The bonus digital marketing news roundup segment we produce for each episode of the EDGE is your ticket to keep up with what’s happening through commentary and analysis with industry experts! The latest features Site Strategics CEO Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann with special guest Tim Schmoyer, Founder and CEO of Video Creators. Here’s the bonus news roundup from Episode 367 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Facebook Announces Beta Launch of “Horizon” VR Social Experience

From Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today we learn that Facebook Announces Beta Launch of “Horizon” VR Social Experience. Facebook is advancing its new “Horizon” social VR platform to the next stage of development..

  • Erin Sparks: Virtual Reality (VR) has been on the rise, and even more so during the pandemic, so Facebook is advancing its VR environment called Horizon to the next stage, which is a closed beta phase. It’s a VR creation tool, so as soon as you get into it, everything you first see has been built by the Facebook team using the Horizon creation tools. Users get to create all their own VR content. It’s a giant sandbox, really, almost like Minecraft for adults. 
  • Tim Schmoyer: I haven’t gotten into any of the VR stuff myself, and I feel like it’s still a very “niche” kind of thing, meaning not all that widely adopted. It seems like a small number of people get really into it, but a lot more people don’t seem very interested in it. Some of it comes off as pretty weird or even a bit creepy to many people. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that people do need and even crave in-person, face-to-face contact, and that VR is simply not an adequate replacement for that, at least not yet. It might go somewhere eventually, or it might not.
  • Erin Sparks: And of course it will get monetized at some point, you can count on that.


Apple showing signs it may soon launch a search engine to compete against Google Search

According to Jon Henshaw on Coywolf News, Apple showing signs it may soon launch a search engine to compete against Google Search. Changes in Spotlight Search on iOS and iPadOS 14 beta, a significant update to its Applebot support page, and an increase in crawling from AppleBot signify that Apple may be launching a search engine soon. This story was also reported by Greg Sterling on Search Engine Land

  • Erin Sparks: Apple has to have a search engine behind Siri, sometimes it has been Google that pays to be that engine, other times it has been Bing. It’s a lot of money at stake here in terms of Apple’s revenue stream. What do you think, Tim, would you go to Apple search instead of Google?
  • Tim Schmoyer: Not if Siri is running it! Google Assistant has been so far ahead of Siri. What I don’t know is if it’s Apple wanting to “own” search or if, like its other products, it wants control over the whole ecosystem from start finish, which it can’t do without a search engine. I’m skeptical, if Apple tries it, that it will be good. Facebook tried search and it was horrible. Google tried social and failed. This could be like that, going too far outside their lane. 
  • Erin Sparks: There’s always the discussion of “who can take on Google” when it comes to search, right? But it’s probably not going to be Apple.


Walmart teams with Microsoft on TikTok bid, eyeing e-commerce, advertising opportunity

On MarketingDive, Peter Adams reports Walmart teams with Microsoft on TikTok bid, eyeing e-commerce, advertising opportunity. Walmart has partnered with Microsoft on the technology giant’s bid to acquire the social video-sharing app TikTok. The retailer stated that the platform could provide an important way for “us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses.”

  • Erin Sparks: So Walmart doesn’t really care about the app itself, it just wants to be able to access the consumer data from it. 
  • Tim Schmoyer: This is a move that makes total sense for both companies. Of course these companies see dollar signs when something new like TikTok comes along and skyrockets to a huge user base. But keep in mind how long it took YouTube to figure out how to monetize its video platform. It’s not easy or simple to figure out how to do it in a way that maintains the user experience. And it might not work!

Connect with Tim Schmoyer and Video Creators

Twitter: @timschmoyer (

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Facebook: @videocreators (



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