Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media. Stay connected with recent updates from Google, Meta, Twitter TikTok & many more!
TikTok is ramping up its connected TV push to get more users watching TikTok on their Smart TV’s
A new job listing for a CTV Product Leader posted by TikTok has revealed the platform's push towards getting more users consuming content via their smart TV’s. Having also teamed up with smart TV manufacturer Vizio in June, it’s clear that TikTok is keen to tap into the streaming space so popular with its competitors. According to research, 60% of US internet households with a connected entertainment device choose smart TV’s as their preferred device to consume video content.
Our takeaway… It seems TV is not dying a death, it’s just changing. Many of Youtube’s viewers use smart TV’s to watch Youtube’s longer video content, though it seems too early to tell how well this will translate to TikTok's ten second content.
Google has announced its making digital out-of-home ads available for Display & 360, helping engage shoppers in the ‘real world’
Google’s new programmatic OOH ads will place Display & 360 ads in public places such as stadiums, airports, bus stops, shopping centres etc. This will allow advertisers to measure physical campaigns on the same dashboard as their digital equivalents, where they can also control strategy, reporting and optimisation. This joint approach has already been tested by ASOS, who used digital billboards in heavy footfall areas to increase brand awareness - generating 22 million viewed impressions.
Our takeaway… Although you can target specific locations and screen types, advertisers are unable to target specific audience demographics with these OOH ads - meaning they may be more effective for larger, more recognisable brands (such as ASOS) than smaller brands.
Instagram is testing ‘Candid Challenges’ feature that appears to be a clone of the popular selfie-sharing app BeReal
Instagram has a pattern of copying the successful features of its competitors, take Snapchat Story’s (Read Instagram Stories) and TikTok short-form videos (read Reels) for example. It’s latest muse, BeReal, is growing in popularity (with over 28 million downloads) and encourages users to share authentic snapshots of where they are and what they are doing at any given moment. Instagram’s new ‘Candid Challenges’ feature looks suspiciously similar, utilising the app’s dual camera capability to get users to share candid snaps within a two minute period.
Our takeaway… Although Instagram has faced initial criticism each time they blatantly rip off other apps, their copied features do end up becoming quite widely used. It is easier after all to have one app that does everything, than half a dozen apps.
Twitter has announced that it is integrating podcasts into its platform as part of its newly designed Spaces tab
Twitter has redesigned its Spaces tab, with the addition of podcasts and ‘stations’ that group content together based on topic. Users will now be able to see a personalised selection of live and recorded spaces, and listen to popular podcasts without leaving the app. Twitter have been testing podcasts months ago, but this initial testing was believed to be for a designated podcasts tab, rather than an integration with Spaces. Twitter claims internal research suggested that 45% of their US users also listened to podcasts, so it makes sense for them to try and keep these users on their app for as long as possible.
Pizza Hut launches first actionable audio ad, giving smart speaker listeners discount for saying ‘Alexa, open Pizza Hut delivery’
In the first of its kind, Pizza Hut has launched a smart speaker ad campaign, enabling customers to claim delivery codes. According to the brand, 39% of UK adults have access to smart speakers, an audience they wanted to tap into. Pizza Hut commented “we are committed to providing an easy experience, and this innovative conversational technology allows us to follow through on this commitment in new and exciting ways.
Our takeaway… This is the future.
Youtube have launched a dedicated podcast homepage for US users, ramping up their efforts to tap into the podcast market
Youtube have been rumoured to be trying to enter the world of podcasts over the last year, after hiring podcast executive, Kai Chuk, and began offering popular podcasters financial incentives to film their shows. Youtube have now launched a dedicated podcast homepage, to “help users explore new and popular podcast episodes, shows and creators, as well as recommend podcast content”. This homepage is currently only available in the US, and will allow Google to expand its ads platform, such as by featuring audio ads.
Our takeaway… Youtube seem to be wanting to turn themselves into a one-stop shop, with the addition of Youtube Shorts, streaming channels, and now podcasts, making it an even better platform to advertise upon. It will be interesting to see how this will compare to spotify, who now also offer video podcasting.
Twitter has revealed it is testing a mobile number verification badge, helping users identify real accounts as opposed to bots
Twitter has confirmed it is testing a new badge that will identify users who have verified their phone numbers, that will help give more context to accounts. This is believed to be another step to combat the amount of bots currently on the platform, helping users identify real accounts as opposed to the fake bot accounts. In its current legal battle with Elon Musk, Musk is suggesting that Twitters claim that bots account for less than 5% of accounts is false, and that the proportion in reality is much higher.
Our takeaway… Anything Twitter can do to reduce the number of bots is beneficial to the efficiency of Twitter ads- there’s no point wasting marketing spend on bots.
Instagram is testing a new feature to give users more control over the suggested posts they are shown
After receiving heavy backlash for showing too many suggested posts by accounts that users did not follow in a TikTok-like feed, Instagram are testing new features that will give users more control over the content that they do see. The platform is testing the ability for users to mark ‘Not Interested’ on multiple posts, immediately hiding them and refraining from displaying similar content in the future. In addition, the app is also testing the ability for users to choose not to see suggested posts with certain words, phrases or emoji’s in the caption or hashtag.
Our takeaway… Learn from Instagrams mistakes. Users are becoming more critical of the content that they are shown. Do your research and try to personalise your ads as much as possible to your target audience, to avoid getting that ‘Not Interested’ click.
Google is launching two new custom bidding functionalities for advertisers using Display & Video 360, to help campaigns capture attention
New custom bidding options in Google Display & Video 360 will now allow advertisers to utilise data from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties and optimise bids to capture attention. This will enable advertisers to tailor bids using first-party data from Google Analytics accounts. Optimising bids to capture attention, rather than to maximise conversions (which can often be hard to measure) focuses on driving brand awareness. Google has added new custom bidding signals such as ‘player size’ and ‘audiobility’ on top of ‘complete in-view & audible’ and ‘time on screen’ trackable metrics.
TikTok is testing a new ‘Nearby Feed’ to display local content, alongside ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ feeds
A spokesperson for TikTok has revealed that the app is testing a new localised ‘Nearby Feed’ to show users content posted close to them geographically. The new feature is currently only being tested on select users in Southeast Asia, alongside a feature that will give creators the ability to add location tags to their videos. This localised strategy is said to help “bring value to [the] community, and enrich the TikTok experience”, following in the footsteps of Snapchat’s popular Snap Maps, and Instagrams recent map experience updates.
Our Takeaway… We have already seen the powerful reach and influence that TikTok can have in certain locations and businesses, so we think this new feature would be a great addition for local businesses. More personalised and relevant content is bound to have a greater impact on users.
Netflix feature will allow members to play its mobile games with one another and rank on gaming leaderboards
Last month, Netflix quietly launched the ability for users to create ‘unique game handles’ in a subset of its mobile games that includes Heads Up! And Mahjong Solitaire. It was also recently revealed that Netflix has been hiring engineers and product managers with backgrounds in cloud gaming, suggesting that the company is looking to expand their current gaming offering.
Meta’s upcoming VR headset will track eye movements and capture facial expressions
Meta’s next VR headset, set to launch in October, will focus on ‘social presence’ with features like eye-tracking and face-tracking. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, said the headset is designed to capture users facial expressions and have them replicated on their avatars in real time to enhance non-verbal communication. Zuckerberg stressed that VR is capable of “unlocking” a sense of being in the presence of another person, which will likely have influenced the headset design.
Twitter’s new Circle feature will act like Instagram’s Close Friends, letting you post a tweet to a select group of people
Twitter is launching its Circle feature globally, allowing users to share private tweets to a group of up to 150 chosen people. Similar to the green circle that marks an Instagram Close Friends story, Circle tweets will have a special green badge to indicate that the content is not visible by everyone. This is believed to be an attempt to stop people putting their accounts in private, by giving them the tools to post content privately or publicly.
Instagram is now allowing users to share posts, reels and locations through sharable QR codes
A Meta spokesperson has revealed that Instagram have recently launched the ability to create QR codes for profiles, tags, locations, reels and more that will “make it easier for people and businesses to share specific content”. These QR codes can also be shared through the searchable map experience, giving users more ways to share content than via direct messages or URLs. This update is likely to be an effective addition to social marketing campaigns, helping promote brands and businesses.
Our takeaway… Try using the three dot menu to create your own shareable QR code - as this is such a new feature, people may click on the code just to see what it does. We look forward to seeing how brands start adapting these codes into their ad’s.
Snapchat have introduced a BeReal-esque dual camera that can capture multiple perspectives at the same time
Snapchat, who pride themselves on being one of the most used cameras in the world, have introduced a dual camera that can take pictures from the front and rear cameras simultaneously. Snapchat claims this will help everyone feel part of the moment as it happens. This does of course look very similar to BeReals interface and premise (as well as Instagram’s copycat Candid Challenge), though it differs by having 4 different layouts as well as having editing capabilities.
Our takeaway… With so much popularity over BeReal’s dual interface, I wonder how soon it will be until the first big dual camera ad hits our screens.