Track to the Future

Meta and LinkedIn add new tracking options... Adobe gives up on XD... and the clock that lies to you.

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Track to the Future

Meta and LinkedIn add new tracking options... Adobe gives up on XD... and the clock that lies to you.

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GOOGLE • Indexing Problems Are Back

Google is tackling a hiccup that occurred last night.

A glitch in their system is preventing some websites from showing up in search results as fast as they usually do.

This is something that has been happening more frequently lately, though it’s usually fixed pretty quick.

Judging from reports on social media, this started late last night, around 11:30pm ET, stirring up a storm among content and news publishers who noticed their latest posts were missing from Google's search pages.

Early this morning, Google acknowledged the issue, saying:

We're investigating an indexing glitch in Google Search hitting a handful of sites. These sites might find their content taking longer to appear in searches. We're digging into the cause and will update you in 12 hours.

Google Search

So, if you've noticed your content playing hide and seek in Google Search, rest assured they’re on the case.

Today’s Trivia — Guess and Win!

Each month, we pick someone who guesses in a trivia question and comp them the Premium Newsletter! Just click on any option below:

What was the original name of Google before it was renamed in 1997?

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META • New ‘Engaged View’ Conversion Tracking

Meta is introducing a new attribution settingEngaged-view — that lets marketers measure for conversions that occur within 1 day of a video ad play.

You can use engaged-view along with other attribution settings to better analyze your performance.

Here are the specifics from Meta:

Engaged-view can be counted in ads measurement reporting when someone plays your video ads for a minimum of 10 seconds (or watches 97% of the video length if it’s less than 10 seconds) and converts within a 1 day window.

Engaged-view is available for all placements except Facebook in-stream video ads that cannot be skipped.

So, an example: Someone watches a video ad for a yoga class on Instagram Stories and signs up the next day. That sign-up can now be directly linked to watching the ad.

Meta usually announces these things with the results of a small study showing that if you try this out, you’ll get better results. They did that here too, though it was only 15 A/B tests and the results were a 3% lower cost-per-result, so maybe not something to change up your whole campaign if you have one running now which is performing well.

LINKEDIN • New ‘Website Actions’ Tracking

LinkedIn also added some new tracking options — a new Website Actions” option'.

This uses LinkedIn’s Insight Tag on your website and make it easier to track multiple responses on your web site. You pick the actions you care the most about and then can use them as audiences if you want.

Website Actions is designed to simplify action tracking.

It empowers B2B marketers using LinkedIn’s Insight Tag to capture and measure website actions without the need for additional tracking codes on their website. 

This is pretty simple to implement, assuming you’ve got the Insights Tag on your site and it’s working correctly. It should be a pretty solid tool for those who use retargeting especially.

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YOUTUBE • Analytics and Content Gap Data Added

YouTube is adding some new analytics tools for playlists, and some handy updates in its Studio.

First, when you dive into the "Content" tab, you'll find a new "Playlist" section. This lets creators put their playlists head-to-head, comparing their performances directly — so, similar to the analytics groups feature but tailored for playlists.

YouTube has also introduced Content Gap insights on the desktop version of the "Research" tab, expanding on the mobile feature they launched last year. This shows search queries related to your channel that aren't being fully addressed, maybe opening doors to new content ideas that match what viewers are searching for.

YouTube is also highlighting top community clips to boost engagement across platforms and rolling out scheduled videos exclusive to members. This could help you build anticipation for things like product launches or live events.

Threads — Meta’s attempt at filling the void left by Twitter — is gearing up to add a Trending section which would highlight real-time news and discussions.

Threads has been criticized for its "For You" algorithm. Some users say that it shows content from unknown creators and old posts. People have also complained about seeing low-quality content, but the company said they’re working on that. Trends could be a solution to these problems, in that it’ll give users a new way to find interesting conversations.

We got a hint about this back in October when a Meta employee accidentally leaked information about it. The screenshot showed showed a simple list of popular topics, like a show on Disney+ and Latin Music Week. It didn't have categories like News or Sports, or personalized recommendations like X's trends feature.

What This Means for Marketers

Trending content has always a pretty consistent gold mine for social media content managers. This is where a lot of brands find things going viral that they can jump on.

How X Dropped the Ball on Trends

Like much of the X platform these days, its Trending section has been sort of broken for a while now — today, the front page trends show an ad and, for a reason I was not able to figure out, the nation of Antigua.

Part of the problem there is that X personalizes the trends to what it thinks you’d like, which is exactly the opposite of what a trending section should do — it should show you what’s actually going viral, even if you don’t have an interest in it. You can’t view trends from a logged out window on X’s web site any more, since X no longer allows you to see the front page without being logged in.

Has your brand posted on Threads?

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ADOBE • Gives Up on XD; Figma to Dominate?

Adobe has decided to pack up its toys and go home.

After government regulators squashed its attempted acquisition of Figma — a web design tool that competes with Adobe’s XD tool — the company this week confirmed it will basically stop working on XD entirely.

Adobe tried in 2022 to buy Figma for $20 billion, but when government groups in the US, Europe, and the UK looked closely at the deal, they didn't like it. So, last month Adobe gave up on the acquisition, and paid Figma a $1B termination fee.

Adobe says it won't make any new updates for XD, and it's only keeping it running for people who already use it. And they have stopped selling XD to new buyers. Indeed, we couldn’t find any reference to the software on Adobe’s All Products page.

To be fair, even before trying to buy Figma, Adobe wasn't focusing much on XD. It didn't make a lot of money for Adobe, only about $16 million a year, and not many people worked on it. Now, with Adobe stepping back, Figma has a big chance to be the main tool people use for designing websites and apps.

Does your brand use Adobe XD?

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AI • Google’s New Image-Gen Tool is… Well, Meh

Microsoft has Co-Pilot. OpenAI has DALL-E. And now Google has Imagen2.

If that all sounds like gobbledegook, we’re talking about generative AI that can make images from a text prompt.

We’ve been using it for nearly all our podcast episode and newsletter header images for the last couple of months.

Today, Google announced it’s rolling its image gen tech into its main chatbot, which it calls Bard. Bard also is finally getting out of the U.S. and is now available in 230 countries.

But it’s the image generation everyone was checking out today.

We tried it too and, well, not very impressed. We tried a bunch of different prompts, half of which it just straight-up refused to do. We asked it to recreate yesterday’s podcast episode and newsletter image, which was a TikTok logo on a tombstone in a cemetery, and it just flat out refused — the issue, was apparently the TikTok logo:

DALL-E had no problems with it.

We tried asking it for an image of a happy mime on a stage with a theatre audience, and the difference really was night and day. Bard only showed two audience members, who appeared to be behind the mime and on stage with him for some reason; OpenAI’s showed what you expected — a big theatre full of people.

Google’s Bard

OpenAI’s DALL-E

That said, if you want to try it out, Google’s new image generation is inside Bard now, just ask it to create an image.

What AI image generator do you use?

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The AI-Powered Clock That Lies to You

One clever inventor has made a new type of clock and it trying to get it crowdfunded on Kickstarter.

It’s called the Poem/1 and it uses e-paper and a connection to ChatGPT to craft a new poem for every minute of the day. That’s 1,440 different poems.

The inventor’s name is Matt Webb and he posted a photo of it working on the fundraising page:

Photo: Matt Webb

But there’s a big problem with the clock — well, not the clock, but ChatGPT.

Sometimes, the AI just can’t make the rhyme work. So it will lie about the time and hallucinate a completely different time of day.

Or it’ll make something else up.

One poem it came up with read: "A clock that defies all rhyme and reason / 4:30 PM, a temporal teason."

Matt thought to himself “Huh, ‘teason’ I wonder what that means?”

And, yes, the word does not exist and the clock just made that up too.

Crazy world we live in now.

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