Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Microsoft, Google, Meta & many more!
Microsoft announces launch of its AI-powered image creator, that can generate custom images from words
Microsoft has announced the launch of Bing Image Creator, powered by an advanced version of OpenAI’s DALL E technology. Bing Image Creator allows users to create an image simply by using your own words to describe the image you want to see. As Bing explains, “Historically, Search was limited to images that already existed on the web. Now there are almost no limits to what you can search for and create”. The feature is currently available for Bing and Microsoft Edge preview users.
Snap’s new B2B offering brings its augmented reality technology directly to retailers
Known as a leader in augmented reality, Snapchat has decided its AR technology is too good to keep for itself - unveiling its new AR Enterprise Services (ARES) that will work directly with retailers. Snapchat’s ‘Shopping Suite’ offering can integrate 3D viewers, AR try-ons, Fit Finders and more directly on a merchants app or website. As part of this suite, Snapchat is also providing dedicated services and support, enterprise tools to manage assets and integrations as well as experience delivery. This service is already being used by brands like Goodr, Princess Polly, and Gobi Cashmere - who have reported higher conversion rates, better engagement with products and lower return rates.
Google has launched Bard, its AI Chatbot, though many feel it was rushed to compete with Microsoft
Google has finally released Bard, its answer to ChatGPT. Bard is a generative AI chatbot powered by LaMDA technology. Similar to ChatGPT, Bard accepts prompts and performs tasks like providing answers, summaries and creating forms of content. There have however been mixed feelings on the chatbot, with many feeling that Google rushed it in its efforts to compete with rival Microsoft and their popular ‘new Bing’. Several reports have shared inconsistencies with the Bard, as well as showing a lack of citing sources. Though Bard does have the potential to be an incredibly powerful and helpful tool, many SEO experts are concerned how this could affect the organic traffic to their sites.
Instagram is launching 2 new ad options: Reminder ads, and Promoted Results in Search
Instagram has announced the launch of 2 new ad formats, designed to promote upcoming launches and reach more people. Firstly, Reminder ads make it easier for businesses to announce, remind and notify people of future events or launches that they may be interested in. Users can opt in to these reminders, receiving a notification the day before the event, fifteen minutes before, and at the time of the event. Secondly, Instagram is testing ads in search results, aiming to reach people actively searching for businesses, products and content. This second ad option is expected to launch globally in the upcoming months.
OpenAI has launched plugins for ChatGPT, granting it access to third-party databases such as the web
OpenAI has announced that it has implemented initial support for plugins in its AI chatbot, ChatGPT - one of which will connect it to the internet. A web plugin will allow the chatbot to draw data from around the webs to answer the queries posed to it, citing its sources within its responses. OpenAI has admitted that a web-enabled ChatGPT may risk performing undesirable behaviours such as sending fraudulent emails and increasing the capabilities of bad actors; they also assure that they have implemented several safeguards to prevent this. Several other plugins have been created by Expedia, Instacart, Klarna, Shopify, Slack and more.
Microsoft is planning to build its own mobile games store to rival Apple and Google
While Apple and Google have faced little competition in the app store realm for quite some time, it looks like Microsoft is hoping to get into the mix. Microsoft’s gaming head, Phil Spencer, commented that the EUs Digital Marketing Act (DMA), which will go into effect next March, should help the company fulfil these ambitions. Spencer told the Financial Times, “we want to be in a position to offer xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play”.
Reddit has rolled out several updates to its Ads Manager to help streamline the creation process, including new ‘Simple Create’
Reddit is continuing to push its ad offering, rolling out several updates designed to help streamline the ad creation process for marketers. First of all, the company has launched a new ‘Simple Create’ option that helps advertisers create ad campaigns in 3 easy steps: 1) add creative, 2) choose targeting, 3) select payment. The platform is also introducing automated ad creation, to build and test multiple ad variations at once. Other updates include multi-currency support, improved community search, reporting retention and bulk edit improvements.
Pinterest is expanding availability of Premiere Spotlight ads, and integrating shoppable items to Shuffle collages
As part of its ShopTalk 2023 presentation, Pinterest has announced several new updates designed to help brands maximise their strategy on the app. Firstly, the company commented that it has seen a 66% increase in retailers uploading digital catalogues, which has contributed to its 70% growth in active shopping feeds YOY. To build on this, Pinterest is making it easier to build your Pin profile when you upload your product feed to the app. Pinterest also stated that they are making its prime placement ‘Premiere Spotlight’ ads available to more businesses following successful testing. And finally, the app is looking to integrate shoppable items to the collages users produce on its separate ‘Shuffles’ app.
Twitter is removing legacy verifications from April 1st, and Twitter Blue is now available globally
Twitter has announced that it will be removing legacy verifications from none other than April Fools day. From then on, seeing a verified account will not mean that a user is a recognised public figure, but rather a user subscribed to Twitter’s premium tier, Twitter Blue. The company has now made this premium plan available globally, and has reduced the time that new accounts must wait to become eligible for subscription from 90 days down to 30 days. Although take-up has been slightly underwhelming, Twitter Blue has reportedly helped drive $11 million of revenue from mobile subscriptions for the company.
Google has rolled out 3 new features to Discovery ads: product feeds, product-level reporting, and conversion lift experiments
Google has updated Discovery Ads with 3 new features designed to help advertisers grow demand. Firstly, new product feeds and engaging layouts to help create more compelling ads. According to Google, early tests showed that including product feeds in Discovery ads with sales or lead generation objectives can result in an average of 45% more conversions. Secondly, updated reporting and measurement will mean advertisers will be able to utilise product-level reporting. And finally, conversion lift experiments will be able to determine incremental conversions based on either users or geography.
Microsoft has begun integrating Bing Chat answers into Search results, in place of Bing Search Answers
Last week, we reported that some users had started seeing tests of Bing char answers within their search results pages - and now it seems to be here for good. Users who see the Bing Chat box come up in place of Bing search answers can also ask additional questions to be lead into Bing Chat
Our takeaway… It’s worth watching out for small details like this because they could impact the click-through-rate and traffic to your website.
Admins now have more control over who can join a group, and users can see the groups they have in common
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zyckerberg, has announced two new updates for WhatsApp Groups. The first of which is designed to give admins of a group more control over who can join a group. Now when a group link is shared, admins will be able to see all of the requests in one place and be able to tick or cross who they want to accept into the group - saving time and protecting the groups privacy. Secondly, the app now lets users search a contact's name to see the groups that they have in common.
Creators are now able to create podcasts directly in YouTube Studio, and view podcast analytics
In their latest Creator Insider video, YouTube has announced two new updates for podcast creators. Firstly, they will now be able to create a podcast directly within YouTube Studio, and designate an existing playlist as a podcast - which should help improve both the upload and management process. Secondly, YouTube is also adding Podcast Analytics, showing aggregated metrics across videos in a podcast playlist, including insights into how viewers found a podcast, demographics and revenue analytics.
Pinterest has provided key tips on effective Pin advertising approach in new guide, including multiple objectives & video focus
Pinterest’s new guide provides handy tips to help marketers optimise their strategy. Firstly, the guide suggests marketers experiment with multiple objectives as opposed to focusing on one - stating that brands that do so have seen up to 57% improvement in sales lift. The guide explains that by focusing only on conversion, for example, you may miss out on reaching new customers further up the funnel. Secondly, upweight video spend - advising that brands aim for video to comprise between 50-60% of their media plan to maximise ROI. The guide also suggests keeping campaigns feeling fresh with a range of ad variations, as well as taking a holistic approach to measurement. Read the full guide here.
Microsoft’s new ad solution targets shoppers by browsing categories with keywords
Microsoft’s Promote IQ has launched a new ad solution that targets shoppers based on the categories they browse, and leverages keywords as a booster for campaign bids. According to Microsoft, this new solution will give advertisers “the ability to unlock the benefit of both audience behaviours, achieving stronger performance for both advertisers and retailers”. The company claims that campaigns that boosted bids by keywords whilst targeting by category exhibit an impressive 320% higher click-through-rate than campaigns without boosting bids by keywords. In addition, retailers supposedly achieved 8x higher revenue per thousand impressions.