Click Through Reads #54: Image Extension Requirements and Placement Exclusions

Hello Click-Through-Readers! 

Welcome to a new week and a new year of Click-Through-Reads – We’re so excited to be back! 2021 brought a lot of challenges and changes to the industry, and we hope that 2022 will show us the growth and reward that comes with that. So far, we’re kicking off the year strong! 

Google responded to user feedback on image extensions, providing a library of additional stock images for advertisers to implement. Along with this addition, Google updated exclusions: Advertisers can now select where they don't want their SmartShopping campaign ads to appear. Microsoft has some big platform updates coming this year: They acquired Xandr from AT&T, and DuckDuckGo anticipates the release of their own desktop browser. Social platforms Meta, Instagram and TikTok share their 2021 victories and 2022 plans. Let's dive in! 

Google Loosening Image Extension Requirements to Allow Stock Images

In addition to the expansion of servicing capabilities on desktop a few weeks ago, Google unveiled a searchable library of stock photography in response to user feedback. These images are free.

Placement Exclusions Enabled for Smart Shopping Campaigns

Google recently rolled out placement exclusions on Smart Shopping campaigns, allowing advertisers to determine where their ads won't appear.

As the consumer shopping journey evolves, users are choosing to purchase from brands that align with their values. This feature will allow brands to avoid appearing on websites that don’t match their values and, therefore, continue building customer loyalty.

Once Smart Shopping rolls into Performance Max later this year, it’s unknown whether placement exclusions will also be copied over to the campaign type–but we can only hope!

DuckDuckGo’s Desktop Browser in Closed Beta

With some fiery 2021 mobile app stats, such as being the “most downloaded browsing app on Android in major markets (and #2 on iOS behind Chrome),” it’s no surprise that DuckDuckGo has plans to release a Desktop Browser, which is currently in closed Beta on macOS. 

The company has noted that the search engine is “averaging more than 100 million searches a day, and [their] most recent survey showed 27 million Americans (9%) use DuckDuckGo.”

The announcement states the browser will offer “robust privacy protection that works… across search, browsing, email, and more.” Similar to their mobile app, the browser will include a “Fire Button”, which clears all of a user's tabs and browsing data with a single click.

There is no determined launch date yet. For advertisers, DuckDuckGo is currently only advertisable through Bing’s Search Partner network. As the search engine grows, there’s a chance for this to be another profitable platform.

Updates to Detail Targeting on Meta

Starting January 19, 2022, Meta is removing some detailed targeting options that are not widely used or related to topics people view as sensitive. These targeting options reference health topics such as breast cancer awareness, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation such as LGBTQ. 

For ad sets created before January 19, impacted campaigns will be allowed to run until March 17, 2022, and it will be possible for you to make campaign-level edits, such as campaign name changes and increasing or decreasing budget amounts, without impacting targeting. If an ad set is paused before March 17, the new targeting changes will activate when re-enabled. 

After March 17, you will no longer be able to make edits or changes to campaigns using deprecated targeting–and if you are using any impacted targeting for exclusion purposes, your ad sets might be paused to prevent misdelivery. 

Impacted targeting options will automatically be removed if they are being used for inclusion purposes, and Meta will provide alternative targeting recommendations within Ads Manager when possible.

On January 19, you can view any affected ad sets in your Ads Manager account by selecting “See Affected Ad Sets” at the top right of your account. If your ad sets need to be updated, you'll see a notification that they are removing some detailed targeting options.

Microsoft Acquires Xandr from AT&T

Recently Microsoft purchased Xandr to help advertisers navigate the post-cookie world. Xandr provides a data-enabled technology platform with tools that power a diverse ecosystem, connecting marketers and media owners through first-party, data-led advertising solutions across its network. 

This partnership will allow Microsoft to tap into Xandr’s data-driven platforms to enhance their advertising. These enhancements include:

  • Improved placement, advertising and tracking of results with Xandr’s cross-screen, first party data buying platform, Xandr Invest;
  • Introduction of a video solution through Xandr Monetize;  
  • Enhance direct-to-consumer retail advertising with PromoteIQ. This will allow advertisers to reach audiences across the web, and assist retailers in optimizing their online storefront;.  
  • The current Accelerated Microsoft Customer Experience Platform will continue to evolve, allowing advertisers to reach high-value prospects and increase reach and ROI. 

TikTok Ranks as the Most Popular Website in the World

TikTok.com surpassed Google.com on Cloudflare’s Year in Review report, earning the number 1 spot on the list of most popular domains based on traffic. 

Here is the top 10 list:

  1. TikTok.com
  2. Google.com
  3. Facebook.com
  4. Microsoft.com
  5. Apple.com
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Netflix.com
  8. YouTube.com
  9. Twitter.com
  10. WhatsApp.com

TikTok.com received the most traffic compared to any other domain, but it doesn’t mean it’s the biggest social media platform or has the most users: TikTok ranks 3rd, passing Snapchat and Twitter but still falling behind Facebook and Instagram.

This list is a good place to start reevaluating marketing efforts and checking where you’re spending. If you haven’t tested TikTok yet, this might be your sign to do so!

Instagram’s 2022 Goals

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri outlined their goals for growth for 2022, saying that the platform will be focused on two key themes in 2022: videos and control.

Much like every platform, Instagram struggled to keep up with TikTok this past year as they battled to keep their position as the leading platform for youthful demographics. You might have already noticed this shift, but Instagram is continuing to push short video formats through reels to maximize engagement. 

Reels have been integrated into the main Instagram feed, automatically defaulting shorter videos into Reels clips as it looks to expand reach and exposure. New editing tools and video settings have been implemented to add ease to video creation.

Mosseri also notes that Instagram will be looking to make messaging a bigger focus, as it is “the primary way that people connect online.” More monetization tools for creators in the app can also be expected.

Transparency is another focus for Instagram, providing increased effort and insight for users into how Instagram works.

Coming soon is a chronological feed toggle. This will give users the capacity to easily switch what they’re seeing on their feed. They manage their favorite accounts and select to see their home feed or favorite profiles.

How AI is Improving the Translation Experience for Marketers

Machine learning, while extremely helpful with translation, is not always entirely accurate. Marketers still struggle to adjust and simplify messaging when translating to local markets.  

A recent Industry Dive survey of 172 marketing executives found that “more than half noted that while AI was a critical component for language services, when having content translated or localized for their markets, simplicity was still very much a pain point.”

According to Indy Nagpal, chief platform officer for Straker Translations, the trick is to maintain quality while being time sensitive.

AI advances allow a client's past translation history to easily influence future work. If a piece of content has been translated in the past, the next time a similar piece of content comes around for translation, the system has the smarts built into it to figure out. 

Rather than rotate algorithms, AI technology creates a “memory bank of sorts” that allows layering of past translations. Using AI technology allows translation services to host larger sets of data across all languages; which in turn will create more efficient workflows with greater accuracy. 

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