Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media. Stay connected with recent updates from Google, Meta, Netflix, TikTok & many more!
Pinterest are introducing a hosted checkout for merchants allowing users to buy products straight from the app
Pinterest is making it even easier for users to buy products straight through the app, by introducing a hosted checkout feature via Shopify. This new shopping experience aims to reduce the amount of steps users have to go through to complete their payments, reducing the amount of potential sales that get lost at various stages. Currently, when users click on product tags they are transferred off the app to the product page on the merchant's website, where they still have to add the product to the cart before checking out. The new hosted feature will enable users to quickly click and buy products on app. Pinterest claims this feature saw a +3.9% lift in purchase propensity, and a +2.7% in checkouts compared to Pinners who did not encounter the hosted checkout experience.
Our takeaway… In-app shopping features seem to be really popular at the moment, with more and more social media platforms wanting to keep users on their app for as long as possible. Though it goes without saying that making it easier for people to buy products is a great way of boosting sales.
TikTok introduces new shopping ads, providing more ways for brands to promote their products in-stream
Described by TikTok as the ‘next chapter of e-commerce’, TikTok have introduced three new shoppable ad formats: Video shopping ad’s, catalogue listing ads and live shoppable ads. These new shopping ads will help brands meet shoppers wherever they are in the purchase journey, from sparking demand to boosting sales. The video shopping ads place hyper-relevant videos across users For You page whereas catalogue listings ads can be used to promote multiple products at once and do not require video assets. Live shopping updates drive engagement from the For You page to your Live Moments, showing products to customers who are more likely to buy.
Our takeaway… Each of these 3 shoppable ad formats will work better with different ad types and products. Consider the most effective for your customers, or interweave all three within your campaign.
Netflix’s ad-supported tier will not show ads in kids shows or new movies
According to a Bloomberg report, partners at Netflix have announced the company's new lowest price, ad-supported tier will not show advertisements during kids shows or new movie releases. This is believed to be due to licensing hold-ups as well as not wanting to ruin the movie experience for its viewers. The article has also stated that due to existing agreements that do not cover ads, Netflix is having to pay extra upfront in order to monetize its content - which may be another reason they do not want to monetize everything all at once.
Meta is rolling out popular ‘Add Yours’ Stickers to Facebook and Instagram Reels after popularity on Instagram Stories
Meta has announced several updates to their Reel content, including the rolling out of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, that was originally only available on Instagram and Facebook Stories, to reels. The sticker will prompt viewers to add their own video response to the topic/theme given in the sticker. The feature aims to encourage collaboration, and can also be seen as a way to discover new people to follow. Other new updates include opening up Stars (a way of sending your favourite creators financial support) to all eligible creators, as well as new and improved insights and cross-posting (more on that later…)
Our takeaway… Create your own ‘Add Yours’ Sticker to your reels as a way of shaping your brand's tone of voice and building a relationship with your customers, whether you start a trend or not it’s a great tool for organic growth.
Google plans to revise search results listings to favour content written for people, over content written to impress web crawlers
Google has announced plans to revise their search result algorithm to devalue content written for search engines, instead favouring content written for people. Google stated “This ranking update will help make sure that unoriginal, low quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search, and our testing has found it will especially improve results related to online education, as well as arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content."
Our takeaway… This major shift will likely come as a shock to many SEO specialists, but remember, the content we write is for humans anyways so it shouldn’t make that much of a difference as long as it is informative and valuable to your audience.
Amazon is testing a new TikTok-like feed to generate engagement and boost product sales
Amazon has joined the long list of companies openly copying TikTok’s vertical video feed - internally testing a new format for merchants to market their products. Currently known as ‘Amazon Inspire’, the new feed displays photo and video content that users can like, share, and save similarly to TikTok - and includes links for users to buy any of the products featured in the feed. As popular as Amazon hauls are on TikTok, it will be interesting to see if Amazon’s replica will ever be launched, and if it is, how effective it will be.
Twitter launches improved Pixel, conversion API and app purchase optimizations to performance advertising
Twitter has launched three new updates and improvements to enable increased privacy, more accurate measurement and additional web functionality. The new Twitter pixel has additional functionality such as allowing advertisers to measure more actions, such as add-to-cart as well as simplifying setup, troubleshooting, and the event creation process. The Conversion API (CAPI) enables advertisers to connect to the API and send conversion events to Twitter without using third-party cookies. And finally, App Purchase Optimization enables advertisers to deliver ads to people most likely to install an app or make a purchase by using machine learning to identify audiences that are most likely to take action. Early testing saw that 89% of advertisers saw a reduction in cost-per-purchase.
Microsoft have started showing ads in Outlook’s mobile app, appearing in both ‘Focused’ and ‘Other Inboxes’
Much to the annoyance of their users, Microsoft has started placing more ads (often disguised as emails) in their Outlook mobile app. Previously, Microsoft only placed ads in the ‘Other’ inboxes of free subscribers, but now ads have also started invading users ‘Focused’ inboxes too. Users have shown their dissatisfaction with these ads by rating the app 1 star in the app store reviews.
Our Takeaway… When the negativity of these new ads dies down, as they always tend to, these ad spaces will be a great way to increase your brand's visibility in a less competitive market.
Self-upgrade tool for smart shopping and local campaigns announced earlier this year now available
Google’s Performance Max self-upgrade tool is now available, allowing users to self-upgrade smart shopping and local campaigns from their ads dashboard. When this is done, all historical campaign performance will be carried over - meaning you won’t have to go back to the learning phase. Settings such as goals, budget, creatives and bid strategy will also carry over. Google recommends self-upgrading campaigns as soon as possible to get “ahead of the holiday season”, though any campaigns not eligible for self-upgrade won’t be upgraded to Performance Max until 2023.
Youtube has started adding watermarks to downloaded Shorts, to prevent users posting content on other platforms
Following in the footsteps of TikTok and Instagram, Youtube has started adding a Youtube Shorts watermark to downloaded content. While creators may want to crosspost their content onto their other social channels, Youtube wants other users to know it was created on Youtube first. This new feature is set to be rolled out on desktop within the coming weeks, though may take a few months to appear on mobile. As Youtube Shorts increases in popularity, this measure is likely to stay competitive within the saturated short-form video content market.
Meta have introduced the ability of crossposting reels from Instagram to Facebook, to save time and increase reach
Head of Instagram, Adam Moressi, announced a new Meta update that will allow users to crosspost their reels from Instagram to Facebook, provided they have an account on each platform. Users will now be given a prompt when posting a reel to Instagram, helping them save time with multiple uploads as well as increasing the potential reach of the reel. Although Instagram faced backlash for becoming too much like TikTok in the way they displayed their content, it seems they are still ramping up the use of reels on the platform.
Google to release the August 2022 Google Product Review Update in coming weeks to make it easier to find high quality, original reviews
Google’s latest Product Review Update is expected to be rolled out next week (commencing 29th) and aims to “make sure you find the most useful information when you’re researching a purchase on the web. The fifth version of the update focuses on high quality, original content - original in that it does not simply express information that can already be found on the company's website, and favouring reviews with photographic evidence.
Our Takeaway… If you’re encouraging customers to leave your business a good review, try to also persuade them to make their reviews high quality and original so that they rank well.
Netflix’ lowest priced, ad-supported plan will block the download of shows and films, to encourage users to choose pricier plan options
Having announced their plans to introduce ads into the services lowest priced tier earlier this year, code has been detected within its I-Phone app that shows this tier restricts users ability to download films and shows. Although downloading content is a luxury any tier benefits from on the current system, it seems this will be a way for Netflix to distinguish the different tiers, and encourage users to choose the pricier plan options. Netflix has refused to comment on the validity of this, but it comes at a worrying time for them, as Disney has just overtaken them on monthly subscribers.
New feature could let creators share TikTok Stories to Facebook and Instagram
TikTok has shown it is worried about its competitors, in a surprising move that allows users to share their TikTok stories on Facebook and Instagram - and no this isn’t another Meta takeover. Facebook and Instagram have worked towards cloning the popular social platform TikTok, trying to reduce the amount of TikTok content shared on its apps by prioritising original content (without the TikTok watermark) and favouring reel content. This update could increase TikTok’s visibility on Meta platforms.
Google appears to be testing a larger live stream box in search results, placing more prominence on the rarely used feature
Previously just seen in carousels or thin list view interfaces, Google has started enlarging live stream boxes within search results. Spotted by Twitter user Khushal Bherwani, this could be a sign of plans to make the rarely used feature more prominent on the platform. Live streams have been a feature on the search engine since 2018 but only shown on certain pages such as for well known holidays or celebrations.