This week on latest digital marketing updates: Google Confirms testing favicons in Search Ads, Instagram rolls out subscription feature for paid users to view exclusive content, Instagram increases response options in Stories, Instagram adds scheduled live stream display on user profiles, TikTok launches Instant Pages for in-app browsing directly from ads, and WordPress 5.9 goes live with full-site editing experience from WordPress site owners.
Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
Google confirms ongoing tests include favicons in Search Ads to help users easily identify brands and advertisers associated with ads on a given search query.
Darcy Burk from the Burk Digital Factory spotted a pizza emoji on a search ad for Uber Eats and posted it on Twitter. Ginny Marvin of Google using the Ads Liaison Twitter account says, “This is part of a series of small experiments to help users more easily identify the brand or advertiser associated with the Search ads they may see for a given query.”
The emoji pizza was used as a placeholder favicon for the ad, but the ad on the above screenshot uses the default globe icon used when no favicon is set.
Note that adding emojis on ads is against Google ads policies, but Google may be testing this out to see if it’s worth rolling out to a bigger audience.
Instagram and TikTok reveals paid subscriptions feature for content creators.
Paid subscriptions spotted with a few content creators and influencers in the US, allowing them to charge their followers a monthly fee for exclusive subscriber-only content, such as live videos and stories. The app shows a purple badge next to the username and details of the subscription tiers.
Twitter user @salman_memom_7 shared a screenshot on Twitter screenshots from Instagram displaying the option to subscribe to select content creator accounts.
According to a report, pricing subscriptions in the US will range from $0.99 to $99.99 per month.
TikTok, on the other hand, has revealed that the company has been working on paid subscriptions, allowing creators on the video-sharing platform to monetize their content. Note that TikTok already offers the ability to tip creators on the platform, so the release of exclusive content behind a paywall can help create a steady income for content creators on the platform.
To increase engagement options, Instagram increases response options in Poll sticker of Stories.
Instagram quietly updated Poll sticker for Instagram Stories, letting users add up to four response options from the previous two response choices.
Twitter user @TexanMeg shared to Twitter the screenshots of this update.
This new option provides a great lure for convenient interaction and additional reach for brands and advertisers.
Another user, @hammadoh1, also reported that you can now change the color of the poll sticker question text.
Both are small updates but the value it provides in terms of utility is a good addition to make engagement for businesses and advertisers easier for the audience.
Instagram attempts efforts to improve discovery of upcoming streams by adding a display of scheduled live stream of content creator profiles.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri shared screenshots of this new feature on Twitter.
This new display option will enable you to list upcoming Instagram live streams on your profile and provide a pop-up prompt when clicked to show additional information. People can sign-up for a reminder when the stream is set to begin.
Mosseri shares, “Creators have been able to schedule lives for a while now, but now, you can separate scheduling a live from creating a feed post, or even now a Story post, about that Live. You also get a little badge on your profile that’s lets followers know, or anybody know that goes to your profile, that there’s a Live coming up and they can subscribe to be reminded.”
Users can create as many scheduled live streams, and a side-scrolling list will be added to the profile display.
Currently, the only way to notify people about upcoming streams is through Posts and Stories, which limits the reach of notification to only existing followers. With this update, anyone who comes by a profile who frequently broadcasts IG live will be able to see schedules, potentially bringing in more viewers.
TikTok is rolling out new shopping display option that enables brands to connect their TikTok ads through a lightweight, native landing page, built within TikTok itself.
Slow or interrupted loading experience could lead to high bounce rates and inefficient conversions. This prompted TikTok to roll out Instant Pages ad display option. Instant Page is a native landing page within the app that loads up to eleven times faster than standard mobile pages.
TikTok explains, “Within an Instant Page, users can view videos and images, swipe through carousels, or click on buttons to explore another destination – all without leaving the TikTok app. Instant Pages are easy to build and customize for your brand.”
This new update is like Facebook’s Instant Articles, with content built into the app itself instead of referring users to a third-party link.
To set up TikTok Instant Page businesses and advertisers will need to create an eligible ad on TikTok Ads Manager and build an Instant Page as the destination link for the campaign. Instant Page builder tool is embedded within the ad creation flow, enabling users to incorporate a range of templates:
You can add videos, carousels, product display elements, coupons, product display elements, and more. It’s an interesting way to add engaging elements to your TikTok promotions and with faster loading time.
TikTok Instant Pages are currently in testing by will likely be rolled out to more businesses soon.
Major WordPress update delivers a series of fundamental changes that gives even amateur users broader control over website creation.
The major takeaway is the introduction of Block Themes. The different parts of the website are set as different blocks, including the navigation menus, header, footer, and body of the page. Users can freely change these blocks without needing to change the whole theme of the website. There are also finer block controls so even spacing and borders can be adjusted. Global changes to color schemes, font combination and page templates is now also possible.
“This release is a major milestone on the journey toward being able to manage all areas of your WordPress site using the same basic block concepts,” said Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director at WordPress. “It puts a focus on how people can and should be able to build their space on the web without necessarily requiring that they be a brilliant developer. Because publishing should belong to artists and creators just as much as it belongs to designers and developers.”
WordPress 5.9 comes bundled with the new default theme called Twenty Twenty-Two. You can activate this new full-site editing facilities by downloading this theme or another block-based theme, or download WordPress 5.9 directly.
WordPress 5.9 also features new typography tools, layout options, and detailing controls giving users with no coding experience the ability to get creative with their websites.
Google offers a new way to block third-party trackers in Chrome with online advertising system, Topics.
The new system would still eliminate cookies but inform advertisers of a user’s area of interests based on the last three weeks of the user’s web browsing history, such as “fitness”, or “automobiles and vehicles.” After which, Topics will keep this information for three weeks then deleted.
Topics will address some of the concerns about the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), where Chrome groups together users of similar interests into cohorts and serve the information to advertisers. It aims to preserve user privacy by segmenting audience into larger groups using human curators, instead of machine learning technology to generate the user groups. This will eliminate the possibility that groups might be based on sensitive characteristics like sexual orientation or race, according to Google.