Industry Focus for Friday, January 27, 2023
‘Twas a big industry news week, and nothing was off-limits for our naturally curious team. We discussed figuratively everything with our colleagues, including the latest on the Google antitrust lawsuit, what goes on behind-the-scenes at TikTok, and how the Instagram algorithm is focusing – once again and rightfully so – on photos.
Let’s iFocus in (buh-dum tsssssk) on how these changes affect the digital marketing industry. Ready? Here we go.
“Instagram Chief Says Photos Will Get More Focus on the App in 2023,” by Andrew Hutchinson in Social Media Today
After going hard on video content, Instagram plans to return to its roots of photo content – especially because users like photos just as often as they like videos. This balance prompted Insta leadership to re-align with the app’s authentic self – and not be quite so focused on destroying competitors like Snapchat or TikTok.
That doesn’t mean Reels are going anywhere, though, especially if you prefer to see them over still images; Instagram will still fill your feed with what you want. What does this mean for social media marketers? We’ll still be producing custom content for our clients in either video or photo form, based on what their followers respond to.
-Submitted by Morgan Kuhrt, Account Operations Coordinator, and Sydney Weeks, Social Media Coordinator
“US Justice Department Sues Google Again, Aims to Dismantle Its Ad Division,” by Nicole Farley in Search Engine Land
In its second lawsuit against the tech giant, the US Justice Department claims Google is violating antitrust laws as they maintain dominance in the digital ad industry. Several state attorneys general also have filed suits, including in Texas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Google says the government’s position slows innovation and makes it harder on small businesses. As Google Premier Partners, we may be a little biased – but we also know that competition is near, as Microsoft Ads claims significant market share. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
-Submitted by Josh Selig-Votaw, COO; Ryann Rinker, Director of Agency Partnerships; and Peter Mishler, Senior Digital Copywriter
“TikTok Staff Can Decide What Goes Viral,” by Brian Frederick in Search Engine Journal
Excuse us, what? This week, TikTok admitted that its employees can manually promote certain videos to ensure video views – and can even make them go viral. Using a “heating” button, TikTok bypasses the algorithm to boost videos into the For You feed. This is in direct contradiction to TikTok’s previous claims that the app relies solely on an algorithm.
As you can imagine, “heating” has come in handy to help secure partnerships with influencers and brands, although the app says heated content makes up just .002 percent of all videos in For You feeds. Don’t be shocked though – behind-the-scenes manipulation isn’t that uncommon, with platforms empowering their employees to force content integration. Don’t worry; the chances of going viral are one-in-a-million anyway, so this admission probably won’t affect content creators or social media marketers.
-Submitted by Marilee Rodgers, Social Media Manager
“Microsoft Announces Store Ads & Other Updates,” by Brooke Osmundson in Search Engine Journal
For 2023, Microsoft is adding Microsoft Store Ads, expanding in-market audiences, and updating responsive search ads. New Microsoft Store Ads are designed for the apps and gaming industry and will help your product get discovered. In-market audiences are expanding to include the Middle East and Africa – great for global companies using digital marketing. And those responsive search ads? Microsoft reminded users that starting Feb. 1, those are the only new search ads.
-Submitted by Zack Faulkner, Paid Media Coordinator
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Jenifer Calandra is an award-winning digital copywriter and copy team lead at iFocus Marketing with 12 years of marketing experience. She curates copy from conception to completion, capturing client voices, and building their authority in their industry. Her knack for storytelling is deeply rooted in journalism, and you’ll find her work published in various regional newspapers and magazines. At home, dogs and a never-ending cascade of home-improvement projects rule her life.