Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

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!

TikTok Trendy Beat

TikTok launches new in-stream shopping push, Trendy Beat, in UK to capitalise on viral products

TikTok has confirmed that it is testing a new in-app shopping section called Trendy Beat where it will offer viral products that are shipped and sold by a subsidiary of TikTok’s parent company, Bytedance. Trendy Beat offers popular items that have appeared in the app’s trending videos such as tools to extract ear wax or brush pet hair off clothing. According to a Financial Times report, all the items advertised are shipped from China and sold by a company that is owned by Bytedance - thus injecting TikTok directly into the consumer supply chain. Initially referred to as ‘Project S’, this new feature is first being tested in the UK in an effort to push TikTok’s failed ecommerce efforts in this region. A trademark application for the feature has also been put in place in America too.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Microsoft Predictive Targeting

Microsoft is rolling out predictive targeting to all advertisers following successful pilot

Microsoft has made predictive targeting available to all advertisers in their campaigns on the Microsoft Audience Network following a successful pilot. Predictive targeting uses bots to help advertisers find new audiences that they may not have previously considered targeting. These bots examine ads along with the landing pages associated with them, and then use audience intelligence signals to match the content with relevant audiences. According to Microsoft, during its 10 month trial, advertisers on average reported a 46% increase in conversion rates.

Google Antitrust Ruling

The EU has accused Google of monopolistic practices ordering it to sell part of its Ad Tech

Following a two-year investigation, the EU has ordered Google to divest part of its advertising business, accusing the company of monopolistic practices. According to the EU Competition Commission, Google “favours its own online display advertising technology services to the detriment of competing providers, advertisers and online publishers”. Google may still defend itself against these allegations, though the ruling's impact may negatively affect advertising performance.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Facebook Reels Templates

Meta rolls out new tools for creators including an Inspiration Hub, Reels Templates, analytics, ad tools and more

Meta has announced a whole range of Facebook updates to lure creatives to the platform. Firstly, Meta is launching a new ‘Inspiration Hub’ for Reels on Facebook, highlighting top trends and providing data on popular hashtags, topics and music. Secondly, Meta has a new Templates Hub in the Reels composer flow designed to make it easier for creators to replicate popular trends. In addition, Meta is integrating its Reels text, audio and music options into a single editing window for ease. On top of this, Meta is updating its Professional account prompts, adding a daily content checklist and providing greater exposure for creators via a new ‘Creators to Follow’ section within newsfeeds. 

Amazon Invite-Only Deals

Amazon is introducing invite-only deals for Prime customers during its highly anticipated Prime Day sales 

Amazon has announced that this year's annual Prime Day shopping event will take place on the 11th and 12th of July. The company has also stated that it will be holding invite-only deals for the first time ever, where members will be able to sign up to request an invitation to deals that are expected to sell out. During the event, those signed up will receive notifications with instructions of how to buy the items at their exclusive price deals. New deals will be dropped every 30 minutes, including steep discounts on electronics and watches. 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Interactive Add-Ons

TikTok is rolling out interactive add-ons for promotions to help brands engage consumers

TikTok is rolling out a series of interactive add-ons for promotions to help brands target consumers at each stage of the marketing funnel. These interactive add-ons come in two tiers, standard, designed to reach lower funnel marketing such as driving clicks or conversions, and premium, those that target the upper funnel goals such as increasing brand awareness. Standard add-ons include display cards, gift code stickers and voting and countdown stickers, and premium add-ons include pop-out showcases, gestures and Super Like 2.0’s.

Google Attribution Models

Google has removed first-click, linear, time decay and position-based attribution models from GA4

As previously warned, Google Analytics has now officially removed first click, linear, time decay and position-based attribution models - only leaving last click and data-driven models to remain. This means that newly created conversions will no longer be able to select these options, and existing conversions that do not already use these models will no longer be able to switch to them. Conversions using these attribution models created prior to their removal can continue to use them until September, when they will be completely removed. 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
WhatsApp Call Silencing

WhatsApp introduces new feature to automatically silence calls from unknown numbers

After facing an increasing number of complaints related to spam calls in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 500 million users, the platform has introduced a new feature that automatically silences calls from unknown numbers. This feature can be activated within a user's privacy settings, and calls that have been silenced will still show up in notifications as well as on the app’s call list. In addition, WhatsApp has also added a new privacy checkup feature that will take users through multiple steps to make them aware of their different privacy controls.

YouTube Trends Report

YouTube’s 2023 Creative Trends report provides insights into key shifts in audience interests and behaviours

YouTube has published its 2023 Creative Trends report, a 14 page document that includes overviews of key trends and shifts in audience behaviour, based on surveys conducted in 14 countries as well as an internal analysis of hundreds of trends. The report gives an overview of 4 major topics: widespread online personalisation, mainstream casual creativity, content experiences built for viewers and AI-enabled creative possibilities. Alongside the downloadable report, YouTube has published a ‘guided tour’ video of the report with creator Airrack and an interview with Kevin Alloca, Head of Culture and Trends to provide multiple ways to interpret the data. 

Read the full report here.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Instagram Reel Ads

Meta is expanding Ads on Reels pilot to marketers on Instagram

Initially reserved for Facebook Reels, Meta has announced that it is extending its Ads on Reels pilot to include marketers on Instagram. These ads consist of still images designed to blend seamlessly into Reels content so as to avoid compromising the user experience. Since its launch on Facebook, Ads on Reels has witnessed massive growth, being reshared by users over 2 billion times a day (a number which has doubled over the last six months). Meta’s Head of Global Business Group, Nicola Mendelsohn, explained that users spend more than half their time on Facebook and Instagram watching video, so expanding Ads on Reels will help businesses reach new customers and drive performance.  

YouTube Thumbnail Beta

YouTube launches the first stage of its thumbnail beta test in YouTube Studio to help creators compare thumbnail designs

YouTube has launched a live test of a new video thumbnail A/B process to select creators, letting them compare image variations to maximise content performance. The new ‘Test and Compare’ tool enables creators to compare the watch times achieved from 3 different thumbnail variations to determine which is best at capturing the attention of viewers. Prolific YouTube star, MrBeast, is known to have a team of six people developing and testing up to 20 variations of thumbnails for his highly-watched videos. Popular thumbnails are often very colourful and feature exaggerated facial expressions to lure in potential viewers. 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bing Text Search

Bing allows users to select text within search results to generate new searches or to open Bing Chat

Bing Search has been spotted allowing users to highlight specific text on a results page to then search for that specific word or phrase. Some users have also reported seeing a chat icon that takes them to Bing Chat where they can ask more detailed questions to Bing’s AI chatbot. While this is a new feature, both Bing and Google have both been spotted working on creating something like this for a while now, so it seems that like its speedy launch of generative AI, Bing has beaten Google to the post on this one too.

Instagram Reels Download

Instagram now allows users to download public Reels to share outside of the app

Instagram has announced that it is finally allowing users to download Reels by accounts with public settings, so that they can be shared outside of the app. Whilst TikTok has had this feature for years, and gained popularity through its presence on multiple social platforms, Instagram has been more wary of encouraging users to exit its app. Public accounts can turn off this new ability to download Reels if they so wish, and looking at the example shared by Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, it appears that downloaded Reels will not have a watermarked logo on them, as they do with TikTok and YouTube. 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Google Sells Domains

Google is selling  its domains business to Squarespace as part of ongoing cost-cutting as it refocuses on areas of innovation

According to a report by Bloomberg, Google is selling its domains business to Squarespace for $180 million as it continues to cut costs and refocus spending on innovative areas of the business - such as developing its generative AI tools amid the increase in competition. Google Domains was only brought out of beta last year, and offered custom URL identifiers to businesses, with a range of over 300 domain endings such as .app and .cafe to help better customise a brand's domain. It is not yet known how this will affect those who bought a domain name from Google, as some speculate Squarespace could increase the charge of holding onto these. 

YouTube AI Dubbing

YouTube is testing a tool that will automatically dub videos into other languages using AI

YouTube is currently testing a new dubbing tool with hundreds of creators, that will help them automatically dub their videos into other languages and therefore maximise their reach. YouTube has partnered with AI-powered dubbing service, Aloud, to create the new tool, which transcribes a video before translating and dubbing it. The tool is currently only available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, though the platform is working on expanding this selection. The platform also commented that in the future, generative AI will also be able to preserve the voices of creators, transfer emotion and reanimate lips. 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

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