Google Isn’t Trusted Anymore, Facebook’s Breaching Personal Data & We’re at Brighton SEO – Digital News Roundup – 13.09.19
This week we’re talking about the latest Google antitrust investigation, a Facebook redesign, news on the shiny new iPhone range, yet another app privacy scandal, and more on our GIANTs taking over Brighton SEO today!
We’re taking over Brighton SEO today, woop! 💥
50 attorneys general launch antitrust investigation into Google
This week saw 50 attorneys general in the US sign onto an antitrust investigation into Google, once again putting the tech giant under pressure.
Google, which is already facing “intense scrutiny” in multiple countries, tied to its market dominance, will now be investigated regarding its “advertising and search businesses” – although this investigation may expand in the future.
The Open Markets Institute said the announcement marks the “start of a new era”, with this representing the first “major monopolisation case against a tech giant since Microsoft was sued in 1998.” The announcement comes at a time when Google is also facing scrutiny in other areas, including from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission. Other major tech players, like Facebook, are also feeling the burn – at a time when people in positions of power are becoming increasingly sceptical of the tech world, and the players that take up the biggest percentages.
Read more on the investigation over at The Verge.
Facebook rolls out new desktop layout
Facebook users rejoice! You should soon start to see a newly-refreshed version of the site on your desktop devices.
The update, which was previewed back in May, is designed to make it “easier to navigate to your favourite elements” – along with a more compressed view. Elements such as Groups also get a new sense of prioritisation, with Facebook saying that its “introducing new tools that will make it easier for you to discover and engage with groups”.
Eagle-eyed users will spot that the trademark Facebook blue palette is taking a more muted tone in the new version; with some speculating that this is an attempt to distance the brand from some of its recent scandals and scrutiny. Will that be enough…?
The rollout should be happening imminently, so if you can’t see the new version yet then keep your eyes peeled. Check out more on the update over at Social Media Today.
Facebook testing two new ad features on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook has announced two new ad features coming to its platforms, based around “the ways people currently like to discover and purchase products on Facebook and Instagram”.
The first of the new features is in-app checkout for Facebook News Feed ads, which will mean users can discover a product via a dynamic ad, and be able to purchase there and then – without ever leaving the Facebook interface. Only a small subset of advertisers have access to this at the moment, so the rest of us will have to wait and see how the test pans out.
Secondly, Facebook is also testing a feature on Instagram which will allow advertisers to turn organic shopping posts into ads within Facebook Ads Manager. In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that this should help brands “reach new targeted audiences in a way that’s familiar to people”. This is being tested over the “next few months”, with plans to add the Instagram Checkout feature in the future.
This is all part of Facebook’s push to create a more streamlined e-commerce experience for users, so we can expect to see more tests of this kind over the coming year. Take a look at more detail over at Marketing Land.
Apple launches new iPhone 11 smartphones with better cameras & new features
As if like clockwork, tech lovers and industry experts once again flocked to Apple’s headquarters in California this week to witness the release of the latest iPhone models – the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The iPhone 11 series comes with similar design features to the iPhone X line, released back in 2017, yet with new screens, improved battery life and faster processors. The big excitement however comes from the cameras, with Apple pushing the new iPhones as a “film-making system” – including a triple camera system on the 11 Pro. The ‘budget-friendly’ (cough…) version, the iPhone 11, comes with a dual-camera version of the same system, with a battery that outlasts the previous XR model.
Apple will be hoping to turn the tables following disappointing sales numbers on last year’s iPhone revision – which sold “26% fewer handsets globally than the iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus”, according to the stats. Read more on the new features over at The Guardian.
Apps shares users’ sex lives and contraception preferences with Facebook
We’re becoming more and more aware of how apps share our private data in the modern world, but just how private is that private data?
A recent study from Privacy International has suggested that period tracking apps are sharing users’ personal information with sites like Facebook – including data around what contraception they use, when periods were due, and what symptoms a person experienced.
While some of the most popular apps, like Period Tracker and Period Track Flo, didn’t share data with Facebook, others like Maya, MIA and My Period Tracker did. Privacy International said that the wide reach of these apps means that “the private lives of millions of users across the world are shared with Facebook and other third parties” – without the users’ knowledge or consent.
PI said that findings raise concerns around how compliants apps of this kind are with the EU’s GDPR, with Facebook announcing that it will be releasing a tool which lets users stop apps and brands from sharing their data with the social platform. Check out the full story over at BBC News.
GIANT Takeover at Brighton SEO!
Today marks the 2nd Brighton SEO event of 2019 – and the second time this year that one of our amazing GIANTs is taking to the stage to deliver a talk of their very own!
The twice-yearly conference is one of the biggest marketing and training events in the industry, with a schedule packed full of in-depth talks from some of the world’s top experts. Which, naturally, means there’s going to be one of our own sharing their wisdom too.
It's #BrightonSEO week! We are really excited 🎤— Sleeping Giant Media 🤓 #BrightonSEO (@SleepingGiantM) September 9, 2019
Can't wait to hear Yumna deliver her talk, hear from other experts in our #search and #social #marketing field as well as enjoy a day out in a different seaside town! ☀️
Who's going?@brightonSEO pic.twitter.com/HtSx4juNCg
Yumna will be taking to The Restaurant stage this afternoon to present her talk on ‘The Relationship Between Pop Culture and Social Media Marketing’, with a flock of other GIANTs in attendance to cheer her on and soak up some industry insights across the day.
And that’s that! We’re off to soak up some know-how at Brighton SEO – how are you spending your Friday? Check back next week for more digital news!
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