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!
Meta will now let marketers target Instagram followers with Facebook and Instagram ads
A new update to Meta’s ad targeting options allows marketers to target brands' Instagram followers within the campaign setup. Prior to this, marketers could only create a custom audience for Facebook followers despite brands often having a different set of followers on Facebook and Instagram accounts. This allows brands to reach people who have shown an interest in the product or brand by aiming ads at them, as well as sourcing lookalike audiences - providing marketers with a new venue and audience for future strategies.
Disney+ has launched its advertising option, with more than 100 advertisers at launch
Afs have finally arrived to Disney+, as part of the streaming services new Basic plan costing $7.99 per month. The new advertising option has attracted over 100 advertisers at launch, including Google, Airbnb, Red Bull, Honda, and Meta Platforms among many others. President of Disney Advertising, Rita Ferro, commented “Today we welcome Disney+ with ads to the largest, most diverse and impactful portfolio in the industry”.
Instagram’s new transparency tools tell users if their content is ineligible to be recommended
Instagram has announced that they are expanding Account Status, meaning professional accounts such as those owned by businesses or creators will understand whether their content is eligible to be recommended to non-followers in places like the Explore tab, Reels, and Feed Recommendations. Content that violates the companies Recommendations Guidelines will not be eligible for recommendations, though users can appeal any decisions that they do not agree with within Account Status - launched last year.
Reddit has rolled out personalised shareable cards for users time on the platform, similar to Spotify Wrapped
Jumping on the back of Spotify’s success, Reddit is rolling out its annual end-of-year recap with shareable cards - displaying users' experiences on the platform, as well as showing how they compare to others. Stats include a summary of the time a user has spent on Reddit, the content that they most engaged with and the communities that they viewed and joined. According to the platform, users created over 430 million posts this year, a 14% increase YOY, as well as 2.5 billion comments, up 7% from the previous year.
Google’s new Search update will provide related topics to help refine your query as you type
Google is making searching quicker and easier with the addition of add-on prompts that use AI technology to help build up search queries. As explained by Google, “You can add or remove topics, which are designated by a + symbol to quickly zoom in or backtrack on a search - for example if you’re searching for ‘dinner ideas’ you might see topics like ‘healthy’ or ‘easy’”. The platform also stated that the related topic listings are dynamic, and will evolve based on user behaviours. These prompts are being rolled out to US users this week, with other regions to follow.
Snapchat is experimenting with Lenses with ‘power-ups’ that can be purchased via Snap Tokens
Snapchat is working with a small group of AR creators and developers to work on upgraded lenses that users can purchase with Snap Tokens. Snapchat claims this experiment is a response to feedback from the AR community, whilst it will also be beneficial in providing the platform another revenue stream. Snapchat has also just announced it is partnering with Adidas to launch a new exclusive Bitmoji fashion drop also redeemable via Snap Tokens.
LinkedIn has announced new privacy-friendly ad targeting options for B2B brands
LinkedIn has announced that it has updated its ad-targeting options, as it works to align with evolving privacy regulations. Firstly, the platform is expanding its Group Identity audience targeting option to all ad types. As explained by LinkedIn, “with Group Identity, we’re leveraging our first and zero-party data, such as title, seniority, industry, interests etc. to help you reach buying committees, measure your campaign performance and optimise towards the objectives that matter to your business”. According to the platform, Group Identity campaigns have seen a 37% higher average click-through rate on group-delivered campaigns across channels.
Amazon launches a TikTok-like in-app feed of short form videos and photos from influencers, brands and consumers
Amazon has launched Inspire, a new shoppable in-app feed of short form videos and photos. Similar to TikTok, consumers scroll through curated feeds from influencers, brands and other consumers, which is designed to track engagement behaviour to become more customised over time. Director of Amazon shopping explained, “In just a few taps customers can discover new products or get inspiration on what to buy, all tailored to their interests, and then shop those items on Amazon”. The Inspire feed is rolling out to all US users in the coming months, though it is not yet known if or when the feature will be rolled out to the UK.
Google Search Console is experimenting with a Content Ideas feature to give tips on new topics to write about on websites
Google Search Console has been spotted experimenting with a new feature called ‘Content ideas’ - that gives the content creator, publisher, SEO or webmaster tips and advice on what new topics to write about. Search Engine Land compared this new feature to Google Question Hub that launched in the US around two years ago, giving topic ideas to write about and publish on your site.
Meta has introduced Avatars to WhatsApp, with billions of customisations
Avatars have come to WhatsApp, and no we don’t mean the blue creatures from the upcoming movie. Users of the messaging app now have billions of combinations to choose from to craft their digital alter ego. Avatars can be used as profile photos for those not wanting to disclose a photo of themselves, and can also be sent within messages to family and friends. Meta also claimed that they are continuing to deliver style enhancements including lighting, shading, hair style textures and more.
Twitter is relaunching its paid verification plan with a price increase for iOS users
After suspending its verification system early last month just days after its initial launch, Twitter is now ready to relaunch the plan once again. However, Twitter has increased the pricing of the plan from $8/month to $11/month for users on iOS. The increase accounts for Apple’s 30% in-app payment tax that Twitter evidently wants to bypass to its users, still charging the original $8 for desktop access. Put simply, iOS users will be paying a 37% markup for the same features. Interesting strategy Musk.
YouTube adds Chat Emotes, new Shorts editing tools, automated audio dubbing in other languages and user time-outs
YouTube has been busy working on a whole load of new features and updates. Firstly, YouTube’s new chat stream engagement option, YouTube Emotes, enables viewers to share little graphics within their comments - similar to Twitch Emotes. YouTube is also making it quicker and easier for creators to create thumbnails for their Shorts as well as having launched a new series of Shorts myth busting clips on the Creator's channel, to help creators understand the feature. In addition, YouTube’s automated system for overdubbing content into other languages (known as Aloud) has been publicly launched. Finally, YouTube is also expanding its comment warnings and user time-outs for repeated violations of comment rules, encouraging users to be on their best behaviour.
Microsoft Teams has launches a new Communities feature similar to Facebook Groups
Microsoft Teams has announced that it has launched a new ‘Communities’ feature on Android and iOS devices. Within Communities, users can create and organise groups - giving access to group calendars, event scheduling, meetings, document/photo sharing as well as video calls and chat. The Communities feature also includes a ‘new events experience’ which allows users to add events to their community calendar, as well as invite guests, track attendance and chat with attendees privately. Communities is currently only available on mobile only, with its arrival to desktop coming soon.
Instagram has announced several new features - including DM notes, group profiles and its BeReal clone ‘Candid Stories’
Meta has announced a series of new tools and features to help users connect, and get more people sharing personal interactions within the app. Firstly, Notes are conversation prompts that users can post which will appear like Stories above the messages in your inbox. As explained by Meta, “Notes are short posts of up to 60 characters using just text and emoji’s”. Next, its Group Profiles are new collaborative accounts that will only be visible to group members. And finally, Instagram has rolled out ‘Candid Stories’, its BeReal clone that is has been testing for months. Like BeReal, Candid prompts users to capture and share authentic timeshots only visible to those who have done the same.
Musk continues making changes to Twitter 2.0 - including longer tweets, freeing unused handles and showing tweet view counts
As already announced, Twitter is relaunching its paid verification tier - but that’s not the only change Musk has been making recently. Another element of Musk’s ‘Twitter 2.0’ is the ability to share longer posts, either in video or text form within the app. Twitter has shared mockups of these longer posts and how they would appear in-stream. As well as this, Twitter is set to to free-up unused Twitter handles to allow users to snap up handles from dormant accounts . Finally, Musk has also reiterated his plan for Twitter to start showing view counts on tweets as a way of highlighting the engagement levels on the app.