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Hello and welcome to Digital Marketing Month in Review by Four Dots. This is our monthly column where we comb through some of the most relevant news and events that took place within the digital marketing landscape over the last month or so.

Let’s see what the May 2021 edition brings us:   

  • New Facebook and Instagram Messaging Features and Updates
  • Google Analytics Tracking Data Even Without Cookies? 
  • Shopify Upgrade on Google – Shop Directly From Images 
  • Google Introduces MUM: New Technology For Complex Search Queries
  • New Reels and Instagram Live Engagement Insights
  • 4 New Creation Tools from YouTube Shorts 
  • Video Creation Tips for SMBs from TikTok
  • Public Applications for Profile Verification Re-opened on Twitter

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in! 

New Facebook and Instagram Messaging Features and Updates

Facebook and Instagram have rolled out a number of new features in order to upgrade your messaging experience. We have listed them up for you:

Star Wars and Selena: The Series Chat Themes
You can now personalize your conversations showing appreciation for one of these series and movies – the darkness of space for SW or purple blooms for Selena. In Messenger and Instagram, go to your chat settings and tap Theme to activate the Star Wars or Selena: The Series chat theme. 

Shopify Upgrade on Google - Shop Directly From Images | Four Dots
Image credit: Facebook

Asian Pacific American (API) Heritage Month Stickers
You can now find new camera stickers in Messenger and Messenger Kids, honoring the diversity and impact of Asian and Pacific Islanders (API). You may support and raise awareness of crucial issues that affect the API community by using one of four Messenger camera stickers. There is even an easy reference guide for parents to have more in-depth conversations with their kids concerning API cultures.

One Tap to Record
No more needless holding of that mic icon to record your voice message. Now you can simply tap it and record your message more conveniently. Currently, this feature is exclusive for Facebook, but it is coming to Instagram very soon. 

Seen Messages in Inbox
The Instagram DMs inbox has received a minor change that makes it easier for users to see when a recipient has viewed their message. Users can now check their inbox to see if a message has been read. This will be confirmed by a text snippet. 

Visual Replies 
You can now respond to a video or a photo message with one of your own. This option is currently available to iOS users but will be coming to Android shortly. 

Google Analytics Tracking Data Even Without Cookies?

With users’ growing concern about their privacy, Google has had a challenging task of coming up with ways to track people’s interactions with your ads without using cookies. The new privacy-safe tracking methods rely on consented first-party data and machine learning rather than Google’s controversial FLoC technology.

As Google’s Vidhya Srinivasan announced:

“Now’s the time to adopt new privacy-safe techniques to ensure your measurement remains accurate and actionable”.

Building a foundation of first-party information is a prerequisite to get started with privacy-safe measurement. Investing in a strong tagging infrastructure allows you to make the most of the data your customers provide and precisely measure the success of your campaigns.

The Consent Mode assists you in accomplishing this by altering the behavior of Google tags based on user consent options for ad cookies and analytics cookies. Consent Mode will employ conversion modeling to recover more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys when users do not consent to cookies, guaranteeing that you can continue to analyze the full performance of your media in a privacy-safe manner.

Measurement solutions can work together to give you the most comprehensive reporting and optimization thanks to a robust sitewide tagging and first-party data foundation. Building on this basis, Google devised a new privacy-friendly method to assist you in maintaining accurate measurement when fewer cookies are accessible.

Shopify Upgrade on Google – Shop Directly From Images 

Google deepens its partnership with Shopify by making it easier for all 1.7 million merchants to list their products with just a few clicks. Additionally, they are adding more ways for you to shop, including the possibility of buying products depicted in screenshots. 

This new level of partnership with Shopify allows retailers to be found by high-intent customers across Google Search, Shopping, YouTube, Google Images, and other platforms. As per Google’s claim, they are supporting an open network of shops and customers to help businesses be discovered and provide consumers more choices when shopping. Eliminating commission fees and making it free for sellers on Google are two real actions they have done to enhance discoverability for all merchants. With all of the data acquired from Google Shopping, the business was able to create the Shopping Graph, the next highlight from I/O.

GIF credit: Google

As Bill Ready, President of Commerce and Payments at Google, explained:

“The Shopping Graph is a dynamic, AI-enhanced model that understands a constantly-changing set of products, sellers, brands, reviews and most importantly, the product information and inventory data we receive from brands and retailers directly — as well as how those attributes relate to one another.”

Taking a screenshot is one of the most common ways people keep track of things they enjoy, but it’s not always that easy to actually have use of those screenshots later. Now, when you examine any screenshot in Google Photos, you’ll get a suggestion to search the image using Lens, which will show you search results that will help you find the product you were looking for.

Google Introduces MUM: New Technology For Complex Search Queries

Google is working on a new complex query technology. “MUM,” or Multitask Unified Model, will be used for answering more complex search queries and was revealed by Google at its recent I/O conference. 

The tech giant is currently exploring the way this new MUM technology can be used to better understand language and the queries used by humans, and therefore – hopefully – deliver more quality search results and more helpful responses.

One of the main goals of MUM is to help users get exactly the results they need and get things done using fewer searches. According to Google, it takes an average of 8 searches for users to complete complex tasks.

As per Google, MUM can understand data from different languages and formats, and use it to fetch advanced and more complete results. 

“MUM not only understands language, but also generates it. It’s trained across 75 different languages and many different tasks at once, allowing it to develop a more comprehensive understanding of information and world knowledge than previous models. And MUM is multimodal, so it understands information across text and images and in the future, can expand to more modalities like video and audio.”

For more detailed information on this new MUM technology and examples of it, we recommend this SEJ article

New Reels and Instagram Live Engagement Insights

Instagram is releasing a few enhancements to its Insights product that will help creators and businesses better understand and assess their performance on Instagram as part of their continued effort to provide professionals with the tools they need. One of these efforts was launching new insights for Reels and Live

As per Instagram: “Based on feedback from creators and businesses, today we’re launching insights for Reels and Live. We have been inspired by the ways our community has embraced these content formats and want to make sure creators and businesses can understand how their content is performing.”

New Reels and Instagram Live Engagement Insights | Four Dots
Image Credit: Social Media Today

In the image above you can see that IG is now providing new metrics describing how content is performing. You now have brand new, in-depth data for both Live and Reels (aside from the already available metrics for feed posts and IGTV), which will surely be extremely useful for IG content creators and advertisers to improve the performance of their posts. 

YouTube Rolls Out 4 New Content Creation/Editing Tools

YouTube is releasing new in-app content creation and editing tools with brand new and useful features for editing Shorts videos. The tools will first be available to US-based users only.

The beta version was launched in March, while YouTube Shorts can now be used by US video content creators through the YouTube mobile app and Shorts camera to record, edit, and publish small clips.

Aside from the new creation tools, these new Shorts camera features provide users with more versatile editing options.

The 4 new features include: 

  • 60 Second Recordings
  • Shorts Video Filters
  • Video Captions
  • Shorts Tab on Home Page

You can find more information on what they do here

Video Creation Tips for SMBs from TikTok

TikTok has released a new two-part series of insider tips for creators and marketers aiming to maximize their content and increase their audience engagement on the platform – which may be extremely useful for businesses trying to develop a good strategy for releasing TikTok clips.

The TikTok team explains:

“As part of an ongoing initiative to help small businesses elevate the creative they share on TikTok, we are pleased to announce “Behind The Camera,” a series of easy-to-follow instructional videos showing businesses how to take their TikTok to the next level through the latest creative trends and techniques.”

The first part of the series is split into some basic bullet points, followed by in-depth videos.

Be sure to follow these six pointers:

  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to put too much information into one TikTok.
  • Shoot vertically. By shooting your videos vertically, you can take advantage of the full screen experience of TikTok.
  • Have good lighting. It doesn’t matter if the lighting is professional or not – just as long as viewers can clearly see what you want them to view.
  • Focus on your subject. Keep your lens focused on what you want your audience to focus on. 
  • Use effects and text. According to TikTok, using their existing creative tools to create native-looking and feeling TikTok content is critical for boosting response and engagement on the platform. TikTok goes on to say that focusing on making your material feel like it belongs on the site will help you stand out.
  • Have fun. Finally, making TikTok content should benefit your business, but it should also be a fun, positive experience both for you and your audience.

As an example of their instructional videos, we have chosen this great Flying Object Transition effect that will surely step up your video editing game:

You can check out the rest of their awesome video tutorials here.

Public Applications for Profile Verification Re-opened on Twitter

It’s an early Christmas for all Twitter blue badge enthusiasts  – Twitter has re-opened their profile verification option!

What does it mean to be verified?
The famous blue badge is one of the ways Twitter helps its users in determining the validity of high-profile accounts. It offers them more context about who they’re conversing with so they can figure out if the person is trustworthy, which leads to better, more educated interactions.

Who can apply for verification?
To be verified, you must meet the requirements of one of the six categories indicated below:

  • Government
  • Companies, brands and organizations
  • News organizations and journalists
  • Entertainment
  • Sports and gaming
  • Activists, organizers, and other influential individuals
  • If you wish to find out more about profile verification, be sure to check out this Twitter blog post.

Wrapping Up

That would be all for this installment of Digital Marketing Month in Review by Four Dots. See you next week, until then – feel free to check out our previous edition!

author avatar
Radomir Basta
CEO and lead SEO strategist at Four Dots and lecturer at Digital Marketing Institute Also an angry driver and huge tattoo fan. In love with growth hacking.

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