Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media. Stay connected with recent updates from Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok & many more!
Gaming firm announce plans to launch 3D immersive ads on its platform to diversify its revenue stream
The Californian based gaming firm, Roblox, is continuing its exploration of the Metaverse with plans to launch immersive advertising billboards on its platform. At its annual developers conference, Roblox explained that they will begin testing ads with developers and a handful of advertisers by the end of the year. These ads will only reach audiences aged 13 and above, and will help to diversify the company's revenue streams - most of which is currently generated through its virtual currency ‘Robux’.
Our takeaway… In-game advertising is already a huge market, and is a great way of targeting audiences who may not interact with other traditional mediums. We’ve likely all seen the popular 3D ads in Piccadilly Circus, but in a game setting, these fun ads could be even more engaging. With this type of technology, anything is possible - so we can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Due to a lack of usage, Instagram is significantly scaling back its shopping features - shifting e-commerce efforts to those that directly drive advertising
In a shocking turn, Instagram has told staff it is planning to significantly scale back its shopping features, and that the company will instead shift the focus of its e-commerce to those that directly drive advertising. Despite a jump in overall e-commerce activity since the Covid pandemic, people still aren’t choosing to make these purchases through Instagrams increasing range of shopping features. The company notified staff that the existing shopping page will eventually disappear, and they plan to test a simpler, less personalised version of the shopping page instead (known internally as ‘Tab Lite’).
Our takeaway… For businesses that make use of Instagrams shopping features it’s important to know how features might change, and to stay up to date with any new advertising efforts.
Youtube has released a 31 page guide on how to create, edit and boost engagement of Youtube Shorts to help educate creators
In Youtube's latest effort to popularise their short form video’s Youtube Shorts and compete against the likes of TikToks and Reels, the platform have created an exhaustive how-to guide to help educate creators. Youtube reports that over 1.5 billion users now engage with shorts every month, which is equivalent to 75% of the platform's entire user base.
Pinterest to open first-of-its-kind beauty school in London in partnership with skincare brand La Roche Posay
Virtual events may be all the rage at the moment but Pinterest has not forgotten the power of in-person events - as they plan to launch their first ever Beauty School. Taking place on October 1st, Pinterest has partnered up with La Roche Posay as well as many other household brands to create a packed schedule of brand activations and creator workshops all based around Pinterest’s insight led trends forecasting. Pinterest hopes that the Beauty School will show brands and advertisers alike how to activate a strategy informed by customer-led data to help engage their audiences
Instagram is testing a new repost feature, giving select users the ability to repost other users posts and reels onto their own pages
Instagram have now confirmed they are testing a new feature that will allow users to repost other users posts and reels to their own profile pages. Many users already make use of Stories as a way of sharing content, as well as DM’s to friends and groups - however reposting content to profiles could only previously be done via third-party apps. Possibly inspired by Twitters ‘retweet’ function, another app rumoured to be working on a repost feature is TikTok, believed to be experimenting with reposting content solely to feeds rather than via profiles.
Our takeaway… Being able to repost content would certainly help brands build out their social platforms, though it also runs the risk of making the platform feel overcrowded and repetitive. What are your thoughts?
Snapchat has partnered with Vogue World to create a range of location-based AR lenses for their New York Fashion Week runway show
To celebrate its 130th year, Vogue is holding Vogue World, a “first-of-a-kind live fashion experience” in partnership with Snapchat. The event claims to “cast a new lens on the traditional runway show”, showcasing designer brands alongside augmented reality. Physical viewers of the fashion show will be able to use custom built, geo-fenced filters during the show, as well as lenses that allow them to virtually try on some of the designer looks that have just walked before them. Snapchat describes this use of augmented reality as “giving designers a new creative canvas for their shows” where their “only limit to designers’ imagination.
Google has finally confirmed the helpful content update is now finished rolling out, after 15 days
We’ve been mentioning it for a while now, but if you’re unfamiliar with Google’s Helpful Content Update, it is a sitewide algorithm targeting websites that have a high amount of unsatisfying or unhelpful content. Essentially, websites with content that has been written to please search engines, rather than actual human beings. Google claimed that content on online educational materials, arts and entertainment, technology and shopping would be impacted the most. If your ranking has been affected by this update, check out Google’s guide on how to create human first content.
Our Takeaway… Although it may seem like going against what you have been previously told, it is best practice to create helpful, informative content for your audience. To do this and still rank well, focus on answering any FAQ’s and PAA’s (People Also Ask) within your content to make it as informative and helpful as possible.
TikTok has added more insights, countries, industries, holidays and more key market trends to its Insights tool
As part of TikTok’s Creative Centre, the Insights tool helps advertisers as well as brands and creators gain a better understanding of their audiences. These insights provide information on audience behaviour and opinion, and the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Despite being called ‘regional’ these insights can only be filtered down to specific countries, rather than more localised regions of a country - which may not prove that useful when looking at larger countries such as the United States for example.
Twitter publishes a new strategy guide for businesses and professionals, including key tips, statistics and advice
Looking to solidify your Twitter strategy - well Twitter has released just the guide to do so. The guide is aimed more at small businesses or freelancers with little knowledge of using Twitter for business, helping them to maximise their efforts, increase their reach and engage their audiences. The guide has helpful information such as a checklist of everything businesses on Twitter should be doing, as well as tips on what brands should be posting.
Our takeaway… Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it never hurts to refresh your knowledge and see Twitter's latest stats and tips.
Primark are set to launch click & collect service in run up to Christmas, expecting to achieve a 40% year-on-year increase in revenue
Announced earlier this year, Primark's new click and collect service is said to be launching in the run up to the festive season - expecting to bring more customers in-store. Primarks parent company, Associated British Foods, says Primarks revenues are set to be 40% higher than last year. The company also stated that they will absorb inflation costs without further price increases to retain its position of everyday affordability - meaning that profit margins will likely be lower next year.
Our takeaway… We think this is a clever compromise for the online e-commerce site that everyone is always asking for.
Google is now rolling out the September 2022 broad core update, estimated to take two weeks
It may seem like Google's helpful content update has only just finished rolling out (because it has) and now they’re onto another - the September core update. Having announced this new update on Twitter, the company also shared that they would update their ranking release history page when the rollout is complete. This could affect your search ranking so keep an eye on your analytics and rankings over the next couple of weeks.
Spotify has announced it will soon begin testing audiobooks on the platform
Spotify have been exploring ways to tap into the audiobook market for a while now, having acquired audiobook distributor Findaway last year as well as partnering with audiobook platform Storytel. Spotify CFO, Paul Vogel, has now announced that it will begin testing audiobooks on the platform soon. Vogel explained that Spotify wants to attract audiobook listeners to the platform, the same way they entice podcast listeners - by creating a better and easier user interface. It is likely Spotify will leverage existing machine learning models to create personalised audiobook recommendations the same way Spotify recommends songs and podcasts to users based on their likes.
Youtube is experimenting with 3 new features on the Analytics Research tab to help creators identify areas of interest
To expand on its Search Insights feature released last year, Youtube is now experimenting with 3 new features on the Analytics Research tab - including Watch Interest, Watch Activity and Personalised Insights). Introduced via a sneak peak on Youtube's Creator Insider channel, these new features are designed to help creators identify areas of interest to their audience so that they can continue making more engaging content. Watch interest will help creators identify top, rising or recent videos within a topic - to help them jump on trends reactively. Watch activity shows the types of content a creators audience is viewing, whereas Personalised Insights will be customised to the creators channel, providing insights into their audiences unique interests.
Our takeaway… It seems Youtube is addressing creators' concerns that growth is stagnating by giving them more tools and data to grow. As always, more data is beneficial, but only when interpreted and acted on correctly.
Instagram is testing a new monetisation feature for creators called ‘Gifts’, enabling creators to earn money through Reels
Instagram has confirmed it has begun internal testing for ‘Gifts’, a new monetisation tool that will allow fans to tip their favourite content creators. This new ‘content appreciation’ feature is like the Reel version of Badges, a tool that allows fans to gift creators during live videos. This isn’t the first monetisation of its kind, with TikTok having introduced direct tipping last December and Twitter having launched a tip jar feature the year before.