1. Instagram Launches Reels Ads (0:41) – If you have been following our #TWIMshow, you know that I had predicted that Reels Ads would be coming on the day we covered IG Reels. Then they tested Reels Ads in select countries. Well, IG Reels Ads are available globally as of June 16, 2021.
According to IG, “ Reels is the best place on Instagram to reach people who don’t follow you and a growing global stage where anyone can discover brands and creators. These ads will help businesses reach greater audiences, allowing people to discover inspiring new content from brands and creators.”
Reels ads will be full screen and vertical, similar to ads in Stories, and will appear in between individual Reels. As with regular Reels content, these ads will loop and can be up to 30 seconds. People can comment, like, view, save and share Reels ads.
2. Group Fundraisers on Instagram (2:39) – Instagram has added a group fundraising capability that allows people to raise money for a social cause, and every donation goes directly to the nonprofit.
As explained by Instagram: “Offline fundraising is often a group activity, from things like walk-a-thons, to bake sales, to concerts, and we wanted to bring that same sense of community to Instagram fundraisers so people can activate together around a single cause where 100% of the funds go directly to the nonprofit you’re raising money for, too.”
When you set up a fundraiser on Instagram, you will be able to invite people to join the effort and have more people promote it. The question is, will this replace GoFundMe or be an addition to GoFundMe? Listen to the podcast to find our take on this feature.
3. Google Launches Search Console Insights (4:45) – Google is introducing a new tool called Search Console Insights designed to help site owners better understand their audience. SCI combines data from both Search Console and Google Analytics in an effort to make it easy to understand content performance. The user interface is pretty simple to understand, which means that even novice users would not face all that much trouble while attempting to wrap their heads around it.
Data in Search Console Insights will help site owners answer questions such as:
- What are your best-performing pieces of content, and which ones are trending?
- How do people discover your content across the web?
- What do people search for on Google before they visit your content?
- Which article refers users to your website and content?
4. Shopify’s Shop Pay is Now Available to Online Stores Who Don’t Use Shopify (6:56) – On Jun 15, 2021, Shopify announced that they have made their one-click checkout service available to all merchants on Facebook and Google, even if they don’t use Shopify. Starting with Facebook and Instagram later this summer and followed by Google in late 2021, Shop Pay will be available to more than one million merchants across both platforms—even if they don’t use Shopify’s online store.
More than 1.8 billion people log on to Facebook each day, and a billion shopping sessions take place across Google. By bringing Shop Pay to all merchants regardless of the commerce platform they use, they are making an industry-leading checkout more accessible to independent brands at a time when finding and converting customers has never been more important. The merchant benefits of Shop Pay include:
- Faster, more efficient, and secure payments: Checkout on Shop Pay within the Shopify platform is 70% faster than a typical checkout, with a 1.72x higher conversion rate. This means fewer abandoned carts and increased conversion.
- Convenient order tracking and management: With 430+ million orders tracked over 450 billion miles, our global order tracking service enables consumers to track all of their important purchases, receive updates, and manage orders with Shop, Shopify’s shopping assistant.
- Carbon emissions offset on every delivery: One of the first carbon-neutral ways to pay, Shop Pay offsets 100% of the delivery emissions for every order.
5. Shopify’s New Feature Will Help Your Store To Become More SEO Friendly (9:01) – Shopify store owners are now able to edit their robots.txt file, which gives owners more control over how search engines crawl their site. Per Tobi Lutke, Shopify CEO, all Shopify stores start with the same robots.txt, which the company says works for most sites, but now the file can be edited through the robots.txt.liquid theme template.
Now you can make the following changes to the robots.txt file:
- Allow or disallow certain URLs from being crawled
- Add crawl-delay rules for certain crawlers
- Add extra sitemap URLs
- Block certain crawlers
P.S: Shopify recommends using Liquid to add or remove directives from the robots.txt.liquid template, as it preserves the ability to keep the file automatically updated.
6. YouTube Bans 4 Business Types From Advertising on its Masthead (10:20) – Google will no longer allow certain types of ads on YouTube’s masthead. If you are unfamiliar with Google’s Lingo and are unsure what a masthead is, then YouTube’s masthead advertising unit is ad appearing at the top of the YouTube home page. Per Google,
“This is a video ad that appears at the top of the YouTube homepage. The YouTube Home feed is a very important destination for viewers, and the Masthead ad allows you to be first and foremost in that home experience. Buying a Masthead ad means targeted reach across a campaign with budget and frequency controls. Masthead ads bought are available on YouTube across desktop, mobile apps, and the YouTube app for TV.”
The affected verticals that are known so far are:
- Alcohol sales
- Prescription drugs
- Election and political ads
In my opinion, this makes sense as YT is gaining popularity in the mainstream (big screen TV).
7. New Ad Formats in Microsoft Advertising (11:54) – Microsoft is introducing new ad formats called Tours and Activities that they say will be unique to the platform (at least for now until this format gets copied by another platform). The ads are made in real-time by the Microsoft’s AI (thus no keywords are not required) for relevant queries using unique feed files that include images, price, reviews, and videos. Advertisers in the U.S. and UK can sign up for the open beta by filling out this form or getting in touch with their Microsoft Advertising representative. You can learn more about the required and optional attributes at Microsoft Advertising’s Tours and Activities ads help page.
8. Integrating Your Podcast to Your Facebook Page (13:35) – Facebook is providing podcasters with more ways to promote their content by connecting it back to their Facebook page. After you connect your podcast’s RSS feed to your Facebook page, Facebook will automatically generate connected, playable News Feed posts for all episodes published moving forward. And users will be able to listen to every episode directly on Facebook. And Facebook is also planning to add a feature that’ll allow listeners to create clips from their favorite shows.
9. Facebook Adds New Features to Group Admin (15:18) – Facebook adds new tools for Facebook Group Admins, including improved comment moderation processes, ‘Conflict Alerts,’ and an updated overview dashboard that will highlight group tasks that require attention. They also made the Admin Home customizable that admins can tailor it to their needs.
The comment moderation feature will enable group admins to set up their own criteria around what they want to moderate, and even automatically moderate both posts and comments based on these rules. For example, admins can set up a rule to automatically decline comments that include a link to a third-party site, which could be good for branded communities and avoid conflicts with competing options.
Group admins will also be able to restrict people who don’t qualify to participate based on a range of options (including how long they’ve had a Facebook account and/or how long they have been a member of the group), while the tool will also provide access to Facebook’s advanced anti-spam tools.
‘Conflict Alerts’ will use Facebook’s AI to detect and notify admins when there may be contentious and unhealthy conversations in their group so that they can take action as needed. And then admins can take actions such as temporarily limit how often specific group members can comment, and control how often comments can be made on certain posts that admins select.
Other things Facebook added are:
a.) new overall management and insight tools for groups, including new member summaries, which provide an overview of each group member’s activity,
b.) a new appeal process for group admins, covering content that they or other admins have posted, or that they have approved from members.
c.) ability tag group rules within comments and posts for clarity, while group members will also be able to tag specific group rules when they report posts and comments to admins
d.) and finally, making pinned comments and admin announcements notifications available in all groups.
10. Facebook Launches Program to Provide Opportunities for Independent Artists (20:06) – Facebook’s Independent Artist Program will help unsigned musicians earn money from their music by making their content available on Facebook and Instagram through Facebook’s partner platforms DistroKid and TuneCore. Facebook will also provide data insights to help artists track their content performance over time. Remember, back in April we covered on our TWIMShow how TikTok provided similar opportunities to independent artists through their partnership with UnitedMasters.