Not So Tasty Cookies

Google has recently announced that they are limiting the number of third party advertising cookies on websites accessed via Chrome browser, with the aim of greater privacy control.

Third party cookies are used to track a user’s web activity from site to site, giving insight into a user’s browsing habits. Third party cookies have also been banned by Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla. However, websites can still use first-party cookies to track user activity.  

If you use third- party cookies to advertise your business to users, you will most likely be affected by this change as you won’t have as much access to user browsing data in order to target ads.

Ending Twitter Tirades

Following the recent decision Instagram made to hide ‘like’ counts to reduce online bullying, Twitter has announced that they are rolling out a new feature which will enable users to choose who can reply to their tweets.

The new feature aims to reduce the amount of harmful replies on tweets by allowing users to choose who can reply to their content. The four options will be to set each tweet as a Global, Group, Panel, or Statement tweet. Global allows anyone to reply to a tweet; Group allows replies only from people the user follows or mentions; Panel allows only users who are mentioned in a tweet to reply; and Statement does not allow any replies. 

This update has raised concerns about the sharing of false information. Critics of this update are concerned that false news and information shared in a statement tweet will remain unchallenged.

For brands and businesses, this update means that they will have more control over the sentiment of their brand mentions. For example, if a business is tweeting a piece of information that is likely to be received negatively by Twitter users, they now have the option of a Statement tweet, which doesn’t allow any replies.

Snap Shopping

Snapchat’s latest update for advertisers has made it even easier for users to shop on the app. The dynamic ads feature allows advertisers to automatically target Snapchat users, based on their previous behaviour. 

The ads continuously update and link directly to product catalogues, making it easier than ever for users to discover products from their favourite brands on the app. 

Brands who are early-adopters of the new dynamic ads are praising the feature for driving the same amount of traffic as Facebook and Instagram, but for a lower cost.

Bots Taking Over

Google is improving the functionality of its chatbots, with the aim of creating chatbots which can engage in more genuine, human conversation. 

Google is tackling common errors with the chatbot function, such as their inability to process and respond to basic questions by adopting features of similar technology which has emerged in the Chinese market.

Google has created a new chatbot model called Meena, which uses an evaluation metric called “Sensibleness and Specificity Average (SSA)”. These metrics allow the bots to capture important attributes of human conversation, allowing chatbots to mimic human conversation more realistically. 

Going Live

LinkedIn is expanding on their LinkedIn Live feature which was launched last year. The original LinkedIn Live feature was only available to individuals, but LinkedIn is now making this feature accessible to companies via their organisation pages.

The release of the original live feature was an enormous success, with users noticing a significant increase in their engagement metrics, including reactions, comments and shares (users are 20x more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post).

To date, LinkedIn Live has been used to demonstrate expertise, attract new employees, and interview guests, to name just a few interesting uses of the feature.

Photoshop Fakery

Following a rise in fake news and a general mistrust of information on social media, Instagram is aiming to combat misinformation by rolling out a feature which flags fake photos.

The feature covers images detected to have used Photoshop, with a warning message which alerts the user to the fact that the image contains false information and gives them the option of continuing to see the post.

This new feature has caused a lot of controversy, particularly amongst photographers and artists, who are now finding it more difficult to showcase their work on Instagram.

However, a positive aspect of this development is that it will now be more difficult for influencers to share false and unrealistic images.