Facebook to takeover Yelp?

More and more consumers are using platforms like Yelp and Foursquare to make purchasing decisions, whether it’s looking for the best Thai restaurant in the area or an amazing hair stylist. And like everything that becomes popular Facebook has announced their take on it.

 

Facebook Local is an updated version of the Events app that allows users to search for places nearby. Places that your Facebook friends have visited or reviewed will show in results, which can be viewed by categories, ratings, price and distance.

 

This update couldn’t come at a more opportune time with Yelp struggling with solicited reviews which are slowly starting to fill up the website. Having issued vendors warnings about such reviews, Yelp users may begin straying away from the platform with its potentially false content.

 

Local businesses could also potentially benefit from this app with local search becoming increasingly prevalent amongst consumers. It’s still unclear if there will be advertisements or if vendors may be charged costs for additional benefits, but if Facebook is following their usual model there will be some form of monetisation involved.

 

Will Facebook Local stand a chance against the giants or is this app set to fizzle?

 

How to deal with annoying Facebook friends the polite way

Ever since the dawn of Facebook there have been those people that make you regret signing up to the site in the first place.

 

Have you ever had one of those friends that treats Facebook as the journal to their tumultuous relationship or the new parent that has decided to broadcast an online baby album?

 

In an ideal world we could just click the ‘Unfriend’ button and move on with life but in this day and age, hitting that button is akin to a slap across the face.

 

If you’re one of those people that aren’t concerned about ruffling some feathers then Unfriend away! But for the rest of us that don’t want to cause a scene, or make their dislike obvious, we’re forced to endure.

 

But do we?

 

Facebook is currently working on a Facebook ‘Snooze’ button that will allow users to put the offending Facebook friend on a temporary time out for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. The best part is that your Snooze remains anonymous, so no one will now you’re annoyed with them!

 

This update is currently only being tested in the US but will hopefully will roll out internationally in the coming months.

 

Don’t suffer through another ‘Baby’s First Bath’ photo again and just hit Snooze.

Mary Meeker Report: Mobile, voice and Facebook advertising

The highly anticipated Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report was recently released, providing all digital marketers with insights into current trends to look out for and latch onto.

Some trends featured in the report could be seen from a mile away, such as the increase of mobile advertising. Over five years, mobile advertising has increased 22% just in case you needed more evidence to work on your mobile pages and switch to AMP.

Another trend predicted by SEO and suggested in the 2017 report is the future of voice search. While we have mentioned before the importance of adjusting SEO to cater to voice search, it was found that almost 70% of Google Assistant voice searches were made using natural language and speech patterns rather than traditional text search.

What is unexpected is the rate of Facebook advertising growth. While Facebook is used heavily for social media marketing and off-page SEO, the rate at which advertising spend has increased by 62% from 2015-2016. This increased spend reflects Facebook’s new ad targeting options and their wide range of ad options.

Check out the full 2017 Meeker report which contains 155 pages of information, data and statistics that allow digital marketers to adapt their current strategies. We look forward to seeing how it will influence marketing trends over the next few months.

Facebook under heat for political advertising  

Facebook has made no attempt to hide their battle against fake news that was awash the social media platform during the 2016 USA presidential election. While Facebook has always been platform where individuals are able to share their views it was the events of that 2016 that turned the site into a political conversation hub.

 

It didn’t end in America though, the UK elections have also become another political issue for Facebook to handle due to questions raised about political advertisements and their funding. Although political advertisements are under the same guidelines and privacy policies as commercial advertising there are academics that are demanding greater transparency.

 

Daniel Kreiss, a communications professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill states, “having some kind of digital repository of ads that are purchased during a particular cycle and linked to a particular source is a good, democratic thing for the public.”

 

While Facebook has claimed to be open to academic research proposals Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer has said “Even if we were able to be more transparent in this area, it would only be a very small piece of an overall story.”

 

This unwillingness to disclose political advertisement information undoubtedly has to do with potential loss of revenue seeing as Facebook seems to have minimal qualms regarding privacy.

 

What do you think? Should Facebook remain consistent with their advertising privacy policy? Or do we have a right to know what organisations are funding the content we see when we make political decisions in our democracy?

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