Mayfly Insights 21/05/2019

Google set to monetise Google My Business and introduces an auto-delete for location history and activity, Twitter experiments with a new desktop layout and Facebook news from the F8 developer conference and the Facebook Ad Library.

Will Google start to monetise Google My Business?

As spotted by various Google My Business (GMB) users earlier last week, Google has released a questionnaire which leaves users suspecting future changes to the currently free services of GMB. After answering a few questions about the nature of the business, Google will ask about paid advertising measures taken by the business in the past. It could be assumed that Google considers GMB as a “paid referral service” and wants to test how much users would be willing to spend for several features. This becomes even more apparent in the course of the survey, with questions enquiring about which features users would be willing to pay for and which they wouldn’t. Generally speaking, this survey does not necessarily mean GMB will become a completely paid service, but it strongly suggests that changes will be made. For marketers it is now essential to determine how much traffic their GMB is driving, as this will ultimately influence the decision of whether they should be paying for the service or not.

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Auto-delete function for Google Location History and activity data

Within their Google account, users can already access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity. However, Google has now announced auto-delete controls which will make it easier to manage the data collected. Accessible through Web App & Activity, users can control when their data is being deleted by choosing a time limit for how long the data will be saved for. This new feature will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

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Twitter experiments with a new desktop layout

In order to boost user engagement, Twitter has released a new update for their desktop version earlier last week. Users can opt in to test the new desktop layout, presenting a clearer and more minimalistic design of the site compared to the previous version. Apparently, Twitter is also testing a third version of the layout, which will probably be used to determine which of the new versions performs best and will ultimately be chosen. With Twitter taking these and other steps to further increase user engagement and boost user numbers, the platform continues to be an interesting resource for marketers, which can also be seen in the increases in Twitter ads as mentioned in our last Insights.

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Facebook news from the F8 developer conference

Facebook has announced updates to Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Facebook’s Core services during the F8 developer conference. This includes not only a focus on groups and events, in the form of prominent messenger tabs and a personalised feed from joined groups, but also new group interaction options, which will show up while browsing, too. Additionally, features to “discover” events and people to connect with will be more prominent. We have already talked about Instagram reducing the prominence of Likes, as per the F8 conference, this feature is currently already being tested in Canada and might roll out in other countries, if it proves successful. Facebook messenger will face some changes as well, with a reduced design to take up less space on a phone and a desktop app for Mac and PC which will be released later this year. During last year’s F8, Facebook introduced its own dating service, which is now expanding into 14 more countries. They have also added a feature for “secret crush”, giving users the option to add their Facebook friend(s) to a “secret crush” list and receive a notification if the other person has added them to their “secret crush” list.

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The Facebook Ad Library

Facebook has recently launched their so-called Ad Library, a place to see all active adverts being run by any page on Facebook. Formerly, Facebook users were able to see the adverts run by a page by visiting the “Info and Ads” tab on the page itself, which is now not available anymore. Instead of this, Facebook has created a “Home” tab for every page, where the creation date of the page, previous page merges, name changes and the primary location are displayed. Here users can also find a link to the Ad Library to view the adverts run by the page. The main reason behind this change is to create a common place for finding adverts and also to make political adverts transparent, as it will be possible to view spend and ad impressions of those in the Ad Library.

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