Google introduces call display for your Google My Business calls… a U.S. Supreme Court case could dramatically shift the ownership structures of TV stations… One big platform throws its weight behind Web Stories… and the TikTok duet that got duetted and duetted and may have become one of the single most impressive pieces of amateur musical theatre in history.
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Today: Google introduces call display for your Google My Business calls… a U.S. Supreme Court case could dramatically shift the ownership structures of TV stations… One big platform throws its weight behind Web Stories… and the TikTok duet that got duetted and duetted and may have become one of the single most impressive pieces of amateur musical theatre in history.
IT’S Tue, Oct 6, 2020.
Happy national noodle day.
I’m Tod Maffin from engageQ digital. And here is what you missed, today in digital marketing.
Instagram is celebrating its 10th birthday today by doing what Instagram does best — copying other apps.
They’re launching Stories Map. You know, like the Snapchat Map. It’s actually a private map and calendar of the Instagram Stories you’ve shared over the last three years. And if you’re thinking — wait a minute, I thought they deleted my Stories after 24 hours. Nope. They aren’t publicly viewable, but Instagram still has them.
There are some other things new as well, some mental health tools, and the IGTV Shopping platform I reported on yesterday. They’re also jumping on the iPhone customization trend and letting you change to a number of different app icons, including a rainbow-coloured Pride icon and the old school brown Poloroid camera!
But perhaps more in line with our work as digital marketers, they’re introducing a kind of automated comment hiding feature. It will automatically hide comments similar to others that have already been reported. Like Twitter’s Hide Replies feature, they’ll still be viewable, but users will have to tap “View Hidden Comments” to see them. This isn’t in the API yet, of course, so all this will have to be done manually on your phone for the time being, and not through a third-party tool.
The updated app is rolling out on iPhone and Android starting today.
Google is testing what may end up being a very powerful analytics tool — the ability to see recent calls made to your company from Google Maps or Google Search, via your GMB profile.
There’s no announcement on this yet, but Google does seem to already have some help page documentation on it.
So - it’s kind of like a caller ID log for calls that came from Google. Looks like call information will be stores for 45 days. It’s currently in beta, and only available for a small group of U.S. businesses so far.
The U.S. supreme court has agreed to hear a case that may shift the balance of media ownership in that country.
The case is an appeal by the federal broadcast regulator, called the FCC, and is about its previous attempts to loosen restrictions on a company's ability to own both a TV station and a newspaper in the same market.
The FCC’s board is appointed by the government in power and so, right now, leans heavily to the right, toward less regulation overall.
But they’ve been trying to change restrictions on cross-ownership for 17 years now. Each time they’ve tried, the courts have ruled against them.
Media lobbyists are for the change, of course, and consumer groups are arguing against it.
Last year, an appeals court stopped their most recent attempt becuase it said they didn't consider how the change would affect ownership of media by women and minorities.
Google Discover Stories
Earlier I told you about a new Wordpress plugin that will let you create vertical Stories for content on your web site.
Now, we learn that one big platform is throwing its weight solidly behind Web Stories — and that platform is Google.
Starting today, The Google mobile app will be showcasing Web Stories in its Discover section.
That section — they say is used by more than 800 million people each month.
The new Stories carousel is now visible in the United States, India and Brazil.
And an interesting side-note that I think has gone unnoticed by other media covering this… in their statement Google said: ”In the future, we intend to expand Web Stories to more countries and Google products.”
More Products, eh? Could that mean they’ll be sprinkling in ad placements in here?
Anyway, you can make Web Stories from your site using that Wordpress plugin, or apps like MakeStories and NewsroomAI. Or, if you want to hard-core nerd your way into it, you can even hand-code those Stories.
A handful of tiny items for you:
- If you market a podcast and you’re seeing a drop in downloads — and that drop is about 3% — it’s probably because of a change to the measurement methodology used by the IAB. Specifically, downloads from the Apple podcasts app on Apple Watches are no longer counted.
- Couple of re-brandings in our world. Bing has a curvier logo, it’s also now Microsoft Bing (cm’ on!) and G Suite, that’s the business version of Gmail and Drive and Docs and all that — Google now calls that Google Workplace.
- Facebook is killing off a post type — and that post type is… videos! No, I’m kidding. Actually, it’s Notes. Do you remember Notes? They were kind of a rich-text format, similar to like an article on Medium.com. People in our digital marketing world DID use this format for longer things like, say, contest rules. They’ve been sunsetting this for a month now, but it will disappear entirely on Oct 31.
- And if you use the Ahrefs SEO tool and are seeing some big changes in your organic traffic estimates, they say — not to worry, it’s a bug, and they’re fixing it.
Finally. The other day, I reported on the new Duet formats now available in TikTok and said that we’re probably going to see some really creative uses of them.
And we have. And one of the best I’ve seen has been happening all week now.
It started with this guy.
Obviously a musical theatre fan, he’s green-screened himself into a grocery store aisle and hitting all the musical metaphors — the emotional moments, the high notes for the diva tenor.
And then, this lady dueted it.
Then this girl dueted the duet and added captions — the first guy was now dad, the second lady was mom, and this girl is child.
THEN… more and more people started adding themselves to the song. Employee. A Karen, asking to speak to the manager. The squeaky wheel on the grocery cart. The automatic door chime. The produce mist sprayers. A can of soup, who literally just sings the line “I’m a can of soup”.
Remember — these are people recording themselves on top of others who had recorded themselves on top of others.
So, kind of like how a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy tends to become illegible at some point, by the time it got to the guy doing the part of the PA system, the audio was starting to fall apart a bit.
And as it picked up steam, new variations of it — new additions to the ever-growing Duet — were showing up on people’s For You feed.
This series of videos was then shared on Twitter, where it then took a life of its own THERE. With comments like “My favorite performance was that of the can of soup and it was infuriating to see his role reduced in the film adaptation.”
And “I need to know if mom and dad are still together!! act 2 please!!!”
And “Amazing. Some things are worth the Chinese government having all your info.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you think the only marketing opportunity for your brand on TikTok is advertising to 14 year olds… you have clearly never been on TikTok.
Bit of a heads-up… Episodes this week will be a bit shorter than usual. We are having a provincial election here in British Columbia, and during elections I’ve been doing long-form intereviews with the candidates for a little regional hobby podcast I do. So all this week I’ll be doing those interviews, then producing the shows, and stuff.
And of course, I have a REAL job too, running a digital engagement agency, so most of my time is there.
Anyway, I’ll try to get the most important stuff in, but — like I used to say when I was on the speaking circuit — no audience ever booed me for them getting to the bar faster.