The big tech news for the coming week concerns the mobile industry, which is currently gearing up for its big annual beano, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 22-25 February, so expect announcements and product launches from all the big players (excepting Apple who never exhibit), with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 phones the objects of most interest.
Some pretty big news in the world of search too, as Google have just confirmed that they will stop showing paid ads on the right hand side of desktop searches, albeit Google Shopping PLAs will still be visible on the right. Also, for “highly commercial” searches (e.g. “car insurance”), Google may show an additional fourth PPC search ad above the natural results, so it will be interesting to see if additional ads at the top will also spread onto mobile devices once this has bedded down.
Closer to home, some recently announced figures show UK online sales growth picking up in January, with ONS estimating that online sales were up 10% year on year, a weekly average of £864m. Interestingly, January’s sales were 3% larger than December 2015, traditionally the largest month for online retail trade; this is likely to be driven by ecommerce sales pulled forward into late November fuelled by Black Friday discounting, further suggesting that this newly imported retail event is here to stay.
Finally, in the week that Facebook announced they would be opening up their Instant Articles to all publishers, they certainly made a mis-step with one publication, namely the irreverent uniquely British institution that is Viz. Viz took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to announce that their Facebook page had been taken down due to not meeting community standards, before then proposing a new profile for the page. After much bemusement online, Facebook fortunately saw sense and reinstated Viz’s page the next day. This made a spoof article from a recent copy of Viz appear fairly prescient, as shown below…
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.