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!
Musk claims paid verifications won't restart until “significant impersonations” stop
It didn’t take long before Musk's first big change since buying Twitter - introducing verifications as a feature of premium subscription tier Twitter Blue - went south. After a high number of fake accounts abused the verification feature by impersonating celebrities and notable public figures on the platform, Musk paused new subscriptions - and later commented that these would be made available again on November 29th. New reports have stated Musk is claiming verifications won't restart until these impersonations stop.
Instagram Explore home ad placements are now available to all advertisers via the Instagram Marketing API
Having announced several new ad placements last month, the first of which - ads on the homepage of Instagram Explore - have now been made available to advertisers. According to Instagram the new ad placement option (INSTAGRAM_EXPLORE_HOME) will be available on all current Marketing API versions and will not require an upgrade. This new feature brings three new capabilities, including ads creation, insights and preview.
TikTok launches new audience insight tools to help analyse specific demographic details
TikTok Ads Manager has just gotten a new exciting tool: Audience Insights. These insights enable advertisers to learn specific demographic details about their audiences including interests, usage behaviour, gender splits and more. The tool also provides insights on interactions from videos, creators and hashtags and can even show the device type a user is watching on and its estimated price.
Users can now search the app for businesses, and chat with them about their services
As WhatsApp seeks to push its e-commerce features, Meta has announced a new feature that allows users to browse businesses and message them directly through the app. This new feature will allow users to search categories such as travel and finance to find business contact numbers rather than having to search for them elsewhere, and will make it possible to change flights or hotel bookings via chats. Zuckerberg commented “the ultimate goal here is to make it so you can find, message and buy from a business all in the same WhatsApp chat”.
Google launches range of updates across Search, Maps and Lens including multi-search for food, AR beauty and live view search on Maps
Google has announced a bunch of exciting new features for Search, Maps, Lens and more that are now live in the US. New features include:
Meta launches a VR experience with Sir David Attenborough ahead of Meta Quest TV miniseries
A free virtual reality experience featuring David Attenborough is set to open at Westfield, London. The immersive experience will include flying dinosaurs, hummingbirds and of course Attenborough’s narration. There will also be AR filters showing the speed and scale of the creatures and teaching about the evolution of flight. This experience ties in with the new Meta Quest TV miniseries ‘Conquest of the Skies VR’.
Shopify is testing a universal search feature that allows customers to search products across all merchants
The new ‘Search for anything’ search box enables users to search for items previously purchased, merchants matching the search term and products sold by any Shopify merchants. The test is rolled out to a limited number of users and it is unclear if it will ever be released globally - though some have described it as a “slippery-slope” as merchants could have to start paying to appear higher in the search rankings.
Snapchat gears up for the world cup with new filters, AR experiences and Bitmoji accessories and catch-up content
Snapchat has introduced a range of new features and experiences for football fans just in time for the world cup. New selfie lenses, football kit lenses and real-time scores are helping fans show their support throughout the season. In addition, users are able to personalise Bitmoji’s, stickers, filters and cameos to look like they are on the field. Snapchat is also letting fans catch up on all the football content with scores, match analysis, player interviews and behind the scenes content within Snapchat Discover.
An update to Google Search Console simplifies listing products in the Google Search Shopping tab
Google is making it easier for e-commerce stores to get their products showcased in the shopping tab in search results. An update to Google Search Console makes it possible to list products without submitting a product lead or re-verifying your website - meaning products can get listed in just a few clicks.
Pinterest has partnered with Lick to allow users to convert their saved pins into shoppable paint palettes
Pinterest has partnered with home interiors platform Lick to help bring users' Pinterest boards to life. The new tool picks colours found in several saved Pins to generate tailored shoppable palettes for users. According to Lick, Pinners will be able to turn the inspiration that they found on the platform into reality at the click of a button. In addition, shoppers will have the opportunity to try on their personalised palette in their own home with peel-and-stick paint samples.
YouTube is adding shopping features to Shorts and experimenting with an affiliate marketing program in U.S
Similar to TikTok, YouTube’s new shopping features enables users to purchase products as they scroll through Shorts. Eligible U.S creators will have the ability to tag products from their stores, with plans to expand to more creators and countries. In addition the platform is also experimenting with an affiliate program that will allow creators to earn commissions through purchases of products they’ve recommended in their Shorts and regular videos.
ITV’s new streaming service ITVX set to replace ITV Hub with over 9’000 hours worth of free content
As unveiled in March, ITV’s new streaming platform ITVX has launched ahead of its launch - replacing ITV Hub with over 9’000 hours worth of content. ITV has announced new flagship shows that will be exclusive to the platform for six months before being broadcast on TV. Viewers can watch without a subscription, or subscribe to watch without ads and also get access to BritBox content.
Google has published a document on ‘notable’ ranking systems as well as discounted algorithms no longer used
Google’s new guide to search ranking system outlines the ‘notable’ ranking systems as well as those no longer in use.
Ranking systems no longer in use (or incorporated into new systems):
Spotify is expanding its video publishing tools to creators worldwide
Having launched to a handful of markets earlier this year, Spotify has announced they are rolling out its video podcasting capabilities to creators worldwide. This comes as the streaming service is facing increasing competition from YouTube whose podcasts are rising in popularity after several efforts to push audio content. Spotify claims podcasters can reach an audience of 456 million monthly listeners, while listeners can take advantage of the background play and new video capabilities of certain podcasts.
Google is testing a new Rewarded Ad Gate beta program for publishers to monetise engaged users
As described by WebmasterWorld.com, “The Rewarded Ad Gate beta program will give you an opportunity to monetise your most engaged users. If a user frequently visits your site, you’ll have a way to collect additional ad revenue. Serving engaged players, long-form playable ads could help give publishers another option to monetise their content