This week’s digital marketing news was once again dominated by Facebook and its news ban. But never one to hide in the shadows, Google also made waves by announcing a new Full Coverage feature in Search and free travel links in Google Travel for hotels and advertisers.
Still haven’t seen last week’s stories? We go into more detail about Google’s commitment to remove identifiers from Chrome, even when third-party cookies are phased out in 2022 and look at the Small Business Ombudsman’s interest in creating a code of conduct for players in the digital marketing game.
In just one of this week’s biggest digital marketing stories, Google is making moves to kickstart the travel industry.
If Google is feeling quietly optimistic about the future, then maybe we all should be. In a blog post, Vice President Richard Holden said that it will now be free for hotel and travel companies to appear in hotel booking links on google.com/travel.
The Google Travel platform makes it easy for consumers to compare and contrast prices for accommodation options across a wide range of destinations.
The search engine giant announced this week that it will be moving to implement a range of measures designed to encourage travel and provide a sort of reboot for the almost globally decimated hotel industry.
This follows changes last year when it became free for partners to participate in Google Flights and Google Shopping (for online retailers).
In another announcement, reflecting the crazy times of the last year or so, Google will also move to implement Full Coverage in Search. It has previously used this in Google News, but now users will be able to see top news, local headlines, in-depth pieces, explainers, interviews and more about a developing news story in Search.
They say the move reflects consumers’ need to keep up with complex, breaking stories like COVID-19 or the US elections.
When you search for a relevant topic, you’ll first be presented with a carousel of news at the top of your search results page, and you’ll be directed to the Full Coverage page when you click the “More news on…” button.
We all know by now that Facebook’s ban on news in Australians’ news feeds was relatively short-lived – and by relatively, I mean extremely short-lived.
However, recently released statistics from Nielsen reveal that consumption of news is still yet to bounce back fully from the ban – maybe we all just got used to seeing only cute cats and silly dances during our lunch breaks?
Although total sessions for the ‘Current Events & Global News’ has risen by 13% since news was reinstated, that is still 7% lower than BFB (before the Facebook ban).
Seven West, Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media have all negotiated deals, while Nine is in negotiations.
In news that’s likely to go down a treat with social media managers, Instagram is currently testing a new Closed Captions sticker for IG stories.
This will automatically generate captions for your Stories, with a range of text choices to pick from. There is still no launch date, but they’ve been testing the feature since August 2020.
Last September, the same functionality was built into IGTV uploads, so it seems to have made sense to do the same thing for Stories.
Twitter is really working on its visuals, testing a Full Image display in Tweet Timelines, as well as announcing support for 4K images. This will remove the cropped image from the timeline and instead allow users to view the whole thing.
The platform’s first stickers and ‘Twemojis’ have also just been added.
They’re also working on some shopping experiments to try and capitalise on the e-Commerce boom that we’re currently going through.
However, they’re facing increasing pressure over in Russia – where authorities are going to forcibly slow the speed of visual uploads to the platform over its repeated failure to remove banned content. This is part of a program that began in 2012, when the Kremlin moved to tighten control of the Internet and social media.
Facebook is also well and truly engaged in its war against TikTok as it moves to test the sharing of Instagram reels clips to its own platform.