This week: Snapchat adds pop to its shop, DuckDuckGo blocks the FLoC, and Pinterest eliminates hate.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
DuckDuckGo Says It Will Block Google’s FLoC
If you’ve paid attention to this space for more than a few weeks, then you already know about Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).
It’s a high-tech solution that projects the anonymity of individuals in cyberspace by “hiding” them in a crowd of people who share common interests.
It’s also a replacement for third-party cookies. Google Chrome, as part of its so-called “privacy sandbox,” will eliminate support for third-party cookies next year.
That’s because DuckDuckGo doesn’t want any tracking. Even if it’s group-level tracking instead of individual-level tracking.
“We’re disappointed that, despite the many publicly voiced concerns with FLoC that have not yet been addressed, Google is already forcing FLoC upon users without explicitly asking them to opt in,” DuckDuckGo said in a statement. “We’re nevertheless committed and will continue to do our part to deliver on our vision of raising the standard of trust online.”
As a result, DuckDuckGo will update its Chrome browser extension to block FLoC interactions.
Google Offers Advice on Optimizing Web Stories
Got some Web Stories you want to perform well in search? If so, then pay attention.
This past week, Google revealed some SEO tricks for Stories.
For starters, Stories need to get optimized just like any other type of content on the web. So start with SEO 101.
You should also use Story metadata.
Most importantly, though, Web Stories require valid AMP code. That’s so Google can serve them via the AMP cache and give users a quick load time.
Snapchat Acquires Screenshop
This past week, Snapchat acquired Screenshop, an app that scans photos to identify fashion preferences.
Now you might be asking yourself: “What does that kind of an app have to do with Snapchat?”
It has a lot do with Snapchat’s venture into augmented reality (AR).
When it comes to ecommerce, AR apps enhance people’s shopping experience. The advanced technology can show folks what they’d look like in a particular outfit, for example.
So here’s how it works with Snapchat: Screenshop will scan the images saved in Memories and use that info to highlight for-sale clothing items that match the user’s style.
In other words, Snapchat is offering clothing marketers the ability to reach an audience that has already shown an interest in specific kinds of fashions.
Yeah. That’s big.
LinkedIn Releases Ads Guide
Wanna know more about how to advertise on the world’s leading B2B platform? If so, then check out LinkedIn’s new Ads Guide.
Here’s a broad overview of the kinds of ads you can run:
- LinkedIn Messaging Ads – Use Conversation Ads or Message Ads to reach people via direct communications.
- Lead Gen Forms – Reach more prospects with pre-filled forms that people see when they click your ads.
- Text Ads – Reel in more customers with a cost-effective way to promote your business with old-fashioned ad copy.
- Spotlight Ads – Highlight your products, services, or events and drive conversions.
- Follower Ads – Boost brand-name awareness by gathering more followers.
Facebook Releases Its State of Small Business Report
This past week, Facebook released its first 2021 Global State of Small Business Report.
It’s based on a survey of more than 35,000 small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) in 27 countries and territories.
Here are a few of the key findings:
- Almost a quarter (25%) of SMBs reported that they were closed in February 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That was a big jump from October 2020 when just 16% of SMBs reported that they were closed.
- More than half of U.S. businesses (51%) reported a year-over-year (YoY) decline in sales in January 2021.
- Thirty percent of SMBs reported that they’ve reduced their workforces.
- More than half of U.S. SMBs (51%) said they won’t rehire laid-off or furloughed employees.
- Hotels, cafes, and restaurants were most likely to feel the adverse effects of the pandemic.
- Women-led SMBs were hit harder than men-led SMBs. That’s probably due to the fact that women were more likely to lead businesses in industries that suffered the most from lockdowns and social distancing guidelines.
- Sixty percent of U.S. SMBs used digital tools to communicate with customers.
Facebook Adds Labels to Satire Pages
This past week, Facebook made another effort to prevent people from getting duped by fake news.
As in: really fake news.
The social media platform will start labeling satire pages as satire pages.
That way, when people who follow The Onion read this headline: “Squirrel Can’t Wait to Ruin Man’s Day by Running in Front of Car and Getting Killed,” they’ll know it’s not a true story.
At least if they see the “Satire Page” label that’s displayed not-so-prominently below the name of the page in the newsfeed.
And since most folks don’t pay really close to that part of the digital card, it’s not likely this move will change much of anything.
So you’ll get to keep laughing when your friends are duped by a satire page.
Twitter Video Ad Platform Expands Nielsen Cross-Media Solutions
Twitter’s video ad sales platform, called Amplify, is expanding its integration with Nielsen cross-media tools.
Amplify will now include Nielsen Media Impact and Nielsen Ad Intel.
If you run video ads on Twitter, you’ll also have access to Nielsen Total Ad Ratings. That will give you cross-platform insights.
According to Twitter, the new integrations “will make it augment our clients’ video strategy and planning with Twitter’s premium video inventory and optimize audience reach and frequency alongside other top video platforms.”
Nielsen Ad Intel will also make Twitter a more competitive advertising platform.
Facebook Tests Additions to Up and Downvoting Comments in Groups
Last year, Facebook began testing up and downvoting comments in Groups.
Now, Facebook is testing additions of new badges that users can give to commenters.
Users who get a badge will also get a notification. Just like when somebody “likes” one of their comments.
Apparently, the whole point of the badge system is to inform authors that their comments are helpful, relevant, or informative.
It looks like Facebook borrowed a page from Reddit’s playbook as inspiration for this feature.
Facebook Will Launch Separate Australian News Service
Facebook’s feud with Australia is coming to a close.
For a while, Facebook banned Australian users from accessing its news segment.
The problem was that Australia’s media code didn’t properly account for the value the social media giant added when paying for content from Australia’s news organizations.
But things are better now. The government has agreed to change the code.
And Australians will get a customized news source from Facebook.
Pinterest Rolls out Creator Code to Promote Positivity
Last week, Pinterest introduced Creator Code. It’s a mandatory set of guidelines that will ensure the community stays positive.
If you’re a creator on Pinterest, you’ll need to sign that code in the coming weeks.
Specific Creator Code rules include:
- Be kind – Don’t put others down
- Check your facts – Don’t spread misinformation
- Be aware of triggers – Think before you unintentionally hurt somebody else
- Practice inclusion – Don’t exclude members of specific groups or communities
- Do no harm – Post only calls to action that are safe
The company also rolled out Creator Fund, an effort to offer financial and educational support to members of underrepresented communities.
Report: Facebook Ad Algo Guilty of Gender Bias
It looks like Facebook’s ad algorithm promotes gender inequality.
Please note: it does not appear that Facebook is doing this intentionally. It’s just a side-effect of the current cultural biases that exist in our societies.
Here’s the issue: according to a USC study, Facebook targeted an Instacart delivery job to a female-dominated audience. But it targeted a Domino’s Pizza delivery job to a male-heavy audience.
That might make sense at face value because Instacart delivery drivers are mostly female while Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers are mostly male.
But lots of people won’t look at that as a valid excuse. Women might want to learn about Domino’s Pizza delivery job opportunities as well.
Some people also think that Facebook’s ad algorithm might also violate federal anti-discrimination laws.
Before you enjoy the nice weather, make sure you take care of these action items:
- Make it a point to stay positive on social media platforms, whether you’re required to do so or not.
- If you run video ads on Twitter, think about how you can use the expanded Nielsen media solutions to more effectively target your ads.
- If you’re in the B2B space, read the LinkedIn Ads Guide. Make some calls about the best ways to reach prospective clients.
- If you’re in the ecommerce space, don’t let your competitors gain the advantage when it comes to marketing with AR. Think about how you can use AR to land more sales.
- Pay attention to Google’s advice on how to optimize your Web Stories.