2019.05.24 Last Week in Digital Media

Another week, another last week in digital media. I’m posting this blog entry later this week given the Memorial Day weekend.


  • Google is making a change to the way results appear in mobile search. The new design brings web icons into search results as well as changing how paid results are identified. The icons bring brand images and indirectly signals the authority of authority and credibility of any link so it’s worth ensuring clients have adopted web icons.
  • there are rumors that popular app TikTok will launch their own standalone music service to compete with the Spotify, Apple Music, etc. The move is seen as a way for TikTok to avoid having to rely solely on advertising revenue. There are also rumors that the service will primarily focus on emerging markets.
  • in other music rumors, Snapchat is allegedly attempting to license music from the major labels (WSJ paywall) so that users can use the music in their Snaps.
  • prolific reverse engineer, Jane Wong, has found evidence that Snapchat is working on a revised interface. The new interface is clearer and based on reports, seems to be in in a limited beta.
  • YouTube will be making changes (in August) to the way video view counts are displayed, showing rounded numbers rather than full counts e.g. 100k instead of 100,033. The change doesn’t seem material but may be an attempt to stop the manipulation of view counts, as users won’t know how many views they need to roll over to the next level.
  • Bing is experimenting with shopping ads as part of image search. Microsoft’s approach is to show a carousel of ads once a user clicks in on a specific image.
  • Instagram TV, which was originally vertical video only, now supports landscape video. This might just be the change IGTV needs as there have been informal complaints from creators that there was little desire to create videos for a proprietary viewing format that couldn’t easily be cross-posted elsewhere.
  • Roku is releasing a new tool that lets you measure how many people were reached with an ad on traditional linear TV and then compares that result to how many you could have served by investing in OTT. Roku claims the tool is designed to address the disconnect between how much ad revenue OTT collects vs traditional TV.
  • Facebook has confirmed ads are coming to WhatsApp in 2020. The WhatsApp ad news was shared in a slide at a Facebook Marketing Summit.
  • In other Facebook news, the company is reported to be launching their own currency “GlobalCoin” in 2020. Facebook is apparently in discussions with multiple companies so that the currency can be used for payments in both online and offline environments.


Have a good week.