Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Google, Meta, Twitter & many more!
YouTube has enhanced the viewing experience for Shorts on Connected TV’s, showing the clips in a full-screen, interactive format
With its platform-wide push of Shorts, YouTube has now announced that they have enhanced the viewing format of Shorts on Connected TV’s. The new Shorts experience for TV shows each clip in a full-screen, interactive format consistent with the mobile experience - enabling viewers to use their remote control to skip through clips, select topic tags and more. As younger audiences continue to choose VOD services over traditional TV channels, the new Connected TV experience will create a lot more opportunities for brands to engage users.
Our takeaway… Merging YouTube’s fastest growing usage category (Connected TV’s) and their fastest-growing content format (Shorts) is likely to get a lot more eyes in the content shown there - meaning now more than ever, it’s important to factor the platform into your marketing strategy.
Meta has announced several new creator monetisation tools including subscriptions on Instagram, Gifts in Reels and more NFT options
As part of Meta’s Creator Week 2022, Meta has announced new features and tools to help creators monetise its platforms. Firstly, fan subscriptions on Instagram (which first launched with select creators at the start of the year) are now available to all US creators. Subscriptions allow creators to charge fans a monthly fee for access to subscriber-only live-streams, posts, stories and comment badges. Secondly, Meta is launching virtual gifts in Instagram Reels, which users can send to their favourite creators as a monetary donation (similar to Facebook stars) - again only currently available to US creators. Speaking of Facebook Stars, more creators will now be able to use this feature, as well as a new ‘Stars Party’ feature - described by Meta as a “celebratory moment that happens when a spike of stars are sent”. And finally, a new ‘end-to-end toolkit’ will facilitate NFT trading, with fans and collectors able to purchase the digital collectibles from creators directly through Instagram.
Elon Musk has outlined a new package of Twitter Blue, allowing users to buy access to a blue tick as well as priority in replies, mention and search, longer posts and less ads
Last week we reported that Elon Musk, new owner of Twitter, was wanting to charge users $20 a month to receive a verified tick…well, this week he’s settling for $8 a month. In his own words, “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullsh*t. Power to the people!”. Elon’s efforts to tackle the class divide by charging people $96 per year, will give them access to priority in replies, mentions and searches, the ability to post long video and audio, less ads and bypass paywalls for selected publishers. Musk also claimed that this additional revenue stream will be used to reward content creators, and that secondary tags will be introduced under blue checkmarks to identify public figures.
Instagram has finally rolled out its new scheduling tool to all professional accounts, letting users schedule photos, carousels and Reels up to 75 days in advance
The day has finally come - Instagram has announced it has rolled out its new highly anticipated scheduling tools, eliminating the need for third-party scheduling apps. After testing this new feature out on selected users over the last few weeks, the platform has now rolled it out to all professional accounts. Content creators and businesses alike will now be able to use this tool to schedule Reels as well as photo and carousel posts up to 75 days in advance directly through the advanced settings of the app.
YouTube has announced it is rolling out its live-stream guest feature to all channels with at least 50 subscribers, allowing them to split-screen their stream with another YouTuber
Having begun testing its ‘Go Live together’ feature with select creators earlier this year, YouTube has now revealed that they are expanding the rollout to all channels with at least 50 subscribers. This guest feature allows users to invite other YouTubers to their stream, displaying the video as a vertical split screen. This new feature opens up many opportunities for collaboration - such as brands running live interviews or even facilitating Q&A sessions.
Reports state TikTok is moving forward on a music streaming service to rival spotify - negotiating with labels, launching a site and preparing code
You may remember, from a few Bonded Bitesize’s ago, we reported that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance was rumoured to be creating a music streaming service called TikTok Music to rival Spotify and YouTube Music. Well, now we have a few updates - as it seems they are moving forward on their plans. Firstly the URL ‘music.tiktok.com’ has been found in the Resso streaming app (also owned by ByteDance) suggesting that user activity may sync between the two. The site has been launched but has a popup saying "Stay tuned! We are working hard to bring you the desktop version. Check back soon”. In addition, ‘TikTok Music’ social media handles on Instagram and Twitter have also been registered and verified, and have been posting several creative teasers. Watch this space.
Pinterest has explained that its recent rise in usage is down to improved recommendation algorithms that maximise engagement and boost pinner activity
Pinterests latest performance update showed increases in both users and engagement (having added 12 million users in the last quarter alone). The platform has since published a new technical overview of how its new and improved recommendation algorithm may be behind this success. The new algorithm uses more recent user actions to help generate more relevant post recommendations to users - therefore leading to greater pinner engagement.
Our takeaway… Whatever Pinterest has done to its algorithm, it’s clearly working! And with Christmas right around the corner, it puts the app in great stead to engage users with holiday content.
Snapchat has partnered with Amazon Fashion to create an AR shopping experience, enabling users to virtually try on thousands of eyewear products
In its latest partnership, Snapchat has announced it is working with Amazon Fashion to create virtual try-on experiences and increasing its augmented reality offering. The new try-on lenses feature thousands of Amazon’s eyewear products - showcasing different styles and brands in a “fun, interactive way”. Starting with the eyewear lenses, the companies plan to expand the partnership to offer additional verticals such as clothing in the future. The shopping lenses can be found on @AmazonFashion’s public profile, in Snap Lens Explorer as well as in the lens carousel - with additional products available to browse within the store tab.
Google has integrated Lens directly into its search box, giving users quick access to the advanced image recognition tool
As summarised by Vice President of Engineering at Google, Rajan Patel “The Google homepage doesn’t change often, but today it did. We’re always working to expand the kinds of questions you can ask and improving how we answer them. Now you can ask visual questions easily from your desktop”. Lens goes a step beyond Google Images’ similar photos search, showing information about the photo as well as shopping results and more. Search what you see.
WhatsApp launches Communities, enabling users to connect related group chats together under a single umbrella topic
Having announced the new Communities feature back in April, WhatsApp has now launched the update, providing additional functionality and organisation for group chats. Admins can now bring related groups together in one place, making it easier to stay connected around a broader topic. As WhatsApp explains “Communities like neighbourhoods, parents at a school and workplaces can now connect multiple groups together under one umbrella to organise group conversations”.
Our takeaway… From a marketing perspective, the new Community tool creates opportunities for brands to build their own communities within WhatsApp, connecting together their own brand-related chats.
YouTube has launched a prime-time channels hub, featuring 34 streaming services available to US users
As it continues to blur the lines ever further between video-on-demand and traditional television, YouTube has announced that it is adding 34 new prime-time channels to YouTube TV. US users will now be able to subscribe to streaming services including Showtime, Paramount, Starz, AMC and Vix all from within the YouTube app. Google is describing this as an “early version” of prime-time channels, as the platform seeks to expand its streaming services. Shows from these prime-time channels will also now be included within YouTube’s recommendation, to encourage more users to stream the channels.
Netflix has launched ‘Triviaverse’, a new interactive trivia experience that tests subscribers knowledge of top shows via their remote control
Netflix’s newly launched Triviaverse lets subscribers test their knowledge and compete against the all knowing ‘Trivia Master’ all by using their remote control. As the questions increase in difficulty, players reach certain milestones and earn different badges. The interactive game is just one of the many games in Netflix’s roster, though lets users play through their TV’s rather than a stand-alone app - similar to its Black Mirror episode ‘Bandersnatch’ in 2017. Do you consider yourself a trivia master, let us know in the comments how you think you’d get on?
Google is getting rid of similar audience segments in campaigns by August 2023, transitioning to more powerful automated solutions: Optimised Targeting & Audience Expansion
Google has announced it is removing its Similar Audiences segments within Google campaigns, warning advertisers that they will have until August 2023 before they are gone forever. Beginning in May 2023, these segments will stop being generated and existing similar audience segments will no longer be added to campaigns and ad groups on Google Ads and Display & Video 360. Google states that automation is a big part of their commitment to providing durable, resilient solutions for advertisers. Optimised Targeting (for video, display discovery and performance campaigns) and Audience Expansion (for brand campaigns) will be replacing the similar audience segments.
Microsoft Bing spotted testing animated ads in Bing Search results based on product queries
Microsoft Bing appears to be testing the placement of animated ads in the Bing search interface. In the screen recorded example, an animated ad for caramel sweets is shown in the top result - with a formulaic template design likely created by Bing from the product information rather than a supplied ad. It is unknown how many users this is being tested on or whether it will later be rolled out or not, though it is an interesting idea.
Meta has published a new overview of how to use WhatsApp for business - helping them reach customers at every stage of their journey
As Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains “Most people now use feeds to discover content and use messaging for deeper connections” - showing the platform's potential for businesses. A new guide, published by Meta, gives an overview of how to use WhatsApp for business - from raising customer awareness of the brand, to nurturing consideration and increasing conversions. The overview explores all the key elements of utilising the WhatsApp Business app and how it can be used to compliment a brands broader digital marketing strategy.