This week: Instagram adds a new feature, YouTube is taking a step to make users very happy, and Snapchat might be on the decline.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Amazon Alexa Passes 10,000 Skills
Amazon hit a new personal best this past week: the company announced that Alexa now has more than 10,000 skills available.
A “skill” is Alexa’s name for an app.
The lucky 10,000th skill is a musical game called “Beat the Intro.” As the name implies, the game invites players to guess a song based on just the opening bars of music.
The top five categories of Alexa skills are News, Gaming, Education/Reference, Lifestyle, and Novelty/Humor.
There were about 3,000 skills added in just the past month alone.
Survey: Snapchat May Be on the Decline
According to a recent survey by Fluent, Snapchat’s best days might be in the past.
Some of the findings include:
- Nearly half of those polled think Snapchat is just a passing fad
- However, 68% of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 24 think that Snapchat will stick around
- Nearly 78% of 18 to 24-year-olds use Snapchat every day with two-thirds of those people using it “all the time”
- Among older Snapchat users (55+), only 43.8% use it daily and 31.3% use it all the time
- One-third of all Snapchat users believe they won’t be using it five years from now
- Almost half said that they won’t be using it 10 years from now
- 62.3% said they’ll switch to a Snapchat alternative if they find one
- Only 9.4% of Snapchat users never skip ads
- Nearly half of Snapchat users (44%) said they “always” skip ads
- About half of Snapchat users in the 18-24 age bracket “always” skip ads
- About half of Snapchat users follow popular Internet celebrities
YouTube Will Sunset Unskippable 30-Second Ads Next Year
Some great news for people who think that ads are ruining YouTube: those nauseating, 30-second pre-roll ads are going away next year.
“We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.
Of course, most YouTube users would say that “a better ads experience” is no ads. But that’s not really an option here.
The upcoming change won’t affect shorter ads, though. Users can still expect to see 20-second ads.
The six-second bumper ads will continue as well.
Report: HTTPS Pages on Page 1 of Google Could Reach 50% by June
A new report offers yet another excellent reason to switch to your website to HTTPS.
According to Dr. Pete Meyers from Moz, HTTPS pages on the front page of Google search results could hit 50% by June.
Last July, HTTPS pages made up about 30% of the first page of Google’s search results.
Now, it’s 45% and climbing.
Of course, this could just be due to the fact that more sites are using HTTPS and not necessarily reflective of a ranking boost. However, Google is on record as saying that sites using HTTPS will notice a slight boost in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google: Removing the HTTP Version of Your Site From Search Console Removes Other Versions, Too
In a recent Webmaster Help thread, Google’s John Mueller warned website owners that if they remove the HTTP version of their website from the Search Console, they’ll remove other versions as well.
Specifically, he said: “if you remove the http version in search console, it’ll also remove the other versions too (https / www / non-www).”
Apparently, the HTTP version of your site is the one that rules over the others.
Instagram Now Lets You Add 10 Photos/Videos in a Single Post
If you’re interested in getting a little more out of your Instagram marketing, you now have that opportunity.
In an effort to give users the option to tell a story, Instagram is now allowing users to share as many as 10 photos and videos in a single post.
According to Instagram: “With this update, you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an experience you want to remember. Share your favorite moments of your best friend’s surprise birthday party – from setting up to when they walk through the door. Or create a step-by-step cake recipe that people can always find on your profile.”
As of now, only square-cropped photos are available for the new feature.