New Instagram Broadcast feature is here; WooCommerce vulnerability affects 900,000+ sites; New updates from Google; Best Ads of the week and much more

Welcome to this week’s Digital Discovery. It’s a big one this week as we cover the last two weeks.

Each week we cover the latest developments and everything you need to know in the world of digital marketing. This week we cover:

  • Instagram Broadcast Channels roll out globally
  • WooCommerce vulnerability affects 900,000+ websites
  • Get verified or Microsoft Ads will stop on 1 August
  • Twitter’s ad sales have plunged 59% in the US
  • Reddit launches new ad products
  • Google updates GA4, Search Console and Looker Studio capabilities
  • Google’s Search Generative Experience gets a boost
  • But Bard is paused in the EU
  • Google releases new search spam report form

Plus we look at some of the best ads discovered and look ahead at key content dates coming up.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this newsletter and follow me on LinkedIn.

Ok, let’s dive into this week’s update… 

Instagram Broadcast Channels roll out globally

Instagram has announced that its Broadcast Channels feature is now available to users worldwide. Broadcast Channels allow creators to send one-way messages to channel members with text, photos, video, polls, and voice messages.

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In addition to the global launch, Instagram also announced a number of experimental features, including question prompts, a dedicated tab in the inbox, collaborators, expiration dates and times for broadcasts, content moderators, and preview links.

To find Instagram Broadcast Channels, users can go to their direct message inbox in the Instagram app and use the search bar. Channels can also be found by following accounts that have created channels or by viewing suggested channels based on interests.

Creators can create a channel by going to their direct message inbox and tapping the icon to write a new message. From there, they can select the option to create a broadcast channel. Channels can be set for followers or paid subscribers only and can be displayed for promotional purposes or hidden.

The global rollout of Broadcast Channels represents a significant update for Instagram, offering creators a new way to reach their audience. The feature is also likely to be popular with users who are looking to join channels of interest.


WooCommerce Stripe Payment Gateway plugin vulnerability affects 900,000+ websites

A vulnerability in the WooCommerce Stripe payment gateway plugin could allow an attacker to steal customer PII information from stores using the plugin. The vulnerability does not require authentication, and it affects over 900,000 websites. Website owners are advised to update to the latest version of the plugin as soon as possible.

Need help keeping your WordPress website secure and updated? Check out our helpful maintenance packages here


Get verified or Microsoft Ads will stop on 1 August

Microsoft Advertising announced that it will only show ads from verified advertisers starting 1 August, 2023. This means that all advertisers will need to complete the Microsoft Ads Advertiser Identity Verification program before their ads will be shown.

The verification program requires advertisers to provide information about their business, such as their name, location, and contact information. They will also need to provide a copy of their business license or other government-issued identification.

Once an advertiser has been verified, their ads will show the following information:

  • The advertiser’s name and location
  • The business or individual paying for the ad
  • Information about why the user is seeing the ad (e.g., targeting parameters)
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New Ads Library coming

Microsoft is also launching a new Ad Library that will allow users to view ads shown on Bing. The Ad Library will show the advertiser’s details, such as their name, location, and contact information.

Users will also be able to search for ads in the Ad Library by the advertiser’s name or words in the ad creative.

Here are some key dates to keep in mind:

  • 1 July: New advertisers must be verified before Microsoft will serve any ads.
  • 15 July: If your account isn’t verified and you haven’t received an email from Microsoft about account verification, contact Microsoft support.
  • 1 August: Microsoft Advertising will only serve ads from verified advertisers.


Twitter’s ad sales have plunged 59% in the US

Twitter’s ad sales in the US plunged 59% in April from a year earlier, according to an internal presentation. The company projected that ad sales would keep declining.

The decline in ad sales is likely due to a number of factors, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, rising inflation, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Several large ad agencies and brands, including General Motors and Volkswagen, have paused their ad spending on Twitter. This is likely due to the decline in ad sales and the uncertainty surrounding Twitter’s future under Musk.


Reddit launches new ad products

Reddit, the popular social media platform, has launched two new ad products: Contextual Keyword Targeting and Product Ads. These new products are designed to help advertisers reach more relevant audiences and improve their conversion rates.

Contextual Keyword Targeting allows advertisers to target their ads to users who are discussing specific keywords on Reddit. This means that advertisers can reach users who are already interested in their products or services.

Product Ads are a new ad format that allows advertisers to display product information, such as pricing and availability, directly in their ads. This makes it easy for users to learn more about a product and make a purchase.

Both of these new ad products are designed to make it easier for advertisers to reach their target audiences and achieve their marketing goals.


Google updates GA4, Search Console and Looker Studio capabilities

GA4 adds new dimensions and metrics

Google has added six new dimensions and metrics to the Google Analytics 4 audience builder. These new metrics and dimensions can help you track your website metrics and goals in more detail.

As we get closer to the deadline when Universal Analytics 3 will stop collecting data, it is important to start using Google Analytics 4. These new dimensions and metrics make Google Analytics 4 even more powerful and useful.

The five new dimensions added to the audience builder in Google Analytics 4 are:

  • Country: This dimension allows you to track the country of origin for your website visitors.
  • Manual term (UTM Term): This dimension allows you to track the UTM terms that were used to track your website visitors.
  • Mobile device info: This dimension allows you to track the type of mobile device that your website visitors are using.
  • Minute: This dimension allows you to track the minute of the day that your website visitors are visiting your website.
  • New vs Returning: This dimension allows you to track whether your website visitors are new or returning visitors.

The new metric added to the audience builder in Google Analytics 4 is:

  • Session duration: This metric allows you to track the length of time that your website visitors are spending on your website.


Google updates Search Console video indexing report

Google has announced that it is breaking down the “Google could not determine the prominent video on the page” reason into three more specific reasons in order to help publishers better understand and fix issues with their video pages.

The new reasons are:

  • Video outside the viewport: This means that the video is not visible when the page loads. To fix this, publishers should reposition the video so that it is within the visible area of the page.
  • Video too small: This means that the video is not large enough to be indexed by Google. To fix this, publishers should increase the height or width of the video so that it is at least 140px in size.
  • Video too tall: This means that the video is too tall to be indexed by Google. To fix this, publishers should decrease the height of the video so that it is no taller than 1080px.

The new reasons will be reflected in the Search Console video indexing report, which shows publishers why their videos are not being indexed. The report will also show publishers which videos are affected by the new reasons.


Looker Studio updates with 170 new fields for reporting

Looker Studio has recently introduced a significant system update, unveiling a wide range of 170 new fields specifically designed for reporting purposes. To access this fresh data, users are required to refresh their GA4 data sources.

The availability of new data in Looker Studio enables users to generate more comprehensive and detailed reports, providing insights that were previously inaccessible. Advertisers, in particular, should be thrilled about gaining valuable information on landing page analytics, user conversion rates, page location data, and session conversion rates based on event data.


Ads of the week

GWR – Five Get There First

Wholesome and well put together ad

Heineken | 150th Anniversary

I’ve been typing this in recently for client competitor research. I can definitely relate to the spelling issues…

Burger King | We Give Up – 60″

“We give up. There’s room for two in this house. The Chicken Royale, only at the Home of the Whopper.”


The most watched YouTube ad

Great watch!

Check out the full list here


Google’s Search Generative Experience gets a boost

Google has announced two new updates to its Search Generative Experience (SGE) feature, which is designed to provide more comprehensive and informative answers to user queries.

The first update is that SGE can now generate answers in half the time. This is thanks to a new algorithm that is able to better understand the intent of user queries.

The second update is that SGE now uses photos and reviews from Google Business Profile listings. This means that SGE can now provide more visual and contextual information to users, making it easier for them to find the answers they are looking for.

This means that businesses need to ensure that their photos and reviews on Google Business Profile listings are complete, good quality, and representative of their business.

But Bard is paused in the EU

Google’s AI chatbot Bard was supposed to launch in the EU, but has been delayed due to privacy concerns. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), the main overseer of data in the European Union, has asked Google for more information about how Bard will protect user privacy.

The DPC is concerned that Bard could collect and use personal data without users’ knowledge or consent. Google has said that it is committed to protecting user privacy, but it has not yet provided the DPC with the information it has requested.

The delay in Bard’s EU launch is a setback for Google, which has been developing the chatbot for several years. Bard is designed to be a more natural and engaging way for users to interact with Google’s services.

It is unclear when Bard will be launched in the EU. The DPC has said that it will need to review Google’s response before making a decision.


Google releases new search spam report form

Google has released a new search spam report form that allows users to report a wider range of spam issues. The new form includes options for reporting paid links, malicious behaviour, and low-quality content.

Will people abuse this form?

Users on Twitter were quick to ask John Mueller whether people will abuse the form

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More speculation can be found here: https://www.seroundtable.com/new-google-search-quality-feedback-form-35559.html


Pride Month – Whole of June

19 June 2023: National Picnic Week (19th-25th) Begins

20 June 2023: World Refugee Day

21 June 2023: Summer Solstice, Glastonbury Festival (21st-25th) Begins, National Selfie Day, World Music Day, International Yoga Day

22 June 2023: Windrush Day

23 June 2023: National Writing Day

24 June 2023: Armed Forces Day

27 June 2023: Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day

28 June 2023: Eid al-Adha (28th-29th) Begins

30 June 2023: World Social Media Day

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter and found it useful.

Please follow me and subscribe to my Digital Discovery newsletter. I’ll be posting each week about the digital marketing stories that matter.

See you next week.

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