Happy 2015! Here is an overview of the top internet marketing news stories of December 2014.
- Introduced as beta in September, Google’s Lightbox ad units are now available to all advertisers via AdWords. The Lightbox units are responsible for displaying content from YouTube or Google Maps on a desktop or mobile device.
- Google has integrated Nest and Google Now so that users can control their home appliances via voice command or can do automatically based on their estimated arrival time.
- Now when a user searches for a music video, Google will serve a snippet of the lyrics linking to the full lyrics on Google Play. Of course, the landing page includes a link to purchase the song.
- YouTube advertisers will be able to view video performance in AdWords including engagement, audience retention, and account performance.
- Bing is now displaying local search results in a local carousel, similar to Google’s which was previously retired.
- Bing partnered with TripAdvisor to deliver reviews, bookings, and rates for hotel searches internationally.
- Bing redesigned their iOS app with a new home screen and trending topics accessible via a swipe. Below is a screenshot of the new app provided by Bing.
- As a part of Gemini, Yahoo now has App Install Ads across the Yahoo network including Tumblr.
- Yahoo announced its own mobile developer conference where analytics firm Flurry (owned by Yahoo) reveal their next steps in mobile development.
- Yahoo closed out the year by closing their famous Yahoo Directories, five days earlier than planned.
- Facebook improved its video and targeting capabilities to its mobile advertising program. Advertisers can set a frequency cap while still setting a campaign to a certain reach. In addition, eligible mobile videos will autoplay now in user’s newsfeed, with the volume muted. Last, app developers can target Amazon Fire users and serve app install ads directing them to the Amazon app store, instead of just Google Play/Apple Store.
- Facebook adds seven calls to action to business pages: Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, and Watch Video.
- Facebook now allows users to search for posts from friends or pages that they have previously seen. However, Facebook did drop Bing which previously provided web results. Facebook has not replaced it but rather, dropped the entire feature to focus on search within the network.
- Instagram wrapped up the year hitting 300 million active users. They also announced verification badges to target spammy and fake accounts. Similar to Twitter, there is no way to request a badge. Instagram also added five new filters.
- Twitter is now providing app installation analytics through its new developer platform, Fabric. Previously, advertisers had to reply on ad tech third parties for app installations.
- Twitter advertisers can now segment targeting based on app actions such as installs, purchases, or sign ups. This allows advertisers to display a specific ad to different segments of people as they go from installing to using the app.
- Twitter also released new features to target mobile users by carrier and device in 35 of its countries.
- Twitter analytics is now available on mobile devices for all. Users can see impression and other engagement metrics by tapping on one of their tweets.
- LinkedIn redesigned its platform to increase engagement and trigger more connections. The new version includes more stats, recommendations, and ways to engage with your network. Here is a Slideshare presentation of the top changes.
- LinkedIn’s Slideshare now offers free analytics for all users including geographical distribution of views, traffic sources, referral channels, and days of the week in which content does best.
- After beta success, Pinterest announced that it will expand promoted pins to all advertisers starting Jan. 1. This release does not include CPC bidding, as Pinterest is making tweaks before launch.
- Yelp released an iOS and Android app for business owners to track account activity and interact directly with user reviews. Below is an overview of the functionality provided by Yelp.
- Foursquare released a new iPad app, similar to the newly redesigned Foursquare iPhone app focusing on local discovery and recommendations. The iPad app also help plan trips in a city. Once a user selects a city, he or she sees top-rated venues and recommendations and can tap to save a place.
Have any questions about any of the above stories or think we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, be sure to check back in early February for our January recap. In the meantime, check out our Thoughts Page featuring our latest publications, blog posts, and featured articles; and sign up for the Catalyst Must-Have Digital Insights e-Newsletter for the latest thought leadership, industry updates, and Catalyst news.