This week: TikTok at the top, Facebook in Taiwan, and Clubhouse on Android.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
The Replacement for Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool Is Here
Google’s new structured data testing tool is available for use in open beta.
It’s at a subdomain of the schema.org website.
Google decommissioned the old testing tool about a year ago, saying that it was no longer necessary.
But the old tool included features not available with other Google testing products. The Rich Results Test tool, for example, only evaluates schema markup that appears in search results.
The launch of the new structured data testing tool solves that problem. It evaluates all structured data.
You can use the new tool by simply submitting your URL at the link above.
YouTube Shorts Launches New Tools for Creating Videos
YouTube Shorts, or YouTube’s answer to TikTok, recently launched four new tools to help you create videos.
First up is the duration setting on the YouTube camera. You can flip between a max duration of 15 seconds or 60 seconds.
In the past, Shorts videos capped out at 15 seconds.
Next up: video filters. You can use them for color correction and to change the ambiance of the video.
And you can now add captions in a couple of different ways: with speech-to-text tech or manually.
Finally, the YouTube mobile app displays a Shorts icon where the Explore icon once appeared. Users can tap that to explore more Shorts content.
YouTube Paying for Best Shorts Videos Every Month
Speaking of YouTube Shorts, it’s now paying creators.
At least the ones with the really cool content.
YouTube recently established a $100 million fund to award creators for producing top videos.
The company will distribute money from the fund on a monthly basis through the end of next year.
There’s still no way to monetize Shorts content via advertising, though.
You don’t have to apply if you want a cut of the loot. However, in order to be eligible for prize money, you must be part of the YouTube Partner Program.
Additionally, you must publish original content that adheres to YouTube Community Guidelines.
Twitter Announces Tip Jar
Twitter is giving you a way to monetize your content on its platform: a virtual tip jar.
Here’s how it works: click on a user’s Twitter profile page. If you see a tip jar next to the Follow button on the page, then you can tip that person.
Tap that tip jar icon and you’ll see a list of payment options just like you’d see on any ecommerce site. Tap the payment option you’d like to use and Twitter will take you to that payment platform where you can complete the transaction.
At this time, only people who use Twitter in English can have a tip jar. And it looks like it will be limited to journalists, non-profits, experts, and creators in the beginning.
Facebook Launches Clubhouse Clone in Taiwan
Facebook is launching Live Audio Rooms in the Taiwan market.
But that doesn’t mean you can use the app if you live in Taiwan. Facebook is limiting its early testing round to just a handful of public figures.
According to the report, Facebook also plans to bring live audio rooms to Groups. That could make it a lot easier for users to find audio rooms relevant to their interests.
In fact, Clubhouse is fielding complaints from its users about people receiving too many notifications with too many audio streams happening simultaneously.
Twitter Spaces (another Clubhouse clone) is dealing with the same types of discovery issues.
So if Facebook marries audio rooms to groups, it could have a competitive advantage.
By the way: if you’re unfamiliar with Clubhouse, it’s an exclusive, audio-only app. However, it’s waning in popularity as downloads continue to drop.
That’s another reason why the other social media companies are trying to get in on the audio action.
Clubhouse Launches Android Version
Speaking of Clubhouse, it’s finally launched an Android version of the app.
But it might be too little, too late.
The Android version is in limited beta. So it’s not even fully live yet.
Here’s what Clubhouse had to say about the release: “Today, we are thrilled to share that Clubhouse for Android will start rolling out in beta immediately. We will begin gradually, with the U.S. today, followed by other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world. Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly.”
The Android Clubhouse is pretty limited, though. It’s got a lack of options to follow topics. There’s no ability to create or manage clubs. And you can’t update your username in the app.
In other words, it was rushed out the door just to get something on the Google Play Store.
Clubhouse knows it’s in trouble. And the company is in a desperate scramble to stay relevant.
Snapchat was able to “bounce back” after stumbling a bit. Maybe Clubhouse can, too.
TikTok Still at the Top of the Monthly App Download Chart
Even though audio-only social apps are all the rage these days (see above), people still love them some short-form video.
According to SensorTower, TikTok was the #1 non-game app download worldwide in April. It also took the top spot for App Store non-game downloads and second place (behind Facebook) in Google Play non-game downloads.
And remember: TikTok is banned in India, a country with a population of about a billion.
Also, TikTok faces stiff competition from copycats like YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlight.
YouTube Shorts, by the way, now handles more than 6 billion views a month.
In spite of all of that, TikTok saw 59 million downloads in April.
Not much news this week but you can do something with what you’ve learned about here.
- Think about how to use TikTok to promote your business since it probably isn’t going away anytime soon.
- Brainstorm up some ideas about how you might use audio-only social media to generate more revenue.
- If you like to use YouTube Shorts, take a look at those new tools. Maybe they can help you streamline your production process.
- Use Google’s new structured data testing tool to make sure that your schema markup is error-free.