Mayfly Insights 20/03/2019

Pinstagram, our goodbye to the Facebook Ad Set budgets, Google’s Ad Auction is being simplified, Shopping Ads will appear in Google Images, Google Update Florida 2 and Twitter’s new video tool for publishers.

Is Instagram a threat for Pinterest?

Code buried in Instagram for Android shows that the company has tested a prototype of a feature for “Public Collections”. Since launching the feature of private collections about two years ago, users can save and organise their favourite feed posts and might soon be able to share them with their community. This model reminds users of Pinterest – a platform where saving pins to different boards is the main content generation model and the new feature might make Instagram a direct competitor to Pinterest. This new medium of content creation, not just through self-made content but also featuring other user-generated content, could give users another way to express and share their interests. Although Instagram has denied the development of such a feature after TechCrunch’s direct request, it would not be surprising for the Facebook-owned company to expand their market from star creators to star curators and, having four times as many users as Pinterest, become a serious threat to it.

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Facebook changes from ad set budgets to campaign budget optimisation

Facebook has announced that all campaigns will run with campaign budget optimisation as of September 2019. What does this change for advertisers? The change lies mainly in the fact that Facebook advertisers will no longer be able to define budgets at the ad set level. The goal for this change is, according to Facebook, to give advertisers better results at a lower cost by distributing the campaign budget to the best performing ads. However, this step certainly moves power away from the advertiser and into Facebook’s control. It also changes the advertiser’s access to certain metrics, for example the total number of opportunities for each ad set or costs per result. If these changes are for the better remains to be seen.

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Google simplifies the Ad Auction

Google has announced that it is moving to a new unified first price auction process for the Google Ad Manager. The aim with this step is to reduce complexity and create a fair and transparent market for everyone. Simplifying the ad bidding process will make it easier for businesses to understand and maximise the ad performance as well as to be able to more accurately account for the spend and relative results. The change is supposed to be in place by the end of the year, giving buyers and sellers enough time to make changes to their programmatic strategies. The changes, however, exclude some of Google’s ad products, for example the auctions on Google Search, AdSense for Search, YouTube and more. Therefore, overall it will only impact display and video inventory sold via Ad Manager.

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Google Images as default placement for Google Shopping ads

Confirmed by Google via email earlier this month, the placement option for shopping ads within Google Images is now set as default placement option. Previously users had to manually opt-in to the Search Partner Network, however, the image section is now part of Google’s own search network. This change will ultimately affect all advertisers and Google Ad users cannot opt-out of this change. Although Google states that this new default option will increase traffic at lower cost-per-click and comparable conversion rates, you should be aware of decreases in traffic from the Search Partner Network as they will be now attributed to the Search Network instead.

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Google Update Florida 2

Google has released a broad core algorithm update this March, with the aim to make Google understand search queries and webpages better. By doing so, it is supposed to help Google to more accurately match search queries to webpages and improve user satisfaction. Specific to core updates the ranking of webpages can be affected, however, as Google has stated before, there is nothing that can be done to “fix” this, apart from building great content. Therefore if your rankings have changed recently, it might be due to the core update, rather than any technical changes you have made on your website. At Mayfly we have been actively looking at our webpages but have not noticed any change so far.

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Twitter’s new video tool

The new video tool introduced by Twitter gives video creators insights to boost engagement. With “Timing Is Everything”, publishers, brands and influencers with access to Twitter’s Media Studio can now better understand the patterns and engagements with their videos on the platform. The new tool enables them to schedule content more precisely and align it with the behaviour of their audience. 

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