We’re back with the freshest news from the world of digital marketing – and we’ve got to say, there’s quite a few! While in July most companies were quite, in the last few weeks all of the larger social media platforms had some update, either for its users, or for advertisers. Let’s dive into them!
Every news starts with a short summary with the key points, however, if you are willing to dive deeper into a certain topic, you can always find an additional link for further reference.
1. Giving Young people a more safer environment
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook, as a company, is working on creating a more safer environment for underage users on all of its platforms – but especially Instagram and Facebook.
In a recent announcement, they talked about how they are trying to limit user under the age of 13 to use their platforms. Facebook and its other applications weren’t designed for people under the age of 13. While a few years ago age ‘verification’ was a simple skippable process, now Facebook is attempting to limit these users with age verification:
They are looking at various AI and operation system solutions to detect underage users.
For already existing accounts they are trying to develop a kid-friendly experience (both on Facebook and Instagram)
Read more on this.
They have already announced changes focusing on Instagram as well: Profiles under the age of 16 (or 18 in some countries) will be private by default
Young people’s accounts won’t be shown to ‘suspicious users’ (detected using AI)
For people under 18, advertiser will only be able to target based on their age, gender and location. (No more interest-based or activity-based (on other apps) targeting) Globally on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Read more on this.
2. Facebook updates this month
Facebook for Business
- Facebook is Partnering with Coursera
Facebook is launching two Coursera certificates: Marketing Analytics and Software Development.
These courses will be both self-paced and 20 weeks-long, and in the end participants will have access to Facebook Certification Careers Network and will let graduates connect with over 60 employers through Facebook’s Hiring Consortium.
Facebook is also offering scholarships to Black learners and COVID-19 displaced agency professionals globally.
Read more on this.
- Facebook Pay is now available outside the app
Facebook has introduced Facebook Pay, a move boosting the development of social commerce by enabling users to have a seamless checkout experience without the need to leave the application.
Now Facebook Pay is available for businesses in the US to use outside of the application. It’s beneficial because it securely stores payment info, therefore the experience is more seamless.
Read more on this.
- Soundmojis are coming to Facebook
Just in time for World Emoji Day (July 17th, yes, that’s an actual day) Facebook has introduced soundmojis on Messenger – emojis we all know and love with sound effects! Now only just a few are available, but they promised to regularly update the Soundmoji Library – only available in iOS for now.
Read more on this.
- Twitter-like threads might be coming to Facebook
Threads are available on Twitter, where there’s a limited amount of characters in a tweet – and with threads, users can show that they are connected to another tweet. While on Facebook the limit is way higher (over 63 thousand characters), the social platform is reportedly testing a new feature similar to Twitter’s threads. This can have an impact on Live events broadcasted online, or battling fake news: this way, creators can show how a previous post has been updated, or comment other thoughts they have on the topic.
3. Instagram’s Updates This month
Social Media Today & The Verge
- Instagram is testing a TikTok-like vertical feed for Explore
We have been hearing about Instagram’s attempt to ride its rival’s popularity (e.g introducing Reels, focusing on videos, etc.), and now here’s another move. Instagram is reportedly testing a new look for its Explore section, which is very similar to TikTok’s outlook. The new look only appears after selecting a post in the feed.
There’s one thing that TikTok is better at: recommending useful and relevant content to its users. On Instagram, they still show posts from accounts you follow by default, and its Explore page is on a different tab – however, we might expect a change in that in the near future.
- Instagram Reels can now be up to one-minute long
Instagram introduced its Reels feature a year ago to compete with TikTok, and until now, the videos could be up to 30 seconds long. In a recent update however, they can be up to one-minute long!
This comes a month after TikTok tripled its video lengths up to 3 minutes.
Until now, Reels offered the shortest possibility for full-screen vertical videos: Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, YouTube Shorts all offer one-minute long videos.
Instagram Reels is still not available in Hungary.
4. TikTok’s Updates this month
Adweek & Business of Apps
- Introducing Spark Ads:
So far, Tiktok only allowed to sponsor posts before publishing – unlike Instagram or Facebook, where advertisers are able to promote a post after publishing (and realizing its organic effect). From now on however, promoting an earlier organic TikTok is possible – brands can identify an existing organic video (e.g. a beauty influencer), reach out to the creators and use these for their paid campaigns. . Moreover, while it only offered paid clicks as a target, advertisers now have the option like paid followers, likes and shares.
- American Airlines offer free TikTok access:
American Airlines will provide 30 minutes of free access to TikTok on their flights. While it’s unlikely that this move will boost ticket sales, it might have an impact on the social platform’s popularity – and while American Airlines did a similar free-access test run with Facebook Messenger a few years back, we have to admit that this is another move admitting TikTok’s huge influence.
5. Pinterest Loses 24 million users as Lockdowns ease worldwide
Social Media Today
After constantly increasing its user base through 11 quarters, Pinterest reportedly lost 24 million in the last one – this can happen due to the ease of lockdowns worldwide. However, since COVID brought a huge number of users to the platform, that kind of growth was unsustainable for Pinterest. (49M in just 3 months). In other news, there’s a significant difference between how different devices generate engagement and revenue – of course, mobile takes the lead in this one. Moreover, contrary to the loss of users, revenue and engagement are still steady across the platform – their Average Revenue per User metric has even increased in the last quarter!
6. WhatsApp’s Updates this month
A few years ago Snapchat was the first platform that offered disappearing photos to its users, and since then Instagram and Facebook introduced their own version of this feature. Now comes WhatsApp: the View Once is a new media type that can be opened just once – this will come with a new mark for these kinds of messages.
7. How did the digital world handle an Unusual Olympics?
As some countries are reopening and trying to navigate to a new normal, the whole world’s eye was on Japan and how they deal with the Olympics. As concerns were rising, a decision was made: no live spectators can attend the Olympics, which put a new challenge ahead of brands: how can they reach their audience?
There come the two keywords: online presence and non-linear media, therefore putting a higher emphasis on integrated marketing strategies. Samsung created a Tokyo 2020 Media Center, where users could access all up-to-date information about the Olympics on their phones – and since a high percentage of US viewers planned to watch the games on their phone, it was a great decision.
While overall interest for the game was low, Gen Z and millennials were the most interested demographic audience. As for marketing ideas, Xfinity launched a TikTok campaign focusing on the Olympics’ anthem, and NBCUniversal launched an omnichannel campaign with Snapchat, Twitter and Twitch with supplementary content to the games – and allowing brands advertising through them to reach their audience.
8. Google’s Updates
SE Roundtable & Google Ads Help
- Big Carousels for Specific Searches
When entering a search query, at the end of the page results, Google suggests other possible, relatable search queries to help you find what you’re looking for – this has been a feature for a while. Now, according to some users, Google is testing an edition of it, with a carousel of specific searches to help users find what they are looking for.
- Make it easier to get your best deals on Google
From now on, you can highlight specific deals only available for special users in shopping – for example 10% off for new users. While everyone will see this, only eligible customers will be able to use the discount. You can also highlight your promotions in Free Listings as well!
- Updates to how Smart Bidding strategies are organized
Maximize conversion strategies will now have the option of target CPA and target ROAS, instead of the simple target CPA and target ROAS strategies.. These updates will roll out in the following weeks – existing campaigns will run with previous Target CPA/ROAS strategies – they will be turned off with a previous notification sometime in 2022.
9. State of Content Marketing 2021
HubSpot published its annual State of Marketing report – based on 2020’s findings, what can we expect in 2021? The key phrases are: multimedia, video, podcasts and quality. Video is the leading content type – but with the growing popularity of TikTok, we’re not surprised. Last year YouTube and Netflix became more and more popular, as it was the only source of entertainment for some people. Podcasts are also gaining popularity, and platforms like Spotify or Apple are investing more and more in this type of content. And as users’ attention span is getting shorter, the only way to win them is by adding multimedia content in longer articles. It’s also important to note that quality of the content is more important than the quantity of it.
10. How the best companies in the world are reinventing their customer experience
Think with Google
The 5 key phrases that every online store should think about: fast – frictionless – personalized – helpful – consistent. Yeah, these might be self-evident, however, still a lot of ecommerce platforms don’t revolve around them – even huge ones as well. We know it might be hard to imagine yourself in a customer’s shoe, but luckily, today there are a lot of possibilities for marketers to get to know how users interact with their site: there are plugins, and you can also ask them with a feedback form – quantitative and qualitative feedback are also very important to highlight room for improvement. And implementing social commerce solutions is always a great idea – just take a look at how Chinese companies grow with the help of them!