Happy New Year! Besides the holidays, the social giants made sure we’re not gonna be left without news this month. Meta is testing with more controls for users, Instagram has announced it’s focus for the year and Google launched some updates as well. 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. More In-Feed Control For Brands & Users
Meta for Business
On Facebook, both Brands and users will have more control over their feed. Users will have the possibility to customize their feed, like increasing or decreasing the amount of posts from friends, pages, groups and family members. And brands will have more control over what kind of topics their ads will appear nearby. Facebook is also working with third-party brand safety solutions, so we will hear more about this topic.
2. Instagram Feed Options
Instagram is also working on its feed – after they received huge backlash for removing it in2016, the chronological feed is about to have a return. They are reportedly experimenting with a “Favorites” feature as well (probably similar to Facebook’s option) – to mark accounts that you are particularly interested in, and you’ll see their posts on the top of the feed. However, we can expect more in the following months.
3. Meta will remove sensitive targeting options after January 19th
Search Engine Land
Meta announced to remove sensitive targeting options for ads – these include targeting about health causes, sexual orientation, political views and religion. Running campaigns will still deliver results until March 17th, so that during this time advertisers can look for other targeting strategies.
4. Instagram to put Reels in focus in 2022
Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri announced in a short year-end message the platform’s main focus in 2022 – to revolve around Reels. It comes as no surprise after 2021: they have been keeping their eye on the biggest rival, TikTok, and some new features have been introduced on the platform that might be familiar after seeing it on TikTok. At the beginning of 2021, they shifted their identity from an image-sharing app to an entertainment-focus app – and now, they shifted their focus completely to Reels. We’re excited to see what updates have in mind to keep up in the competition with TikTok.
5. TikTok is Testing a Repost option
Social Media Today
Some users have spotted a new ‘Reshare’ option on TikTok, that enables users to share a video they like to their connections (their followers) – thus, instead of a user needing to send a video to their friends one by one, they can just repost it. The feature is not unfamiliar to social media users, since platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook – however, it is interesting to see TikTok testing this feature, as other platforms are limiting the reach of reposting – to stop the spread of viral fake news. The feature is not available yet to every user.
6. Instagram adds more teen safety features ahead of parental control rollout
Instagram has launched a number of new and experimental features meant to make its app a safer place for teens ahead of Adam Mosseri‘s Senate testimony. In March, Instagram will be launching tools for parents and guardians that will give them a way to view how much time their kids are spending on the app and to set time limits. Instagram and Facebook have come under fire in recent months after whistleblower Frances Haugen told Congress about the social networks’ effect on teens based on Meta’s own research.
7. Amazon has been overtaken by three ecommerce rivals you’ve never heard of
Amazon has been overtaken by three ecommerce rivals you’ve never heard of: Shopee, Shein and Meesho were the most downloaded ecommerce apps globally last year. The corporate continues to hold the top spot in the ecommerce market in the US, foreign competitors have surpassed the company when it comes to app installs on the global stage. According to new data from Apptopia‘s real-time data intelligence platform, the ecommerce giant came in fourth place in shopping app installations worldwide this year.
8. Google Ads Now Has Asset Library
SE Round Table
Google Ads is rolling out or now has the Google Creative Studio’s asset library feature directly in Google Ads. The Google Asset Library is a repository that creative agencies can use to upload and organize Rich Media creative assets. Assets can be used in multiple creatives, so agencies can share them across various campaigns in their Studio account. They can easily pull them into new creatives. Now it is in Google Ads, not just the Studio’s Assets tab.
9. Google Search Tests Blue Header
SE Round Table
Google is testing a blue header for mobile search results. We’ve seen Google test various colorful search buttons in the header area of the Google search bar, but not this one. Ric Rodriguez has spotted Google’s new header and posted various screenshots on his Instagram, which is pretty neat – we bet Google will test multiple colours if this.
10. Google has introduced ‘Shops’ Section in Mobile Search
Search Engine Land
Mobile searchers in the US will from now on see a separate ‘Shops’ section, with 3 (but can be expanded until 10) retailers, based on organic results. The feature is only enabled for shopping-related queries (like Google Shopping). This feature gives more visibility for merchants, however, since it is based on organic rankings, those become even more crucial for retailers.