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It was a big month in digital marketing with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, SEMrush’s acquisition of Kompyte, SEOPress IndexNow support, Tag products in Instagram feed posts, Meta’s partnership with Zefr, Twitter’s eCommerce efforts with Twitter Shops and more. 

ICYMI, here’s what happened in digital marketing in March.

Instagram is Shutting Down its Standalone IGTV App

Instagram announced the company is ending support for its standalone app for IGTV. The company also announced that in-stream video ads, previously known as IGTV ads, will no longer be supported as it shifts its focus to Reels.

In addition to these changes, Instagram has also provided some video creation tips, in line with the trends that it’s seeing in the app.

  • Keep it short. Our community loves short, entertaining videos, and creating reels is the best way to do this.
  • Focus on immersive. Optimize your video content to be viewed vertically. This means using high-resolution, 9×16 vertical videos with no borders, where text does not cover the majority of the screen.
  • Make a good first impression. Pull the viewer in within the first few seconds and keep them interested for the duration of the video. The first three seconds are critical!
  • Be consistent. Create an editorial calendar that you can stick to. You don’t have to post a video every day; just make sure you go at a pace that works for you. 
  • Avoid visibly recycled content: We’ve heard that our community wants to see reels that are uniquely made for Instagram. This is what they find the most entertaining and inspiring. Avoid posting reels that are visibly recycled from other apps (i.e. contain watermarks).
  • Consider the material. We avoid recommending reels that focus on potentially sensitive content, as well as content that is overly promotional or too commercial. You can refer to our Community Guidelines and Recommendations Guidelines for more information.

Health Influencer ‘Ban’ Issued by TGA

New advertising rules by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will ban social media influencers from promoting health products, such as vitamins or skincare, with the promise they will “diagnose, treat or cure” any health or skin condition.

According to their broad definition, this can include sunscreen, skincare, vitamins, protein powders, collagen powders and other supplements. The new advertising rules aim to bring influencers in line with best practices, with influencers prohibited from promoting any therapeutic good that they have been paid to use.

Microsoft Advertising Editor Support for Microsoft Audience Network Campaigns

Microsoft announced an updated Advertising Editor to support Audience Network campaigns. Now, advertisers can manage their Microsoft Audience Network campaigns through the Microsoft Advertising Editor, enabling them to monitor and tweak their campaigns offline as well.

Previously, advertisers could only manage their Microsoft Audience Network campaigns via the associated interface or an API. Now, they can also manage them offline via the Microsoft Advertising Editor.

Twitter Updated ‘ALT’ Text with New On-Image Badge

Twitter is currently testing a new ‘ALT’ badge being added to images for vision-impaired users.

Twitter Updated 'ALT' Text with New On-Image Badge

The new option will put a more specific focus on alt-text data, with a mini-window opening up when you tap the ‘ALT’ indicator, outlining the additional detail.

Is your business prepared for the end of Universal Analytics? If you still haven’t taken up GA4, here’s an all-in-one guide on what Google Anlaytics 4 is all about and what the key differences will be.

Microsoft Advertising’s New Feature Ad Creator

Microsoft Advertising has announced Ad Creator, a new feature that extracts images from your site that can be used in your ads. Ad Creator and its built-in photo editor can help advertisers that don’t have access to a design team save time.

Microsoft Advertising’s New Feature Ad Creator

With the Ad Creator smart effects feature, you can easily modify the look and feel of your ads to stand out in advertising and engage more people. Ad Creator is currently in the pilot phase; those interested in joining the pilot should contact Microsoft Advertising account representatives.

Microsoft Suspends New Sales in Russia

Microsoft President Brad Smith announced that the company “will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia” and stop “many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions” due to its invasion of Ukraine.

digital markets act

SEMrush to Acquire Kompyte

SEO tool provider SEMrush has announced plans to acquire competitive intelligence automation and sales enablement platform Kompyte. The acquisition could provide SEMrush with a path to increasing the business it’s already doing with existing users: “Kompyte is the perfect product to upsell to our existing customers who already use our competitive intelligence features”.

Kompyte offers competitive analysis tools that help marketers track changes on a competitor’s site, ad copy, social media and more. Its products are designed primarily for marketing, product development, and sales and enablement teams.

Microsoft Advertising New Ad Solution ‘Professional Service Ads’

Microsoft announced Professional Service Ads, a new ad format designed for service providers such as insurance agents, realtors, accountants and more. This can also be used to promote regional offices, branches or even national brands that provide relevant services.

Microsoft Advertising New Ad Solution 'Professional Service Ads'

Professional service ads stay consistent with Microsoft Advertising’s formula for vertical-specific formats, leveraging feed data and automation to match offers to searches. The new ad format is intent-triggered rich placements that provide real-time information to consumers about your agents, advisors, and consultants, all with no keywords required.

WordPress Plugin SEOPress With IndexNow Support

WordPress plugin SEOPress now offers IndexNow integration, which speeds up the submission of website content to search engine indexes. This gives another 200,000 sites that are using SEOPress easy access to enable IndexNow on their WordPress site.

SEOPress is the latest plugin for WordPress websites to support the IndexNow protocol, which automatically pings search engines when content is added or updated.

Twitter Expands eCommerce Efforts with Twitter Shops

Twitter introduced a new shopping feature called “Twitter Shops”, which allows merchants to curate a collection of up to 50 products to showcase on their Twitter profile.

Twitter Expands eCommerce Efforts with Twitter Shops

Notably, Twitter Shops won’t actually let you purchase things directly — instead, the shop listings will link you out to the merchants’ website in an in-app browser to actually complete your purchase.

Instagram Launches Creator Tags for Content Contributors

Instagram is rolling out enhanced tags which will enable creators to tag collaborators and influences within their images. The enhanced tags allow users to share and view a creator’s specific contribution to a photo or video post.

Instagram Launches Creator Tags for Content Contributors

To use Instagram’s updated creator tags:

– Open the Instagram app and tap the (+) in the top right corner

– Create a new Post and tap Next

– Make any creative edits then tap Next

– After writing a caption, tap Tag People

– Select Add Tag and search and select your contributors

– Tap Show Profile Category to display the creator category

– Tap Done

– Once you’ve added any additional tags and details, tap Share

In-App Checkout and Personalized Shopping Recommendations for Pinterest

Pinterest is expanding its shopping capabilities with in-app checkout and a new personalized recommendation feature “Your Shop” designed to suggest products, brands, and creators to users based on their activities and preferences.

digital markets act

These features can strengthen Pinterest as a shopping destination, providing merchants with more channels they can use to sell to audiences.

Instagram Blocked in Russia

Russia followed through on its threat to block Meta-owned Instagram on Monday, cutting off access to millions of users in the country. The ban implemented at midnight was confirmed by GlobalCheck, a service examining internet restrictions in Russia.

Instagram Blocked in Russia

After Russian censor Roskomnadzor announced that the government would restrict access to the app following a 48-hour “transition period,” Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri condemned Russia’s actions, which will affect 80 million people in the country.

Meta Fined $18.6M Over Facebook Data Breach

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has been fined $18.6 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) for violating the European Union’s privacy regulations by failing to prevent data breaches on its Facebook platform.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (IDPC) determined Facebook had “failed to have in place appropriate technical and organizational measures”. The case dates back to 2018 when the IDPC launched an investigation into a breach that impacted tens of millions of Facebook accounts. Among the breaches was one triggered by a software bug that gave outside developers access to millions of user photos.

Microsoft’s Expanded Automotive Ads

Microsoft Advertising officially announced the launch of expanded Automotive Ads to all advertisers globally. With this expansion, the format can also display in the Microsoft Audience Network, the Microsoft Autos Marketplace and the Windows search bar.

Microsoft’s Expanded Automotive Ads

In addition, Microsoft plans to roll out more expansions throughout this year including support for new vehicle types (motorcycles and RVs), support for monthly pricing and leasing options, and support for more visuals and attributes (such as an attribute for electric vehicles).

Meta’s New Tools to Give Brands Control Over Ad Placement

Meta will begin testing new content tools designed to give advertisers control over where their ads are shown on Facebook and Instagram feeds. This is Meta’s response to growing demands from advertisers who have repeatedly asked for more control over their ad placements. This will allow companies to prevent their ads from being placed next to unsuitable content, such as posts about politics, tragedy or violence.

Meta will begin testing the new content controls in the second half of this year and plans to officially roll them out in early 2023. Over the course of the next year, Meta will expand the controls to include ads placed within stories, video feeds, Instagram’s explore page and more. 

Meta Partners with Zefr to Improve its Advertiser Safety Tools

Brand suitability provider Zefr will be Meta’s initial partner for providing independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on Facebook Feed. Meta and Zefr will work together to develop a solution to measure and verify the suitability of adjacent content to ads in feed.

This announcement comes on the heels of Zefr and TikTok’s brand safety and suitability measurement product, which was released in late January, and Zefr’s selection as a Brand Safety Reporting partner on YouTube.

Australian Regulator Sues Facebook’s Parent Meta For Hosting Scam Ads

Australia’s consumer watchdog has launched a world-leading legal case against Facebook and Instagram owner Meta for publishing scam cryptocurrency ads featuring well-known Australians.

According to the ACCC, Meta was aware that the celebrity endorsement cryptocurrency scam ads were being displayed on Facebook but did not take sufficient steps to address the issue despite it giving assurances to users that it would detect and prevent spam.

Confirmed Yoast WordPress Bug Creates Duplicate Sitemaps

Yoast confirmed a bug that causes WordPress to generate duplicate sitemaps. Yoast’s head of SEO, Jono Alderson, acknowledged the bug and says they are working on fixing it. The bug can be seen on any site that uses the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin, including on Yoast itself.

Microsoft Advertising Reporting Dashboard Updates

Microsoft Advertising announced new updates to its reporting dashboard which is now available in all markets and languages. The updates include easier access to recent reports, real-time report previews as well as formatting options and shortcuts.

The new reporting dashboard is aimed at streamlining workflows by making reports easier to customise and access.

Instagram Tag Products in Feed Posts

As part of its continued focus on expanding its eCommerce listings, Instagram will open product tagging to every user, starting with users in the US. The ability to tag products is starting to roll out now and will become available to everyone within the next few months. 

Instagram Tag Products in Feed Posts

Business owners will receive a notification when someone tags one of their products, while they’ll also be able to view all tagged content on their profile.

Twitter Adds Keyword Search to Direct Messages

Twitter is upgrading the direct message search bar by adding the much-requested ability to search for DMs by entering keywords. This update to the Twitter DM search is rolling out to the iOS and Android apps, and will also be available on web browsers.

Twitter Adds Keyword Search to Direct Messages

Same with any social media platform, visit your inbox, click on the search bar, and start typing in your keywords.

Instagram Officially Introduces Favorites

Instagram introduced a new feature called ‘Favourites’ that will allow users to customise their feeds. The feature enables users to select up to 50 ‘favourite’ accounts that will be prioritised by the Instagram algorithm, showing higher in their home feeds.

Instagram Officially Introduces Favorites

Accounts on the ‘Favourites’ list will also be displayed higher in the feed, along with a star icon. The new feature will also enable users to toggle between viewing their ‘following’ lists and ‘favourite’ lists, giving more control over the content they are consuming on the Meta platform.

European Union’s Digital Markets Act

The European Union has taken its latest shot at big technology companies with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a proposed law that it says will open up the market to smaller competitors and give consumers more choice and freedom. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) will force companies such as Facebook and Google — who are described as ‘gatekeepers’ in the legislation — to “interoperate with smaller platforms if they so request.”

European Union's Digital Markets Act

Based on the proposed Digital Markets Act (DMA), the penalty for all violators is up to 10% of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover and periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily turnover.

Instagram’s New Prompts to Help Raise Support for Charitable Causes

Instagram is testing a new feature that will make it easier for users to discover and support social causes directly through hashtags. When you search for specific hashtags associated with certain social movements, you’ll have the option to support them through new options.

Once you get to a hashtag page, you can select “Support” to learn more about the movement. There’s also a “Spread the Word” button that lets you share the hashtag page with your friends via a DM. The company says the new feature will also make it easier to raise awareness for these causes through a “Create a Fundraiser” button that can be used to start raising money on behalf of a cause.

Instagram's New Prompts to Help Raise Support for Charitable Causes-min

Instagram is rolling out the new feature to select hashtags focused on popular movements on Instagram, including #BlackLivesMatter, #womensrights and #climatecrisis. Instagram says it consulted with several organizations, including the NAACP, GLAAD, AAJC, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Illuminative to select the initial list of hashtags.

AIOSEO WordPress Integration with Microsoft Clarity

AIOSEO (All in One SEO) WordPress plugin 4.1.9 adds integration with Microsoft’s free analytics tool, Microsoft Clarity. This tool lets you track user behaviour on your website, presented in a dashboard format making it easier to digest.

AIOSEO WordPress Integration with Microsoft Clarity

With this new integration, you can now better understand how users interact with your website. For AIOSEO users with a Pro or Elite license, just update to AIOSEO 4.1.9. Then, head to General Settings » Webmaster Tools Verification to turn on and set up the Microsoft Clarity integration.

Thank You for Reading

Check back in next month for more updates on European Union’s Digital Markets Act or follow us on LinkedIn for daily updates on all things digital marketing.

Kirsten Tanner

Kirsten Tanner

Editor in Chief at In Marketing We Trust. Passionate about content marketing and dogs. Loves creating long-form, evergreen and 10x content. Is mentioned in Guy Kawasaki's latest book.

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