Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Microsoft, Google, TikTok & many more!
TikTok is reportedly entering the search ads market, putting it in direct competition with Google and Microsoft
Last year, TikTok was reported to be beta testing its own search ads platform that allowed advertisers to gather the search terms responsible for conversions and leverage them as headlines for their own videos. Now, the platform is rumoured to be rolling this feature, meaning businesses will be able to bid on specific keywords and phrases just like they would on Google. Some advertisers, however, are sceptical that TikTok has the appropriate brand safety guard rails in place for its search ads product.
YouTube has announced it will remove overlay ads due to feedback from viewers finding them disruptive
From April 6, 2023 advertisers will no longer be able to activate or add overlay ads from within YouTube Studio. According to YouTube, this decision is down to feedback from viewers who find this ad format disruptive. The removal of which is hoped to enhance the viewing experience. This ad format is known to be less effective than other formats, such as pre-roll ads, meaning that they often earn businesses less revenue. This announcement comes at a time where the company is facing increased competition from video-sharing platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
Twitter is planning to extend long-form Tweets once again, upping the character limit from 4000 to 10k
In another Twitter update that nobody asked for, Elon Musk has announced that the platform will soon be extending long form tweets to 10’000 characters. Having recently upped the character limit to 4000 for paying members of Twitter’s premium tier, Twitter Blue, members will soon be able to post even lengthier tweets. This advancement suggests that Musk is keen to get more long-form content on the platform, likely to supply engaged viewers with more ads. So if you start seeing a lot more text heavy posts, you know why.
TikTok is beginning to block links to app store pages from creators bios and third-party link-in-bio solutions
TikTok has confirmed that it has begun blocking links to app stores in creators bios, including in third-party, link-in-bio solutions such as Linktree. This ban only applies to personal creator accounts, business accounts, however, will continue to be able to use this function. This restriction has likely been put in place to redirect advertising revenue away from creators and into TikTok itself, by encouraging brands to purchase ad space to promote apps rather than through CPI (cost per install) campaign deals with creators.
Microsoft is introducing an AI assistant that can help with marketing and customer service
With all the success of its ‘new Bing’, Microsoft is now using the same OpenAI technology to create an AI assistant called Dynamics 365 CoPilot. The AI bot can work with applications that handle tasks such as sales, marketing and customer service - rivalling current services like Oracle and Salesforce. The software can also draft contextual chat, email answers to customer-service queries, come up with customer categories to target and write product listings for ecommerce. Italian aperitif maker, Campari, shared that they tried using the tool to connect targeted campaigns for events around the Negroni cocktail.
Spotify has unveiled its new visual interface, placing priority on discovery and short-form video
At Spotify’s annual Stream On event last week, the company unveiled a host of new features and tools that place more importance on short-form video. The redesigned home page displays video previews of music, podcasts and audiobooks in a clickable slideshow, as well as a new discovery feature that mimics TikTok’s upward swiping motion. Spotify’s chief executive, Daniel Ek, described the redesign as “the biggest change to Spotify since we launched mobile 10 years ago”. He explains, “From audio to video, we’re giving you the resources to grow your audience by arming you with better tools”.
Meta has announced it is pausing bonus payouts to Reels creators to allow it to invest more into Reels
Meta has announced that it will temporarily stop paying creators bonus payouts for Reels, to enable them to invest more money into developing new features and tools for Reels. The company previously stated it would invest $1billion in the creator community across its platforms, including Instagram and Messenger. Whilst this pause may be disappointing to some creators, it will likely benefit them in the long-term, as it shows Meta’s commitment to pushing Reel content - making it increasingly lucrative for advertisers.
TikTok’s new ‘Series’ feature allows eligible creators to post collections of premium content behind a paywall
TikTok has unveiled a new monetisation feature for creators, allowing them to post collections of premium content that viewers must pay to access. One series can include up to 80 videos, each up to 20 minutes in length - expanding upon the current 10 minute limit imposed on normal videos. Creators can select the price for their Series, and will earn 100% of their earnings after applicable fees (though TikTok has stated that this will only be the case for a limited time). With this longer-form feature, TikTok continues to inch further and further onto YouTube’s territory…perhaps payback for YouTube Shorts!
Google has updated its Search Trends site to include real-time trends updated hourly, with direct links to news articles
Google has announced that it has refreshed its Search Trends Site, making it easier to explore what is trending across the world. The new homepage shows real-time trends that are updated every hour and are accompanied by links to relevant news articles to help users learn more about trending topics instantly. In addition, the homepage highlights what is trending in your local country or region, as well as sharing trends from around the globe.
Elon Musk claims Twitter is aiming to roll out end-to-end encrypted DMs later this month
Despite all the current legal drama surrounding end-to-end encryption of Meta’s WhatsApp, Musk has taken to Twitter several times to voice his concerns over Twitter's lack of encrypted DMs. Musk has now stated that this extra layer of privacy will be rolled out later this month - meaning that no one, including Twitter employees, will be able to read a person's chats but themselves. Musk even went as far to say that his goal for Twitter DMs is to superset Signal, a messaging app that already uses this level of encryption.
Facebook is testing the ability for users to access their Messenger Inbox within the Facebook app once again
In 2016, in a bid to push more people to the Messenger app, Facebook made the decision to remove messaging capabilities from its app. A decision which it is now having reversed, as the company tests recombining the two platforms as a way to compete with rival TikTok. Tom Allison, head of Facebook, explained, “ultimately, we want it to be easy and convenient for people to connect and share, whether in the Messenger app, or directly within Facebook”.
New Performance Max for travel goals can create ads in multiple formats to help drive hotel bookings
Google has unveiled a new ad format for hoteliers, known as Performance Max for Travel Goals, to help reach more guests and drive more bookings. This new tool can create ads in multiple formats, and reach more travellers across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps in just one campaign. Google also noted that hotel ads will be added later this year, and that a single campaign can support up to 100 hotel properties with different locations, images and messages.
Microsoft reports steady growth in both its Edge browser and its ‘new Bing’ search engine following AI integration
With all the excitement of the launch of its ‘new Bing’, Microsoft has published new insights into the phenomenal growth of its Bing search engine as well as its Edge browser. Microsoft also noted that they expect this growth to continue as they line up more features and capabilities to be rolled out. According to the data, Microsoft is experiencing 100 million daily active users, with approximately one third of the users new to Bing.
Our takeaway… Watch out Google, Microsoft is quickly becoming a lucrative tool for advertisers.
Reddit gets a separate, TikTok-style video feed in bid to declutter main feed
Reddit has announced a new interface that separates text and video content into individual feeds, called ‘Read’ and ‘Watch’. This two-split feed is designed to allow users to switch from browsing text-based posts to videos, depending on their mood. The new video feed looks very similar to TikTok, with users scrolling down to browse user-generated short-form content. The platform also shared that it is shutting down its Clubhouse clone, Reddit Talk, in a further effort to simplify the app.
Google is expanding Local Service Ads to over 70 new businesses, including education, wellness and healthcare
Google has announced that it has expanded Local Service Ads for more than 70 types of businesses, to help more local businesses stay connected to their community. Businesses in education, people care, pet care and wellness and healthcare amongst others are now able to use the convenient ad space. Local Service Ads allow businesses to advertise their services at the top of Google search result pages, allowing businesses to receive quality phone calls, messages and appointment bookings easily.