Google AdWords introduces a Click-to-Message ad extension, while Instagram and Snapchat focus on video streaming

Welcome to Tech Treats, our weekly feature where we provide our clients with the latest news on all things digital marketing. From current trends and innovations, to fresh tips on getting the most out of your marketing spend, we’ll ensure you’re always kept in the loop!

Google AdWords introduces a Click-to-Message ad extension

Google AdWords will be introducing a new messaging ad extension for the mobile SERP (search engine results page).

Available for mobile ads, the new extension will enable users to send text messages to the advertiser directly from the search engine results page (without clicking through to the landing page). However, advertisers using this extension will still be charged the same CPC (cost per click) fee as they would for a user clicking through to their website.

A preview of how the new Click-to-Message ad extension will appear can be seen in the below image:

Google AdWords message extension

Image of the message ad extension in Google AdWords. Source: Wordstream

The TJM take: As beta testing has shown, the new Click-to-Message extension can improve CTRs (click through rates), although this is true of all ad extensions. As well as appealing to users that don’t have the time to make a phone call, Click-to-Message is also worth including on your adverts (if applicable) to ensure they take up more space on the SERP.

The only drawback? As Wordstream has pointed out, advertisers will need to set-up their own method to track conversions once they leave the Google SERP.

Instagram moves onto live video while Snapchat explores video programming

Last week, Mashable reported that Instagram could be getting ready to add live video streaming to its app.

This follows the release of screenshots (which were originally spotted by a Russian Instagram user and published by T Journal, a Russian publication), that appear to show a live video feature being available in the app’s interface.

The released screenshots can be seen below: 

Instagram live video

Instagram live video

Instagram live video.jpg

Screenshots of the Instagram live video capabilities. Source: Mashable

Though this appears to be a test, an Instagram spokesperson has declined to comment on the images.

In terms of video broadcasting, this week it has also been revealed that fellow social networking app, Snapchat, could be planning to hire development managers to work on a number of “original shows”.

As UK Business Insider explains, the roles advertised by Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s parent company) involve reviewing pilots, pitching show ideas, and working with producers.

Snapchat is also being included in coverage updates from lead talent agencies such as CAA and WME, it has been reported. According to Sahil Patel, a video reporter for Digiday, Snapchat is looking for the likes of competition, reality and comedy shows in the six to eight-minute range.

The TJM take: These are both exciting potential developments that really highlight the fact that users are moving away from traditional TV viewing. In fact, we revealed in a recent Tech Treats that 30% of adults now prefer watching online videos to television.

The team at TJM are very interested in seeing if (or how) this develops further and which platform will come out top in the fight to take over video. Our money’s currently on Snapchat, as they have already partnered with the likes of PBS and MTV, who they have already pressured to develop shows specific to their platform (find out more from the original UK Business Insider article).

We’ll keep you updated as we find out more!

Bing will make it easier for searchers to find radio stations

Bing will be partnering with TuneIn to help searchers find information on radio stations, Search Engine Land reported last week.

As they explain in their original article, searching for “online radio stations” through Bing (on a desktop or mobile device) will present the user with a carousel of links. The links will include streams to some of the most searched for radio stations.

When you click on the station you want, you will be redirected to the TuneIn website or directly to the app (if searching on mobile). Because of this, you’ll be required to have the TuneIn app installed before you search.

The TJM take: As Search Engine Land has already reported, Bing’s justification for their foray into radio is a Nielsen report which indicates 93% of adults listen to the radio each week. Nonetheless, we don’t feel this is justification enough for the new feature.

Though we’ll take our hats off to Bing for attempting to add value with this nicety, we are sceptical of how much it will actually be used (and whether it will have any effect on the likes of loading time and user experience).

...just one last thing: get the best deal on your flights with Google’s new tool

As most of us know, identifying the right time to book the cheapest flight(s) can be tricky to determine. However, with the new flight-searching feature for Google Flights, Google will tell you when the price of a flight is expected to rise using historic data.

To determine how flight prices can fluctuate over time, users are also given the option to track these by email.

For more information on the new Google Flights feature, check out this article from The Telegraph.

Are there any topics you’d like covered in future Tech Treats updates? Send us a message on social media or drop us an email.