Tech Treats: 11.07.16

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!

The EC prepares new objections to the Google antitrust defence

A recent Wall Street Journal report has revealed that regulators at the European Commission (EC) are preparing a “supplementary statement of objections” in regards to Google’s response to the Shopping search anti-trust matter.

As Search Engine Land explains, the original antitrust charges were filed due to Google’s alleged abuse of market power in the year 2015. One of the charges suggests that Google positions its own shopping comparison services above its rivals in search results, which has a negative impact on consumers.

With a “supplementary statement of objections” now being prepared by the EC, it has been theorised that the original Shopping matter will act as a template for more charges to be filed against Google in regards to search biases.

This is in response to Google’s statement that the format of their search results pages are intended to improve user experience and quality. To read the full statement, check out Search Engine Land’s latest report on the antitrust matter.

The TJM take: Tax and competition policy are still dragging years behind tech innovation and multinational companies, and this looks like an attempt to establish a precedent for future actions.

It can be seen as a shame when, rather than looking to encourage innovation, companies or states chose to legislate equality. That said, Google undoubtedly has a monopoly on search traffic and (for now) seems to be an integral part of the digital experience.

We see this one being dragged out for as long as it can be… don’t hold your breath for a decision.

Bing Ads brings Keyword Planner to the UK, Canada and Australia

Good news for Bing Ads users outside of the US! It has just been announced that the Bing Ads Keyword Planner will now be available in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Keyword Planner has also been updated to find keyword suggestions based on product categories.

Originally launched in the US last year, Keyword Planner for the UK, Canada and Australia can now be found under the ‘Tools’ section in users’ accounts. This will replace the Campaign Planner tool and will allow users to access data such as average monthly searches and suggested bids for keywords.

The new targeting option will also suggest keywords based on a given landing page, and the products and services you offer. The tool can be seen below:

Bing Ads Product Category

Image of Keyword Planner's product category tool. Source: Search Engine Land

The TJM take: With its granular categories, it will be very interesting to see how well the new keyword suggestion tool performs. Plus, with Google’s Keyword Planner becoming more inaccurate by grouping related keywords together, we’re keen to see how Bing’s version compares.

Bing Ads Editor is finally available for Mac

Yet more good news for Bing Ads users- the Mac version of Bing Ads Editor is finally going to be made available in the Summer of 2016.

Announced by the Microsoft team at SMX Advanced, Bing Ads Editor for Mac will be similar in design to the latest version of AdWords Editor 11. Like the PC version, it will also feature increased processing speed and multiple-account sign-in.

More information on Bing Ads Editor for Mac can be found in this PPC Hero article.

The TJM take: This release will only make things easier for Mac users, which can only be a good thing. We’re excited to give it a spin!

Facebook tests new ‘secret’ messaging service

Facebook is trialling a new service that allows messages sent through its Messenger App to disappear from devices.

This new feature is similar to Snapchat in the fact that messages will disappear after a certain amount of time. However, unlike Snapchat, only plain text messages can be shared secretly (and not pictures, videos or GIFs). Senders must also choose a particular device for the image to be sent to.

The TJM take: Facebook has cited the sharing of health and financial matters as the reasoning behind their secret messaging tests. While we agree this will offer a more secure way of sharing these details than through SMS and the regular messaging service, we can definitely see this feature being used by those that are up to no good…

Pinterest will now find products using your mobile phone’s camera

Pinterest is releasing a new set of visual search tools that will enable users to search for products using their mobile device’s camera.

As Tech Crunch explains, all you need to do is open Pinterest, click the ‘visual search’ button, and point your device at something. Using your device’s camera, Pinterest will detect those items and populate the photo with similar items it thinks you will be interested in.

These items will appear as dots on the screen which users can then tap to resize the image or to further refine their search.

The TJM take: This is smart technology and definitely a fun feature, but it’s not as new and innovative as you may think! In fact, Google Goggles already allows its users to search for items using the device’s camera.

As Tech Crunch points out, however, this feature will enable Pinterest to reach users at every stage of the buying process, from initially becoming aware of the product, to finally making the purchase. This could open great opportunities for very targeted advertising.

…and finally: the world goes gaga for Pokemon Go

While we’re on the subject of AR (Augmented Reality) functionality, it seems the whole world is talking about Pokemon Go, the new app that will allow you to catch ‘em all wherever you go- from your local supermarket, to your very own kitchen.

How does it work? Using your smartphone’s GPS and camera, the app will display Pokemon as if they are actually standing in front of you. It also features a map to show you if a Pokemon is nearby, as well as tell you which places you need to visit to collect more Pokeballs.

Intrigued yet? This article from The Guardian is a good place to start if you want to find out more. One word of warning though; don’t go walking into any police stations when you go hunting Pokemon!

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.