Friday Recap: From Penguin 4.0 to Facebook at Work to Snap without the Chat
There have been a number of changes rippling throughout the content marketing industry this last week. Google officially announced the latest long-awaited and much talked about Penguin update, Snapchat lost half of its name but gained a new product and LinkedIn announced the roll out of its latest educational feature. Not to mention Instagram reaching an advertising milestone and rumours of the release of Facebook’s version of professional networking.
More on these updates below…
Facebook at Work
Most people are already on Facebook while at work but now it looks like there will be a legitimate reason for surfing the social network during business hours.
The Facebook at Work site is already up and running as part of the early adopter program, but a source in the know told TechCrunch that the official launch will happen sometime over the next month.
The site could be a possible rival for LinkedIn, acting as a networking service within workplaces and between professionals. To become part of the network users need to create an account separate to any existing personal accounts. Once registered you can join groups for your company and have conversations with colleagues within the network.
Other companies such as Skype and Yammer may also face some competition from Facebook at Work, given that the site provides private chatting through Messenger and audio or video calls.
Primarily, Facebook at Work will allow for internal communications within businesses to streamline discussions and projects. According to the FAQs section of the Facebook at Work: “companies [using the service] find that they can eliminate or drastically reduce their need for internal collaboration tools such as their intranet, telephony systems, video conferencing and distribution lists.”
Currently, Facebook is not charging for membership but that may change once feedback is received from those who have participated in the early adopter program.
No more Chat, just Snap
Snapchat, the app famous for its disappearing photos and videos, has now made the last half of its name disappear, changing the official company name to Snap Inc. The founders explained the reasons behind the name change in a blog post, stating that the new name was to reflect the company’s expansion into other products.
“When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product – but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand,” Snap Inc said.
Spectacles, which is the latest innovation by Snap Inc, is exactly as described – a pair of sunglasses. Unlike normal specs though, these ones contain an integrated video camera that can send images to Snapchat through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Video and images are saved in a circular format of 115 degrees to reflect the human perspective.
Spectacles is not available yet but Snap Inc promises it will roll out this new product soon.
Introducing Penguin 4.0
Officially announced by Google this week after much chatter in the SEO community, Penguin is now part of the main ranking algorithm.
“After a period of development and testing, we are now rolling out an update to the Penguin algorithm in all languages,” Google said.
Two key changes were identified in the official blog post. Penguin is now working in real time and is now more granular, so that it adjusts individual page rankings, rather than the ranking of an entire site.
While this update is of vital importance to site owners and marketers alike, Google reminds its users that the focus should be on creating great websites, and remembering that Penguin is just one of many factors that affect page ranking.
“The web has significantly changed over the years, but as we said in our original post, webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites. It’s also important to remember that updates like Penguin are just one of more than 200 signals we use to determine rank,” Google said.
What’s on the agenda for LinkedIn?
Following LinkedIn’s live presentation earlier this week, the company reiterated its upcoming changes in an official blog post.
The professional networking platform aims to redesign its desktop site, taking on features from the mobile app that was rolled out last year. The new format will be a “cleaner, simpler and more intuitive way for members to quickly access the jobs, information and insights they need”, according to LinkedIn. Changes will also be made to the Feed to make content more relevant to users and introduce more search options.
Due to the popularity of private messaging on LinkedIn the company will make updates that make messaging more streamlined and user friendly. Like Facebook Messenger did recently, LinkedIn plans to use bot technology to assist with scheduling meetings within messages.
The most exciting update is the new partnership with Lynda.com, which will provide learning capabilities within LinkedIn. The site will take into account what skills are needed for individual users and offer relevant courses in these disciplines.
Instagram Advertising Milestone
Instagram posted to its official company blog this week to announce it has reached 500,000 advertisers.
The company shared some statistics in the blog post to show the growth it has experienced in recent months and what effect the introduction of Instagram Business Tools have had for its users.
Half of Instagrammers now follow a business on the photo sharing platform, and 60 per cent learn about a product or service within Instagram. Three quarters of Instagrammers will take action after being inspired by a post, such as visiting a site, performing a search or shopping online.
Since Business Tools were introduced on Instagram, 1.5 million businesses have converted to a business profile to be able to use features such as CTAs and data insights.