Today we look back at some of the key changes and innovations across all aspects of digital in March. We give you a snapshot of what the update is, why it is important and what action should you take.. 
 
March has been another busy month in the world of digital, including updates from both Facebook and Instagram, as they look to adjust their product offering, to take on the ever growing popularity of TikTok. 

Facebook Brings Ads to Shorter Videos and Stories 

What is it?: On Thursday 11th March, Facebook introduced changes to the way that it monetises videos, with shorter videos and stories containing advertising. Previously, the minimum was three minutes. Those ads will usually play after 30 seconds of a shorter video. 
 
Why is it important?: This will not only drive increased revenue for publishers, encouraging publishers to invest time in producing content for Facebook over other social platforms. This change will also increase the amount of advertising opportunities possible, generating operator returns for advertisers. 
 
What action should you take?: It has not been confirmed whether advertisers will have control, to decide whether ads can be served against shorter videos. As soon as we know more we will provide an update.  
 

FLoC Runs Privacy Snag in Europe 

What is it?: On Wednesday 24th March, FLoC, Google's solution for a cookieless world took a major setback., as their approach to assigning a user into a cohort could count as use of personal data, and would be a violation of European privacy law (GDPR). 
 
Why is it important?: Cookie based advertising has been integral to advertisers to measure and drive performance from their digital ad campaigns over the last decade. The pending removal by Google has raised serious questions in the industry as to what alternatives should be taken. FLoC is Google's specific answer to this change, however this latest announcement creates doubts as to whether it will be fit for purpose for European countries and whether Google will need to either backtrack or develop an alternative version. 
 
What action should you take?: No action is currently required as testing of the FLoC solution will not be possible in Europe for the time being. As with previous monthly updates, we will continue to update you with any changes. 
 
Discover more: EU Privacy Snag 

Updates to Google Page Experience FAQ's published 

What is it?: On Tuesday 30th March, Google provided the industry with more context on this planned SEO algorithm update. Postponed due to Covid-19, this new update will reward brands across Google natural search listings, if they score well across the Core Web Vitals criteria. 
 
Why is it important?: In previous updates we have spoken of the importance of focussing on Core Web Vitals signals including page load stability and site speed, to ensure that you are in a place to benefit from the planned algorithm update. Those who are meeting Google's guidelines, especially for mobile could see a rankings and traffic increase from May. Conversly, those not meeting the guidelines are more likely to see a drop in performance. 
 
What action should you take?: If you haven't reviewed your Core Web Vitals, we recommend that you do this immediatly. You should check your Google Search Console analytics, in conjunction with Google Page Speed Insights , to identify any offending pages and common areas for improvement. Working with your in-house development team or third party agency is a must in April, to avoid a loss in traffic, leads and sales. 
 

Instagram Launches Remix for Reels 

What is it?: On Wednesday 31st March, Instagram announced the launch of Remix for Reels. This allows an influencer or brand the opportunity to co-create and collaborate on Reels content together. This feature also lets users react to or interact with another persons video content whilst creating their own. 
 
Why is it important?: Instagram (Facebook) are concerned of the market share that they are losing to the growing popularity of TiKTok. This update ensures that Instagram has an equivalent product feature to Duet. This could open up opportunities for multiple influencers to support a brand together and to make identfying influencers easier for brands. 
 
What action should you take?: If you are not using Reels already, this should be a part of your organic social media strategy. 
 

Our final thoughts ... 

If you haven't looked into the Google Page Experience update, we urge you to do so. It is not too late to make sure that your site is ready for the algorithm change. This will impact all sectors and brands, whether you are a mature or start-up business. 
 
If you would like further information or support on how you can navigate this change, please get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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