It is bananas that it’s October already! Wasn’t it just June?!
Anyway, it’s been another hugely busy month at HC HQ, especially in the world of digital marketing. Apple is doubling down on privacy protection. Facebook is moving towards focusing on messaging, and Instagram is testing a map search tool. Plus, we say a tear-filled goodbye to features nobody wanted!
Apple Mail’s Privacy Protection is here:
On September 20th, Apple’s IOS 15 update launched. Email Marketers worldwide sighed, whispering expletives as this update gives Apple users the option to hide their email activity.
Apple has said that IOS 15 will “hide your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if and when you’ve opened their email.”
This is pretty significant as Litmus have estimated that nearly 50% of emails are sent to Apple products.
Goodbye, open rates! Farewell, re-engagement campaigns! See ya later, A/B testing!
For now, the best advice we can offer is to widen your email marketing success metrics to focus more on clicks through to your website. Throw a UTM on every link so you can measure it correctly on your Google Analytics.
Time will tell how this affects the email marketing landscape, but it’s not a brilliant development. Keep an eye out for how the likes of MailChimp, SendInBlue, etc., react.
Facebook focuses on messaging:
Since they adopted privacy protections from IOS 14, which has limited ads, Facebook has been exploring new ways for businesses to take value from the platform beyond just advertising.
They’ve already made a tonne of inroads for eCommerce with their extensive Shopify integrations, but this latest round is focused on ways for businesses to connect with customers. This is especially timely as a recent survey found that 75% of consumers are more likely to spend more money with retailers they can message.
- Click to Message Ads: These were always available, but now you can add your WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct, and the platform will automatically push the message to where it is most likely to happen for that individual user.
- WhatsApp Chat Via Instagram: They’re adding a click-to-chat WhatsApp button for business accounts.
- Quote Request on Messenger: A ‘plug-in and play’ messenger chatbot that will help qualify leads.
- Lead Generation on Instagram: There’s already a Facebook version that could run on Instagram, but now there’ll be a native Instagram one.
Instagram is testing a map search tool:
Instagram users in Australia and New Zealand are the subjects of live testing of the brand new Map Search tool. People can find information on local businesses and discover locations of interest on an in-app map.
The Map Search tool is located in the Discover tab. Clicking it brings up a map of cafes, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.
If those screengrabs remind you of Snapchat’s similar map feature, don’t worry, us too! It wouldn’t be the first time Instagram has taken Snapchat’s lunch money.
While it is early days, the potential for this is massive. Two hundred million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily, making sense to strengthen the connection between users and businesses further. There’s no word on ads for this yet, but watch Instagram fast track this one if testing proves successful.
RIP Fleets & LinkedIn Stories:
Ok, possibly a little dramatic. Nobody is shedding a tear about the loss of these features. But, it is still significant.
Twitter said Goodbye to Fleets in a tweet that simply said:
we’re removing Fleets on August 3, working on some new stuff
we’re sorry or you’re welcome
— Twitter (@Twitter) July 14, 2021
Twitter’s VP of Consumer Product, Ilya Brown, said the reason for removing the feature was essentially down to low usage. However, something that went under the radar was their testing of full-screen, vertical ad formats. Watch this space if they make a comeback in a different form.
LinkedIn confirmed they’re removing their Stories feature for a similar reason. In a blog post, Liz Li, LinkedIn’s Senior Director of Product, said;
“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting.
Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise.”
We hope this experience will teach Twitter and LinkedIn to cater to their users’ needs rather than just hopping on the next hot thing. However, we don’t hold out much hope considering both Twitter and LinkedIn are launching Clubhouse clones.
Need help with your digital strategy or have a specific topic you want us to cover?
If there’s anything in particular you want us to cover in our future Sparks Roundups, or if you need help planning and implementing your digital marketing campaigns, just pop [email protected] an email and we will be happy to get back to you.