“Senator, we run ads.”
It is if you watched the cringe-worthy and meme-inducing hearings of Mark Zuckerberg in Congress a few weeks ago.
While the Congress grilled Zuckerberg and inadvertently shown their lack of knowledge about the internet, the rest of us who work in the digital marketing industry had to grapple with changes in Facebook’s advertising platform.
Some advertisers claim they can no longer use certain targeting options, while others complain of higher cost-per-click for certain ads. Of course, speculations arose that these changes were because of Facebook tightening the reins on how advertisers could use data on their platform. Of course, there’s no definite news yet on how the scandal will affect advertisers on the platform, so we just have to keep our eyes peeled for updates.
Digital Marketing News in Social, SEO, and Business
1. Facebook Resumes Review Process for Messenger Apps and Instant Games
Facebook stopped reviewing apps last March 26 after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out, and word got out on how the company was able to exploit user data because of an app. Suspending the review of apps is perhaps Facebook’s way of proving it’s serious about reviewing its policy for approving apps that can be used on the platform.
The new app review process now limits the amount of information app-makers can access from each user. Although the review process for Instant Games is currently open, Facebook admits it will take a few weeks to process all the applications that queued up. Apps submitted after March 26 won’t be reviewed until they’re done with those submitted before then.
As for Messenger apps, only developers with a limited number of Pages will be reviewed starting this week. They will be allowed to integrate Messenger to the Pages they’ve created.
2. Pinterest Gave 1 Million Businesses New Profile Pages
The new Pinterest profile will have a dynamic cover image that allows business users to highlight the content they want visitors to see first on their profile.
Dynamic content options:
- A specific board
- Recent user activity, such as who pinned your post, what was pinned, etc.
- Your latest pins
You’ll also see how many people saw your Pins in the last 30 days (“Monthly viewers”). What’s interesting though is that your profile visitors can see this number, too. There’s also a new tab called “Following,” that allows people who follow you to see your newest Pins in the chronological order you pinned them, regardless of which board they’re saved to.
3. JungoTV and Cinedigm launch new channel dubbed Combat GO
Combat Go will be launched on Twitch, a social media video platform focused on gaming, and will air over 600 hours of content, including live fights curated by martial arts experts.
The channel’s target includes both casual fighting fans and enthusiasts, so the channel’s video streaming offering will offer a variety of content, from Kick Boxing competitions between popular international flights to alternative combat sports.
4. Over 18 Million U.S. Homes Now Have Smart Speakers
The latest comScore data reports that about 20% of all U.S. households with Wi-Fi now use a smart speaker. Yes, the 20% doesn’t seem much when you think about it but it’s a whopping 50% increase from December of 2017 to February this year.
One possible reason for the surge in smart speaker usage is the availability of cheaper or low-end versions. These gadgets previously cost $100 or more but due to the launch of Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo dot, both retailing about $49, more low-income households are now starting to enjoy the use of smart speakers. Some of these models were even discounted at $29 during the last holiday season.
What does this mean for us marketers and online business owners? It means an increase in users who shop online. A recent Forbes article noted that 22% of people who have smart speakers shop online via voice commands, while another study from comScore shows that voice technology is affecting how and where people shop.
5. Chrome 66 will Now Prevent Videos with Sound from Autoplaying
You no longer need to put up with annoying videos that automatically play loud content while you browse. That is, as soon as you update to Google’s latest browser, Chrome 66.
The new version now blocks the auto-play function of videos with sound with a few caveats.
- Auto-play videos created without sound will still play automatically
- Auto-play media will be allowed if you interact with the site or if you’ve previously shown “an interest in media on the site.”
Content and video publishers ought to rethink their digital marketing strategy, now that you can’t expect users to always hear what’s going on in your videos. One strategy you can try is to include closed captions. This way, your video will still play without the need for manual intervention, but you are following Google’s effort to be less intrusive to users.
The tool of the Month: Check My Links
It’s a free tool that can help you find broken links.
Just go to the webpage you want to check, and then click on the browser extension in your website toolbar. Check My Links will then find all of the internal and external links on the page and highlight the broken links in red. It will also tell you the code for the broken link, such as whether it’s a 404 error or a 500 error.
Dreading the Changes?
I’m seeing a lot of complaints, concerns, and basically a general sense of foreboding in the digital marketing communities I belong to, mostly because of what happened with Facebook.
Many businesses that rely on Facebook for their traffic and leads fear the scandal will make it harder to get customers from the platform. If you’re one of these people, it’s time that you diversify your marketing strategy. Why not try SEO, email marketing, guest blogging, or even Google Adwords? There are so many ways for you to get traffic and leads online that you don’t have to rely on one platform or method to keep your business afloat.