Booking Hotels in Google, New Facebook Video Options and Twitter Removes Custom Backgrounds – Digital Marketing News
In this fortnight’s digital marketing news, we talk about booking hotels within SERPs, Facebook’s competing against YouTube, desktop searching on Instagram and the removal of custom backgrounds on Twitter.
Hotel Booking within Google
Following in the footsteps of enabling users to compare flights, hotel, car and travel insurance, Google is now testing a feature in the US that allows users to book hotels, all within the search results page.
Currently, the ‘Book’ button links to other websites such as Booking.com and Hotels.com. But in Google’s test, if a user chooses to book a room, they are taken to a Google Travel page where they can choose dates, amenities and guest details. They will then be taken to a payment form (which is can be your debit card or integrated with Google Wallet) to their hotel room.
Below are screenshots taken from Skift’s report on the new feature:
Also this week, Google mobile users can now leave reviews for businesses, you can find more on Barry Schwartz’ post here. Not only can businesses expect to receive more reviews, but it’s now easier for users to leave quick reviews at their own convenience on their phone or laptop while on the go.
Facebook’s new video options
Facebook is catching up to YouTube, generating over three billion video views per day. To capitalise on this popularity, the social network giant is rolling out loads of new features to give publishers the options that are typically available on other video websites such as YouTube and Vimeo. These new features include:
- Disallowing embedding on third-party websites
- Private and unlisted videos
- Custom thumbnails
- Video Library to manage all uploads
With the Video Library tool, users will be able to:
- Edit metadata, change thumbnails and add subtitles
- Change any distribution options including embedding and publishing to your news feed
- Manage and view all private videos
Image source: http://media.fb.com/2015/07/21/updates-for-video-publishers/
Facebook has also started adding an additional incentive to use Facebook directly to users that copy and paste YouTube links as you can see in the screenshot below.
Image source: thenextweb.com/facebook/2015/07/22/facebook-throws-shade-at-youtube-when-you-try-to-paste-a-link
You can find more information on Facebook’s official announcement here.
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Twitter removes custom backgrounds
Remember when you decorated your Twitter background with cats, cats and more cats? Those days are now unfortunately over with Twitter announcing that all profiles would have a plain light grey colour as their background.
However, the background will still exist when it comes to self-created lists, individual tweets and collections. Although some are assuming Twitter will use the new space as advertising space, or possibly just to let their promoted tweets and accounts stand out more without a distracting background, we can only wait and see without any official reasoning from the platform.
Instagram web search
Last week, Instagram added search to its desktop website to follow in the steps of the improved search and explore within the app. Users can now search by users, location or hashtags. You can see an example below.
Instagram has said its desktop platform “Instagram.com is designed to be complementary to the mobile apps, it’s important to the global conversations that happen on Instagram.” and their desktop embeds “generated nearly 5.3 billion impressions in June 2015” alone. This will significantly support marketers and advertisers to spread their Instagram content beyond the mobile app.
Cool thing we saw on the internet this week
The Happy Forecast (Thehappyforecast.com) combines a year of data from across all 119 postcodes of London, real-time twitter analysis and average house prices to create a clever interactive map of London based on the “happiness” of its residents. The creators Clubhouse Studios commented on it saying “If we are all more aware, we can work towards shifting the stigma of a grumpy city and make London even more enjoyable to be in.”
You can find more information on the Medium post by the creators Clubhouse Studios here.
Hints, tips and rumours
- Google+ Photos Drops The +, Transitioning Users To Google Photos On August 1st
- Facebook Takes Big Step Forward On Commerce, Builds Shops Into Pages
- Google Beats Expectations With $17.7 Billion, Mobile And YouTube Revs Grow
- Twitter Introduces Event-Based Ad Targeting
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