My Five #421

Privacy squabbles continue, Google flexes its power, and the internet falls in love with a pair of recycled mittens in this week’s My Five.

You are reading: My Five #421

Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Kerry.

1. WhatsApp delays privacy updates amid backlash

WhatsApp has pushed back its planned privacy policy update to May 15th. The update, which had been scheduled for February 8th, involved sharing sensitive user data, such as IP addresses, browser information and phone numbers, with Facebook.

The company has since come out and attempted to clarify the “misinformation causing concern”, claiming its priority now is to “help everyone understand our principles and the facts.”

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped users flocking to competitors such as Signal and Telegram instead. The latter reported a 500 per cent increase in users (25 million) in just 3 days, whilst WhatsApp’s downloads shrunk by 2 million. Ouch!

2. DuckDuckGo surpasses 100 million searches in one day

Continuing with the privacy theme, the search engine’s focus on privacy minded users (unlike Google it doesn’t store IP addresses or user information) appears to be winning it a (slightly) larger piece of the search engine pie, serving 102,251,307 queries on January 11th. To put that into context, at 2.3% of the market share, it still sits behind Yahoo at 3.05%, Bing at 6.45% and of course Google at 87.81% but it’s a significant milestone, breaking the hundred million searches barrier for the first time.

It’s been predicted that if DuckDuckGo were to continue at the same level of growth, it would reach 1 billion queries per day between 2026 and 2027. But that’s a big if…

Either way, there’s a good chance its business model isn’t shaped around trying to challenge Google anyway, but focusing in on a section of underserved users.

3. Google threatens to pull out of Australia

In response to Australia introducing a law to force Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for their news content, Google has threatened to remove its search engine from the country.

In an open letter to Australians, in the form of ads run in its Browsers in the country, Google is fighting its corner, explaining that the laws would set “an untenable precedent for our businesses and the digital economy” if they were made to pay for link and search results.

However, the Australian government have argued that the justification behind the law is that tech platforms like Google gain customers from people who want to read the news, and therefore they should be paid fairly for their journalism. It also comes at a time where Australian print media has seen a 75% decline in advertising revenue since 2005.

With Google holding almost 90% of the market share in Australian, it will be interesting to see how this story develops.

4. LinkedIn launches video series around its ad tools

Its user base and the ability to target ads at such a granular level means few B2B marketers can rule out LinkedIn as a key paid marketing channel, however it has long held a reputation for being expensive, as well as less than user friendly. 

Now the platform appears to have taken note, offering a series of on-demand videos aiming to give a better understanding of how to use its marketing tools, both in terms of targeting and reporting.

The six main courses available are:

  •  Introduction to LinkedIn Ads
  • Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting
  • Reporting and Analytics for LinkedIn Ads
  • Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn
  • Using LinkedIn for Brand Awareness

5. The world goes mad for mitten memes

Many of us held our breath ahead of the inauguration, especially following last week’s events in the US, however what caught the attention of the world was actually little more than a pair of recycled mittens worn by Bernie Sanders.

So pure was social media’s love for the Vermont Senator and his woolly mitts, that an NYU grad student decided to create a website allowing people to place him into any location (because why not).

Here’s a few to enjoy:


He even found time to visit the Browser Media office….

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