This week: Instagram allows users to follow hashtags, Google Analytics is releasing some new reports, and Facebook is testing pre-roll ads.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google Analytics Releasing User-Focused Reporting
Google Analytics is releasing 4 new reports that will offer further insight into user journeys.
The first report looks strikingly similar to the session report, except it shows data about the users who’ve visited your site as opposed to their sessions.
The second report, User Reporter, allows you to view lifetime metrics and dimensions about individual users. That way, you can extract information on a per-user basis, such as conversion rate and total time spent on the site.
The third report, Audience Targeting, enables you to see cross-channel info about your users.
The fourth report, Conversion Probability, gives you insight about the likelihood that your users will become customers. It’s uses the same AI that’s used in Smart Lists and Smart Goals.
Facebook to Test 6-Second Pre-Roll Ads
Next year, Facebook will begin testing pre-roll ads.
Those ads will only run in the company’s Watch video hub. That way, commercials won’t preempt in-feed videos.
“While pre-roll ads don’t work well in News Feed, we think they will work well in Watch because it’s a place where people visit and come back to with the intention to watch videos,” said Facebook product management director Maria Angelidou-Smith and product manager Abhishek Bapna in a blog post.
Facebook is also adjusting the rules for mid-roll ads. In the past, videos had to be at least 90 seconds long to qualify for mid-roll ads. Soon, they’ll have to be three minutes long.
Additionally, pages must have at least 50,000 followers to qualify for mid-roll ads.
Twitter Will Officially Support Tweetstorms
Just weeks after increasing its tweet limit to 280 characters, Twitter has made it even easier for users to push the boundaries of microblogging. Now, the company is officially supporting tweetstorms.
We’re introducing an easier way to Tweet a thread! 👇 pic.twitter.com/L1HBgShiBR
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 12, 2017
If you’re unfamiliar with tweetstorms, they’re a series of tweets linked together as replies. It’s a Twitter user’s way of getting around the maximum character limit.
Now, tweetstorms are a feature instead of a workaround. Users can more easily string together multiple tweets to create what is effectively a full-length blog post.
Facebook Will Adjust Organic Page Reach Count Next Year
In a long overdue move, Facebook will update its algorithm to count organic page reach.
Facebook announced that it would make the change back in November of 2016. Publishers have been waiting awhile for the update.
You can expect to see about a 20% drop in organic page reach as a result of the change.
AdWords Allows Phone Numbers and Addresses for Customer Match Targeting
As of this month, Google AdWords will allow advertisers to retarget customers by uploading their phone numbers and mailing addresses.
It’s a new feature that’s part of Customer Match. In the past, Customer Match was used only to support email lists.
Google will match the provided data with user information gleaned from Google accounts. When there’s a match, Google will display the ad to the user.
The company says that its match targeting “joins hashed name and address data for Google accounts to construct a matching key. After you’ve uploaded your list with hashed customer names and addresses (don’t hash zip and country data), Google constructs a similar key based on your data and then compares each key on your list with the keys based on Google accounts. If there’s a match, Google adds the corresponding Google account to your customer list.”
Google: Don’t Change How You Write Meta Descriptions Now That Search Snippets Are Longer
You don’t need to make changes in how you write your meta descriptions now that Google has expanded the search snippet length.
That’s according to Google.
This past week the company issued the following statement:
The fact that our snippets have gotten longer doesn’t change the fundamentals of writing a description tag. They should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. We now display slightly longer snippets, which means we might display more of a meta description tag.
Google also said that the company never really had a limit on meta tag descriptions before. The limit only applied to the search snippet.
Google Search Console Shows a Year’s Worth of Data in the Beta Version
In the beta version of Google Search Console, you can now see a year’s worth of data.
It’s a good move. The Big G has been promising that much data since 2013.
There’s also a “Full Duration” option for historical data in the beta release.
Instagram Allows Users to Follow Hashtags
This past week, Instagram announced that users will be able to follow hashtags on the social media platform.
According to the company, following hashtags is just like following people.
In the statement announcing the move, Instagram also explained how users can follow hashtags:
To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button.
Instagram also said that users can unfollow a hashtag at any time.