Digital Dash: Facebook page admin alert & more

1. Facebook to verify ALL popular page’s admins, plus more updates
2. YouTube also in hot water over data privacy, facing complaint over tracking children
3. Instagram follows Snapchat and Pinterest, set to launch own version of QR codes
4. Gmail gets a (low-key) makeover, new design and features on the way
5. Facebook surveys Ads Manager users, asks for honest feedback

1. Facebook to verify ALL popular page’s admins, plus more updates

Mark Zuckerberg may have been busy testifying before Congress this week, but the pace of Facebook’s platform updates hasn’t slowed much from last week’s stack of privacy announcements.

One major bit of news to emerge in the past few days is that Facebook will start to verify page admins associated with ‘large’ pages, to make sure that all management profiles are legit.

For page admins who don’t log in through a genuine personal profile, but rather an account set up specially to manage multiple business pages (very common), this could lead to them being blocked from posting etc. which could cause real problems.

While we’re all in favour of Facebook putting measures in place to weed out fake accounts, this particular move could cause problems for the many businesses that use a ‘dummy’ account for convenience.

Although technically against Facebook rules and regulations, it’s not surprising that a lot of people do this given that it’s not possible to manage a business page with another business page account, and some might not want to link their personal profile to work accounts.

Notice I mentioned that this will only apply to ‘large’ pages earlier on? Well, what this actually means remains unclear at the moment. We’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Here’s another handful of Facebook updates from this week:

‘View ads’ tab: being tested now, this will let you see all the ads a page is running (great for spying!).

Stories default: it’s been reported that Facebook is toying with Stories being the default status update option. Yes. That poor horse is still being flogged.

90-day access tokens for apps: user data will now only be accessible for 90 days after signing up regardless of user activity.

Ad-free Facebook: during his interrogation by Congress, Mark hinted that an ad-free Facebook might exist in future. The absence of ads would mean that users have to pay to use the service, which will probably mean they’ll decide they don’t mind ads that much after all.

Delete message tool (Messenger): apparently Mark secretly developed a tool for himself that meant his DMs could be deleted without a trace. Now it’s been spotted, the feature is due to roll out to all users.

 

2. YouTube also in hot water over data privacy, facing complaint over tracking children

It looks like Google (via YouTube) is set to join Facebook in the doghouse over data privacy concerns.

While nowhere near the magnitude of the Cambridge Analytica situation (yet), the allegations against YouTube – made by a coalition of 23 consumer groups – are still pretty heavy.

Co-filed by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Centre for Digital Democracy to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the complaint accuses YouTube of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal data on children without parental consent.

So many acronyms.

As reported by Marketing Land, the CCFC blog post outlines key areas of concern.

One of the main accusations is that Google is shirking its responsibilities to its hoards of younger users and their parents, hiding behind a privacy policy that states YouTube isn’t for children under 13.

The blog post states that 80% of US 6-12 year olds use YouTube, and ‘in 2017, it was the most recognizable brand among kids 6-12.’

It also highlights that YouTube even provides how-to guides for creators making videos for kids.

All in all, the group believes Google is fully aware of how many children are using YouTube and should therefore a) tell parents exactly what data is being collected, and b) get parental permission before gathering information about kids.

Obviously this relates to children who have their own YouTube accounts, rather than those who use their parents’.

With data privacy such a hot topic at the moment, it will be interesting to see how this story develops.

 

3. Instagram follows Snapchat and Pinterest, set to launch own version of QR codes

Any opportunity to drive customers and fans to your Instagram account should be grabbed with both hands, and luckily a cool new feature is about to launch that could prove really valuable for doing just that.

Very soon, Nametags will be arriving on Instagram – a feature that lets you create a unique image that loads your profile page when scanned with the Instagram Stories camera.

Just like Snapcodes (been around ages) and Pincodes (relatively new), Nametags are essentially glorified QR codes.

As the demo below shows, you can even customise the background using various colours and emjois.

The beauty of these social-media-specific QR codes lies in the opportunities they offer businesses to grow online communities using offline audiences.

If Nametags materialise how we expect, they will be able to be included in prints ads, POS collateral etc. etc. etc. They will be a really effective way to extend the brand conversation and connection with offline shoppers.

Another new Instagram feature we’re excited about this week is a ‘Q and A’ sticker option for Instagram Stories.

These work in a similar way to Stories Polls, except for there’s no multiple choice requirement, and the replies are sent privately.

The element of hidden responses could be really useful for brands looking for feedback from customers.

Instagram_Q and A 2

Instagram_Q and A 1

Photo: WABetaInfo via Social Media Today

 

4. Gmail gets a (low-key) makeover, new design and features on the way

If you use the web version of Gmail, you’re in for a treat.

Google has officially announced that a redesign is coming soon, along with a load of new features.

Don’t hold me to the ‘treat’ thing by the way… according to The Verge, the new interface might not be all that different from the current one.

Gmail_redesign

Photo: The Verge

But one thing is for sure: you can look forward to the below new features, many of which were originally introduced for Google’s Inbox app for Gmail:

The first is a new ‘snooze’ tool, which will let you tell emails to go away and reappear hours or days later. Anyone else think this could be just as dangerous as your alarm’s snooze button?

Anyway, you’ll also be able to access Google Calendar directly within Gmail, and make use of machine-learning powered smart replies.

And if that wasn’t enough, Google is also looking into new ways to let you download and store emails for offline use.

 

5. Facebook surveys Ads Manager users, asks for honest feedback

As we all know, Facebook is on a frantic mission to win back the affections and trust of users.

As part of this, the platform has made many updates (see story #1 for the latest batch), some of which have not been entirely welcome news for advertisers. The removal of valuable targeting options, along with third-party app and bot restrictions are just a few examples.

But there’s good news marketers! Facebook hasn’t forgotten about you.

The screenshots below show a survey being distributed to Ads Manager users, asking for opinions and feedback on things like how trustworthy you consider Facebook to be, how satisfied you are with your Facebook marketing activities and how clear Facebook is regarding data it handles about your business and customers.

Facebook_ads manager survey 3

Facebook_ads manager survey 1

With some closed and some open questions, the survey gives marketers an opportunity to share their thoughts – positive or negative – in detail, which is good to see.

On a side note, I will be very surprised if any Ads Manager user doesn’t have a few choice words to share about glitches and slow running speeds.

We spotted this on our account yesterday (11.04.18) and aren’t 100% sure how widely the survey will be distributed. You’d hope that everyone gets a chance to have their say – but good luck to whoever has to sit down and analyse all those results.