PING — Top Digital Marketing Stories — November 2018
While we are at it, check out our predictions for 2019 and keep up with the latest trends to improve your digital visibility.
Social Media Updates
- Facebook adds advanced analytics to its analytics page
Facebook has introduced advanced analytics to the Facebook Analytics page. This would enable page admins to generate metrics beyond post level performance. Valuable events such as the number of page follows and unfollows, page likes and unlikes taken on the page would be visible to them.
Analytics is also getting post impressions, a new post level metric. This would give the page admins the ability to view and analyze these events with any of the already available features and create categories of people who take specific actions on a page.
The creation of these categories would help the page admins to track funnel conversion from social engagement to purchase, compare the demographics of the categories by channel and activity.
- Facebook to curb the reach of clickbait content
Facebook has taken a slew of steps to curb the reach of content that is provocative in nature.
Algorithm changes in Facebook’s news feed will demote clickbait content. This was announced in a blog post by Mark Zuckerberg where he proposed steps that Facebook would take to deal with this content menace. He referred to this content as “borderline” which he says is responsible for poor user experience but does not actually transgress any Facebook rules.
But despite the nature of clickbait content, it seems that user engagement is greater with clickbait content than with other types of content. The engagement is higher even though users mention that they do not like this content.
- Facebook’s new messaging permissions to impact chatbots
Facebook is altering the messaging permissions for subscription messaging and that would impact chatbots.
According to the new rules, Facebook would grant permission to send subscription messages at the page-level rather than at the app-level.
The 31st of December is the proposed deadline for chatbots to transition from app-level to page-level permissions. These changes apply to chatbots sending subscription messages, not to those that only send standard messages.
- Facebook to boost access to local news and information
Facebook is expanding its “Today In” section and making it easier for people to connect with local news and information. Available in 400 US cities, “Today In” is now in Australia as a part of testing international waters.
Facebook has been particularly keen in making this section available in what it terms as “news deserts,” which are areas with very low penetration of local news. Facebook has been testing this section, which puts together news and information from the local community, since March 2018.
Today In users can directly access the section or view it as a part of their News Feed. Also, people living in cities where “Today In” is available can access by clicking the hamburger menu button in the Facebook app and then clicking “Today In.”
- Instagram to enable users to share stories with select people
Instagram’s new feature allows users to share their stories with select individuals. This is helpful for users who share professional as well as personal content on Instagram.
Creating “Finstagrams” or fake profiles is increasingly becoming popular with users who want to share content with individuals close to them. And this is how Instagram has responded; it created the new Close Friends option.
It will enable users, whose accounts include both personal and professional connections, to choose the individuals with who they want to share their stories.
Users need to go to the side menu, choose “Close Friends” option and create a “Close Friends” list. They can keep adding people to the list. The option does not allow users to make requests to be added and only the creator can view the people on his list.
- Instagram to redesign user profile
Instagram is testing new ways to redesign your Instagram profile. It would enable you to express yourself better and easily connect with friends on your profile.
It is planning to re-arrange many features that are on the top of your profile.
This includes: change in icons, buttons and the way you navigate between tabs.
Instagram believes that the restructuring would ensure better user experience. There would be no change in the photos and videos already shared on your grid.
Instagram has announced that they would be working on the profile changes and would be testing them in phases and with different combinations. It also plans to actively incorporate user feedback into the profile restructuring.
- Instagram to target inauthentic activity by third-party apps
Instagram has announced that it would take steps to curb network activity that is not authentic.
It plans to use machine learning tools to identify accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity. Instagram would remove fake followers, likes, and comments from these accounts.
It would ask these accounts to change their password that was most likely shared with the third-party apps. Once Instagram has identified accounts that use third-party apps, it would send them messages informing that all inauthentic activities would be removed.
Content Marketing Updates
- YouTube to remove annotations on videos
YouTube has announced that it will remove all existing annotations from January 15, 2019. It had retired all annotations in May 2017.
Though users haven’t been able to create or edit annotations, the older ones still popped up in the videos. These annotations were generally call-to-action pop-ups, web or video links which never worked on mobile devices.
Since most of YouTube’s audience has moved to mobile phones these annotations have been redundant.
- YouTube to remove video credits
YouTube has decided to take down credits from all videos and it has also announced that any existing video credits will be removed by 31st January 2019.
Creators of YouTube videos used credits to tag individuals to the videos. Credits were also used to tag actors and artists in the video description. These credits were generally links that would take users to the respective channels of these individuals.
One reason why YouTube decided to take them down was the fact that they were not very widely used. November 26th was the date when the creation of all new video credits was stopped and by January 31st all existing credits would be removed.
- YouTube to insert two back-to-back ads in videos
YouTube is planning to insert two ads before a video starts. Users will have the option of skipping these ads.
YouTube believes that the insertion of two ads in the beginning of a video would ensure that no ads appear in the middle of a video. It says that this change in the use of ads in a video was a result of user experience research.
The research showed how users responded to ads in a video. It showed that if the videos are not frequently interrupted by ads it would lead to higher viewing rates of the ads. YouTube will first launch these ad pods on the desktop and then mobile and TV screens.
Search Engine Updates
- Google’s new feature to allow comments on search results
Google is planning a new feature that would enable users to post comments on search results.
Google help site provides the steps that users would need to take in order to post and access comments on search results. It has also set up a page dedicated to comments in the section that lists the search contributions of an individual’s Google profile.
Google has also planned to enable users to post comments to live sports games. Google search results do not show any live comments yet, but Google has announced that it was working on it and that it would soon be available.
- Google My Business is one of the top-ranking factors in local search
Google My Business is trying to help local business to improve their ranking on the local search results.
It has seen marked growth in the year 2018. Google My Business signals have risen from 19% in 2017 to nearly 25% in 2018 in terms of contribution as one of the top-ranking factors for Google’s local pack. Some of the top-ranking signals include features like Google Posts, Google Q&A and image/video updates.
Since most of the businesses have not begun using these features of local search, it can provide a competitive edge to those who are already using it. When businesses make regular use of these features it shows Google that there is active interaction with its customers.
As the digital world changes shapes and forms, bringing in new ideas and better experiences, take some time and enjoy these stories that made their mark in the month of November. We’ll be back next month with the last update for the year 2018!
Happy Holiday everyone!