Lab Weekly: Apple Maps New Extensions, Facebook Updates & More

Jessica Milner

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It has been a fun and exciting week in the office this week with the Euros well underway. On Thursday we showed our support by watching the England vs Wales match in the office, thanks Richard, and were all extremely happy to see the result! As normal, we have had a lot of consultations and meetings happening in #TheLab, with a few potential new clients, which is always exciting! In terms of the digital marketing and social world we have Apple Maps becoming a multi functional app by opening up to third-party developers, Microsoft buying LinkedIn and much, much more.
Apple Maps New Extensions
Apple Maps is becoming a multi functional app by opening up to third-party developers. The new features being added to Apple Maps reflect some of the best features of Google Maps along with many others. In the Maps app users can now plan an entire route, including coffee breaks, appointments, and even booking a restaurant! The smart new features of Apple Maps allow you to do much more than simply plan your route. Due to being open to third-party developers, searching for and booking a restaurant inside the app is now a handy feature. For those who don’t drive, you can even book and Uber and pay for it through the app! The new intelligence means that Apple Maps can suggest directions for your route based on previous habits such as stopping off for a coffee, or alongside plans in your calendar. The app even factors in stops once you have planned a route to tell you how this will impact the time your trip will take. These new features means that users won’t have to jump around apps as they can do everything within the Maps. This may have both positive and negative effects for businesses, it may become easier to attract local customers as searching for the nearest coffee shop for example will be extremely easy, but it leaves no room for competing with customers further afield, business will simply be lost to companies closer to the user.
Microsoft have announced this week that they are buying LinkedIn, the social media platform that has more than 433 million members, Microsoft are buying this for $26.2 billion in cash. One of the big questions is, why are LinkedIn selling their business? The CEO at LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner has shared an email that he sent to his employees:

“When Satya first proposed the idea of acquiring LinkedIn, he said it was absolutely essential that we had alignment on two things: Purpose and structure. On the former, it didn’t take long before the two of us realised we had virtually identical mission statements. For LinkedIn, it was to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and for Microsoft it was to empower every individual and organisation in the world to achieve more. Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud. Both of us recognised that combining these assets would be unique and had the potential to unlock some enormous opportunities.”

According to Jasmine Sandler, the CEO of Agent-cy Online Marketing, this is a great move for Microsoft due to two big softwares working together to help users with have an enjoyable and useful experience.
Facebook Moments App
Facebook is encouraging users to download their new Moments app to stop their previous synced photos from being deleted. Facebook’s new photo sharing app, Moments, will take the place of the current feature in where Facebook syncs the photos from your mobile device into a private folder on your Facebook. From here you can choose which photos to share and can then easily share photos taken on your mobile from your desktop computer. This feature also works as a means of backing up your photos from your phone much like Apple’s iCloud. These photos are being threatened if you do not install the Moments app by the 7th July; if you do install the app though your photos will be saved and you can then use the app as a photo sharing feature. You can still download your synced photos directly onto your computer before the 7th July if you do not wish to download the new app.
This change has been talked about for around a year now as the Moments app originally came out in June 2015. This may a way for Facebook to create another platform to help grow its user base, a tactic which they earlier performed by deleting the chat feature from the regular Facebook app causing people to download the Messenger app to continue using the feature. Currently the Moments app is moving up the top 100 free apps for both iOS and Android in the UK and is the 2nd app on the US Google Play store.  
Facebook is Putting Maps into Ads
Location-based local awareness ads are having maps added to it to offer brands a better chance. In addition of maps, Facebook will now inform brands how many people visited their store via the location based services. Facebook is not releasing its own mapping app instead it will be using the tools already built into the phones, this allows users the ability to click on in-map ads and get opening hours, contact number and directions to the store. Facebook will be using the apps internal location sharing option, which can be turned off is people wish to not be tracked. Facebook will use background signals such as WIFI to track people and it will allow companies to have a poll open us as a user leaves the business boundaries allowing them to receive valuable information. Advertisers will be able to see real time traffic and have the information broken down into age and gender.
Twitter is treating emojis as another keyword and allowing brands to target ads based on the emojis used in tweets. This may prove useful for some brands whose specific products have an emoji such as one of the sport emojis. As this is only the beginning of this new ad feature, there are a few ways in which Twitter can expand this. For example, ads can currently only target one emoji at a time which may cause unrelated Tweets being targeted. Think of the love heart emoji for example, this can be used in front of just about any other emoji, which can be like targeting a verb rather than a noun for a product, causing lots of room for unwanted Tweets being targeted. To avoid this for now, it may be best to avoid the most common emojis and opt only for ones that directly relate to your brand. If used correctly, this could be major benefit to businesses especially to those targeting the younger audience and those more likely to use emojis.

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