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It was the most wonderful time of the year… and now we’re all back to work! During the hectic holiday season, it can be difficult to stay up to date. In December, we saw BERT roll out worldwide, Facebook introduce new reporting tools and everyone reminisced about the trends of 2019. 

We’ll recap the biggest digital news from the past month - here’s what you might have missed... 

Google launched BERT worldwide 

Following the initial release to just English, Google launched BERT worldwide for multiple languages. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. With BERT, Google is able to better understand search queries and user intent.


When BERT was first released, this is what Google had to say about rolling out internationally:

“A powerful characteristic of these systems is that they can take learnings from one language and apply them to others. So we can take models that learn from improvements in English (a language where the vast majority of web content exists) and apply them to other languages. This helps us better return relevant results in the many languages that Search is offered in.”

Facebook introduced new reporting tools

Facebok’s new ad reporting tools are making it easier for advertisers to measure performance across accounts and channels. Advertisers can better understand which demographics they’re reaching and where the most conversions are coming from.  

One tool is ‘conversion path reporting’, which helps brands to track the multiple interactions a single customer may have before making a purchase.

Google’s new tool helps publishers manage how their content appears

Publisher Centre lets publishers submit, manage and monetise their content in Google News.

It includes a variety of new additions, such as the ability to add different logos depending on whether the user is using light or dark mode. This helps publishers to maintain a consistent identity regardless of other settings. The new tool also comes with improved permission settings.

Pinterest published its top 100 trends for 2020

Pinterest is the go to place for many people to find inspiration, whether they’re looking at home interiors, planning a wedding or curating a board of DIY’s they’d like to try (one day). As a hub of ideas, it's an emerging space for advertisers to make the most of its visual format.

With Pinterest 100, marketers can see what’s trending and any changes in consumer behaviour. It’s a useful tool if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve with your content in 2020!

Instagram tested new layout options for stories 

Brands have been using stories more and more for sharing snapshots of company culture and behind the scenes posts. With stories only visible for 24 hours, there’s less pressure with content and so it’s the perfect addition to your content plan.

Instagram has been testing split screen grid types and new boomerang styles, which means there’ll be even more ways to create and share messages. 

With more ways to share, especially after the disappearance of ‘like’ counts, brands will be able to get creative with how they promote themselves on Instagram Stories. 

Hootsuite released its Social Media Trends 2020 Report

Hootsuite’s annual report of social trends is an opportunity for brands to plan successful social media marketing strategies in the upcoming year. Here’s their list of social trends for businesses:

  1. Brands strike a balance between public and private engagement
  2. Employers take centre stage in a divided world
  3. Tiktok’s dominance continues
  4. Brand and performance skills collide
  5. The social proof gap closes

The report is useful for brands who are planning their content for the upcoming year. 

Facebook owned the top 4 downloaded apps of the decade 

A report by App Annie revealed that Facebook dominated the list of top apps downloaded between 2010 and 2019. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram topped the list. Other popular social media apps like Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok also made the top 10.

This data is a testament to Facebook’s dominance in the world of social media. Earlier this year, Facebook changed how the names of apps it owns were displayed. Instead, they were renamed ‘Instagram from Facebook’and ‘Whatsapp from Facebook’, in a move towards transparency for users. 

And lastly, everyone looked back on the trends of 2019…

As we waved goodbye to 2019, and look forward to a new decade, platforms reflected on what happened over the last 12 months. Thanks to Spotify Wrapped, we can find out who was our most played artist (and which songs were our guilty pleasures!)

But for marketers, it’s the perfect time of year for insights into trends and popular moments online. What were the defining Twitter trends? What were the most popular products according to Google?

Twitter has shared topic-based lists of the most popular topics and accounts of 2019, including the most popular emoji (which was 😂, of course!). Staying on top of trends and knowing what users are interested in is useful for your content approach, especially if you’re looking to generate excitement.

Google Shopping 100 gives an insight into the key products and consumer trends from last year. It ranks products that have seen the ‘most sustained increases’. This could be useful for creating content strategies and building awareness.

Google also released it’s annual Year in Search, which reveals what people were searching for and seeking answers to in 2019. It covers various regions and breaks down popular searches into topics like news, celebrity and questions. 

And that's a wrap on 2019! What was your favourite trend or digital update from this year?

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By Megan McCaskill at 19 Dec 2019, 10:31 AM

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