Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Meta, TikTok, Google & many more!
TikTok confirms test of ad-free subscription tier in a single English-speaking market outside the U.S.
TikTok has confirmed that it is testing a new ad-free subscription tier for users who are willing to pay to avoid seeing their short-form content separated by ads. The company revealed that they are testing this product in a single, English-speaking market outside the U.S. which is rumoured to be costing $4.99 per month. However the ad-free tier appears to only cover ads served by TikTok - meaning that influencer marketing, organic campaigns or undisclosed ads will still appear on the feeds of paying users.
Google adds a switch for publishers to opt out of having their data used to train its AI models
Google has introduced a new tool called Google-Extended, which allows publishers to block Bard and Vertex AI from accessing their content. This appears to follow a public discussion between Google and members of the web and AI communities, on Google’s approaches to ‘complimentary protocols’. In a blog post, Google described Google Extended as a “new control that web publishers can use to manage whether their sites help improve Bard and Vertex AI generative APUs, including future generations of models that power those products”.
Reddit is removing the ability to opt-out of ad personalisation, allowing it to show more relevant ads
Reddit has announced that it is getting rid of the ability for users to opt-out of ad personalisation, based on a user's activity on the platform. This means that ads will be served to more relevant audiences, which should improve effectiveness and cost-efficiency of campaigns and increase the likelihood of engagement and conversions. In addition, Reddit is now also enabling users to see fewer ads from categories such as alcohol, dating, gambling, pregnancy & parenting, and weight loss.
WhatsApp introduces Flows feature, allowing businesses to offer in-app services like choosing seats & ordering food
WhatsApp has introduced a new feature known as Flows, that is designed to enrich the shopping experience on the app. Flows will give merchants the building blocks to tailor their in-chat experiences - including tools for completing tasks like picking seats, ordering food or booking appointments. Meta has been testing Flows with businesses such as Brazilian bank Banco Pan, retailer MagaLu, Lenovo, Indian travel service redBus and car-reselling platform Spinny.
Spotify partners with Roku to bring video ads to connected TV devices in the U.S., Canada & Mexico
Spotify has announced that they have expanded their partnership with smart TV brand, Roku, to bring their video advertising to the TV. As part of this deal, Spotify is making its full-screen video ad inventory available through Roku - helping target users in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that consume Spotify through their TVs. According to Spotify, this marks the first step towards the launch of their forthcoming Spotify CTV Partner Network - as the company is keen to tap into the streaming revolution. Spotify also plans to work with roku to add more video ad products in the future - such as video podcast ads.
Meta rolls out AI stickers, AI image-editing tools, and tests AI chatbots with personality in U.S.
Meta has unveiled a range of generative AI products across its family of apps and devices, including stickers, editing tools, their conversational assistant and 28 new AI personalities. Firstly, Meta has introduced Meta AI, an “advanced conversational” chatbot available on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, that has access to real-time information through a partnership with Microsoft Bing. Meta is also testing 28 new AI chatbots in the U.S., with a range of different personalities from ‘travel expert’ to ‘devoted dog mum’ - and has partnered with celebrities & influencers to help bring these new characters to life. Finally, Meta has created an AI sticker to create custom stickers, and a new image editing tool that lets users add backdrops and restyle images.
Microsoft has rolled out ‘Microsoft Advertising Network for retail’ in the U.S., to simplify retail media campaign process
Microsoft has introduced its Advertising Network for retail in the U.S. - a new program that lets advertisers use Microsoft’s wide-reaching ad resources and access high-intent shoppers to boost their business. The network aims to simplify the process of creating retail media campaigns, making it easier for retailers to connect with a large, relevant audience, expand their reach and provide an additional buying path. Microsoft has not yet confirmed if or when the network will be expanded to additional markets.
Snapchat has decided to sunset its AR Enterprise division to reallocate investment into core advertising business
Snap has revealed that it is closing down its AR Enterprise division, a segment of the company designed to offer AR expertise and tools to businesses. In an announcement made by the CEO, Evan Spiegel, the company revealed that it wasn’t able to dedicate the significant investment that the division would need to grow - partly due to the technical complexity of its AR offering and the growing saturation of the generative-AI market. Snap also claimed that the performance of the business means that they have had to focus their resources on their core advertising business.
Reddit is rolling out expanded topic and audience matching options in its Ads Manager
Reddit is updating its ad targeting options to make it easier for marketers to expand their audience reach within the app - including improved topic suggestions, expanded audience interests and new ad management options. Firstly, Reddit is expanding its targeting measures, with a new capacity to search for communities by topic, as well as suggested communities based on your chosen targeting parameters. The platform has also improved its community descriptions, topic tags and estimated audience size within its Ad Manager system, helping to provide more context for targeting. Finally, Reddit is also adding a ‘Campaign lifetime budget’ to Ads Manager, as well as inline editing.
TikTok launched its own AI-powered virtual assistant to help streamline ad creation process
TikTok has launched a new Creative Assistant that is powered by AI to help supercharge content ideation and creation. Known as TikTok Creative Assistant, the new tool can analyse data, offer suggestions, brainstorm ideas and provide advice on the platform’s best practice guide - all to help advertisers create more effective campaigns. According to a TikTok spokesperson, “With Creative Assistant, you’re now empowered to continuously create a meaningful and valuable presence on TikTok through never-ending ideation and brainstorming sessions”.
YouTube is rolling out video view campaigns globally, to help advertisers target more relevant audiences
YouTube has announced that its new campaign type, video view campaigns (VVC’s), will soon be rolled out globally. VVC’s leverage AI to strategically deliver the best-performing creatives to audiences that are more inclined to engage with the brand, thus helping to maximise views. VVC’s come in the format of skippable in-stream ads, in-feed ads and Shorts ads and according to the platform, help advertisers achieve 40% more views at a 30% lower cost per view than in-stream skippable CVP campaigns on average.
Google rolls out updates to its Search Experience including algorithm improvements & expansion to teenagers
Google has announced a series of updates to its Generative Search Experience, including an expansion to younger users. The company reveals it has opened up access to SGE in Search Labs to teens (aged 13-17) in the U.S., meaning younger people will be able to use its new generative AI to find the answers to more conversational queries. In addition, Google has rolled out a new ‘About this result’ feature in SGE, that provides context about a result - such as a description of how SGE generated the response.
YouTube has launched new subscriber analytics to assist creators in content planning
YouTube has announced several new analytics updates, including insights into why subscribers cancel their channel subscriptions as well as how new and returning viewers engage with content. These insights are likely to help creators understand which of their content is generating the most interest, and therefore better plan their future content. The platform has also expanded its analytics card with new data on channel memberships, including which content drove the most subscriptions and why people chose to cancel.
Google is shutting down Google Podcasts later next year, migrating listeners over to YouTube Music
Google has announced that it will be shutting down its Podcasts app later next year, as part of a broader transition to move its streaming listeners over to YouTube Music. According to Google, YouTube Music will soon support podcasts in the U.S., which should be expanded globally by the end of the year. Google is planning on increasing its investment into the podcast experience on YouTube Music, making it more of a destination for podcast fans. The company will offer a migration tool to transition existing users to YouTube Music.
YouTube is allowing creators to monetise content that discusses controversial issues without graphic detail
In a recent Creator Insider video, YouTube revealed that it has updated its Advertiser Friendly Content Guidelines regarding controversial issues, to allow creators to monetise content that discuss these topics without going into graphic detail. This includes content that covers sexual & domestic abuse as well as abortion, that can be a useful resource for users. Content that focuses on eating disorders and shares triggers such as binge eating, hiding & hoarding and abusing laxatives, however, will still not be able to receive ad revenue so that such content is not incentivised with ads.