Less than essential: Why smart speakers are like smartwatches, not smartphones

Less than essential: Why smart speakers are like smartwatches, not smartphones

Are smart speakers more like smartphones or smartwatches? Almost 85% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, while only about 16% of Americans own a smartwatch. In more ways than one the better analogy for smart speakers is the smartwatch. Even though there are now approximately 126 million smart speakers in 60 million U.S. households, according to the latest Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, these devices have not turned into the compelling marketing or commerce channel that many (including me) had envisioned when Amazon released its first Echo in November 2014. Nearly six years later, the user experience and technology have not fundamentally evolved. Two obvious exceptions are […]

Search Ads vs Display Ads: Breaking Down the Differences & When to Use Each Type

Search Ads vs Display Ads: Breaking Down the Differences & When to Use Each Type

It can be tough for any advertiser to determine whether to use search ads vs display ads in their online campaigns. It’s an imperative decision to make because using the wrong ad format could waste a significant percentage of paid advertising budget. So, what’s the difference? How do you know which is better? How can you use both search and display to maximize your return? In this article, we address all of these questions and discuss everything you need to know about using display ads vs search ads for your business. What are search and display ads? Search ads Paid search advertising is one of the most popular forms of […]

YouTube Announces Virtual Graduation Event, With a Comencement Address from Barack Obama

YouTube Announces Virtual Graduation Event, With a Comencement Address from Barack Obama

After Facebook announced its virtual graduation event for the class of 2020 last week, YouTube has now countered with its own celebration, which won’t be held on the same weekend as Facebook’s online celebration, but will certainly rival The Social Network in regards to star power. As you can see here, YouTube’s graduation showcase will feature former US President Barack Obama, Lady Gaga and South Korean super-group BTS. Facebook’s event, for comparison, will include appearances from Awkwafina, Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X – and a commencement address from Oprah Winfrey. There are some significant drawcards on both bills – and while it won’t be a traditional graduation ceremony, by […]

Diagnosing Traffic Drops During a Crisis: Was It You, Google, or the Whole World?

Diagnosing Traffic Drops During a Crisis: Was It You, Google, or the Whole World?

We want to fix things and believe we’re in control. When your house is filling with water, you grab a bucket. If there’s a hole in your roof, the bucket might help. If your sink is overflowing, the bucket is distracting you from the real problem. If the river is overflowing, that distraction could be deadly. When traffic is falling, it’s easy to panic and focus on what you can control. Traffic isn’t just a nice-to-have — it puts food on the table and the roof over your head that keeps the water out. In the rush to solve the problem, though, we often don’t take the time to validate the problem we’re […]

Instagram Will Now Show Stories and Posts from Health Bodies More Prominently in User Feeds

Instagram Will Now Show Stories and Posts from Health Bodies More Prominently in User Feeds

Instagram has announced that it will now surface Stories from official health bodies that you follow higher in your Stories feed, in order to help increase the distribution of key COVID-19 updates and information. Starting today, we’ll bring Stories related to COVID-19 from credible health organizations you follow closer to the top of your tray. This is part of our ongoing work to connect people with accurate information, and we’ll be rolling out a similar solution for Feed next week. — Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) May 5, 2020 As Instagram notes, it’s also looking to give official health information a boost in the main feed as well. This only relates to […]

Google Launches Podcasts Manager to Help Podcasters Maximize Performance

Google Launches Podcasts Manager to Help Podcasters Maximize Performance

Google has launched a new tool which will enable podcasters that have their podcasts available via Google Podcasts to glean more insights into their audience behaviors in order to recognize relevant trends and shifts, and help maximize podcast performance. Called ‘Google Podcast Manager‘, the new analytics platform will provide data on a range of elements. As explained by Google: “Within the tool you can access metrics to understand how engagement with your show evolves over time and see activity for recent episodes. This includes retention analytics which help you better understand where people tune in – and when they drop off – along with listening duration, minutes played and more. […]

Snapchat Shares New Data on User Purchase Intent During the Back to School Period [Infographic]

Snapchat Shares New Data on User Purchase Intent During the Back to School Period [Infographic]

It’s not the usual back to school period, particularly given that most students won’t be heading ‘back’ to anyplace. Most will just be staying at home, logging into online courses – yet, even so, students still need to buy supplies, and they’ll still need their books and home office tools and such, in order to get them back into the educational frame of mind. And they, will at some stage, you’d think, also be heading back to actual schools, which is clearly a consideration based on this new data from Snapchat. To provide some insight into what people are looking for ahead of returning to school – and why you should […]

Twitter Expands Test of Threaded Tweet Replies to More Users, Adds New Format Tweaks

Twitter Expands Test of Threaded Tweet Replies to More Users, Adds New Format Tweaks

Whats a second, isn’t this…? Didn’t Twitter already announce this? Today, Twitter has announced that some users on iOS and web will now see its new threaded tweet replies layout, which includes a line linking replies to the original tweet. Your conversations are the ???? of Twitter, so we’re testing ways to make them easier to read and follow. Some of you on iOS and web will see a new layout for replies with lines and indentations that make it clearer who is talking to whom and to fit more of the convo in one view. pic.twitter.com/sB2y09fG9t — Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 5, 2020 Which is what Twitter also announced […]

Facebook Sees Uptick in Account Removals on its Main Platform Due to Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

Facebook Sees Uptick in Account Removals on its Main Platform Due to Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior

Facebook has this week published its Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior report for April, which outlines all of the accounts, pages and groups that the platform has removed over the course of the month due to identified efforts to mislead and misinform Facebook uses for varying purpose. As explained by Facebook: “We’re constantly working to find and stop coordinated campaigns that seek to manipulate public debate across our apps.[…] We view influence operations as coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal where fake accounts are central to the operation.”  In April, Facebook reports that it removed 732 Facebook accounts, 162 Instagram accounts, 993 Facebook Pages and 200 groups, due […]

Pinterest Adds 32 Million More Users in Q1, Now up to 367 Million MAU

Pinterest Adds 32 Million More Users in Q1, Now up to 367 Million MAU

Pinterest has repeatedly noted that it’s been seeing record high levels of usage amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, and now, we have some extra perspective on what exactly that means, with the company posting its Q1 2020 results, which show stable increases in both active users and revenue. First off, on users – Pinterest is now at 367 milllion monthly actives, up 32 million on its Q4 2019 report. As you can see here, Pinterest has maintained its growth momentum in Q1, posting a 9.55% quarter-on-quarter growth rate, outpacing the same at Snapchat (5%), Twitter (9.21%), LinkedIn (2.22%) and Facebook (4.20%). All of those platforms have also seen increases in usage due to […]