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The second half of the year is underway, and the plans and updates of the big platforms are just getting bigger and better. From Instagram testing full-screen display for stories, Instagram allowing pinning of comments, to Twitter testing a ‘co-fleet’ option, the brands have leveled up their game for 2020. Here’s the complete list of Digital Marketing updates in July 2020. And in case you missed last month’s #NewThingsInDigital then click here to read.

Table of Contents

1. Facebook adds warning prompts to stop unintended sharing of old articles

Users sharing old articles have been an ongoing issue on Facebook. To tackle this problem, the app has come up with a new feature that sends you a warning prompt that lets you know the age of the article. This happens if the content being shared is more than 90 years old, thereby giving importance to the content’s timeliness factor. 

2. Facebook adds a Custom Audience option based on shopping behavior

In a move to enhance the productivity of eCommerce on the platform, Facebook has added the Custom Audience option, which lets you refine your audience while running ads. While choosing your custom audience on the Facebook Ads Manager, you can now see a new option called Shopping through which you can create a new audience set. This is helpful in retargeting, as the listing gives us 3 options to choose from –

  • People who viewed products
  • People who added any products to their basket
  • People who purchased any product

3. With animated stickers, QR codes and Video Focus options – WhatsApp is now more interactive than ever!

WhatsApp has been adding new features to make the platform more interactive, beginning with the addition of the animated stickers in chats, which is notably the same as the ones available on Messenger.

With the QR code option, (that’s been on testing waters for some time now) you can add a contact by simply scanning their code, rather than manually typing out the digits.

With up to 8 people on video calls, the app has introduced the “Video Focus” option, where you can focus on whoever you want by simply pressing and holding on their window. 

4. Instagram tests “Full-screen” display for stories

With the increase in usage of the Stories feature, Instagram is now testing out the Full-screen Display option for stories. Apart from a double-stories feed (with stories displayed in two lines rather than just one), there is also an option to “See all stories” which will take the user to a full-page display of all stories at that time. This feature is currently being tested with a small group of users. 

5. Now, there are auto-generated Smart Replies on YouTube Studio!

Google has added its Smart Replies that are auto-generated, to the YouTube studio. The Smart Replies that have been available on Gmail since 2017 will observe your replies to YouTube comments and start suggesting ready-made responses that you can use to respond to comments. This feature enhances the efficiency of community engagement on the platform. 

6. Google once again tests ads on local business profiles

Google is testing ads again in local business profiles. The company did something similar in 2017 and again last year. Tim Capper was the first to notice this recent test, in restaurants and several other categories.

7. Now see the profiles of your followers on LinkedIn’s company pages!

LinkedIn has added a new feature to its analytics, which enables us to view the followers’ profiles on our company pages. The follower list will be displayed in reverse chronological order along with the month they have followed our page! This enables us, admins, to refine our content and engagement based on the audience profile. You can find this option in the “Followers” window in the analytics!

8. You can add an audio recording of your name to eliminate pronunciation errors!

You can add an audio recording of your name to eliminate pronunciation errors

Now, you can let people know how to pronounce your name by adding an audio of the same to your profile! Just go to your LinkedIn Profile, choose the “Edit Profile” option, and you will see an option that asks you to “Add Name Pronunciation”. The app lets you record your name for up to 10 seconds!

9. Google Rich Results Test tool now out of the beta

Google Rich Results Test tool now out of the beta

Google announced that it has removed the beta label from the Rich Results Test tool. The tool now “fully supports all Google Search rich result features.”

10. Google’s 3D Swirl ad format now available in DV360

Google's 3D Swirl ad format now available in DV360

Swirl, the mobile interactive display ad format that Google started testing last year is now available to Display & Video 360 customers globally.

11. You can now pin comments on Instagram!

You can now pin comments on Instagram!

The all-new Instagram feature lets the users pin up to 3 comments on their posts. The company says that this will help them structure conversations around their posts. The “pin comment” option is available as a pushpin icon upon swiping a comment from right to left.

12. Twitter all set to roll out Collaborative Fleets aka co-Fleets!

Twitter all set to roll out Collaborative Fleets aka co-Fleets!

Twitter is set to launch an added feature to its Instagram like stories feature Fleets, called co-Fleets! Under co-Fleets, two merged Fleets will be available under one Fleet and will be represented by a double bubble on the Fleets tab in the app. This way, users can post a conversation or even share thoughts on the same subject. The feature is currently limited and available only across a few countries. 

13. Google Analytics – New Predictive Audience action tools added!

Google Analytics - New Predictive Audience action tools added!

Google has added to its analytics, a few new “predictive metrics”, which help businesses connect with website visitors and app users who are more likely to make defined actions that lean more towards purchase. Analytics will “suggest” a predictive audience that you can choose to build your audience. Google uses its advanced prediction capacity to determine this set of predictive audiences, based on your website data. 

14. WhatsApp adds QR codes for businesses

WhatsApp adds QR codes for businesses

WhatsApp has made initiating a chat with a business easier than ever with the introduction of the QR codes. As explained by Facebook, earlier users, when they came across an interesting business, had to save the number to their contacts before initiating a chat on WhatsApp. Now, they can simply scan the QR code from the shop, product packaging or even receipts!

15. Instagram now has new options to manage IGTV previews

Instagram now has new options to manage IGTV previews

Instagram has expanded its options to edit how IGTV previews appear in both the Main Feed and Discover. Instagram enables users to edit the thumbnails and preview images for their IGTV clip under the “edit preview” and “edit profile image” options.

16. WhatsApp adds Catalogue links to simplify sharing

WhatsApp adds Catalogue links to simplify sharing

Businesses can now promote their product listings within WhatsApp, using the Catalogues feature. According to WhatsApp, Catalogs allow businesses to showcase and share the goods or services they offer, which can help them close sales. Catalogue listings provide a basic overview of products on the app. WhatsApp now further provides shareable links which will make it easier for people to share with their friends and connections.

17. Now, learn more about an image on Google Images!

Now, learn more about an image on Google Images

Google Images now provides more information about the image that is being searched for and viewed. In a drop-down menu, on mobile, Google shows more information related to the image result. The information would include people, places or things related to the image from the Knowledge Graph’s database, which will help the user explore the topic more further.

18. Screen Sharing now on Messenger’s Mobile App!

Screen Sharing now on Messenger's Mobile App

Facebook has rolled out the screen sharing option in the mobile app where you can now share your screen on a one-on-one or group Messenger call with up to 8 people, and with up to 16 people on Rooms. 

19. New Emoji updates from Facebook, Google & Apple!

New Emoji updates from Facebook, Google & Apple

With Emojis being a regular part of how we communicate today, Facebook, Google and Apple have rolled out new updates with regards to their emoji packs, on account of World Emoji Day, 2020.

  • Facebook upgraded its emoji pack with new animations.
  • Google has given an update on more diverse emoji characters, along with a set of new emojis for Android 11.
  • Apple added new headwear options to its emoji characters on iOS 14!

20. Facebook rolls out new image presentation options to more users

Facebook rolls out new image presentation options to more users

Users can now choose from a broader variety of presentation options on Facebook while posting. This is available for the multi-image upload option, thereby enabling more ways to showcase visuals. While creating the post, the user can see layout options in the bottom from which they can choose the image display format they like.

21. Instagram adds ‘Shops’ tab in Explore

Instagram adds 'Shops' tab in Explore

Instagram has been driving updates to enhance the shopping experience on the platform, for quite some time now. Adding to this, the app now has the ‘Shops’ section on the Explore tab. This section showcases a range of products available for purchase, in a single feed, where users can browse and discover brands and products they love within the Instagram app. The section will also highlight personalized product recommendations to each user, based on their following habits. Public testing of the feature has begun in the US and will soon expand to other regions, according to Instagram. 

22. Snapchat aims to expand Business Appeal, with the added “Brand Profile” feature

Snapchat aims to expand Business Appeal, with the added "Brand Profile" feature

Start getting your promotional game plan for Snapchat ready! The platform announced that it is testing a new feature – Brand Profiles, which will provide more options for brands to connect with users of the app. According to Snapchat, brand profiles offer a permanent home for brands on the app. At the same time, other Snapchatters will have access to information and content related to the brand in one single window. Brands will be able to showcase a lot of things unique to their brands, including Branded AR Lenses, highlights, story posts, and native stores, which helps them provide a store experience to visitors.

23. Reddit’s new post update “Image Galleries” is here

Reddit's new post update "Image Galleries" is here

Reddit users can now add up to 20 images and GIFs to their posts on select subreddits! According to Reddit, the “Image Galleries” feature is a response to requests from food, styling and DIY communities asking to be able to post more images to express themselves better. In addition to this, users will also be able to add captions and URLs in each of the images being uploaded. The introduction of this feature is viewed as another step towards Reddit’s development as a fully functional mainstream Social Media platform.

24. Google Search drops tweet carousels after Twitter hack

Google Search drops tweet carousels after Twitter hack

Google has removed the prominent Twitter carousel of tweets from the Google search result pages after many prominent Twitter accounts were hacked yesterday. If you missed the Twitter hack news, you can read about it on Techmeme. But this news resulted in Google removing Twitter carousel boxes completely from its search results pages.

25. Twitter rolls our Direct Message overlay on their web version!

Twitter rolls our Direct Message overlay on their web version

Twitter has updated its web version – users will now be able to access their DMs right from their home tab. The chat window option enables users to engage with their messages without having to leave their main tweet feed. Twitter has been testing the option over the past few months after it notices increased use of DMs over public posting activity, hence the development of the picture-in-picture display of the Direct Message option which is strikingly similar to that of the desktop messaging in Facebook and LinkedIn.

26. Instagram launches new Personal Fundraisers option

Instagram launches new Personal Fundraisers option

In support of small businesses and causes during the COVID 19 pandemic, Instagram has launched the “Personal Fundraisers” option. Currently being tested in the UK, US and Ireland on Android, it enables users to raise money for small businesses and causes that are important to them. The option is available in the “Edit Profile” tab on the Instagram App, in eligible regions. Instagram will review all fundraisers to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria. Users can start raising money on approval.

27. You can now broadcast Messenger Rooms via Facebook Live! 

You can now broadcast Messenger Rooms via Facebook Live! 

How awesome is this! Facebook has announced a new option through which users can broadcast their Messenger Rooms via Facebook Live. As the usage of video tools are on the rise currently, this new feature will expand audience potential for group discussions. According to Facebook, turning your room into a Facebook Live broadcast makes it easy to go Live with up to 50 people. And additionally, as a Room creator, you can broadcast your room session to a Profile, Page or a Group, thereby inviting more people to tune in! 

28. Google tested the idea of subscription-based services for GMB in April 2019

Google tested the idea of subscription-based services for GMB in April 2019

Google is starting to offer Google Guaranteed certification for a monthly fee, outside of Local Services Ads. It’s positioned as an “upgraded profile” that will include a badge appearing on the profile and which may also appear in the Local Pack.

29. Buy on Google goes commission-free

Buy on Google goes commission-free

Earlier this year, Google surprised merchants by opening up the Google Shopping tab in its search results to free product listings. Now for the next phase of the shakeup, commission-free access to Buy on Google, the company’s native checkout from product listings. It is also integrating with third-parties to make it easier for merchants to streamline order management and payments.

30. Facebook rolls out Touch ID & Face ID lock options on Messenger

Facebook rolls out Touch ID & Face ID lock options on Messenger

iOS users now have the option of locking the Messenger app to keep people from snooping through their chats. Facebook has rolled out two options, Face ID lock and Touch ID for users to keep their chats protected. Once they choose the kind of lock they want to have for the app, they can also choose long it takes before Messenger needs to be unlocked again.

31. Google tests search refinements on “scrolling up”

Google tests search refinements on "scrolling up"

Google is running a new test to make search suggestions on mobiles more refined. Upon searching for something on your phone and scrolling down and back up, a clean sticky bar pops up, giving you suggestions related to your original search. This makes it easier to go into related search results! 

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