As summer is ending and it’s the return of back-to-school, social media platforms and search engines are adding the necessary updates to ensure a successful end to the year. Here are all the digital marketing updates and industry news from the past month you need to know!


Social Media Updates

Platforms Respond to ‘BeReal’ App

Snapchat has recently released their dual camera feature. The feature was announced back in April, when the app BeReal started to gain popularity. The Snapchat camera offers more features than BeReal. Users can play with layouts and are able to use these features anytime of the day. BeReal doesn’t offer any editing and users can only have 2 minutes to post at the random time of day that the app decides. Instagram launched their dual camera last month and are now prototyping a new feature called “IG Candid.” The prototype asks users to take an authentic photo during a random time in the day with only two minutes to do so, like the BeReal app. There is not a date set for the features release, or if it will be released at all.


Twitter Rolls Out Podcasts in the Spaces Tab

Last week, Twitter brought podcasts to their Spaces tab, which will be renamed to the ‘Audio Tab.’ The updated tab will highlight pre-recorded and live podcasts and spaces, with each broadcast separated into specific topics called ‘stations.’ The tab will learn listening preferences the more a user listens allowing the app to offer proper listening suggestions. The addition of podcasts will bring real-time engagement as Twitter continues to be a platform filled with news and updates. The audio tab is still being tested with a select group of users.


TikTok Launches New Ad Targeting Transparency Tools to Help Users Manage How Their Data is Used in the App

TikTok is giving users more insight into how their personal data is being used for ad targeting by adding an ‘About this Ad’ info panel, bringing more transparency into their advertising practices. In the panel, users can switch off ad personalization based on third-party data, but TikTok will still be able to track your interactions within the app to personalize your ads. Additionally, TikTok updated their ad data usage overview to help users understand how they can be targeted with ads, while allowing users to choose whether the ads they are shown are based on estimates of their interests and/or gender. In contrast, TikTok is continuing to work on utilizing personalized ad tracking in various and questionable ways as they work around tighter regulations in certain regions. Last month, the app had to suspend a planned change to its private policy, which would have allowed TikTok to run personalized ads without the consent of the user. The suspension is due to questions around if the change is legal under EU provisions for data protection and control.


After 18 Years, Meta is Finally Building Facebook a Customer Service Division

In its 18 years of success, Facebook has not had a way for users to talk to the company about moderation decisions. But now, Meta is trying to make it easier for its users to get support by adding a customer service division. Last year, the company used a live chat program which gave English-speaking users a way to talk to a human if they needed help with a feature or were locked out of their account. Reported by Meta’s oversight board Meta has received almost a million user appeals. At this time, it is not clear what Meta’s customer service division will do or what cases they will be in charge of handling.


Facebook is Testing Encrypted Chat Backups

Facebook has been discussing end-to-end encryption in their messenger feature since 2016 and have now rolled out the feature this August. End-to-end encryption ensures an extra layer of security between the chats of the two parties by scrambling data so messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient. The secure feature will also allow users to back up end-to-end encrypted Messenger conversations to be restored on new devices. Facebook will not have access to these messages. Users can use a PIN, generated code or use a third-party cloud service to restore their messages. This security should help Meta establish trust with their users by making it known their messages are private and secure. Law enforcement have spoken up against end-to-end encryption for personal messages as the feature will make it more difficult for law enforcement to catch child predators. Meta announced plans to expand testing on end-to-end encrypted messages on Instagram.


Industry News

Google’s New Helpful Content Update Targets Sites Creating Content for Search Engines First

Google is launching an algorithm update called ‘helpful content.’ The update will cause a shift in SEO strategy as it targets content that seems to have been created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people. It then rewards better and more useful content that was written to help users. This will help users find content that feels more authentic and useful in a search. The update is only being used on Google search right now and only available to English searchers, but Google has plans to expand the algorithm to other languages. The update began rolling out on August 25 and will take about 2 weeks to complete.

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