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

  • Google Reports Data Loss in Search Console

Google has released reports there was a data loss in Search Console this month. As a result of this, users might see a drop in their performance reports during this period. The issue affected Search and Discover data collected on August 23 & 24. There is no news yet from Google that the missing data will ever return, so it is best to assume they are gone. Google explained that the issue does not reflect any drop in clicks or impressions for a site, only missing data in Search Console. For more information about this, click here

  • Google Changes How It Creates Titles For Search Result Listings: 

Google has just introduced a new system of generating titles for web pages. Previously, Google used the query the searcher entered into the search box when formulating the title of the search result snippets. But now, there is a new way to generate titles that describe[s] what they are about, regardless of the particular query.

Google further explained that it is now making use of text that humans can visually see when they arrive at a web page. The main visual title or headline shown on a page. This is the content that site owners often place within <H1> tags, within other header tags. The reason for this update is to produce more readable and accessible titles for pages. If you notice any change recently in your click-through rate from Google search results, it may be related to these new changes. For more information about this update, click here.

  • Instagram is Removing Swipe-Up Links for Stories, Replacing the Function with Link Stickers

Instagram is changing the way external links are shared within the Stories frames. With a new update announced last week, the current ‘Swipe up’ links are being replaced with a new ‘Link’ sticker option. Now, all users who can currently access the swipe-up link for Stories will now have access to the new link sticker and the swipe-up option in Stories will go away by the end of this month. Instagram shared that the new link update provides a range of benefits:

  • A streamlined stories creation experience: Stories stickers, like donation, music, poll, and now link will help users further express themselves and share what matters to them on Instagram. 
  • Added creative control: The sticker looks and functions the same way as others (i.e. question, poll, and location) – providing increased creative control. Users can now toggle to different styles link stickers can be placed anywhere on stories for maximum impact. 
  • Further engagement: Users can receive quick reactions and replies on posts that have the link sticker, like any other story that is shared whereas this was not a feature with the “swipe-up” link.

Instagram also explained that it will introduce link stickers in stages and is assessing whether to expand link access to more accounts in the future. For more information about this update, click here

  • Facebook Adds New Tools to Mark the 10th Birthday of Messenger

This week marks the 10th year Facebook Messenger was launched as a separate app back in 2011 and to mark this milestone, Facebook has announced a range of new Messenger features. These features are designed to both spark a celebratory mood and also add entirely new functionality to the app. The new features added to the app are listed below:

  • Poll Games: This is an interactive polling option that enables users to find out new things about their friends.
  • Share Facebook Contacts Through Messenger: This feature allows users to simply share contacts from Facebook through Messenger. Making it easier for people to connect on the app.
  • Word Effects: This feature pair words with emojis that have meaning to users and their friends. This is an interesting way to spice up group chats and highlight specific terms that have special meaning to users. 
  • Birthday Gifting Option: Facebook is adding a new birthday gifting option for payments in Messenger, which delivers money transfer with new wrapping paper and virtual balloon effects, as well as a Birthday chat theme and 360 background, linking into the celebratory tone.

To celebrate this milestone, Facebook also launched a “Messenger is 10!” sticker pack. For more information about this, click here.

  • TikTok Announces New Shopify Shop Tab for Approved Merchant Profiles

TikTok has announced a new shop tab expansion for Shopify merchant to promote their products directly to their audience in the app. Now, Shopify merchants with a TikTok For Business account will soon be able to add a shopping tab to their TikTok profiles and sync their product catalogues to create a mini-storefront that links directly to their online store for checkout.

The new Shopify shop tab pilot program is now open to Shopify merchants with a TikTok for Business account in the US and UK. A select group of Canadian merchants will also be invited to participate in the initial launch. Shopify merchants can request early access to the TikTok Shopping pilot via Shopify’s TikTok channel. For more information, click here

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