Digital Round Up – March 2021

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 01 Apr 2021 by Matthew McKillop
Digital Roundup

March’s been full of juggling for us here at SocialB, but the sun is shining and we are excited to have a play around with all the new features being rolled out by industry leaders in the digital world.

Pretty much all social media platforms have announced new features and there are new updates coming left, right and centre from Google and Microsoft as well. We can already tell, the next few months are going to be fun! Keep reading and you’ll see why we’re this excited:

New Features From Social Media Giants

We’ve seen many new additions to our favourite social media platforms in March. Let’s start looking at these new features in detail:

The first update we’re having a look at is one all social media professionals would be excited about, Instagram has recently announced that you’ll soon be able to save your stories as drafts and can publish them later. We don’t know exactly when this update will be released but we waited forever for it, what’s a few more weeks.

Let’s look at an update from Facebook: Facebook’s launching audio-only rooms, a Clubhouse-like feature which will be quite similar to their recently launched video rooms feature but with the cameras turned off. If you’re not familiar with this feature, audio-only rooms will be public rooms where other people can easily drop in and listen to the conversation, exactly how Clubhouse works.

The next update is brought to you by one of the newest kids on the block, TikTok. They’re now rolling out a playlist feature, so you can now put all your videos together and create playlists. The playlists will show on your profile, right above your videos. They should be available for all business and creator accounts. There will be a few restrictions like each video can only be added to one playlist but it will be interesting to see how people use this feature to create series of themed content.

Our latest social update from March is Twitter’s ‘Community’ tools, which allow you to share your tweets with certain groups instead of all your followers. Even though this doesn’t sound like a lot, this might actually change the way a lot of people use Twitter and might encourage a lot of people to tweet a lot more and about different topics.

These are only a few of the updates from March, but even these are enough just to get us excited about how people might be making the most of these features and create new types of content. As digital marketers, we like new features to play around with, do you?

More Automation With Suggestions From Microsoft Advertising

Ad Suggestions are coming to Bing Ads! Advertisers will soon start seeing some suggestions based on their ads’ performance to improve their quality.

You can receive up to 50 ad suggestions per account and the suggestions are quite similar to Google Ads’ Recommendations so you’ll see an ‘apply now’ button for the suggestions and with just one click you’ll be able to optimise your campaigns.

One thing to be careful about is that if you don’t take any action on these suggestions, they will automatically be applied after 14 days. You can turn this off from your account settings if you want to have more control over your campaigns.

Have you run campaigns on Microsoft Advertising before?

Chrome can now caption audio and video

Automatically generated captions on YouTube are well known and used by many users. However, Google has introduced another feature designed to make the internet more accessible to everyone that few have had the opportunity to use.

Live Caption was released two years ago, starting with the Pixel phones, and was later integrated into some high-end Samsung phones. No one else had this feature, until now, when we found it in Google Chrome.

Live Caption is now available in Chrome version 89. To activate it, the process is as follows: go to Chrome’s vertical dot menu, click on Settings, open Advanced Settings, search for Accessibility and turn on Auto Captioning. This will download the files that analyse speech autonomously in videos and audios.

If you can’t find this feature, maybe the version of Google you are using is older, refresh your browser and search again. Immediately after activating the subtitles you can search for a video on YouTube or any other website and check their usefulness. They appear automatically in a small window above the web and below the video or audio, similar to subtitles on Google’s video platform.

For now, they only detect English audio, although it is only a matter of time before this feature is extended to other languages, as Google has already proven to be able to transcribe a large number of languages in other applications. If the audio is fast or not well understood, errors may appear in the transcription.

The subtitles appear on any video or audio from a multitude of websites or platforms, they can be used on Twitter, Netflix or any content in English, even if the sound is turned off. It is a function designed for almost 500 million people around the world with hearing problems, but it can also be useful for those moments when we cannot connect the audio of a video so as not to disturb the people around us and we do not have headphones available.


Google may be dropping third-party cookies but provides a glimpse of the alternative

Google announced some time ago that it is slowly phasing out third-party cookies. The current infrastructure allows for individualised tracking and profiling, enabling advertisers to target their audience for marketing.

Eliminating third-party cookies on the global favourite web browser will impact online advertising by making it much more difficult to track the web activity of billions of users. Presented by Google as a way to improve privacy online, these changes could also result in Google strengthening its hold on online advertising and the internet in general.

Google’s idea is to group people by interests with an AI system called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). This machine learning system uses your web browsing history, along with other factors, to add people to certain groups derived from their interests, all done through Chrome. It is still unclear how these groups will be denominated. Advertisers will be able to target specific groups to serve their ads to.

The way it works has similarities to how the Netflix algorithm presents recommendations of things you might like to watch. But Facebook has been using a form of profiling for a while now which enables advertisers to target “Lookalike Audiences”.

Google has claimed that the cohort grouping will be at least 95% as effective as individual tracking. Even so, this will still be a significant change as third-party cookies form the basis of targeted online advertising. Testing is currently underway and Google plans on a complete roll-out by 2022. Other web browsers such as Safari and Firefox no longer support third-party cookies but Google is the first and only to propose an alternative for targeted online advertising.

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