March’s been full of juggling for us here at SocialB 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 from Google and Amazon as well. We can already tell, the next few months are going to be interesting!
Google Ads Expand Options to Support Online Publishers from Diverse Backgrounds
Google Ads has expanded its range to create more opportunities for marketers to support diverse publishers online. Last year they started offering the possibility to access inventory packages from black-owned publishers, and they have now started highlighting inventory packages from latino-owned and women-owned publishers too. These can be obtained through the Google Marketplace and used for Display and Video 360 advertisements. Google are keen to promote that this approach does not permit ads targeting consumers by race and that this movement has been created to encourage support for authentic diversity and the publishers from these demographics.
You Can Now Create Design Patterns on WordPress
The WordPress pattern directory is now available for all users to design and use attractive block patterns for personal use and to contribute to the online design community. This has been a project that WordPress has been rolling out over the last year to support its members to create beautiful website layouts that can save time and greatly increase the options available. There is no need to be able to navigate complex coding and the chosen templates can simply be copied and pasted across to any WordPress site.
TikTok Develops Tools for Impactful Competitor Research
TikTok has increased the ways that online businesses can view and understand successful ad campaigns on its platform. You now have access to in-depth data about the highest-performing ad campaigns on TikTok to gather insights and inspiration for your own advertisement ideas. There are multiple filter options including CTR, view rate and success across different regions. As TikTok pushes to become a reputable advertising platform, there is also a movement toward search result ads to target specific keywords.
Short Titles For Products on Google Shopping Ads
Google Merchant Centre has recently announced that they’re adding a short title option for Google product ads. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but this might really help some advertisers.
This new attribution will be optional but it will allow advertisers to be more to the point with their titles. Google recommends keeping the characters to 5-65 however you are allowed 150 characters for the short title.
There are a few requirements that advertisers would need to follow in order to get their products approved, like using grammatically correct language and not including promotions.
Discovery tab and Gmail are one of the places these short titles can show, and by using the new attribution you are more likely the capture people’s interest with a title that tells people exactly what your product is, especially in these places where people like to scroll quite quickly.
Instagram Adds Moderators To Live Streams
Facebook actually had this feature for a while now, so it’s actually a bit of a surprise that it took so long to get in on Instagram. You can now assign a moderator during live streams on Instagram.
This will then give the moderator the ability to do stuff like removing viewers from streams and reporting comments.
You can assign moderator from the menu in the comments bar. Do let us know what you think about this feature, because we’re certainly excited to see some high quality content with less incidents on Instagram.
Google May Surface More Short-Form Video In Search Results
Google is experimenting on ways to show more short-form videos in search results, saying it’s a concise format for matching user queries.
Google would surface short videos by crawling and indexing them like any other piece of content.
As TikTok videos have a URL you can visit in a web browser, Google may be able to index them in search. Meaning short videos on social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram couldn’t be indexed in Google as yet since they require an app to view.
Meta Adds New Ways To Grow & Manage Facebook Groups
Admins can use these new tools to grow their community by reaching more of their ideal group members directly.
QR Codes: An easier way to share a specific Facebook group with other people. When scanned, people will be directed to the group’s About page where they can either join or request to join.
Invites Via Email: Admins now have the option to invite other people to join their Facebook group via email.
Additionally, Facebook has updated ways to moderate content on Facebook groups. Admins can now automatically decline incoming posts that have been identified as containing false information.
Admins can also temporarily restrict group members from posting, commenting, reacting, chatting, or entering a Room in a group.
YouTube Adds New Live Features, Introduces ‘Live Rings’
YouTube makes it easier for users to spot when a channel is live streaming by introducing a new feature called “Live Rings.”
Live Rings would be aiming to get users to content quicker, mirroring the same one-tap action to get you watching live content.
YouTube will soon launch a pilot of what it’s calling ‘Go Live Together’, which will allow creators to invite a guest to their live stream by simply sending a link. Hosts will be able to see streaming analytics as well.
Additionally, YouTube’s also working on full-screen mode for Live, while it’s also testing a new Q and A feature, which will enable viewers to submit questions during a live stream based on the creator’s question prompt.
TikTok Launches Search Ads in Beta for Selected Partners
This week, TikTok launched beta testing for ads in search results, which offers another way to reach the TikTok audience via the search terms that they use.
TikTok’s new search ads, tagged with a ‘Sponsored’ label, will appear above the “others searched for” terms on the search results page, which means that they’ll appear within the first four results displayed.
The option will eventually enable advertisers to target searchers looking for specific terms, which could be a great way to reach people with higher buying intent, interest, and will be a great fit for your overall TikTok marketing strategy.
Amazon shuts bookstores to concentrate on their grocery chain
Amazon has been a trailblazing retailer both online and offline. In the November roundup, we covered Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in Sainsbury’s. The technology, first pioneered in Amazon Fresh stores, has allowed the supermarket chain to create a checkout-free shopping experience in the UK.
However, this was not Amazon’s first foray into brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon’s first retail premises was a bookshop in Seattle which opened in 2015. Since then, Amazon has opened a series of bookstores, as well as pop-up stores and ‘4-star’ – a toy and home goods shop that only sells products with a high customer rating.
This month, Amazon announced that it plans to close all 68 of these stores, focusing instead on its grocery stores, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods. These closures were perhaps inevitable, Amazon’s revenue from physical stores only represents 3% of their total sales and much of this comes from Whole Foods.
Amazon doesn’t appear to have completely given up on retail, reports suggest that the online giant is considering a department store concept in the US and the Just Walk Out powered Amazon Fresh stores are likely to continue to expand.
Facebook Protect launch causes many users to be locked out
In early March, certain Facebook users received an email titled “Your account requires advanced security from Facebook Protect”. This email required its recipients to turn on a security feature by following a link in the email. Unfortunately, this email was frequently dismissed by some more privacy-minded users. Considering the email was sent from the spammy-sounding firstname.lastname@example.org, this was perhaps an understandable decision.
On this occasion, however, the email was genuine. According to Meta, Facebook Protect is a “security programme for groups of people that are more likely to be targeted by malicious hackers, such as human rights defenders, journalists, and government officials”. It is designed to ensure that these accounts are monitored against the threat of hacking and that they have enabled two-factor authentication.
The users who have not activated the new security service have ended up being locked out of their accounts. Even some of those who have tried, have also fallen foul of Facebook Protect. Some are finding that the two-factor verification required for the setup hasn’t worked and others have been unable to complete the activation process before the deadline and have been locked out of their accounts.
Facebook appears to be finding a way to help those who have been locked out. On March 18th, Meta head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher, tweeted “We’re looking into isolated examples where people may need help enrolling in the program.”
Amazon now showcasing brand logos in the search bar
US Amazon customers have started noticing a new addition to the Amazon search bar. When a user searches on Amazon, they will now see brand logos appear under the search results that appear.
This is still a new development, and more details will become clear with time, there are a few things we do know. Currently 12 brands are showcased at the bottom with a left to right scroll bar and clicking on a logo will take you to the brand’s Amazon storefront. If a search term is misspelled, the brand logos shown are different.
Currently there is no ‘sponsored’ tag, so it appears that these are organic results, however, the displayed logos are not the top 12 brands, nor are they being pulled from the featured brands on the category page.
Although this has not yet made it to the UK, Amazon’s US store usually gets the newest features first so now is the time to look into how you can get your brand featured in this prime position, ahead of a UK rollout.