Slow-Loading Pages Beware!

girl-925284_1920The social media giant Facebook recently published a blog post announcing an algorithm that will shake up how certain posts are displayed in a user’s newsfeed.

Over the next few months, Facebook will measure how long it takes for a webpage to load on its mobile app and compare it to different online websites. If the site takes a long time to load, the page may move down a user’s feed or disappear altogether. Many factors are being considered, such as current network connection and general speed of corresponding web pages. If signals indicate that a page will load faster than others, the link to that page will appear higher on your Facebook feed. But for those worried about Facebook hurting their website’s chances of being seen, Facebook has already released a “best practices” guide to assist companies on how to speed up their web pages and how to make their websites more mobile friendly.

Not sure how fast your website is loading and/or how your site’s speed stacks up against competitors’ sites? Google offers a free tool to help test how quickly your website is loading. To test your website’s load time, click here.

AMP is coming to Google Search and Display Ads

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On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the search engine giant announced a beta test for AMP pages for Search and Display ads during their Marketing Next event. Google stated the beta test would plug Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, into search and display ads. Google’s mobile web already has fast loading pages due to its AMP program, but now Search and Display ads will get AMP-enabled landing pages as well.

So, how does it work? Advertisers who have created landing pages in AMP HTML will be able to designate these pages as their mobile landing pages in AdWords. Once the mobile user clicks on a search ad, the ad will direct them to an AMP landing page. This page will load up to 5 seconds faster than standard display ad builds, resulting in improvements in user performance and conversion results. These AMP-enabled pages will also address advertisers’ view-ability concerns for display ads. Google is already working on building this technology into the Google Display Network, so be on the lookout for AMP ads!

Facebook Launches Another Clone to Snapchat

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The competition for top app continues! Facebook Messenger is the latest Facebook app to mimic the popular photo-disappearing app Snapchat. Snapchat is known for pioneering popular photo-sharing features enjoyed by billions, but that hasn’t stopped Facebook from trying to outshine them. Messenger Day is Facebook Messenger’s latest clone of Snapchat’s popular Stories feature. Messenger Day allows users to add photos and videos where friends can view and reply to them for up to 24 hours before disappearing. The target is to create a more casual means of communication between friends and family with the goal of increasing engagement on Facebook’s main app.

Facebook has a long history of attempts at trying to outdo Snapchat’s Stories feature. In February, the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp revealed a new feature called Status. WhatsApp’s Status feature allows its users to share images, GIFs and videos for up to 24 hours. Last August, Facebook-owned Instagram released a Snapchat-inspired Stories feature as well. Instagram Stories has become a huge success for Facebook with more than 150 million users daily.

It’s safe to say Facebook seems to be on the right track at competing with Snapchat for user growth. Snapchat’s share price even dropped slightly the morning Facebook announced the release of Messenger Day. Facebook’s Messenger Day has already starting rolling out on iOS and Android devices, so be on the lookout for the newest update!

iOS brings Ad-Blocking

At the recent Apple event, many new product announcements were made, including a discussion about the newest operating system, iOS 9, which launches at the end of the month. The new iOS system is full of enhancements in performance, security, and battery life, and will give users the ability to do more than ever.

Another feature available on the new operating system is ad-blocking. Users will now have the ability to block mobile ads in Safari, which is Apple’s default browser. Now let’s be clear, Apple is not creating ad-blocking software, but rather allowing third-party blocking extensions to be added to the browser. According to Apple’s developer prerelease documentation, “The new Safari release brings Content Blocking Safari Extensions to iOS. Content Blocking gives your extensions a fast and efficient way to block cookies, images, resources, pop-ups, and other content.” However, your mobile experience won’t be completely ad-free. Advertisements will still be shown within applications, which are where 90% of users spend most of their time, according to Nielsen and comScore.

Advertisers need not worry. Though 70% of users said if they had the ability to block ads, they would, according to a Google consumer survey, this doesn’t mean they will actually do it. Ad-blocking ability has been available on Android devices for a while, and yet the majority of users have not employed that function. In addition to what will be an enhanced user experience, this new iOS feature may motivate a renewed effort on mobile apps and improvements in ad quality. The mobile advertising world is not over, but it is definitely shifting. Do you notice a lot of mobile ads? Will you employ ad-blocking ability on your Apple devices? We’d love to hear from you!