After expanding its character limit for tweets a few years ago, Twitter is testing a new feature called Notes that lets users ditch character limits altogether.

The company confirmed testing the new feature in a tweet, along with a longer Note explaining everything Notes can do:

“Notes will give people the ability to go over 280 characters on Twitter in a single piece of content, with the inclusion of photos, videos, GIFs, and Tweets. Notes can be written, published, and shared on Twitter, and read all across the Internet.”

Unfortunately for most of us, the feature is initially being tested among a select number of writers in the US, UK, Canada, and Ghana. 

As the announcement explains:

“We’re excited for the moment when everyone can use Notes, but for now, our focus is on building it right. A large part of that is engaging with writers and building community.”

Notably, the feature does not appear to be replacing Twitter threads, at least for now:

“There are situations, however, where threads aren’t enough. From the rise of the screenshot announcement Tweet to the newsletter boom, a new reality became clear: people were writing long elsewhere, and then coming to Twitter to share their work and for the conversation surrounding all those words.”

In the announcement, Twitter also detailed a few unique features which will make Notes attractive to those looking to publish longer content:

  • Formatting: Formatting tools included bold, italic, and strikethrough text, as well as the ability to add links and create lists.
  • Include Media: Notes can include one GIF, one video, or up to four static images.
  • Embedded Tweets: Include traditional tweets in Notes by pasting a URL or from your bookmarked tweets.

TikTok is still considered a niche social media site by some, but the platform has grand ambitions to keep growing into an even bigger platform in the future. 

In TikTok’s first-ever company event, held as part of the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the company’s leadership spoke about the challenges facing the platform and their plans to overcome them.

Company leadership addressed a range of topics, including shopping across the platform, user safety, iOS 14’s impact on online advertising, and more. Let’s go over some of the highlights:

Advertising Updates

Though it has already amassed hundreds of thousands of advertisers, TikTok’s president of global operations solutions, Blake Chandlee says the company’s current goal is in the millions.

To do this, TikTok is expanding its advertising toolset and creating new features to help advertisers measure the quality of ads.

Managing director and global head of monetization product, strategy, and operation, Ray Cao, also addressed the impact of Apple’s iOS 14 on its advertising operations. 

This update made it difficult to target and track ads to many users as it gave users the option to block many forms of online tracking. However, Cao says the social network will overcome this by increasing the options for contextual ad targeting.

At the same time, TikTok is working to improve brand safety by better assessing what type of content an ad may be associated with. 

As Francis Stones, head of European brand safety explained, the company’s review process now analyzes sounds, text, emojis, and imagery to ensure brands do not become associated with something problematic.

TikTok Shopping Features

Along with these updates to TikTok’s advertising services, the platform is also continuing its efforts to develop its live shopping functionality.

Global head of business marketing, Sofia Hernandez explained that the new feature is being developed to allow brands to take advantage of user-created content quickly and easily, though further details were unavailable.

As TikTok grows into a major force on today’s internet, it is working to provide brands and advertisers with the types of features they have come to expect from social networks. While this is just a small look at the platform’s direction for the future, it shows that the newly popular social network intends to keep growing with its userbase.

Facebook is preparing for a major overhaul of its main feed to turn it into a “discovery engine” geared towards video content, based on a newly leaked internal memo.

The memo, written by Head of Facebook Tom Alison, was first sent to employees on April 27, though it was only recently obtained and published by The Verge. This suggests the changes to the main feed may be coming sooner rather than later, however, the memo does not give a date for the update to arrive.

What Is a Discovery Engine?

It may seem like corporate jargon, but the move towards being a ‘discovery engine’ indicates a major change in priorities for how Facebook’s main feed functions.

In general, the term ‘discovery engine’ simply refers to helping users find more interesting content from accounts or pages they are not connected to. What makes this such a big change is that Facebook has always focused on content shared by connections like friends and family.

This opens the door for Facebook to become more of a general content aggregator than the more personal social network it has always been.

Facebook’s Top Three Priorities

In the memo, Alison identifies three near-term priorities that the social network believes will help create a place where people can find and share engaging content. These are:

  • Make Reels successful.
  • Build world-class recommendations technology.
  • Unlock messaging-based sharing.

By focusing on these three goals, the platform aims to expand the ways people publish and share content with each other.

What Will The New Facebook Feed Look Like?

While the memo does not go into many specifics about what the new Facebook feed will look like, The Verge’s Alex Heath spoke with Alison to find out how he is envisioning the new feed experience:

“Here’s how the future Facebook app will work in practice: the main tab will become a mix of Stories and Reels at the top, followed by posts its discovery engine recommends from across both Facebook and Instagram. It’ll be a more visual, video-heavy experience with clearer prompts to direct message friends a post. To make messaging even more prominent, Facebook is working on placing a user’s Messenger inbox at the top right of the app, undoing the infamous decision to separate the two apps eight years ago.”

No one likes receiving a bad review. Not only do they affect your company’s morale, but they can also easily scare off future customers if they check your reviews – and they will almost certainly read your reviews. Studies have shown that 98% of consumers read online reviews before doing business with a local company.

At the same time, there is usually very little you can do about a legitimate negative online review. In most cases, the best solution is to be humble, apologize for not delivering the quality service or products expected, and do your best to make it right.

Still, there are a few types of reviews that require more extreme responses. Thankfully, when dealing with fake, spammy, or inappropriate reviews, you may be able to get the offending reviews deleted entirely.

When Can a Review Be Deleted?

There are strict rules about what types of reviews can be deleted. 

For obvious reasons, complaints that appear to be legitimate complaints about a poor experience with your brand can not be deleted. 

However, Google can remove reviews for your business if they break the company’s policies and guidelines. These include rules banning deceptive, explicit, or irrelevant. Below, we will talk a bit more about exactly what violations may make a review subject to removal.

Offensive Content

As described by Google, offensive content may include any sort of content “that is clearly and deliberately provocative.”

This includes any form of hate speech or harassment, as well as reviews containing personal information.

Deceptive Content

Misleading or inaccurate reviews are a regular occurrence online. In some cases, competitors may try to hurt your reputation by manufacturing a poor experience. Personal conflicts between individuals may also boil over and result in negative reviews in an effort to get an individual fired.

This is why Google does not allow any review that is not an accurate representation of a real experience with a brand.

Mature Content

To ensure content on the search engine remains safe for all users, Google will delete any reviews containing profanity, sexually explicit content, adult themes, or graphic violence.

Regulated or Illegal Content

Reviews may not contain calls to action for products or services which may be subject to local legal restrictions. Additionally, Google warns that dangerous activities or illegal content will get reviews removed.

Irrelevant Content

Lastly, reviews must be related to an actual experience with a company’s products or services. That means rants, off-topic content, or attempts to promote one’s own products are subject to removal.

How To Get an Online Review Removed

Obviously, brands can not directly delete reviews from their Google Business Profiles. Instead, a company representative must report a review for removal through Google Search or Google Maps.

Once reported, Google will assess the review and determine if it violates any of the platform’s policies. Though this process may take several days, brands can also mitigate the damage of a misleading or inappropriate review with a response explaining the reality of the situation and noting that the review has been reported to Google.

LinkedIn is making it easier to find and follow creators across the platform through a series of new updates announced this week.

The professional social network has been emphasizing its platform’s content publishing tools over the past few years. The goal is to make it easier for individual figures and brands to stand out on the platform by sharing interesting anecdotes, important professional updates, and motivational insights.

These updates continue that theme by opening new ways for those who don’t share connections on the site to discover your content and opt-in to see more of your content in their feed.

Here’s a breakdown of all the new ways users can find, follow, and share your content to increase your visibility on LinkedIn:

Follow Creators Directly from The Feed

When people who aren’t connected to your page see your content in their feed, they will now be able to immediately follow you through a small button in the top right of the post. Additionally, users may be shown a prompt below the post, providing a larger more noticeable call to follow you.

Follow Creators From LinkedIn Search Results

LinkedIn is going to start including creators who are tagged with relevant hashtags in search results for topics or ideas. Even better, the listings will include a small icon allowing users to immediately start following you.

Share Links To Your Profile

To make it easier to reach users on other platforms or sites, LinkedIn is working on a tool that will let you create a shareable link to your page. Anyone who clicks the link will then be taken to a prompt that will allow them to start following your posts on LinkedIn.

New Connections Requests Become Followers

Now, when a user sends a request to connect with your page, they will automatically be added to your followers – if they weren’t following you already.

Instagram is rolling out an update that expands its sensitive content filter in ways that may reduce how many people see some content.

Though the Sensitive Content Control was launched almost a year ago, in July 2021, the tool only influenced the type of content users saw in their Explore feed.

According to a new announcement, though, the newly updated version of this tool lets users control how much “sensitive content” they see across practically every section of Instagram including:

  • Search
  • Reels
  • Accounts You Might Follow
  • Hashtag Pages
  • In-Feed Recommendations
  • How Instagram is Controlling Sensitive Content

As the company explained, this does more than limit obviously inappropriate content, including graphic violence or illegal acts. It also covers “posts that don’t necessarily break our rules, but could potentially be upsetting to some people.”

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Content showing violence, including fighting between individuals
  • Sexually explicit or suggestive content, such as people in see-through or revealing clothing
  • Content promoting controversial or dangerous products such as tobacco, vaping, adult products, or pharmaceutical drugs
  • Content promoting or showing cosmetic procedures
  • Content or pages which sell products or services targeting health, including weight-loss supplements

Following the new update, users can select between three different levels of sensitive content moderation:

  • Less: Restricts sensitive content to the greatest amount
  • Standard: The default state for all users, which automatically limits some sensitive content
  • More: Users over the age of 18 can opt-in to see the widest range of content, including sensitive content which does not directly violate Instagram’s rules and guidelines.

Why This Matters

While most upstanding brands are normally unaffected by these types of updates, this could potentially have a much wider effect on companies or pages across a huge range of industries. 

The undefined nature of what constitutes “sensitive content” raises eyebrows, especially when it includes some content many users may not find controversial or objectionable. Additionally, users are having some content filtered out by default and must essentially opt out of this tool if they are of age. 

This creates the potential for Instagram to start limiting the reach of content from many companies who had previously found success using the platform to reach their audience. How large the impact of this is yet to be seen. If you see a significant drop in the number of people seeing your Instagram posts in the next few weeks though, you probably know why.

As announced last August, Google is set to stop allowing advertisers to create, edit, or start running expanded text ads across the search engine’s ad network starting June 30, 2022.

Though expanded text ads have been a popular way to make your ads stand out and increase click-through rates, the company says it plans to replace the ad format with responsive search ads.

The goal, according to Google, is to simplify running ads while using automation to improve ad performance. 

According to the announcement, advertisers who have already made the switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads saw an average 7% increase in their conversions.

Why Google Is Switching To Responsive Search Ads

Things are shifting all the time online, including the ways we are searching. According to Google, at least 15% of all search queries are never-before-seen searches. With responsive search ads, Google is trying to help brands keep up to date with these ever-changing trends and to always be where their audience is.

How To Prepare

For the time being, existing expanded text ads will be largely unaffected by the change. Though they cannot be edited, existing ads in this format will continue to run as normal. However, no new expanded text ads can be created.

To help you prepare for the upcoming change, Google recommends taking these steps:

  • Repurpose high-performing text ad content into responsive search ads and focus on improving ad strength.
  • Apply changes suggested in the account’s Recommendations
  • Pin headlines and other copy in specific positions to ensure they always show.
  • Use variations to test different ad versions.
  • Review assets in cross-campaign reporting based on performance to identify the most effective messaging.
  • Evaluate incremental growth in impressions, clicks and conversions at the ad group and campaign levels.

For more information, you can read the full announcement here.

As social networks have grown into the central platforms most people use to find all sorts of information (including trends, news, and everything else), their feed algorithms have likewise grown in influence. They dictate what information you take in, what you buy, and how you see the world.

Due to this and the fact that the inner workings of these algorithms tend to be well-guarded secrets, these feed algorithms also tend to be surrounded with myths and misunderstandings. In attempting to reverse engineer these algorithms to better understand how to get the greatest reach, incorrect assumptions become accepted as fact which is allowed to spread without a clear explanation from the developers behind these feeds.

That’s why LinkedIn’s VP of Engineering, Sabry Tozin, is using a new blog and video series called “Mythbusting The Feed” to set the record straight on how the professional-focused social network surfaces content.

In the first set of videos, Tozin starts out addressing two questions:

  • “What kind of conversations are welcomed on LinkedIn?”
  • “What does it mean to be professional when it comes to content on LinkedIn?”

Here’s what he had to say.

What Kind of Conversations Are Preferred By LinkedIn’s Feed Algorithms?

While LinkedIn technically allows for posts about any topic, it is obvious that the feed algorithms prefer content that is authentic and relevant to other users. 

Since the platform is aimed at connecting professionals around the world, these discussions tend to be related to issues experienced by leaders and workers, such as the experience of switching to working from home, how you approach your career, or recent news from your business.

As Tovin says:

“We welcome all sorts of conversations on LinkedIn, but primarily we want to have conversations that people care about. Where the things they talk about, and the content they generate, are about things that are authentic to them, and resonate with them, but also make them feel like they’re connected to their communities.”

In the video, he also notes that LinkedIn sees a lot of activity around topics that may not be easy to discuss in person or at the office:

“Another thing we’ve seen is conversations that may be hard to talk about like mental health and wellbeing, other than productivity and how people think about working, but what that truly means to them.

We see LinkedIn as a place to have that conversation, and our technology teams are finding ways to enable that, to keep it safe, and for members to feel like this is a place where they can actually talk about everything that’s authentic to them.”

Does Content on LinkedIn Need To Be Strictly Professional?

As a social network targeted at professionals, there is an assumption that the platform’s algorithms will favor content that is formal, purely related to careers or industries, or strictly “professional”. 

Of course, this forgets that LinkedIn is a social network first and foremost. As such, it blurs the line between personal and professional, allowing you to celebrate personal growth which may only be tangentially related to your career. 

For example, it is not uncommon for content related to a range of personal milestones such as getting married, reaching a personal goal like weight loss, or overcoming an obstacle that may have been holding you back.

As the video explains:

“Think of LinkedIn as a place to have an authentic conversation and not limit it to one topic or another because so many of those things go hand in hand.”

More To Come

In the coming weeks, Sabry says he will discuss even more about how LinkedIn’s feed algorithms work and common myths about the algorithms including:

  • How the Algorithm Works and Personalizing The Feed
  • Content Distribution and How LinkedIn Works To Address Bias

As part of its big Google Marketing Live event this week, the search engine announced a big makeover is coming to some shopping ads in the near future.

Initially limited to apparel-related shopping results, Google is revamping both online ads and organic listings to be more visually exciting and drive more engagement.

You can get a  preview of what to expect below:

Swipeable Google Shopping Ads

The revamp brings shopping ads more in-line with the more visual organic listings which have been rolling out since last year.

Google is accomplishing this using Search or Performance Max ad campaigns, though the images or graphics must be provided by advertisers.

As the company described the makeover:

“These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. We’re also rolling out new ways to showcase multiple product images within Shopping ads in the U.S., along with information such as product descriptions, reviews, and product availability, with no further action required of advertisers.”

Though it is unclear when this revamp will be rolled out, advertisers should be excited by the more stylish and engaging presentation when it arrives.

At TMO, we always prioritize being able to track marketing efforts and make actionable strategies to improve on what works. This is why we have always loved online ads like that Google provides, they offer detailed information on almost any type of ads you run. There’s just been one glaring exception – video ads.

Google Ad Manager has struggled to deliver deep or informative analytics for video ads since their launch on the platform. Thankfully, this is finally changing with the announcement of several new tools and data for video advertising.

New Tools For Measuring Video Ad Performance

Programmatic Video Health Tools

With the new Programmatic Video Health Tools feature, Google will deliver actionable opportunities for improvement immediately upon logging into your account.

This is done by assessing your video performance and measuring key metrics such as viewability, impressions, and revenue.

Additionally, Google is introducing another insights card for what it is calling Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) errors.

In this card, you’ll find broad details about the number of errors in your video inventory and what may be causing these errors.

Real-Time Reporting

Since problems with your ads can literally cost you, it is important to quickly spot issues and resolve them – especially when videos might involve live streams. 

To help with this, Google has introduced real-time video reporting to show detailed performance data in under 2 minutes. 

Additionally, the new YouTube ads delivery tool will include information on the delivery of YouTube Video Ads