Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 23-27

Facebook Advertisers Can Access Professional Photos at No Extra Charge

  • Facebook-skins-postAccording to Search Engine Watch, Facebook puts content front and center again with its latest update; Facebook advertisers will now have access to millions of stock photos that are commercially licensed and available for all Facebook ad formats at no additional cost.
  • “High-quality, engaging photos often increase the performance of ads, particularly in News Feed. And now, through our collaboration with Shutterstock, it will be easier for businesses to integrate beautiful photography into their Facebook ads,” Facebook said in its announcement.
  • Advertisers can also create multiple ads at once with several images. This new effort seems to be connected to Facebook’s initiative to streamline its advertising with the hopes of making ads look and feel more consistent.

Google AdWords Adds New Paid & Organic Report

  • According to Search Engine Watch, Google AdWords is introducing a new feature for advertisers to give more data right within the AdWords interface, even when it isn’t paid ads specific. This is part of their campaign to connect data between the Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Webmaster Tools.
  • The new paid & organic report can help advertisers see their search footprints and enable them to determine if there are keyword areas that can be supplemented with paid advertising. It also allows you to view detailed reports to show for particular keywords, how much organic traffic as well as how it advertising traffic you are getting or have the potential to get.
  • [You can now] test website improvements and AdWords changes, as you can compare traffic across both AdWords and organic in the same interface, which enables you to adjust accordingly.

Bing Uses Machine Learning To Improve Product Search

  • According to WebProNews, Bing announced [this week] that it is launching a new product search experience, which utilizes its index of tens of millions of products, along with machine learning, to show products on the main results page, rather than making users go to a dedicated shopping page.
  • “For example, if you are in the market for a new camera. Simply enter ‘dslr camera’ and you will see a category snapshot with the top dslr cameras,” Bing explains in a blog post. “You might have heard about a specific Canon model, you click on the <Canon EOS 6D> and you will see our new Carousel so you can quickly browse other related products that might be of interest and then narrow down the selection that best meets your needs.”
  • “If you want to purchase the product, we present you with two easy options,” Bing says. “First, product pricing and availability directly from the merchant themselves will appear right inside search results in what we call Rich Captions. Another way Bing helps is through new product ads with photos and pricing that provide you the ability to quickly see offers from merchants across the web.” The new product search experience will be rolling out over the course of the coming months, so you may still see the old version for a while.

Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 15-20

Google Adds Personal Info To Your Search Experience

  • google262way_custom-b0a89fbf1933607665ebaac4a7c08bc85e11dfe3-s6-c10According to WebProNews, Google is adding some new Google Now-like functionality to Google Search. Users will be able to ask Google for specific, personal information, and the search engine will retrieve it from across the various services the user uses, like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google+.
  • “Ever had trouble checking your flight’s status on the go because it meant digging through your email for the flight number?” asks product manager Roy Livne. “Or wanted to just quickly see whether your package would arrive on time, without having to look up the tracking info first? You’ve told us it would be much easier if you could skip the fuss and just ask Google.” Users will be able to ask Google for information on flights, reservations, purchases, plans and photos, and get them right from the search interface. You can ask Google if your flight as time, or say “my reservations” or my hotel” to get info on your plans, including hotel/restaurant names and addresses.
  • “With one tap, you can get driving or public transit directions straight there, saving you lots of steps,” Livne notes. The new [information] will be rolling out to all U.S. users in English on the desktop, tablet and smartphones, with Voice Search. Continue reading

Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 9-13

YouTube’s Founders Challenge Vine and Instagram with New Video App

  • youtube_logo_v3 1According to the New York Times, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who brought us the video-sharing site YouTube, are taking the wraps off their newest project, a video creation app called MixBit.
  • On the surface, MixBit resembles two other leading video apps, Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. As with those apps, users press and hold the screen of their smartphone to record video. Instagram users can capture up to 15 seconds of video, a bit longer than Vine’s six-second maximum. MixBit allows 16 seconds. But as the name suggests, MixBit is all about mixing and editing video. Both the app and a related Web site, MixBit.com, are aimed at making it easy to clip and stitch together snippets of video. The final product can then be shared on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or the MixBit Web site.
  • But one crucial decision by Avos is likely to hold it back: the app is totally anonymous and communal. Users cannot post their videos under a name, and they cannot comment on each other’s work. “We wanted to do that to first build a community within MixBit,” Hurley said. “To see how that unfolds will be pretty interesting.” Continue reading
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