1. Snapchat Launches ‘Snapchat+’ Subscription Program – Snapchat has officially launched its new Snapchat+ subscription service which will initially be made available to users in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Today we’re launching Snapchat+, a collection of exclusive, experimental, and pre-release features available in Snapchat for $3.99/month.  This subscription will allow us to deliver new Snapchat features to some of the most passionate members of our community and allow us to provide prioritized support.

The new subscription program will include:

  • Access to exclusive Snapchat icons
  • A new profile badge to show that you’re a Snapchat+ user
  • New data insights, including the capacity to see your friends’ location history (over the last 24 hours) and info on who’s rewatched your Story 
  • The capacity to pin a user in the app as ‘your #1 best friend’

If SnapChat can convert 1% of their active user base then they stand to make about $13.2 million in recurring monthly revenue. This is a similar program to Twitter’s Twitter Blue which is not faring well. Don’t take our word for it, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has also said that Twitter has not hit ‘intermediate milestones that enable confidence’ with its new revenue and growth projects, like Twitter Blue.

2. Twitter Launches #BrandedLikes To Select Advertisers – After previewing the #BrandedLikes features at the Cannes Lions event, Twitter has now launched it officially to businesses with managed advertisers in US, UK, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

#BrandedLikes lets advertisers customize Twitter’s Like button animation for 24 hours. Branded Likes will appear on any organic or promoted Tweets that contain the advertiser selected hashtags after an individual has liked that Tweet.

Branded Likes are being built into Twitter’s Timeline Takeover ad offering, which ensures a brand’s ad is the first ad to appear when someone opens Twitter for the first time that day. Twitter hasn’t provided a specific price range for Timeline Takeover ads, but Promoted Trends, which are somewhat similar, cost around $200k per day. This is not ideal for promoting your upcoming sales promotion unless you are a brand such as Nordstrom announcing and drawing attention to your annual sales event.

Click here, if you are interested to check out what #BrandedLikes in action.

3. Instagram Now Allows Third-Party Platforms To Access Reels API – Beginning June 28, 2022 Meta has allowed 3rd Party platform to access Instagram Reels API. This allows platforms such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social and etc to post reels on your behalf. I am excited because it can be much simpler to manage all of your social media posts and schedules in one location thanks to services like Hootsuite and Sprout Social that offer cross-platform publishing and analytics capabilities.

Announcement here.

4. Tips From Instagram To Create Engaging Reels – Instagram’s parent company Meta has published an article giving us tips on how to create engaging reels. Here are the tips:

  • Nail the hook: Keep brand objectives in mind—if brand lift is your aim, highlight your brand in the first few seconds of your Reels. If the intent is conversions, showcase your product or service in action. Also, keep your storytelling short and sweet. Short-form videos mean short time limits and even shorter attention spans! Use your content wisely.
  • Get creative with transitions: Experiment with transitions in your Reels to entertain your viewers and show off your brand’s personality. You can also use creative features like augmented reality effects, custom audio and timers to keep things fresh.
  • Match the rhythm: Sync your music. Don’t underestimate the power of using sound to grab and retain the audience’s attention. Reels is already the biggest engagement growth driver on Instagram, and over 80% of Reels are viewed with sound on. Also, try to use auto-captions.
  • Keep it on trend: Stay in touch with the latest, and use the newest effects on Reels. Take part in cultural moments, trending topics and popular challenges that are relevant to your brand. Create and encourage your audience to remix your Reels, or spark a conversation with them in the comments section. Try adding relevant hashtags to optimize exposure for your content.
  • Explore collaborations: Partner with creators to tell your brand story in new and fresh ways. Collaborating with influencer voices drives more engagement, authenticity and awareness.
  • Be authentic: Reels is a place where authenticity thrives, so create Reels that are true to you and that reflect your brand values.

5. TikTok Releases A New ‘Attribution Manager’ – Attribution is a big thing in the digital marketing world. TikTok has released its new Attribution Manager tool, which enables advertisers to set custom attribution windows within TikTok campaigns.

For web and app campaigns, TikTok Attribution Manager enables marketers to select a specific time period to measure success: the click-through attribution (CTA) window can range from one day to 28 days, while view-through attribution (VTA) window options range from off to up to seven days.

TikTok attribution, by default, will show you 7-day click and 1-day view data, based on TikTok Pixel and/or Events API response. This will give you more accurate info on how people respond to your ads in the app – though there will be some limitations based on in-app tracking, with Apple’s ATT update giving users the capacity to opt-out of in-app tracking tools, which could impact insight.

6. YouTube Disables Option To Hide Subscriber Counts – Currently, YouTube channels can opt to hide their subscriber numbers, which some users might prefer if they think it might scare off visitors or diminish their reputation.

However, YouTube has discovered that channels impersonating platform stars frequently use this function as well. So now these scammers will have fewer options to hide their identity. Per YouTube:

While we’re aware that some creators find this feature valuable, as YouTube grows, we found it is often used to impersonate channels. Bad actors often lure people to their channel page by impersonating other creators in comments. And now, channels will no longer be able to hide their subscriber pens on YouTube.

On the other hand, if you’ve been telling people that you have more subscribers than you do, maybe it’s time to shut down your YouTube account. Just claim that you were banned for your controversial opinions or something.

Finally, YouTube’s also implementing new limits on the amount of special characters that people can use within their Channel name.

Using special characters in channel names is another way that bad actors impersonate established channels. So we’re reducing the character set that creators can choose from when updating their name moving forward.

7. 8 SEO Tips For E-commerce Sites From Google – Alan Kent from Google published a video on SEO tips for e-commerce sites, with the following 8 tips:

  • Technical SEO Basic: Make sure you do the technical SEO basics like allowing Google to crawl your web site. Make sure your page titles including the brand name, color and type of product is important to have in your title. And make sure to add structured data to your product page. Also think about your out of stock products.
  • Content breath: Make sure to have content that is available based on different stages of the shopping journey. From gift ideas, reviews, categories and more. Ideas is more general but categories pages are more specific. Having reviews and detailed content about a product or product category can help some shoppers during the earlier stages. He goes through some ways to do this, including looking at competitors and making your own unique content compared to your competitors.
  • Markup your product variant pages: This was covered last week in Epsiode#114. In short, each product variant should have a unique URL, such as query parameters and then select one variant should be the canonical.
  • Deal or sale URLs should be preserved: Reuse the same URL for your sales pages, if you can. So every year you might want to use the same Mother’s Day URL every year, don’t make a new one for year.
  • Performance: Users care a lot about how fas the page is and Google uses Core Web Vitals for rankings (limited). Alan said page speed might be the tie breaker if you are using the same text as your competitors.
  • Be Patient: Alan said SEO is a long game and some ranking signals may take many months to take affect and sometimes you might not see results. So keep working on it and be patient. Until then, look for ways to diversify your traffic through other marketing channels.
  • Ask Others For Help: If you are not getting the results you want after all of these tips, then seek expert SEO advice and beware of scams and taking steps against Google’s guidelines.
  • Users: It is all about the users Google has said for years. So think about the users first, collect data, and think about making changes to help your users and not specifically about Google Search.

8. Google: Near Duplicate URLs Can Lead To Wrong URL Ranking- If you have near identical content and URL’s (say if you have a .com and a .ca domain with the same content) then the Google AI can get confuse and choose to rank one site over another. Here is what he wrote:

If you wanted to change the indexing / canonicalization here, you’d have to make sure that the pages are significantly different, not just a bit different. Given that the search results would essentially be the same, I don’t know if that’s really worthwhile for you — at least it probably wouldn’t be an urgent problem to solve

9. Google: Rich Results Not Allowed On Prohibited, Regulated Or Harmful Product- Effectively immediately, Google has updated its rich results content guidelines disallowing rich results for products that are widely prohibited or regulated, or that can facilitate serious harm to self or others. These include, but are not limited to, weapons, recreational drugs, tobacco & vaping products and gambling-related products.

Google said this policy applies to all forms of rich result markup, including star ratings, prices, or availability information and more. This can impact products with rich result structured data markup that are widely prohibited or regulated, or that can facilitate serious harm to self or others. “This could include goods like fireworks, recreational drugs, and other products that can pose acute threats of physical harm,” a Google spokesperson clarified.

If you sell any of these types of products, you will probably want to remove the structured data markup from those pages. If you do not remove the markup, either way, Google will not show rich results for these product categories.

10. Warby Parker vs 1-800 Contact Lawsuit Over Branded Keywords- The complaint from 1-800 Contacts was that Warby Parker “confused” potential consumers by utilizing 1-800 Contacts’ trademarked terms to steer searchers to the Warby Parker online store.

And A federal judge has dismissed the  case that 1-800 Contacts had brought against Warby Parker, an online merchant.

Kevin Castel, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ruled against 1-800 Contacts, saying that customers are unlikely to think that they’re buying from 1-800 Contacts when they click on a Warby Parker ad. 

Castel also said the companies’ trademarks were too dissimilar to confuse contact-lens buyers, who are likely to pay close attention to what they are purchasing and noted that Warby Parker’s name is clearly displayed in the search results and on its website. 

Castel added that prospective customers will take the time to figure out that the search results link to Warby Parker’s website, and will therefore discern that they are buying from contacts from Warby Parker’s website.

This is the latest reminder that, in general, using a competitor’s trademarks in PPC ads is not trademark infringement from a legal standpoint. You can visit the Google trademark help document if you find yourself facing a similar issue.

You can read more about the ruling from Reuters here.