newfront Announcements
In addition to the much-anticipated launch of Hulu’s live TV services, the company announced a slew of other new and in-development offerings like 360 video ads, shoppable interactive ads, and partnerships with Samba TV and Nielsen. Related: Shortly after Newfronts, the IAB released new research, The Changing TV Experience Study, and an updated Video Landscape Report.

Mobile-First to Mobile-Always: Create the Right Customer Experience
How do we better meet customer needs in an increasingly mobile-focused world, shifting from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-always’?

What’s Next for Bots on Facebook Messenger
Facebook’s VP of messaging products shares his team’s focus to make Facebook Messenger reinvent how people interact with businesses and services — which could range from customer support to more streamlined and personalized transactions.

Instagram Direct Messages Expands Support
While it is one-third the size of Facebook Messenger, Instagram’s Direct messaging feature added support for external web links and the ability to send photos and video in their original aspect ratios. Watch this space for more developments and potential monetization opportunities.

15-Second Ads Coming to Amazon’s Alexa
VoiceLabs will place audio ads inside Skills — third-party Alexa apps — offering 6-15 second audio ads to consumers following a news update or an audio stream.

Facebook, Snapchat Power Augmented Reality Well Past VR
With the addition of new features and the growing popularity of Snapchat Lenses, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Stories, augmented reality is expected to grow 30% this year (outpacing VR adoption in 2017).

The Advantage Chicago Has Over Silicon Valley
Could Chicago be the next Silicon Valley? On the heels of a KPMG report citing Chicago as a contender to be an international hub for innovation, this article makes a case for the Windy City.

June’s DIAL is also available as a PDF. Download here!