It’s time for the last weekly Content Radar of 2018 and of course, we come bearing gifts. So, hang your stockings, take a sip of cocoa, relax in your favorite chair, and check out the top news and updates that you need to know about as you prepare to celebrate Christmas and the holidays, and ring in the new year.

Content Radar Instagram drops off three surprise last-minute gifts to digital marketers

Lest you thought that Instagram wasn’t going to give you anything for the holidays, the photo and video-sharing social media platform made three surprise updates and announcements this week that you should stay busy learning about during the holiday season.

While these updates have varying levels of functionality, each of them can provide value for marketers in 2019. Here is what Instagram has just dropped off at our doorstep.

instagram last minute gifts digital marketers

Creator Accounts

Instagram has started testing new Creator Accounts for influencers and public figures. These accounts are different from Instagram Business profiles. The small test group that currently has access to the new accounts is able to access some insights that are not typically available.

For example, Creator Accounts allow Instagram personalities to track follows and unfollows in the app, including in Instagram Stories and IGTV. This more complete look will help personalities better understand how their content in different parts of Instagram leads to an increase (or decrease) in followers.

Creator Accounts also make it easier for public figures to manage direct messages they receive in the app. Account owners may sort their messages by “read,” “unread,” and “flagged”, similar to an email inbox. However, an additional tool also allows users to prioritize messages by timeliness or relevance. This tool could be especially valuable for influencers who receive many messages and are unable to easily navigate them.

instagram last minute gifts digital marketers

Walkie-talkie voice messaging

Perhaps Instagram is a little late to the game when it comes to voice messaging options. After all, apps like Messenger and WhatsApp already allow users to send voice messages. Despite its lateness, Instagram has a pretty good track record over the last couple of years of introducing new features that users like.

In a tweet announcing the new tool, Instagram said, “Starting today, you can send voice messages in Direct. Talk the way you want to be heard, whether by whispering what you’re up to or shouting a compliment.”

For marketers, there is an opportunity for you to have an actual audible conversation with those who want to connect with your brand. This presents opportunities to be responsive and personable on social media, but this can also prove to be challenging if your brand is already struggling with moderation and community management.

Countdown stickers

As more emphasis is being placed on live events and live event support, Instagram is introducing a new tool this week that is fairly simple, but could be powerful in helping drive awareness about upcoming live events. The tool is a countdown sticker, and it is exactly what you think it is.

Brands or users can access the countdown from the “stickers” menu in Instagram Stories and publish a countdown clock that counts down to whatever event the user specifies. It could be anything from the start of a sale to the date of a concert. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this tool is that those who view your countdown clock can turn on reminders and share the countdown to their own stories.

Content Radar

WordPress has released version 1.0 of the Official AMP plugin. Thanks to this plugin, publishers will now be able to build WordPress sites entirely with AMP without a duplicate version in paired mode.

Content RadarA poll of 1,000 U.S. online consumers shows that more than a third of men claim to “always” read online reviews, compared to only 15 percent of women who do the same. Perhaps one reason for the discrepancy is because nearly half of those women surveyed (44 percent), said they have “never” been asked to leave an online review for a business, while only 25 percent of men answered likewise.

Content RadarYouTube is removing many offensive videos before they are ever seen. In a new report, YouTube showed that it removed nearly 1.7 million offensive videos during Q3 of 2018. More than 80 percent of these videos were first detected by machines and 3 out of 4 of those videos detected by machines were removed before the videos received a single view.

Content RadarFacebook is testing select automotive and retail ads in search results in an effort to learn if the ads are beneficial and should be expanded to other industries. The test is running in the United States and Canada and currently only supports static image and carousel ads.

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