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!
Meta’s new app, Threads, becomes fastest-growing app of all time with 100 million members in first few days
Meta’s new Twitter-alternative app, Threads, has taken the world by storm - gaining over 100 million members in record time. Much like Twitter, Threads has a feed of mainly text-based posts - although users can also share links, photos and videos up to five minutes in length. Threads was initially unveiled as a decentralised app that would allow users and non-users alike to interact within the Fediverse - a functionality which is not yet available within this initial launch. This copy-cat app has already angered Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, who is threatening Mark Zuckerberg with legal action, accusing Meta of poaching ex-Twitter employees as well as “systematic and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.
Meta publishes a holiday planning guide to assist marketers with their seasonal campaigns
Yes, we’re talking about it already… Whilst we may just be getting used to the warmer summer weather, marketers are already thinking of their festive campaigns. To help with this, Meta has published a Seasonal Sales Marketing Guide - full of handy tips, insights and case studies to help marketers maximise their performance this holiday season. According to the guide, people are beginning their Christmas shopping earlier, and are looking for bargains amid tougher economic conditions. The guide shares information on utilising Meta Advantage, Meta’s Ad tools, as well as Reels to help optimise campaigns to maximise reach.
Download Meta’s holiday planning guide here.
Twitter updates its viewing restrictions to allow Tweets to appear in Google Search results following drop in traffic
In a bid to encourage new sign-ups, Twitter recently blocked access to Tweets for those without Twitter accounts - meaning that those who often found and viewed Tweets from websites or articles no longer could. However, this resulted in Google Search showing 50% fewer Twitter URLs in their search engine results pages and thus driving less traffic to the platform. To remedy this, Twitter has now updated its viewing restrictions to allow unregistered users to view Tweets once again - but instead showing a popup encouraging non-users to sign up.
The Canadian government is suspending all advertising on Facebook and Instagram following legal dispute
The Canadian government has announced that it will cease all ad spending (around $7.5 million per year) on Facebook and Instagram. This suspension follows Meta’s lack of cooperation in a legal bid requiring technology platforms to compensate publishers for linking to their content. Canada’s Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez made a public statement claiming that Canada “cannot continue paying advertising dollars to Meta while they refuse to pay their fair share to Canadian news organisations”.
Bing spotted testing branded labels alongside its search results listings
Several SEO experts have spotted Bing testing new branded side labels next to search result listings. According to Search Engine Roundtable, Bing has tested more basic side labels and branded side bars prior to this new test so it appears Bing has been fine tuning these labels for some time. This test is only showing for select users, and Bing have not confirmed nor denied if the feature will make it past the initial testing stage.
Netflix reportedly taking ad tech in-house following Microsoft deal to enable new ad formats
According to a report by the Financial Times, Netflix has been in talks with ad buyers about experimenting with ‘episodic’ campaigns that would allow them to create mini-series-like ads rather than showing the same ad repeatedly. Netflix is believed to be in contract with Microsoft for 2 years, so could be looking for a more in-house solution as soon as 2024. Building its own server in order to enable these new ad formats may help Netflix better compete with rival streaming services like Disney+, with the lack of repetition proving more popular with viewers.
YouTube is testing hyperlinked keywords in video comments as a way to drive in-app discovery
In YouTube’s most recent Creator Insider video, the team unveiled that the platform is launching a new test for hyperlinked keywords within video comments to aid in-app discovery. These linked keywords will be determined by YouTube based on the type of content users may want to explore further, and clicking on these links will initiate a new search for that term - whilst still playing the original video within the miniplayer. YouTube also clarified that although commenters cannot add or modify links, creators can remove links from their video comments if they so wish.
Snapchat is teaming up with Linktree to let users include links in their profiles
Snapchat has announced that it is launching an integration with Linktree that will allow users to put links in their profile bios. Originally, this was an exclusive feature limited to brands and Snap Stars, some of the largest creators on the platform - though with this new integration, every user above the age of 18 will be able to show off their work or drive traffic to their other platforms via bio links. Linktree is also offering three months of its premium subscription tier, Linktree Pro, for free as part of this integration - granting users access to features such as email and phone number collection, and embedding their latest tweets and YouTube videos.
Google’s new AI search engine shows nearby stores stocking a certain product in responses
Google has been spotted showing local store inventory through the new AI-powered Google Search Generative Experience. For example, when a user searches for a particular product like a medicine, the nearby stores that have that medicine currently in stock are shown at the bottom of the AI generated information. From here, users can click on these links to be directly taken to a webpage to purchase or order the product. Whilst the Google Search Generative Experience is still in its testing stage, this feature has the potential to be really helpful in directing traffic to local businesses.
Twitter is giving Twitter Blue subscribers access to its Media Studio, providing tools for content management & scheduling
Initially launched in 2016, Twitter’s Media Studio - its in-app content management and scheduling platform - had limited access to select media partners, until now. In an effort to push its premium tier, Twitter Blue, Twitter has now expanded access to Media Studio to any paying subscriber - giving subscribers access to a range of media asset management tools including a unified media library, Tweet scheduling, account access controls, analytics and advanced production elements. Musk has also tweeted that improvements will be coming to the Media Studio soon.
OpenAI announces general availability of ChatGPT-4 through API, which can now accept image as well as text inputs
OpenAI is making the latest version of its ChatGPT available to developers through its API. ChatGPT-4 can generate text responses (including code) and accept both image and text inputs, performing at “human level” on various professional and academic benchmarks. These updated capabilities are not yet available to all OpenAI customers just yet, but are gradually being released to developers.
Instagram now allows users to add up to 3 collaborators on posts and Reels
Instagram has announced that users can now add up to three collaborators to their posts, having thus far been limited to just one. Adding multiple collaborators to a post or Reel shares the content with the collaborators audience as well as your own, helping maximise its potential reach. This update could help both brands and creators engage with each other and boost their followings.
Google releases version 2.4 of its Google Ads Editor, with a new video asset library, multi-account overview and more
Only 14 weeks since Google Ads Editor 2.3 was released, Google has now released version 2.4 - with a whole host of changes. Firstly, a new video asset library will house all of the videos used, and a new multi-accounts overview tab will show a summary across multiple accounts simultaneously - rather than just one at once like in version 2.3. The new version also has Google Drive integration meaning users can export to or import from a Drive, as well as share files in Drive with other users. In addition, posts can be scheduled for specific times, product groups and listing groups can now be edited and video enhancement can be opted-out.
TikTok launches new subscription-only music streaming service in Brazil & Indonesia called ‘TikTok Music’
TikTok has announced it is launching a music streaming service in Brazil and Indonesia called ‘TikTok Music’. With a subscription to TikTok Music, users are able to listen to full versions of viral TikTok songs, discover personalised recommendations, access lyrics in real time, create collaborative playlists with friends and search for songs via their lyrics. Similar to Spotify Premium, TikTok Music also allows users to download songs for offline listening as well as connect with other music lovers through comments.
Twitter gains licences to enable financial transfers in the app in 3 U.S. states
Whilst Twitter faces major competition with Meta’s new rival app Threads, the platform has celebrated a win on another front - by securing its first licences to enable fund transfers in three separate U.S. states. As part of Elon Musk’s broader plan for an ‘everything app’ under Twitter’s parent company, X. Corp, Musk is working to facilitate direct payments within the app - starting with these licences in Michigan, Missouri and New Hampshire.