Five articles that have us buzzing this week

Outage highlights how vital Facebook has become worldwide

This Monday’s six-hour outage at Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp caused headaches for many casual users, but there were far more serious concerns for millions worldwide. Entrepreneurs and SMBs lost hundreds to thousands of dollars in revenue. Some lost their ability to contact relatives and friends during emergencies, and others could not perform essential functions at work. It was a stark reminder of how powerful Facebook has become and how many are vulnerable to the tech giant.

Amazon is piling ads into search results and top consumer brands are paying up for prominent placement

Amazon is generating hefty revenue from top consumer brands through valuable placement on their e-commerce site and is capitalizing on its market control by raising the price. If you look closely at your search results on Amazon, you’ll notice that those listings are advertisements with the “sponsored” label affixed to them. There are fewer organic search results on the page and to get to any unpaid results requires two full swipes on the mobile app. Until recently, Amazon only put two or three sponsored products at the top of the search results page. Now, there are as many as six. Amazon says that advertising is an optional service for brands and sellers, but doing so can improve the visibility of your products. Companies that don’t pay the toll are finding their listings buried in search results, competing against Amazon-owned products as well as massive and well-funded sellers.

Five ways you could be wasting your Google Ads spend

Maximizing your return on ad spend isn’t easy with endless approaches, campaign settings, and external factors that can cause many brands to waste valuable budgets. Ways to overcome these obstacles include improving on-site experiences with relevant information that loads in less than 2.5 seconds, accurately tracking conversion by testing data-driven and time decay attribution models, and not over-optimizing CPCs.

Pay us a fair share for all the ‘likes’ we earn, demand influencers

Gen-Z professionals in online content creation and influence are fighting for their rights for equal pay. Influence marketing has gone from a peripheral add-on to being core to how brands reach consumers, but brands aren’t willing to pay unless you’re a mega-celebrity influencer. Today, brands ask influencers to do more, from scripted product pitches, reshoots, exclusive licensing, and strict ownership rights. New organizations run by influencers like F*** You Pay Me advocate for all types of influencers for equal pay to combat this.

These Online Publications Are Not Free … and Readers Don’t Mind

Print newspapers charged readers for a century, and readers never questioned the idea that they would have to pay for journalism. Our current society would find paying for journalism as an annoyance. Defector, a subscription website started by journalists, and digital newsletter platform Substack are part of a broader shift to return to the method of charging consumers but with new strategies. To retain retention, the brands are focusing less on selling ads and more on straightforward articles on local issues, listening to their subscribers, and responding to their readers.