June 28, 2019

The Figaro Digital Monthly Digest: June 2019

You wouldn’t believe it by looking outside, but June has been and past. The month has seen a considerable change in Google’s algorithm that sent some brands and newspapers into meltdown, as well as big changes in the world of digital marketing and shifts by the social media giants. Overall, it’s been a topsy-turvy month for the industry at large.

It’s been another busy period for digital marketers everywhere, so dig into the details below to get up to date.

The Latest Social News

Facebook Officially Unveils Its Cryptocurrency

Rumours have circulated for a while that Facebook would be entering the cryptocurrency market, but the company has officially unveiled its anticipated entry: Libra. The response was far from positive, with economists and cryptocurrency experts expressing concerns over the rise of corporation-governments having a hold over both free speech and our wallets. Either way, Libra is here to stay as a way to organise cryptocurrency under a centralised authority.

What does this mean for digital marketing? Well, if Facebook has its own cryptocurrency, the future may mean conversions on its platform will be governed by that currency. Users will use this universal currency to buy products and services from Facebook, although that is probably a long way off.

Twitter Removes Geotagging

If you’ve never heard of geotagging, then you’re not alone. The service was barely used on Twitter, hence why the platform is removing the service.

Broadly, geotagging is the process of adding a specific location to your tweets with minute accuracy. Originally introduced in 2009, Twitter created geotagging as it believed location would play a big part in the future of its platform. Obviously, Twitter has turned out to be more personality driven than expected, leading to the abandonment of the geotagging feature.

Love Island Highlights Instagram’s Fake Follower Problem

Love Island has taken the UK by storm, with each contestant’s Instagram exploding as a result. However, analysis by influencer marketing agency Takumi has highlighted how many of these newfound followers are fake.

Nowadays, seeing as reality TV stars quickly turn into influencers, analysis such as this is a good barometer of the fake follower problem that is hampering influencer marketing. Top of the list is Amber Gill who boasts 603,000 followers on Instagram, but 65 per cent of these are fake.

Instagram has taken steps to quell fake followers and bot accounts in recent months, but the problem isn’t slowing.

The Latest Google News

Google’s June Algorithm Update Was A Bombshell For Some

June brought with it a core algorithm update. While SEOs are still picking through the fallout of the change, some businesses and news publishers saw massive losses in traffic. The Daily Mail lost 50 per cent of its website traffic, with a 90 per cent drop in Google Discover feed traffic.

The Daily Mail’s SEO Director, Jesus Mendez, even took to the Google Webmaster forums to ask about the drop:

“The day after the broad core algorithm update (June 3rd) we saw a massive drop in Search traffic from Google (lost 50 per cent of daily traffic). This was a drop over the course of 24 hours and we have not made any changes to the site. Further, we saw our Discover traffic drop by 90 per cent and has not improved. This is across all verticals, devices, AMP and Non-AMP. Further, on June 2nd we saw a blip for a few hours when our Google Bot traffic almost disappeared, before returning again. Could possibly be related?”

Google has been tight-lipped about the update, but the usual principles remain – be relevant. Although, as The Daily Mail’s drop shows, Google’s thoughts on relevance can change.

Google Shuts Down Its Trips Service

Google is shutting down its Trips app on 5 August. Trips was eclipsed by rival apps such as TripIt and RoadTrippers. Essentially, the app used Google’s vast resources and network of applications to plan out long-haul journeys, save favourite places and recommend local hotspots. The app also had functionality for offline use, which was useful for those in areas that lacked service.

Google has listed how to replace the features of the Trips app via Google’s other services, but the dissolution of this service shows that the company hasn’t lost its cutthroat edge for applications which lag behind.

Google Falls Out With Genius

Allegedly, Google has been caught scraping lyrics from music website Genius. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has been taking lyrics from Genius and presenting them as rich results. While Google denied the claims, Genius claimed to have established a method of catching the search engine red handed. By using a system where Genius swapped between curly single-quote marks and straight apostrophes on every song, the company was able to see if Google was scraping and copying lyrics onto its own lyrics box.

If you type a song title into Google, you’ll get a list of song lyrics, but if Google has been taking these lyrics off of Genius without permissions, then this spells a copyright dilemma for the search engine.

The Latest Brand News

Huawei Develops Android Competitor

Following a falling out with Google, facilitated by the US government last month, Chinese tech company Huawei has developed its own Android competitor.

This month, Huawei trademarked the name of its Android competitor: Hongmeng. The OS is being developed as a workaround from US sanctions against the company, which prevented it from interacting and trading with US entities like Google. The OS is a few years off, but it could cause a headache for Google and Android users.

Samsung’s Global CMO Attacks Influencer Marketing

While Samsung’s former head of US marketing was a big fan of influencer marketing, its current global CMO Younghee Lee has expressed reservations about influencers and will be scaling back investments in them.

Going back as recently as March, Samsung ran big influencer-led campaigns with tech figureheads such as Casey Neistat, but now Lee appears to be ushering in a move to more traditional marketing channels. In a statement where she wished to refocus on Gen Z, Lee said:

“This generation wants [brands] to be more real, authentic and organic. The more I encounter our local marketing programmes and sometimes I see huge budgets for influencer marketing… no, no, no. Sometimes it’s necessary, but it’s more a real person, your neighbour, that we’re looking for.”

It sure sounds like Samsung may be headed down the micro influencer road in the coming months.

Our Favourite Campaign Of The Month

Foot Locker Supports The Women’s World Cup With A Quick Logo Makeover

Shoe retailer Foot Locker has given its recognisable logo a quick gender swap to support the Women’s World Cup. The brand’s logo is usually a male referee, but while the World Cup is running, the logo will be a female referee instead.

As part of the logo change, the brand worked with three female referees so they could tell their stories. These will be shared on the Foot Locker’s social channels via video.

“We’re passionate about enabling and inspiring an inclusive youth culture, of which sports forms a key part. Our campaign is all about celebrating these culture shapers for their skills, regardless of gender or position on the pitch, and inspiring a future generation of young players and refs.”- Carmen Seman, Vice President of Marketing, Foot Locker

The logos themselves will only be changed in Paris, where the tournament is hosted. By matching socially poignant topics with guerrilla-style marketing, Foot Locker is on to a winner here.

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