Our latest news roundup features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Susan Wenograd, VP of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 343 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


YouTube continues to mirror Twitch, tests new clap feature that lets fans donate to creators

From Julia Alexander on The Verge we learn that YouTube continues to mirror Twitch, tests new clap feature that lets Susan Wenograd on EDGEfans donate to creators. Officially referred to as “viewer applause,” the feature allows people to purchase a clapping animation that appears over the video they’re choosing to support. The animation is only shown privately to the buyer. Viewer applause is only available in a beta format right now, meaning that creators have to be invited by YouTube to test the product.

  • Erin Sparks: Well there’s no lack of effort to find more ways to monetize content, but it’s nice that this one aimed at the creators and publishers and fosters engagement with them. This is on the live stream side of things at YouTube.
  • Susan Wenograd: In theory this is a great idea. Whether or not it catches on enough to make much of a difference for video creators remains to be seen. Remember that people go to YouTube in part because they don’t have to pay anything to get the content. So this purchased applause thing might take a while to become a habit, if it catches on at all.
  • Erin Sparks: I have seen some donations happen during livestream events. But it’s hard to imagine this really working on a broader basis.


Instagram Is Testing a New Trimming Tool for Instagram Stories Clips

According to Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today, Instagram Is Testing a New Trimming Tool for Instagram Stories Clips. Instagram is working on a new video trimming feature for Instagram Stories, which would make it easier to edit and upload your Stories clips within the app.

  • Erin Sparks: You’ve got a big focus on Instagram story ads, but tell us what’s going on with this new tool.
  • Susan Wenograd: When Instagram story ads became available, there were literally no instructions for how to make them—no templates, no tools, nothing. They just told you to create your video offline and upload it. Recently they’ve started fixing that. Last year they rolled out templates, and now they’ve been adding video creation tools. So first they had to educate people that story ads were an option, but then a lot of people simply weren’t doing it because they didn’t want to invest in a lot of video creation software and tools, so now Instagram is stepping up with those tools. 
  • Erin Sparks: Not that they’re the most robust tools out there, but at least they give more brands a chance to get in on the story ads without having to invest in a lot of third-party apps. And this is what a lot of the platforms are doing—providing more editing and creative tools to allow more of the content creation process to happen from within the platform. But since the tools are not robust, does it mean we’re going to see a lot of mediocre ads?
  • Susan Wenograd: Well, but that’s okay because if you’re into Instagram Stories, what you’re mostly seeing is kind of mediocre videos from your friends and contacts made using their phone’s native camera, right? So when I highly polished, professionally produced video story comes into your feed, you know instantly it’s an ad, so slightly mediocre might be what fits the channel best in terms of what people are mostly seeing. Using the in-platform tools gives it the platform look people expect and often do better in terms of watch time, so go figure.


SEMs Not Happy With New Google Partner Program Requirements

On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz reports on SEMs Not Happy With New Google Partner Program Requirements. Google announced new Google Ads Partner program requirements this week and the SEM and advertiser community is not happy with these changes. The big changes are doubling the ad spend, more of your company need certification and requirements to adhere to Google’s recommendations over what might be best for the client.

  • Erin Sparks: The spend has to go from $10,000 to $20,000 over 90 days; half your people have to certified; and you have to go along with more of Google’s recs.
  • Susan Wenograd: And that last bit is where I have a real problem. I routinely ignore well over half Google’s recommendations because they simply don’t work in some cases. Take a larger client, long sales cycle, using third-party software kind of scenario. Most conversions aren’t happening inside the Google ads platform. So what Google recommends around leads aren’t going to be the things that lead to conversions. Google’s recommendations are based on the data it has, but Google does not have all the data!
  • Erin Sparks: So you’re left with putting your Google Partner Program at risk just because Google wants you to hit certain KPIs based on their data, whether it’s the right thing to do or not. That’s crazy. This is why it’s getting a BIG thumbs down from a lot of search engine marketers.

Connect with Susan Wenograd, VP of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear

Twitter: @SusanEDub (https://twitter.com/SusanEDub)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanwenograd

Website: https://susanwenograd.com 

AimclearWebsite: https://www.aimclearblog.com/home 

Aimclear Twitter: @Aimclear (https://twitter.com/aimclear

Aimclear Facebook: @Aimclear (https://www.facebook.com/Aimclear

Aimclear LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aimclear

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