Friday recap: Google now allows ads above the fold on mobile, Facebook drops its Q1 report and updates its revenue policies for video content owners
What a week! From first quarter reports to major changes for AdWords users to Facebook revenue updates, there’s been a lot going on in the content marketing world.
Facebook released its first quarter results for 2017 and once again proved it truly is the king of the social media jungle. The company also updated Pixel and made changes to improve revenue streams for video content owners.
Google made some important updates for business users, including changes to policies about ads displayed above the fold and improving remarketing lists for AdWords users to reach more potential customers.
All this as well as a new look for YouTube, a milestone for Instagram and reactions coming soon to the comments section on Facebook.
There’s a lot to get through so let’s dive in!
Google allows 300×250 ads above the fold
Up until now, the 300×250 unit size ads were disallowed from being placed above the fold on mobile pages. This week Google has retracted that policy and advertisers can now venture above the holy grail, i.e. the fold.
“After careful review, we’ve determined that when 300×250 ads are implemented above the fold in a user-friendly way, the ads do not annoy, distract, or result in ad performance issues” Google announced in its official company blog post.
This means that these ads will now be visible as soon as the page appears, rather than relying on the visitor scrolling further down to see it. In terms of space on a mobile screen, the size of the ad is quite considerable, as seen here.
It’s an interesting move on Google’s behalf, given their constant emphasis on the user experience and the large amount of space that these ads take up. Google has warned advertisers, however, that the main content of the page should not be pushed down below the fold to accommodate for the ad.
“With the removal of this restriction, you still must be vigilant to ensure that their mobile site layouts do not cause ads to push the page content below the fold in such a way that may lead to accidental clicks. To ensure a good user experience, we still recommend the site content should be clear and accessible above the fold.” Google said.
For more information on the rules and guidelines around these ads, check out the ad placement policies in the Google Help Center.
Facebook Q1 results
This week, Facebook released its first quarter report for 2017 with unsurprising but definitely impressive results.
Compared to Q1 last year, Facebook’s total revenue has experienced a 49% year over year increase, skyrocketing from just over $5.3 billion to over $8 billion.
Its advertising revenue alone has increased from over $5.2 billion to $7.8 billion, which is a 50% year over year change.
It’s not just the revenue that has increased but also Facebook’s user base. Daily active users have increased to 1.28 billion, up from 1.23 billion last year. Monthly active users now sit at 1.94 billion, with an outlook to reach the 2 billion mark by the end of Q2.
With this level of growth occurring each year, Facebook is reaffirming that it is a force to be reckoned with.
To see the full report visit the Facebook Newsroom.
More protection for video content owners on Facebook
Facebook has made updates to its Rights Manager feature to further protect users’ video content and ensure they receive ad earnings where it’s due.
The Rights Manager has been around for about a year, and helps video content owners to keep track of their content and any authorised copies that have been made of that content. Owners can find matches through the dashboard within the Rights Manager and take subsequent action to reaffirm their rights to the content.
Facebook is now providing automation for some of these features to help owners manage this process.
There are four key actions that owners can choose to automate: block, claim, monitor and review.
‘Block’ allows owners to automatically block any content that is an exact match to their own. ‘Claim’ will allow owners to claim a share of money generated from an ad break inserted into copies made of their content. ‘Monitor’ allows owners to view the metrics of copied content until they decide to take action at a later date, and ‘review’ will send the copied content to the owner so they can manually inspect it.
Facebook has also introduced a range of ‘Match Conditions’ that need to be satisfied before the above actions are taken, such as viewer location, content type and match length.
These changes will provide video owners with much more control and protection over their content, and give them the ad earnings they deserve.
The updates are rolling out now and should be available to all Pages using the Rights Manager within the next few weeks. For more information check out the official blog post.
Facebook Pixel updated
Facebook is making some changes to Pixel in order to pull more detailed information about the activity of your site visitors.
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of coding that you place on your site to feed data back into the Facebook platform, specifically the campaigns that you run through your Page. It improves your ability to target the right kind of people with your Facebook ads, and build relevant audiences based on the people that visit your site.
This week Facebook said that “To improve your ads delivery, how Facebook measures the results of your ads, and in an effort to enhance the relevancy and usefulness of ads, we’re enhancing the Facebook pixel.”
The Pixel will now access more information on your site to further optimise ad delivery. This information includes actions on your page such as ‘add to cart’ or ‘purchase’ clicks, as well as information from the page structure.
For users who created their Pixel before April 20, 2017, the changes will come into effect on May 20. If you created your Pixel after April 20 this year, you will see the changes immediately.
For more information check out the Facebook Developer page.
Improved AdWords Remarketing lists
Google is rolling out similar audiences for Search and Shopping, as well as Customer Match for Shopping, to further improve your remarketing lists.
Remarketing lists for search ads (PLSA) is a feature that allows you to customise ad campaigns for previous visitors to your site, and display these ads to them on Google and partner sites.
With the addition of similar audiences for Search and Shopping, the ads can now also be displayed to people who have similar interests to your existing customers, while they are performing searches for your product or service.
The introduction of Customer Match will now mean that your remarketing lists can be used to tailor campaigns toward your highest value customers while they shop on Google.
Check out the official AdWords blog post to get the full details about this update.
YouTube gets a makeover
To celebrate its 12th birthday earlier this week, YouTube has unveiled a new design for its site.
The new layout boasts a simpler, cleaner design than the current site, as well as a new faster framework that will allow new features to be built and implemented much quicker than usual.
The most noticeable difference about the user experience is the new ‘dark theme’. YouTube says that the dark theme, available from the account menu, enables you “to cut down on glare and take in the true colours of the videos that you watch.”
To see the new site, visit the introduction page and click ‘try it now’.
Reactions in Facebook comments
Those little reaction icons under your Facebook posts will now be accessible to add to comments as well.
Mashable reported the update this week after noticing the addition of reaction icons on posts.
As far as businesses on Facebook are concerned, the reactions are just another way to connect with your audience and measure engagement.
Instagram user milestone
Last week we reported that LinkedIn hit a milestone of 500 million users and this week Instagram is still pipping them to the post by reaching a 700 million strong user base.
Instagram said that “With new features like stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct, people and businesses now have more ways than ever to express themselves and feel closer to what matters to them.”
While 700 million is nothing to be sneezed at, when comparing it to Facebook’s user base of 1.28 billion it’s clear that Instagram has a little way to go before catching up to its older sibling.