Facebook prepares advertisers for when users ‘clear history’
Facebook recently announced a ‘clear history’ tool that will let people erase their personal data from the social network, affecting ad targeting. Rolling out over the coming months, the tool will allow users to delete data that the social network gathers from websites and apps outside of Facebook, and no longer use that data for advertising purposes.
Some of Facebook’s most popular marketing technology, like the Facebook Pixel and Custom Audiences, could be rendered useless if a person erases their tracks. Brands use the pixel – computer code – to tag users when they visit their websites, hitting them with an ad when they return to Facebook. If people clear their pixel, they’ll no longer be accessible in the same way, unless they visit the website again and rebuild their history from scratch.
Facebook announces two new algorithm updates aimed at improving engagement
The Social Network has announced two News Feed algorithm updates this week, one focused on increasing the prevalence of posts from your closest friends, and the other aimed at reducing shallow, click-bait style content in feeds.
First off, Facebook is aiming to show users more content from the people they care about, by adding in additional feed signals based on user research. The end result, ideally, will be that users see more of their closest friends’ content. Since the implementation of the News Feed algorithm, Facebook has been consistently criticized for hiding important updates, and failing to keep people in the loop on key events within their social circles. This change aims to help Facebook improve on this front.
The second announced update relates to the quality of content in News Feeds, and demoting posts and links which users have said are not ‘worth their time’.
Last month, Facebook published an update on the efforts it’s making to improve the quality of the News Feed, and the relevance of the content people are shown on the platform. Part of that process involves user surveys, with Facebook asking its audience to note which updates they find most relevant and helpful.
Instagram adds Stories to Explore tab
Stories are now eligible to show up in the Explore tab for the first time, giving creators a way to get discovered through their intimate, silly, behind-the-scenes content instead of their manicured feed posts. Since Stories themselves don’t get Likes, Instagram will personalize which Stories you see on Explore by showing accounts similar to ones you do Like and Follow.
Instagram is pulling the plug on its stand-alone Instagram direct app
Instagram introduced a stand-alone Instagram Direct application in December 2017 to select markets, but the app does not look like it will survive June 2019.
Users of the stand-alone messaging app began seeing the following notification: “The Direct app is going away. In the coming month, we’ll no longer be supporting the Direct app. Your conversations will automatically move over to Instagram, so you don’t need to do anything.”
An Instagram spokesperson confirmed the demise of the app, saying, “We’re rolling back the test of the standalone Direct app. We’re focused on continuing to make Instagram Direct the best place for fun conversations with your friends.”
Social networks impose restrictions on live-streaming to prevent future abuse
Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon all joined the Christchurch Call, an effort between world leaders and tech companies to fight the spread of violent extremism online.
By applying what it called a “one strike” policy, Facebook announced that they would ban users who violate the platform’s community standards from using the live-streaming service for set periods of time. This applies to content posted elsewhere on the website, not just streamed on Facebook Live. If a user were to post a harmful link on their profile, like content which leads to a terrorist website, they would be banned from live-streaming as well.
YouTube’s adding new still image ads
While we all know YouTube as the king of online video – the place for moving image content – the platform has this week announced that it will soon provide non-video advertisers with a new still image option that will appear within YouTube home feeds.
Called Discovery Ads, the new option will use audience targeting to display your ads to relevant users, based on their activity.
YouTube offers an automated way to create six-second ads
After introducing a six-second ‘Bumper’ ad format back in 2016, YouTube is unveiling a new tool that uses machine learning to automatically pull out a six-second version from a longer ad.
For some advertisers, a Bumper may simply be a short teaser for a longer ad. For others, the format could provide a way to break down a 30-second ad into a sequence of six-second clips.
LinkedIn integrates and updates jobs and hiring platform
LinkedIn has amassed more than 20 million job listings — up from a mere 300,000 five years ago — and sees its 600 million users collectively apply for jobs 25 million times per week. That activity also translates to big business: paid subscriptions specifically aimed at recruiters; paid tiers for average users who want to have more access to contacting people for jobs; job ads and more all contribute to LinkedIn’s bottom line. The business is projected to hit $6.4 billion in revenues for 2019, growing 27 percent in the last quarter.
Now, LinkedIn is stepping up a gear in its operations. After a two-year effort, LinkedIn is today announcing that it has finally integrated its jobs and hiring efforts by announcing a raft of new features for both. For job seekers, this includes instant job alerts, a redesign of the Jobs home page and more salary insights, with skills assessments coming soon. Recruiters will see LinkedIn Jobs, Recruiter, and Pipeline Builder come together to make it easier to manage ads, and source and interact with candidates.
This update was prepared by Phil Vincent with additional reporting courtesy of Ryan Dubras (We Are Social).