Google Under the Spotlight

Beyond the Search: Google Under the Spotlight.

We are facing a delicate moment for one of the most famous companies on the planet. And this isn’t the first time it’s happened!

The gigantic Google is in trouble! Or at least it seems that way, and somehow, this involves all of us, because who doesn’t use Google nowadays?

The controversy affecting the tech giant stems from Google’s Vice President of Ads Products, Jerry Dischler, stating that the company made changes to ad auctions to generate more ad revenue. These changes led to price increases of up to 5% for search ads. The issue, which affects not only Google but also advertisers and users, raises ethical questions about transparency and fairness in the online advertising market. Online advertising relies heavily on the auction system, where advertisers compete for users’ attention. If these auction changes favor Google without considering competition, there’s a risk of erasing equality in the market and limiting options for advertisers.

However, this isn’t the only legal challenge Google has had to face throughout its existence. One of the most concerning problems it faces is an antitrust lawsuit alleging abuse of its dominant position in the search and online advertising market. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that the company illegally maintained a monopoly by paying substantial sums to web browsers and phone manufacturers to make Google the default option for users. This limited competition in the search market and raised concerns about the concentration of power in the hands of the company with the giant G.

In addition to antitrust issues, Google has faced a series of legal and regulatory problems over its lifetime. These include concerns about data privacy and consent for the collection of personal data, disputes related to the “right to be forgotten,” copyright infringement and piracy on its video platform (YouTube), accusations of deceptive or fraudulent advertising, controversies over content moderation on its platforms, and criticism of its tax practices, including alleged tax evasion.

In the local context, in Argentina, there’s a particular situation where Google charges an additional 97% if advertising campaigns are conducted abroad. This pricing policy has generated significant annoyance in the Argentine advertising market and highlighted another element of controversy regarding Google’s practices in the country.

In conclusion, we can say that the very competitiveness of the system and the self-demand of only seeking to increase metrics, in this case, ad revenue, raises ethical and regulatory concerns in the world of search engines. As we have seen, this is not the first time it has happened. From here, we wonder how much this incident will affect Google’s image? Undoubtedly, it’s not something positive.

Digital Marketing

Threads or threat, as Twitter would say

We’ve all heard talk about this new platform that has come in strong to challenge Elon Musk’s famous bird app. A lot of us have already downloaded it to see how it functions. But what does the future hold? Will Threads be able to dethrone the once revolutionary reign of Twitter? Was Threads’ launch a master move or a waste of money and time for the unparalleled Mark?

First, we’d like to briefly review the distinct challenges and adaptations that Mark has had to face.

Instagram was created in 2010 and 6 years later it had changed its logo 5 times, incorporated hashtags, filters, permitted Android users to download the app, created a version for Windows desktops, added advertising and changed the algorithm (prioritizing relevant content over chronological posts). In 2012 Vine appeared, an app belonging to Twitter that allowed users to share videos. Instagram rapidly responded with the same function and longer videos. Then in 2014, Snapchat disrupted the social media industry by revolutionizing the market with instant stories, but of course, Instagram decided not to stay far behind and in 2016 created temporary stories that lasted 24 hours. That same year TikTok was created, and this is when shorter videos came back into the picture but with an artistic twist. This Chinese social platform let users create musical clips and brought us a very particular function: users were able to synchronize an external audio with other images and adding all types of effects and filters. But does Instagram decide to sit still and do nothing? Of course not! Reels and trending audios were introduced; Instagram stood its ground. In 2017 the platform introduced live streams, and the impact was enormous. It was a response to Periscope, which was created in 2015 and also owned by Twitter. Finally, this year spontaneous stories emerged to combat BeReal, an app that was developed in 2020. In this case, spontaneous stories were not well received by the public.

After this brief review, let’s discover together the principal differences between Twitter and Threads to try to discern a possible future scenario.

  1. Threads relies directly on Instagram. It facilitated its initial development by copying data and transferring followers. The boost provided by Instagram, which has over 2 billion users, was significant.
  2. Threads doesn’t have a Worldwide Trends section.
  3. Threads posts can have up to 500 characters, while Twitter has 280.
  4. Threads has more restrictive security policies regarding the types of images and videos allowed to be posted. Inappropriate content is censored.
  5. Threads does not have limits on post views.
  6. Threads doesn’t have a function where users can send private messages, users depend on Instagram for this function.
  7. Twitter has more limitations on publishing multimedia than Threads.
  8. Threads doesn’t have a desktop or web version.
  9. Twitter’s search lets you search keywords, in Threads you can only search for other users.
  10. Threads organizes messages in forms of message threads, facilitating a continuous conversation. Twitter shows messages in chronological order.

We don’t want to take sides, but we understand that Twitter’s journey so far puts it in a privileged position. History shows us that to stay relevant, one must adapt and constantly change. Perhaps that is the path Twitter should continue to follow: acknowledging this threat and taking note of user complaints and making the necessary changes that the social media platform requires.

While Threads and Twitter are very similar, they are also different. Threads offers more intimate and segmented conversations, while Twitter stands out for its immediacy and virality. Threads is ideal for more intimate and focused groups, while the bird app submerges you in an ocean of real-time global conversations. Both apps have their charm. Which one is your favorite?