Twitter adds emoji reactions to direct messages, Instagram is following in Twitter’s footsteps and has been spotted testing emoji reactions for DMs too, a new removals tool in GSC, Google will be decluttering the first results page, all Google Ads campaigns will be automatically switched to Standard delivery method and Microsoft ‘forcing’ Bing on Chrome users.
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov
In this article, we’ll cover the following recent digital marketing news:
- Twitter launches emoji reactions for direct messages
- Facebook-owned app Instagram follows in Twitter’s footsteps with emoji reactions
- Google launches a new removal tool in Google Search Console
- De-duplicating featured snippets on the first Google search results page
- All Google Ad campaigns will now be using an improved Standard delivery method
- Sneaky Microsoft plans to switch Chrome searches from Google to Bing
Ready to dive in into the digital marketing news?
Social Media News
Twitter Adds Emoji Reactions For Direct Messages
Twitter announced the launch of its new Reaction-like option in direct messages. The feature allows users to allocate a quick emoji response to any message within a thread.
Say more with new emoji reactions for Direct Messages!
To add a reaction, click the ❤️➕ icon that appears when you hover over the message on web or double tap the message on mobile and select an emoji from the pop-up.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) January 22, 2020
As explained by Twitter, “it’s quick and easy to add an emoji reaction to a Direct Message – both text and media attachments. To add a reaction, hover over the message and click the reaction button (heart and plus icon), or double-tap on the message and pick an emoji from the pop-up. You can undo a reaction at any time and it will be removed from the message for all participants. Click or tap on a reaction in a conversation to view who reacted to the message. Additionally, all conversation participants will receive a notification any time a new reaction is added to a message.“
Given that this option has been available on other messaging platforms, it makes sense that Twitter up their game and tapping into common messaging behaviour in order to promote increased engagement.
Instagram Is Following In Twitter’s Footsteps With Emoji Reactions
Now that Twitter’s done it, Facebook-owned app Instagram decided not to be left out. Instagram had been spotted testing out their own emoji reactions for direct messages.
Instagram is working on Reactions for Direct Messages
Currently, “non-employees can only see the ❤️ reaction” Facebook’s Tech Comms Manager @alexvoica confirmed this unreleased feature and this is “something they’ve been testing for a few days” pic.twitter.com/EzVWfA6Doo — Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) January 30, 2020
Considering Facebook’s broader vision of a fully integrated messaging back end, and the fact it had the option available in Messenger since 2017, it makes sense the company is facilitating the same functionality on each of its messaging platforms.
In terms of potential brand use, the functionality seems somewhat limited. However, according to recent research, consumers respond positively to emoji use for brands.
Search Engine and SEO News
New Removals Report In Google Search Console (GSC)
Google announced the launch of a new removals tool within GSC.
📣 We’re launching a new version of the Removals report in Search Console to help webmasters temporarily hide pages from Google Search results. Read more at https://t.co/RiMKhvo7uX pic.twitter.com/ygqWsqP1dK
— Google Webmasters (@googlewmc) January 28, 2020
The tool does three things:
1) allows users to temporarily hide URLs from showing in Google search.
2) shows which content is not in Google because it is “outdated”.
3) shows which URLs were filtered by the SafeSearch adult filter.
Temporarily remove URLs. This feature was in the old Search Console but has been made more prominent in the new version. Temporarily removals do not actually delete your URL from Google’s index. Instead, the URL is just hidden from showing up in the search results for about six months. Be advised that you’ll still need to permanently block the URL in the future – such as using a 404, robots.txt or another method to block the URL.
Users will have two types of removal available –
a) temporary remove URL will hide the URL from Google Search results for about six months and clear the cached copy of the page; and
b) clear cache URL which clears the cached page and wipes out the page description snippet in search results until the page is crawled again.
Outdated content. The outdated content section provides information on removal requests made through the public Remove Outdated Content tool, which can be used by anyone to update search results showing information that is no longer present on a page. You can see a history of all requests to update or remove outdated search results for your site.
SafeSearch filtering. This section shows users what content was reported as adult. Google users can report specific URLs as adult-only to Google using the SafeSearch suggestion tool.
Google Is ‘Decluttering’ The First Results Page
Google’s public search liaison, Danny Sullivan, announced that pages who earned a featured snippet will no longer repeat as a regular listing on the first page of the search results.
If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat the listing in the search results. This declutters the results & helps users locate relevant information more easily. Featured snippets count as one of the ten web page listings we show.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 22, 2020
The corresponding regular listing may or may not appear as the first results on the second search results page. Featured snippets will also be counted amongst the ten organic listings shown.
Why should we care? For featured snippet owners, this change means that their URLs will only appear once on the first page of the search results – instead of twice. However, for those that don’t own the featured snippet, it means that their competitor (that does own it) will no longer appear twice either. Since it’s now possible to earn a featured snippet whilst appearing on the second page of the search results page, SEOs should keep an eye on their traffic; as well as, the tracking tools in order to see how their positions adjust to this change.
PPC and Ads News
All Google Ads Campaigns Will Be Using Standard Delivery
Google Ads began migrating campaigns from accelerated delivery to standard delivery in October 2019, starting with Search and Shopping campaigns.
With that being said, Google Ads is making standard delivery the only ad delivery method for all campaigns, including Display, Video, App, and Hotel campaigns. Starting in April 2020, accelerated delivery will no longer be available as an ad delivery method for any new Display, Video, App, and Hotel campaigns. All existing Display, Video, App and Hotel campaigns using accelerated delivery will be automatically switched to standard delivery starting May 2020.
Why should we care? This change is expected to make standard delivery more effective as an ad delivery method when it comes to maximising performance within a daily budget. Advertisers can have even greater control over how their ads are delivered throughout the day by using ad scheduling. With ad scheduling, they can set their bids higher or lower during specific times of the day.
Digital Marketing News
Microsoft quietly announced that it will change the default search engine of Google’s Chrome to Bing – Microsoft’s own search service – on personal computers running Office 365 ProPlus.
The ‘swap’ of search defaults within Chrome will begin next month and wrap up in July 2020. However, the timing depends on when corporate IT administrators have scheduled Office 365 ProPlus upgrades.
Both new installations and existing installations will be affected by the change as they’re automatically updated. It takes place beginning with Version 2002 of Office 365 Pro Plus. If your default search engine is already Bing, Office365 will not install the extension. Users who don’t enjoy the whimsical unrequested change to their defaults can opt-out or the extension itself can be removed, either manually or programmatically.
This new policy only takes place in specific geographic areas, as determined by a user’s IP address. If you aren’t in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the UK, or the United States, you should be safe. For now, at least. And assuming you don’t take your laptop on holiday or work-related travel to one of those countries during a time an Office update rolls out.
Microsoft says it may add new locations over time but will notify administrators through the Microsoft 365 admin centre if and when it does.
It comes as no surprise that initial feedback was almost universally negative. Users really don’t like Microsoft’s sneaky plans. Some users even asked if the company is “out of their mind”. Another user posted – “browser hijacking like in the 90s. Are you nuts?” Others used phrases like “insanely stupid,” “keep smoking that good stuff, Microsoft,” and “sick joke” in their comments.
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