Latest Digital Marketing Updates June 2024

Welcome to our June digital marketing update! This month, major platforms have revealed important improvements that will drastically alter the online world. YouTube now allows the editing of longer hours of videos, and Google Maps ads are coming to iPhones. But the news doesn't stop there.

new-things-digital-june-2024

Welcome to our June digital marketing update! This month, major platforms have revealed important improvements that will drastically alter the online world. YouTube now allows the editing of longer hours of videos, and Google Maps ads are coming to iPhones. But the news doesn’t stop there.

Today’s briefing includes one update that could fundamentally alter how we connect online. Yes, Instagram experiments with new creative formats while WhatsApp and chatbots get boosted analytics. Are you ready to witness the latest changes that can change the future of digital marketing? Buckle up as I take you through the disruptions that happened during the weeks of June.

1. Instagram Tests Text Overlays And Image Formatting Within Carousel Posts

instagram-tests-text-overlays

Instagram is experimenting with fresh functionalities for Carousel posts, which permit creators to include text overlays on individual images and adjust the format of image displays.

Certain users can now overlay text on images within a carousel, as Candidas and Nas Wander demonstrated. This feature allows captions to be placed directly on images, enriching the presentation choices for explainers and how-tos.

Another recent enhancement, as social media authority Lindsey Gamble pointed out, offers various presentation formats for images within a carousel. These uncomplicated yet captivating additions broaden the creative opportunities for carousel posts.

2. Instagram May Soon Enable You To Cross-Post Stories To WhatsApp

cross-post-stories-WhatsApp

According to app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is developing a feature that allows users to share IG Stories directly to WhatsApp.

You can share Instagram Stories with Facebook, which helps broaden your audience. Including WhatsApp, particularly WhatsApp Status (its Stories counterpart), would further expand your reach.

Although some formatting challenges and interactive elements may work differently on WhatsApp, the opportunity to distribute content more widely is attractive. This feature could assist you in engaging with a larger audience.

Furthermore, if you could repost Stories to WhatsApp Channels—its broadcasting feature for specific topics—this would be particularly advantageous. For example, a brand could utilize a WhatsApp channel to share product updates and effortlessly repost Instagram Stories to keep followers up to date.

Meta recently revealed that WhatsApp Channels has amassed 500 million users. Integrating these update streams with visual Stories content is highly beneficial.

3. Threads May Be Looking To Change How Hashtags Work In The App

hashtags-work-in-the-app

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri recently emphasized that hashtags don’t significantly increase post reach on the app. However, he mentioned that hashtags can help align posts with specific communities, offering discovery benefits. Overall, Mosseri indicated that hashtags provide little to no reach advantage.

This statement echoes what we’ve heard from other platforms. For instance, LinkedIn stated that hashtags don’t have a different impact than they once did. Modern algorithms now consider more contextual indicators, such as the full text of the post, the account, and the people who engage with it. Based on this information, hashtags used to be more essential for guiding content discovery.

4. LinkedIn adds Premium Video Ad Placement, More AI Ad Tools

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LinkedIn is introducing a new ad placement option to leverage increasing video consumption on the platform and integrating more AI capabilities for creating ad content.

First, LinkedIn is launching a video sponsorship program called “The Wire,” allowing brands to run in-stream video ads alongside trusted publisher content.

As shown in the example, brands can now select specific pre-roll placements with chosen publishers, enhancing the impact and credibility of their promotions.

5. Whatsapp Channels Is Now Up To 500m Users

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At Meta’s “Conversations” business messaging conference in Sao Paulo, a notable update was announced: WhatsApp Channels, a one-way broadcast messaging option, has reached 500 million users.

WhatsApp Channels: Launched a year ago, WhatsApp Channels allow users to join topic-based groups for the latest updates, similar to Instagram’s Channels. This feature provides creators and brands a direct way to stay connected with their audience.

Increasingly, people prefer engaging via messaging rather than social media pages. Channels tap into this trend, offering a direct messaging connection with your most passionate fans.

6. YouTube Launches Live Test Of ‘Dream Screen’ AI Background Generator

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Following its announcement last September, YouTube has begun testing its “Dream Screen” AI generation feature with selected users. This tool allows users to create background videos or images for their Shorts using text prompts.

YouTube states this tool helps to generate new images to include in your Shorts. For example, if you want the background of your next Short to be an enchanted rainbow flower forest or a fancy hotel pool on a tropical island, you would type ‘enchanted rainbow flower forest’ or ‘fancy hotel pool on a tropical island’ into the tool and watch your imagination come to life.”

This feature is expected to attract significant interest from Shorts creators, a key growth area for the app. AI technology will offer even more creative possibilities, enabling users to customize and create video clips based on their imagination. The feature is being tested with a small group of Shorts creators, with a broader rollout planned for later this year.

7. YouTube Expands Community Posts To All Users

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YouTube has been attempting to improve the platform’s social components, particularly by increasing the number of community posts. These postings allow channel managers to share text updates displayed on their channel’s “Community” page and subscriber feeds.

YouTube is now expanding Community Posts, allowing any channels to submit social updates within the app.

According to Youtube:

“In the next few weeks, we will expand access to Community Posts on YouTube. This builds on last year’s update, which made posts available to all channels eligible for advanced features regardless of subscriber count. We expect this new expansion will help foster deeper and more meaningful relationships between creators and their communities.”

8. Google Business Profiles Tests Chat With SMS & WhatsApp

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Google may soon introduce native SMS and WhatsApp messaging support for Google Maps business listings. This feature, spotted by Francastrokw, suggests that Google is testing a new “chat” section within Google Business Profiles. Businesses can add their SMS and WhatsApp numbers to enable messaging and chatting directly through Google Maps and Google Search.

9. Google Image Search Tests Pinch To Zoom

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Google Image Search is testing a new feature that allows users to pinch to zoom on mobile devices. This will enable users to zoom in and examine more details of specific images within the interface. Glenn Gabe discovered this functionality and uploaded photos of Google, inserting an image overlay with a hand icon signifying “pinch to zoom,” informing users that this option is available.

10. X Launches Advanced Analytics For Premium Subscribers

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X has introduced an updated profile analytics tool that is available only to X Premium users. This update includes metrics such as total impressions, engagement rate, profile visits, video performance, and link clicks. The centrepiece of the update is a massive new bar chart display that allows users to shift between different parts, making it easier to track performance over time. Users can also flip between date ranges directly on the chart.

Previously available insights for X/Twitter users have undergone a display change, making it easier to look deeper into app data. X has also included new specific data points, improving the ability to analyze platform performance comprehensively.

Please remember that the new analytics dashboard now provides access to all account analytics.

11. Threads Tests Updated Link Preview Display For Instagram Posts

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Instagram is working on an update for Threads that will feature still image uploads from Instagram in a dedicated style. Instead of a small thumbnail link, these posts will be displayed as full-size photographs with the creator’s Instagram handle overlayed. Users can tap on the image to see the original Instagram post. This style is also being evaluated for Reel footage to create a more cohesive and visually appealing sharing experience between Instagram and Threads. This update can make content sharing easier, effortlessly boosting your Threads and Instagram presence.

12. Meta Delays AI Roll-Out In Europe Due To Data Usage Concerns

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Meta has dialled back its artificial intelligence goals in Europe, citing worries over how it collects user data from Facebook and Instagram to fuel its models. The issue is that Meta uses public posts on social networks for its AI systems, potentially violating EU data restrictions. Meta has stressed that it only uses public posts, not audience-restricted updates or private messages, which it says is consistent with its user privacy agreements.

13. Youtube Tests Image-Based Search Via Google Lens

image-based-search

YouTube is testing a new search function in which selected users can use Google Lens to find YouTube videos based on an image.

In this test, as demonstrated in screenshots published by 9 to 5 Google, users will notice a Google Lens symbol next to the Search box in the YouTube app. Tapping on this button launches the Google Lens camera, allowing users to take photos of anything they want to find.

14. YouTube Expands The Test Of Chat Topic Sorting To Live Streams

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ouTube has expanded its AI-powered summarised comment topics feature from regular uploads to live video. During live streams with active comment threads, YouTube’s AI now groups comments by topic. This helps viewers to immediately comprehend the significant areas of discussion and participate in the conversations that interest them the most.

This capability was first tried on ordinary video uploads in November of last year and then on Shorts with high comment numbers, but it is still in the testing phase. The idea is to improve viewer engagement by providing summaries of significant discussions related to each video or broadcast, removing the need to read through whole chat streams manually.

15. Threads Adds Live MLB Scores To Encourage Sports Engagement

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Threads has increased its live sports coverage by incorporating real-time Major League Baseball (MLB) and NBA results, released earlier in March. When users search for an MLB team, Threads now prominently shows the most recent game scores at the top of the results page. This includes real-time results from current matches, details from the most recent game, and previews of upcoming games with planned times.

Threads has also addressed a significant issue with their NBA listings by allowing users to limit post search results under the scoreboard by “Recent.” Previously, posts were rated entirely by Threads’ algorithm, making keeping up with live discussions during games difficult. Now, users can track the latest discussion points as they unfold, enhancing engagement possibilities within the app.

These updates reflect Threads’ aim to provide a viable alternative for users seeking real-time updates and community engagement, particularly in light of changes within other social media platforms.

16. Google Tests Local Five-Pack (Up From 3 Packs)

google-test-local-five-pack

Google is again experimenting with providing five local results, a five-pack, rather than the standard three local results, a three-pack, in the search results local results section. Google tested it in 2021, as did SGE labs, and it is now being tested again.

17. Google Tests Organized Search Results Page

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Google is testing how to categorize or organize search results on the search results page. This is something Google unveiled during Google I/O and has repeatedly tested over the years.

18. Google Tests Shaded Site Names & Favicons For Search Results

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Google is experimenting with a style tweak in mobile search results that shades the backdrop grey behind the favicon, site name, and URL. This adds a stylistic flair to the conventional blue connections, as highlighted by Gagan Ghotra on X, who observed a consistent backdrop colour throughout inquiries. Knowledge panels appear unaffected by this alteration as they maintain their regular appearance.

19. Threads Launches API To Facilitate Broader Posting And Analytics Options

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Meta has released the Threads API to all developers, allowing creators and publishers to schedule posts, manage replies, and more through third-party apps. According to Meta, users can publish posts using the API, retrieve their content, and employ reply management tools.

The API also gives you access to crucial analytics like post views, likes, replies, reposts, quotes, follower numbers, and demographics. This improvement streamlines content planning and workflow management, particularly for more prominent publications.

After three months of testing with chosen developers, Meta improved the API to include more valuable capabilities as Threads gained popularity. Threads now has 150 million monthly active users, although it is still behind X’s 550 million. To compete with X, Threads must emphasise real-time updates and live.

20. Meta’s Announced  New A.I.-Based Advertising Options For Messenger

new-AI-based-advertising

Meta has introduced new AI-driven advertising possibilities for Messenger to assist marketers in engaging people via private messaging rather than public social network posts.

One of the primary features being evaluated is an AI Q&A tool that answers the most common inquiries organisations receive over Messenger. This feature provides personalised, automatic responses to help expedite the query process and make interactions more personable.

The AI answer engine, powered by Meta’s Llama 3 system, is intended to handle a variety of queries, potentially reducing time and driving more orders with minimal human participation. Although comparable to the Messenger Bots platform, which debuted in 2016, the new technology is more robust and capable.

21. YouTube Is Testing Its Version Of Community Notes

own-versions-of-community-notes

YouTube has introduced a new tool that allows viewers to contribute their notes to videos, offering relevant, timely, and understandable context. This tool, Community Notes, is similar to X’s and allows viewers to add contextual pointers to YouTube videos.

While YouTube does not intend to rely significantly on this function, it is a supplementary tool for providing extra context to specific clips. This addition aims to enhance existing moderation and information verification measures, helping to combat false reporting on the platform.

22. Youtube Enables The Editing Of Longer Videos

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YouTube has revealed new features that allow creators to modify videos longer than 6 hours, which was previously unavailable due to technical limits. This update, handy for live streams, removes the duration limit; nevertheless, processing lengthier films may take longer.

Furthermore, YouTube is upgrading comment handling in YouTube Studio. In the “Published” tab, creators can now pick and act on many comments simultaneously, making the moderation process more efficient.

These updates aim to give creators more control over their content and enhance their ability to manage audience interactions effectively. By the end of this month, all creators will have access to the improved editing capabilities.

23. X Is Losing Ground As A News Source, Per Report

x-is-losing-ground

Despite assertions that X is becoming a more trustworthy news source, social media users are gradually abandoning the site, with TikTok serving as a more significant news source in several countries. This insight is based on the most recent Reuters Institute Digital News Report, which polled over 94,000 people in 47 countries to provide a complete picture of global news consumption patterns.

Elon Musk has sought to establish X as the most trusted news source, constantly promoting its status as a top news app in numerous nations. However, the data suggests that X’s ambition to become an essential news and information hub may fail as planned, with users turning to TikTok for news.

24. Google Search Tests Black Site Links

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Google is experimenting with a new site link design featuring black font colours instead of the usual blue underlined links. This follows a recent test in which Google used larger fonts for the first link and smaller fonts for the site links.

Matt McGee and Suraj Soni on X observed the black font site links test.

25. Google Maps Adds An Edit & Post Button To The Business Profile Listing

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Google has made the “Edit” and “Post” buttons more visible by placing them prominently on Google Business Profiles in the Google Maps interface. Previously, these buttons were less visible.

Claudia Tomina noticed the change and shared it on X: “Google added prominent Post and Edit buttons on Google Maps.” ‘Post’ allows you to rate, review, and contribute images or videos, while ‘Edit’ will enable you to suggest changes and amend services and offerings.

26. Google Local Panels Gains a Menu button

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Under online search results, Google is introducing a “Menu” button for Google Business Profiles in local panels. Marcin Karwowski remarked that this feature is now being rolled out to select businesses after years of intermittent testing.

27. Local Service Ads Coming to Google Maps on IOS

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Google has notified select marketers that their Local Service Ads (LSAs) will soon be featured on Google Maps, beginning with the iOS app and then moving to other platforms. Advertisers who do not want their LSAs to appear on Google Maps must entirely disable them, as there is no opt-out option specific to Google Maps.

Matt McGee published the email he received regarding this on X. The email reads: “We’re launching ads on Google Maps to assist advertisers like you generate more leads. This launch is limited to the iOS version of the Google Maps mobile app.

28. Meta Brings Its AI Chatbot To Indian Users

meta-brings-AI-chatbot

Meta is introducing its advanced AI chatbot, powered by Llama 3, to Indian users for English-language queries. After initial testing in April and a delay due to the general elections, Meta now provides access to its 378 million monthly users in India.

The feedback has been mixed, with some users dissatisfied with the chatbot’s functioning. Older users may find the AI search function complicated, resulting in disappointing encounters. Meta knows these concerns but feels that consumers will eventually embrace the tool.

While AI opens up new possibilities, its role in social media remains to be determined and sometimes intrusive. There may need to be more than the novelty of AI prompts to satisfy their use on platforms like Facebook.

29. Threads Expands Fediverse sharing to 100 Regions

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Meta is expanding its diverse sharing experiment by enabling Threads users in over 100 areas to cross-post on decentralised social platforms via ActivityPub protocols.

With this integration, more Threads users can share their material on platforms like Mastodon and WordPress. Users of these platforms can follow, like, and respond to Threads posts immediately, increasing reach and engagement without having to access Threads.

This feature, initially offered in March in the United States, Canada, and Japan, is now available to a considerably larger audience.

30.  Threads Tests Disappearing Updates, Media Tab On Profiles

media-tab-on-profiles

Threads is working on disappearing posts and a new “Media” tab for profiles, similar to Twitter/X.

For disappearing posts, app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shared that Threads is developing an option where updates automatically delete after 24 hours. The feature includes all replies and removes the posts from your profile.

This could encourage users to post more freely, knowing their updates won’t be permanently available.

31. Meta’s Rolling Out Broadcast Channels To Pages With Over 10k Followers

pages-with-over-10k-followers

Meta is expanding its Broadcast Channels function, allowing every Facebook Page with more than 10,000 followers to start its channel on Facebook and Messenger.

The function debuted on Facebook and Messenger in October last year following its popularity on Instagram. It is now available on more Pages and contains new aspects.

  • Cross-Platform Sharing: Automatically share messages from Instagram to Facebook.
  • Early Access to Content: Publish posts to channel members before they go live on your Page.
  • Share to Stories: Share channel content via Facebook stories with a dedicated sticker.

This announcement is specific to Facebook and Messenger, but Instagram creators will also have access, but not universally. Professional Mode creators with more than 10,000 followers will soon be able to launch a Broadcast Channel. Creating a Broadcast Channel improves audience interaction by providing information directly to their mailbox. Channels can be pinned to your Page’s “Featured” area and promoted in the feed.

32.  Youtube Tests Picture-In-Picture Viewing For Shorts; Channel Mentions In Comments

picture-in-picture-viewing-for-shorts

YouTube has officially implemented picture-in-picture (PiP) viewing for Shorts, improving how users consume this material. With this new feature, YouTube Premium customers may now minimise the Shorts viewing window, allowing them to watch Shorts clips while doing other things on their devices. This upgrade improves flexibility and convenience, allowing users to multitask without interrupting their viewing experience.

In addition to PiP for Shorts, YouTube is testing a new tool that lets users quickly mention people in comments and provides Shorts downloads to Premium subscribers. These modifications increase user interaction and enable more ways to interact with Shorts content.

33. Open AI Acquires Rockset To Boost Chatgpt’s Real-Time Data Processing

chatgpt-realtime-data-processing

Last week, OpenAI announced the acquisition of Rockset, a real-time analytics database firm, for undisclosed sums.

Rockset was founded in 2016 and specialises in real-time data ingestion. OpenAI tweeted that Rockset’s technology will be integrated across its products, enabling companies to transform their data into actionable intelligence.

Rockset CEO and co-founder Venkat Venkataramani stated that Rockset will become part of OpenAI, powering the retrieval infrastructure for OpenAI’s product suite. He mentioned that Rockset will help OpenAI address the complex database challenges AI applications face at a large scale.

Current Rockset customers will see no immediate change in service but will eventually transition to OpenAI.

This acquisition, OpenAI’s first significant one, aims to enhance its AI stack. It will benefit ChatGPT Enterprise, which uses

34. Google Adds AI Insights To Google Analytics

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Google Analytics is getting new AI-powered capabilities to help marketers make better decisions and grasp opportunities.

These upgrades are part of Google Analytics 4, which will soon be the only choice as Google discontinues its primary and 360 analytics tools on July 1, 2024. If you haven’t still need to upgrade to Analytics 4, you should do so soon.

One of the new features is AI-powered insights, which provide simplified, plain-language explanations of key data events to help you stay informed and uncover possibilities in your data.

35. Google Search To Stop Continuous Scroll User Experience

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Google Search is discontinuing its continuous scroll feature and returning to the basic pagination bar at the bottom of search results.

Continuous scrolling for desktop searches will be turned off starting today. This feature was released on desktop in December 2022 and on mobile in October 2021, and it will last roughly a year and a half on desktop.

Google plans to remove continuous scrolling from smartphone search results next month.

36. Google Mobile Search Tests More Site Link Variations

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Google is testing various site link designs in its mobile search results, including boxed-in, pill-shaped, some with arrows, and in different colours like black and blue.  The black site links were also tested on the desktop but received negative feedback, along with smaller site links.

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