It has been an absolutely huge month in digital marketing with the monetisation of Meta’s reels, strategic partnership of WooCommerce with TikTok, call-to-action cards advertising on Spotify, cashback promotions to Microsoft Advertising, Twitter’s new crisis misinformation policy, integration of Snapchat with eBay, and more.
ICYMI, here’s what happened in digital marketing in May.
- User-Agent Change for Bing Crawler Bingbot
- Microsoft Advertising Cashback Promotions to Ads
- Microsoft Advertising Learning Lab and Certification Program
- Instagram is Testing a Full-Screen Home Feed
- Facebook Pulls the Plug on Podcast Business After a Year
- Meta and Adobe Partnership on Free Training Program for Small Businesses
- New WordPress 6.0 Major Improvements
- Meta’s New Business Messaging Tools and Improved WhatsApp Ad Creation
- TikTok Pulse Will Put Ads on Top 4% of Videos
- Meta Expands Reels Monetisation
- Pinterest’s New Livestreaming App for Video Creators
- LinkedIn to Down rank Engagement-Baiting Posts and Polls
- TikTok, Integral Ad Science Expand Brand Safety Partnership
- TikTok-Like Display Format in Twitter’s Explore Tab
- Twitter’s New Policy to Combat Spam and Duplicative Tweets
- Adobe Express’ New Content Scheduler
- Bing Wikipedia Box in Search Results Now Scrolls on Hover
- LinkedIn’s Live Captions and Custom URL Listings
- Microsoft Bing ‘Interesting Reads’ Search Feature
- Removed Microsoft Bing Anonymous Sitemap Submission
- Added Structured Data to Vimeo Videos to Improve Google Search Visibility
- SimilarWeb Acquires SEO & Rank Tracking Company Rank Ranger
- Microsoft Bing’s Turing Image Super-Resolution
- LinkedIn’s New Emoji “Funny” Reaction
- New TikTok Tool Surfaces Useful Insights for Marketers
- Meta is Testing End-to-End Encryption in Quest’s VR Messenger App
- TikTok Launches a New Way to Crowdsource Creative Called Branded Mission
- Microsoft Bing is Testing Out Autocomplete Search Bar with Trending, Related & People Also Ask
- Twitter Introduces Super Follows Spaces
- Yelp’s New ‘Request a Call’ Feature
- TikTok’s New Creator-Crediting Feature
- Twitter’s Crisis Misinformation Policy
- Snapchat Integration with eBay
- Meta Announces ‘Recurring Notifications’ for Business Messaging
- LinkedIn Updates Professional Community Policies
- Reverse Chronological Home Timeline in Twitter API V2
- Instagram’s Visual Refresh
- TikTok to Launch LIVE Creator Subscriptions
- Spotify Introduces Call-To-Action Cards Advertising
- WordPress 6.0 Arturo
- Twitter Launches ‘Twitter Create’
- WooCommerce Announce Strategic Partnership With TikTok
- Snapchat Adds ‘Shared Stories’
- TikTok Brings Account Management To Third-Party Tools
User-Agent Change for Bing Crawler Bingbot
Microsoft Bing announced that it is changing the user agent string that identifies itself as Bingbot. There will be two user agents, one for desktop and another for the mobile crawler. The new user agent provides more information, including the latest version of Edge.
According to the official Microsoft Bing announcement: “We will carefully test websites before switching them to our new user-agent Bing Webmaster Tools URL Inspection has already started using the new desktop user-agent for the Live URL Test to help you investigate potential issues. In case you face any challenges feel free to contact us”.
Microsoft Advertising Cashback Promotions to Ads
Microsoft officially announced the addition of cashback promotions to its advertising platform. This new ad offering will incentives shoppers via a rebate upon purchase.
Microsoft will choose the “right amount of cashback for the right ad and right user” allowing for advertisers to gather the best possible return on ad spend.
Microsoft Advertising Learning Lab and Certification Program
Microsoft announced a revised Microsoft Advertising certification program and learning lab. Microsoft said this was done based on the feedback from the industry, they “have updated our offerings to make them both more valuable and easier to use”.
The Microsoft Advertising certification program now has three exams, instead of just one. There are 50-question certification exams that explore different areas within Microsoft Advertising including Search, Native & Display, and Shopping certification.
Instagram is Testing a Full-Screen Home Feed
Instagram has launched an initial test of a new full-screen variation of its main feed display, making it look a lot more like TikTok. In the test of the full-screen home feed, you can still use the bottom navigation bar to access the discovery tab, reels, shopping and your page.
The company plans to add more monetisation options to Reels and said that the push to monetise reels will take place over multiple years.
Facebook Pulls the Plug on Podcast Business After a Year
Facebook is pulling out of podcasts and plans to remove them altogether from the social-media service starting June 3, 2022. Facebook announced various audio efforts last April 2021 during a hot market for podcasting and audio in general.
The company said it doesn’t plan to alert users to the fact that podcasts will no longer be available, leaving it up to the publishers to decide how they want to disclose that information. Live Audio Rooms will be integrated into Facebook Live, meaning users can choose to go live with just audio or audio and video.
Meta and Adobe Partnership on Free Training Program for Small Businesses
Meta has partnered with Adobe to create ‘Express Your Brand’, a free online training program intended to help small business owners grow online. This initiative will combine skill training with inspiration and community building.
This program, which launches on May 17, 2022, will highlight a variety of digital marketing topics, including building a brand, driving engagement on Instagram, and developing personalised ads with the Ad Manager.
New WordPress 6.0 Major Improvements
WordPress has published a long list of improvements coming to WordPress 6.0 which mainly focuses on the block editor that will make designing webpages and websites easier. Key improvements are a new, intuitive user interface that makes it easy for users to create content and design a website.
WordPress 6.0 introduces page patterns, a way for users to select from a series of patterns to help them begin designing their web pages.
Meta’s New Business Messaging Tools and Improved WhatsApp Ad Creation
Meta has announced new options to help brands utilise its messaging tools, including improved ad creation on WhatsApp, the merging of WhatsApp messages into the Meta Business Suite inbox and quote requests on Instagram.
Meta is also testing a new capability in Meta Business Suite that will allow businesses to send promotional message campaigns using Messenger to customers who opt-in.
TikTok Pulse Will Put Ads on Top 4% of Videos
TikTok is launching an ad program that will let marketers buy ad spots on the top 4% of videos and allow select creators to receive a cut of the revenue. Creators with at least 100,000 followers on TikTok will be allowed to participate in the ad program, called TikTok Pulse.
By advertising in Pulse, brands will appear among the top 4% of all videos on TikTok in 12 categories. These categories include:
- Beauty & personal care
- Cooking & baking
The top four percent of videos will be determined based on brand suitability, viewer engagement, video views and “creator engagement signals,” executives said at TikTok’s NewFronts presentation.
Meta Expands Reels Monetisation
Meta introduced more monetary incentives for content creators to produce Reels. Through an update to its Reels Play Bonus program, Meta is restructuring payouts, expanding monetisation opportunities, and providing creators with new insights about viewers.
In a blog post, the company says these changes are designed to reward creators who are consistently publishing high quality, original content that audiences enjoy. Additionally, Meta will enhance the advertising and revenue-sharing programs it has already established with in-stream ads.
Pinterest’s New Livestreaming App for Video Creators
Pinterest silently launched a new app aimed at making it easier for creators to live-stream to its platform. The new Pinterest TV Studio app for iOS and Android will allow selected creators to go live on Pinterest, as well as use multiple devices to achieve different camera angles.
Upon its first launch, creators have to enter a code or scan a barcode that Pinterest provides to gain access to the live-streaming tools the app provides.
FYI: You have until the end of June 2023 to migrate from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Here’s a complete guide on how to set up GA4.
LinkedIn to Downrank Engagement-Baiting Posts and Polls
LinkedIn will reduce the visibility of several types of content in its feed, including polls and engagement bait. LinkedIn said users find these types of posts that exist solely to boost reach “misleading and frustrating”.
Any posts that explicitly ask for or encourage engagement, such as comments or reactions, will have less visibility in the feed.
TikTok, Integral Ad Science Expand Brand Safety Partnership
TikTok has announced an expansion of its partnership with Integral Ad Science. The company said advertisers on TikTok will now have access to trusted, third-party measurement powered by the Open Measurement Software Development Kit, adding that OM SDK is governed by the IAB and designed to facilitate transparent third-party viewability and verification measurement for ads served to mobile apps and open web environments.
TikTok’s head of ecosystem partnerships Melissa Yang said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to build on our partnership with IAS and introduce new solutions that give brands the confidence to scale their businesses and audiences on TikTok. Through this expansion, brands and advertisers around the world will have access to IAS viewability and invalid traffic measurement tools to monitor the quality of their campaigns on our platform. We’re excited to see how this will usher in new levels of transparency and success for our clients”.
TikTok-Like Display Format in Twitter’s Explore Tab
Twitter is currently testing out a new format for its Explore page that looks exactly like TikTok, highlighting the top content matched to you, based on its popularity and your noted interests.
The updated layout has two elements – on the main ‘Trending’ page, users are able to select ‘Personalised’ or ‘Top Trends’, being the most popular content on the platform at that time.
Twitter’s New Policy to Combat Spam and Duplicative Tweets
Twitter announced the rollout of a new “Copypasta and Duplicate Content” policy to clarify how the platform works to combat spam and duplicative content. Content that violates this policy may be hidden from other users or ineligible for promotion. In cases of severe violations, it may result in removal or permanent account suspension.
According to Twitter, Copypasta can be used to manipulate the site to artificially boost content, suppress information, or manipulate the app’s trends and top search results.
Adobe Express’ New Content Scheduler
Adobe has launched the ‘Content Scheduler’ as part of its Creative Cloud Express platform, a new content scheduler allowing users to time their content whenever they desire. The feature comes from Adobe’s recent acquisition of content publishing platform ContentCal, which it has successfully integrated into the Creative Cloud Express platform.
Adobe’s Content Scheduler will enable users to plan, schedule, and publish their social media content from a single app. Through the Plan mode, users will be able to craft a social media campaign with tools to create the theme and tone, as well as manage the flow of the campaign through a single drag-and-drop calendar.
Bing Wikipedia Box in Search Results Now Scrolls on Hover
Microsoft Bing has updated the interactive Wikipedia box in the search results to scroll based on where users hover their mouse on the left side of the box.
The Wikipedia box was first spotted in Bing Search back in March, but it seems Microsoft upgraded it a bit to jump to the section users are most interested in.
LinkedIn’s Live Captions and Custom URL Listings
LinkedIn announced some new updates to improve accessibility and enhance user Service listings with real-time captions for live audio events, improved search for posts that you’ve already seen, and a custom URL display option on Creator profiles.
LinkedIn adds that “Up until now, when members joined an audio event on LinkedIn, they could only listen to it. By adding real-time captions, we are making audio events more accessible and inclusive for members with hearing impairments”.
Microsoft Bing ‘Interesting Reads’ Search Feature
Microsoft is testing a search carousel titled “Interesting Reads”. The “Interesting Reads” search feature can show up for a super competitive keyword phrase, like coffee, beer, wine, and more.
Removed Microsoft Bing Anonymous Sitemap Submission
Fabrice Canel from Microsoft announced that Microsoft Bing will no longer accept XML sitemaps that were submitted anonymously through HTTP requests. Fabrice wrote that Microsoft Bing is “deprecating the ability for anonymous sitemap submissions”.
You can still submit your sitemaps using robots.txt on your domain name and/or through Bing Webmaster tools.
Added Structured Data to Vimeo Videos to Improve Google Search Visibility
Vimeo has added structured data to all of its publicly available videos on its platform. Vimeo said the SEO changes they made to the videos will give “your videos the best opportunity to appear for relevant searches”.
Vimeo says that they worked with Google as an “early adopter of Google Search’s best practices for video players” to provide Google with “additional context about your videos”. This enables more detailed video results on Google Search and potentially drives better traffic to your website, social pages, or wherever your videos live.
Good to know: Here’s how to optimise your keywords
Similarweb Acquires SEO & Rank Tracking Company Rank Ranger
SimilarWeb announced its acquisition of Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking, trusted by hundreds of companies worldwide. This allows the Tel Aviv, Israel-based digital intelligence provider to offer term rank tracking alongside its keyword research and analysis tools.
The acquisition expands Similarweb’s capabilities as a comprehensive SEO suite for enterprises by combining its keyword research and analysis capabilities with Rank Ranger’s search term rank tracking.
Microsoft Bing’s Turing Image Super-Resolution
Microsoft Bing announced a new AI technology that will bring a 4K image experience to websites through Microsoft Edge, automatically enhancing website images. The technology is called Turing Image Super-Resolution, which makes images display at a high resolution, no matter how poor the original image is.
The Turing Image Super-Resolution is already in use in Bing Maps to sharpen the quality of their satellite aerial imagery. The new feature will be rolling out to the mainstream version of the Edge browsers over the coming months.
LinkedIn’s New Emoji “Funny” Reaction
LinkedIn is working on a new reaction called “Funny” action in the form of an emoji to express humour and fun on the platform. Back in February, as part of an update his team has been working on, LinkedIn’s Chief Product Officer Tomer Cohen said: “One of the top requests we got was for a laughing emoji reaction. We hear you loud & clear and we agree. Humour is indeed a serious business”.
There’s no official word from LinkedIn as to when it’s going to go live with its ‘Funny’ addition, and it hasn’t been added to its Help page for Reactions as yet.
New TikTok Tool Surfaces Useful Insights for Marketers
TikTok has launched a new tool that showcases insights marketers can use to target different demographics around the world. With TikTok Insights, users can learn more about their audience’s behaviour, interests, and general sentiment toward brands.
TikTok Insights allows users to cut through data that are irrelevant to their business and get only the insights that matter.
Meta is Testing End-to-End Encryption in Quest’s VR Messenger App
Meta announced that the company is testing end-to-end encryption in Quest’s VR Messenger app. With the test rollout, Meta is launching optional end-to-end encryption for Messenger’s one-on-one messages and calls in VR.
The test arrives alongside a few other features, including a new “Mono Audio” feature that enables users to hear the same audio from both the left and right speakers in their headset, versus the default spatial audio effect.
TikTok Launches a New Way to Crowdsource Creative Called Branded Mission
TikTok launched a new ad product called “Branded Mission” that will allow creators to connect with brands and possibly receive rewards for videos. With the new ad product, advertisers can crowdsource content from creators and turn top-performing videos into ads.
Advertisers can launch branded campaigns and encourage creators to take part in them. The company says this new form of two-way engagement between brands and creators allows the TikTok community to have a creative hand in the ads that are part of a brand campaign.
Microsoft Bing is Testing Out Autocomplete Search Bar with Trending, Related & People Also Ask
Microsoft Bing is testing a new feature showing more information in the autocomplete search suggestions search bar drop-down menu.
Currently, Bing is showing related searches, trending now searches, and also people also ask for searches in that menu.
Twitter Introduces Super Follows Spaces
Twitter has announced the rollout of Super Follows-only Spaces. Creators who offer Super Follows subscriptions can now host Spaces exclusively for their subscribers.
The social media giant says this new option will give creators a way to “offer an extra layer of conversation to their biggest supporters”. Twitter says it plans to launch more Super Follows features to allow creators to grow their audiences and get closer to their most engaged followers.
Yelp’s New ‘Request a Call’ Feature
Yelp has added a new ‘Request a Call’ feature to help service businesses more easily connect with potential clients. Users can specify a preferred call-back time. It’s then up to businesses to either confirm or ask for a different time.
The ‘Request a Call’ feature is now available to Yelp business pages that have opted in receiving leads via Request a Quote. Support for iOS and Android will come later.
TikTok’s New Creator-Crediting Feature
TikTok is adding a new feature that will allow users to credit video creators and trend originators. By allowing users to mention and credit a video in posts, it will encourage people to credit their sources of inspiration.
Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok’s Director of Creator Community said in a blog post: “These features are an important step in our ongoing commitment to investing in resources and product experiences that support a culture of credit, which is central to ensuring TikTok remains a home for creative expression”.
Twitter’s Crisis Misinformation Policy
Twitter announced a new crisis misinformation policy that aims to reduce the spread of viral misleading tweets designed to slow the spread of viral falsehoods during natural disasters, armed conflict and public health emergencies.
To determine whether a tweet is misleading, Twitter will require verification from credible, public sources, including conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organisations, open-source investigators, journalists and more.
Snapchat Integration with eBay
Snapchat has announced a new integration with eBay which will enable Snapchat users to share items on eBay that they are interested in, with their friends on Snapchat, while eBay sellers can share their listings across platforms with their community.
Snap Inc. said in a blog post that “More than 142 million buyers shop on eBay globally to find everything from the latest sneaker drops to rare, vintage handbags, and now, Snapchatters have a seamless way to share what they’ve been eyeing, or even what they are selling”.
Meta Announces ‘Recurring Notifications’ for Business Messaging
Meta announced ‘Recurring Notifications’ on its Messenger Platform, enabling businesses to send ‘proactive, automated messages, to people who have opted into receiving them’.
Businesses will soon be able to send recurring notifications to users who opt-in, outlining the frequency of messages that they’ll likely receive if they choose to get them. Brands can then use its ‘One-time Notification’, which enables businesses to send one follow-up message after the 24-hour messaging window has ended.
LinkedIn Updates Professional Community Policies
LinkedIn has announced an update to its Professional Community Policies, which dictate what’s allowed, and what’s not, within your various LinkedIn communications. The updated policies aim to provide more insight into specific elements of in-app engagement.
These policies are said to be a new insight regarding several factors that relate to user engagement on the platform because of the high number of complaints that the app has been getting recently.
Reverse Chronological Home Timeline in Twitter API V2
Twitter is launching a reverse chronological home timeline to the Twitter API v2 to enable developers to retrieve the most recent tweets and retweets posted by the authenticated user and the accounts they follow.
Twitter says in a blog post that this functionality is important to numerous developer use-cases, and will continue to prioritise innovation and functionality that allows developers to build with the core elements of the Twitter experience.
Instagram’s Visual Refresh
Instagram is rolling out a “visual refresh” for its branding with a slightly tweaked brighter new logo, typeface and full-screen marketing layouts. The refresh is designed to embrace continued evolution and to help it “create more immersive and inclusive experiences”.
The new typeface is called ‘Instagram Sans’ inspired by Instagram’s logo which “reflects the shape of the glyph and our commitment to simplicity and craft”.
TikTok to Launch LIVE Creator Subscriptions
TikTok announced a program called ‘Live Subscription’ that lets viewers pay to subscribe to specific live streamers. This gives fans access to subscriber-only chat, creator-specific emotes, and badges that differentiate them from non-subscribers.
The program will officially launch into beta testing, initially, with a select number of creators who have been invited to participate.
Spotify Introduces Call-To-Action Cards Advertising
Music streaming service Spotify has created a new way for marketers to reach their target audiences with the launch of Call-To-Action (CTA) cards, a series of clickable, interactive companion display units for audio ads.
The CTA cards will appear in the app as soon as a podcast begins to play, and will resurface later as users explore the Spotify app, giving users another opportunity to act on the ads they have listened to.
WordPress 6.0 Arturo
WordPress 6.0, code named ‘Arturo’ is rolling out with nearly a thousand improvements and new features. This update introduces updates and enhancements that make WordPress more intuitive to use for both developers and end-users.
Some notable updates include faster website performance, page creation patterns, block locking, stack & row variations, global style variations, and the ability to select text across multiple blocks. This version is named after the Grammy-winning jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill. He is associated with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Twitter Launches ‘Twitter Create’
Twitter announced rebranding its Twitter Media website to “Twitter Create”. Twitter says the website is a new hub for creators to access resources, product information and tips to help creators maximise their Twitter presence.
With this new rebrand, Twitter says it wants to make it easier for creators to understand how they can use Twitter’s creator products and connect with other creators.
WooCommerce Announce Strategic Partnership With TikTok
TikTok announced a new integration with WooCommerce which will enable WooCommerce merchants to sync their store catalogue with their TikTok profile, powering its more advanced product display offerings.
Merchants can now create native, shareable “in-feed” TikTok ads directly from their dashboard – including an embedded Smart Video Generator that simplifies the process by producing video ads using existing product images.
New controls to manage who can view a post and the topic users want to see ads about have also been included.
Snapchat Adds ‘Shared Stories’
Snapchat is rolling out a new “Shared Stories” feature that is designed to make it easier for users on the app to collaborate and share memories. However, unlike regular friend Stories and Groups, there isn’t a chat component for Shared Stories.
The feature is a new iteration of the app’s “Custom Stories” feature, which allows users to create a story and add friends to view and contribute to it.
TikTok Brings Account Management To Third-Party Tools
TikTok will now allow businesses to manage their accounts via third-party social media management platforms. The initial launch includes integrations with Brandwatch, Dash Hudson, Emplifi, Hootsuite, Khoros, Later, Sprinklr, and Sprout Social.
In addition to scheduling and publishing content, businesses will be able to use third-party tools to monitor conversations in the comments sections of their videos.
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