Fresh Egg's Digital Marketing News – 01 February to 15 February 2016

From last fortnight’s Facebook-heavy digital marketing news round-up, this week has a Twitter focus. We report on Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline and ‘First View’ adverts, Instagram’s new multiple accounts functionality and the death of Flash adverts in the Google Display Network.

Have a listen to us discussing the news on our podcast: 

Twitter's new timeline functionality is here

In one of the biggest changes to the platform in recent years, Twitter has announced that the top of every user’s timeline will feature the very best tweets based by relevancy, rather than the reverse-chronological order that has existed since Twitter’s inception.

Twitter hopes that the new feature will make it easier for users “to catch up on the best Tweets” from the people they follow.

Although this feature is rolling out immediately, users will not see the feature unless they manually activate the ‘show me the best Tweets first’ option in their account settings. However, in the next few weeks Twitter will be automatically switching it on for all users and giving users the ability to opt-out.

Many existing users will have seen a highlight feature called ‘while you were away’ within their Twitter timeline the past six months, which recaps some of the top tweets the user may have missed while not using Twitter. The new functionality differs in that it is designed like a natural part of the timeline and is not highlighted in any way. This may confuse some users initially, as they expect the top tweets to be the most recent. However, over time we’d imagine people get used to seeing the ‘best’ tweets at the top.

Some brands, including Transport For London, are reviewing how they use Twitter and considering how to report on all issues within the platform following these changes.

The move comes as Twitter aims to attract more users and advertisers at a difficult time for the social media platform. Twitter’s share price has plunged by almost 70% in the past year, falling to below $15 for the first time last week. Meanwhile, investors were left disappointed when Twitter revealed zero user growth in its fourth quarter – the first time it has happened since the company went public in 2013. However, annual revenue was in line with Wall Street’s expectations, up 58% year-on-year to $2.2bn (£1.52bn). In an attempt to tempt more users to the platform, Twitter has announced initial plans of other major changes to its core functionality, including opening up Twitter ads to marketers to promote Periscope live steams and changing how replies and mentions function.

“We are going to fix the broken windows and confusing parts, like the .@name syntax and @reply rules, that we know inhibit usage and drive people away.” - Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter

Although they have not shown how these changes will be made, it promises to be a busy next six months for the Twitter team, as it aims to keep its 320 million strong user base happy while they potentially overhaul the platform.

Make sure you read our previous digital marketing news roundup here for more recent news and analysis on Facebook live-streaming, reactions and Spotify Video.

Instagram introduces multiple accounts

How many of your friends have set up Instagram accounts for their cats and dogs? How many times do business owners and social media managers wish they didn’t need to log out their personal accounts to use their business accounts?

Well as of this week, users can easily switch between multiple accounts on Facebook-owned Instagram. Users will be able to add up to five accounts by going into their profile settings and clicking ‘add account’.

By allowing multiple accounts, Instagram has made it easy for business employees and social media managers to upload pictures, respond to queries and build their communities across different accounts.

Another Facebook property understood to be considering multiple accounts is Facebook Messenger. According to reports it is testing functionality to add a number of accounts to the app. This will likely be useful for switching between personal and professional accounts, although this might not be useful for the vast majority of users.

Twitter introduces First View

Twitter is introducing a new ad format called ‘First View’ that will be found in the first advertising slot on both mobile and desktop (which is the 2nd Tweet users see when they open the app or website). The video-only advertisement will be seen ‘above-the-fold‘ for all targeted users and will allow marketers to drive a significant amount of impressions over the 24-hour period.

The First View advert essentially acts as a pre-roll for viewing more Twitter content as it appears before you scroll through the rest of your time.

The feature is currently being tested in the US market but will expand globally depending on its success. Although a new function, with existing Twitter adverts in the same position and autoplay videos becoming the norm across the major social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, we expect this to be a successful test for advertisers attempting to reach a large audience.

Find out what the Fresh Egg team has to say about the new Twitter timeline, First View and Instagram’s multiple accounts in our digital marketing podcasts. Subscribe to our iTunes Podcast or follow us on SoundCloud to hear this every other week.

Google display ads go 100% HTML5

As of June 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick. Any existing ads that are in the Flash format will no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick as of January 2017.

However, Google has announced that video ads built in Flash will not be affected.

The biggest website have been killing off Flash for the past year, firstly Google banned all flash adverts within its Chrome browser and Amazon banned all Flash adverts from being used across its websites. For businesses, it’s important to update your display ads to HTML5 to make sure they contain to work on both mobile and desktop. Google has provided a guide to convert your Flash ads to HTML5 ads.

Hints, tips and rumours

Find out more about what’s been going on in the world of digital marketing. Take a look at our pick of the best news stories on the web this fortnight.

Looking for expert advice about all things digital? We‘re happy to help. Contact us today.