Digital Trends Wrap-Up: February 2017

DTR 2017


Social Media

  • Facebook Takes Action Against Discriminatory Ads. Facebook has updated their ad policies, created new advertiser education and stronger enforcement tools to prohibit discriminatory advertising. Learn more here.
  • New Signals to Show You More Authentic and Timely Stories. Facebook has incorporated new signals to better identify and rank authentic content in the News Feed. Read more here.
  • Facebook Introduces Community Help. When Safety Check is activated in communities, users can now use Community Help to find and provide help to those in need. Learn more here.
  • New Updates to Trending. Facebook’s Trending topics now use an improved system to determine what is trending. Read more here.
  • Facebook Now Weighs Reactions. Facebook is now weighing reactions – love, haha, wow, sad and angry – over “likes” to determine what content appears in users’ News Feeds. Learn more here.
  • Facebook Rolls Out New Ads Manager Features. Advertisers can now use animated GIFs in video ads, compare results by date, and more. Click here for details.  
  • Facebook Adds Country Flag Options to Profile Picture Frames. Facebook now offers 200 country flag frames that users can add temporarily or permanently to their profile picture. Check out the frames here.
  • Messenger Platform Now Open for Standard Messaging. Facebook’s Messenger Platform will give businesses and developers a 24-hour window to respond to messages. Learn more here.
  • Facebook Introduces Job Posts and Job Bookmark on Pages. Businesses are now able to post job openings that users can apply to directly. Click here for more information.
  • Facebook to Start Showing Ads Mid-Video. Facebook will begin testing a new mid-roll ad format, giving publishers the chance to insert ads into clips after 20-seconds. Learn more.
  • Facebook Testing an Explore Feature. Facebook is running a very small test for an ad-free Explore feed. Read more here.
  • Instagram Rolls Out Albums. Users can now share up to 10 photos and videos in one ad or post. Click here to learn more.
  • Twitter’s Making Customer Experiences More Personal. Twitter is testing out custom profiles in Direct Messages, showing the real face, name and title of the care agent who is speaking. Learn more here.  
  • YouTube to Stop 30-Second Unskippable Ads. YouTube will stop allowing 30-second unskippable ads, instead focusing on shorter formats. Click here for more.


  • 51% Have Not Felt The Effects of Google’s Intrusive Pop-up Ad Penalty. Search Engine Journal put out a survey about Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty [POLL], and found that a little over half of their audience hasn’t been affected yet. The penalty only launched on January 10th of this year, which means it still may be rolling out. Learn more here.
  • Proximity to Searcher is the New #1 Local Search Ranking Factor. Nearness to the searcher’s physical location is now the most important ranking signal in terms of Google’s Local Search algorithm, beating factors like content quality and linking domains. Read more about this change here.
  • 61% of People Want Their Digital Personal Assistant to Answer Their Questions More Directly. The most popular new feature that users would like to see in their digital assistant is more “direct answer results”, rather than results that open a new app or website. See more statistics about virtual personal assistants here.  
  • Users Can Now Save Places and Share Lists on Google Maps. A new Google Maps feature lets users create lists of saved places that can be shared and accessed offline. Learn more about the new feature here.
  • Bing Announces That 130 Million Bad Ads Were Blocked Last Year. According to Bing Ads’ “Ad Quality in Review 2016” report, Bing Ads blocked 130 million ads and banned 175,000 advertisers last year. Find out more about the types of ads that were blocked here.
  • AMP Links Are Appearing Outside of Google Search. Now that most major publishers are producing AMP versions of their content, distribution platforms and other referrers are starting to experiment with AMP as an alternative to standard outbound links. Learn more here.
  • The ‘People Also Ask’ Box Gets a More Prominent Placement. Google featured snippets are now often followed by the ‘people also ask’ box, placing it much higher in the SERPs than before. This could be a test by Google or it may become a permanent feature, but it’s too early to determine. Read more here.
  • Google Will Retire Google Site Search. Google will stop fully supporting its Google Site Search product by the fourth quarter of 2017. If you still have a GSS license, click here for some alternatives.
  • Emojis Are Back in the Search Results Snippets for Relevant Queries. Google stopped emojis from appearing in the results in June 2015 due to misuse, but they recently added them back to results when emojis are relevant. Find out more about this fun topic here.

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