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Tributes: Edwin J. Delattre, Betsy Dickinson (Welch) Bate, Murray L. Cohen, Charles R. Willis, Robert Zelnick


Tributes: Edwin J. Delattre, Betsy Dickinson (Welch) Bate, Murray L. Cohen, Charles R. Willis, Robert Zelnick

Photo courtesy of BU Photography

Edwin J. Delattre, 77, OIin Resident Scholar in Applied Ethics, an adjunct professor emeritus of philosophy, and dean emeritus of the School of Education (now Wheelock College of Education & Human Development), died on August 13, 2023. 

Delattre had a far-reaching career in ethics and education. His work on ethics in policing was of deep personal importance to him. He spent thousands of hours with law enforcement personnel on duty and in harm’s way, learning, studying, and teaching about the situations they encounter and the kinds of difficult decisions they have to make. His book Character and Cops: Ethics in Policing (AEI Press, 1989) was for a long time the American Enterprise Institute’s best-selling book, and its six editions have been used at law enforcement academies and departments around the world.

He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Toledo, where he won an Outstanding Teacher Award. 

He was director of the National Humanities Faculty and served as president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and Santa Fe, N.M., departing as president emeritus. As the Lynde and Harry Bradley Distinguished Fellow in Applied Ethics at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, he wrote Education and the Public Trust: The Imperative for Common Purposes. He also was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 

Delattre was a member and chair of the National Advisory Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, vice chair of the National Council for the National Endowment for the Humanities and chair of its education committee, a member of the US Naval Postgraduate School Advisory Board, a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and a frequent lecturer at the FBI Academy. 

Betsy Dickinson (Welch) Bates (DGE’61, COM’63, Wheelock’73), 78, former assistant dean for student affairs at the College of Communication, died on October 29, 2023. 

Bates, who was affectionately called Betsy by both students and professors, arrived at BU as a student, earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations from COM. Upon graduation, she worked at Boston University’s news bureau and then the alumni affairs office. Realizing how much she enjoyed working with students, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in counseling from the School of Education, now Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.

A woman of great faith, who lived her faith in her daily life and works, she will be remembered for her selfless devotion to her BU family.—Charlene Arzigan (COM’83) and Barbara Zadina (COM’83)

Murray L. Cohen (GRS’55), 93, an esteemed and inspirational professor for 45 years, died on April 9, 2023. 

Cohen was a World War II veteran, serving in the South Pacific for three years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at New York University, a master’s at the University of Missouri, and a PhD in clinical psychology at BU. 

He was one of the first psychologists invited to be a member of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute, where he was regarded as an authority on Sigmund Freud. He also worked with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and pioneered the research on the classification and treatment of sexual offenders. 

“Murray Cohen was a warm and supportive colleague whose insight and wisdom helped make our department a welcoming place, and our clinical psychology program one of the most highly respected in the country, if not in the world,” says Jean Berko Gleason, a CAS professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences.

Charles R. Willis, 91, who taught at BU for 42 years, died on August 17, 2023. 

Willis served in the Army Medical Corps and then attended Syracuse University, where in 1952 he earned a BA in physics, magna cum laude, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a PhD from Syracuse University in 1957. That same year, he was offered an assistant professorship at Boston University, becoming a full professor in 1968 and a professor emeritus in 1999. He continued to work and publish through 2004. 

Willis made numerous valuable and pioneering contributions in many areas of theoretical physics. His highly cited work spans laser physics, quantum optics, statistical mechanics, surface physics, and nonlinear physics. He supervised the PhD research of many students and mentored postdoctoral fellows, several of whom are now leading physicists at prominent universities and laboratories. One of Willis’ joys was talking physics with students and other physicists.

He spent sabbaticals at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Utrecht, Holland, and in Italy, at the University of Perugia. He was a Professor Invité at the University de Bourgogne, in France.  

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Robert Zelnick, 79, a longtime ABC News correspondent before joining the College of Communication faculty, died on September 23, 2023.

Zelnick earned a BS at Cornell University and an LLB at the University of Virginia Law School. He spent 21 years with ABC News, covering national political and congressional affairs from 1994 to 1998, according to COM. He was Pentagon correspondent from 1986 to 1994, covering the end of the Cold War and the first Persian Gulf War. He also reported from Israel and Moscow.

He was executive editor of David Frost’s historic 1977 interviews with Richard Nixon. (Oliver Platt played Zelnick in Frost/Nixon, the 2008 film about the interviews.)

Before joining ABC News in 1977, he covered the Supreme Court for National Public Radio and the Christian Science Monitor. He began his career in 1967 as a freelance writer from Vietnam and worked in Alaska for the Anchorage Daily News in 1968 and 1969. He won two Emmys for his journalism and wrote four books.

Zelnick was a professor of journalism and chair of the journalism department at COM. He stepped down as chair in 2006.

You're reading Bostonia Tributes, Winter Spring 2023

Bluetti Spring Sale 2023 Brings Huge Discounts On Solar Generators And Power Stations

BLUETTI, one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the power station and solar generator space, welcomes the Spring wave with its first-ever sale. BLUETTI is offering massive discounts on its wide range of power solutions as part of its “Time to Start Spring Camping” Campaign. Starting from 7th March onwards, BLUETTI’s Spring sale will see save up to 40% on a variety of products such as solar panels, power generators, and power stations. Continue reading below to learn about the various deals on BLUETTI products.

BLUETTI Spring Sale 2023 Announced

The most popular products of BLUETTI are on huge discounts during this sale. Products like the EB70S, AC500, AC200MAX, and many more are available at massive price cuts. So, in order for you to make your 2023 Spring outings comfortable, you should stock up on the must-haves.

BLUETTI Portable Power Stations BLUETTI EB70S

The BLUETTI EB70S is designed specifically for long outdoor sessions such as camping, hiking, picnics, and so on. This portable power station features state-of-the-art technology and innovation, featuring an 800W power inverter and a 716Wh LiFePO4 battery pack. This is also an ideal product for your home during power outages.

The EB70S is equipped with 12 output ports and a 15W wireless charging pad at the top. This portable power station can provide up to 2,500+ life cycles and can be fully recharged in 3 to 4 hours using solar panels. Apart from that, it supports three other charging modes, including wall outlets, cars, and generators. The EB70S is versatile, and portable, and arrives with a two-year warranty. You can purchase this power station for as low as $520 during the BLUETTI Spring sale.


The BLUETTI EB3A is a much more sustainable option that will not only reduce the carbon footprint but will help generate energy more efficiently. The EB3A is small and compact, however, it is well suited to handle power-hungry needs, thanks to its 600W Pure Sine Wave Inverter (1,200W surge) and a modest 268Wh capacity.

Additionally, you can avail a huge discount of $140 if you purchase both the EB3A power station and PV200 solar panels (original price: $798, discounted price: $658).

Buy BLUETTI EB3A (original price: $299, discounted price $239)


Its 2,000Wh LiFePO4 battery offers 3500+ cycles and can last up to 10+ years. Moreover, the AC200P’s Advanced Battery Management System (BMS) monitors everything happening to the device, protecting it from operational risks. It also comes with a smart temperature-activated fan. You also get 4 years of warranty with the AC200P.

Additionally, you can avail of a massive discount of $600 if you purchase both AC200P and B300 (original price: $3998, discounted price $3398) during the BLUETTI Spring sale.

Buy BLUETTI AC200P (original price: $1699, discounted price $1599)

BLUETTI Home Battery Backup Systems AC500 + B300S

The AC500 power station combined with the B300S expandable battery can prepare you for sudden power outages and can also help you save money on your electricity bills.

The AC500 arrives with 16 outlets to cater to your every need, enabling you to charge laptops and use a CPAP machine, microwave, and an air conditioner, among other things. Without its built-in battery, the AC500 is also very portable. You can always add extra B300 or B300S batteries, as per your needs. Every AC500 supports 6 expansion batteries to generate a total output capacity of 18,432Wh. The AC500 also comes with a 4-year warranty.

Buy BLUETTI AC500 & 2 B300S (original price: $7598, discounted price $7098)

AC300 + B300

The BLUETTI AC300 is a 3,000W Pure Sine Wave 100% modular inverter that features a 16-output design, and you can connect four 3,072Wh B300 expansion batteries for a whopping 12,288Wh capacity. The AC300 boasts a 3,072Wh LiFePO4 battery that supports 3,500+ life cycles with up to 80% efficiency. It can act as a 24/7 UPS Home Backup.

This power backup device is made keeping in mind long-duration power cuts that can lead to spoiled food and smelly laundry. This can be taken care of with the AC300, coupled with B300, which can run a 700 W refrigerator for 3.7 hours and a 500W washing machine for 5.2 hours. You can charge this beast in seven different ways, with 2400W maximum solar input and 5400W maximum fast dual charging. The AC300 comes with 4 years of warranty, and you can get this power backup station at an $800 discount during BLUETTI’s Spring sale.

BLUETTI AC200MAX Expandable Power Station

You can charge your AC200MAX through up to 900W of solar input, and 500W via the adapter, and can even charge it up with solar panels and outlets simultaneously. This can push a staggering 1,400W total fast charging rate to fully charge the BLUETTI AC200Max in less than two hours! This makes the BLUETTI AC200MAX both versatile and budget-friendly.

Further, as part of its Spring Sale, you can get the BLUETTI AC200MAX and 3x PV200 solar panels combo for $2,368, discounted by $130 over the original price of $2498.

Buy BLUETTI AC200MAX (original price: $1,999, discounted price $1,899)

BLUETTI Portable Solar Panels

With ETFE Coating and an IP65-rated junction box, PV200 will last you for a long time and can withstand any harsh weather conditions. The biggest USP of PV200 is that it is foldable, hence, portable. With 200W power, the PV200 can keep your solar generators juiced up as long as there is sunlight available. Plus, the PV200 is compatible with most solar generators, thanks to its MC4 connector.

The PV200 is highly diverse in its usability and can be easily set up using the provided kickstand. During its Spring sale, BLUETTI is also offering price cuts on PV420 (original price: $1099, discounted price $899), PV200 (original price: $499, discounted price $469), PV120 (original price: $319, discounted price $284), and PV68 (original price: $149, discounted price $129).

Buy BLUETTI Solar Panels

Grab these Amazing BLUETTI Deals Now!

Sign Of Spring: Bu Softball Season Arrives

Sign of Spring: BU Softball Season Arrives Terriers in full swing as they host Boston College today

BU record holder Jayme Mask (CAS’14) has stolen 102 bases during her career. Photo by Steve McLaughlin

Walking along Ashford Street these days you can hear the sting of softballs ricocheting off aluminum bats and the crisp thud of the balls making contact with leather gloves—sure signs of the arrival of both spring and the BU softball season.

Last year marked the Terriers’ final campaign in America East, and they left the conference with a league-record eight regular season titles and nine tournament championships. Head coach Kathryn Gleason says that with the University’s move to the Patriot League, the team is eager to maintain that standard of excellence.

“There are trophies all over this office that serve as a reminder of this program’s rich history,” Gleason says. “Carrying on that tradition of winning championships is important. We have a team that has been there and done that, and that’s our goal once again.”

BU is seeking a return to the NCAA tournament after missing a chance for a fourth consecutive conference crown last season. The Terriers were not eligible for the America East tournament because of the impending move to the Patriot League, and after a series of injuries, they finished the regular season with a disappointing 8-9 record in conference play.

This year’s squad got off to a rocky start in nonconference play, but moved into second place in the Patriot League standings by taking two of three games from league-leading Lehigh University last weekend.

The Terriers are now 4-2 in their new conference as they prepare to host crosstown rival Boston College at 4 p.m. today. The team is hoping for a better outcome after falling to BC 8-0 last Thursday. Starting pitcher Lauren Hynes (CAS’16) allowed just three hits in a home win over UConn the day before, but was unable to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard the following day.

“We’ve always been able to score runs,” says Hynes, who was named to the 2013 America East All-Rookie Team. “But we’ve struggled with some injuries to our pitching staff. If our pitching and defense pull through, we’ll be a tough team to beat.”

Led by 2013 America East Player of the Year Jayme Mask (CAS’14), BU’s offense is at the top of the Patriot League in batting average and runs scored. Mask is one of the most accomplished leadoff hitters in Terrier history (the program is now in its 28th year). She tied the program’s single season record, with 37 stolen bases last season, and already has the most stolen bases in a career, with 102.

This is Gleason’s second year as Terrier head coach. The former UMass assistant softball coach says she has welcomed the challenge of integrating eight newcomers—seven of them freshmen-—into this year’s team.

“I was concerned about how the veterans and newcomers would mix, but the younger players haven’t acted like freshmen in any way,” Gleason says. “They’ve done everything that’s asked of them and contributed with poise beyond their years.”

“Our chemistry has been great,” Hynes says. “The freshmen were a tight-knit group when they came in, but we’ve really come together as a unit over the last few months, and we have a lot of fun.”

Gleason says that in her 17 years of coaching, this year’s roster is one of the most cohesive groups she’s ever coached. “They love to hang out with each other, they clearly enjoy each other’s company, and that carries over onto the field, because they want to win for each other.”

Fans are encouraged to arrive early for this afternoon’s game. Raising Cane’s will be giving away free chicken, and there will also be a free raffle, with prizes that include a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card and coupons for free pizza from Domino’s. The BU Pep Band will be on hand throughout the game.

The Boston University softball team hosts Boston College today, April 10, at 4 p.m. at the BU softball field, across from the Track & Tennis Center on Ashford Street. Softball home games are free and open to the public.

Nate Weitzer can be reached at [email protected].

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52 Super Cute Spring Instagram Captions, Tips & Templates

Ah, spring. The temps are rising, flowers are blooming, and you can actually see the sun past 5 p.m. It’s a good season. And with a new season comes a new need for some seasonal Instagram captions that can keep you relevant and keep your audience engaged.

We’re sharing 52 spring Instagram captions broken down by:

Cute captions to use all spring (which runs March 20-June 21)

Spring break captions

First Day of Spring Instagram captions

Spring Forward captions

April Insta captions

May Instagram captions

June Instagram captions

Plus, we’re sharing tips to keep in mind as you create your spring social media calendar along with Instagram post templates (get them on Canva here) to make planning as breezy as a spring day!

Tips for your spring Instagram captions

Before we hop into our very cute spring Instagram captions and ideas, we wanted to share a few tips to keep in mind as you determine what to post on Instagram this season.

Use spring Instagram hashtags

Hashtags give you a way to categorize your posts and help audiences find you. Users will see these posts when they search for a specific hashtag, so it’s definitely worth adding them to your posts.

Here are the top spring hashtags to use:

























Get into video

Your Instagram caption is only as good as your Instagram post. After all, Instagram is all about the visuals, and while your caption is extremely important, it’s really just there to complement your post. While images are always great, this spring season, try testing some video posts to see how they perform. You could get into Instagram reels, post behind-the-scenes videos of your team, or post a video of someone on your team answering frequently asked questions.


You don’t have to get super fancy—you can simply use a smartphone to film something quickly and then upload it right to Instagram.

Related: Get ideas for what to post on Instagram here.

Make your Instagram captions more accessible

As a business, it’s important to care about diversity and inclusion. One way to be more inclusive with your Instagram account is to include descriptive text in your captions. You can also add alt text to your Instagram posts to make your account even more accessible for visually impaired users. Adding alt text allows those using screen readers to have your caption read to aloud.


Cute spring Instagram captions

Looking for some general (and adorable!) spring Instagram captions? We’ve got you covered:

Spring is in the air! Can you smell it ?

We’ve got some spring in our step ?

Happiness blooms from within.

Let your dreams blossom ?

Oopsie daisy ? Hope you didn’t forget about our spring sale!

Be our best buds forever? ?

Sunshine is the best medicine ☀️

Our customers are our sunshine on a cloudy day ⛅️

Your forecast: Partly sunny with a chance of fab ✨

Always take time to stop and smell the roses.

This isn’t just a #springfling! We’re committed to our customers.

Taking it easy and breezy

[Get template]

Not sure how to use Canva to personalize our templates? We created a guide for how to use Canva in a few simple steps (with a video tutorial!) here.

Spring break Instagram captions

Spring break is an exciting time for students, their parents, and teachers. Even if you’re not getting in on the spring break fun, you can still participate with these spring break Instagram captions.

Don’t spring break our heart ? Come in to see us this week! #springbreak

We’re running some amazing spring break specials! Don’t miss them.

We’re on spring break, too! Our hours have changed this week—check them out above. We’ll be back on our regular schedule next week ?

Need a spring break? We’ve got just the thing ?

Spring break can mean leaving your pets behind. Get our tips to prep your pets for boarding or pet-sitting at the link in bio ??

Not sure what to pack for spring break? We’ve created a checklist of the essentials you shouldn’t forget ✅

Leaving your home behind while you’re on spring break? We created a checklist of tips to prep your home for vacation ?

It might be spring break, but we’re working hard on your orders! Give us a call to place yours today ?

[Get template]

First day of spring Instagram captions

The first day of spring is an exciting time! Get in on the excitement by trying these spring Instagram captions.

Spring is the perfect time for new beginnings! What are you looking forward to this season?

Seasons change, and so do we. What’s something you want to change this spring?

A new season means a new opportunity to crush your goals ?

Happy First Day of Spring!

The first day of spring means the first day of our seasonal specials! Come in to try them out.

We have so much to look forward to this season! Check out our calendar of spring events at the link in our bio ?

We’re so excited for all the spring events coming up! Check out a few of our favorites.

“Nothing ever seems impossible in spring, you know.” – L.M. Montgomery

“You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.” – Pablo Neruda

[Get template]

Here are some more cute Instagram captions for spring you might like.

Spring forward Instagram captions

Technically, Daylight Savings time began before spring started, but we’re including it here because it’s basically the unofficial start of spring.

Don’t forget to set those clocks ahead an hour as we Spring Forward tomorrow!

Are you team #daylightsavings or team #leavemyclockalone? We personally love the extra hour of sun ☀️

The Mondayest Monday: The Monday after we #springforward ?

Do not disturb: Reclaiming our lost hour ?

Who’s to blame for #springforward? Some say it’s Benjamin Franklin. Others say it’s due to the agriculture industry. Either way, we’re tired!

[Get template]

Related: Get more spring marketing ideas and spring slogans to try all season long.

Instagram captions for spring–by month

Want to make your spring Instagram captions even more specific? We’ve got monthly ideas for you here!

April Instagram captions

Try these April Instagram captions to keep things fresh all month long.

No foolin’ here: Don’t miss our huge April sale!

April showers bring May flowers

Rain, rain go away ☔️

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.” —The Temptations

It’s gonna be May (even better when accompanied by a picture of Justin Timberlake from N*SYNC)

[Get template]

Discover even more April social media ideas here!

May Instagram captions

May has a lot going on: You’ve got Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and more. Here are some May Instagram captions to try.

May the Fourth be with you #maythefourth

We’re celebrating #Cincodemayo in style! Join us!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mother figures in our lives #mothersday (Get more Happy Mother’s Day social media post ideas here!)

Memorial Day is coming up! How will you be celebrating? #memorialday

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” #inspiration

[Get template]

Get more May social media ideas here.

June Instagram captions

June may feel like summer, but spring actually runs through June 21 this year! Use these June Instagram captions to keep your posts fresh.

School’s out for summer! What are your plans for this summer break?

Happy Father’s Day to all the special fathers and father figures in our lives #fathersday

We’re counting down the days until summer ☀️

Ready to hit the pool or the beach? Check out our sun safety tips!

Goodbye, spring! Hello, summer!

[Get template]

(PS: After working so hard to build your business on Instagram, make sure to protect your account from hackers! We share how to do it right here.)

Spring into Instagram success

With the right social media marketing strategy, which includes the right spring Instagram captions, you can keep your audience engaged and excited all season long. Try these Instagram captions for spring, along with our Canva templates (there are 25 total!), to make planning your social calendar easy as pie.

Looking for more seasonal Instagram caption ideas? We’ve got you covered:

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Associate Director of Content for LocaliQ and WordStream. She has over 10 years of experience in content and social media marketing and loves writing about all things digital marketing. When she’s not researching the latest and greatest marketing news and updates, she’s probably watching reality TV with her husband, reading, or playing with her two pups.

Other posts by Stephanie Heitman

Athletes With Asthma Tend To Do Better At The Winter Olympics

From cross-country skiing to speed skating, the Winter Olympics is full of breathless feats of endurance. And for a large number of Olympic athletes, the breathlessness isn’t just over who will win the next medal—it’s from asthma. But if you think the condition could hold Olympians back, think again: Athletes with asthma are more likely to win medals than their competitors.

Up to one in four winter Olympians have asthma, a condition that constricts the airways and makes it difficult to breathe normally. That’s no surprise to John Dickinson, a professor at the University of Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. He’s studied asthma in elite competitors for years and says that the number of athletes with the condition can skew even higher in endurance sports: up to 70 percent in swimmers and 50 percent in cross-country skiers.

Endurance sports might attract athletes who have asthma, he says, but they can also cause breathing problems in and of themselves. Normally, people breathe through their nose, which warms and humidifies the air, filtering out gnarly particles and noxious chemicals along the way. But during endurance events, says Dickinson, most athletes temporarily turn into mouthbreathers.

“You get unconditioned air going into the airway,” he says. This, in turn, wreaks havoc on the lungs, drying out their air sacs and fueling inflammation. Asthma can result—and as his research with athletes shows, it often does.

These athletes manage to make it to the Olympics despite all that wheezing and coughing, and even outperform challengers without asthma. That’s especially true during the Winter Games.

In a 2012 literature review, asthma expert Kenneth D. Fitch crunched the numbers. He found that during the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2002, 5.2 percent of athletes had asthma, but that group won 15.6 percent of the medals. He observed the same effect in Torino in 2006 (7.7 percent of athletes with asthma won 14.4 percent of the medals) and Vancouver in 2010 (7.1 percent of athletes with asthma won 11.8 percent of the medals).

Could athletes’ asthma inhalers explain their dominance? Dickinson has spent years trying to find out.

Consider a salbutamol inhaler, one of the most common types. (You may know it as albuterol or Ventolin.) It’s a beta-2 agonist inhaler that relaxes the bronchial passages, making it easier for people with asthma to breathe. In 1972, the International Olympic Committee banned it as a stimulant. The IOC went back and forth for years on whether to allow the inhaler, but eventually okayed it. Over 90 percent of Olympic athletes who applied for asthma exemptions between 2004 and 2008 used such devices.

“As long as you’re using the right inhalers, your lungs are as if you haven’t got asthma. You’re on a level playing field,” says Dickinson. But what if you take a huge dose? Could that skew the field in your favor?

But what if you popped corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation in the chest, instead? “It’s quite an aggressive form of treatment,” Dickinson says, “but the gray area is that that level of steroid has been shown to reduce muscle inflammation. An athlete is going to feel better when they’re doing the sport and will recover faster.” But, says, Dickinson, “If your asthma is that bad, you probably shouldn’t be competing anyway.”

There’s another reason people with asthma might do better in the Olympics: because they have to pay more attention to their breath. Even though exercise can induce asthma, it can also protect against bad attacks when sportspeople warm up properly. Techniques like nose breathing and the use of face masks can also help before competition.

“When we improve breathing quality, symptoms can go away,” says Dickinson. “If your asthma is well controlled, you can do anything a non asthmatic can do.” And maybe you can do anything better than they can, too.

News Roundup 18Th October 2023

Google is stopping pixel tracking on YouTube, marketing budgets have declined, Facebook testing new scheduling option, Instagram offering more data control and Facebook changing how organic reach is calculated

Google has announced changes to third-party pixels on YouTube, which will be rolled out next year.

Quarter 3’s Bellwether Report has shown that economic and political uncertainty has had an effect on marketing budgets.

Facebook seems to be testing a new scheduling option that could improve organic impressions, although it is also changing how it calculates these impressions.

Instagram is ensuring users have more data control by adding new features that allow more visibility over third-party permissions.

Get all the details with this week’s news roundup.

Google removing pixel tracking from YouTube

Google will no longer allow third-party pixel tracking on YouTube from next year. The internet giant made the announcement in a blog, which revealed that marketers will need to revert to Google’s Ads Data Hub rather than pixels.

The hub has been created to provide a better way for marketers to track modern web activity, so the move could be beneficial for marketers.

The inability for pixels to track activity across all devices means that it can be difficult to access the data required to assess how effective an ad has been. To combat this, Ads Data Hub will give insights across all screens, including mobile apps.

It uses aggregated insights from a range of Google ad platforms, including Google Ads, YouTube and Display & Video 360. Ads Data Hub does, however, limit how user data can be used. While this is great for consumers in terms of privacy protection, it could have impacts for marketers.

Marketers can expect this change to be rolled out from the start of the new year so they should start to prepare for it now.

Marketing budgets see first decline in seven years

Marketing budgets across the UK during the third quarter of the year have been cut for the first time in seven years. According to the IPA’s quarterly Bellwether report, continued political and economic uncertainty seems to be having an impact on marketing budgets that have remained strong until this point.

The report revealed that a net balance of 0.5% of marketers revised their marketing budget down for Q3. Positively, 64.1% of those surveyed said their budgets weren’t changing, suggesting that many companies are waiting to see what effect Brexit will have on business following the October 31st deadline.

Digital marketing was the only area that reported an increase in budgets with 11.1% of companies saying they were growing budgets in this area. This was mirrored in the search marketing results, which saw budget growth of 6.1%. However, this is a slight decline overall, as last quarter 9.9% of businesses reported an increase in search marketing budgets.

Main media spending remained stagnant, with companies putting it on hold until the economic and political environments revealed more. This follows on from strong growth in Q1 (5.2%) and Q2 (5.6%) of the year.

Mobile marketing saw budgets fall by 0.06% while sales promotions (-2.3%), PR (-4.7%) and direct marketing (-7%) all saw significant drops in budget allocation. The biggest budget decrease was seen in the area of market research, which saw a huge 16.9% drop.

Joe Hayes, Economist at HIS Markit and author of the Bellwether Report, said: The latest Bellwether survey spells further disappointment for the UK marketing industry, which is suffering, just like the rest of the economy, as a result if spending delays, firms placing projects on hold and subdued business confidence. The UK economy has endured a tough year so far and firms have subsequently withdrawn discretionary spending to protect profit margins.

Facebook testing “suggested time” for sponsored posts

It looks as though Facebook is working on tools to help Pages improve their organic reach on the platform. The social network is reportedly testing a new feature for scheduled posts that allows users to select a suggested publication time rather than having to set a custom time.

The feature looks as though it is designed to enable Pages to reach audiences when they are most active on the platform. Based on the following week’s data, the function provides a time that is likely to improve a Page’s organic reach.

The function seems to use Facebook’s internal data, which means it could help Pages reach their audience and peak times an encourage engagement, something that is more difficult than ever now that Facebook is becoming ever more pay-to-play.

Instagram providing greater data control for users

Instagram is working toward giving its users more control over the data that is shared to third-party apps and services through new features. The social media platform has launched new in-app features offering people greater control of their data.

One of the new features will allow users to make it easier to manage what third-party services are connected to their accounts.

Many apps and websites often allow users to import their photos from Instagram or to connect with Instagram, which means these third parties often have access to some personal information. Users will now be able to see which third-parties currently have access and to revoke that access where necessary.

Users will be able to go to “Settings” in the Instagram app, select “Security” and then “Apps and Websites”. Here they’ll see the list of third-party services.

On top of this change, the platform is also making sure users know what specific data is being requested by third parties. Instagram has introduced an updated authorization screen that lists all the information being requested by a third party. Users can then “cancel” or “authorize” access from this screen.

While these features have now been launched by Instagram, they will be rolled out over the next six months, so not everyone will have access to them at the moment.

Facebook changing organic impression calculations

Facebook is changing how it calculates organic impressions with the changes rolling out across the platform between October 17th and 28th. Unfortunately for social media managers, the changes will likely mean that organic impressions will see a decline, not good news considering how hard it is to get seen organically across the platform now.

Currently, Facebook is not able to provide estimates on how these changes might affect Pages, but it is likely that they will result in dips across the board.

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