Instagram Enforces New Rules Around Diet & Surgery Posts – Digital News Roundup – 20.09.19
This week we’re talking about reviews rich results (say that fast 5 times), new Instagram regulations, Facebook’s Portal device launch, new Google video search functionality, 3D Camera Mode on Snapchat, and a patent request from Apple on a made up word.
Ok no video this week… sorry, but we still covered the news ⤵️
Google announces updates to review rich results in SERPs
Google got marketers all confused this week when it announced it was updating rules for “how and when” it shows reviews rich results. Now, there will be a “defined set of schema types for review snippets”, with further clarification around self-serving reviews not being allowed. Plus, the name of the thing you are reviewing must be included.
Google will also be moving towards not displaying review rich results for the schema types LocalBusiness and Organisation (and their subtypes) any more, “in cases when the entity being reviewed controls the reviews themselves.” This is due to deciding that “self serving” reviews aren’t in the best interest of users. “We call reviews “self-serving” when a review about entity A is placed on the website of entity A – either directly in their markup or via an embedded 3rd party widget.”
Today, we're introducing an algorithmic update to review snippets to ease implementation:— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) 16 September 2019
- Clear set of schema types for review snippets
- Self-serving reviews aren't allowed
- Name of the thing you're reviewing is required
More details: //t.co/NwZ4unzoOF
The update has resulted in a lot of questions aimed at Google, so they’ve published some FAQs over on the Webmaster Central blog – well worth a read. Or, check out more on the story over at Search Engine Roundtable.
Instagram adds new rules around diet and cosmetic surgery posts
Instagram has decided to take a stand against posts relating to diet products and cosmetic surgery – announcing tighter rules and restrictions.
Now, posts that promote weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures won’t be shown to users known to be under 18. And, if the content makes a “miraculous claim” about a diet or weight-loss product, and includes an offer like a discount code, Instagram will remove it altogether.
Instagram’s public policy manager said the decision came following guidance from global external experts, with a goal of ensuring that the platform remains a place for “expression and discussion”. This is part of a larger piece of work Instagram is undertaking, focused around reducing the pressure that users can feel on social media – particularly around weight, body image, and popularity.
Read more on the announcement at The Guardian.
Facebook launches Portal devices for UK market
This week saw Facebook launch its Portal smart home devices – which the social media platform has claimed “will help users stay connected to loved ones”.
The devices use AI-powered cameras to make video calls, and come in Portal, Portal TV and Portal Mini formats. The company has previously said that the AI allows the cameras to zoom and pan as users move, making sure that the person always stays in view.
The technology giant first announced the Portal device in 2018, but the decision to release it now – following months of privacy scandals – is a potentially risky one. Privacy advocates are suspicious of a Facebook-created device residing in peoples’ homes, although the company has been keen to highlight Portal’s privacy credentials, stating that they are “private by design”.
Privacy features include a switch to block the camera lens from recording – supposedly similar to what CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses on his personal laptop’s webcam. Although Facebook has admitted that data such as the length and frequency of calls will be gathered. Check out more on the story at The Independent.
Google will let users search for key moments within videos
Following some under-the-radar testing, Google has now launched a new video search feature titled ‘key moments in video’, which shows a timeline of what happens in a specific video.
The functionality will help users find specific content within videos quickly and easily, based on timestamps provided by the content creator. Google has said that the searches will work on English videos that are hosted on YouTube – providing the creator has added timestamp information in the video description. At the minute this won’t work on videos hosted outside of YouTube, although Google is asking video creators to share their thoughts on whether it would be useful in other settings.
Video shows no sign of decreasing in popularity, so for marketers it could be worth exploring how being able to search key moments could work to your favour – and how your viewing stats and conversion metrics are affected. Take a look at more on the release over at Search Engine Land.
Snapchat launches new 3D Camera Mode
Snapchat has launched a new 3D effects feature, which will “stimulate depth within your captured images”.
The 3D Camera Mode will work in the same way as Facebook’s 3D photos, using dual cameras to simulate another level within photos. The brand suggests using the tool to “create Snaps that capture spatial detail” – saying that the images will change in perspective and appearance depending on how a user moves their phone.
Users will only get the option to use the new feature if they’re using an iPhone X or above, although any Android or iPhone device can receive and interact with Snaps made using the 3D Camera Mode. The tool will no doubt prove popular among Snapchat’s younger customer base – with Facebook saying that “millions of 3D and 360 photos” have already been added by people using its similar tool.
This potentially highlights an opportunity for brands to stand out from the crowd, using the tool to make 3D branded content before it’s commonplace. Check out more over at Social Media Today.
Apple is trying to make ‘slofie’ a thing
If you keep up to date with all things Apple then you’ll have heard the tech giant throwing the term ‘slofie’ around at its event last week. And while it may have seemed like a fun made-up word, Apple is clearly now trying to make it a real thing.
In fact, on Friday, Apple applied for a US trademark on ‘slofie’ – which could potentially give the company control over the word’s usage. Apple used the term to describe slow-motion selfies, a feature new to the iPhone 11 models. Upgraded cameras mean that the front-facing camera will now be able to record video at 120 frames per second; while cool, some experts are doubting that this will be used quite as widely as Apple is expecting.
The patent request appears to be about stopping other companies from making ‘slofie’ branded apps, rather than stopping people from using the word entirely – likely down to the feature supposedly being exclusive to the new iPhone models.
Although, when you drill down into it, Apple never refers to the feature as ‘slofie’ on the devices; the capability is just called “slow-mo” within the camera, and there’s no dedicated app associated. Room for development, perhaps? Read more over at The Verge.
And just like that, another week is almost over. Check back next week to catch up on more digital news goodness.
Want to know more?
Reach out and say hello. Come experience the GIANT side.