Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
Stay connected with recent updates from Channel 4, Google, Meta & many more!
Channel 4 has introduced shoppable QR codes within its shows - allowing viewers to buy product placements
Channel 4 has begun rolling out shoppable QR codes within its shows - starting with Philips product placements on three episodes of Made in Chelsea. These QR codes appear alongside products on-screen for both audiences watching live, and on-demand - taking users directly to the brands product pages. A spokesperson for Channel 4 commented, “Channel 4 is starting a journey to take its content from being extremely watchable to conveniently shoppable, and we are delighted to be working with Philips to bring this to life using QR codes on screen to amplify the product placement partnership”.
Apple Pay Later is now available to all users in the US, allowing users to split cost of payments over 6 weeks
Having released it to a limited number of users back in March, Apple has now made its new ‘Apple Pay Later’ feature available to all users in the United States. Apple Pay Later allows users to split the cost of a purchase across four equal payments over six weeks, without charging interest or late fees. This can be used for purchases between $75 and $1000 made via iPhone or iPad. While Apple has not yet stated when this feature will come to the UK, it is believed that new government rules put in place to control the BNPL (buy now pay later) industry, may be causing a roadblock.
Threads is developing an API that will allow users to use third-party scheduling platforms
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has revealed that the company is currently working on developing a Threads API, which would allow third party platforms to schedule Threads posts for publishers, brands and creators. Mosseri also shared his concerns that doing so may bring a lot more publisher content to the platform, over that of creators - which is something the app is keen to avoid. Mosseri commented, “We focus on creators because they tend to drive more engagement and cultural relevance, they have an outsized influence on public perception, and we believe they’ll become more important over time as power continues to shift from institutions to individuals across industries”.
Instagram has revealed it is testing a dedicated feed for posts from verified users
Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, has confirmed that the platform is testing a new verified feed that will only show posts from legacy verified users and those that pay for a Meta Verified subscription. According to Mosseri, Instagram is testing this new feed as a “new control for people and a way for businesses and creators to get discovered” - it is also likely another incentive to encourage users to subscribe to their paying tier.
Amazon is testing a new AI image generation tool to enhance product images for advertisers
Amazon has announced that it is testing a new AI powered image generation tool to help advertisers deliver a better ad experience for customers. The tool will be able to generate a background for products based on a chosen theme and additional text prompts - producing several versions that can be tested to optimise performance. The beta tool still needs some work however, with many of the kitchen backdrops including an irregular looking fork - but once it is up and running, it will likely streamline the process for advertisers.
Pinterest launches an educational platform for creators, with insights on how to make the most of their Pins
In an effort to help educate creators, Pinterest has launched a new creator hub with insights and guidance on best practices, how to monetise their on-platform presence and more. The site includes tips on ‘how to make your Pins pop’ - such as creating visually compelling content and making it timely - as well as fact sheets on the platform's creator funding tools. Whilst this hub is targeted towards Pin creators, it has plenty of valuable insights for marketers too.
Google adds search themes to Performance Max to let marketers target audiences more specifically
Google has added new search themes to Performance Max as a way to add additional information about customers or your business to a campaign. The company explains, When you add search themes, you’re telling Google AI you want to reach that traffic in your Performance Max campaign across all Google Ads inventory, including Search, YouTube, Gmail, Discover, Maps and Display. Search theme’s also help you find audiences across channels based on users’ search behaviour”.
Instagram tests collaborative carousels that allow users to invite friends to add images to their carousel
Instagram is testing a new way for users to invite their friends to join in on their feed posts, via a new collaborative carousel feature. Instagram explains, “before posting a carousel, you can turn on the ability for your followers to submit photos and/or videos, which you can approve to add to the post”. This new feature could be a great way for brands to encourage more engagement and interaction in-stream - making it easier for brands to create collections of user generated content. Collaborative carousels are currently being tested with selected users - but we for one, hope we see it on our screens soon!
Microsoft has relaunched its Google AdSense equivalent, pubCenter to monetise websites of US businesses
While it is by no means a new product, originally dating back to 2008, Microsoft have relaunched their pubCenter program - the company’s equivalent to Google AdSense. With this relaunch, Microsoft wants to target small and mid-sized publishers to monetise their websites, using display and native ads from the Microsoft Advertising Network. This is currently only available in the US - with a waitlist to join if/when the company adds international support.
Google launches AR beauty ads for lip and eye products via ‘virtual try-on’ experiences
Google has announced the launch of AR Beauty ads, a new smartphone ad type that allows brands to promote lip and eye products (with foundation coming soon) to consumers via ‘virtual try-on’ experiences. These ads will allow consumers to preview how different products might look on their skin tone, or on a model that “resonates” with them. This AR technology is paired with a product description, pricing information as well as a simplified checkout flow to make it easier for users to complete the purchase process.
X makes posts with misinformation ineligible for revenue share, in an effort to incentivise accuracy over sensationalism
Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly Twitter) has made a change to the platform's new revenue share feature, that means that any posts that are corrected by Community Notes - and thus found guilty of spreading misinformation - will become ineligible for monetisation. Musk explained, “The idea is to maximise the incentive for accuracy over sensationalism”. This will likely help to make the platform more brand safe for advertisers, knowing that their ads are not being placed alongside harmful or inaccurate content.
Google introduces new photo-first search result layout to Google Maps to aid discovery of local businesses
Google has launched a new search results interface for Google Maps that brings more focus to the photos associated with a Google Business Profile listing. The platform describes this as a “photo-first” format, helping users “see better-organised search results to spark your imagination”. According to Google, these photos are picked using its AI algorithms, and that thematic results for activities and dining will also soon roll out globally on Android and iOS.
Nielsen has delayed sunsetting its C3 and C7 media-buying metrics for another year
Audience measurement platform, Nielsen, has revealed that its C3 and C7 data will be around for another year - having previously claimed that they would be deprecated by September 2024. These metrics measure the average commercial minute ratings for three and seven days of time-shifted viewing based from around 40,000 households. According to Deidre Thomas, Nielsen’s chief product officer, buyers and sellers are not ready to give up these ratings, and so will be around slightly longer than planned.
Google releases new tools to provide more context on an image’s history, uses and metadata to help prevent misinformation
To help combat the increasing spread of misinformation in the new age of AI, Google has released several new tools to help users fact-check the images that they see online. The tools are designed to provide more contextual information about an image, such as its viewing history, its metadata, the context in which it has been used on different sites and whether or not it has been created using AI. These can all be found in the new ‘About this image’ feature accessible through the three-dot menu.
Instagram will soon be rolling out polls in comments, creating a new way to engage with followers
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has announced that Instagram will soon be rolling out polls in comments to all users - having tested this new feature over the past six months. This feature will give a new way for users, creators and brands to engage with their followers - with polls already being a popular feature within Instagram Stories and the newly added Broadcast channels.