November is here, and we are a little closer to 2021. This month was also marked by some very important and interesting updates. From Instagram releasing their much-awaited Guides, WhatsApp pay being approved in India, to Facebook adding motion effects, and Twitter new carousel ad format, people, got a lot of interesting features. Here is the entire list of New Things in Digital.
In case you missed last month’s list of #NewThingsInDigital Click here to read.
1. YouTube Improves Mobile Experience With 5 Updates
YouTube is improving the mobile viewing experience for users with the rollout of five new updates. The updates to YouTube on mobile are designed around making better use of existing features and introducing a few new ones.
- Better use of video chapters
- A more streamlined player page
- New gestures
- Suggested actions
- Bedtime reminders
2. Instagram ups length limit for Live broadcasts; adds live-stream archives
With the widespread usage of the IG live feature, Instagram has announced two new options for the same. Firstly, Instagram is extending the live stream’s time-limit of 60 minutes to four hours. In addition to this, Instagram is also launching a new option which will enable users to archive their IG Live broadcasts for up to 30 days.
3. Facebook starts rolling out Dark Mode in its mobile App
After months of testing, and making it available on the desktop and other versions, Facebook has finally made it official that it is launching a full-public test of Dark Mode for its mobile application. With dark mode having a dedicated fan following, it is only about time that it is rolled out for its mobile application.
4. LinkedIn adds new tools to help job seekers
Professionals and job seekers are extensively turning to LinkedIn to explore new opportunities, in the wake of pay cuts and layoffs owing to COVID-19. The social network just reached 722 million members, reporting a high engagement in the past few months. This week, the platform has announced a range of new tools to assist job seekers with training and discovery directly within the App. The main addition is the ‘LinkedIn Career Explorer’, which will show you potential career paths based on the skills you have. LinkedIn has also published a new report on the top trending skills among professionals to help provide more guidance as to where demand is rising. The five fastest-growing skills, at present, according to LinkedIn’s data are:
- Digital Marketing
- Financial Forecasting
- Data Analysis
- Agile Project Management
5. Google Tests Green Bubble Header Display In Search
Google is now testing a different interface for the coloured header background in search, for queries. The search engine is testing the header in a white background. It uses buttons that are coloured and in a bubble format.
6. Google Tests Always Open Search Tools Options
Google is testing removing the requirement to click on the ‘tools’ feature to toggle on the filter options. Instead, Google is testing showing the filters immediately without you having to click on the “tools” link.
7. Google ends support for data-vocabulary.org
structured data in rich results
Google had announced that as of April 6, 2020, data-vocabulary.org
8. WhatsApp Pay has officially been approved in India
The Government of India formally has passed approval for payments within the Facebook-owned WhatsApp Messenger. According to TechCrunch, “National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the body that operates the widely popular UPI payments infrastructure, said on Thursday evening that it has granted approval to WhatsApp to roll out UPI-powered payments in India.” This move paves the way for the messaging platform to significantly expand its activities on Marketplace, which is already seeing gradual growth.
9. Instagram tests a new way to react to Stories without sending a DM
Instagram is testing a new way users can react to stories without sending a DM. This would possibly display user reactions within the story frame, as opposed to sending the creator a DM. As of now, there’s no clarity on how Instagram will showcase the reactions within the Story’s frame. Meanwhile, it is also noteworthy that Instagram has added a new set of reactions in line with this update!
10. WhatsApp finally adds ‘disappearing messages’ feature
After months of testing, WhatsApp has finally launched the ‘disappearing messages’ feature, which will let users choose the option where messages get self-erased in 7 days. This option makes the App more private and secure. In case of a one-on-one chat, the individuals can choose the option, while admins will have control of the same in groups.
11. Facebook Tests New Options to Add Motion Effects to Still Images
Facebook is testing new visual effects options to still images uploaded on the feed, which, when added, simulates video-like movements to the pictures. The new options provide two sets of visual effects tools for your still image uploads:
- ‘Layout’ provides different presentation styles for multi-image posts (which Facebook rolled out back in July).
- ‘Motion’ adds basic movement to your images.
When the motion option is applied, a new type of image is created which zooms or focusses like a video.
12. WordPress 5.6 May Break Sites in December 2020
WordPress 5.5 rolled in August 2020 and soon after millions of websites across the Internet broke. Get ready because WordPress 5.6 has the potential to do the same.
13. Google Short Videos Carousel In Search Results
Google is testing another form of carousel feature in its Search results. It is currently displaying a carousel of ‘Short videos’ when a user searches for ‘Biriyani’ on the Search Engine.
14. More Facebook Ads bugs unnerve advertisers ahead of Black Friday, Cyber Monday
Facebook Ads has earned a reputation for being particularly glitchy and unpredictable. Over the past 2 to 3 days, many advertisers experienced issues with temporary ad disapprovals and accounts being disabled.
15. Facebook adds ‘Vanish Mode’ on Messenger
Just a week after adding the disappearing messages feature on WhatsApp, Facebook has now announced ‘Vanish’ mode on Messenger. While in this mode, messages will instantly disappear once you leave the chat. The option can be enabled by swiping up on a chat, and swiping up again when you want it turned off. This option might soon be available for Instagram, as it’s already available on WhatsApp, and considering the integration of all Facebook-owned Messaging platforms. But, for now, the social networking giant is only rolling this feature out for Messenger.
16. Instagram adds Reels and Shop tabs on the home screen for all users
Instagram brings Reels and Shop tabs to the home screen for all users. Both tabs are added to the lower function bar in the App. The momentum has increased for Reels on Instagram, hence the decision to give Reels more direct exposure on the main screen. The App that has already started adding a dedicated tab for Reels for some users in India, it has now made the same available for all, along with the Shops tab. This is with respect to the eCommerce wing of Instagram, providing more revenue opportunities to businesses.
17. Twitter launched a new ‘Carousels’ ad format option
Carousel ads format on Twitter is finally here! With the launch of the option, advertisers and marketers can add up to six images or videos in an ad. According to studies, carousel ads that have been on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for years now have proven to be more engaging and successful for promoters. Twitter, in its announcement of the Carousel Ads feature has also shared the following benefits that come tagging along:
(a) The multi-image style carousel ad encourages engagement from users. People will spend more time looking at and interacting with your ad, which at the very minimum, helps with brand awareness.
(b) Carousels can be used to achieve a variety of goals: web traffic, engagement, brand awareness, etc. You will find Carousels available across all Website & App objectives as well as Video Views with Video Carousels.
(c) These are easy-to-create ads. Carousels follow the same simple steps and creative specifications as our other image & video formats, allowing you time to focus on creativity and your story.
(d) Similar to other ads, Twitter offers analytics and strong metrics to help you test, learn and adjust your ad strategy.
The format is now available to marketers globally and can be created on Ads Manager or through API.
18. YouTube announces new listening options on YouTube music
YouTube has announced a new update for its dedicated music App, YouTube Music. In a string of personalised additions, YouTube has added a new set of playlists and mixes to match/suit your mood and activity. You’ll be able to access and listen to 7 new ‘My Mix’ playlists, with each of them capturing a different corner of the music world. These personalised mixes will also include other music recommendations you might like, providing you with options to discover new music and expand your playlist.
19. Google Webmasters Central is now Google Search Central
Google has renamed Webmasters Central as Google Search Central. Initially known as Google Site Maps, it was then changed to Google Webmasters Central in 2006. After 14 years, it is now renamed as Google Webmasters Central.
20. Google hotel health & safety data now fully live
After making an inconsistent appearance, the Health & Safety attributes data is now available on Google Travel’s hotel search results. The section appears in a box on Search results, with an option to ‘view details’. Upon clicking the same, it takes us to the Health & Safety attributes section, and the user can click on each point to view a detailed explanation.
21. Google tests bolder font for URLs on Search results
Google is always testing and making tweaks to its search results page. In another such test, the search engine giant is testing a bolder font for URLs.
22. Instagram makes ‘Guides’ available to all users
A few months back, select profiles were given access to a new feature on Instagram called ‘Guides’, it let users collate content in the form of a multi-media blog. Instagram has now made it available to all users, with a dedicated space on the profile for Guides. Guides let you focus on three types of content: places, products and posts. For example, food bloggers can curate a list of places for a particular cuisine, and draft a guide with their location, describing them and their specialities. Fitness enthusiasts can create a guide on the products they recommend for different fitness and recreational activities. And with the third category – posts, users can collate a set of posts – original or saved and make a guide out of it. For now, Guides can only be shared on stories and DMs. Users cannot like, comment, share or even promote the same.
23. Twitter tests Audio’ Spaces’ feature
Twitter is testing out a virtual meeting room option, that is audio-exclusive. This will be built on top of Fleets, providing Twitteratis with yet another option for interaction. The audio-space option lets users create a space where they can admit their connections on Twitter to listen, talk and actively participate in a discussion. This will be marked in purple colour on the host’s Fleets bubble, indicating that a meet-up is in progress. Twitter has currently planned to test it out within a small group to assess the scope of the same, before taking a call on its expansion.
24. Instagram adds the Keyword Search option in its Search
Up until now, Instagram’s search has only involved hashtags, profiles and location. In a new addition, the social media platform will now let users search for keywords on its search window, within the app. Upon searching for a keyword, Instagram will show users all posts related to it. This option gives users access to a wide range of content on the app, with brands being within the scope to perform better!
25. Branded content options now available for Reels & Live
With Reels making waves on the platform, Instagram has added a monetary angle to it by offering new brand partnership options and processes and helping content creators make money through the feature. Users will now be able to add branded content tags on both Reels clips and when they go live. This means creators and influencers can strike a partnership with brands and create content to promote the same. In addition to this, Instagram is also adding a new process which will enable advertisers to create brand content ads via backend, without the need for any organically posted content.
26. Google Guaranteed badge starting to appear on Google Maps listings
Google has been making a big push of late with Local Services Ads, which includes its two underlying “trust certifications,” Google Guaranteed (home services) and Google Screened (professional services). And recently, the company started making the Google Guaranteed badge available to businesses for a monthly fee, outside of participation in Local Services Ads (LSA).
27. Google Ads wants advertisers to give broad match another shot
Google is going to start showing new Recommendations for switching to broad match in Google Ads. Google said in a blog post on Monday, “If you’re using Smart Bidding, we’ll identify existing keywords that are likely to improve performance if you switch them to broad match”. For example, says Google, the broad match keyword “women’s hats” could match “winter headwear for women” or “women’s accessories.”
28. Google tests sub-categories in Search results
Google has gone a step beyond its categories tab on Search and is now testing a new sub-categories tab, for product-related search. In a discussion on Twitter, some feel that it is an alternate form of the sidebar filter design. Another addition to the long list of Google’s tweaks in the Search front!
29. Instagram tests FAQ option for direct interactions with Business Accounts
Instagram is testing out a new FAQ option, which is accessible to business accounts. This would give brands the option to set up ‘tappable’ Q and A options within their feed when customers look to submit a message query. The option, which is available in the Settings > Business > Frequently Asked Questions, will enable brands to highlight common questions regarding their brand, which the customers can get quick replies to. The feature is still in its early testing stages.
30. Twitter adds warning pop-ups when users attempt to like tweets which include disputed claims
After the successful roll-out of its warning prompts for retweets of tweets that include disputed claims, Twitter is now extending the same to the Like option. When you choose to like a tweet that has been labelled as a potentially false claim, Twitter will show a pop-up which will warn you about the claim’s dispute. This added prompt will help users to consider the authenticity of the information before they consume the same. Since Twitter’s algorithm is heavily influenced by its Like activity, this prompt will only stop the spread of unauthentic information.
31. Twitter to relaunch its verification process in 2021 with new guidelines
After shutting it down back in 2017, Twitter is looking to bring back its verification process in 2021. But before putting the context in place, Twitter has created a feedback process, where it is turning to the users to understand what verification means to them and what they expect the blue checkmark to represent. This is to build a more relevant verification policy. Twitter is also working on the flaws of its previous verification process, to bring out a more improved one, rectified of all errors.
32. Google tests multiple contextual links in featured snippets
Google confirms Google-generated web stories as featured snippets are not a great experience for searchers.
Google, this week, began testing showing multiple contextual links within a single featured snippet result. In short, a featured snippet would have not just a single link to the publisher that Google used for this content, but would augment that featured snippet to provide links on phrases that Google feels needs more explanation. The catch is, those links would not link to the place Google grabbed the featured snippet from, but to other web sites.
33. Google launches new crawl stats report in Search Console
Google has revamped the crawl stats report to provide actionable and useful data to your crawling issues.
Google has announced the launch of a new crawl stats report in Google Search Console. You may be able to access this report over here but keep in mind Google is rolling this out now, and it might generate an error for you.
34. Google Local adds Messaging button to Google Posts
Google is adding a new Messaging option in Google posts on Google Local. This is seen as a move to bring in more local profiles to use Google Posts. Previously, the Message button was available in the Updates section, but it has now moved to the Larger Google Posts section. Users would have to enable messaging in Google My Business and add Google Posts there as well.
35. ‘Suggest an edit’ option on Google Local Results has moved under three dots on mobile
Google, in its mobile view, has moved the ‘Suggest an edit’ option from the main listing to the three vertical dot bars. This has paved the way for a clearer view of the local panel but has also made it a little difficult for users to figure out the option’s placement.