YouTube announced the new YouTube Select which will give marketers a much wider audience to reach out to.

The video-sharing platform is set out to help advertisers reach out to their audience and more. YouTube Select is a premium offer for advertisers to allow them to have access to a much wider audience of the platform. In the same vein, YouTube also announced that Google Preferred will now be taken out to enable advertisers to target popular videos in specific categories.

Google Preferred no longer available 

As aforementioned, Google Preferred will no longer be available by the end of 2020. This was the previous offering for advertisers that works similar to the traditional television ad buying. This is when advertisers meet a minimum required annual append commitment before they can lock an ad inventory. It was then available only for advertisers in the US and from Canada. 

YouTube Select to replace Google Preferred 

YouTube’s VP for Product Management and YouTube Ads, Vishal Sharma posted in the blog site that YouTube Select has more capabilities than the traditional TV ads. As more people are turning into their big screen for their YouTube videos, the trend and viewing behavior has changed. In the US alone, there are more than 100 million people (YouTube Internal Data, US, March 2020) who are watching YouTube and YouTube TV using their TV screens each month. 

YouTube Select will have a dedicated streaming TV lineup to help brands reach out to the audience who are using their TV screens. With combined TV streaming and YouTube TV,  brands will reach out to their intended audience as these audiences no longer have to jump from one platform to another just to watch live sports, YouTube Originals, videos from popular creators, and more. True to form, YouTube Select is a reimagined unification of contents for premium advertisers. 

What does this mean to you? 

The new YouTube Select is made for advertisers in order to give them the ability to not put their ads on specific shows that they’ve already bought space ads with or with shows that aren’t compatible with their brand’s mission and vision. This is also a new way for advertisers to market and target their audience beyond just the usual TV demographics such as age and gender. 

Sharma further added that advertisers and brands can be confident with YouTube Select as it is brand-safe and it gives the brands the control they need as to where and what shows their ad campaigns will be shown. 

Facebook content moderators will now be given a minimum of $1,000 for psychological harm. 

Facebook has agreed to pay $52 million to its current and former content moderators who are suffering from mental repercussions due to their job. As reported by The Verge, the settlement amount will be given to over 11,000 content moderators how have developed depression and other mental issues while on the job. 

The preliminary settlement filed in February of 2018 against Facebook as a class-action in SanMateo Superior Court. Facebook moderators have accused Facebook of not providing its workers with a safe work environment, instead, exposing them to mental harm. Moderators have claimed to have been diagnosed with psychological issues from regular exposure to violent content while working as content moderators. 

An employee told The Guardian, As a result of the first preliminary hearing last Friday, the company has acknowledged paying the damages that their job has done to American moderators including a provision of counseling while they work. 

Eligible moderators 

The moderators will receive a minimum fee of $1,000 and will get more if they are diagnosed with PTSD and related conditions. The additional compensation will range from $1,500 to $6,000. Facebook lawyers have said that almost half of all the 11,250 may be eligible to get the extra payment. Thee moderators will be from California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas from 2015 until now. 

Plaintiff, Steve Williams’, lawyer, told The Guardian that they are thrilled with the result of the lawsuits as its a relief for the workers who are suffering from real mental issues. 

Facebook aims to change its moderation process

Facebook will be renewing its moderation process and will now address the mental heal of the workers. They will be provided with access to a mental health professional, one-on-one coaching, therapy sessions, and turning the videos moderators see in black and white reduce the impact. Facebook will also have monthly group sessions for its moderators. 

Aside from that, the company will now screen applicants who are applying for moderator positions for emotional resiliency, educating moderators on how to report violations in Facebook’s workplace standards and others. 

The company is continuously aiming to develop a healthy working environment for its employees may they be moderators or not. In a statement, the company said that will provide support through this settlement now and in the future. 

Facebook intends to integrate Giphy to its family of apps including Facebook, Instagram, and others. 

Facebook announced that it’s buying Giphy, the GIf-making, and sharing website for $400 million. Vishal Shah, VP of Facebook Product wrote that Giphy will now be joining Facebook and Instagram’s team to create a more entertaining conversation among Facebook’s family of apps. Giphy is now one of the biggest sites on the web which enables users to create, share, and mix GIFs hassle-free. Giphy’s GIFs aren’t new to Facebook apps as the company has been using its API for years now. 

Image Credit: The Verge

Facebook said that 50% of Giphy’s traffic is from Facebook apps, half of which comes from Instagram. Giphy’s blog post, stated over 1 billion people are on Instagram. The company is keen on giving users another way to make their conversation livelier and more animated with GIFs. 

Easier conversations with Giphy GIFs

The talks for the partnership started before the pandemic began but was just formalized in the last few days. Shah added, Facebook is planning to invest in additional tech to develop Giphy. The goal of these updates to allow more relationships for content creators and developers. The acquisition will make it easier for users to look for the perfect GIFs for their conversations, stories, and DMs. Giphy was founded in 2013 with the single aim of making communication more entertaining and fun. 

Giphy x Facebook moving forward 

As part of the Instagram team, users will now be able to access Giphy’s massive library. Vishal Shah also said that not many changes would happen in the coming weeks. Users can continue uploading GIFs and the developers / API partners will still have access to Giphy’s API. 

What does this mean for you?

Brands go where people go, and brands do what people do. This statement sums up many advertising campaigns today. The advertising trends follow the style and the changes in trends of society. Brands should continue to utilize GIFs if they want to appeal to a younger audiences. Gifs are a welcoming way to strike up a casual conversation with your customers and eventually build strong business relationships with them. 

LinkedIn announced that it’s testing the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature last February. The feature is now live for its members. 

LinkedIn is the platform for B2B marketers and with over 90 million users who are senior-level influencers. It’s the place for networking, opening up opportunities, and looking for opportunities too. Pete Davies, head of Consumer Product at LinkedIn wrote in his post that LinkedIn Stories is a significant and exciting change for the platform. 

Since Snapchat created its Stories feature, other social media platforms followed suit. It has become one of Instagram’s feature set and now the main channel in its users’ daily experience. Within the year of its launch, Instagram has amassed 250 million active users. At the moment, there are over 500 million users using Instagram Stories on a daily basis. The effectiveness of the feature is expected to roll out in LinkedIn as well pretty soon. 

Image credit: Social Media Today

LinkedIn stories 

Similar to Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube’s, LinkedIn stories will also have a 24-hour format. As a new norm in social media platforms, LinkedIn’s goal is to let its users share at the moment instead of sticking to just posting posts in their permanent feeds. 

LinkedIn noted that this new generation uses Stories as a way of speaking, they are more comfortable in starting their conversations in a 24-hour format than poting their updates in feeds. They are more prone to sharing key experiences as moments than an item in their feed. For now, LinkedIn stories are not available for all its users. It hasn’t rolled out in the US but it’s not available in Netherland and Brazil. 

Other notes on LinkedIn stories are: 

  • It’s available on mobile yet 
  • Maximum length is 20-seconds
  • Live for 24 hours only
  • Stories can be shared via LinkedIn messages
  • Stories can be saved in frames 

What does this mean for you?

The stories feature is a new way for businesses and brands to keep their customers in the loop. It’s one great format to share key moments in the work, show the behind-the-scenes in product production, and others. Brands and businesses can also use to share tips and tricks to their audience, share day-to-day insights in the workplace, make live coverages of the vents, give your audience the highlights to the businesses. It’s a new approach to engage your customers in a more professional setting, it’s also a great way to network with other brands and create partnerships with them. 

The shift of viewing experience from mobile devices to TV screens has Youtube updating its tools and advertiser insights for its advertisers. 

More and more people are watching video content using their connected TVs as opposed to their mobile devices. Due to this shift, YouTube has updated its TV screen ad options to allow advertisers to adjust their ad strategies and campaigns accordingly. The platform has added several tools to help advertisers benefit from the rapid increase in TV screen streaming. 

Image Credits: Edgy Universe

TV screen streaming

According to a Comscore report, more than 70 million US households are now using their connected TV screen to consume video content. This shift is very much visible on YouTube and YouTube TV than on any other platform. In the same report, Comscore pointed out that YouTube has the most viewing hours and highest reach of all ad-supported streaming services with a jump of 80% year over year in March this year. 

Brands and advertisers are now in a good spot as they can keep their ads and keep them coming and expanding to accommodate the increase of viewership in the platform. 

Brand Lift for TV streaming

The feature will now be launched for YouTube TV  in the coming months, wrote Debbie Winstein, VP of GLobal Video & YouTube Solutions. Brand Lift is a solution that measures important metrics including brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration. 

Skippable ad formats 

Another thing coming to YouTubeTV this year is the skippable ads. These typically appear before or in the middle of the videos. These ads run for 5 seconds before the users have the chance to click skip. Advertisers will only pay if users let the ad play for 30 seconds or if they play it until the end. With skippable ads, the price depends on impressions along with Target CPM, Target CPA, and Maximize Conversions. 

What does this mean for you?

Brands and advertisers need to be one step ahead or at least be in on the trend and the changing attitude of their customers and potential customers. The change of viewing pattern has allowed brands to reach out to people on a wider scale. Using new tools and formats, brands will be able to gauge how they are going to adjust their ad budgets. Marketers will be able to make informed decisions on how to optimize their streaming campaigns in real-time. 

Shopify and Pinterest partner up to launch a new channel that will enable merchants to reach out to Pinterest’s over 350 million monthly users. 

The new app will make it easier for Shopify merchants to attract new customers and increase their revenue. Shopify explained, that Pinterest is rolling out a new Shopify channel. Over the past few months, more than 80% of Pinterest’s weekly pinners made purchases based on the liked pins. Simply put, the app allows Shopify to turn their client catalogs into shoppable ‘product pins’ that retailers or merchants can update their products’ prices, availability, and product descriptions. They can also upload their product catalogs and products on Pinterest. 

Shopify image
Image Credit: Shopify

Pinterest app features 

The app comes with several features including tag installations, automatic inventory updates, catalog ingestion, also an ads-buying interface. The app automatically makes the connection between the retailer and the Pinterest platform to make it easier for retailers to go right into editing and updating their catalogs. There’s no need for learning codes and adding development resources to connect their store to Pinterest. 

Retailers can immediately go into setting up their Pinterest right after downloading the app. They can start doing adding tags on their website and making changes. Retailers will see a shop tab in their profile to ensure product discovery. 

Pinterest pushes on to improve shopping in its platform 

This update can only stand to benefit the two platforms who have both worked recently to improve their platforms. Pinterest has been updating its platform since last year with the release of its Lens update, its AR, and its all-new shop feature for SMBs

What does this mean for you?

Pinterest reported an increased number of Pinners in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Which makes the time ripe for small businesses and merchants in Shopify to get their products on the platform. Pinterest further added that they are seeing more people who are engaged in shoppable products. The products are seeing about 44% year over year increase.

People coming into Pinterest don’t just browse products, they have the intent to plan and make purchases. Shopify merchants can take advantage of that as it helps them target customers who aren’t only looking for pretty things but looking for a good buy. Shopify merchants and retailers can download the app here. The Pinterest app is now available for retailers across the US and Canada. It will also be available for merchants from other countries including the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy in the coming weeks. 

Logged-in users are now seeing suggested search queries based on the users’ recent search activities. 

Google has just add suggested queries based on the users’ recent searches. The suggestion is a link that appears under the search bar, the suggestion is in bold and italicized. 
As tested out and reported by Search Engine Land, Google suggests is based on a blend of two searches. Google assumes your interest and your needs based on your previous search, it basically puts two things together and goes to suggest items or search queries from there. Users are brought to the search results of the suggested link once the users click on it. Only those logged in via their Google accounts are able to get search suggestions. 

Image Credit: SearchEngineLand

AndoidPolice, one of the first sites to point it out, said the feature is silently launching via a server-side update and there’s still not many accounts that are receiving the search suggestions. Additionally, this may also be a part of Google’s new UI/UX test to see how its users would engage in the new feature. As of now, the suggestions are still at its early stages and it’s not unsure whether this feature will be in for the long run or not. 

It will still depend upon the users’ reception and engagement before Google decides to keep it available for its users permanently or to remove it. 

What does this mean for you?

It is easier for users to find what they’re looking for using the suggestion bar. It may also influence the users in considering options that they didn’t originally think of. Other features similar to this one are the related searches and the people also ask box. Both of these features have been around for some time, however, the suggested link is far more prominent than both the aforementioned due to the placement of the link. Google hopes that this will improve site engagement. 

Google hasn’t yet commented on the other goals of the suggestion. This isn’t the first time for Google to make suggestions for its users. Just last year, Google started a personalized recommendation on the Google Shopping hub homepage. The recommendations are based on the users’ shopping and search histories.

Google is about to give its podcasters the analytics to see how well their content is performing. 

Google announced the new tool last Tuesday in hopes of providing podcast publishers with the data that they need to improve their shows. The Google Podcasts Manager will give the creators the data of their listeners that may be used to help podcasters sell ads, have an idea of what their listeners are mostly tuned and interested in, and it will help them structure their shows in a way that’s beneficial for their listeners. 

The data includes metrics of their shows, retention data, the length of time people stay to listen, and when they stop listening, and the total amount of time that people have listened to their audio casts. 

Neat dashboard 

The dashboard will have a management analytics tool for the producers. There’s a verification system to confirm if the podcast is already available in Google Podcasts. After the verification process, producers can check out how well their podcasts are doing, they can see it in totality or by episode. 

Image credits: Voiceboat.ai

Producers will also see the devices that people are using while listening to their shows. There will be a complete breakdown by percentage if they are listening via their phones, computer, smart speakers, or other listening devices they have. The data will supplement the producers’ knowledge on the listening behaviors of their audience and to change their strategy accordingly. 

Change of process 

It’s just recently that podcasters are able to depend on these platforms to cross-check their performances. This adds to their efficiency and production time. Previously, podcast producers had to do everything on their own to learn how their shows are perceived and received by their audience. They create their own surveys and compile the data in one interface. 

With podcast platforms doing the analytics, producers now have more time in their hands to focus on improving their content. 

What does this mean for you?

Podcasts are not new and have been used as a format in reaching out to audiences. However, the lack of analytics and inside data on listeners’ behaviors has made targeting difficult. It has kept advertisers at bay, this has also limited the publishers’ increase of revenue and ad inventory. 

Spotify has also released their own analytics features for their podcast creators early this year. Google followed suit with this new tool. The podcast industry is now growing and with the analytics tool made available for creators, this will open the way for ad revenue and another platform to be considered by advertisers and brands. 

Shopify is preparing its merchants for the future of retail with an all-new POS. 

Shopify released fully rebuilt and reimagined POS last Monday. This new point-of-sale is now available for all Shopify merchants across the globe. It is no longer news that small to medium-sized businesses have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Social distancing and stay at home protocols have forced many retailers to close down their stores and turn into online sales to keep their businesses afloat.

Online stores have seen a huge shake-up over the recent months. There’s the delivery, shipping, pick up services, and all of these affect the sales of the retailers. 

Source: News Shopify

Shopify’s new Point-of-Sales

This new system enables small to medium businesses to manage their businesses more efficiently and effectively using a single interface. This allows merchants to serve their customers online, offline, or in their physical stores in the future in a flexible way. 

According to Shopify, merchants that integrated their online and in-store sales via Shopify POS increased their revenue for about 30% year-over-year. These merchants used their online presence, pick-up in store, and local delivery to improve their revenue. Almost 26% of Shopify’s merchants are now using this new service. All offline and online sales, products, orders, and payments are now put into one interface. This allowed for more flexibility and ability to manage their inventory in real-time across various channels. 

Ian Black, Director of Retail at Shopify said that this is the company’s way of giving retailers every possible advantage that they need to thrive. Businesses need this POS to be ready and increase their growth when in-store consumers start to return.

What does this mean for you?

Every year, small to medium businesses face challenges that threaten their stability. Shopify’s new Point-of-Sales system makes it possible for merchants to deliver services online and improve their online presence.

This shift may be part of the changes in the future of retail. For merchants, being able to perform and adapt to online and offline operations is crucial.

In light of the new norm in the retail industry, Yelp is updating its features to support small and local businesses. 

Yelp announced new features on Monday which help businesses connect customers and keep them informed on day-to-day operations. In a recent survey by Brandify, it showed that Yelp still gets a massive presence in the digital marketing space. Survey results showed that 

Yelp comes next to Google with 64% of US consumers most likely turning into Yelp when looking for the perfect places to eat. These new features and changes will be helpful for businesses well into the pandemic and even after it as it connects their in-store and digital marketing practices to increase their revenues. 

Updated business platform 

Yelp’s reimagined control center is a platform for businesses. Designed to improve owner experience, the new user interface offers owners transparency and insight into their performance via the Yelp Business Page. It now has recommendation cards, content feed, tips, and faster loading and response team. The page will also show COVI-19 related content and prompts so that businesses will have enough information on how to communicate with their consumers. 

Each business page has personalized banners where they can share their brand messaging. Owners can update their banner and put relevant business information such as their hours of operation, their responses towards helping others from the pandemic, or where they may be able to find their stores across other platforms. 

Virtual service offerings 

The virtual service offerings will be shown on the business page and include virtual consultations, tours, shows, classes, and performances. Consumers will be able to search for your business and see the listed virtual offerings you have. Businesses that will vastly benefit from these features are yoga classes, tax services, tutoring sessions, therapy sessions, and more. These local businesses can keep operating and be available for people online. 

Users can use filters to make the search faster and easier. 

What does this mean for you?

Needless to say, retailers with in-store locations have depended on the foot traffic for their daily revenue. With that out of the picture, it is difficult for them to keep their business open. Having an avenue and opportunity to introduce their services online will be helpful for these retailers. People are now going digital and being able to provide their customers with virtual services will be beneficial in the long run.