News digest 21.09.2020

Instagram says it has no plans to add links to photo captions


Despite what a recent patent application suggests, Instagram says it has no plans to add links to photo captions. 

Instagram parent company Facebook first submitted the patent application back in 2016, which shows a pop-up appearing when the user adds a URL to a caption, asking if the user wants to pay $2 to make the link live.

This, of course, has long been one of the biggest complaints about Instagram: that if you want to include a link to a story, product, or anything else in your post you can’t add URLs to captions of photos. Most people go the “link in bio” route, and verified Insta users can add links to Stories.

ePayments announced that it is getting ready to start working again


ePayments published a post in its blog apologising for the time when its clients did not have access to their funds, “particularly during the current climate”. 

The company is pleased to announce that the work on updating the compliance systems and controls is advancing well.

Regular updates on the progress will be provided in the company’s blog, where it will respond to questions and provide updated information.

How people use Google search - new user behavior study


Google searchers use one of Google’s autocomplete suggestions 23% of the time. People that search for informational and local searches tended to click on an autocomplete suggestion more often than those searching with commercial queries.

50% of Google users click on their result within 9 seconds of searching. And the average amount of time it takes a Google searcher to click on something is 14.6 seconds.

Only 9% of Google searchers make it to the bottom of the first page of the search results.

15% of users modify their initial search term. This suggests that Google tends to serve up highly-relevant results. Or that Google users are adept at choosing the right keyword on their first attempt.

Only 17% of users bounced back to the search results after clicking on a result. Only 5% of users bounce more than once for the same query.

The majority (59%) of Google users visit a single page during their search session. Only 6% need to visit four or more pages in order to get an answer to their query.

65% of searchers click on a traditional “10 blue link” search result during their search session.

Although this varied widely depending on the query, 19% of searchers click on a Google Ad during their search.

Malvertising campaigns come back in full swing


Malvertising campaigns leading to exploit kits are nowhere near as common these days. Indeed, a number of threat actors have moved on to other delivery methods instead of relying on drive-by downloads.

However, occasionally there are spikes in activity that are noticeable enough that they highlight a successful run. In late August, there was a Fallout exploit kit campaign distributing the Raccoon Stealer via high-traffic adult sites. 

Then there was possibly the largest campaign to date on top site xhamster[.]com from a malvertiser that was tracked for over a year. This threat actor has managed to abuse practically all adult ad networks but this may be the first time they hit a top publisher.

Google might update its search algorithm soon


Google rank checking tools are showing spikes in fluctuations in the Google search rankings. The weird part, the chatter in the SEO community and individual people complaining about ranking changes has really not spiked with the tools.

Normally, the two go side-by-side. SEOs, site owners, webmasters - come to the forums and complain or boast (but mostly complain) about ranking changes in Google Search. They notice their analytics tools or even rank checking tools show a drop or change in position or traffic and come to find out why. There is a very limited chatter, outside of people talking about the tools showing changes on a massive scale. But in terms of individual complaints, at this point in time, there are very little complaints, if any.

The tools however, almost all of them, are showing big changes in the Google search rankings. It is not just one tool, but all of them.

Google Ads launched custom audiences


Last year, Google announced that it  would bring custom affinity and custom intent audiences into one simplified solution, custom audiences. Today, these are available for all advertisers across Display, YouTube and Discovery campaigns. 

The company is working on increasing transparency for personalized advertising. Tools like Ad Settings allow users to easily update how their ads are personalized, or opt out of ads personalization altogether. Google is working on new ways to raise the bar on transparency, choice and control, providing even greater visibility into what data is used for ads personalization and by whom. 

With custom audiences you can use a single audience for any business goal you’re driving toward, whether that’s awareness, consideration or conversions. 

Facebook Creator Studio adds ‘Create Posts Tests’ feature


The algorithm is the following: 

- Test up to 4 post variations which get shown to a small % of your audience

- Set duration of test + what decides winning post

- Only the winning post gets published to the rest of your audience

Amazon Advertising users can now advertise on Twitch 


Starting today, the company is rolling out new capabilities for Twitch and Amazon advertisers globally. Twitch video and display media, as well as new Twitch audiences, are now available for inclusion in Amazon Advertising campaigns, and Amazon audiences are available for inclusion in Twitch campaigns.

Amazon Advertising is delighted to share that they are combining Twitch’s hard-to-reach and highly-engaged audiences with Amazon Advertising’s integrated full-funnel advertising offering. Now, advertisers can put customers at the center of their strategy – meeting them wherever they are in the customer journey. 

Brands running Amazon Advertising campaigns can address the diverse interests of the Twitch community through Twitch video and display ad products. Advertising on Twitch will now have the added benefit of Amazon Advertising’s unique audience insights and measurement for their campaigns.

How Telegram became the top resource for pirated content in India


While most people use Telegram for more secured mobile chatting and messaging, Ravi Ojha, an undergraduate student adopted the messaging app so he could download copyrighted films and web series available on OTT (over-the-top) platforms such as Netflix, Disney Hotstar Plus, Amazon Prime and others, for free.

Till now, Ojha has downloaded popular web series such as Stranger Things, Panchayat, and Khuda Hafiz among others from Telegram. And he’s not alone in using Telegram as a hub to discover pirated contents.

Launched in 2013 by two Russian brothers Nikolai and Pavel Dirov, Telegram is an end-to-end encrypted chatting platform meant for secure interaction among people. Telegram is popular among journalists, whistle-blowers, and activists as it also allows users to hide their identity. Over the last two years, a new set of users have increasingly started using the app: former torrent users who would rather download pirated copies of films, TV series, and games, than purchase them.