Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s edition of 5 for Friday! Below is this week’s selection of news you can use pulled straight from our feeds.

Facebook Sees Early Success with New Influencer Marketing Platform

Due to popular demand, Facebook has initiated a waitlist for its Brand Collabs Manager.

Launched in June, the tool was designed to enable connections between up-and-coming content creators and brands seeking to “build lasting partnerships.”

Currently limited to those in the U.S., the service serves as something of a matchmaker, using data related to audiences, interests, and other demographic factors to make pairings.

For creators, the Brand Collabs Tool can be their ticket into the world of branded content; for brands, an opportunity to reach their audiences in a more authentic way.

Google’s Far-Reaching Data Collection Practices Subject of New Academic Report

With privacy concerns continuing to rank high among connected consumers, a new study led by Vanderbilt University professor Douglas C. Schmidt is shedding new light on Google's data collection practices.

Like Facebook, the search giant has been gathering personal data for years, across a variety of devices and touchpoints.

Cataloguing just how much data is being collecting and how it's being tied together, Schmidt's report – Google Data Collection – is a comprehensive and important look into the breadth and depth of Google's activities, many of which occur while users aren't directly engaged with any of their products.

Augmented Reality a Favorite Among Pioneering Brands

Among the most popular emerging technologies, augmented reality (AR) hit the headlines (again) this week, with industry pundits pointing to Facebook's latest efforts and touting the format as the “next big thing.”

Citing developments led by companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, Snapchat, and Facebook, they see tremendous potential for AR in advertising and pioneering brands like Amazon, Disney, Ikea, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Sephora, Bobbi Brown, and Zappos might tend to agree.

According to L’Oréal’s chief digital officer, Lubomira Rochet, the benefits are clear: "what we’ve seen on our sites is that when there is a virtual test facility, conversion rates increase significantly.”

IAB Promotes Digital Audio as Safe for Brands

For brands keen on limiting their ad placements to safe environments, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has two words of advice: digital audio.

By way of a new report, the IAB is recommending that marketers take a new look at formats like podcasts and streaming music.

Offering a "higher level of control,” digital audio could be the key to reaching consumers, particularly those on the move. Listeners, their whitepaper suggests, "tend to be particularly engaged with the content, often listening while commuting or at the gym."

The IAB goes on to predict a 3X growth in radio and digital audio advertising revenue over the next year.

Certainly worth exploring.

Over-Extending Privacy Laws Seen as a Threat to U.S. Web Economy

Urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct a "rigorous analysis," the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is describing California's new data protection law (along with GDPR) as a threat to the "free flow of information" and web economy.

In a statement extracted from a filing submitted in response to the FTC's call for input, the group outlined a range of issues related to technology and business, asking the Commission to address the current (and far too broad) definition of "personal information" and "share its findings with legislatures and policymakers considering GDPR or CCPA-like legislation" for such research will be "critical to the formulation of well-informed policy decisions and enforcement priorities."

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