Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Microsoft, Meta, TikTok & many more!
Instagram has been spotted testing its own AI chatbot, similar to Snapchat’s My AI
App researcher Alessandro Paluzzi has shared screenshots of a new AI chatbot that instagram is currently working on. The screenshots show that the new chatbot will be able to answer questions, give advice and offer help with writing messages and that users will be able to pick from 30 different AI personalities to find the one that they like the best. The chatbot will appear when typing @ai into a chat field, and much like Snap’s My AI, will send responses back and forth in a discussion within DMs.
Amazon is reportedly planning to launch an ad-supported tier on Prime video
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is in the early stages of planning an ad-supported tier for Prime Video. Whilst Amazon have not confirmed nor denied this rumour, the new tier is rumoured to have short ad breaks and show prompts encouraging users to upgrade to a pricier, ad-free tier. This follows both Disney and Netflix introducing ads on their own basic tiers, as an additional way to drive revenue for the streaming services.
Reddit launches new Contextual Keyword Targeting and Product Ads with descriptions, pricing info and ’Shop Now’ CTA
Reddit has launched two new ad products - Contextual Keyword Targeting, and new Product Ads. Contextual Keyword Targeting is designed to help marketers get their ads in front of a broader range of users in the app - by giving advertisers the option to select specific keywords to associate with their brand, or even align keywords with their creative and copy. Reddit’s new Product Ads will include product descriptions, pricing information as well as a ‘Show Now’ CTA. Reddit explains, “Product Ads are aimed at seamlessly connecting brands with consumers when they are already in research mode and primed to make a purchase decision. Integrated into the shopping journeys already happening on Reddit.”
Adobe is planning to sell subscriptions for use of its generative AI tools with copyright support
Having recently launched its new AI tool Generative Fill on Photoshop, Adobe Inc. has announced that it is planning to sell subscriptions for its AI services including legal help against any possible copyright infringement claims. Ashley Still, Adobe senior VP, described the new offering as a flat-rate subscription for company-wide access to their new AI tools across Adobe products, with the price negotiated depending on the size of the organisation. Access to this will remove the watermarks from generated images, and Adobe will also pay damages and help in court if a customer is sued for infringement.
LinkedIn has launched Page Messaging, allowing companies to send and receive DMs
LinkedIn has announced that it is rolling out Page Messaging, a new option that will enable Company pages to send and receive DMs. This update means that users can now reach out to brands rather than just other members, allowing them to discuss products, services and business opportunities etc. more directly. According to LinkedIn, organisations will have a dedicated inbox so that they can manage these two-way conversations and prioritise inquiries that matter most to their business. While over 63 million companies actively post on their Company pages on LinkedIn, many social media platforms are finding that users are shifting to DMs to facilitate more personal, and engaging interactions.
Pinterest reaches next stage of clean room pilot with Wayfair, providing targeting insights without use of third-party cookies
A clean room pilot launched by Pinterest and partner LiveRamp in conjunction with Wayfair has progressed onto the next stage of testing. Pinterest explains, “In this clean room pilot, Wayfair will get aggregated insight into performance of their ads on Pinterest, with LiveRamp’s privacy-centric data collaboration platform ensuring neither party has access to the other party’s identifiable customer data”. The pilot follows Pinterests efforts to counter the loss of insights lost from Apple’s iOS 14 update as well as Google’s planned deprecation of third-party cookies.
Microsoft is rolling out Store Ads in Bing Search results globally, allowing advertisers to reach international audiences
Having initially only rolled out Store Ads in the U.S., Microsoft has announced that the ads will now appear in Bing search results globally. This expansion means that advertisers from around the world will be able to promote their apps and games to international audiences. Microsoft also announced that it is planning to launch additional features to improve Microsoft Ads, including new Premium Search Ads with priority placements, a Software Development Kit to track and analyse app installations and a simplified user interface.
WhatsApp launches new Channels feature for one-way broadcast messages
Meta is rolling out a broadcast-based messaging feature, called WhatsApp Channels, on WhatsApp in select markets - which will enable WhatsApp users to receive one-way messages from organisations. Meta unveiled a similar Channels feature on Instagram earlier this year that was focused more on connecting users with their favourite creators. Channels will be found in a new ‘Updates’ tab within the app, and the company is currently working on a directory to aid discovery of different channels that a user may be interested in joining.
Musk announces content creators will soon be able to download email addresses of their Twitter subscribers
Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to announce that the platform will soon let content creators download a list of contact information for their subscribers, so that they can reach them on or off Twitter. Whilst this may sound like an invasion of user’s privacy, data portability such as this could help Twitter attract creators and brands that want to build their contacts and leverage subscriber data in this way. Brands for example, could encourage people to subscribe to their pages by offering exclusive deals via subscriber mailing lists.
TikTok announces partnership with U.S. gas station video network, GSTV, to bring short-form content to engage consumers on the go
TikTok has announced a partnership with GSTV, a U.S. video network that delivers video content at gas stations across America. The partnership aims to engage consumers on the go at moments of 1:1 attention with culturally relevant, curated short-form content. GSTV’s creative studio, Ignite, will create custom segments of 20-second videos each week, featuring the hashtag #ISawItOnGSTV and a QR code linking back to the app. GSTV has an estimated monthly audience of 116 million U.S. viewers; the deal comes weeks after TikTok partnered with Reach TV, a video network that specifically targets airports.
Bing Chat gains AI Voice search capabilities on desktop, making chatbot more accessible
Bing has announced that the desktop version of its AI chatbot, Bing Chat, now supports voice chat - meaning users can speak their queries rather than having to type them in. This feature currently works in English, Japanese, French, German and Mandarin, with support for more languages coming in the future. Microsoft also added that Bing Chat can also speak back its replies using text-to-speech answers, responding to users “in its own voice”. Microsoft appears to be the first platform to add voice chat to their AI chatbot, making the tool much more accessible for a wider range of users.
TikTok has introduced a new way to facilitate connections between creators and brands via ‘Open Applications’
TikTok has opened up its new program ‘Open Applications’ to more creators, helping facilitate connections between creators and brands. Open Applications enables brands to post the details of upcoming campaigns that interested creators can then respond to via a form in Creator Marketplace. Applications include a short pitch/concept for the brand campaign, examples of relevant TikTok videos that a Creator has previously made, contact information and their proposed fee. Brands can then filter their results to narrow down their applications by audience demographics, follower count, location, brand affinity, relevant experience and more.
Spotify has revealed it is testing an offline playlist that automatically downloads a users recent favourite tracks
Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek, has revealed that the company is testing a new ‘Offline Mix’, that automatically downloads a user's current favourite tracks into a mix with multiple hours of listening time. The new feature is designed to keep users engaged during times that they may not have access to the internet, such as on a flight. Whilst it is still unsure whether this feature will roll out only to those on the premium tier, or the free tier too - many have taken to Twitter to state that they are seeing the new mix appear on their apps. Spotify has been rumoured to have been working on an offline mix since around 2020, though it was not confirmed or rolled out at the time.
TikTok has expanded its Series feature, that places exclusive content behind a paywall, to more creators and countries
TikTok has expanded its Series feature to creators in 94 different countries given that they fit the application criteria, having initially only been available for select content creators. First announced back in March, TikToks Series feature places a ‘series’ of exclusive content behind a paywall ranging from $1-$190 to access. These videos can be up to 20-minutes long (surpassing the regular 10-minute limit) and a series can include up to 80 videos.
LinkedIn Ads is rolling out new AI Copy Suggestions, In-Stream video, Conversation and Thought Leader Ads
LinkedIn has been busy testing a new range of generative AI tools and ad formats including AI Copy Suggestions that helps marketers generate headlines and text copy for ads. With this tool, marketers are able to select from five copy options, make edits and then apply the copy to a campaign. The company is also working on In-Stream Video ads that will play at the beginning (pre-roll) and middle (mid-roll) of long-form video content on trusted video publisher sites. Finally, LinkedIn is expanding Conversation Ads, that allow multiple call-to-action buttons and lead-collecting and Thought Leader Ads, that let users promote content from company executives and employees.