Digital Down Low: August 26

Digital Down Low: August 26

WhatsApp Updated Privacy Policy Will Let Businesses Send Them Messages

  • According to Marketing Land, WhatsApp updated its privacy policy on Thursday to state that it will now be sharing people’s account information — but not their messages — with Facebook, unless people follow these steps to opt out within 30 days. That means Facebook will be able to match the phone numbers people submit when signing up for WhatsApp to the ones they may have attached to their Facebook profiles to connect those accounts. Facebook will be able to use that connection and the data it gets from WhatsApp like people’s contact lists to figure out which ads or other content to show people on Facebook.
  • Thursday’s privacy policy changes appear to mark the first and second steps in Facebook doing with WhatsApp what it has spent the past few years doing with Instagram.

Step 1) Find a way to match someone across their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Step 2) Use that match to accumulate more data about that person.
Step 3) Apply that data in targeting that person with ads and content recommendations on both Facebook and Instagram.

  • Facebook is already approaching step three with WhatsApp. In January WhatsApp said sometime this year it will start testing ways for businesses to send messages to people using its service. It didn’t explicitly say businesses would pay for the privilege — qualifying these messages as ads — but that seems to be the gist. And WhatsApp doubled-down on that plan with Thursday’s privacy policy update. In a section titled “Commercial Messaging,” WhatsApp tells businesses will be able to send messages with “order, transaction, and appointment information, delivery and shipping notifications, product and service updates, and marketing”.


Twitter Says Stop Tweeting & Encourages Private Direct Messages

  • According to TechCrunch, Twitter today continues to push forward with its increased emphasis on its messaging feature, with the rollout of a new button for websites that allows visitors to privately message an individual or company directly. The feature, now one of several website buttons available, follows the company’s recent test of a change to brands’ customer support profiles’ that encouraged users to direct message, not tweet, at the business’s Twitter account.
  • In that case, a new “Message” button appeared on the profile on mobile – taking over the full space where “Tweet to” and “Message” used to live side-by-side. Early testers included big names like Apple, Uber, Beats, Activision, and others. Today’s update, meanwhile, is about making it easier to message a business from the web. The company already offered buttons for following, sharing, mentioning, and hashtags, but not DM’s. So, to some extent, this is just about Twitter rounding out its product offerings to be more comprehensive.
  • Twitter, meanwhile, has become known better as a place where consumers go to complain when things go wrong – often posting angry tweets, with the brand’s @username attached. By shipping more tools that let customers take that sentiment to a private chat, businesses could then continue to use Twitter as part of their marketing, consumer outreach, and support strategies, instead of shifting all their communications to Facebook.


Marketers Will Be Penalized For Mobile Pop-Up Ads

  • According to Mashable, Websites with mobile pop-up ads, watch out. Google is cracking down on the “intrusive” advertising by knocking down those pages in its search results, the company said Tuesday.
  • Any website that shows a pop-up ad that covers the site’s main content — whether right when the user gets to that page or while the user is on the page — will be ranked lower in Google’s search results. That applies to pop-ups users have to dismiss to continue onto a site, and advertisements that cover the top half of the page.
  • Pop-ups that are part of a legal obligation — to verify a user’s age or notify about cookie use — won’t be penalized, nor will small banner ads. The changes in search result ranking will take effect Jan. 10, 2017. The new rules are applied specifically to mobile, where the ads are more problematic, Google says, because of smaller screens. Even though the factor is only one among hundreds that determine search result ranking, the importance of Google results to nearly every site could be enough to encourage publishers to change the common practice.
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Christine is the Communication Director at Lucid Agency, with a focus on internal communication and public relations. Christine is a proud ASU alumnus with B.S. in Marketing from W.P. Carey School of Business and a minor in Art History from the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. She enjoys combining the varied natures and influences of her education in her work and loves to debate word choice on the merits of connotation VS denotation, if anyone wants to take her up on it.

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