This Week: Facebook Horizon, GMB Image Guidelines, COVID-19 Tweets, and More!

This Week In Internet Marketing

Happy Tuesday and happy St. Patrick's Day!

We are back with some latest news and updates from the world of internet marketing. We'll take a look at Facebook testing its VR social platform "Facebook Horizon” as they're looking forward to launching it soon. There's also Google’s new mobile-first indexing deadline and signalling stricter enforcement of GMB image guidelines. Thirdly, we'll see how ads in IOS push notifications are changing mobile marketing. Finally, Twitter is currently suggesting appropriate ways for brands to tweet about COVID- 19.

Facebook Begins User Testing of New "Horizon" VR Social Platform

Facebook Horizon

Facebook looks at VR as the future of social media interactions. This is the future Facebook wants to own with the intent to stay on top of the game. They are working to do just that by recently acquiring various top VR game developers and getting them together into its growing Oculus VR division.

As per Facebook's initial announcement of Horizon:

"Before stepping into Horizon for the first time, people will design their own avatars from an array of style and body options to ensure everyone can fully express their individuality. From there, magic-like portals - called telepods - will transport people from public spaces to new worlds filled with adventure and exploration. At first, people will hop into games and experiences built by Facebook, like Wing Strikers, a multiplayer aerial experience."

Horizon, being a successor of Facebook's first VR social space, called "Spaces," is looking to provide a more immersive, engaging environment. This will allow people to begin their VR experiences.

Many projections suggest that VR adoption will rise steadily in the coming years. However, recent moves tell us that it may ramp up quicker than expected!

Google's New Mobile-First Indexing Deadline: September 2020

Google's new mobile-first indexing deadline

Google was frequently sending site owners with alerts on the importance of switching to mobile-first indexing. Recently, they announced that it will be complete in September this year.

When Google first started sending alerts, it was expected to be completed within 6-12 months. Yet, some organizations predict this deadline to be much longer.

Now, website owners need to prioritize preparing their sites for complete mobile-first indexing to maintain their rankings. Also, Google indexes and ranks websites based on the popularity and usage of mobile versions. Google has only one index, rather than separate desktop and mobile systems, and sites with a smartphone agent (or proper mobile enablement) will be prioritized.

Once the September 2020 deadline passes, compliant website owners should see little to no change in website traffic. In fact, depending on how diligent your competitors have been, you may even see an increase in traffic as inaccessible sites don't get indexed.

Google Signals Stricter Enforcement of GMB Image Guidelines

Google My Business

Google recently made some variations to its Google My Business photo and video guidelines. They are letting local marketers know that images and videos will now get reviewed before being published.

So, is the review process going to be manual or machine-based?

Well, a little of both. The company responded that both humans and machines are involved in the process.

The initial speculation Google strictly enforced in the guidelines was the prohibition of stock photography, among other things. However, Google clarified the problem with posts being a bug and immediately fixed it.

How will ads in iOS push notifications change mobile marketing?

iOS push notification

Apple changed its App Store guidelines to allow push notifications to be used for marketing and advertising.

Consumers must already consent to push notifications. However, the App Store guidelines don't say anything about a second opt-in for marketing messages or ads. So, publishers should be able to send direct marketing messages if users consent to notifications, without any specific ads-related opt-in.

These ads, or marketing notifications, can work well for retailers who could personalize promotional notifications as items go on sale. It might also work for streaming and entertainment apps to promote upcoming shows or other content that users have expressed interest in.

Marketers will need to be very careful about the promotional notifications they push. Developers and mobile publishers should be very transparent about introducing ads to push notifications!

Twitter Suggests Appropriate Ways for Brands to Tweet About COVID-19


With the outbreak of the coronavirus globally, Twitter has been guiding businesses on how to best tweet about the situation as it is getting worse every day.

Twitter has made it clear that this is not a marketing opportunity to capitalize on. Businesses should not be linking themselves to a health scare opportunistically. Currently, there is a COVID-19 tweet coming up every 45 milliseconds.

Twitter identified the situations in which businesses should tweet about COVID-19. If you have important information that affects your company, Twitter says you should consider sharing it publicly.

If COVID-19 is directly affecting your business and your customers, Twitter suggests utilizing the platform to interact with your customers one on one.

Here is some advice for businesses tweeting about coronavirus:

  • Stay informed: Keep a watch out for news and conversations that might have felt like good news yesterday, but is not good news today
  • Use the right tone: It's the time for empathy and understanding, not sarcasm or jokes.
  • Anticipate customer changes: Expect an increase in shifts to e-commerce and a significant boom in live-streaming

To wrap it up!

There has been a lot happening these past days in regards to internet marketing. The technology is advancing so quickly that Facebook is currently testing its VR platform for users to get a much better experience. Google's mobile-first indexing comes with a deadline, as an alert for many website owners. Local business owners will need to take another look before publishing images or videos on GMB as Google comes up with new guidelines.

Ads now in iOS push notifications will change mobile marketing, and it's going to help retailers who could personalize promotional notifications as items go on sale. Finally, Twitter is advising businesses on how to deal with COVID-19!

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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    Marie jenny 


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