Happy Friday! We hope the sun is out by you. Take off your sunglasses, because it’s time for the Weekly Download. 

This week we are talking about Google’s new digital marketing certificate program for small businesses, TikTok’s new “Friends” tab (which will replace the “Discover” tab), Instagram’s testing of NFTs, and a YouTube update to its options for creators. Plus, some Friday fun!

Google Launches Digital Marketing Training Initiatives 

Digital marketing has become more important in the last two years as brick-and-mortar marketing has shrunk due to the pandemic. 

For small businesses looking to boost their digital marketing skills, Google has announced a new scholarship program that is expected to help businesses acquire industry-recognized advanced digital marketing knowledge. 

In addition, the program offers a certificate course in e-commerce and digital marketing. Here’s the gist of the program: 

  • Each certificate should take 5-10 hours per week and 3-6 months to complete. 
  • Courses include data analytics, digital marketing and e-commerce, IT support, project management, and user experience (UX) design.
  • The certificates can be done on a part-time basis. 
  • The program runs until December 18, 2024.
  • Google is giving away 500 scholarships of up to $100,000 in workforce training per company. 

Right now it’s only available to companies in the United States. 

TikTok Helps Users Connect with New “Friends” Tab

If you’re looking for more people to follow on TikTok, the new “Friends” tab should help. The company announced earlier this month that it will replace the “Discover” tab and roll out the change over the coming weeks. 

This will allow users to find content from their friends and people they’re connected with. This is a significant change for the platform, which became popular for viral videos from popular content creators. 

With this move, TikTok is embracing connectivity with friends, but it hasn’t forgotten what made it famous. Users will still be able to follow their faves. 

Instagram to Test NFTs with Select Creators 

Earlier this week, the head of Instagram announced that the platform is starting to test non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with selected American creators, including Gary V. Creators who are part of the test can share NFTs they’ve made or bought in their feed, Stories, or messages for free. 

Currently, the supported blockchains are Polygon and Ethereum, and the third-party wallets included are MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and Rainbow. It’s expected that other blockchains like Solana and Flow and wallets such as Coinbase, Dapper, and Phantom will be added. 

Instagram is part of Meta, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook and other Meta apps will also have the functionality to share NFTs. Meta is also going to work on augmented reality NFTs that can be shared on Instagram Stories using the company’s augmented reality platform, Spark AR. 

Google Unveils Maps Update at I/O Summit

This week, Google is hosting its 2022 I/O summit and made several announcements. For marketers, one update of interest is in Google Maps: The popular tool will merge Street View and the aerial images, creating a more interactive and comprehensive model. 

This is good for marketers, especially in tourism-related businesses, because the update will also allow them to overlay information markers that could be used to promote businesses. 

YouTube Adds More Green-Screen Options for Shorts

Last October, YouTube added green-screen functionality to its shorts. Users could upload their own content and use it as background images. With a new update, users can use any YouTube video or short as a background image. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is very similar to TikTok’s offering. 

The update is available on the YouTube app on iOS and will be available on Android, but no date has been given. 

Friday Fun!

Everyone’s getting ready for summer. 

 

 

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