Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.
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Google Chrome begins phasing out third-party cookies to 1% of Chrome users through a new tracking protection tool
After many delays, Google Chrome has finally initiated the gradual deprecation of third-party cookies with a new tool known as Tracking Protection. The company has rolled out this new tool to 1% of Chrome users globally, restricting third-party cookies by default. It is not yet known what effect this will have on sites, though it is more important than ever for SEOs to begin their preparations for a cookieless future. Google is aiming to phase out third-party cookies globally by the second half of 2024 as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative, so we will likely see more changes like this occurring in the immediate future.
Facebook rolls out link history tool globally allowing Meta to utilise collected data for targeted advertising
Facebook has introduced a new feature allowing users to view an archive of all the links that they’ve visited over the last 30 days in one place. Users do have the choice to opt-out of this new feature, but it is turned on by default, allowing Meta to utilise the collected data for targeted advertising. Facebook explains, “When link history is on, we may use link history information from Facebook’s Mobile Browser to improve your ads across Meta technologies”. This could prove as a loophole for marketers wanting to reach high-value consumers as the industry moves towards a cookieless, privacy-centric future.
TikTok has published a content planning guide to assist marketers with their 2024 campaign strategies
To kick off the new year, TikTok has released its very own content planning guide full of key dates for the year ahead. The guide includes key dates and events to be aware of, as well as top tips for making the most out of TikTok and its various ad tools and functions. There is also a campaign planner template at the end to help marketers plan out their content that can act as a good starting point for brands. Check out the content calendar here.
LinkedIn faces ad price surge as brands reallocate spending from X following concerns over brand safety
The prices of ads on LinkedIn have increased following a surge of demand as brands reallocate spending after leaving or pausing ad campaigns on X. According to the Financial Times, the price of LinkedIn ads have risen by as much as 30% over the last year, with some marketers reporting premium campaigns costing $300 per 1000 impressions. The platform’s ads are sold by auction and thus set by market demand, suggesting that marketers are looking for new, safer placements for their ads taken on X.
X has introduced a new ad option to target x premium subscribers within their campaigns
X has been spotted adding a new audience option to its ad campaigns enabling marketers to specifically target Premium users with premium subscriptions to the platform. While fewer than 1% of X users are currently subscribed to the platform's premium tier, the new ad setting could be a good way to target active spenders on the app. However, with many major brands continuing to boycott X due to concerns over brand safety, it may take more than a few new ad options to bring advertisers back to the platform.
Snap partners with Samba TV for enhanced audience measurement capabilities to help inform entertainment brands
Snapchat has announced a partnership with Samba TV, a provider of TV technology for audience data and omniscreen measurement, to help entertainment brands promote new shows and movies more effectively. With access to TV viewing habits across over 200 national networks in the U.S. as well as local networks in more than 100 U.S. markets and over 400 digital publishers, Samba TV tracks the response of over 3 million households to ads for linear and streaming shows. Snap’s head of marketing science, Christopher Plambeck commented, “It’s crucial we have accurate and holistic measurement of the impact of advertising on tune-ins for our brands”.
Google has confirmed a small test on dynamic copy in live ads, without giving prior notice to advertisers
Google has started a small test placing headlines within the ad copy description text in live ads, without warning advertisers of the change. Google Ads liaison officer Ginny Marvin described it as a ‘small test’ and that the company does not yet have anything to share on the matter. Many marketers have called for more transparency on tests like these, stating that dynamic ad copy needs to be planned out and approved before rolling out. Google ads expert, Anthony Higman, remarked, “while this may be beneficial for advertisers with larger budgets, there is no statistical significance that can be gleaned on smaller spend accounts. Also we can no longer see what these changes are doing to our ad data because we don’t know what asset variations are doing to our CTR’s”.
WhatsApp adds support for disappearing voice messages and pinning messages in both individual and group chats
WhatsApp has announced several new features coming to the platform, including disappearing voice messages and the ability to pin messages to the top of both individual and group chats. Firstly, the new disappearing voice messages feature will allow users to send a voice message that can only be listened to once before it disappears, much like their existing ‘View Once’ option for photos and videos. This feature is designed to give added security to private conversations. Secondly, the platform is giving users the ability to pin chats (including text, polls, images and emojis) to the top of their chat threads to help users find important information more quickly.
Early tests of ads on YouTube Shorts have shown they cost 50% less than TikTok ads and generate longer views
According to a series of early tests of ads on YouTube Shorts, the medium is both cheaper and more engaging than ads on its short-form competitor TikTok. This comes from a recent case study from video ad agency, Precise TV, looking at the engagement of Shorts ads for Asics, Moose Toys as well as various other participating brands, compared to those achieved on TikTok. According to the study, YouTube Shorts ads cost 50% less than TikTok ads, and resulted in longer viewing times - suggesting the platform may be a worthy competitor to the short-form king that is TikTok.
Google Maps’ new Timeline tool allows users to delete activity related to specific locations they have visited to improve user privacy
Google Maps has rolled out a new update designed to offer users enhanced control over their data and information sharing. The platform's new Timeline tool shows users an archive of their visits and routes over the past three months, giving users the ability to automatically delete activity related to specific places. This update is set to roll out on Android and iOS devices over the coming weeks - though users will be notified when the updates come to their account.
YouTube introduces new ad formats (in-feed and Shorts ads) for Video Reach Campaigns to help maximise campaign reach
Google has added new ad formats to YouTube’s Video Reach Campaigns (VRCs) with the aim of providing more diverse and effective ways to reach the brand's target audiences. VRCs can now be scaled to in-feed ads, Shorts ads and in-stream ads, and Google’s machine-learning technology can then identify the most effective combination of ads to serve for maximum reach and efficiency. Google shares, “People are engaging with YouTube in new ways, from exploring Shorts on their mobile devices to browsing for content on their TV screens. This evolving landscape presents brands with more opportunities to connect with their target audience on the platform”.
TikTok is planning to take on retail giant Amazon by expanding its in-stream commerce spend 10x in 2024
According to a report by Bloomberg, TikTok is planning to grow its e-commerce business, TikTok Shop, tenfold in 2024 to $175 billion by the end of 2024. The report suggests that TikTok is preparing to utilise its engaged user base and viral videos to boost merchandise sales on the app, putting itself in competition with retail giants like Amazon, Temu and Shein. While it took a while for U.S. consumers to warm to TikTok Shop, data suggests that TikTok’s Western customer base is growing - an area of growth that the platform is keen to capitalise on.
Google is rolling out programmatic bidding on inventory eligible for limited ads in early 2024
Google AdMob has added support for programmatic bidding on limited ads, enabling contextual programmatic demand for publishers serving limited ads and allows from Google Demand, Authorised buyers, open bidders and SDK bidding. While this feature may offer publishers the chance to potentially increase revenue through programmatic demand, the use of invalid traffic-only cookies could have legal implications. Google is advising publishers to consult their legal teams before deciding whether or not to use this feature, considering regulations and regulatory guidance.
TikTok is testing new desktop-based tools for creators and marketers, including a new Creator Centre UI
TikTok is working on new desktop-based creator tools designed to help maximise their performance on the platform, such as a new Creator Centre UI. This new format makes it easier to research your brands content performance, and audience response, in a more consumable way for social media managers. On top of this, TikTok is also continuing to improve its Creative Center, where creators can access the top ads, trends, keyword insights and more.
X announces a lower-cost verification tier for organisations to lure in small businesses
Having lost the support and more importantly the ad revenue of several big brands on the platform following a series of controversial posts, X has decided to target smaller businesses with its new ‘Verified Organisations Basic tier’. At a lower cost of $200 per month or $2000 per yet, SMBs will receive a gold verified checkmark on their brand profile, as well as priority support, ad credits, access to job listings on X Hiring and more.