Funding, fines and Figma: Digital Roundup September 2022 | Pixel Kicks | Digital Agency Manchester

Funding, fines and Figma: Digital Roundup September 2022

5 mins read

LAST UPDATED 28th September 2022

PUBLISHED 28th September 2022

Keeping up to date with the latest news in a dynamic and ever-changing industry can be tough work, but fear not, our Digital Roundup listicles curate the need-to-know information from across the month.

Let’s jump straight into ten key happenings from September 2022.

  1. September 2022’s Apple event
  2. Adobe acquires Figma
  3. Code First Girls raise £4.5m
  4. Iranian internet blackout amid mass protests
  5. Instagram fined €405m
  6. Alice the electronic plane
  7. Smart Shopping campaigns switch over to Performance Max
  8. BeReal hits 10m active users
  9. YouTube testing unskippable ads
  10. WCAG 2.2 guideline snapshot launched
  11. Google Search Console adds HTTPS report
  12. ACF 6.0 released

September 2022’s Apple Event

Apple held their “Far Out” on 7th September and unveiled:

  • The iPhone 14 lineup including four new models: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max
  • New Apple Watch models including an updated Apple Watch SE, a new Apple Watch Series 8 and the high end Apple Watch Ultra
  • Updated AirPods Pro

Adobe acquires Figma

On 15th September, Adobe announced their acquisition of Figma for ‘approximately $ 20 billion in cash and stock.’

“Together, Adobe and Figma will reimagine the future of creativity and productivity, accelerate creativity on the web, advance product design, and inspire global communities of creators, designers, and developers. The combined company will have a massive, fast-growing market opportunity and capabilities to drive significant value for customers, shareholders, and the industry.”

Code First Girls raise £4.5m

Code First Girls, the largest provider of free coding courses for women in the United Kingdom, has secured £4.5 million in Series A investment ‘from inspirational female tech leaders and a leading investment firm, Active Partners.’

Anna Brailsford, Co-Founder & CEO of Code First Girls:

“This funding round is a vote of confidence from major figures in the tech industry, who see our pioneering model as a solution to the tech gender gap. We’ll use this investment to provide one million opportunities for women to learn to code for free and enter the industry, driving a huge £1 billion in economic opportunities for women and a boost for the entire sector.”

cora marcu pixel kicks

Iranian internet blackout amid mass protests

20th September saw Iranians experience a near-total internet blackout, amid days of mass protests against the Iranian government over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for allegedly wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf too loosely. 

An official for the Iranian government hinted that measures to reduce internet access may have been taken out of ‘security concerns.’

Instagram fined €405m

Earlier in the month, the Irish Data Protection Commission slapped Meta-owned social media platform Instagram with a whopping €405 million fine for GDPR violations.

The well-documented complaint concerned children’s data, particularly in relation to their phone numbers and email addresses.

A Meta official indicated that they are preparing to appeal against the fine.

Alice the electronic plane

Alice, the first all-electric passenger airplane, took its inaugural flight on 27th September.

Designed and developed by Israeli company Eviation Aircraft, they successfully launched the Alice on Tuesday morning from Washington’s Grant County International Airport.

The plane is zero-emission and traveled at an altitude of 3,500 feet for eight minutes.

Smart Shopping campaigns switch over to Performance Max

All Smart Shopping campaigns created in Merchant Center have been automatically upgraded to Performance Max.

Furthermore, when new campaigns are created in Merchant Center, they will use Performance Max by default. 

Performance Max is seen as the next generation of Google Shopping campaigns, helping paid search marketers to reach more shoppers across all Google Ads channels, including YouTube, Search, and Discover.

bereal

BeReal hits 10m active users

The growing social media platform BeReal has now hit 10,000,000 active daily users.

The app focuses on real, unfiltered daily life by allowing users to post just once per day, at a random time that changes daily. This encourages users to share their real daily experiences no matter how mundane they may be, which is the ultimate antithesis to the selective, perfect world of a platform like Instagram.

YouTube testing unskippable ads

A few of us here at Pixel Kicks are old enough to remember a time before ads on YouTube, but it is fair to say that we have all grown accustomed to their presence, waiting patiently for the skip button to activate.

September saw YouTube conclude a ‘test run’ of new, unskippable ad formats with some users experiencing up to ten per video.

It may well be that YouTube will roll this out permanently in the future in an attempt to push users towards their Premium product, which is ad-free.

search console https result

WCAG 2.2 guideline snapshot launched

In early September we were given the proposed new success criteria for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2, which define how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. 

These guidelines are created by W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), which develops standards and support materials to help designers and developers understand and implement accessibility, so it is naturally something we will keep a keen eye on over the next few months.

Google Search Console adds HTTPS report

Google have finally listened to SEO marketer’s requests and added a HTTPS Report to Google Search Console.

The report provides useful information regarding the HTTPS status of a website and its pages, making it easier to understand which pages are not served over HTTPS, and why they are not.

ACF 6.0 released

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) has has launched version 6.0, which is an update that applies to both the free and pro versions of the plugin. 

The release includes a refreshed user interface for both ACF 6.0 and ACF PRO 6.0, pagination for repeater fields with large amounts of data, and new generation of ACF Blocks.

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