PING — Top Digital Marketing Stories — December 2018
As we close the year, the digital world is abuzz with activity. Search engine portals and social media platforms are making large scale qualitative changes with far reaching consequences for the users. We want you to stay updated with the latest in the digital world. Therefore, here are a few stories from December that made headlines in the digital space.
Social Media Updates
1. Facebook Puts on Hold Proposed Change in Chatbot Subscription Messaging Policies
Facebook has decided not to change its subscription messaging policies that would have impacted chatbots.
Facebook had proposed granting permission to send subscription messages at the page-level rather than at the app-level.
The 31st of December was the proposed deadline for chatbots to transition from app-level to page-level permissions. These changes applied to chatbots sending subscription messages, not to those that only send standard messages.
But if you have already complied with the proposed subscription messaging policies, you are in a good position Facebook may still give a go-ahead to the policy change in the future.
2. Facebook Search Ads are Now Available to Select Businesses in North America
Facebook is experimenting with inserting ads in search results available to the automotive, retail, and e-commerce sectors. It will start with users in the United States and Canada who would be able to see the ads. The initial testing would decide if Facebook would want it to be extended to other countries.
Businesses can place ads in ‘Search Results’ as they create campaigns using Facebook Ads Manager. The ads would look like news feed ads and would either be a static image or a part of a carousel.
3. Instagram introduces new features to make follower connect stronger
Instagram is introducing a slew of features to make its follower connect stronger. It has added “countdowns” to Stories that would enable users to insert interactive countdown stickers to their stories. Marketers too can insert them to countdown to a product launch event or webinar. This feature would also help e-commerce marketers to inform buyers of limited time period offers about to start or about to end. Users can now also use question stickers in live videos.
4. Twitter adds ‘Show Latest Tweets’ Button
Users in Twitter can now move between the latest tweets and top tweets with Twitter’s Show Latest Tweets’ Button. The button would be visible in the top right-hand corner of the app while viewing the timeline. The user can tap the button to switch from a reverse-chronological feed to the algorithmic feed and vice-versa. But Twitter would still prioritise top tweets which means that users would need to re-enable the ‘latest tweets’ feed in order to view the latest tweets.
Twitter has enabled this feature on iOS but eventually Android and desktop can access it as well.
Content Marketing Updates
1. YouTube Spam Accounts Purge May Cause Fall in Subscribers
YouTube has planned to remove spam accounts that might lead to a fall in subscriber count. The proposed aim is to build an authentic community. YouTube has clarified that these spam subscribers might not have been unintentional and a result of the actions of other channels. This step from YouTube would not impact watch time metrics since spam subscribers do not get actively involved in content engagement.
Also, a notification banner in YouTube Studio or Classic Creator Studio will be displayed for channels from which spam subscribers have been removed. Channels that fail to maintain the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) threshold of 1,000 subscriptions after the removal of spam subscribers will be removed from the program.
2. YouTube Introduces Autoplay for Videos in the Home Tab
YouTube has introduced default autoplay for videos in the home tab. This would be without audio. It would be introduced on iOS and Android over the next few weeks. YouTube Premium subscribers already have access to this feature for more than six months now. This feature was added as a result of user feedback that wanted a simpler way to preview videos since all YouTube videos did not have captions.
This feature would include displaying the thumbnail for a moment before the video plays. Users would have the option of turning off the autoplay option or set it to autoplay on WiFi only.
Search Engine Updates
1. Google Reveals the 2 Most Common Issues With Mobile-First Indexing
When Google evaluates sites mobile-first indexing, it faces two most common issues.
- Missing structured data on mobile pages
- Missing Alt-text on mobile pages
Google says that it is important to use structured data on the mobile version of a page since it uses only the mobile version of a page for mobile-indexing. It recommends checking the source code when simulating a mobile device using Chrome DevTools.
Similarly, alt-text used for images on desktop pages should also be used on mobile pages. It makes it easier for Google to understand the context of images used on web pages. It recommends checking “img” tags in the source code of the mobile version.
2. Google on Better Search Presentation with Videos
Google’s John Mueller revealed the advantages of including videos on the web page. He mentioned that there’s more to ranking than the ten blue lines, and that users should go beyond ranking for keywords and consider enhanced listings.
Therefore, the choice of images and videos for an article plays a very important in the ranking of an article. John Mueller also said that the location of a video or image in an article can influence how Google interprets the importance of that video or article to the page. He seemed to be emphasizing the importance of non-textual content to Google and for your traffic.
As we hit the new year, we will continue to bring in new stories and the latest developments in the digital world. Enjoy the stories and stay tuned for the latest updates as we usher in 2019.