January 2020 News You Can Use

During the 2019 holiday shopping season, e-commerce sales were up over 18 percent and overall spending beat the previous year by 3.4 percent.

But this issue of Stukent’s News You Can Use focuses on what’s ahead:

    • Facebook is building a live shopping feature
    • Canva will soon offer video editing capabilities
    • Pinterest is rolling out a Trends tool
    • A new California law may shake up the business of data sharing

Welcome to 2020. It’s more important than ever for students and practitioners of digital marketing to pay attention and get to work. Use the following news highlights as springboards to spark discussion and light a fire of enthusiasm for the year ahead.

PODCASTERS CAN NOW WIN A PULITZER PRIZE

Topic: Digital Marketing

Key Point: Since 1917, Pulitzer Prizes have recognized and promoted excellence in journalism, drama, music and literature. Beginning this year, a new Pulitzer category will reward a “distinguished example of audio journalism that serves the public interest, characterized by revelatory reporting and illuminating storytelling.”

For that reason, The Pulitzer Prize Board is asking producers of radio programs and podcasts to submit their work for consideration. A commitment to honesty and transparent sourcing of information are litmus tests for suitability.

The window for throwing your hat in the ring ends soon: submit by 5 p.m. EST on January 24 to be considered. Here’s a link to the announcement: Pulitzer Announces Audio Recording Category.

ALSO SEE: Podcasts to be eligible for Pulitzer Prizes in 2020

FACEBOOK IS BUILDING A LIVE SHOPPING FEATURE

Topic: E-commerce | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook users may soon be able to buy directly from live videos from within Facebook Marketplace. That capability was fast-tracked with Facebook’s acquisition of Packgd, a video startup focused on creating a similar shopping feature for YouTube.

Live shopping via video is already popular with Chinese consumers, and Alibaba leveraged a video shopping platform during its Singles Day event in 2019. Many analysts say the move towards social media shopping will expand considerably in 2020.

GOOGLE ADS IS KILLING THE MESSAGE EXTENSION

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Review extensions went away two years ago, and now it’s time to say goodbye to message extensions. Beginning January 27, 2020, Google Ads will no longer offer the option, and advertisers already using message extensions won’t be able to edit them. However, performance data will be available until 2021.

Call and lead form extensions will still be offered by Google Ads. Check this WordStream report for a checklist on how to best prepare and deal with the move. Why do you think Google is dropping the message extension?

CANVA GETTING READY TO LAUNCH VIDEO EDITING CAPABILITY

Topic: Digital Marketing

Key Point: Canva is already a popular platform for helping marketers with graphic design. Now, the company is getting ready to offer the same ease of use for video editing. The Australian-based company says the new tool, just like the current graphic design tool, will include a free version.

Canva’s cofounder, Cameron Adams, said “Our mission is to empower everyone to design anything without any complex software or having to go to different sources for different elements. We’re bringing the same experience to our video editing tool.”

According to Business Insider Australia, video editing isn’t the only advancement Canva users will see. Get the full scoop here: Canva Announces a Slew of New Products.

SEARCH CONSOLE MESSAGES NOW EASIER TO ACCESS

Topic: SEO | Analytics

Key Point: With the old interface, Google Search Console users had limited access to messages. If you were working with Search Console reports, for instance, you’d have to leave that area to check messages.

That’s no longer the case. Google revamped the Search Console interface to provide easy retrieval of messages. Look for a bell icon at the top of every page in Search Console. A numeral on the bell tells you how many messages are waiting.

A further enhancement to user experience is that messages in Search Console will now be categorized according to coverage, enhancement type, performance and more. You’ll also be able to pull up all past messages. 

Check the Google Webmaster Central Blog for more information.

FACEBOOK MAKES APP REVIEW EASIER FOR DEVELOPERS

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: The Facebook for Developers blog says the app review process will soon be easier for app developers to navigate. 

New features include a new tool to view previously used API calls and the most common endpoints, a way to cut down on the messages clutter by removing unneeded permissions requests, and a new page where developers can view all past requests they’ve sent to App Review.

ALSO SEE: Facebook Apps Review

GET READY FOR A NEW TOOL: PINTEREST TRENDS

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: The tool is still in beta testing, but digital marketers are saying it will be a huge help in understanding how to leverage Pinterest for boosting sales and building brands.

According to this announcement from the Pinterest Newsroom, users can expect to gain access to Pinterest Trends soon. You’ll be able to view the most frequently searched terms over the past year and find out when they peaked. Other perks are auto-complete suggestions to assist with keyword development.

ALSO SEE: Pinterest Top 100 Trends Last Year

CALIFORNIA’S NEW PRIVACY LAW TAKES EFFECT

Topic: E-commerce

Key Point: Given all the fanfare around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that took effect in the European Union last year, most marketers aren’t too concerned about California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that took effect January 1, 2020, but it would be a mistake not to consider the implications of the CCPA.

Find out how companies can comply with California’s requirements, which companies are affected, what can happen if the CCPA is ignored, and why this bill could lead to e-commerce nightmares down the road.

Use this in-depth report by CSO to spark discussions now. Many digital marketers may miss the importance of this issue until the shockwaves begin to roll and lawsuits multiply.

HIT THE 2020 ROAD HARD AND FAST

Stukent takes every opportunity to encourage and empower digital marketing students and professionals. There’s something about this year, though, that makes us want to yell it even louder: “Get ready to roll!” 

Let’s go!

BONUS INFO

Google Shopping 100 highlights top trending products

Americans and Digital Knowledge

What will marketing look like in 2030?

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