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!
Musk announces blocking feature will be deleted (except for DMs), claiming feature ‘made no sense’
Elon Musk has taken to X (formerly Twitter) to announce that the platform will soon delete the block feature - except in DMs - which allows users to restrict specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their posts and following them. Musk claims that the feature “makes no sense” as users also have the ability to mute accounts that they do not want to hear from. Many have complained that this change could put users at greater risk of harassment, abuse or stalking upon the app - as the platform continues to battle labels of toxicity.
Amazon partners with third-party sites like Pinterest, Buzzfeed & Hearst to increase reach of Sponsored Product ads
Amazon’s Sponsored Product ads will now appear on third-party apps and sites including Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Hearst Newspapers, Mashable and more following a flurry of partnerships. This expansion will increase the reach of Amazon’s Sponsored Product ads, making the ad space more lucrative for marketers and brands. These ads work by identifying users that are likely to be interested in a given product by analysing relevant page context as well as the campaign itself and its cost-per-click parameters.
Google Ads to roll out AI-powered Demand Gen campaigns to all advertisers in October, replacing Discovery ads
Google is now letting users sign up for access to Google Ads’ Demand Gen, a new AI-powered campaign type set to replace Discovery ads. Google Ads liaison, Ginny Marvin, explained “Demand gen campaigns combine image + video ads in one place and can be used to drive conversions, site visits and actions like sign-up and add-to-cart across YouTube, Discover and Gmail”. Once enrolled, marketers will be able to create new Demand Gen campaigns within Google Ads, and existing Discovery campaigns will automatically upgrade to Demand Gen.
Instagram tests new ad display for Reels that shows 4 related ads on one single screen
Instagram has been spotted testing a new multi-ad format within Reels that compiles 4 related ads into one screen shown between clips. Although this is a first for Reels, Instagram has experimented with this multi-advertiser ad format last October in its main feed - explaining that these ads are shown “when a person expresses commercial intent by engaging with an ad”. According to Meta, these ads drove improved efficiency in incremental conversion per spend - whilst others have expressed concerns that cramming in ads like this may bombard users and make it harder for ads to capture consumers’ attention.
Meta introduces reposts tab on Threads profiles & in Following feed, Instagram develops Audio Notes with Friends feature
Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, has unveiled new features coming to Threads and Instagram, including a new reposts tab for Threads that will allow users to separate reposted content from users own posts. Mosseri also shared that the company has been developing the ability for users to create audio notes to share with their friends - though this feature has not yet been tested publicly.
Google launches new Transparency Centre to act as central hub for product policies and reporting tools
Google has launched a new Transparency Centre, a central hub for quickly and easily learning more about the platform's product policies. The new hub collects existing resources and policies, to help explain how Google creates, develops and enforces its policies as well as sharing information of reporting & appeal tools, transparency reports and the company's principles for privacy and AI.
Google Ads to sunset Enhanced CPC on shopping campaigns in favour of Manual CPC bidding
Google Ads has announced that it will begin to remove the use of Enhanced cost-per-click (eCPC) within Shopping Campaigns by October. Shopping campaigns using eCPC will behave as though they are using Manual CPC bidding - which Google explains gives users more control over their bids and budgets. According to Google, eCPC was launched over 10 years ago and there is now new strategies such as target ROAS, Maximise conversion value and fully automated campaigns like Performance Max that can help achieve the same (or better) results.
X (formerly Twitter) is removing its long-standing Promoted Accounts ad format used to promote brands in users timelines
According to reports, X is urging advertisers to explore its other ad products as it seeks to sunset its Promoted Accounts ad format. Whilst Promoted Accounts ads are one of the platforms longest-standing ad formats and were rumoured to generate $100 million in yearly revenue for the company, its removal is part of a “larger effort to optimise the X experience by prioritising content formats”. Acknowledging that many brands relied heavily on Promoted Accounts as part of their marketing strategies, a representative for X has shared that it will work to identify alternative routes to ensure it continues meeting advertisers goals.
Google Ads to offer enhanced customer service for small businesses as part of a new paid pilot
Google Ads is trialling a small pilot that will see small businesses receive an enhanced level of customer service that is normally only reserved for the platform's biggest ad clients. The pilot includes a small number of selected agencies and advertisers who will pay to receive one-on-one support tailored to the specific needs of their customers. This trial aims to solve a common complaint from small businesses who felt they were not receiving the specialised advice on improving ads campaigns and optimising budgets that is given to larger clients.
Netflix to begin testing games across TVs and computers as well as phones
Netflix has announced that it is taking the first step in making games playable on every device that members enjoy watching on - including TVs and computers. As part of this expansion, the company is rolling out a limited beta test in the UK and Canada - which will give select users the ability to play two games via their TV remote or computer mouse. Netflix’s VP of Games, Mike Verdu, commented “by making games available on more devices, we hope to make games ever easier to play for our members around the world”.
Google rolls out feature allowing export of user data from GA4 to BigQuery to enable deeper insights into metrics
Google is rolling out a new analytics feature that allows users to export audience data from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to BigQuery - helping to give marketers deeper insights into audience data, coordination and personalisation. New user data tables will contain information such as included audiences, predictive metrics such as churn rate and projected revenue as well as a timestamp of users’ last active date. This marks a shift for Google Analytics, giving users greater flexibility and portability over their data.
WhatsApp adds support for HD photos, with HD videos coming soon
WhatsApp has announced that users will now be able to send HD quality photos via the app’s end-to-end encryption, allowing users to preserve the high-def resolution of their images. This new feature is currently rolling out globally, and will soon be followed by support for HD videos too. To use this feature, users will have to select a new HD option when sending photos as image quality will be set to standard by default.
Google is now letting businesses add social media links to their Business Profiles to help improve brand visibility
Google has introduced the ability for businesses to add links to their various social media profiles directly within their Google Business Profile, making it easier for customers to connect with the business. As part of this new option, businesses can now link their Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, X and YouTube accounts - with only one link per platform. Linking their social media platforms will help businesses expand their visibility across Google’s products and provide more ways for customers to communicate with the brand.