Friday briefing 23/9

The marketing team gives us a roundup of this week's hot topics


Gordon Carslaw. Megan Reid.

This week, Gordon Carslaw and Megan Reid discuss the latest news from the big hitters of the digital comms world: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here's what's hit the news ....

Why Marketers have to get Smart with Google’s New Smart Messenger App ‘Allo’

Google this week set about taking on Whatsapp and Facebook by integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its, much awaited, smart messenger mobile app called ‘Allo’. The App enables users to communicate with others with instant messaging and sharing media. Nothing new there right?

Well, what makes Allo stand out to the competition is Google Assistant, the bot that you can have conversations with as you make plans with friends. It can help you find local restaurants, show local cinema listings and times, answer questions and is always on hand to help without you ever having to leave the app!

Despite it only being a preview version of Google Assistant – while Google continues to develop its algorithms - it raises some questions for marketers. If the app is to take off and generate a high volume of users then it may limit the amount of choice the user has as the Assistant does the work for you and is likely to show less results than SERP’s will. That leads to the following questions:

  • Which factors will influence what results are shown within the App? Quality Score?
  • Will it display paid ads in Google Assistant or will it only be Organic results?
  • Will it support E-commerce sites that are seen as competition to Google? E.g. Amazon.

Although it is early days for AI within messenger apps it’s definitely one to keep an eye on. What are your thoughts on Allo, Google Assistant and AI? You can read more on the app and see all its feature right here.

Gordon Carslaw, Digital Marketing Executive


Instagram finally allows drafts

Unless you're an avid instagrammer you may not have noticed the beta-testing of Instagram's latest feature, which has been on the loose since July. The ability to save drafts may even seem trivial to you - you'd be wrong. If we go past the everyday functionality for normal users, it will enable brands to take the much needed extra time to craft Instagram posts. It is perhaps even a step towards native Instagram scheduling, as in theory, one can create a batch of posts in advance, save them to drafts and then post with copy at their leisure. We still hope a native tool is coming however, or at least a widening of their API to allow tools like Hootsuite to post straight to the platform. Read more here.

Twitter relaxes character limit

I feel like Social Marketers everywhere have been talking about it for months, but since Twitter announced its intention to change what counts in its character limit people have been questioning if it will make that much of a difference. Yes on a basic level it has made writing tweets from brand much easier, but on a macro level it is changing the entire platform and make it much more malleable.No longer do you have to choose copy over image to get your clients point across. This will make Twitter a much more visual platform, better equipped to deal with the advances of Instagram. Now all they need to do is stop championing landscape images...

Facebook adds polls and payment prompts to Messenger

48 hours after Google released Allo, Facebook has responded with its own AI functionality which it plans to integrate into its messenger app. For example. typing IOU will flag with a keyword which will then prompt you to pay back your debter, which will link to the debit card registered with Messenger. Facebook is also adding polls as away to make group chats more productive and clear - a functionality which again seems to directly compete with Allo's AI possibilities. Check it out here.

Megan Reid, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator


If you have any comments or questions on any of the topics covered, tweet us or hit us up on Facebook!