The government will soon impose a ‘digital services tax’ on UK revenues generated by “established tech giants” like Facebook, Google and Amazon. The 2% levy was announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in the Autumn budget today (29 October). It will come into force in 2020 following a period of consultation. The announcement follows on from heavy criticism about the amount of tax tech behemoths pay to the treasury. In most instances they are gleaned from ad revenues – in comparison to their UK profit. How much tax do tech giants pay? Facebook UK revenues: £1.26bn Tax: £15.8m (2017) Amazon UK revenues: £72m Tax: £4.5m (2017) Google UK revenues: £1bn Tax: £36.4m (2016) Snapchat UK revenues: £26m Tax: £360K (15 months to Dec 2016) Twitter UK revenues: £76m Tax: £1.2m (2015) Without going into detail, Hammond said the levy wouldn’t apply to “small UK startups.” But instead be targeted at profitable digital services companies that generate “at least £500m a year in global revenue”. Kill or cure? Ahead of the announcement, IAB chief executive Jon Mew argued that such a levy risked harming the UK digital ad market. “While the government has said it wants to focus new measures on larger businesses, it would be difficult to avoid collateral damage across the sector and a negative effect on competition,” Mew warned. “A tax on revenue would create a disincentive for competitors to set up and grow in the UK market. And would impact on mid-market players who drive competition and provide choice.” Mew suggested that if the government was truly committed to leading the charge on innovation-friendly regulation that supports the growth of the tech sector then...
10 years ago Twitter posted their first tweet; now more than 500 million are posted every day. While they remain the go-to destination for brands and users looking for real-time information, Twitter hopes to become more than a social network. In fact, the brand hopes to become the hub for people to explore their interests. From the ‘#’ to the promoted ad product, Twitter has been a major player in the social media revolution that has turned modern marketing on its head. Now brands can target individuals, start a two-way conversation, create interactive content via polls and join in on real-time issues. CEO Jack Dorsey has a long-term strategy in place to ensure Twitter grows both users and advertisers. And it revolves around positioning Twitter as an “interest network”. Twitter is a pivotal tool in the conversations, cultural moments and news events that are going on around the world. Its reputation as the resource of choice when something important happens has made them an invaluable resource for personal and corporate moments alike. Its real-time nature is still its biggest strength. Twitter’s UK managing director Dara Nasr, discusses how he plans to grow Twitter as an ‘interest network’ rather than a social one, by highlighting all the topics that people are talking about. He explains: “Twitter is the shortest distance between you and what you are passionate about. We have 500 million tweets a day so almost every subject is covered. What we want to do is capitalise on this massive source on information.” In the US, Twitter recently launched its first TV ad campaign aiming to do just that by targeting...
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