Time Spent on Instagram Grows As Snapchat & Facebook Lay Still – Digital News Roundup – 31.05.19
Another sunny Friday means another dose of digital news. This time we’re talking WhatsApp ads, mobile-first indexing, social usage stats, a Canva breach, and Twitter’s new job ad.
Facebook announces WhatsApp Ads, rolling out in 2020
This week saw Facebook has finally confirmed that it will be adding ads to WhatsApp, after years of rumours around the future of the platform.
The news, revealed at the Facebook Marketing Summit in the Netherlands, explained how the platforms 1.5 billion users will now see ads from next year. The adverts will appear over user’s status updates, although it’s so far not clear what data Facebook will use when it comes to determining who sees what ads. Conversation scraping, anyone?
The ads will appear in a similar way to those on Instagram Stories, taking up a whole screen between WhatsApp Stories. News of ads appearing never goes down well, as far back as the introduction of ads on Facebook newsfeeds back in 2012. However, as a population increasingly-sceptical about ads and the ways they’re targeted, maybe we’ll just never be happy with their presence. Read more on the news at Silicon.
Google to start indexing all new sites using mobile-first indexing
From July 1st, all new websites “previously unknown to Google Search” will be indexed using mobile-first indexing, according to an announcement from Google.
Mobile-first indexing means Google crawls and indexes a web page based on how it renders on a mobile, versus a desktop. As the latest move in the on-going mobile-first push, Google’s statement explained how its “fantastic to see that new websites are now generally showing users – and search engines – the same content on both mobile and desktop devices”.
It’s important to keep in mind that this will only happen for brand new sites, while older sites that haven’t yet migrated will continue to be indexed via desktop first until they’re ready to switch. These older sites will receive a notification in Search Console once they’re viewed as being ready to make the leap.
This means that if your brand new site isn’t mobile friendly, then you may have issues when it comes to ranking. Read more about the change at Search Engine Land.
Social media usage declining – although Instagram sees growth
Recent research by eMarketer has shown that the “average amount of time people spent per day on social networks in the U.S. dropped by nearly 1.5 minutes last year”, with mixed success when it comes to each individual platform.
According to the stats, Instagram usage is on the rise – with users expected to spend an average of 27 minutes per day on the app this year, a 1 minute increase on last year. It’s also expected that this number will continue to grow by a minute per year until 2021.
For Facebook, however, it’s a different story. This year’s prediction sits at 38 minutes per day, which remains steady from last year – although it’s predicted that this will drop by a minute next year.
“Facebook’s continued loss of younger adult users, along with its focus on downranking clickbait posts and videos in favor of those that create ‘time well spent,’ resulted in less daily time spent on the platform in 2018 than we had previously expected,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.
Experts are speculating that digital video viewing and gaming could be having an impact on social media usage, although it’s also worth considering that the research only tracks users over the age of 18. And younger audiences are notoriously present on social media – particularly Instagram and Snapchat. Read more on the stats at Marketing Land.
Amazon introduces voice commands that let you delete your voice recordings
New voice commands will mean you can now tell Alexa to delete your voice recordings, according to an update from Amazon.
Before the update, users had to go into the App to delete recordings one by one or go through the Amazon website in order to bulk delete all at once. Now, however, you’ll be able to say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” and the assistant will wipe all of the recordings it stores on Amazon’s servers.
Amazon stores all recordings in what has proved to be a controversial move, particularly with concerns as to how questions asked by children are recorded. While the new feature won’t stop the recordings, it does at least make it easier to frequently wipe the data.
Amazon also announced that another command, “Alexa, delete what I just said,” is in the works, so perhaps this is the start of users getting more control over the platform. Take a look at more on the news over at The Verge.
Canva experiences data breach, affecting up to 139 million users
Canva has made a statement informing users that its database was compromised as part of a cyber attack late last week, with the official advice being for users to change their login credentials.
Up to 139 million users could have been affected across the world, with the platform saying that it has been working “around the clock” to investigate and communicate with customers. “We are continuing to investigate and are being thorough and methodical with our examinations… We have also engaged forensic experts to investigate the incident,” the platform explained.
The breach comes following the acquisition of Pexels and Pixabay, designed to make the free platform a more valuable resource for creatives and marketing teams using the platform in a professional sense. Not ideal timing for a cyber attack. Check out more on the news at Marketing Land.
Twitter hiring a Tweeter in Chief to take the reins of its brand communications
Twitter is calling for applicants to become the company’s “Tweeter in Chief”, in what many are saying is a bid to get more tuned in with the people using Twitter each and every day.
The role’s requirements involve a person being “immersed in Twitter culture”, showing “proficiency crafting creative, inspiring stories”, “a desire to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment” and an “understanding of the broader marketing landscape”.
Twitter has famously faced issues in communicating with the public, causing many people to describe the platform’s own Twitter feed as being full of “yawn-inducing product update minutiae”. Yikes. But perhaps the introduction of a dedicated person tasked with speaking to the people actually using the platform on a day to day basis could help this.
One expert at The Verge has said that it “certainly can’t hurt” Twitter to have someone who’s more aware of online culture taking over its primary communication channel, although there’s an argument around whether this is a band-aid on a wider issue. Can one person fix Twitter’s communication issues? Looks like we’re going to find out. Read more at The Verge.
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