Tech Treats 23.05.16

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!

Twitter to exclude links and pictures from Tweet character limits

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Twitter could be planning to exclude links and pictures from the platform’s standard 140-character limit.

Currently, including an image in your tweet will cut your character limit to just 116. Additionally, links will automatically use 23 characters (and this after they have been shortened by Twitter).

Although Twitter is yet to confirm the reports, it’s been rumoured that the change could be rolled out any time in the next two weeks.

The TJM take: This is a bit of a climb down from the 10k limit Twitter looked at a while back, but it should still help with increasing the engagement and providing more space for adverts. It's a good call in our books!

Google unveils its new ‘assistant’ search platform

Last week, Google announced the release of Google assistant, its new virtual assistant tool.

The search platform, which was unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference, has been described as a ‘conversational assistant’ by CEO Sundar Pichaui.

Through the tool, users can ask Google a series of questions, and Google will pick out the conversation to provide the best answer. As has been explained in this Search Engine Land article, users will also be able to complete tasks (such as booking film tickets) through Google assistant.

As this is not an individual app, it will be integrated into a number of Google’s existing products. These include Google Home and its new chat app, Allo.

The TJM take: By creating a direct competitor to Apple and Microsoft’s own virtual assistants, Google is working hard to retain its domination over the search market.

Both Microsoft and Apple lock down their assistants to ‘provide a consistent UX’ (we think this means control where the money goes... it will be interesting to see if Google follow suit.

Additionally, there are high hopes for Facebook Messenger and its cousins to be able to help with customer service as it will feel like chatting to a real human. The release of Google’s Allo chat app seems to be working towards a similar goal of showing adverts where people spend their time.

Bing releases the UET Tag Helper extension for Chrome

Bing Ads has just released a new Universal Event Tracking (UET) extension for Google Chrome users.

The UET Tag Helper extension will provide a quicker and simpler way for advertisers to check that their UET tags are working. It will now allow users to validate tags in real time, and you can see if they have been implemented correctly before an event occurs.

If an issue is detected, new troubleshooting options will also enable users to easily fix the issue within the UET Tag Helper.

For information on how to implement this extension, check out Bing Ads’ guide on UET Tag Helper.

The TJM take: With everything now all in one place, advertisers can quickly ensure UET tag errors are fixed before they become a bigger issue.

Other useful tools we recommend for Chrome users are Google Tag Assistant and the FB Pixel Helper.

Brands can now play video ads through the Facebook Audience Network

Advertisers will now be able to distribute video ads across the Facebook Audience Network, enabling them to reach Facebook’s entire network of third-party apps and websites.

Previously, video ads would have to focus on a particular product, service or promotion to be displayed across the Facebook Audience Network. However, advertisers will now be able to use the network to distribute brand awareness campaigns.

In order to achieve this, Facebook will also be releasing two new formats for video ads. These include an in-stream format that will play before, during or after a video is played through the app or desktop website, and an in-article format that will appear between blocks of texts on an advertisers’ website.

More information on the ad types can be found in this article from the Los Angeles Times.

The TJM take: This is great news for advertisers as they will be able to reach a much broader audience through the Audience Network.

We often see situations where Facebook advertising is a much more suitable option than Google, and vice versa. This is because the targeting options are very different across both platforms.

To find out which would be best for your brand, get in touch with our team.

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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