Welcome to the first of Curated’s soon-to-be-regular round-up of digital news, latest trends, and interesting insights. In these updates, we’ll explore all the latest goings-on in the digital landscape: from the bandwagons big brands seem to be jumping on, to how Google has updated its ad systems again, or just what’s flying around the Twitter universe lately. So here’s our take on the latest digital trends!
The key trend coming out of March, of course, was the boycott by many big brands of Google’s advertising platform. With the rise in discussion around fake news and the funding of that and extremist content by unwitting advertisers, some big brands loudly vocalised their concerns, lashing out against Google. In a bid to force Google and other large tech companies to reassess their advertising standards and procedures, companies such as Marks & Spencer and McDonald’s pulled their ads from the platform until stricter regulations are put in place.
In other related news, Facebook has introduced the long-anticipated ‘fake news labels’ to indicate to users when a piece of content is of dubious origin or questionable integrity. This is a long time coming and has been hinted at by the ‘tech company’ — because we daren’t say ‘media’ company — for a while now. In what Facebook are calling their ‘disputed label’, users will be warned when content has been flagged as unreliable or untrue. How much of an effect will this really have in curbing the fake news problem? We will just have to wait and see.
At a time when the overwhelming focus in the digital and social landscapes is on regulation, the latest step by Twitter to try and curb internet trolls may be too little too late. The company has announced that it will replace its iconic ‘egg’ avatar with a gender-neutral silhouette. With this move, Twitter aims to distance itself from the association the egg avatar has with accounts set up purely to spread poisonous online hate. We will have to see if their action makes any tangible change on the notoriously outspoken platform. For many Twitter users and commentators, it marks a pitiful attempt at addressing an issue that needs more forceful scrutiny.
In brighter news, Instagram has reached yet another milestone in its successful rise: the platform has reached the 1 million mark in advertisers using the site. The last 6 months has seen this figure double. Instagram has really proved its worth to businesses and they, in turn, are taking full advantage of the image platform to reach their audiences. In fact, a staggering 80% of Instagram users follow a brand account, showing that the appetite for brand content is really there among Insta users.
Sticking with the young, millennial-minded apps, Snapchat is taking a step into the political realm with its latest geofilter. The feature will encourage users in Scotland to register to vote for their local government elections, reaching a largely untapped political audience in one of the key places they spend their online time. Targeting users as young as 16, Snapchat is the perfect platform to engage with this audience, once again highlighting the value of Snapchat to brands and marketers alike.
And the final news piece in our inaugural trend round up again comes from the social media world. It’s something that all you social savvy Tweeters will be relieved to hear: Twitter handles won’t count towards the 140-character limit anymore! Well, at least in replies. After steps to make the character limit stretch further last year through removing media from the value, Twitter has now announced that users will have more room to reply to tweets by eliminating the username from the character count. Good news, Twitterers!
So, that’s that. Be sure to check in for our next installment. If any of these news stories have piqued your interest or you’re intrigued as to how these changes may affect your brand, pick up the phone or drop us a line — we’re always happy to chat about all things digital marketing.
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