Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

 

Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media.

Stay connected with recent updates from Meta, Pinterest, TikTok & many more!

 

Meta Political Content

Meta will no longer recommend political content to users following admittance that the platform has played role in fueling political unrest 

Meta has decided to stop proactively suggesting political content to users by default on its Instagram and Threads apps. This development comes as the tech giant has decided to distance itself further from competitor apps like X, which has slashed its content-moderation team - making it a potential hotbed of misinformation and political toxicity. Meta wrote in a recent blog post: “If you decide to follow accounts that post political content, we don’t want to get between you and their posts, but we also don’t want to proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.” Meta’s new political recommendation options are arriving after the company admitted to playing a role in proliferating political unrest across the globe. Users who still want political posts recommended to them will have the option to toggle them on in their app settings.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Search Shortcut

TikTok is encouraging users to add its new search widget to their home screens as a search shortcut

TikTok are encouraging users to add their new search widget to their device home screen, in the hopes that it will encourage users to search more often on the platform, and “make quicker searches with a shortcut.” This is following multiple studies which have shown that Gen Z in particular uses TikTok as a search engine, as a replacement for Google. Last year, the company introduced search ads as TikTok is more than a platform for awareness – it can also generate sales and conversions for brands and businesses.

X Sports Betting

Sports betting is coming to X with  its latest partnership with betting operator BetMGM

Elon Musk’s X has forged a deal with a sports betting operator, BetMGM, which will see the operator becoming X’s exclusive Live Odds Sports Betting partner and will allow access to the service on X. Users will be able to explore betting odds, and click through to reach BetMGM’s website or app where they can place their bets. The partnership is another example of Musk’s plans to see X become an “everything app”, as it is expanding beyond social networking. A representative for X has not offered details about if or how X would generate revenue from this new deal with BetMGM, but there is likely a deal in place.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Microsoft Advertising Updates

Microsoft Ads introduces enhanced conversions, new targeting options and simplifies campaign setup

Microsoft has announced several updates to its advertising platform, including the expansion of Enhanced Conversions to all markets in the coming weeks. In the US and Canada, new targeting options for in-market audiences based on company size and job titles have been introduced. A simplified campaign setup process has been implemented, involving selecting a goal, choosing the best campaign types, and following the necessary steps. Microsoft is also pausing the deprecation of sub accounts in Hotel Centre, allowing advertisers to manage campaigns as usual. Additionally, responsive search (RSA) campaign asset reporting is now accessible at both Campaign and Ad group levels.

YouTube Content Takeovers

YouTube expands its Content Takeovers to offer exclusive advertising on more inventory

YouTube is expanding its Content Takeovers, enabling brands to exclusively advertise across additional inventory, including entire creator channels, custom lineups, playlists, and specific videos. Content Takeovers grant brands exclusive control over designated inventory, ensuring only their ads are displayed during a specified period, providing a 100% share of voice (SOV). This strategic tool allows brands to wrap content, capitalising on events like the Super Bowl to reach a wider audience during surges in interest. The move offers advertisers unique opportunities for high SOV on relevant creator channels and custom lineups, allowing exclusive ownership during specific events or content releases. While impactful, Content Takeovers may come with a substantial price tag.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Google Web Stories

Google removes its Web Stories feature from Google Image Search & carousel view

Google has stated that Web Stories will no longer show up within Google Image Search, or the carousel view. The documentation now highlights that Web Stories can appear as a single result on Google Search, which is available in all regions and languages, where Google is available. Web Stories can also appear in a carousel on Google Search, which is available in the U.S (in English), India (in English and Hindi) and Brazil (in Brazilian Portuguese).

Pinterest X Google

Pinterest announces major third-party ad partnership with Google

Pinterest has announced a new major ad partnership with Google, making the search giant the second third-party ad partner for Pinterest, following its multi-year collaboration with Amazon that was announced last year. This integration will enable ads to be served on Pinterest via Google’s Ad Manager. When Pinterest users encounter a Google Ad they will be directed to the advertiser’s website to complete their purchase. This collaboration provides an opportunity for brands running campaigns with Google Ads to broaden their reach and engage with an active, high-value consumer base. Potentially leading to stronger return on investment (ROI) and increased conversions.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Meta AI Labels

Meta expands labelling of images created by AI tools to help combat spread of misinformation

To combat the spread of misinformation in upcoming elections, Meta has announced that it will expand its labelling practices of AI-generated imagery across its family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram and its new microblogging platform Threads. To help social media users determine which images are real and which have been created with generative AI, Meta currently applies “imagined with AI” labels to “photorealistic images” created using the company’s own Meta AI creation feature. Now, however, the company is committed to labelling potentially misleading images created with other companies’ tools as well, like those made by Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Adobe, Midjourney and Shutterstock. According to Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, Meta expects to learn more about the creation and sharing tendencies around AI content, including “what sort of transparency people find most valuable, and how these technologies evolve.”

Google Ads Gambling

Google Ads updates its Gambling and Games Policy in US to allow for sport bettings ads

Advertisers can now run sports betting ads in North Carolina, provided they have certification. Google has started accepting and running sports betting ads from certified, state-licenced entities with certificates of compliance in North Carolina. This means that advertisers without certification, will not be able to promote their sports betting ads or campaigns. To obtain certification, advertisers will have to fill out the online gambling application form in the Google Ads Help Centre, and must submit a separate application form for each country they aim to target.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
YouTube First Position Moments

YouTube boosts brand visibility through new ad format that places ad in priority spot during significant events

YouTube's "First Position Moments" ad format allows brands to be the first advertisement that viewers see during significant events or launches on the platform, enhancing both audience engagement and awareness. This strategy, exemplified by Booking.com during the holiday season, involves pairing ads with a Branded Title Card and optional Masthead placement. The approach, backed by YouTube data, shows an average brand awareness lift of 16.55%. Content Takeovers, launched in 2023, enable brands to align with popular content and creators, expanding reach and impact. IHG Hotels & Resorts successfully utilised First Position Moments and Content Takeovers, achieving a unique reach surpassing linear TV and doubling YouTube benchmarks for ad recall and brand awareness.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 adds 8 new dimensions for measuring paid and organic traffic

Google Analytics 4 has introduced eight new dimensions to enhance the measurement of both paid and organic traffic sources. The added dimensions include Manual source, Manual medium, Manual source/medium, Manual campaign name, Manual campaign ID, Manual term, Manual content, and Manual source platform. These additions provide clearer insights into user behaviour and performance across channels, facilitating improved reporting, explorations, segments, and audience analysis. The new dimensions contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of traffic sources, enabling better optimization of content strategy based on user engagement. Dimensions in Google Analytics represent characteristics or properties of data, such as "City" or "Page," providing valuable information for analysis.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Spotify Record No. of Users

Spotify crosses the 600M monthly active users mark, as well as growing its paid user base 15% YOY to 236M 

Streaming service Spotify announced that the service now has more than 600 million monthly active listeners. The company said in its Q4 2023 earnings report that it added 28 million users in the quarter, which marks the second biggest quarterly gain in the company’s history. The company noted that apart from having 602 million users now, the service has over 236 million paid users – a year-on-year growth of 15%. Last year, Spotify raised the prices of its premium subscription tier in the U.S for the first time from $9.99 per month to $10.99 per month. Additionally, Spotify said that its year-end Spotify Wrapped campaign, which gives insights to users about what they consumed on the platform, drew more than 225 million users.

Google Ads Commissions

Google Ads is ending its support for hotel commissions due to the phasing out of third-party cookies

Google Ads will stop supporting Commissions (per Stay) and Commissions (per Conversions) bid strategies for Hotel Ads in October 2024. Google says this is because third-party cookies are being phased out and these models will not work in the future. Travel commissions-based solutions rely on third-party cookies and stay-specific information to calculate commissions accurately, leading to their sunset. The timeline includes a halt to new allowlist requests for Commissions (per Stay) from February 2024, with both bid strategies becoming unavailable in Google Ads from April 30, 2024. Active Commission-based bid strategy campaigns will continue until October 31, 2024, after which they will no longer be available, emphasising the need to shift bid strategies for uninterrupted campaign service. Google suggests transitioning to target Return on Ads Spend (tROAS) for Hotel campaigns and promises further improvements to tROAS for hotel campaigns.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Snapchat User Growth

Snapchat reaches 800M monthly active users, driven mainly by its expansion in India

Snap has revealed that its monthly active user count is now up to 800 million, rising from the 750 million MAU that it reported in February last year. Despite overall growth, almost all of the 50 million added users in the past 12 months are from outside its core revenue markets, North America and the EU, primarily driven by its expansion in India. Developing markets generate lower revenue for Snap due to fewer advertisers and lower in-app spending. While Snap has shifted its focus to North America and Europe for future growth, the current growth trend might not immediately translate into business success, and the company acknowledges the need to maximise income potential in these more mature markets.

Google Gemini Ultra

Google rebrands Bard as Gemini Ultra, it’s most powerful language model to date

Google is rebranding its language model Bard as Gemini, alongside the launch of Gemini Ultra, its most capable large language model. Gemini Ultra, a paid experience available through a $20 Google One tier, boasts advanced capabilities across text, image, audio, and video benchmarks. The rebrand extends to the Google Workspace apps and involves the sunsetting of the Duet AI brand. Gemini Advanced, available in more than 150 countries, initially supports English, with plans for Japanese and Korean. Google emphasises Gemini as a shift in advanced technology thinking, reflecting its core role in Bard. Developers seeking API access to the Ultra model will receive more information in the coming weeks.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

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