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Facebook Buys WhatsApp, Google Updates the Top Heavy Algorithm and more - Digital Marketing News

The past few weeks have seen some interesting happenings in the world of digital, from Zuckerburg splashing out on WhatsApp to designer Marc Jacobs accepting Tweets and Instagrams as payment in a pop-up shop, and Google dodging a $5bn fine.

Facebook acquire WhatsApp for a staggering $16bn

Wednesday 19 February saw Facebook acquire the popular instant messaging service, WhatsApp, for a whopping $16bn – the biggest purchase their CEO Mark Zuckerburg has made in Facebook’s 10-year history. With Facebook being on a mission “to make the world more open and connected”, this acquisition makes sense: Whatsapp is one of the fastest growing networks on the planet and saw exponential growth better than that of Facebook and Twitter in their early days:

Facebook acquire WhatsApp

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WhatsApp users are already worrying about the introduction of advertising, although, as with the Instragram acquisition back in April 2012, this likely won’t happen anytime soon. WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum, even makes this explicit, writing that “you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication”. Read the official word from Facebook here.

Google forced to show competitors in search

Google’s three-year debate with European antitrust regulators with regards to the search giant being seen to favour their own products and services is coming to a close. Instead of stumping up the $5bn fine, Google Products will instead be offered with an alternative. PLAs are to be most affected – instead of just showing sponsored products from Google Shopping, the results will now show results from alternative sources too:

Google's Antirust Case

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This is an interesting change that will give further options to advertisers who may want to diversify their advertising strategies. The full report can be read here.

Google refreshes its Top Heavy algorithm

Matt Cutts has announced a refresh to Google’s Top Heavy Algorithm and, although no further details have yet been given, it is a good reminder that on-site advert positioning does affect search position and needs to be considered when designing a website. For those that missed the original launch of this update back in January 2012, the original post from Google can be found here.

The new Google Maps comes out of preview

May of 2012 saw Google announce the new Google Maps as an opt-in feature. Now this has become the default, meaning goodbye to traditional Google Maps with a much more user friendly and better looking system in its place.


Greg Sterling from lists a number of the enhancements which give the user a better experience and marketers further opportunity to target potential customers. These include:

  • Rich images, photo tours and interior photography
  • Smart routing and directions to multiple destinations
  • Google Now-like inclusion of hotel, airline and restaurant reservations
  • Hotel booking
  • Improved public transit data and routing
  • Inclusion of ratings/reviews
  • Enhanced personalization and social content
  • Waze traffic updates

Social currency accepted by designer Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs’s popular fragrance Daisy saw a spike in social activity this month as a result of the opening of the Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop, a pop-up shop in New York City that gave away Marc Jacobs gifts to shoppers who used the Twitter hashtag #MJDaisyChain.

This is an example of an interesting way to drive a campaign, connecting both the online and offline world and helping spread the Marc Jacobs brand to relevant Twitter users.

Hints, tips and rumours

Google Tests Restaurant Menus in ‘Card’ Results

Google’s Matt Cutts: Backlink Relevancy is a Big Win in Terms of Search Quality

Five Times Google Penalized Itself for Breaking its Own SEO Rules

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