Friday recap: Home shopping with Google Home, more revenue options for Facebook advertisers and Twitter partners with Showtime
It’s been a relatively quiet week but there are still some interesting updates going on in the content marketing space.
Google now allows you to shop from home through Google Home, they’ve upped the security for NFPs accounts and expanded the fact checker tag to other countries.
Facebook introduced some updates that will provide Facebook advertisers and publishers with more options, and Twitter continues nudging into sports live streaming with the first ever live stream boxing event.
Shop from home with Google
Google Home, introduced in May last year, is rolling out another feature: home shopping.
The device can be used to control a number of other devices and products around your home, as well as managing your schedule, emails and other commands. It is voice activated and relies on similar technology to other artificial intelligence bots like Apple’s Siri.
Now you can also ask Google Home to add items to your shopping list with participating Google Express retailers. While Google’s blog post did not explicitly state how the process would work, it appears that the technology will add items to the online store of your choosing where you have a stored payment option and delivery address.
The list of current Google Express retailers includes Whole Foods Market, Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond, which would suggest this is initially only available in the United States.
However, Google said that “Today is just the beginning of what’s possible for shopping with the Google Assistant. Over the coming months, we’ll continue to add new features and enable purchases for other apps and services”
To configure shopping for your Google Home device, visit the support site here.
Google account security for NFPs
If you are part of a not-for-profit organisation (NFP) using Google to reach more people, it may be worthwhile to upgrade your account security.
Google released a blog post this week detailing a two-step account verification process for not-for-profit organisations. In the post, Google acknowledged that shared Google accounts are beneficial for keeping in touch with partners and donors, but it does increase the vulnerability of confidential information.
Google also said that “While passwords have historically been the sole guardian for online account access, research from Google has shown that many passwords and security questions can easily be guessed.”
2SV, as the verification process is referred to, is a combination of something like a password or answer to a question, with a physical code that you receive. Some banks have a similar process with security ‘keys’ that receive a code every time you transfer money externally.
You can download the Google Authenticator app for your code generator, to combine with your password.
To determine whether your NFP is eligible for this and other benefits, check out the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. If you need further help in growing your NFP, visit our Content for Good page.
Google fact checker expands to more countries
When we first wrote about the fact check tag it was originally only available in the UK and the US. Now, Google is rolling out its fact checker feature in more countries like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
The fact checker is a tag applied to articles that are supported by evidence and references. Unlike other tags on Google News like ‘in-depth’ and ‘opinion’, the fact check tag is applied by publishers in the markup.
It differentiates well researched and factual articles from ‘fake’ or sensational news stories.
Google has rolled out this tag in the aforementioned countries and is also launching in the search tab as well. This means that stories with the fact check tag will be brought to the top of search results for news articles.
Google said that they are “eager to bring the fact check tag to other countries around the world”, so here’s hoping Australasia is next on the list!
Expanding revenue options for Facebook advertisers
After Facebook’s announcements about updates to video last week, they have rolled out even more in the last few days – all concerning revenue for advertisers and publishers.
The first update means that eligible publishers can make money from in-stream videos on their own sites and apps through Audience Network, which is where Facebook advertisers can have ads placed on third-party sites and apps.
In-stream video is now available to Audience Network publishers who have the capacity for them. Facebook said that because advertisers upload ads and bids in advance it is able to quickly run auctions with good quality ads.
To find out more about in-stream video ads visit Facebook’s product page.
The second update will expand testing of ad breaks to more live video creators. Ad breaks are 15 seconds or less in length and are shown during live broadcasting on Facebook. Publishers are able to make money from these ads if they opt to include them in their stream.
Whereas before this was only available to a small testing group, now many more Pages and individual users will be able to access this revenue option, provided they have at least 2000 followers and 300 concurrent viewers on a recent live video. To insert an ad break, publishers just tap the ‘$’ symbol on their screen during the live feed. Ads can only be inserted after 4 minutes of live streaming and then at a minimum of 5-minute intervals after that.
The last update will test these ad breaks in on-demand video. This means that publishers can insert the ad breaks into regular videos, including past ones that have already been posted. This option is currently only available to a small testing group in the US, with views to expand in the coming months.
Twitter and Showtime partner up
Showtime became a temporary live streaming partner of Twitter for the Broner vs Granados boxing fight.
The fight was live streaming on Twitter, able to be viewed by both Twitter users and non users alike. Showtime announced the partnership with Twitter in a blog post, stating that it was the first ever live stream boxing event. The partnership was part of the ‘Free Preview Weekend’, during which Showtime said that “ the premium network will be available to more than 73 million television households nationwide from Friday, February 17 through Monday, February 20.”
Anthony Noto, the COO at Twitter said that “Twitter is where fans go to for live conversations about boxing…Our collaboration with SHOWTIME Sports will provide fans access to the live video stream of Saturday night’s best-in-class championship boxing coverage and the live conversation all on one screen.”
Perhaps Twitter’s reputation as the home of breaking news isn’t dead after all? With their coverage of major sporting events like the Melbourne Cup, NFL games and the Australian Open, perhaps they are better known as the home of breaking sports news instead!