There is just over a week left in October, and the kickoff month to Q4 has been a good one so far. Here at Oktopost, we’ve seen some interesting marketing updates in the digital and social spaces. Here’s what you should know.
Facebook hints at removing “Like” counts.
Following Instagram’s lead, Facebook is testing hiding the “Like” count. The platform confirmed to Tech Crunch that it was being tested in Australia. I think this could get extremely complicated for the platform, and for those of us managing both organic and paid efforts on the platform. This change could be really good if it pulls people back to the OG platform or really bad if it continues to drive users to other networks. Also, how will this effect the mysterious algorithm? We’re already writhing with network algorithms daily, so this will further complicate that relationship. The platform is a big piece of marketing plans for brand awareness, community building, and lead generation, with ads providing much of the fuel for the Facebook engine. Waiting to see how this changes things for marketers.
Instagram is giving users more control over third party apps and killing the follower tab.
Over the next six months, the ‘Gram will be releasing new security features for data shared with third-party apps. This is good news for users and will take about six months to fully roll out. This shouldn’t impact marketers, unless of course, your organization has an app that uses authorized data from Instagram. In that case, it’s best to determine what you’re getting from the platform and develop a plan to rely on your other channels.
Starting October 7, Instagram eliminated the follower tab. From a user perspective, it was causing all sorts of relationship trouble. The platform says that the feature was removed for simplicity. I think it’s for the best. For businesses, this isn’t an issue. It was an interesting (albeit manual) tool for checking in on key prospects’ or influencers’ interests, but no real value is lost since the existing “explore” feature is a better option anyway. Alternatively, for serious social observations, you could use any of the stellar listening tools on the market. For a deeper dive into the update, check out Larry Kim’s, overview on INC.
Spotify adds new Facebook sharing option.
This is an interesting item to include here but stay with me. Marketers are always looking for new ways to engage and depending on your audience a well-curated Spotify playlist may be something to add to your repertoire. With this update, you can add an auditory preview of a particular song instead of just a “click to listen” button. This leads me to believe that there could be additional sharing options in the future with many of our favorite social platforms. This could lead to podcast promotion with clips, event-centric playlist promotion and tagging to further expand your brand’s reach. I’ll be waiting anxiously for those next few updates.
Speaking of podcasts… we launched ours earlier this month and have the second episode coming on October 24. Subscribe to “B2B Marketing Now” to stay up to date!
YouTube announces date for the end of support for third-party pixels.
It’s early 2020. Let’s start at the beginning. Back in January of 2017, Google announced that they were eliminating third party pixels on YouTube in favor of the “Ads Data Hub”. This was jarring for marketers, since it meant a change in process. Many relied on cookies, which Google is trying to change as the industry moves towards things like intent data and site analytics. On the one hand this is good, since this will give advertisers a more holistic reach within the Google ecosystem (especially with mobile and multi-device browsing). On the other hand, it creates limits where we as marketers were used to being able to move more freely in a system that was reliant on cookies.
Now Google has set a date: early 2020. Once this goes into effect advertisers will no longer be able to use third party pixels. The platform claims that the idea behind this shift was to improve metrics. Okay… but the issue is that everything stays in Google. Nothing comes out for use within other platforms or for independent performance analysis. So, marketers are more beholden to the Google behemoth that ever before.
Taboola purchased Outbrain for $850 million.
Our fellow Israeli-founded companies Outbrain and Taboola are joining forces! The two advertising platforms have competed in the space, and so the merger will create a much more appealing list of media properties. While this is being called a merger, the new entity will maintain the name Taboola and the namesake’s founder, Adam Singolda, will be the CEO. This has been coming for years now, officially since 2015 but unofficially for roughly a decade, which is a lifetime in the digital space so we know this is going to be a powerful marriage of the two groups. The drive behind finally moving forward with the merger comes from a common enemy in the ads space: Google and Facebook. We’re excited to see what the new Taboola will create in the space, mazel tov!