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This week on latest digital marketing updates: New study finds Facebook's Interest-based targeting inaccurate around 30% of the time, new Google Trusted Store badge to roll out, Instagram tests new full-feed user interface for posts, stories, and reels, LinkedIn now lets pages publish newsletters, Instagram adds new messaging features like quick reply, and Twitter experiments with three new ad formats.
Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
A study from North Carolina State University found Facebook's inferred interests are inaccurate or irrelevant around 30% of the time.
As explained in the study, "To obtain insights into how Facebook generates interests from a user's Facebook activities, we performed controlled experiments by creating new accounts and systematically executing numerous planned activities. We found 33.22% of the inferred interests were inaccurate or irrelevant. To understand if our findings hold for a large and diverse sample, we conducted a user study where we recruited 146 participants (through Amazon Mechanical Turk) from different regions of the world to evaluate the accuracy of interests inferred by Facebook. We developed a browser extension to extract data from their own Facebook accounts and ask questions based on such data. Our participants reported a similar range (29%) of inaccuracy as observed in our controlled experiments."
However, it is worth noting that the study is of a relatively small scale of only 146 test subjects when Facebook has over 2.9 billion monthly active users.
The researchers also note that Facebook's system often doesn't distinguish between positive and negative interactions, leading to inaccuracies. "For instance, we commented negatively on a Harry Potter page and received interests in Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe (the lead actor in the Harry Potter movies)."
The study also showed that, at times, Facebook's system will incorrectly attribute entities, "For example, upon visiting the Apple (Tech company) page, Apple (fruit) was inferred as an interest."
Despite the very minimal number of participants, you can get varying degrees of errors with this type of matching. And this new finding may have significant implications on ad spending.
To reward merchants for good customer experiences, Google introduces a new Shopping Experience Scorecard program.
Before users purchase, shoppers want to know if they're spending money on a business they can trust. To help merchants build their reputation, merchants may receive a badge indicating they are a Trusted Store, which will appear alongside their free product listings on the Shopping tab.
This Trusted Store badge will be based on their performance across metrics relative to other merchants, such as shipping speeds, shipping and return costs, and return windows.
Based on early testing, this Trusted Store badge is more likely to receive clicks and even stronger traffic to lesser-known merchants.
The Shopping Experience Scorecard program will roll out across the US in the coming months.
Instagram is testing a new, full-integrated home feed that presents everything in an immersive, full-screen user interface.
Back in December, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said that video would be a key focus for IG in 2022. "We're going to double-down on our focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels"
Today, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzishared these findings on Twitter.
The experimental Instagram feed would include regular Feed posts, Stories, and Reels all within a single flow. Stories would be presented with a frame bar at the bottom of the display, indicating that you can swipe left to see the other frames, while videos have a progress bar instead.
It's an intuitive design to present Instagram content aligned with the evolving TikTok-led usage trends. This new update will also enable algorithmic improvements based on your response to each specific post.
LinkedIn announces newsletter for business pages as an extension of the Articles for Pages feature introduced last year.
The goal of Articles for Pages is to provide better engagement with followers and invite conversations. Now, newsletters can provide ways for followers to subscribe to articles with a similar subject matter.
You can create a LinkedIn newsletter in three simple steps:
: Start writing an article on and select "Create a Newsletter"
: When you publish your newsletter it will post to your feed and LinkedIn will notify your followers
: View the analytics of each newsletter sent out and quickly assess the number of subscribers
The ability to engage and grow followers and subscribers to member pages via Newsletters and Articles for Pages is a great opportunity for businesses and professionals to extend their reach and increase viewership.
Currently, articles and newsletters are only open to qualified pages and creators. This includes a base audience of more than 150 followers, experience creating original content, and following professional community policies.
The Meta-owned app announced a number of messaging upgrades, including quick reply, music sharing, new chat themes, and more.
Instagram's adding a new "reply while you browse" option, which lets users reply to a message in the middle of the stream without tapping through their DM inbox.
Instagram's also adding a new quick send option, highlighting your closest friends when you tap and hold the share button on a post. This new feature also makes it easier to send a DM without disrupting your browsing experience.
For the last frame, Instagram's also adding new online indicators in your DM panel, "At the top of your inbox, you can see who's free to chat at that moment, helping you find serendipitous opportunities to connect with friends."
Instagram's also adding new chat themes, along with its expanded messaging control options, @silent, and polls within your group chats.
The new @silent control was announced on Messenger earlier this week, along with a range of other shortcuts that you can use to activate various Messenger features. But only the @silent operator is available on Instagram as of yet, and only within the US.
The last frame above also lets you share music previews in your DMs, "Enabled by integrations with Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify coming soon, you can now share a 30-second preview of that song you just can't get out of your head, and your friends can listen directly from the chat window."
Twitter tests out three new ad formats to boost its promotional appeal.
Twitter's rolling out three new ad formats and it may take some getting used to for consumers.
The first new format is Interactive Text Ads, enabling advertisers to connect landing pages to chosen words within their larger ad copy.
"These ads will appear with a larger, bolder typeface than the standard Twitter font in the timeline. Advertisers can highlight up to three words in their ad copy that, when clicked, will drive consumers to landing pages chosen by the brand."
Currently, a small number of US-based brands are testing this new feature.
Next ad format is the Product Explorer Ads, allowing you to present your products in 3D within your promoted tweet, with users then able to swipe and rotate the item to see it from different angles.
Lastly, Twitter is testing 'Collection Ads', enabling brands to display a range of images to accompany the main tweet focus.
"Brands can display a primary hero image with up to five smaller thumbnail visuals below. The primary image remains static while consumers can browse through the thumbnails via a horizontal scrolling experience."
Each image within the Collection allows you to redirect to a different landing page for a more customized experience.
There is no set date yet for the full release, but Twitter will be looking into bringing these new ad formats to more brands and regions while continuously testing, learning, and iterating based on performance and customer feedback.
Read more about Facebook's interest tracking and see if it aligns with your current goals. You can also explore other channels to promote your content to maximize your ad spend.
If you're on LinkedIn, explore becoming more active with long-form content and use the newsletter function to drive more traffic to your posts.
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