Tech Treats: 11.04.16

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!

Facebook removes 20% text overlay limit for image ads

Facebook has announced that the 20% text overlay rule will no longer apply to image ads. Instead, ads will now fall into 4 categories of text overlay; OK, Low, Medium or High.

While it’s unclear what process Facebook will use to measure the amount of text, what we do know is that these categories will be used to determine your advert’s reach. For example, if your ad falls into the ‘High’ category, it is less likely to be displayed at all.

Haven’t seen any changes to your account? Although these were implemented from the end of March, they’re still yet to be rolled out to all users.

The TJM take: As the new system is harder to define, more people will fall afoul of the rules. Take note of the new guidelines, and the visibility of your ads shouldn't be affected.

New features added to Google AdWords Products tab

Google AdWords have added “product status” and “effective max CPC” columns to the Products tab.

What does this mean exactly? Well, with the effective max CPC column, you are now able to make bid adjustments on individual products directly from the Products tab. Products status, on the other hand, informs you whether a product is served or out of stock. These will need to be added from the columns drop down.

To save time and further improve functionality, inventory status columns and more shopping info has also been added in Google AdWords.

For more information on the changes, check out Search Engine Land’s report on the new Products tab columns.

The TJM take: Google Shopping does not seem to have had a great deal of investment as of late, so it's nice to see Google adding functionality to aid optimisation.

Brands and celebrities are now able to share sponsored content on Facebook

On 8th April, Facebook announced that they would be changing their ad policy. With the latest update, verified Facebook pages will now be able to share (and profit from) branded content, including Instant Articles, links and videos.

A new tool will also be implemented to make it easier to tag the sponsor behind the content. This will be a requirement for all branded posts on the platform.

The TJM take: It’s always nice to know when you’re being sold to! Seeing how this is enforced will be interesting, and we predict this power (and responsibility) shifting back from bloggers and vloggers to the product owners.

Influencer marketing has grown hugely (Ronaldo apparently charges €160,000 for one post to his 32 million fans!) and even at low level, bloggers will offer prices with a ‘take it or leave’ attitude. You would be surprised at how a few thousand followers can create a prima donna from your regular 'Joe Blogger'.

Having a brand attached to a sponsored post is going to make visibility greater, and the ROI clearer (and hopefully bring ‘influencers’ back to reality).

LinkedIn underinvestment kicks shares again

Back in February, LinkedIn’s shares dropped by half and they have yet to recover. This brought them to their lowest level since 2013, losing the company more than $7 billion in market value.

Around this time, The Wall Street Journal also reported that Lead Generator would be discontinuedThe aim of the advertising tool, which was introduced in 2015, was to help advertisers re-target visitors to their website. However, it was felt that the tool required more resources than originally expected, leading to its swift discontinuation.

With the jobs market cooling off, there are also fears that the recruitment side of the business is going to suffer.

The TJM take: LinkedIn have an amazing opportunity as they are ‘the undisputed social platform for business’. However, the market has picked up on their underinvestment in B2B business advertising, and their over-reliance on recruitment.

For example, they are the last major platform to roll out functionality for businesses to wash their data against the platform's data. This is currently providing some of the best ROI on Facebook and Twitter, and would be even more useful on LinkedIn. Unacceptable!

The vultures move in on Yahoo

Daily Mail and General Trust, the owner of the Daily Mail newspaper and media group, is the latest to express an interest in purchasing Yahoo.

According to The Financial Times, the publisher is considering a purchase in conjunction with private equity firms. The aim of a possible takeover of Yahoo is to broaden the web presence of its own online publications.

The TJM take: The vultures have been circling for a while, but now they are starting to swoop in. DMGT’s interest pits it against Verizon, Google, Time Inc., and a host of private equity houses as potential buyers.

Outside of search (for which the battle now seems to be all but lost), Yahoo has over 1 billion monthly users across a range of software and apps, with the Yahoo Homepage and Yahoo Finance being great examples. Much of this has been provided free as part of the ecosystem, and without much (if any) advertising.

If Yahoo or it’s buyers can leverage this (and this is a big if), there’s huge potential for revenue streams and next generation services.

A sale like this comes up once in a decade. The big question is, who has the deepest pockets and feels they can leverage the greatest synergies? Our money is on a PE-backed media company… an Alibaba steak(!) is too tasty for a PE vulture…

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.

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