“The right email marketing vendor can make the difference between success and frustration.” – Jordie van Rijn
Our digital marketing news roundup delivers the most essential updates and news straight to your inbox.
In this digital marketing news roundup, we cover a well-known e-commerce company cutting ties with MailChimp over data security concerns, AMP for Gmail, what is the one-click unsubscribe standard, Facebook’s failure to ensure security and privacy, Instagram and Twitter introducing new features, what’s new with GSC, new browser and search engine options for Android, welcoming Google Ads Editor v 1.0 and LinkedIn’s three new targeting features.
Who’s urging people to delete Facebook and why?
In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:
- Email: Shopify killing its integration with MailChimp and which email clients support one-click unsubscribe.
- Social Media: Facebook storing hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text and Instagram’s new in-app checkout feature.
- Search Engines: Google Search Console (GSC) retiring another set of reports and a new search engine on the horizon.
- PPC and Ads: changes to Google Ads Editor and improvements to Bing Ads Editor.
- Other stuff: IFTTT dropping support for Gmail and WhatsApp’s founder urging people to delete Facebook.
Let’s dig in into this month’s digital marketing news, shall we?
“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.” – David Newman
Shopify has killed its integration with MailChimp over concerns regarding data security. The company has asked Shopify to leave the integration in place for existing connected users through May 12, “when the data sharing provisions of Shopify’s new terms take effect.” However, it seems the two firms are going back and forth blaming each other.
MailChimp states they’ve been trying for months to work with Shopify on terms that would be equitable for both businesses and refuse to agree to Shopify’s terms that could potentially jeopardise MailChimp’s user’s privacy. Shopify counters that “over the past 18 months they’ve had growing concerns about MailChimp’s app due to the poor merchant experience and MailChimp refusal to respect Shopify’s Partner Program Agreement.” It’s been a “she said, he said” battle over and over, but the only clear thing in this spat is that customer data is the key asset. Though, which company is trying more fiercely to protect it? Remember the multiple MailChimp breaches earlier this year?
One year after Google announced it would begin supporting AMP (accelerated mobile pages) in Gmail, the company is now raising the stakes and releasing a beta to the general G Suite audience.
AMP for Gmail is designed to make emails feel more like an interactive webpage without punting users to a browser. Users can now browse image carousels, RSVP to an event or fill out a form without leaving their inbox. Google calls these ‘dynamic emails’. Initially, support will be available only on the web, but the company has also stated it plans to offer it on mobile as well. You can read more on the topic here.
Verizon Media announced that Yahoo! Mail, AOL and Verizon now support one-click unsubscribe, also known as RFC8058. The one-click unsubscribe standard was previously available only in AOL Mail, but it’s now supported by all email clients part of the Verizon Media brand umbrella. According to RFC8058, one-click unsubscribe is an integration of the link-based list-unsubscribe. Why another standard though? You can find out here.
“Social networks aren’t about websites. They’re about experiences.” – Mike DiLorenzo
After all the scandals surrounding the social media giant, one might think they’ll lay low for a bit and try to avoid the spotlight. No such luck.
According to Mashable, hundreds of millions of Facebook users’ passwords were stored in plain text completely searchable by 20,000 (!!!) Facebook employees for years. Some users had their passwords stored in plain text from 2012, according to a senior Facebook source who had a chat with KrebsOnSecurity. The anonymous source states that somewhere between 200 million and 600 million users were affected; and, more than 20,000 employees would have had access to said plain text passwords – 4m4zing.
Moreover, shortly after KrebsOnSecurity published the story, Facebook published its own statement trying to cover its mistakes. Facebook’s VP of Engineering, Security and Privacy – Pedro Canahuati – stated that the company first discovered the issue during “a routine security review in January”. Eh, with all the data breaches and scandals, one might wonder why Facebook isn’t doing these routine security checks more often – 7 years to find a security flaw that may net the ICO 4% of FB’s global turnover.
Instagram is rolling out an in-app checkout feature – for a limited number of brands – which will make it possible for users to purchase products without having to leave the app. The limited launch has been extended to 23 brands, but the company also mentioned it’ll be making the feature available to more brands over the coming months.
With the launch of this feature, Instagram is closing the loop on its e-commerce ambitions in making shopping in-app more friendly and also making it possible for advertisers to dramatically shorten the user’s shopping journey.
Jane Manchun Wong has discovered, or should we say uncovered, a feature Twitter’s been working on which will allow users to follow specific threads without having to engage with a conversation directly. Wondering what the feature is? It’s a ‘subscribe to conversation’ button.
Twitter’s Comms Team was quick to get ahead of the news by confirming that the feature is part of their attempts to make Twitter more conversational. The feature is on its way, but no timeframe was given regarding the eventual launch.
Do you remember, way back in February, when Twitter revoked access for a range of third-party tweet management programs? Well, it seems changes are afoot. The platform announced a new review of its API usage regulations, which could see another raft of Twitter tools lose functionality. To find out what’s going to change and, potentially, how much it might cost you click here.
If you are one of the few people who used Google+, we’ve got some news for you.
As we’ve been told, Google+ will be shut down in a matter of weeks. However, its archive of public posts may live on indefinitely. How? Internet Archive recently announced their plans to save public Google+ content at the Wayback Machine. Actually, the archiving has already begun. So, if you’re feeling sad to see Google+ go at least there’s a small consolation in knowing that most of its history will be saved.
“SEM and SEO are critically important to online businesses. You can spend every penny you have on a website, but it’ll be for nothing if nobody knows your site is there.” – Marc Ostrofsky
Google Search Console
Google announced they’ve pushed an update to GSC’s Sitemaps report and it will support the following new actions:
- Opening the sitemap content in a new tab;
- Deleting sitemaps;
- Reviewing granular details for sitemaps with errors; and
- Presenting RSS and Atom feed sitemaps.
Why does it matter? Google’s proving that it’s continuing to port old features from the old GSC to the new one. And, with this, SEOs, webmasters, developers and site owners will have more control over their XML Sitemap files.
Also, it seems Google is retiring yet another set of reports from the old GSC. There was no mention of which reports specifically were about to be dropped; but, more information about the new Search Console can be found here.
According to our friends at Mashable, Google announced that Android users in the EU will soon be offered a choice of browsers and alternative search engines on their devices. Is this a benevolent gesture though?
We think not. The announcement in itself is unsurprising, given the fact the European Commission (EC) slapped Google with a record €4.34 billion fine in July 2018 for breaching EU antitrust rules by stifling browser and search engine competition in the EU.
In a blog post, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs said the company will do “more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browser and search engines available to download to their phones.” Specifically, owners of both existing and new Android devices will be asked which browser and search apps they’d like (or want) to use.
Ahrefs CEO Dmitry Gerasimenko announced the company’s plan of creating a search engine that supports content creators, protects users privacy and… competes with Google. Is this even possible?
This announcement gives voices to many long-simmering complaints about Google. However, whether this search engine lifts off remains to be seen. No release date has been given as the scale of this project is huge. It’s almost the online equivalent of going to the Moon. If you are interested in learning more about it click here.
PPC AND ADVERTISING
“A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” – David Ogilvy
After renaming and redesigning AdWords – know as Google Ads – the company decided it’s time to do the same with the Editor. The desktop tool for managing and drafting campaign changes now has a new look, new layout, new features, new capabilities and, also, a new name. Goodbye, AdWords Editor. Hello, Google Ads Editor. You can find out more about Google Ads Editor v 1.0 here.
As part of a continuous effort to make importing campaigns from Google Ads easier and more effective for advertisers, Bing Ads has made the following improvements in the Bing Ads Editor:
- Better mapping of campaigns with Google Ads to make imports more reliable;
- Same import and scheduling options as Bing Ads online;
- Direct import of campaigns to the Bing Ads server to save time so advertisers don’t have to review everything locally.
These time-saving measure will make it easier for advertisers to get campaigns up, running and updated on Bing Ads.
According to LinkedIn, one of the hardest parts of advertising is reaching the right people. Hence, the company is introducing three new ways to help advertisers easily target more of the right audiences from LinkedIn’s network of 610 million professionals. The three new updates are: 1) a lookalike audiences targeting feature; 2) interest targeting that leverages Bing search data; and 3) more than 20 B2B audience templates.
The company states it’s been testing these new features over the last few months and that they’ll be available to all advertisers over the next few weeks.
OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera
IFTTT (If This Then That), a popular automation service, is dropping some of its support for Gmail. Why? According to 9to5Google, certain third-party apps will no longer be able to connect to your email account for automation purposes. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and it’s purportedly aimed at protecting user data.
End of support means that users will no longer have the ability to leverage IFTTT in Gmail to automatically manage calendars, auto-save attachments or create reminders. More specifically, IFTTT is removing all Gmail triggers and the ‘create a draft’ ability. Actions for ‘send an email’ and ‘send yourself an email’ will remain in place.
Google has been hit with a new antitrust fine from the European Union totalling £1.28 billion.
Why? EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the tech giant has “abused its dominant position by forcing customers of its AdSense business to sign contracts stating they would not accept advertising from rival search engines.” This fine is the third major penalty the EU has levied against the tech giant in as many years and closes its last open probe of the firm.
In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp from Brian Acton for the small amount of $19 billion; and in 2017, Acton left over disagreements concerning Facebook’s way of running promotional ads. Since then, Acton has been openly expressing his dislike of Facebook following the Cambridge Analytics scandal and even reaching as far as promoting #deletefacebook.
‘Till this day, Acton stands firmly behind his decisions and opinions. Why are we so certain? Simple. He appeared as a speaker at a class at Stanford University where he shed light on his decision to sell, why he left and he didn’t neglect to criticise the drive to prioritise monetisation over user privacy. He even reached as far as urging students to delete Facebook. And this is also not the first time he’s done so. According to our friends at The Verge, he said the same thing last year after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Let us know what digital marketing news topics and areas you would like us to look out for in the future. Write your requests below, we’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.
In the meantime, you can also take a look at our email marketing blog for more digital marketing news, social media marketing, business growth tips and tricks plus, of course, all things email marketing.