Key Highlights

  • Facebook now allowing people to use Instagram and Messenger as part of company’s planned integration
  • Google’s Local Trust Pack – new sponsored ad unit that represents symbol of trust for users
  • Amazon’s Ring introducing flying drone to keep homes more secure at beginning of 2021

As part of the company’s announced plans to integrate its major messaging applications, Facebook is now allowing (enabling?) people to use the photo sharing app Instagram and the messaging app Messenger to communicate with each other. Instagram users can now send photos, videos and text messages to Messenger users and vice versa.

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Facebook is embellishing Instagram with features previously exclusive to Messenger, such as group video watch sessions. Stan Chudnovsky, vice president of Messenger at Facebook, said, “We’re basically giving people the ability to do something they all want to do across apps.”

Opportunities for Facebook in messaging are enormous and by integrating Instagram, Messenger and eventually WhatsApp (the most difficult due to encryption issues), Facebook plans to stand up to Apple’s iMessage (installed on every iPhone) and dampen Google’s messaging app designed to work across different carriers and mobile phones.

Facebook also intends to introduce Watch Together so people can watch videos/movies inside Messenger while on a video call with clients, friends and/or family. Makes sense since the company has been heavily promoting group video chats since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Google’s new ad designation to engender trust in local businesses and/or services is a green, check-mark badge via its Local Trust Pack. This green, check-mark badge adjacent to the business name essentially communicates Google’s trust in the business and will give consumers “more confidence to book your services.”

The real value of the badge for local business/service owners is the access to Google’s LSA or Local Services Ads, the company’s local trust pack. The LSA is a cost-per-call advertising inventory unit.

Evolved from Google’s initial Google My Business (GMB) in 2014 that was a free marketing tool for local businesses, the Google Guaranteed or Screened badge is considered to be the present tense of marketing that goes well beyond customer likes or reviews. Similar to search providers such as Home Advisor, businesses/services like real estate agents go through an extensive vetting process that includes background checks, corporate documentation, certifications, proof of insurance, licenses, etc. depending on the industry in order to earn this trust-oriented badge.

Once a business/service earns Google’s badge of trust, access to Google’s Local Service Ads marketing algorithm is earned. Again, this algorithm represents the new era in local search. As Google continues to roll out and make enhanced improvements to this LSA, we’ll keep you posted.  In the meanwhile, click the link below:

The last “latest tech advancement” covered in this post is Amazon’s new Ring drone. This is a flying drone camera, the Always Home Cam, that enables the owner of a Ring home security system to see when a burglar enters a homeowner’s house via their smartphone.

This is an item you may want to tell your clients to watch out for when it becomes available next year.


Thanks to Facebook, The New York Times, Google Amazon and The Verge.

Also read: Turn Your Rental Property into a Success Podcast: How To Become A HGTV, Bravo TV Star | Collette McDonald Interview, Podcast: Collette McDonald, HGTV Top-Producing Superstar

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