Welcome to our weekly review of major happenings in the digital space. Here are a few significant updates that might interest you;

  • Google Launches New Way to Optimize Videos For Search

Google is introducing a new way for website owners to optimize their videos for search results when they are published on their website rather than on YouTube. This capability, called SeektoAction, was announced earlier this year at Google I/O and has been in beta for several months. With this new update, publishers can now markup their videos for rich snippets, which allows searchers to navigate directly to certain video segments. This can easily be accomplished with a YouTube video because it only requires adding timestamps to the video description. Now, what publishers have to do is tell Google the URL pattern for skipping to a specific timestamp within a video. Google will then use AI to identify important moments in the video and display the links directly to the moments in search results.

Here are what site owners need to know before using the SeekToAction video markup:

  • All URLs must have the ability to deep-link into some point other than the start point in the video.
  • Publishers must use SeekToAction markup on every video page where they like Google to automatically identify key moments.
  • The total video duration must be a minimum of 30 seconds.
  • The video must include the required properties that are listed in the video object structured data documentation.

This feature is moving out of beta and extending support to any site that publishes videos. For more information, click here.

  • WordPress 5.8 Released With Nearly 300 New Features & Fixes

WordPress has just released a major version upgrade, version 5.8, containing nearly 300 improvements and new features. This new release is full of brand new features that make it easier for publishers to innovate and express themselves creatively. With the new version, WordPress now becomes a leaner and faster content management system as it reduces the amount of code in the core. Here is a list of the new features available in version 5. 8:

  • Blocks – This is a modern and updated way to edit the look and feel of WordPress.
  • Widget Area Blocks – The blocks way to edit a site now is available in the Widget Area. The Widget section can now be fully edited with Blocks
  • Query Loop Block – This feature gives publishers the ability to display posts based on custom criteria.
  • Edit Templates from the Post Screen – This allows publishers to toggle from the post editing screen to a block-based page editing screen. It also gives publishers more freedom to edit the template from the context of post-editing. 
  • List View – This is a new way to look at the structure of a web page.
  • Pattern Transformations Tool – This feature suggests block patterns. 
  • Duotone Filters – This is a new design feature that allows a publisher to colourize images or videos. 

WordPress 5.8 represents a leap forward toward modernizing the content management system. It helps publishers who don’t know how to code make changes to how their web page looks without having to know the code. For more information about this update, click here

  • Clubhouse Moves Out of Invite-Only Beta, Now Open to All Users

Clubhouse has finally announced that it is moving out of closed beta and the app is now open to everyone. If you have a club on the app, you can now share your link far and wide with iOS and Android users. Previously, Clubhouse’s exclusive, invite-only approach played a significant role in boosting its early hype but things took a different turn afterwards. Clubhouse is still growing and that is mostly based on the arrival of its Android app in May, which has enabled more users in more regions to join, The app has since gained significant traction in India, where the vast majority of its new users are now coming from. The fact that everyone can now access the platform is a massive step and it can be very good for the social platform. 

  • LinkedIn Adds New, Free Certification Courses to Help Showcase LinkedIn Marketing Knowledge

LinkedIn has just launched two new, free LinkedIn marketing certification courses, which enables users to learn more about LinkedIn’s ad tools and options. The process for earning this certification involves first learning about LinkedIn’s ad products, through a range of courses available on the LinkedIn Certifications page. To take the exam, the user must have gone through each module and if they are confident that they have the key details, they can then take the relevant certification exam, in which there will be  60 minutes to answer 60 multiple choice questions on LinkedIn’s ad tools and processes. This test can be taken up to 3 times, and the certification expires in 2 years. After passing the test, the certification can be added to a user LinkedIn profile, highlighting their LinkedIn ads knowledge to visitors.

The two LinkedIn’ certifications courses are: 

  • Fundamentals Certification (Basic): Demonstrates expertise in launching LinkedIn Ad campaigns and tactics. With this certification, you can run successful LinkedIn Ad campaigns that drive business results.
  • Marketing Strategy Certification (Intermediate): Demonstrates expertise in leveraging LinkedIn Ads for full-funnel strategies, including Brand Awareness and Lead Generation. Once certified, you can create marketing strategies that leverage the full suite of LinkedIn marketing tools.

For more information, click here

  • Instagram Stories Drafts are Now Available to All Users

Instagram has rolled out stories drafts to all users. This feature was announced in March, and now, all users have the option to save their Instagram Stories as drafts within the app. The feature can be very handy for social media managers who want to post at optimal times. Up till now, all users have been able to save their Stories, by either downloading them to their device or through third-party apps. Those tools are not native to Instagram and are generally not as convenient for creators. By having drafts within the app, creators will be able to view them as they appear to users, while they also utilize Instagram’s full feature set in your draft creation process, and post on the go via the app. “Instagram Stories drafts are now available globally. Story drafts will last for seven days before disappearing. For more information, click here. 

Thank you for reading. See you next Friday for more news and interesting reads in the digital space.