This week: Instagram announces new features, Facebook pushes more Live video, and Google unveils responsive search ads, image guidelines, and more.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Watch The Video Recap Or Read More Below
Instagram Unveils New Messaging Features for Business Pages
Instagram is making it easier for businesses to interact with their customers.
Previously, messages sent to businesses would appear in a pending folder. Now, those messages will show up in the main inbox.
Businesses will also have the ability to star any messages they want to return to.
The idea here seems to be quicker and more accessible communication. By removing the “pending” barrier, brands will be able to better serve those online and improve overall customer service.
Additionally, Instagram says it will soon be testing a quick reply feature that will allow businesses to create messages that can be sent in reply to frequently asked questions.
Instagram Announces New Features to Facilitate Transactions
In other Instagram news, the social media platform also revealed the addition of action buttons on business profiles.
The buttons will allow the ability to Reserve, Get Tickets, Start Order, or Book through third-party integrations.
Current partners include:
Acuity, Atom Tickets, Booksy, ChowNow, Eatstreet, Eventbrite, Fandango, GrubHub, MyTime, OpenTable, Reserve, Restorando, Resy, SevenRooms, StyleSeat, Tock and Yelp Reservations.
And soon, it will integrate with Appointy, Genbook, LaFourchette, MINDBODY, Schedulicity, SetMore, Shedul and Vagaro.
Facebook Announces New Live Video Features
Facebook’s continuing it’s Live video push.
This week, the platform made several announcements regarding the feature, including that it will now be allowing publishers to cross-post Live videos across multiple pages.
“With Live Crossposting, all Pages globally can seamlessly publish a single broadcast across multiple Pages as an original post. We’ve added this functionality to both our Publisher Tools on Pages and the Live API, “ writes Matt Labunka in the official blog post.
The feature has already been tested by World Surf League and media network Multishow, and both have seen boosts in engagement.
In the same post, Facebook outlines a new, simpler process for streaming to the Live API.
Publishers that regularly go live will now only need to send one, permanent stream key to your production team. This can be sent in advance, making collaboration easier and video launch quicker.
Lastly, Facebook’s beginning to test a rewind feature for live videos.
No information yet and when we can expect to see that feature available for the mainstream.
New Google AdWords Responsive Search Ads Can Show 3 Headlines
Google’s latest addition to search ads, currently available in beta, will allow advertisers to show three headlines.
Using the responsive ad format, Google has the ability to dynamically test different combinations of headlines and descriptions and optimize ad delivery based on which combination performs best.
These ads will appear in the same locations and look like Expanded Text Ads, but come with two key differences:
- The ability to show up to three headlines (instead of the previous two), and show up to 90-character descriptions, instead of the previous 80-character
- You can enter up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for a single search ad
The new development will take a lot of the emphasis out of A/B testing, and give more weight to the use of machine learning. For advertisers, that means time and guesswork saved.
The new responsive ads also give advertisers the ability to reach more potential customers by using multiple headlines and descriptions, giving ads more opportunity to compete in auctions and match more search queries.
Google Updates its Image Search Guidelines
New image guidelines are live on Google, Jon Mueller confirmed on Twitter.
The updates feature more details regarding structured data, page speed, and how to make them more device-friendly.
Google also added a section surrounding the new use of page titles as image captions, and how it uses structured data to improve search results.
In keeping with Google’s MO – a great user experience – they also include a section dedicated to improving the user experience in image search. Highlights include:
- Provide good context
- Optimize placement
- Don’t embed important text inside images
- Create informative and high-quality sites
- Create device-friendly sites
- Create good URL structure for your images
To view the new documentation, click here.
Google I/O: Ad Updates for App Developers are Coming
In this week’s annual Google I/O conference, the search engine giant announced some new developments for app developers.
Reportedly, 94 billion apps were downloaded through Google Play this year, up from 82 billion in 2016.
Of those downloads, 70% are based on how much a user thinks they will use the app.
That’s why Google is launching a beta that allows advertisers to show more information in their app promotion ads. For example, Google says, a shopping app, can link its product catalog to AdWords and surface relevant in-app product images and descriptions directly in its ads.
Additionally, Google wants to expand app audiences with its Google Play Instant feature. Last March, Google launched the feature to allow new users to try a game without having to download it.
They’ve now begun to test that feature in AdWords. That way, users can test a game directly from an ad.
Google Tests Feature Allowing Users to Submit Questions Through Search Results
Google also confirmed to Search Engine Land that it’s been testing a new search results feature.
This one will allow searchers to submit questions directly to Google if they don’t find the answers they’re looking for in the search results.
After submission, Google may pass the question to content creators who can then publish articles covering the subject.
The new, specially-created content won’t receive a boost in the rankings but will be indexed and ranked like any other content.
According to Google, the goal of the new feature is to continue providing relevant, high-quality results and improve the results for those who may search for similar queries in the future.
This is labeled a “small-scale experiment” as of now.