Facebook Sets Its Sights on Washington, D.C.
Facebook is on a hiring spree in the nation’s capital and it appears to be directly geared to fighting off privacy legislation, and possible fines and antitrust actions against the company. Facebook is hiring Beltway insiders with deep knowledge of and influence within the nation’s capital.
Among the many people recently hired by the social media giant are Joshua Althouse, who was outreach director for former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, former Senator Gary Peters and Melinda Claybaugh, former member of the Federal Trade Commission. With regulatory and privacy concerns getting a larger focus in D.C., the new hires appear to be focused on combatting or minimizing their effectiveness.
Gizmodo has even more details on the people Facebook is hiring and comments from experts who are concerned about it. For more details read the article (https://gizmodo.com/facebooks-most-intriguing-new-hires-arent-in-silicon-va-1832532627). Facebook did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comments.
For more information on the record-setting, multi-billion dollar fine Facebook is reportedly negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission, The Washington Post has a good breakdown. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/02/14/us-government-facebook-are-negotiating-record-multi-billion-dollar-fine-companys-privacy-lapses/ )
Google Testing Ads in Assistant
According to a tweet posted by Gennaro Cuofano it appears Google is testing ad delivery within Google Assistant results. Cuofano performed the search on an Android phone. According to the screenshot he posted, (https://twitter.com/fourweekmba/status/1095623764350562304) organic results appear below the fold.
While ads in Assistant are probably inevitable, they also raise some questions for marketers. For example, Assistant cannibalize traditional search results, and it seems unlikely that Google would place multiple ads in Assistant results. That could drive up the cost of CTRs.
Twitter Changes Metrics as Users Decline
In its latest performance report, (https://s22.q4cdn.com/826641620/files/doc_financials/2018/q4/Q4-2018-Slide-Presentation.pdf) Twitter reported another decline in total users, which is it attributing to its efforts to remove spammers and fake accounts. While that is a good thing, Twitter seems to have decided that a change of metrics is warranted.
Twitter will stop reporting monthly active users and instead report Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAU or Monetizable DAU), which it’s defining as “Monetizable DAU are Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through twitter.com or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads. Our mDAU are not comparable to current disclosures from other companies, many of whom share a more expansive metric that includes people who are not seeing ads. We considered changing our disclosure to be comparable to other companies, but our goal was not to disclose the largest daily active user number we could. We want to align our external stakeholders around one metric that reflects our goal of delivering value to people on Twitter every day and monetizing that usage.”
After the announcement, Twitter shares went down 6%, though it’s hard to determine if the drop was due to the metric change or because its revenue projections were lower than Wall Street’s estimates or, more likely, a mix of both.
Amazon Launches a Marketing Loyalty Program
The mega-retailer announced Amazon Moments, a self-service loyalty program for marketers that offers both digital and physical rewards that are fulfilled by the online shopping giant. Rolling out to more than 100 countries, Moments is a cross-platform feature, also available on iOS and Android. It’s the company’s attempt to earn more brand dollars by providing an easy solution for companies while tying them to Amazon’s e-commerce platform. Amazon has been testing Moments through collaborations with Sony’s Crackle, the teen app TikTok and the TV network Bravo. The dedicated Amazon Moments console can be found at: https://developer.amazon.com/moments
Facebook adding household income targeting based on zip code
Facebook is allowing businesses to target ads to American Facebook users based on the income levels within their residential ZIP code. The new filter allows advertisers to select income levels based on where the user’s household income falls in terms of percentages, such as top 5 percent, top 10 percent, top 10-25 percent, etc. Facebook says that its income data is based on public information. Advertisers must comply with Facebook’s non-discrimination policy. Facebook has more information on the new feature on its business page. (https://www.facebook.com/business/m/one-sheeters/household-income-targeting )
LinkedIn Adds New Groups Features
LinkedIn is revamping LinkedIn Groups after years of spam hindered participation and engagement. Changes to notifications improved engagement. Now LinkedIn is launching five new features to increase group usage and effectiveness.
- Notifications of new posts
The new versions seek to consolidate notifications so they’re a bit less like spam while still making it easy to know when new conversations begin.
- Group post notifications based connections
This is designed to improve group engagement by letting you know when your colleagues are commenting.
- Highlight relevant conversations
This would allow group admins to spotlight important conversations.
- Post review and approval
Unlike some other platforms, LinkedIn currently doesn’t have a way to allow admins to block group spam by reviewing and approving or deleting posts before they go to the group at large.
- Group cover images
This would allow LinkedIn group admins to have the personalization capabilities similar to those that Facebook group admins have. It technically doesn’t affect group engagement but does allow for more customization.
The new features were announced on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattNavarra/status/1095285228107649026
Facebook Debunks Myth that Facebook Limits Post Reach to 25 Friends:
Facebook’s Updating it’s ‘Why Am I Seeing This?’ Ad Info with More Specific Detail:
GMB hotel changes:
A Look at the Google Search Console Updates
Search Engine Journal released an excellent assessment of changes to Google Search Console in the migration from old to new. Rather than try to summarize it, check it out for yourself here: (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-search-console-latest-updates/293325/)