Five of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week


Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week: Facebook super-takes over the whole digital world, Instagram gets crazy-prolific with its ads and we reveal the internet’s most used phrase. Shockingly it’s not adding “crazy” or “super” to the beginning of verbs and adjectives.

Facebook reveals Q4 and and full year 2015 results

Facebook basically crushed it in 2015. Facebook native videos are beginning to rival YouTube, with 8 million videos being watched each day. Facebook ended the year with 50 million small business pages (5 million of which were created in Q4) in its network and it’s daily active users topped 1.04 billion.

Here are the highlights:

  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 80% of advertising revenue for Q4 2015, up from 69% of advertising revenue in Q4 2014.
  • Revenue for the full year 2015 was $17.93 billion, an increase of 44% year-over-year.
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 1.04 billion on average for December 2015, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 934 million on average for December 2015, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.59 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 14% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.44 billion as of December 31, 2015, an increase of 21% year-over-year.

Gmail’s Inbox now has improved search results

Google’s email app Inbox can now serve faster results from emails buried deep in your conversations. For example, when you’re searching for a frequent flyer number or shipping status, Inbox will show it at the top of search results so you don’t have to dig through individual emails to find it.

*drum roll* Introducing our first ever in-article gif…

gmail inbox

Underneath these quick answers you’ll now see a ‘top results’ section that orders emails by relevance, then below you’ll find all the email results, ordered by date.

Although Google is confident enough to suggest “you won’t have to look there often.” A bold statement.

Instagram increases the number of ads it shows

Brand Networks has revealed the reason why you’re seeing more ads in your Instagram feed than ever before. It’s because there’s more of them. Yep.

Brand Network saw 50 million ad impressions on Instagram in August, which then doubled 100 million ad impressions September, and then grew to a massive 670 million ad impressions in December.


Increasing demand caused a surge in pricing for the Instagram’s Ads API Partner Program. Video advertising is also rising to prominence quickly. According to Brand Networks, “Over the past six months, we’ve learned that users are willing to increase their time spent interacting with a brand when shown a short video clip.”

“Thank you” is the most popular phrase used online in the UK

New research from Feefo highlights that Britiah people are so terribly, terribly polite.

In the UK, 87% of people reviewing online are twice as likely to give praise than when face-to-face and “thank you” is the most popular phrase used online even when complaining, by 58% of us (oh no! I gave away my nationality!)

Feefo also revealed the UK’s biggest gripes when it comes to complaining about damaged goods:

A damaged order (74%)
An incorrect product delivery (68%)
Cold food in a restaurant (66%)
No arrival of delivery (61%)
Rude service from staff (59%)

Facebook introduces new Audience Optimization Targeting

As Contentive’s Head of Search and axe-wielding god of heavy metal Matt Owen wrote here on SEW earlier in the week, “Over the past few years, declining organic reach has become a major issue for publishers using Facebook, [but] it’s good to see the platform launching tools that are specifically designed to combat this.”

Check out Matt’s detailed guide how to use it by clicking on the link above.


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