24 May Digital Dash: LinkedIn launches Ads tab & more
1. LinkedIn launches Ads tab for users (but it’s also a gift for businesses)
You might already know there’s a way to see all ads a Facebook page is running.
The tool was put in place to improve transparency for users, especially around politically-focused content.
Side note: don’t look for this in the “Info & Ads” section though because it’s been removed. Ads are now found under the “Page Transparency” section (and potentially in the Ads Library too).
Well now LinkedIn’s introducing ad transparency measures too.
You’ll soon notice an Ads tab on LinkedIn business pages. Clicking will allow you to see all sponsored content run by that page in the past 6 months.
You can click on the ads to view them up close (but it won’t count as engagement and the advertiser won’t be charged).
In the announcement blog, LinkedIn said:
“The new Ads tab builds on similar tools we’ve recently introduced to help members understand and control their ads experience, including new ad settings that each member can access from their LinkedIn account. The Ads tab is the first of many updates to come as we continue to provide our members with useful information about the ads they see on LinkedIn.”
I’d be quite surprised if many users remember/are interested enough to check this out on a regular basis.
But if nothing else, it will prove to be a great new competitor spying tool for businesses.
2. Facebook tweaks algorithm AGAIN, announces 2 new ranking factors
It’s funny. You can go months on end without hearing anything about Facebook’s mysterious News Feed algorithm, and then all of a sudden you’re bombarded with updates.
It was only a couple of weeks ago we heard about 3 new ranking factors related to video. Here’s a refresher on those.
And this week, 2 more tweaks have been announced.
Both relate to results from user surveys conducted recently, which aimed to dig into what people want to see and who they want to see it from.
The first update prioritises friends you want to hear from most.
Facebook has devised a way to help determine who users are closest to, not simply who they engage with the most. Things like being tagged in photos together and checking in at the same places will now all contribute to the algorithm.
Wait … people are still checking in?
The second update is of much more interest from a business perspective. The algorithm will begin to prioritise posts featuring links users will find most worthwhile. Factors including the type of post, page source, engagement levels and so on will help determine this.
This one is even more interesting because Facebook has shown dwindling interest in link posts for a while now. Hmm.
Overall, I don’t think these changes are monumental for brands. As long as you keep your content powerful, valuable and appealing – you should continue to see decent reach.
… As long as you pay for it, of course.
3. Bumper news bite! Get ready for a stack of Instagram updates
There’s been lots of Instagram news circulating over the past week, so I’ve decided to wrap it all up into a 4-in-1 update for you:
Update #1: IGTV gets a makeover
It’s estimated that only 0.5% of Instagram’s user database has downloaded the IGTV app. Yes, it can be accessed through the main app too – but that doesn’t change the fact that IGTV just hasn’t really taken off yet.
In a bid to make it more popular, Instagram is taking tips from two competitors: Snapchat and hot-right-now TikTok. The old design has been replaced with one central feed of algorithmically suggested videos.
Shoutout to TechCrunch for the tip-off and image above.
Update #2: Stories in Explore
Within the next few weeks, the redesigned Explore grid will feature Stories and personalised Stories recommendations. Links to IGTV and Shopping will also feature prominently at the front of the navigation rail.
Update #3: likes display
A couple of weeks ago, rumours that Instagram might stop featuring the like count publicly were circulating.
This could still happen.
But while we wait and see, another like-related test has been spotted. This one would affect the view for account owners rather than general users.
Both were brought to light by renowned reverse-engineer Jane Machun-Wong.
This latest test suggests new likes might be displayed separately from likes gained previously.
Instagram is testing to distinguish new likes from the likes you’ve seen before pic.twitter.com/g3Q0pBJCQX
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 12, 2019
Update #4: follower farm crackdown
Speaking of Jane Manchun-Wong, here’s another potential updated she spotted: a warning to users that working with dreaded like or follower farms could result in account deactivation. It also requests a password change to prevent access.
Instagram is working on cracking down like farms and followers farms.
It’s important to know that I don’t work at Instagram. pic.twitter.com/EYZmMnyRC8
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 11, 2019
4. Facebook investigating data breach involving millions of Instagram influencers
“The future is private” Facebook shouted from the rooftops at it’s F8 conference a few weeks ago.
Fast forward only a matter of days and a major WhatsApp security loophole was exploited, hitting headlines worldwide.
Fast forward to this week and another data breach has been exposed, this time over on Instagram.
Let’s look into this.
As revealed by TechCrunch, a massive database containing contact information (including phone numbers and email addresses) of millions of Instagram influencers has been found online.
TechCrunch traced the database back to a social media marketing firm in Mumbai, called Chtrbox. The company pays influencers to post sponsored content on their accounts.
But this gets even more interesting.
TechCrunch reached out to a number of influencers from the list, who confirmed their contact details were correct but said they had never been involved with Chtrbox.
So what’s going on? Nobody seems to know.
Facebook has officially responded to news of the breach, saying:
“We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described – including email and phone numbers – was from Instagram or from other sources,” said an updated statement. “We’re also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available.”
It’s not clear yet how responsible Facebook/Instagram are on this one. So judgement should maybe be reserved for now. Either way, another high profile data breach is not ideal for a company grafting so hard to clean up its reputation.
5. Google refreshes mobile search results design
This is a really quick one, but not insignificant.
Google is making a slight update to how search results look on mobile. The source website will now be much more noticeable – placed above the listing instead of below the link – and the brand icon or “favicon” will now appear there too.
Look out for the rollout of this over the next few days.
You can find out how to change your favicon here.