Facebook is now Meta: Tech giant announces rebrand
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that the tech company is renaming itself to “Meta” to encompass its expanding technology and role in what it calls, “the metaverse.” The company owns multiple technologies and apps including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus VR. In July, Zuckerberg told The Verge that over the next several years, Meta would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
What’s the metaverse? The way that Zuckerberg explains it in his founder’s letter today makes it sound like the next level of virtual reality: “You will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parents’ living room to catch up.”
What does this mean for Facebook? “Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2021, we plan to report on two operating segments: Family of Apps and Reality Labs,” said the announcement. “We also intend to start trading under the new stock ticker we have reserved, MVRS, on December 1. Today’s announcement does not affect how we use or share data.”
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Whether Google manipulated AMP or not, it’s a great time to reassess using it
As soon as Google announced that its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) framework would no longer be required to appear in the Top Stories section of its search results, SEOs working with publishers began envisioning more ad revenue opportunities without sacrificing the traffic that Top Stories could bring. However, some publishers may feel “stuck” with the framework due to a lack of developer resources or other factors.
But, in light of recently unredacted allegations from 17 state attorneys general accusing Google of throttling non-AMP ads in order to give AMP a “nice comparative boost,” publishers that are still using AMP may be raising an eyebrow of suspicion. “We’ve all known for a long time that AMP was Google’s attempt to force its own paradigm onto the web, a way to try and control the chaos and establish its own methods as a standard way of doing things,” said Barry Adams, independent SEO consultant and co-founder of News and Editorial SEO Summit, “These latest allegations, if true, show just how far Google’s greed can reach, that it would artificially penalize websites that don’t use Google’s preferred approach,” he said, citing 2018 accusations that Google slowed down YouTube for Firefox users as precedent for such conduct.
Read more: Whether Google manipulated AMP or not, it’s a great time to reassess using it
Instagram opens Stories link sticker to all users
Instagram has made the link sticker available to all users this week. The feature lets you link out to third-party sites, stories, products, and more via the Stories option in the app.
Previously only available to select accounts. Instagram began testing the sticker option as a replacement to “Swipe Up” link in Instagram Stories around August. Plus, the features were only available to verified accounts or those that met a 10,000 follower threshold. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, has been emphasizing how the platform is crucial for small, local, and retail businesses — especially as a rallying cry against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency initiative.
Read more: Instagram opens Stories link sticker to all users
Google reduces the unique product identifiers enforcement on free product listings
What are unique product identifiers (UPIs). Google said a unique product identifier, also known as UPIs, are considered products that include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names in the product feed you submit to Google Merchant Center.
Previous enforcement. In September, Google said if a product listing was missing these required attributes, the product was immediately disapproved and no longer shown in free listings. Google said “in order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings.” Google said then, “beginning September 15, 2021, the following enforcement will apply to products shown in free listings.”
New rules. Now, starting in November 2021, “with the introduction of limited performance enforcements, products that are missing such attributes will remain eligible to serve but their performance may be limited,” the company said.
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Google makes it easier to remove images of kids from the search results
Google is now letting anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from the Google Search results. The removal request can lead to the image no longer appearing in the Google Images tab or as thumbnails in any feature in Google Search, the company said.
Reputation management. This may make the process of removing images from Google Search easier and online reputation management companies may benefit from this. Having more and faster methods to remove content from Google Search is likely welcomed by SEO firms, especially those that focus on reputation management.
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YouTube ads are the breakout star of Google’s Q3 earnings report
Another quarter’s earnings report shows that Google is among the winners when it comes to the shifting pandemic landscape. It makes sense that their investment in e-commerce and multi-channel advertising options continues to pay dividends as many people are still hesitant to participate in in-person shopping, dining, and more. That, plus many have just come to prefer the convenience of pick-up, delivery, and online ordering options.
41% year-over-year growth. Revenues for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, went up a whopping 41% YoY according to the report, with ad revenues driving $51.3 out of the $65.1 billion. Google attributed the continued increases to its big push for commerce in Q3 (and before) in the earnings call. Along with the investment in commerce, Google is offering even more options for advertisers who are seeing a return to in-person shopping, especially as the holiday season nears.
YouTube is the breakout star. “YouTube advertising revenues reached $7.2bn, an increase of 43% from the previous quarter thanks to both direct response and brand advertising,” reported John Glenday for The Drum.
Read more: YouTube ads are the breakout star of Google’s Q3 earnings report