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!
Amazon Prime becomes latest streaming service to start showing ads, with plans for premium ad-free tier
Following in the footsteps of both Netflix and Disney+, Amazon has announced that it will start showing ads on Amazon Prime Video early next year. As part of this, the company will be offering a new ad-free tier for an additional $3 per month to Prime members. These ads will be introduced in the U.S., the U.K, Germany and Canada first, and then expanding to users in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico later in the year. Amazon explained, “To continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time, starting in early 2023, Prime Video shows and movies will include limited advertisements. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers”.
TikTok tests integration of Google Search results within its own in-app search results
In an unlikely partnership, TikTok has begun showing Google Search snippets within its own search results - providing users with additional context and inviting them to search for the same term on Google. Last week we reported a similar new snippet appearing from Wikipedia as it seems the platform is combining third-party integrations to become a one-stop-shop for users. Google has previously stated that it views TikTok as a competitor in search, so joining forces is an unexpected but exciting move for both platforms.
Google accused of downplaying ad auction manipulation - with claims they inflate ad prices by 100%
Some advertisers have criticised Google for significantly downplaying their ad price manipulation - believing that the search engine inflates prices by 100% rather than the measly 5% that the engine has previously owned up to. Christine Yang, VP of media at Iris, described Google’s manipulation figure as “a more conservative number to make it sound like the natural ebb and flow of a marketplace” - critiquing the way that the search engine is able to regulate themselves. In response, a Google spokesperson stated “Search ads costs are the result of a real-time auction where advertisers never pay more than their maximum bid”.
Meta will soon expand its paid verification program to business accounts
Having announced its Meta Verified program for creators back in February, the platform is now expanding to include a new Meta Verified for Business tier. This new package will provide another way for brands to add more authority to their account, protection against impersonation, additional account support and improved discovery. Monthly subscriptions are set to start at $21.99 USD/month per Instagram account and Facebook page, or $34.99 USD/month for both.
Snapchat has partnered with Microsoft to integrate sponsored links within My AI responses
At its 2023 Beauty Summit, Snapchat previewed its new ad placement within the responses of its AI chatbot, My AI. Snapchat explains, “Powered by Microsoft’s Advertising’s Ads for Chat API, Sponsored Links connect our community with partners relevant to their conversation, while helping partners reach Snapchatters at the moment they have indicated potential interest in their offering”. The process will match keywords to relevant promotions, such as supplying queries for hair care with a product promotion.
Reddit publishes new best practice guide for ads ahead of the holiday season
Reddit has recently published a new ‘Retailers’ Advertising Handbook’ to provide a range of key tips on how to approach Reddit marketing to maximise your efforts on the app. The 35 page guide gives an overview of Reddit’s ad offering, notes on vertical-specific engagement, mythbusters as well as best practices for ad targeting and creative assets. While the platform has been quite unstable recently, with many moderators protesting the price change of the platform’s API, it seems to be going full steam ahead on its ad campaigns in the run up to Christmas.
Read Reddit’s Advertising Handbook here.
Microsoft Bing is rolling out a range of AI tools including support for DALLE-E3, more personalised answers & watermarked images
Microsoft has announced several AI updates to Bing Chat Edge and Microsoft Shopping. Firstly, Bing Chat is getting more personalised answers informed by a user's chat history to help provide more relevant information. Bing is also adding support for DALLE-3 in Bing Image Creator, helping create better renderings for details like fingers, eyes and shadows. In addition, Bing is adding AI camera lenses to Microsoft SwiftKey powered by Snap, allowing users to create photos, videos and GIFs with different effects. Finally, Bing is bringing support for multimodal visual search and image creation to Bing Chat Enterprise, to help boost productivity and creativity at work.
TikTok launches new ad measurement tool that analyses users full customer journey before purchase
TikTok has announced the launch of their first-party measurement solution, Attribution Analytics, that will analyse the full customer journey to provide insights into how their users make purchases. According to the platform, 79% of all conversions attributed to TikTok by users themselves were missing from last click models. Instead, Attribution Analytics aims to capture the holistic value driven by TikTok, by providing a clearer view of the non-linear customers’ path to purchase. This new tool will have a feature called Performance Comparison, which will show conversions over different time frames to help advertisers find the right attribution strategy for their business.
YouTube launches new editing app, YouTube Create, to help creators edit Shorts and longer videos
YouTube has introduced a new editing app for mobile creators known as YouTube Create. The app offers a suite of creative tools to help users edit Shorts and longer form videos - allowing them to add effects, stickers and GIFs. According to YouTube, the app is a result of feedback from over 3000 creators, and aims to address some of the key challenges that creators face within the editing process. The app also provides access to YouTube’s library of royalty-free tracks and can even match the beat of the song to the video clips.
Facebook is now allowing users to have and switch between multiple personal profiles
In an effort to help its users feel “freer” to engage with content on the platform, Facebook is now allowing users to have multiple personal profiles. This new feature allows users to separate the content that they share or engage with to different audiences - such as having a profile for your friends and family, and another for a niche community close to your heart. Facebook explains, “We heard from people that clearer organisation of friends, groups and interests helps them feel freer to engage with the audience they believe is most relevant”.
X previews new elements coming to Communities as a way to drive engagement from niche audiences
Despite shutting down Circles, its private sharing feature for small groups, X is looking to add more functionalities to Communities as a way of encouraging topic-specific engagement. These new features will include private communities, improved reporting and improved spam controls, as well as the recently announced pinned communities and community search tools. X explains, “Some conversations aren’t for everyone, just the people you want to talk about the thing you want to talk about. When you join a community, you can Tweet directly to that group instead of to all your followers, Only members in the same Community are able to reply and join the conversation so it stays intimate and relevant”.
TikTok is launching new in-stream labels for AI generated content to provide more transparency on the app
Following a short test period, TikTok is officially launching its new in-stream labels for AI-generated content to help users know the difference between genuine, unaltered content and content that has been AI generated. According to its community guidelines, the platform may take down content that shows realistic scenes and isn’t disclosed. AI generated images, such as the infamous image of the pope in a puffer jacket, has already caused serious confusion on the app. At a recent AI regulation meeting in Washington, top tech executives agreed that regulation needs to be put in place surrounding this fast-moving tech.
Google Ads is improving the AI in its conversational experience and expanding its automatically created assets tool
Google has announced that it is expanding its AI-powered tools for its search ads platform, Google Ads. Google has expanded its automatically created assets that use generative AI to show more relevant Search ads with tailored headlines and descriptions based on the context of your ad. These will be available in seven additional languages, including Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Google is also making improvements to the conversational experience in Google ads, moving to beta testing in the US and UK in the coming months.
Back-end coding suggests X’s upcoming audio and video calling options may be exclusive to premium subscribers
As part of Musk’s mission to create the ‘everything app’, X will soon have its own audio and video calling options accessible via users’ inbox. While the platform has not yet revealed when these features will be available to users, coding in the back-end of the app seems to suggest that it will be limited to those subscribed to X’s premium tier. This comes as no surprise as Musk has repeatedly pushed the platform's premium tier, giving users access to their own verification badges as well as a host of other benefits as it tries to find a way to drive this stream of revenue.
Threads has added a new tool to make it easier for users to switch between accounts
Meta recently admitted that its new app, Threads, still has a lower engagement rate than it would like. To combat this, the company is continuing to build new features and tools into the app - such as a new feature that allows users to switch between multiple Threads accounts through the tap of a button. Whilst Meta has not shared the specific amount of accounts that users can add, this feature could be useful for users with personal and professional accounts.