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!
Twitter is expanding recommended content to all users, showing more tweets from accounts users do not follow
Twitter announced its algorithmic update via its Twitter Support account, explaining that the platform is ‘expanding recommendations to all users’ under the guise of delivering the ‘best content. Whether this is the main drive, or rather the revenue from more paid content, we shall soon see. Even before its new owner, Twitter has tried making recommendations more prominent on the platform - but reversed this after facing heavy backlash from users - something perhaps Musk is less fearsome of.
Our takeaway… Tread lightly on Twitter. When platforms that were originally designed to follow and interact with friends begin saturating feeds with recommended content too quickly, it doesn’t always end well - just ask Instagram.
Spotify has released its annual Spotify Wrapped campaign, giving users sharable snippets of their listening data
Always a highly-anticipated time of year… no not Christmas - Spotify Wrapped. Starting in 2015, and not missing a year since, Spotify’s annual marketing campaign has become a social media phenomenon thanks to the shareability of its light-hearted slides. Showing users their top artists, minutes listened and favourite genres, the campaign is a great example of utilising data to create viral moments and connect users through their love (and hatred…) of certain music. Spotify started working on the campaign 6 months prior to its release, with new visuals and comedic copy each year.
Our takeaway… Bravo Spotify! Be sure to let us know what was on your Spotify Wrapped in the comments!
TikTok is testing an early beta version of its platform research API, to improve access of data on content and activity
Regular Bonded Bitesizers may recall that earlier this year we reported that TikTok was developing a research API, designed to improve access to public and anonymised data regarding content and activity within its app. Well, the company has now confirmed that it is testing a beta version of this API, asking members of its Content and Safety Advisory Council to give feedback on usability and overall experience. The API will give TikTok an easy way to access content and conduct tests on its platform. Alongside this, TikTok are also working on a content moderation API, giving select researchers a way to evaluate TikTok’s content moderation systems and examine existing content.
Pinterest has shut down its Creator Rewards program that allowed users to earn money creating pins around monthly prompts
Pinterest has announced that it has shut down its Creator Rewards program on November 30th, claiming it did this “in order to focus on other creator programs and features instead”. The Creator Rewards program allowed content creators to earn money by creating Idea Pins around monthly prompts and achieving certain engagement goals. Pinterest is however continuing with programs such as the Creator Fund, ‘Shoppable’ Idea Pins, and paid partnerships by converting Idea Pins into ads.
GA4 has 2 new metrics available: Views Per Session and Average Session Duration
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has 2 new metrics available in Explorations and Reporting Customisation that marketers should be aware of. The first of which, Views Per Session, refers to the number of app screens or web pages users viewed per session - counting repeated views of a single page or screen. The second, Average Session Duration, shows the average duration (in seconds) of a user's sessions. Together the new metrics help build reports from scratch to meet business needs, though advertisers should be aware that the difference in session counts between UA and GA4 can vary from business to business.
LinkedIn is rolling out its new ‘Focused Inbox’ format to all users globally
LinkedIn has confirmed that its new ‘Focused Inbox’ format, which separates important messages from spam messages, is now being rolled out to all users in the app globally. LinkedIn’s Product Manager Mehta explains that the “Focused Inbox offers a dual-tabbed experience that categorises incoming messages into ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’. Focused contains the most relevant new opportunities and outreach, while Other contains the remainder of your conversations. Mehta also shared that ‘conversations’ on the platform are up nearly 20% YOY, with many people increasingly using the message feature to connect.
Microsoft is planning to double the size of its ad business to $20 billion
According to a report from Business Insider, Microsoft is planning to expand its ad business from $10 billion to $20 billion, which will make it the sixth-largest digital ad seller worldwide. Microsoft currently owns multiple ad properties including Bing Search, XBox, MSN, as well as other websites that use Xandr to sell digital ads. The new Netflix partnership launched earlier this year also allows advertisers to purchase ads through Xandr, with Microsoft taking a reseller fee.
Our takeaway… As Microsoft grows, it opens up more opportunities for advertisers looking to expand their reach.
Netflix is letting more subscribers preview its films and shows to ensure quality of new releases
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Netflix’s pre release screening program will soon enlist tens of thousands of subscribers to preview new movies and shows and provide their feedback. The invite-only ‘Netflix Preview Club’ currently has over 2’000 previewers, but is rumoured to be increasing by 400%. As Netflix has stated they intend to spend $17 billion on content next year, it makes sense that they want to ramp up quality control - especially with the rise of competitor streaming services. Where do we sign up?
TikTok continues to call on tech startups to help improve its struggling e-commerce division
Despite its hugely popular app, the social media giant TikTok is still struggling with its e-commerce features. TikTok’s sister app, Douyin, has been hugely successful in China with e-commerce sales growing 300% YOY and over 10 billion products sold via the app. Unfortunately TikTok has not been able to replicate this success, failing to launch its e-commerce features in both the UK and US market. Rumours state staff burnout, brand abandonment and poor customer service reviews are plaguing TikTok’s e-commerce division, and so it has reached out to companies like ChannelEngine, TalkShopLive and Yun Express for help with integrating shopping technology and fulfilling orders.
Instagram is testing new DM labels to help manage customer interactions within the app
Screenshots have revealed that Instagram is developing a handy set of message labels for business accounts, designed to make it easier to manage customer interactions within DM’s. Labels such as ‘Flag’, ‘Booked’, ‘Ordered’, ‘Paid’ and ‘Shipped’ are being tested on a select number of business accounts - and could be particularly useful for small business pages.
Google has shut down Duplex on the Web, its attempt to bring AI to retail sites
Google has announced Duplex on the Web is deprecated and will no longer be supported as of this month - adding that automation features enabled by Duplex on the Web will no longer be supported. Duplex on the Web was a technology that enabled Google Assistant to automate certain user tasks for site visitors - using AI to simplify processes like ordering food or purchasing cinema tickets. Instead Google states they will “fully focus on making AI advancements to the Duplex voice technology that helps people most every day”.
Snapchat and Disney have partnered to create an AR lens ahead of new Avatar release
To celebrate the release of the highly anticipated ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’, Disney has teamed up with Snapchat to create a custom AR lens. The lens will transform users faces with blue hues like the characters within the film, and can be found within the app or through scannable QR codes. This follows other collaborations between the two, such as the AR mural of Cinderella’s castle earlier this year, as Disney continues to invest in AR technology.
Meta is expanding Video ID to Facebook Dating to stop underage users accessing the platform
Meta has taken another step to protect underage users, expanding its age verification tools. Powered by AI tech firm Yoti, the system is trained on a huge dataset of anonymous images of a diverse range of people around the world - meaning it can estimate a person's age from a video selfie by referencing a range of parameters. Using video for age detection is becoming increasingly accurate, and Meta will now utilise this across Facebook and Instagram. On top of this users will also now be able to upload a form of identification to verify their age.
Snapchat is experimenting with a new ‘Story Boost’ option for Snapchat+ subscribers
It seems Snapchat is looking to help members of its premium subscription tier, Snapchat+, gain more visibility for their content on the app with a new ‘Story Boost’ option. Boosting stories would gain users more views, without other people knowing that the stories had been boosted. Similar to paid ads but for organic content, it’ll be interesting to see how users react to this feature if it is rolled out.
Google’s updated Business Profile interface can show current location as well as previous locations
Have you ever struggled to find a business online because you don’t recognise its new address? Well, Google’s updated Business Profile interface helps avoid just that. Businesses are now able to update their local listings whilst still showing the previous locations with a blue ‘previous’ label on Google Maps. This is available for verified business accounts viewing the Google Suggest edits via the new NMX (New Merchant Experience) Dashboard. The more you know.