Happy June! Here is an overview of the top Internet marketing news stories of May 2015.
- In an effort to compete with Apple Pay, Google has introduced Android Pay. This will allow people to use a single tap to pay for things either in apps or in store. Google Wallet will shift to allowing users to transfer money between users as Venmo does.
- Google has launched a new way for businesses to add links for customers to order food deliveries, reserve tables, and book appointments through Google Search & Maps. Business owners can request to integrate third-party systems of partners such as GrubHub, Eat24, Delivery.com, and more.
- Google Maps users will soon be able to search and navigate without being connected to the Internet. Offline maps will be available later this year which will be well received by international travelers and those with unstable internet connection.
- At Google I/O, Google announced a new Photos app which automatically backs up and stores unlimited photos and videos for free. This app is the spinoff from the Google+ breakup a few months ago.
- Also at I/O, Google announced three new ad formats for automotive, hotel, and mortgages. Automotive ads are highly visual, including an image carousel that engulfs almost the entire mobile screen. Hotel ads are also visual but include specific calls to action to book a room through the main site or travel sites such as Expedia. The new mortgage ads are similar to the auto insurance comparison portal launched in March.
- Location-related advertisers will also be able to use Google’s new Nearby Business Mobile Ad format to target users based on their location. Users will see up to four paid business listings with direction and click-to-call buttons when searching for a location-related query.
- Potentially getting into the Pinterest space, Google+ introduced “Collections,” a new feature similar to Pinterest boards. Collections allow users or brands to categorize similar photos by a topic.
- Following Google, Bing announced it will be launching a mobile-friendly algorithm. Unlike Google, this will be a slower process with a specified date to be determined.
- Flickr has made a series of updates to its Yahoo-owned photo sharing portal. First, uploading is now easier with a new desktop uploader and automatic mobile uploads. Flicker introduced “Magic View” which uses image recognition technology to automatically group similar photos. Last, Flicker has upgraded its search algorithm to better understand user intent as well as more filtering options.
- Google announced it will be offering shopping ads for YouTube via Merchant Center. These ads allow retailers to promote their products alongside their YouTube video, as seen below.
- Facebook introduces deep linking, which enables advertisers to direct users to landing pages inside the app, not just the home screen. Originally, this feature was only available to re-engagement ads.
- Carousel Ads, introduced last year for desktop, are now available for mobile app advertisers over the social platform leader.
- The social giant now supports gif images. However Page owners will not be able to use post gifs organically or through paid ads.
- Facebook announced Instant Articles, a new partnership with publishers whose content will appear directly in the Facebook app. Of course, this takes potential ad revenue away from publishers and into Facebook’s pockets.
- Previously in beta, Twitter launches Objective-based ads, now available to all users. This ad format allows advertisers to focus on specific goals and pay for only the related engagement. The six objectives available are tweet engagements, website clicks or conversions, app installs or engagement, followers, leads and video views.
- Twitter has upgraded its analytics tool allowing marketers to drill into demographic, interests, lifestyle, consumer purchase behavior, TV preference, mobile carrier and device usage. Twitter leverages its Marketing platform partners’ data and is rolling out access over the next few months.
- Amplify, Twitter’s video clip-focused ad product, is getting an upgrade dubbed Auto Amplify. Amplify allows advertisers, publishers, or brands to serve near-real-time clips from an event. Auto Amplify reduces the manual work and time needed to launch a real-time ad.
- Cinematic Pins will be soon arriving to users’ Pinterest streams. This new ad unit will animate as the user scrolls in hopes of being less intrusive like other auto play features. Below is a video explaining the new Pin:
- In addition, Pinterest announced it would be launching a few advertising solutions over the coming months including audience targeting based on intent, ad engagement pricing, promoted app pins, and self-serve ad buying.
- The professional social network debuted analytics for publishers including metrics for number of views, comments, likes, and shares. In addition, the new dashboard shows demographics of readers including geography, industry, title, and traffic source.
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 July for our June 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.