With new data showing that LinkedIn’s virtual events are experiencing a massive surge in participation lately, the company announced it is testing a new feature for audio-only live events. 

In the recent announcement, LinkedIn revealed that attendance for virtual events on the platform is up more than 230% year-over-year. At the same time, the platform says it also saw 150% more events created year-over-year.

Obviously, a major contributor to the popularity of these events is the ongoing Covid pandemic, which has seen in-person events limited or entirely canceled over the past year and a half.

As this continues to be a problem around the world, the company believes expanding its services to include audio-only events will draw even more users to LinkedIn live events.

As the announcement says:

“This month, we’re taking a big step forward and building on the success of LinkedIn Live broadcasts by launching an entirely new interactive events experience that allows our members to more actively participate in the conversation.

Being an active part of the conversation at an event can help you make new connections, bolster your professional brand and inspire peers. In our new experience, you can participate in the live conversation by raising your hand and joining the speakers, “on stage” to help direct and add to the discussion.”

Since audio-only live events are still in the testing phase, LinkedIn says only a small group of users will be able to host these events when they first roll out. However, anyone will be able to sign up, listen, and participate in these events.

Once the company is satisfied with testing the service over the next few months, the company says it plans to expand the ability to host events to more users, though an exact date when to expect this was not available.

Step aside Google, there’s a new top domain around the world according to the annual rankings of most popular domains globally from Cloudflare. For 2021, TikTok is the top site based on internet traffic.

The full list of the most popular domains in 2021 is:

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

This is a big jump from 2020, when the newly popular social network ranked in just 7th place overall, while Google (which includes the variety of services under the Google umbrella, such as Maps and News) seemed safely in the top position. 

Cloudflare’s Year in Review report details TikTok’s rise to dominance over the course of the year:

“It was on February 17, 2021, that TikTok got the top spot for a day. Back in March, TikTok got a few more days and also in May, but it was after August 10, 2021, that TikTok took the lead on most days. There were some days when Google was #1, but October and November were mostly TikTok’s days, including on Thanksgiving (November 25) and Black Friday (November 26).”

What Does This Mean?

To be clear, this is only based on traffic. This does not necessarily mean that TikTok is now the biggest social media platform around the world, let alone the site with the most users.

When looking at the number of distinct users on each platform, most estimates still place the upstart platform behind both Facebook and Instagram – let alone Google.

It is quite clear, though, that TikTok is quickly growing into a force to be reckoned with online. If it isn’t already on your map for your marketing plans in 2022, perhaps this report will cause you to reconsider.

Read the full Cloudflare Year in Review report, which includes stats on the top social networks, e-commerce sites, and streaming sites from the past year, here.

Google has revealed their yearly recap of all the top trending searches for a smorgasbord of topics and themes for 2021. The lists show a focus on the news, money, and (of course) Squid Game, but they also reveal a bit about how Google thinks about its purpose as a search engine. 

In addition to the expected stories or trends like Gabby Petito or various types of cryptocurrency, the list of top trending searches brings attention to the ways people use Google to find information, connect with others, and how to improve their own lives with tutorials, resources, and ways to help others in need. 

Below, we will include some of the most interesting top trending search lists for the US from 2021, or you can explore Google’s full Year In Search site here.

Google’s Top 10 Trending Searches in 2021

  1. NBA
  2. DMX
  3. Gabby Petito
  4. Kyle Rittenhouse
  5. Brian Laundrie
  6. Mega Millions
  7. AMC Stock
  8. Stimulus Check
  9. Georgia Senate Race
  10. Squid Game

Top Trending News Searches

  1. Mega Millions
  2. AMC Stock
  3. Stimulus Check
  4. Georgia Senate Race
  5. GME
  6. Dogecoin
  7. Hurricane Ida
  8. Kyle Rittenhouse verdict
  9. Afghanistan
  10. Ethereum price

Top Trending Searches for How To Help Others

  1. How to help Afghan refugees
  2. How to help Texas
  3. How to help India COVID
  4. How to help toddler with cough
  5. How to help foster kids

Top Trending Searches For “How To Be”

  1. How to be eligible for stimulus check
  2. How to be more attractive
  3. How to be happy alone
  4. How to be a baddie
  5. How to be a good boyfriend

Top Trending “This or That” Searches 

  1. Effect or affect
  2. Barbie, Bratz or Fairy
  3. Allergies or COVID
  4. Bones or no bones
  5. Bougie or boujee
  6. Pfizer or Moderna
  7. Sinus infection or COVID
  8. Choose Bidoof or Bidoof
  9. Cold or COVID
  10. Capitol or capital

Top Trending “Where to Buy” Searches

  1. Dogecoin
  2. Shiba coin
  3. PS5
  4. safemoon
  5. N95 mask
  6. XRP
  7. NFT
  8. Baby Doge
  9. Xbox Series X
  10. Squishmallows

As usual, Google also collected many of these lists and trends into a Year in Search video for 2021. Check it out below:

TikTok is introducing new ways for pages to monetize their presence on the platform via digital “gifts” and tips.

Notably, these tools are exclusive to individual creators or entrepreneurs through the Creator Next monetization suite, which is not available to brands on the platform.

In a way, this makes sense as the new monetization features are designed to be direct ways for other users to reward creators for sharing great content. Let’s talk about exactly what these new features are.

TikTok Tips

TikTok now allows users to send money directly to creators as a “tip”.

The feature is managed through Swipe and requires an account with that service to be eligible to receive tips. 

Although creators will receive 100% of the value of the initial tip, TikTok will apply a service fee to generate revenue from this feature.

Signed-up profiles will include a new icon on their profile, which will allow users to send $5, $10, $15, or custom tips up to $100.

By default, others will be able to see when you send or receive a tip, unless you specifically choose to make your tip anonymous.

To prevent misuse, TikTok limits users to $500 total or up to 100 transactions per day.

TikTok Video Gifts

TikTok’s new Video Gifts blur the line between Reddit awards and its tipping system. It allows users to pay to reward content they love with specific gifts, which are shown to other viewers.

The big difference between this and something like “Reddit Gold” is that recipients can then exchange their rewards for actual money via a virtual currency called “diamonds”.

Interestingly, gifts come with some very unique benefits, including a boost in the platform’s algorithm:

As the announcement says:

“… a key metric that TikTok uses to assess the popularity of a video is the number of Gifts sent to a creator’s content.”

Are You Eligible?

Users interested in utilizing these monetization features must:

  • Be 18+ years old
  • Have at least 1,000 video views in the past 30 days
  • Have at least 3 posts in the past 30 days
  • Be in good standing regarding TikTok’s community guidelines
  • Reside in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, or Spain

If your account meets these requirements, you will be able to opt-in to the Creator Next suite.

For more, read the announcement here.

When it comes to ranking a website in Google, most people agree that high-quality content is essential. But, what exactly is quality content? 

For a number of reasons, most online marketers agreed that Google defined high-quality content as something very specific: text-based content which clearly and engagingly communicated valuable information to readers.

Recently, though, Google’s John Mueller shot down that assumption during a video chat. 

While he still emphasizes that great content should inform or entertain viewers, Mueller explained that the search engine actually has a much broader view of “content quality” than most thought.

What Google Means When They Say “Quality Content”

In response to a question about whether SEO content creators should prioritize technical improvements to content or expand the scope of content, Mueller took a moment to talk about what content quality means to Google.

“When it comes to the quality of the content, we don’t mean like just the text of your articles. It’s really the quality of your overall website, and that includes everything from the layout to the design.

This is especially notable, as Mueller specifically highlights two factors that many continue to ignore – images and page speed. 

“How you have things presented on your pages? How you integrate images? How you work with speed? All of those factors, they kind of come into play there.”

Ultimately, Mueller’s response emphasizes taking a much more holistic view of your content and focusing on providing an all-around great experience for users on your website. 

There is an unspoken aspect to what Mueller says which should be mentioned. Mueller subtly shows that Google still prefers text-based content rather than videos or audio-only formats. While the company wants to integrate even more types of content, the simple fact is that the search engine still struggles to parse these formats without additional information.

Still, Mueller’s statement broadens the concept of “quality content” from what is often understood. 

“So it’s not the case that we would look at just purely the text of the article and ignore everything else around it and say, oh this is high-quality text. We really want to look at the website overall.”

With Halloween getting closer, everyone – including Google – is getting into the holiday spirit.

As the company does every year, Google is sharing the biggest search trends related to Halloween 2021, including the most popular scary movies, haunted houses, trending costumes, pumpkin patches, and more.

While some topics like the most popular movies stay largely the same year to year, other areas like popular costumes may provide a little more insight into the current trends and interests right now.

Getting out and enjoying seasonal in-person events like corn mazes and pumpkin patches also seems to be of particular interest this year, after the more subdued (if not completely canceled) Halloween during the peak of 2020’s Covid pandemic.

Let’s recap some of the top trends for Halloween 2021:

Top Halloween Movies

Unsurprisingly, the list of top Halloween movies includes a mix of horror classics and seasonal family staples which have lasted for decades since their original release.

  • Halloween (1978)
  • Friday the 13th
  • Hocus Pocus
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Halloweentown

Top Halloween Costumes

Based on early indications, the latest movies are mixing with a Halloween classic and a beloved celebrity to fill out the most popular costumes this year. Meanwhile, the couples costumes are a mix of famous couples from both screen and history, including a fair number of cartoon characters.

Trending Individual Halloween Costumes:

  • Squid Game
  • Gorilla
  • Britney Spears
  • Carnage
  • Venom

Trending couples costumes:

  • Trixie and Timmy Turner
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Skid and Pump
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • Cosmo and Wanda

Trending dog costumes:

  • Squid Game
  • Race car
  • Vampire
  • Donkey
  • Lobster

Top Halloween Drinks and Candy By State

Lastly, Google highlighted the top festive treats for both trick-or-treaters and adults. Specifically, the list collected the top Halloween-related drinks by state:

For more, check out the full Google Halloween Trends and Google Maps Halloween Guides.

YouTube announced that it is introducing an entirely new feed to the front page of its mobile app to help users find videos and creators they’ve never seen before. 

As such, the “New to You” feed also aims to introduce creators and channels to wider audiences.

The announcement – in the latest Creator Insider video – says that users have been increasingly complaining that their video recommendations are getting boring. Not only do they tend to show the same type of content over and over, YouTube’s recommendations also have a bad habit of suggesting videos you’ve already watched. 

To address this, the video platform created a feed exclusively containing videos and channels from a wider range of sources – and excluding anything you’ve already seen.

Two Ways To Explore New To You

The new feed will be available on the homepage in two distinct ways.

The first way is called New to You on refresh and is reachable through a dedicated button at the top of the page, within the topic carousel. 

YouTube's New to You Feed on Refresh

When tapped, the page will refresh with content from the New to You feed. 

New to You on prompt is the second way to explore the feed.

YouTube's New To You feed on prompt

This triggers if you scroll far enough down the main feed without selecting anything to watch. 

After scrolling down far enough, a prompt will appear which suggests checking out the “New to You” feed.

How New To You Differs From The Explore Feed

At first glance, the New to You feed might seem very similar to YouTube’s existing Explore feed, though YouTube was quick to establish how they are different. 

The main distinction is that YouTube Explore helps users find trending content from a specific topic. However, the content is not necessarily personalized for users.

The New to You feed, in comparison, is entirely personalized based on your own viewing habits. 

This means the New to You section may be more likely to show channels and videos directly related to your interests, instead of videos which all fit under a broad topic like “video games” or “music”. 

It is unclear exactly when the new feed will be available to all users, but you can find out more about the New to You feed in the announcement video below:

Since its launch, brands of all sizes have been using Snapchat as a major tool for connecting with younger audiences. Despite this, the platform has been slow to meet brands halfway. 

The social sharing platform has provided very few widely available tools to facilitate branded content, and – until very recently – didn’t even provide specific profiles for brands.

That changed in the past couple of weeks, as Snapchat has finally launched Public Profiles for Businesses. 

What Are Snapchat Public Profiles for Businesses?

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - City Boutique

Similar to the separate profiles available for creators, Snapchat’s Public Profiles for Businesses provide a place to collect all your content, provide branded media like lenses, connect with your brand directly, and even house an online store full of your products (note: this feature does require directly working with Snapchat to implement in its current form). 

To help craft all this content with your team, Public Profiles are linked to mobile and web management tools via the Business Manager, where you can collaborate, review analytics, and manage your store in one place. 

Best of all, these features are all linked to analytics and insights for your brand to help refine your message and content as you go. 

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Universal Pictures

While Public Profiles for Businesses provide a lot of tools for brands, the announcement highlighted these four key features:

  • Public Stories: Share what’s happening in your world, from behind the scenes to daily activities, to drive deeper connections with the Snapchat community. 
  • AR Lenses: Publish Lenses to your Profile to ensure your most immersive AR experiences can be discovered by all Snapchatters and engaged with time and time again. Once linked to the Profile, these Lenses will also be discoverable through both Snapchat Search and Lens Explorer. 
  • Highlights: Permanently showcase your best Public Snaps, Stories, photos, and videos. This is the best way for Snapchatters who aren’t familiar with your brand to get to know more about your business, products, and services. 
  • Native Store: Link your US-based Shopify store on your Profile so Snapchatters can browse, try on, and buy through the “Shop” feature, turning Snapchat into a new point of sale. 

Setting up a Public Profile for your business also makes you eligible to be found through an array of new placements, including in Search, @ mentions, Discover, Lens Explorer, and through Snapchat Ads.

Snapchat Public Profiles For Business - Dior

How To Set Up Your Snapchat Public Business Profile

Setting up a Public Profile for your business is a simple, three-step process:

1) Log-In or Create a Snapchat Business Account

If you have already run ads on Snapchat, you simply need to log in to your Business Manager Account. If not, create an account by using your account sign-in info on the Snapchat Ads Manager. Once signed in, select ‘Public Profiles’.

2) Create Your Profile

On this page, connect your existing username (or establish a new one specifically for your business) and provide any additional business information to help others understand what you do. Click “Update Profile’ when you’re finished to make your account public. 

3) Add Content!

The last step is to start filling up your profile with great content that will excite users and drive engagement, such as sharing Lenses, posting new Stories, and creating Highlights for people to engage with.


Snapchat has been steadily expanding its audience to more than just Gen Z-ers. Now that the platform is also providing more robust tools for brands, there has never been a better time to dip your toes in to see if Snapchat is the best social network for your brand.

With vaccination rates on the rise and everyone on the country itching to return to something close to “normal”, Pinterest says many are turning to the internet to help plan their upcoming adventures, vacations, and more. 

In particular, the social network says Pinterest searches by Gen Z users have shot up more than 95% year-over-year, with much of this being attributed to a rise in searches for life after Covid.

The data from the company’s Q1 search trends report reveals a lot about how people see their lives as we get back out in the world and try to make up for the lost time. Find out more below:

Vacation Searches (Up 75%)

It’s not unusual for many to start planning their spring break trips and summer vacations once Christmas is in the past. What is unusual is to the rates for these searches to shoot up three times faster than average from January 2021 to March 2021. 

Even more, the searches show that users intend to make these trips something special. 

Pinterest says it saw significant leaps in all of these search terms:

  • Searches for “dream vacation destinations”: Up 13x
  • Searches for “luxury vacation”: Up 6x
  • Searches for “vacation fashion”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “travel tattoos”: Up 45%

Eye-Popping Fashion (Up 85%)

Overall, people are tired of wearing sweats, tank tops, and hoodies every day as they work from home. Users have shown a distinct desire to dress their best as we start to get out of the house more, with searches containing the word “outfit” at an all-time high. 

Compared to Q1 of 2020, the site has seen a 26% increase in searches containing the word “outfit”. Even more, searches with that word shot up 85% in April compared to last year. 

Notably, Gen Z seems ready to really do it up, with search terms for bold patterns, retro styles, dramatic accessories, and daring makeup all showing increased attention this year:

  • Searches for “outfit”: Up 26%
  • Searches for “Y2K outfit ideas”: Up 230%
  • Searches for “60s and 70s fashion”: Up 133x
  • Searches for “zebra pants”: Up 14x
  • Searches for “plaid pleated skirt”: Up 12x
  • Searches for “clay rings”: Up 303x
  • Searches for “hippie jewelry”: Up 16x
  • Searches for “nose chain piercing”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “makeup makeover”: Up 100x
  • Searches for “alt makeup”: Up 60x
  • Searches for “puppy eyeliner”: Up 30x

Socializing and Parties (Up 64%)

Of course, you need somewhere to wear all those stylish trends, right? 

It should shock absolutely no one to see that users – especially those among Gen Z – are looking to party as larger gatherings become allowed. 

From November 2020 to March 2021, searches containing the keyword “party” have risen 64%. Year-over-year, the number of searches has doubled

Interestingly, the interest in parties range from extravagant affairs  to tasteful small gatherings with search rates for all these terms showing heightened interest recently:

  • Searches for “party life”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “Euphoria party ideas”: Up 43x
  • Searches for “backyard dinner party”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “party food buffet”: Up 10x
  • Searches for “dinner date outfits”: Up 30x
  • Searches for “hotel room party”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “group tattoo ideas”: Up 13x

Home Renovations (Up 28%)

While we may all be a little tired of spending too much time at home, home renovation interest appears to be at an all-time high on Pinterest. 

Similar to vacation searches at this time of the year, the platform says it typically sees spikes in home repair and renovation searches during this season. What the platform has seen this year, though, still far outpaces what they’ve observed in the past. 

Compared to Q1 2020, searches for home renovations were 28% higher on Pinterest, and 65% higher than Q1 2019. 

Specifically, the company says it saw spikes in searches for these search terms:

  • Searches for “home renovation ideas”: Up 5x
  • Searches for “grand millennial decor”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “indie room”: Up 132x
  • Searches for “sage green aesthetic”: Up 32x
  • Searches for “eclectic home”: Up 9x

For more, be sure to check out the full report from Pinterest here.

Facebook is making major changes to its news feeds in a new bid to create a better experience for users in the near future. Before it can do so, though, the company is seeking feedback from users.

As the company recently announced, it is revamping parts of the news feed system to encourage four specific types of user feedback to better understand content. In the future, Facebook intends to use this information to create new ranking signals to directly decide what content users see.

Specifically, the company says it aims to gather answers to these four questions to get better at providing quality content in the future:

Is This Post Inspirational?

Facebook’s feeds have a bad reputation for highlighting negative content which can turn into a feedback loop of endless “doom scrolling.” With this in mind, the social network is looking to deliver more inspirational or uplifting content for users.

As the announcement says:

“To this end, we’re running a series of global tests that will survey people to understand which posts they find inspirational. We’ll incorporate their responses as a signal in News Feed ranking, with the goal of showing people more inspirational posts closer to the top of their News Feed.”

Is This Content Interesting?

Perhaps the most important factors for users scrolling through content is whether any of it is actually interesting to them. At times, it can feel like you can scroll for hours without seeing anything exciting or particularly relevant to their interests. 

“… we know sometimes even your closest friends and family share posts about topics that aren’t really interesting to you, or that you don’t want to see. To address this, we’ll ask people whether they want to see more or fewer posts about a certain topic, such as Cooking, Sports or Politics, and based on their collective feedback, we’ll aim to show people more content about the topics they’re more interested in, and show them fewer posts about topics they don’t want to see.”

Do You Want To See Less of This Content?

A huge part of Facebook’s reputation for negative content is the huge amount of political content shared on the social network. 

Since many turn to social media to connect with family, friends, and get away from the pressures of the real world, a large amount of political content can be tiresome and potentially make them less likely to check their feed regularly. 

Further, there are times where you might show an interest in a topic and start seeing an influx of tangentially related content that is not especially useful to you. Think clicking one particularly interesting headline and suddenly seeing tons of content on that topic, even though it’s not really that interesting to you.

To help with this, the company will start surveying users about content they have responded negatively to in order to create a ranking signal to deliver more relevant and positive content.

Was Giving Feedback Easy?

In some form or another, Facebook has given users the ability to deliver this type of feedback for several years. The problem is that finding the tools to do so was often a game of hide and seek. 

To make it easier for users to give feedback, the company is testing a new post design which will include a more prominent button to hide “irrelevant, problematic, or irritating” content and see less content like it in the future.

How This Will Affect Facebook Rankings

For now, it is unclear exactly how much this will change the content appearing in our news feeds every day. 

The company appears to know it has gained a nasty reputation for being overly political, sharing divisive information, and generally being a somewhat negative place to spend your time. 

Still, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to a massive shift or if these ranking signals will be too little to effectively change what gets highly ranked and what people are sharing on the platform in general.

“Overall, we hope to show people more content they want to see and find valuable, and less of what they don’t. While engagement will continue to be one of many types of signals we use to rank posts in News Feed, we believe these additional insights can provide a more complete picture of the content people find valuable, and we’ll share more as we learn from these tests.”