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Proving Fyber is tough enough for Tough Mudder

tmlogoIt was a hot and humid summer Saturday in Berlin, a day perfectly suited for enjoying a cold beer in one of the numerous beer-gardens of the city, looking for escape from the sun. However, this was not the plan for a group of incredibly daring guys and girls from Fyber, they were heading to the forests of Lausitz to participate in Tough Mudder and to prove that they were, indeed, tough enough.

The woods surrounding Eurospeedway race track at Lausitz usually echo with the roar of engines, but on this particular day, the forest was filled with the roar of Mudders as they dived into ice-cold water, ran through electrical wires or walked a plank to take the leap of faith into a muddy pool 4 metres below. The track consisted of a 18km run and numerous obstacles to push every competitor to the limit — a real test for endurance.

Perseverance aside, most importantly this challenge was about teamwork. The official pledge of Tough Mudders states: “I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.” Fyber team excelled by supporting each other and cheering for each other every step of the course. We couldn’t forget, of course, about having fun. The smiles on the team members’ muddy faces as they crossed the finish line were truly inspiring.

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After all being a Mudder is all about taking on the obstacles in your life and the enormous sense of accomplishment that you feel when you overcome them with a smile on your face.

Fyber will be back for sure at the next edition. See you there!

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Too early to reminisce about Casual Connect USA?

As Casual Connect meetings come to an end and follow-up emails dwindle down, we can’t help but look back at last week’s great memories.

After the Casual Connect sessions wrapped up last Thursday, folks from the industry gathered at our San Francisco office to celebrate the successful event with a happy hour. This was the perfect opportunity to enjoy some friendly competition and really break-in our new foosball table and ping pong table.

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Making the week even better, we received an awesome new ride from our partners at Tune! We’ve been challenged to take this speed racer down Filbert Street (one of the steepest hills in San Francisco), and we just might pass on the idea for one of our execs to consider.

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Also, for those who attended our Fyber party last week and couldn’t get enough of the awesome pictures shared, check out some of the latest pictures below:

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Want to see more pictures? Visit our gallery on Nick Riley Photography and make sure to follow us on Twitter: @Fyber

Fyber Rocks Casual Connect USA with Booth, Panel & Party

Fyber had quite the eventful first day at Casual Connect USA. We started off with an awesome booth packed with our friendly team members who, as you can see in the picture below, were ready and eager to mingle! If you have not yet stopped by to say hello, make sure to find us at booth #416 on the Ground Floor.

Next up was our panel session, “Indie vs. Blockbusters…or Match Made in Heaven?”, led by our very own EVP of Global Dev & Business Relations, Ben Chen. The panel brought together thought leaders from Kabam, Tinyco, Backflip, and Fox Digital.

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Following up all this action we felt we had to kick off Casual Connect with a bang and that we did! Fyber’s rebrand party at 620 Jones proved to be the party of year. With over 450 attendees, our guests were treated to delicious drinks and excellent comfort food that set off the night. But, that’s not all that made the night, check out the fun play area we put together. A little bit of jumbo Jenga and Tetris on building walls really got the playful competitors out of the bars and up to the rooftop. Let’s just say that when it’s time to play, we like to go big!  Make sure to stay tuned for more Casual Connect news and follow us on Twitter: @Fyber

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Welcome, Rails Girls! Fyber Hosts Two Summer Fellows

We’re very happy to welcome two awesome Rails Girls into our office twice a week as they spend the summer programming for an open source project. Joining companies like Asquera, as one of the host companies for the Rails Girls Summer of Code, we’re opening up our workspace and dedicating resources to two women looking to become full-time programmers.

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Magda Frankiewicz (left) and Ute Mayer (right) coding away!

Who are these two mystery programmers? Ute Mayer and Magdalena Frankiewicz were the winners of the Rails Girls’ fellowship this summer. Ute is a computer science student living in Berlin since 2009, and she is also a Rails Girls Berlin organizer who aims to share her passion for technology with as many women as possible. She believes that the best learning comes from hands-on experience, which is why she’s looking forward to working on an open source project this summer. You can check out Ute’s GitHub account here: github.com/nerdbabe

Magda comes from a background in cultural management and the non-profit sector. She started learning how to code at the beginning of this year, when she joined Rails Girls Berlin as an organizer and started taking part in a workshop with other beginners. She found the Rails Girls and Ruby community in Berlin to be very inspiring and supportive, so she decided to explore programming in more depth this summer. You can check out Magda’s GitHub account, as well: github.com/madziaf

As far as the project goes, Ute and Magda will be working on a tool for documentation testing. Nowadays, software documentation quickly becomes outdated and samples of code aren’t always verified. This is especially true for projects relying on integration with other changing software libraries. To fix this issue, Ute and Magda will implement a tool that tests code samples in software documentation. Their second project is to build a documentation website for the web framework Padrino.

If you want to follow along, Ute and Magda are planning a weekly podcast to track their progress and will post updates to their website: http://code-padawans.de/.

FAQ: The Google Advertising ID

As August 1st approaches, we are publishing a more in-depth FAQ on the Google Advertising ID to follow up on the announcement we made in June. If you have any questions or concerns that aren’t addressed below, please contact us at developers@fyber.com.

What is the Google Advertising ID?

The Google Advertising ID is a user-specific and unique identifier for advertising created by Google Play. Starting on August 1, 2014, advertisers will be required to use the Google Advertising ID (GAID). On that day, Google will change its policies to prevent the use of any other device identifiers for advertising purposes.  More information about the new policy is to be found here. We strongly advise you to consult Google’s advertising ID site before taking any action or relying on any other source.

When do I have to switch to the Google Advertising ID?

Google makes the switch to the Google Advertising ID on the August 1, 2014. This means that apps that are submitted after August 1, 2014, and still use old identifiers might be rejected from Google Play. If you are planning to update your app or submit a new app after August 1, 2014, you need to update your app so that you use only the Google Advertising ID (and no other IDs) for advertising.

Do I need to update to Google Play services?

Yes. If you are planning to update your app or submit a new app after August 1, 2014, you must include Google Play services in order to access the GAID that is used by our latest SDK (current version 6.1.2). Google will no longer be approving apps using the Android ID.

As a developer using Fyber, what do I need to do?

Fyber made the switch to support the Google Advertiser ID alongside other identifiers when we released SDK 6.0, and with the release of SDK 6.1.2, we became compliant with the new Google policies. The recommendation on what to do now depends on the version of the Fyber Android SDK you are currently running. Please see below:

For existing apps                                   Recommended action
Older than SDK 5.0 This SDK version does not yet support the GAID. You should update your SDK with your next planned update to make sure you start leveraging the GAID.
SDK 5.0 to 6.1.1 This SDK version already supports the GAID. No need to rush. However, with your next planned update you should update to the latest version of the Fyber SDK 6.1.2 to be fully compliant.
SDK 6.1.2 and newer You already use the latest version of the Fyber SDK. You are fully compliant, and no further action is required from your side.
Launching a new app Recommended action
Older than SDK 6.1.2 You need to upgrade to the new Fyber Android SDK version 6.1.2 or newer before you submit to ensure compliance with the new Google policies.
SDK 6.1.2 and newer You are using a fully compliant version of the SDK. No changes needed at this point.

 What about my mediated ad networks?

Since you are not only using Fyber’s SDK but also the SDKs of mediated ad networks, we recommend you include only ad networks with updated SDKs that are compliant with Google’s new policies. This applies if you are planning a release or update after August 1, 2014. Most ad networks have released an SDK update over the last few weeks in order to comply with Google’s latest policies. At Fyber, we are currently updating and re-certifying our ad network adapters to function with ad networks’ latest and fully compliant SDK versions. For your convenience, we have created an overview of all ad networks that have updated their SDKs and are fully compliant with the new Google policies. We’ve also included a status overview of which ad network adapters have already been re-certified for use with the latest Fyber SDK. You can find the overview of supported ad networks for Android in the Fyber developer portal:

How will this change affect my revenues from the Fyber Ad Marketplace?

Google’s policy change is is affecting the entire industry. The vast majority of advertisers, demand partners and ad networks are already adjusting their tracking and targeting technology to account for the new identifier. There will be a transition period until all publishers have updated their SDKs and everyone has fully transitioned to the Google Advertising ID.  

We’ve Rebranded! SponsorPay Is Now Fyber

We’re excited to announce that today SponsorPay has officially rebranded to Fyber.

SponsorPay’s rebrand to Fyber goes beyond just a new company name. Over the last eighteen months, we have evolved from a rewarded advertising network into a top mobile supply-side platform for app developers, as evidenced when our clients voted us into VentureBeat’s list of Top 10 Mobile Advertising Companies in January 2014. While it’s bittersweet to part ways with our old company name, rebranding to Fyber is a natural step for our company as we continue to enhance our product offerings and build the best mobile supply-side platform in the market.

So why Fyber? We chose this name because it represents the brand attributes of our company: innovative, empowering, and unifying. It’s our mission to provide innovative solutions that empower app developers to build the smartest ad monetization strategies possible by unifying today’s fragmented mobile advertising ecosystem.

If you’d like to learn more about our decision to rebrand, you can read our press release that went live today. 

We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful support you’ve extended to us at SponsorPay over the last five years, and we are thrilled that you are on this next journey with us as Fyber!

Yours truly,

Andreas Bodczek & Janis Zech
Co-Founders, Fyber

 

Tech Meets… Espresso? Fyber Learns How It’s Done from Berlin School of Coffee

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It’s easy to picture techies drinking espresso, but can you imagine a group of programmers, product managers, marketers, and salespeople making espresso?

Fyber’s team rose to the challenge yesterday, when a barista from Berlin School of Coffee visited our new Berlin office to bestow her coffee-making wisdom. With the fancy espresso machine in our office’s big kitchen, we jumped on the opportunity to learn how professionals serve up flat whites, cappuccinos, espresso macchiatos, and other caffeinated delights.

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Besides teaching us about the origin of the Americano (apparently, American soldiers couldn’t handle straight espresso when stationed in Italy, so Italian baristas started adding extra water for them), our trainer gave us some key tips:

  • The single espresso handle has one spout, and the double espresso handle has two. Simple enough, but without paying attention, you could have a double stream of espresso and only one cup.
  • Always “flush” out the espresso machine before making the coffee. There’s a button by each handle that cleanses the pipe for a fresh start.
  • Don’t touch the steamer! It is blistering hot. Grab onto the black rubber holder to move it, or use a cloth. Also, let it spit out a bit of steam before putting it in your milk, and be sure it’s pointing away from you.
  • Tap the milk pitcher when there are too many bubbles after steaming, and swirl around the milk until the foam starts to shine.
  • If you go to Italy, never ask for a Latte Macchiato in the afternoon.

The bottom line? Now, our team doesn’t just provide outstanding service; we also provide outstanding coffee. If you’re looking for expert advice on ad monetization on top of a caffeine fix, get in touch! Our lounge at Johannisstrasse 20 is the place to be.

 

Fyber Supports the Google Advertising ID

Dear Clients,

Starting on August 1, 2014, advertisers running Android campaigns will be required to use the Google Advertising ID (when available on a device) in lieu of any other device identifiers for any advertising purposes. This means that access to the current identifiers (e.g. Android ID) is not guaranteed anymore. The Google Advertising ID is a user-specific and unique ID for advertising created by Google Play. The anonymous identifier, used by developers for advertising, allows users to opt out of receiving advertisements from Google Play apps.


Does Fyber (formerly SponsorPay) support the new Google Advertising ID?

Yes, we support the Google Advertising ID in our current Android SDK.


What does this change mean for app developers?

When Google makes the official switch to the Google Advertising ID, advertisers will start using this ID as the only ID for attribution when it is available. These campaigns will only be available to apps that already use the updated version of our SDK (version 6.1.2) with support for the Google Advertising ID. Therefore, we strongly encourage all app developers to upgrade to our latest SDK. Apps using any ID other than the Google Advertising ID for attribution could be rejected from the Google Play Store after August 1, 2014.


What does this change mean for advertisers?

When Google makes the official switch to the Google Advertising ID on August 1, 2014, advertisers should ensure their attribution logic is updated to use only the new Google Advertising ID for attribution when it is available. This is crucial in order to ensure acceptance into the Google Play marketplace.


For more information, please refer to Google Play’s
guidelines for developers, as well as Android’s developer content policy.

Please also feel free to contact your account managers to answer any further questions.

All best wishes,
The Fyber Team

Using Fyber’s SDK for User Segmentation

Lately, developers have been asking us how we can support their user segmentation efforts. We know that user segmentation is crucial for developers who want to apply different monetization strategies to different groups of users. We’ve been considering these questions and would like to shed light on the capabilities of our SDK to support user segmentation rules for ad serving.

We’re happy to report that our SDK offers full compatibility with your pre-existing user segmentation rules, and even beyond that, we’re building more advanced tools to be rolled out this summer. By using our SDK in conjunction with the user segmentation rules you have put in place, you can serve ads to select groups of users.

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Most commonly, we see developers separating their user pool into paying users vs. non-paying users, or new users vs. returning users. These user segments are often a core component of developers’ ad monetization strategies, influencing ad serving and targeting.

If you want to segment your users so that only non-paying users see ads, or so that paying users only see ads after a certain level, it’s simple to implement. By adding just a snippet of code, you can ensure that our SDK is only called to serve an ad when specific user segments encounter your ad placements.

Our developer portal contains a step-by-step guide to help you leverage our SDK capabilities for user segmentation rules.

-Jan Ustohal
Senior Product Manager

 

Optimize Yield & Raise eCPM with Fyber’s Predictive Algorithm

By David Linder, Product Manager

One key goal of an ad monetization platform is optimizing yield for developers. To reach this goal, it’s important that every single ad request is filled with the highest-yielding ad available at any given time for any given user.

But optimizing yield is a complicated task — even for mediation solutions that offer large amounts of demand. Technical limitations sometimes restrict data on ad performance, making it hard for mediation solutions to predict and serve the highest yielding ads in the queue.

Our mission is to help developers make the most of their ad monetization strategies, so we set out to overcome these challenges. The result is our Predictive Algorithm. In this post, we’ll explain the challenges of yield optimization, the strategy most mediation solutions use to operate around these challenges and increase eCPM, and the reason why our Predictive Algorithm is helping developers take optimization to the next level.


The Challenges of Optimizing Yield

Determining which single ad has the highest yield requires access to each ad’s individual performance data. For server-side mediated ad formats like Offer Walls, this works out nicely; the ads are channeled through the mediation solution servers, which allows the algorithm to track granular data on an ad level and optimize delivery.

When it comes to client-side mediated ad formats, however, there’s a catch. Collecting data for ad formats like mobile Rewarded Video and Interstitials currently isn’t possible on an ad level, due to lack of interaction between the ad and the mediation servers. Because of this, optimization only exists on the network level. In other words, after determining which ad network is, on average, likely to deliver the highest yield for a given request, the mediation solution leaves it to the network to decide which ad to deliver.

 

The Waterfall Model and Its Limitations

The wide-spread approach to handling this lack of ad-level control is the waterfall model. Each time an ad will be shown to a user, the mediation solution ensures that available ad networks are requested in a pre-determined order, which is based on each network’s historical average yield. This means that when a user is exposed to several ads, the network with the highest average will be requested over and over again (provided it can deliver the fills).

The waterfall approach, which serves ads based on average network yield. This approach serves all ads from the same network before proceeding to the next network. As you can see, this means that low-yield ads from Network 1 are shown before high-yield ads from Network 2.

The problem is this: the later ads in this ad network’s sequence are likely to have a much lower yield than the network average on which the high ranking is based. More importantly, these ads are likely to have a lower yield than the top ads from other networks — even though the other networks might have a lower average ranking.

With the waterfall model, the ads being shown to users aren’t always the highest yielding ads available — sometimes far from it. Needless to say, this represents a substantial revenue loss for developers.


Raising eCPM with Fyber’s Predictive Algorithm

At Fyber (formerly SponsorPay), we have set out to solve this problem using an algorithmic approach that leverages the extensive data at our disposal as a mediation platform. While we recognize that full yield transparency on the ad level just isn’t possible today for client-side mediated ad networks, we have seen that it is possible to get closer through mathematical modeling.

The model starts with the assumption that yield declines as the user progresses through the inventory of a given network. Using a continuous feed of traffic data for a dynamic approach, our solution creates unique models for each ad network in combination with each app that uses the network. This is because there are often substantial differences in app usage patterns and network yield patterns.

Fyber’s predictive algorithm approach, which predicts yield on an ad-by-ad level, rather than by average network yield.

Finally, these models are applied in real time when the user requests an ad. At that moment, our solution combines the individual user history with the ad network models according to whichever specific app is in question. Then, we make a prediction of the yield of the next available ad in each ad network. Based on these yield predictions, we are able to deliver a list of ad networks ordered by the yield of their next ad in queue (rather than their average yield). Then, the client finds and delivers the first fill in the list.

This ability to locate the top yielding ad available for a particular user, at a particular point in time, has further boosted the performance of our mediation solution. It has become an integral part of our optimization of mediated ad networks — and moving past the years-old waterfall model is only the beginning. We will continue to innovate, helping developers discover and execute ever more sophisticated ad monetization strategies.