Google announced that it’s rolling out manager accounts in the mobile app for a more efficient vide for users’ Google Ads accounts in one section. 

Image credit: Google Blog

Google Ads manager has been making life easier for marketers for a while now. With consumer behaviors and habits changing frequently, it can be difficult for brands and businesses to keep up. The changes have been keeping the marketers busier than ever but now with less time to manage their ads and accounts. Google aims to simplify and make the process more efficient by launching tools and automated solutions. Marketers will now be able to use the app in their mobile devices and see their manager accounts from there. 

The Google Ads mobile app

With the mobile app, marketers can now monitor campaigns in real-time. Aside from that, they can now apply the recommendations and improve their performances. The manager accounts allow users to manage all of their Google Accounts in one place.

Other tasks you can with the mobile app are as follows: 

  • See the campaigns, evaluate, and compare the performance of all their accounts. 
  • Use the push notifications to check all the accounts – anytime, anywhere. 
  • Discover trends and performance insights for all your accounts in the Overview section. 
  • Use the optimization score to improve campaign performance and prioritize the recommendations for your accounts. 

Recommendation page 

Marketers can get all the new trends and tips on how they can improve their campaigns from the Recommendation page. There’s also the optimization score to help marketers prioritize the recommendations for their accounts. The Recommendations page will also be available in Google Ads Editor in the coming months. 

Google will have upcoming changes in the portfolio bid strategies in the next weeks. You’ll be able to monitor and manage your portfolio bid across your accounts. Using a single portfolio, it’s going to be easier for you to drive performance from all your accounts. There will also be a bid strategy reports in the coming weeks. 

What does this mean for you?

Using the manager accounts, marketers now have an easier way to access and get top-level performance data from all their accounts via their mobile devices. The downside to this is for marketers to take extra caution as it will be tempting for them to just tao the apply all button from their recommendations. Marketers still have to evaluate their campaigns and strategies as every action will lead to consequences that will impact the performances of their accounts.

Instagram is giving more options for businesses and creators to earn money on the platform. 

Instagram announced the expansion of its shopping platform to include more businesses and creators. Creators and businesses can be eligible for the new changes by going over its Commerce Eligibility Requirements. It’s a guideline for interested businesses should adhere to if they want to start selling on Instagram. 

Instagram said that the platform is open to all who are looking forward to joining the foray of e-commerce. It’s open to artists, musicians, food blogger, and any other creator who want to sell their merchandise and other products to their customers. Instagram released this feature just in time for its rival, Google, as its also working on making its platform open to diverse sellers and giving its creators and SMBs more options to earn more revenue. Just recently, YouTube also allowed its creators to sell their merchandise in the platform where YouTube takes a small commission from it. 

Instagram further said that businesses must tag every single of their products on Instagram via a single website that they own and sell from. This will allow customers to have a trusted shopping experience. This also means that once businesses try Instagram Shopping, they can’t link their items to other platforms including Amazon. They can link them to other approved eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify. 

How does it work?

Instagram has updated its sign-up process to make the platform accessible for small businesses and creators. Users are notified once they’re done signing up and approved. There is also an updated onboarding process for existing businesses in the coming weeks. It will have instructions and guidelines that they can follow to make the transition. 

If you want to see the updated Commerce Eligibility Requirements, you can go to Instagram’s Help Center. The requirements will be effective starting July 9 in all markets supported by Instagram Shopping. 

What does this mean for you?

Even before the pandemic, eCommerce has been one of the biggest revenue streams of many businesses. It’s been easier to reach more customers and make a much wider customer base online. eCommerce is also Instagram’s focus as it brings small businesses and creators into the platform. With millions of users, it’s a reasonable platform for small businesses and creators to dive into. It gives them a space to put their products and reach out to their consumers and potential customers in a more personal and direct way. 

Snap announced the coming features for its AR platform and other updates for its developers. 

Snapchat released updates and features for its platform in the recent Snap Partner Summit 2020 last June 11. In the same event, it was revealed there will be new originals coming into the app from a number of companies announced their renewals including ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, and Disney. The shows will then be incorporated into the app’s AR technology. Head of Snap, Sean Mills said that the AR update is expected to become a massive hit for its users.

Image credit: DigiDay

Snapchat is the biggest social media that heavily uses augmented reality today. In an estimate, more than 170 million users use AR on the platform on a regular basis. That number encouraged snap to further their AR technology. 

New Snap updates 

The new update coming to Snap’s AR is called Scan. with Scan, users automatically get relevant AR lenses. Users can also search and select the AR lenses of their choice via the Explore Tab or the voice-based commands. Users can expect a set of new types of lenses in the days to come. There is also the Discover platform where shows for its users from Disney, ESPN, and other partner companies will be placed.

The Happening Now will be a news section. Its content will come from news sites including Reuters, NBC News, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, and more. Snapchat now has a new action bar that automatically changes depending on the interest of the users. 

Snap keeps growing

The platform is among the fastest-growing social media platform. Without including the AR platform and the number of users it attracts, Snap is already amassing millions of unique users with over 10 million for the first quarter in 2020. The partnership with other companies for shows vastly increased Snap’s recent earnings. 

Snap’s spokesperson said that the non-skippable ads now run within its shows and advertisers can have their slots only if they buy Snap commercials. The increasing number of shows coming to Snap also means more content for which advertisers can put their campaign ads. 

Some of the updates revealed in the Snap Partner Summit are already available for both Android and iOS users. The original contents, however, are expected in the coming weeks, says Snapchat. 

Shopify launched its Shop app last Tuesday to connect consumers to small and local businesses. 

Shopify just powered up over a million online stores by launching a consumer shopping app for its consumers and business partners. Shop is an updated and a revamped version of Shopify’s Arrive, which was a tracking packages app for Shopify merchants and retailers. 

SOURCE Shopify

Arrive is a package tracking tool that organizes all the consumers’ shopping shipments in a single place for an efficient status update. The app is a map-based location tracker so that users know where their packages are at a certain time. It’s worth noting that Arrive now reached 16 million downloads. 

The Shop App 

As for it’s rebranded app, Shop will have the same capabilities as Arrive, but this new app allows buyers to browse for recommended items and products. Then users can click to learn about products before they make their purchase. Another interesting feature is that users must mark their favorite items and stores to get a customized feed, recommendations, deals, and the most popular products. 

Though the apps crucial feature is the shops near you tab. The tab displays Shopify merchants with physical stores that are closest to your last delivery. Shoppers can follow these retailers within their app and order from their Shopify listing directly. In simplest terms, the app is a combination of Shop Pay and Arrive. Shoppers can purchase items via one-click checkout and then track their orders online. Shop Pay ensures a smooth payment transaction for all the brands listed in the app. 

Other features include:

  • location filters
  • Information regarding shipping, pickup, returns, and order tracking
  • Customized Recommendations

What does this mean for you?

Small businesses and retailers may not have the capabilities to entertain shoppers’ orders. They also don’t have the power to create their own apps. This app supports smaller retailers and local businesses. Shopify is an Amazon competitor and with this app, there’s potential for Shopify and it’s retailers to reach a larger audience.

The Shop app gives small businesses the enterprise-class capabilities that they didn’t have before. It also acts as the bridge that connects e-commerce with that of brick-mortar retailers. With this app, local stores now have a way to enter into the e-commerce stage as more and more consumers are leaning into online shopping. 

Quibi is the newest platform to enter into the streaming wars. 

Quibi was launched last week and reportedly had over 300,000 downloads in Canada and in the U.S. The cost of the app depends on whether you pick a subscription with ads or without ads. Users who want to have a full experience without ad disruptions will pay $7.99/month while others who are fine with ads will pay $4.99/month. 

What is Quibi? 

Quibi is a mobile-specific streaming platform founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. Quibi is a shortened term for quick bites, and unlike other streaming platforms, Quibi has bite-sized content that only runs for 10 minutes or less. Quibi will have shortened versions of movies, documentaries, and news programs. In its launch, the platform started with just 50 shows but users can expect added content in the weeks and months to come. Accordingly, the company intends to put over 8,500 episodes of various content before the year ends. 

Source: The Verge 

Launching a Mobile-specific streaming app

One fact that makes the service different is that app is only available on mobile devices. Users can’t link it to their TV. Users can’t also access the app through the web, Chromecast, and AirPlay. Though the app has a feature called Turnstyle which automatically turns your video into portrait and landscape mode. There are different angles in the shot too to accommodate the change of presentation mode.

However, one particular glitch that would prevent the app from competing against bigger streaming platforms is the users’ inability to do screenshots of the shows they’re currently watching. When users try to do a screen capture on their phones, it will only show as a black screen. 

Other streaming service apps including Netflix capitalize on user-generated content to increase its popularity. Memes are used to boost some of the show’s popularity and to promote its original programs through various social media platforms. Discussion and engagement of users often start with a series of memes like the docuseries The Tiger King. 

Targeting Gen-Z users 

Quibi’s content is geared to the Gen-Z users which covers a multitude of subjects like lifestyle, culture, and more. The app is now available for Android and iOS. 

What does this mean for you? 

The app allows advertising in its platform which is something not offered in Netflix and other streaming services. Seeing as how people are now glued to their mobile devices and TVs, advertising in streaming platforms is a good strategy for boosting a brand image. 

With a cheaper subscription fee, Gen-Z users may opt for the plan with in-ads option thus giving you the window to put your video ad campaigns on the platform. 

To the dismay of Insta users, the chronological feed hasn’t been available for some time, but here’s hope for a return to form.

Instagram’s reverse-chronological feed has been gone for years and users have been vocal about its absence. With the possibility of a Latest Posts feature coming to Instagram. Users could soon be able to enjoy the app with classic functionality. The feature is a pop-up that appears on the users’ main feed. Once tapped, users are brought to a special area where the newest content from the people they follow are could be seen. 

Jane Manchun Wong discovered the prototype and tweeted about the feature in her Twitter account.

Facebook-owned Instagram didn’t comment on the said feature. However, the photo-sharing app has already confirmed the existence of Wong’s findings via a reply tweet. According to Instagram, the feature was from a recent hackathon which is a Facebook tradition.

In a reply to the tweet, Facebook EMEA communications manager, Alexandru Voica explained that the feature isn’t out for public use yet and Instagram has no plans of launching it at this time. 

Changes in Instagram’s feed

Instagram has explored many ways of presenting content to its users. In 2016, the company veered away from the reverse-chronological feed. Instead, Instagram opted for the automated that feed we’re now accustomed to. The content is now based on who and what users interact with. The switch to an algorithmic feed increased the engagement.

As of March 22, 2018, Instagram posted a blog explaining it is giving the users more control over their feed and see to it that they are seeing relevant and timely posts. The decision was due to the feedback from the users on the usage of the feedback algorithm. 

What does this mean for you? 

Instagram is a great platform for marketers and brands to increase their brand awareness and further expand their reach. Instagram works well for brands and other entrepreneurs when you create a cohesive Instagram feed. Users’ feed must be logical including its visual concept, captions, and hashtags. 

Posts on Instagram could reach a wider audience using the new feature if it goes live. Your posts will be visible according to the latest posts. Your new products will be seen by your target audience and will not be run over by older posts in their feeds. 

Spotify Acquires Ringer to Further its Podcast Lineup

Spotify has announced a new acquisition. The Ringer has over 30 podcasts in its network. With the addition of Ringer, Spotify is expecting to increase its number of users and explore investments in other podcast businesses.

Bill Simmons is a writer, entrepreneur, podcaster, and founded The Ringer in 2016. Simmons started the company when he left ESPN. While The Ringer was originally a digital platform, it eventually became a podcast platform that now houses more than 30 podcasts with 100 million downloads per month.

Some of the podcasts in the platform include The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Rewatchables, The Ryen Russillo Podcast, and more. Simmons said now that the site is profitable it will only grow with Spotify’s backing.

Podcasting Industry

The Ringer has capitalized on a preexisting audience. ESPN draws in a partial viewership through commentary shows. It only makes sense that, Simmons who came from a background at ESPN, created a platform with a similar format. Spotify now has over 700,000 podcasts and has grown 200% from the last quarter.

Danielle Lee Spotify’s global VP for Partner Solutions stated that acquiring The Ringer was part of their plan to expand their reach in the podcast space. This started with last year’s acquisition of Gimlet Media and Anchor for $340 million and Parcast for $55 million. They are now in the process of doubling their audio offerings and furthering their business beyond music. Part of their plan is to become the world’s leading audio platform for audio streaming.

The next ESPN

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek explained in a report last Wednesday that The Ringer is the updated ESPN. This new purchase will prove to be a valuable property for Spotify as it tries to venture into the development of sports audio content for the next decade. People who are into sports will be tuning into Spotify for their next dose of sports news and commentaries.

Ek is hoping for a healthy relationship with the new management for all their staff members. This acquisition has been in the rumor mill for weeks and has now been closed.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp reached another milestone by reaching over 2 billion users worldwide. 

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, it was by far the largest buy-out that Facebook ever had. Facebook has 2.5 billion users. Instagram has more than 1 billion. Facebook surely is on a roll. The app is easy to use, reliable, and private and because of this WhatsApp’s now has 2 billion users.

WhatsApp capitalizes on end-to-end encryption 

In terms of the number of users and its system, WhatsApp is the messaging app to beat. Famous for enabling people from around the globe to connect to their families, loved ones, employees, and more. It allows for personal and face-to-face communication with people who are from great distances. 

While there are other messaging apps available, an appeal to WhatsApp is its end-to-end encryption. This acts like a secure digital lock that ensures your messages and attachments sent over WhatsApp are safe from hacking and other cybercrimes. Users are assured that the messages sent using WhatsApp stay between the sender and the recipient. Not even the creators of the app have access to the messages and calls.

With privacy being such an issue, lawmakers are imposing the importance of digital security.

The call to remove encryption 

WhatsApp’s tagline is to promote security using encryption. Though many are against the idea and want to exploit the said system. The Indian government is trying to create regulations that would give them access to the encrypted messages in the app. The same is true for Australia and the UK.

Citing reasons that subjects relating to sex trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism, and others can be hidden via encrypted means. Many lawmakers are strongly suggesting for encryption to be taken down. 

WhatsApp, on the other hand, is adamant in its position on its end-to-end encryption. Facebook, wrote a response explaining that giving the backdoor access could create more issues. Opening that door would give criminals and hackers the chance to enter the system and exploit peoples’ privacy who are using the platform. 

What does this mean for you?

Just recently, WhatsApp recently launched a new feature that allows brands and businesses to create product catalogs in their WhatsApp profiles. Having more users would mean that brands now have over 2 billion people to market to and target. Depending on what your target audience is, WhatsApp is a great platform to increase brand awareness and increase revenue.

What started as a partnership Over and GoDaddy, that turned into an acquisition

GoDaddy Inc helps startup entrepreneurs with their social media presence. Just recently, it announced its acquisition of the company Over. Over is an app that helps entrepreneurs in creating visual content for social media platforms. 

What does it do?

Over enables users to make content through their mobile devices and post the content across social platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and more. The content can also be used for websites and email marketing campaigns. The app has several features, templates, and layout for customizations to catch peoples’ attention.

With more than a million users and of the many users, there are Over 22,000 active projects every day. The app is being used in more than 150 countries worldwide and has earned a Net Promoter Score of 80. Apple awarded the app as the Best of 2019 App Trend of the Year. 

Collaboration led to an acquisition 

Justin Tsai, GoDaddy’s Vice-President of Growth and Product said, “Over’s capabilities really target those set of people, who may have an Instagram profile where they need to post visually engaging content but have never gone to GoDaddy.” Using Over’s capabilities, businesses can target specific people with profiles across channels. 

What began as a collaboration between Over and GoDaddy, turned into an acquisition. The combined efforts of both companies beneficial look to be mutually beneficial. 

Over will improve GoDaddy’s aim of helping entrepreneurs with their online presence by increasing their engagement with their customers and potential clients. 

What does this mean for you?

Many startup businesses don’t have the budget to hire creative directors for their company. While others have the skills for it, many are still struggling with how to create visual content for their products and campaigns. 

Free apps and tools like Canva are great but having different tools in your arsenal can always help. Using Over, startups don’t need to worry about their visual content and how they can improve their online presence. Entrepreneurs can use Over to build their business while also attracting potential customers using engaging content. 

Businesses can make websites via GoDaddy and then use Over to make the content for their sites. Brands now have better chances in making and competing against companies that have their designers and content creators.

The new ‘Story’ format allows influencers to introduce video snippets of songs and albums to their followers.

Spotify introduces the Story feature to its music streaming platform for influencers. The new feature allows influencers to integrate video components into their public playlist. Like other Story features on other social media platforms, Spotify’s story will also feature short video clips that users can tap to see the next video. 

The new feature isn’t available for all users yet, and there is currently only a select number of influencers who are part of the test. The basis of selection isn’t disclosed but it’s assumed that the number of followers, the amount of user activity in the platform, and the users’ engagement with his/her followers. 

Among the influencers tapped by Spotify to participate in the test is the fashion star and YouTuber Summer Mckeen. She currently has 2.33 million subscribers on YouTube, 2.1 million followers on Instagram, and 126, 455 followers on Spotify. She’s been using the new feature to introduce her favorite songs and playlists to her followers. 

Spotify is using what they know and using songs to elevate its style amongst competitors. This new addition to the platform isn’t created solely for product promotion and related purposes. The new story feature is for discovery and to let influencers get out the word and share their favorite music with their followers. 

What’s in it for marketers?

Spotify’s new ‘Story’ feature has the potential to be even more powerful due to its ability to be shared across platforms. This cross-platform integration strengthens its service to more apps. It also gives creators the opportunity to reach more customers within their community.

McKeen uses the same strategy as she promotes the playlist across another platform such as Instagram, reaching millions of people in just one click. Spotify is searching for more influencers in the lifestyle and entertainment field at present.

The new feature is now available for iOS and Android devices. It’s still not available for Spotify desktop/PC. The new feature is currently in the testing phase but Spotify considers to launch it on a wider scale in the future.

Spotify tried a similar format last year with Storyline. It worked akin to Behind the Lyrics option where artists could share their experiences, inspirations, insights, and thoughts while making their songs. 

The feature is still available today but only on select songs. This update is a good way for artists to engage with their followers more and to give the listeners a sneak peek of the song process. Similar to video streaming, the playing field for music is crowded. Spotify is setting itself apart from other music streaming services by adding more social interaction features.