Here are the biggest announcements, product updates, and news stories impacting the digital marketing industry last week:
Automated Call Extensions In Google AdWords
Google is launching automated call extensions in all mobile ads with the rollout starting in early February. For ads that do not currently have a phone number associated with them, Google will pull a number from the ads landing page. This fits with Google's mobile first push and advertisers can expect impressions on call extensions to increase as a result of this announcement.
For more in-depth information, checkout Ginny Marvin's write up on Search Engine Land. Here's how the announcement went out to advertisers this week:
Instagram Story Ads
In 2016 Instagram added the "stories" feature in a blatant copycat of SnapChat's story function. The medium has gained immediate traction with more than 150 million people watching Instagram stories on a daily basis and will now begin showing ads in between stories - again copying SnapChat's model.
The video ads will be limited to 15 seconds in length, can be skipped just like video ads on SnapChat, and will feature a small "sponsored" label letting people know they are advertisements. The initial roll out of the project has been limited to 30 advertisers representing some of the world's biggest brands: Nike, McDonald's, and AirBnB among them. For all the details on Instagram story ads, checkout this breakdown from Marketing Land.
Facebook Testing Mid-Roll Video Ads
Facebook videos are moving in the same direction as YouTube and will begin offering mid-roll video ads to advertisers. The ads have a maximum length of 15 seconds, can only start after the first 20 seconds of a video, and will only appear on videos that are at least 90 seconds long.
This is a big win for advertisers. Facebook has avoided pre-roll ads, saying they would not work on the platform because of the way video's launch automatically in news feed. This forced advertises to run full length videos as ads, rather than tie ads to videos where uses were already engaged. The new mid-roll feature should be a win for both advertisers and publishers.
For details on Facebook's new mid-roll video ads, checkout this write up from Social Media Today.