Digital ad spend on track to see its first-ever $100 billion year
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's latest half-yearly report, digital ad spend revenue was up 23 per cent in the first half of 2018 to $49.5 billion. If growth continues at this pace, it puts 2018 on course to "see its first-ever $100 billion year". The IAB says that the rise in direct-to-consumer brands and the agility which digital advertising offers has played a major role in this growth.

Facebook changes its algorithm to demote “borderline content"
Facebook has announced plans to update its News Feed algorithm to downgrade content which it deems comes close to violating its policies. According to research by the platform, engagement with what it calls "borderline content" increases the closer it gets to the policy line when left unchecked. However, under tests for its new update, engagement decreased dramatically due to lower visibility in the News Feed.

Instagram introduces new shopping features
As if it needed to be any easier to get suckered into buying new clothes via Instagram, the platform has now introduced a host of new shopping features. They include a collections feature where you can save links to sought-after products in a dedicated "shopping" section, shoppable product tags for video posts and a redesigned "shop" section for business profiles. JUST TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

Instagram users can monitor time spent with “Your Activity” feature
How much? Too much! Instagram is the latest platform to let you know how much time you’ve spent getting pulled into the social vortex with its “Your Activity” feature. You can use it to set daily time limits for your platform use and temporarily mute push notifications. The feature can be found inside the hamburger icon on the upper right corner of your profile page.

Twitter considers edit button for typos
There is literally nothing more annoying on this entire earth than a tweet with a typo. It’s got a few likes – this could be the time you finally go viral! But you could never live with yourself, not like this. So, fingers crossed for this latest rumour - that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is considering an edit button to fix minor mistakes - to come to fruition. However, Dorsey was keen to stress that ideally Twitter would prevent unlimited editing, because then the feature could be abused to alter controversial or damning statements later on.

Snapchat boosts e-commerce offering with Discover channel
Ahead of one of the busiest shopping times of the year, Snapchat has launched a new Discover channel called 'Shop and Cop'. The channel, powered by Shopify, highlights exclusive deals from select brands and makes it easy for people to purchase said time-limited deals in-app. Snap will ask users to subscribe both to the channel and to those of participating retailers, so as not to miss any future offers.

Snapchat launches friendship profiles
In its latest move to promote close friendships, Snapchat has introduced ‘friendship profiles’. The profiles capture all the shared media you’ve exchanged with friends and groups in a single place and are visible only to you and your friend. It’s also flogging some merchandise based on Snap avatars - Bitmoji Merch will take avatars from you and your friends and stick them on shirts, mugs, shower curtains, and phone cases. What more could you want for Christmas?

Google Maps allows messaging with local businesses
Google Maps users can now message local businesses with their queries, without having to leave the app. As the company said in its blog post: “Now you'll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via Business Profiles within the Google Maps app, where you're already looking for things to do and places to go or shop.” Google has also released a revamped Google My Business mobile app for iOS and Android that lets businesses browse their followers, reviews and messages, as well as create content for their business profile on Google.

YouTube shows ad-supported Hollywood movies
YouTube has begun showing full-length Hollywood movies, for free, including classics such as Legally Blonde, Rocky and The Terminator. While the platform has offered paid-for movies for some time, it is the first time YouTube has offered users a free movie experience in exchange for viewing ads. There are currently around 100 ad-support movies available.

LinkedIn revamps its Company Pages
LinkedIn is rolling out a series of updates to its rebranded LinkedIn Pages (formally Company Pages) which will be available worldwide over the coming weeks. The update includes greater functionality within its iOS and Android apps; the ability to associate Pages with hashtags; the capability to reshare public LinkedIn posts from employees; and more. The platform has also introduced a new Content Suggestions tool which will give admins greater insight into the topics currently trending among their target audience.

Coca-Cola wipes its social media presence as part of repositioning
Last week, Coca-Cola cleansed its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as part of a repositioning to "create a more unified voice and point of view for the accounts." The brand launched its new content strategy with 99 posts (the maximum amount allowed) on Instagram to flood people's feeds with positivity for World Kindness Day - to push its new focus on more positive messages around "optimism, uplift and wants to bring people together in moments of connection".

Saks Fifth Avenue launches a Holiday Gift Guide chatbot on Messenger
Iconic department store, Saks Fith Avenue has launched a Holiday Gift Guide chatbot which will enable visitors to the brand's Facebook page to take a quiz to see recommended gifts “For Him,” “For Her” or “For Kids.” The chatbot will ask questions about the person being shopped for and provide recommendations on potential gifts from the Saks website. The chatbot is designed to track conversations and update recommendations based on products each user has previously browsed.