With the last few Showers marking the end of monsoon and still maintaining the cool air around us let us refresh on all the new things in Digital for September. From Google Ads adding ‘Ad strength’ indicator, Snapchat adding “Boomerang’ videos and calling it Bounce,’ Facebook Watch’ going global, to Twitter bringing in ‘Bookmarks’ to desktops, Youtube adding vertical video Ad options, Instagram trying to make shopping easier through stories, etc there are a number of updates. If you missed out on any just scroll down to stay updated.
#1 Snapchat adds ‘Boomerang’ Videos and Calls it ‘Bounce’
Snap has launched another Instagram-like feature, this time in the form of ‘Bounce’, which is essentially Instagram’s ‘Boomerang’ under a different name.The feature is very easy to use – after you’ve taken a video Snap (as I have above of my dog), you tap and hold the ‘Infinity Loop’ loop icon at the bottom of the right-hand side options menu. When you do, you’ll see a new ‘Bounce’ slider show up on screen which covers the duration of the clip. You can then move the slider across to where you what the Bounce to replay from, and it’ll loop over and over from that spot in the playback.
#2 Facebook is Testing Links on Stories
You can now add links to Facebook. This could be beneficial for brands trying to drive traffic to their desired pages. And with Pages and publishers losing organic reach and referral traffic due to Facebook’s algorithm shifts, they’re looking for every way they can to counter such losses. These links on Stories could be one such attempt.
#3 Instagram Opens up Verification Application Process
In an attempt to help to provide more assurance to users about the accounts they are following and interacting with, Instagram will also now allow profiles to apply for Instagram verification, which has thus far only been available at Instagram’s internal discretion.
#4 Instagram Tests a New Recommendations Feature to Boost Content Discovery
Instagram is testing a new content discovery process, by highlighting posts from accounts similar to those you follow and interact with in the main feed. When you see the “Recommended For You” message, you’ll have the option to view your past posts or keep scrolling for your recommendations. And, if you’re interested in seeing more from the accounts shown in your recommended posts, just tap on the blue button to follow them.”
#5 Google Ads Introduces ‘Ad Strength’ Indicator
Ad strength will be visible when advertisers create responsive search ads as well as in a new column in the web interface.
#6 Google Ads to Begin Restricting Ads Third-party Tech support Providers
In the coming months, Google Ads will roll out a verification program to ensure that only legitimate providers of third-party tech support can use our platform to reach consumers.
#7 Facebook Watch Goes Global
‘Facebook Watch’ is now ready to go global. All page videos are eligible to show up in Watch, giving publishers and creators globally a new place for their videos to be watched and discovered. In the same announcement, Facebook also added that it’s expanding its Ad Breaks program so more partners can make money from their videos and offering new insights, tools, and best practices for pages. Ad Breaks are now fully launched and open to eligible pages across the U.S., UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, with a range of additional countries coming soon.
#8 Facebook Creator Studio Available Globally
In addition to expanding Facebook Watch to more markets, Facebook launched Creator Studio globally. Creator Studio provides a central place for pages to manage their entire content library and business. In Creator Studio, publishers and creators can manage content and interaction, check insights, streamline video publishing, access Ad Breaks, and much more. To find out if you have access to this new dashboard, check your Business Manager account on Facebook.
#9 Instagram Updates New Notification for IGTV Above Stories bar
It appears that Instagram has rolled out notifications for IGTV videos that appear above the Stories bar in the app. The notification shows the creator, title, thumbnail, and timestamp for the video and a prominent Watch button.
#10 Facebook Updates Travel Ads to Help Airlines Reach More Prospective Audience
Facebook’s updating its Travel Ads offering with a new ‘Flight Ads’ variant will enable airlines to reach potential travelers based on visits to other flight-related Pages, websites and apps. When people are looking at holiday trips to Mexico by browsing several airline sites and flight pricing apps, airline brands will now be able to use Flight Ads to reach those people with tailored ads promoting relevant flight routes. In addition, travelers that visit a travel-related Facebook Page, but have not yet chosen a trip destination may see an ad to visit an airline brand’s site.
#11 Twitter Brings ‘Bookmarks’ to Desktop, Providing Access Across Devices
Twitter has announced that it’s running a small test of its Bookmarks feature on the web, with a view to rolling it out more broadly in the coming months. Bookmarks provides an alternative to liking a tweet that you may simply be looking to mark as something you want to check out later, instead of actually liking it.
#12 Instagram is Looking to Launch a Standalone App for Online Shopping
The app – which may be called IG Shopping – would let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow, and purchase them directly within the app.
The direct connection between Instagram’s main app and its proposed shopping channel is essential based on the information provided, Instagram Shopping would highlight items from businesses you already follow on IG, while you would also expect that brands on Instagram would be given additional options to link to their Instagram Shopping channels from their Instagram posts.
#13 Google to Trigger Results Even for Close Variants of Exact Match Keywords
The exact match words are no longer the sole trigger for your ads to show on exact match keywords in adwords says Google.
First, the inclusion of plurals, misspellings and other similar variants came in 2014, and then, in 2017, different word order and function words took hold. Now phase 3 is here. Google announced another change to what are considered close variants of an exact match keyword to include variations that share the same meaning as the keyword, including implied words and paraphrases.
#14 Google Ads Script to Find Anomalies in Campaign Spend
Customizable Google Ads script lets you check for overspending or underspending in your Google Ads account by finding changes in spending. Check the link for customizable script: https://goo.gl/v6iapM
#15 Instagram Introduces Recommended Posts in Feed
Instagram is testing recommended posts in the feed. These recommendations are based on the people you follow and photos & videos you like and will be shown with a tag “Recommended for you” at the end of your feed once you’ve seen everything new from people you follow.
#17 Canvas Ads Are Now ‘Instant Experiences’ With New Capabilities
Facebook canvas ads are now called ‘instant experiences’ and come with a few more capabilities. Facebook offers ready-made template options including ‘Instant Storefront’, which presents products in a neat grid format; ‘Instant Lookbook’, which showcases products in a lifestyle setting; and more. The newest template is called ‘Instant Form’, and it allows users to share their contact info with a company and request more information from them.
#18 Facebook Tests Ability to Share Links in Stories
Facebook confirms it’s ‘testing the ability to share links in Stories, just like you can on News Feed’ but hasn’t yet shared any details on when this feature will be widely released
#19 Instagram’s Replacing ‘Stars’ with ‘Flags’ in Direct Messages
This week, Instagram is updating its messaging ‘Stars’, used to indicate specific messages you might want to come back to at another time, to ‘Flags’.
#20 YouTube Adds Vertical Video Ad Options
With more users becoming more accustomed to viewing content without having to turn their devices sideways, online video leader YouTube has been slowly adding in more features to align with the trend. Their latest announcement on this front comes in the form of new vertical video ad units, which will enable brands to capitalize on full-length presentation.
#21 Snapchat Introduces New Program Which Will Enable Publishers to Source User-Generated Content
Snapchat users share their in-the-moment views on everything within the app, which can be hugely valuable, particularly in regards to major, breaking events. The platform has been working on ways to showcase this content. Now, it is taking this to another level, partnering with more than 20 news publishers in order to enable them to create their own curated Stories, which will take publicly posted Snaps and merge them into a narrative feature of sorts, which the publishers can use both on Snap and within their own content.
#22 Twitter Will Now Highlight Live-Streams from Accounts You Follow at the Top of Your Timeline
When an account you follow begins a broadcast, Twitter will highlight it right at the top of your feed. Which is good, and will no doubt get more people watching. But it is still not the real solution Twitter needs to get more people viewing its streaming video content.
#23 Google Ads Tests Headlines & URL Without Descriptions
Google seems to be testing an ad format on mobile search where they remove the description section from the ad. The ad copy is removed, the only thing you see are the headlines and URL. This was being tested on mobile in the bottom ad units.
#24 Instagram is Testing ‘Shopping in Stories’
Instagram introduced two ways to make it easier to shop directly from the app by expanding Shopping in Stories and testing a new shopping channel in Explore. Instagram began testing Shopping in Stories in June 2018 and is now rolling it out globally to 46 countries.
#25 Instagram Rolls Out New Shopping Channel in The Explore Tab
Next new update on Instagram for Shoppers is the new ‘Shopping channel’ in Explore that will feature content that’s specifically tailored to a user’s style, tastes, and interests. It will feature brands users already follow and brands they might like. The Shopping channel in Explore is currently testing and will roll out globally over the “coming weeks.
#26 Twitter Gets New Audio-Only Broadcasts
Twitter launched audio-only broadcasts on mobile on Twitter for iOS and Periscope. This new feature, which was confirmed in a tweet from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is available where you would normally launch a live video. Twitter hasn’t confirmed when it will be available on more platforms and devices.
#27 Instagram Is Testing an Option to Add Hashtags Without Having to Include Them in the Caption
Instagram appears to be testing a new option which would enable users to add hashtags into a separate field on their posts, outside of the main caption.
#28 Twitter Introduces Link to Send Private Message Through A Public Tweet
Twitter now lets you guide a public tweet into a private conversation by using the ‘Send a Private Message’ link along with the tweet as mentioned in the image.
#29 Google Announces That its Data Studio Tool is Now Available to All Users
Google has announced that its Data Studio tool, which enables users to access and visualize data from a range of sources, including Google Analytics, Google Ads, YouTube Analytics, Google Sheets and over 500 other data providers (both Google and non-Google), is now out of beta and available, free of charge, for all users.
#30 Now you can enable call reporting at the account level in Google Ads
Google Ads advertisers can enable call reporting for all call-only campaigns and call extensions in their accounts in one spot. The new account-level setting will roll out over the next few weeks.
#31 Quora Ads introduces Broad Targeting
Quora’s ads has introduced Broad Targeting option that rely on machine learning to optimize ad delivery to reach users most likely to take the desired action