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Hello and welcome to another edition of Digital Marketing Week in Review by Four Dots – our weekly column where we comb through some of the most relevant news and events that took place within the digital marketing landscape over the last week or so.

Let’s see what “October 2020: Week 1” edition brings us: 

  • Netflix Documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ provokes a response from Facebook
  • Google Shopping Ads Free Worldwide? 
  • Mini-Site of Holiday Marketing Resources by Google
  • Instagram Shopping Sources as Well?
  • Cloudflare Announces Powerful New Features/Services

Alrighty then, let’s dive right in!


Netflix Documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ Provokes Response from Facebook

Facebook has had everyone surprised by the decision to give an official rebuke concerning Netflix’s new bombastic documentary about the influence of social media on human interaction named ‘The Social Dilemma‘. 

Most of the critics agree that, while raising some very good questions, the main goal of the content was to strike the chord of sensationalism. It turns out that Facebook was also stricken with the documentary and they decided to give a public announcement – mostly because, as they mentioned, they started receiving deletion requests for Facebook and Instagram after watching the movie. 

Netflix Documentary 'The Social Dilemma' Provokes Response from Facebook | Four Dots

(Image source: Facebook)

We will quote seven points that Facebook sees as wrong claims coming from the documentary: 

  • ADDICTION – Facebook builds its products to create value, not to be addictive
  • YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT – Facebook is funded by advertising so that it remains free for people
  • ALGORITHMS – Facebook’s algorithm is not ‘mad.’ It keeps the platform relevant and useful
  • DATA – Facebook has made improvements across the company to protect people’s privacy 
  • POLARIZATION – We take steps to reduce content that could drive polarization 
  • ELECTIONS – Facebook has made investments to protect the integrity of elections 
  • MISINFORMATION – We fight fake news, misinformation, and harmful content using a global network of fact-checking partners

Find out more information about this matter here


Google Shopping Ads Free Worldwide?

Starting mid-October, Google is expanding free shopping ads to more countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. They’ve made this decision as an answer to COVID19 pandemic and the financial crisis it brought with it.

“And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods. While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.”

This will not only have a positive effect on retailers but will motivate more businesses to move online. 

Google has made a very simple tutorial on how to participate:

To show your products in free product listings on the Shopping tab, opt in when you sign up for Merchant Center. If you already have an account, navigate to Growth in the left navigation menu, click Manage programs, and then select Surfaces across Google to learn more.


Mini-Site of Holiday Marketing Resources by Google

This holiday season is going to be all about online shopping and Google is fully prepared. They are launching a hub of resources to help marketers reach customers across Search, Shopping, and Maps.

Mini-Site of Holiday Marketing Resources by Google | Four Dots

(Image source: Google)

Research shows that 71% of US adults expect to perform more than half of their purchases digitally. These shoppers claim they are open to new retailers, particularly local small businesses, to buy from them. 

To be accurate, 66% of US individuals who expect to shop this holiday season say they are going to shop more at local small businesses.

What more reason for Google to do what they do best – tend to all of their user online needs! Read more about Mini-Site of Holiday Marketing Resources in this SEJ article


Instagram Adds New Resources For Small Businesses 

‘Tiss a season to spend money and everyone is trying to handle yours – don’t you just love the holidays?! Much like Google is doing in the news piece above, Instagram is also tapping the webshop-based market with its own mini-site that provides some interesting resources to help shoppers and sellers find and make each other happy.

Instagram Shops is a feature that was introduced back in May and it allows companies to set up a free online store. This mini-site is primarily designed for newbies in Instagram sales. 

It’s really easy, just follow these simple steps:

Instagram Adds New Resources For Small Businesses | Four Dots

(Image source: Search Engine Journal)

The tool also features handy Help Guides, as it is predominantly targeting new businesses. Once a user’s shop on Instagram is set up, they can go through a selection of help guides including Tagging, Product Collections, and Shopping Ads.


Cloudflare Announces Powerful New Features/Services

In an attempt to make the Internet a better place for both website owners and end-users, Cloudflare has added a couple of cool new features that should enhance the experience, provide more insight into demographic-based data and improve user privacy.    

Free Web Analytics 

The company introduced a privacy-first web analytics service that is available for free, even if you’re not a Cloudflare customer. This feature-packed service provides you with almost-real-time metrics tracking depicting end-user behavior.  

The Cloudflare team says that even though their tool is mostly used to fetch the most important website KPIs like page views and visits, it is flexibility in analytics that is essential to the user. 

Free Web Analytics | Four Dots

(Image Source: SEJ)

“The ability to add arbitrary filters, and slice-and-dice data as you see fit,” is stated as one of the most coveted aspects of an analytics tool. “Our analytics can show you the top hostnames, URLs, countries, and other critical metrics like status codes. You can filter on any of these metrics with a click and see the whole dashboard update.”

You can find out more about this new service in this SEJ article

WordPress Caching

Another handy service that comes from Cloudflare is called Automatic Platform Optimization and is designed to dramatically speed up websites. The service is starting with WordPress websites and the company claims the publishers can see improvements of up to 72% in Time to First Byte, and 23% in Largest Contentful Paint. 

Here’s how they explained it:

“By caching dynamic content, we can serve the entire website from our edge network. Think ‘static site’ but without any of the work of having to build or maintain a static site. Customers can keep managing and updating content on their website in the same way and leave the hard work for performance to us.”

“Serving both static and dynamic content from our network results, generally, in no origin requests or origin processing time. This means all the communication occurs between the user’s device and our edge.“

The users of hosting can have this new feature free of charge, while others can sign up for it and pay $5 monthly. The price is quite reasonable and the service is extremely useful, especially you own a shared-hosting website with modest performance. This service will dramatically improve your pages’ performance. 


Wrapping Up

That would be all for this installment of Digital Marketing Week 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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