New Google Algorithm Update! – Digital News Roundup – 07.06.19
Welcome to another week of digital news, people. This week we’re covering Google’s new algorithm update, updates to Insta ads, new Skype and Apple maps features, and how Spotify is going to help you find more podcasts.
Google’s June 2019 core update starts rolling out
Last weekend saw Google pre-announce that it would be rolling out a new algorithm update, which has now come into play.
The update, dubbed the June 2019 core update (catchy), is now live, with Google announcing on Monday that it would be rolling out to its various data centers “over the coming days”. Google search liaison, Danny Sullivan, said the company decided to pre-announce the change due to feedback around being more proactive about updates, in a bid to stop people being “left scratching their heads after the fact”.
So, what now? Well, for many digital marketers out there, it will be a case of checking your Analytics and Search Console performance over the coming weeks and seeing if you’ve been impacted by the algorithm change. Sullivan did say that there’s “nothing specifically “big” about this update compared to previous updates”, and we’re yet to notice much movement here at GIANT Towers. However, it’s worth keeping awareness high for the time being. Read more on the news at Search Engine Land.
Get ready to see ads from influencers you don’t follow on your Instagram feed and Stories
Instagram will now allow advertisers to promote branded content from influencers as ads in the feed and in Stories – even if a user doesn’t follow the influencer in question.
The announcement makes a creator’s sponsored content visible outside of their followings, similar to how ads have been showing in between posts and Stories. As with all of the other ads on Instagram, the branded content versions will have“Sponsored” at the top of the post, and a “Paid partnership with” message with the brand above the caption, so you’ll still be able to tell the nature of the post.
Instagram’s announcement post said that “with branded content ads, businesses have an opportunity to tell their brand stories through creators’ voices” – which could potentially combat the distrust that people feel on seeing ads. Although, influencers can experience the same scrutiny, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the move proves successful.
The feature will roll out in the next few weeks across feeds, and in Instagram Stories in the next few months, so keep an eye out for the change. Read more at The Verge.
Apple Maps gets a refresh, offering more detail and a new 360 street view
Apple Maps, the long overshadowed little relative to Google Maps, is getting a major refresh, launching many features that help it play catch up to Google’s version.
Look Around is one new element, where users will be able to pick a destination and launch a “360-degree photographic view of the immediate area” – something Apple says has been possible thanks to “4 million miles of new data”.
Other new features with the iOS 13 Maps include the option to add Favourites, for places you regularly navigate to – like home, work, or the gym. Collections will also allow people to easily share their favourite restaurants, travel destinations or places to shop with friends, with a simple tap from the launch screen.
We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not this helps them steal customers over from Google Maps and Waze. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Spotify begins testing curated podcast playlists to boost discoverability
Spotify is going to begin helping people to discover new podcasts, with the help of a summer of podcast playlist tests.
The playlists will be curated episodes around specific genres, such as “comedy, true crime, “geek culture,“”walking (motivational),” and “relaxing (mindfulness).”. At the moment it’s not clear how the human curators are selecting the playlists, and whether there are deals with networks for placements, but it could help to rectify a massive issue in the sector – podcast discoverability.
Five playlists will start showing now to around 5% of Spotify users across the UK, Canada, US, Mexico, Sweden, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. While this is a positive step, experts have theorised that algorithmically-recommended playlists, targeted at specific individuals and their listening preferences, would be more interesting – so perhaps that’s what we’ll see next. Read more on the details at The Verge.
Sign In with Apple coming to every iPhone app
As part of a mandatory update for developers, all iPhones will receive a new privacy tool this autumn – dubbed Sign In with Apple.
The new security feature, announced at Apple’s annual WWDC event this week, uses your Apple ID to verify your credentials, instead of your email address, in a move Apple says will “keep you from being tracked online in ways you may not realise”. It will also work with Apple Watch and Mac, giving users “secure ways to log in to online apps and services”.
This shows Apple wanting to promote its commitment to privacy – at a time when privacy is a hot topic across the globe. Apple has long said that it doesn’t use its sign-on services to profile its users or their app activity, and isn’t interested in users’ information, which is a key differentiator amongst other brands in the industry.
Sign In with Apple will be available for beta testing this summer according to reports, so we look forward to seeing how people get on with it. Check out the full story at CNet.
Skype adds screen share functionality for iOS and Android
iOS and Android Skype users rejoice! You can now share screens over video calls.
Ok, that was a bit of an anti-climax, but for anyone who’s been desperate to share screens on the go, it will no doubt be a bit of a lifesaver. Microsoft had previously tested the feature for its premier VC app earlier this year, but it will now be available to everyone – whether for “on-the-go meetings, helping tech-illiterate relatives with their phones, or shopping online with friends.”
Other consumer video chat apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp don’t have similar functionality, which means Skype could be leading the way. Although if you view it as a business-focused app, it falls behind competition like Zoom, which has had the functionality for a while.
Access the feature within the menu on the bottom right of Skype’s video call interface, where you can also find options for live captioning and screen recording. Take a look at more on the move at The Verge.
Wile away the last of the week with some of our latest blogs (we’ve got some thoughts on influencers that you definitely want to know about) or we’ll see you back here next week. Same place, same time – you know the drill.
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