Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup

 

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

Stay connected with recent updates from Microsoft, Google, Meta & many more!



Nielsen Streaming Snapshot

YouTube and Netflix Lead March TV Viewing Gains, Streaming Surges by 12%

In March, YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu experienced viewership gains compared to February, contributing to the ongoing dominance of streaming, which saw a 12% increase in viewership year-over-year among individuals aged 18 and above, according to Nielsen. YouTube led with a 9.7% share of platform TV-video, followed closely by Netflix with 8.1%. Hulu also saw an increase, reaching a 3.0% TV share. Meanwhile, cable TV experienced a 10% decline, while broadcast TV lost 4%. Traditional TV viewing now holds a 50.8% share, down from 54.3% a year ago. Despite seasonal fluctuations, overall TV streaming usage declined by 3% in March compared to February, consistent with previous years' trends.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Ad Placement

TikTok has rolled out 2 new ad placement controls: Category Exclusion and Vertical Sensitivity

TikTok has introduced enhanced ad placement controls, offering advertisers more control over where their ads appear. The new features include Category Exclusion and Vertical Sensitivity controls, allowing brands to avoid association with specific content categories or industry verticals. This move aims to ensure brand consistency and alignment with values. TikTok has also merged account-level controls within TikTok Ads Manager, streamlining the use of these tools. The platform now offers 11 verticals to choose from and has expanded partnerships for post-campaign measurement. Additionally, TikTok Ads Manager introduces the Brand Safety Hub, simplifying brand safety measures for advertisers.

Google Link Removal

Google begins removing links to California news websites as a response to California’s proposed link tax 

Google is pushing back against California's proposed link tax by removing links to California news websites from its search platform. The California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA) would require Google to pay for news links, a move the company sees as detrimental to journalism. Vice President of Global News Partnerships, Jaffer Zaidi, voiced concerns, urging lawmakers to reconsider. Google has a history of supporting publishers, offering initiatives like Google News Showcase and partnering with thousands of news organisations globally. Despite this, CJPA poses a threat to the news industry in California.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
YouTube Shopping Tools

YouTube rolls out new shopping tools ‘Shopping Collection’ and ‘Affiliate Hub’ to boost in-stream commerce

YouTube introduces new in-stream shopping tools to enhance creators' ability to showcase products and increase revenue opportunities. The "Shopping Collections" feature allows creators to curate products thematically, resembling a Pinterest board, enabling more direct promotions and revenue generation. Creators can create collections on the Studio app, with desktop availability coming soon. The "Affiliate Hub" within the app assists creators in finding shopping partners, commission rates, and promo codes, fostering brand partnerships. YouTube has also expanded product tagging capabilities across videos, maximising revenue potential from older content. Integration with Fourthwall offers additional avenues for commerce management and storytelling within YouTube Studio. These updates align with YouTube's efforts to boost in-stream commerce, evidenced by a 25% increase in watch time for shopping-related videos in 2023.

 

X Annual Fee

X expands $1 annual fee for all new accounts to combat bot sign-ups following test

X is planning to expand its annual fee for all new accounts in a bid to combat bot sign-ups. Elon Musk confirmed the initiative, aiming to tackle the "relentless onslaught of bots" on the platform. The move comes after user observations of backend code updates indicating a small annual fee for posting, liking, bookmarking, and replying. Musk clarified that users could browse for free but need to pay to interact initially, with free interaction allowed after three months. This expansion follows the $1 account launch fee trial in New Zealand and the Philippines last October.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Multilingual Ads Research

TikTok shares research highlighting the advantages of creating multilingual ads. The study emphasises the importance of bilingual ad development for brands aiming to connect with broader demographics. TikTok recommends incorporating Spanish language elements year-round to establish authentic connections with Hispanic communities. Voiceovers in ads are found to have a significant impact on brand perception and consideration among bilingual audiences. Moreover, English-speaking audiences also appreciate brands that include other languages in their promotions, signalling inclusivity and trustworthiness. With the potential for AI-driven language translation technology, multilingual ad strategies could become even more integral for marketers.

Google Phone Call-To-Action

Google spotted testing a more descriptive call-to-action ‘Get phone number’ for call button to avoid confusion

Google Ads is experimenting with replacing the traditional ‘call’ button with a more descriptive ‘get phone number’ button. This new feature aims to clarify that users will receive the phone number to call on their own, rather than initiating an immediate call. The change is spotted in Local Service Ads, providing users with a clearer understanding of the button's function. Although it's uncertain if Google will adopt this longer phrase, the test suggests a shift towards more transparent call-to-action buttons.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
eBay AI Shop The Look

eBay rolls out AI-powered ‘shop the look’ feature to iOS app, to provide shoppers with outfit inspiration

eBay has introduced an AI-powered ‘shop the look’ feature on its iOS app, catering to fashion enthusiasts. The new feature suggests personalised outfit ideas based on the customer's shopping history, showcasing both preowned and luxury items. Interactive hotspots reveal similar items and outfit inspirations, promoting a curated shopping experience. Developed in collaboration with eBay's Responsible AI team, the feature aims to complement users' current wardrobe and enhance personal style. Available to users who have viewed at least 10 fashion items in the past 180 days, ‘shop the look’ will be displayed on the eBay homepage and fashion landing page. eBay plans to expand the feature to other categories and enhance personalisation elements over time.

Meta AI-Powered Search Bar

Meta tests the use of an AI-powered search bar in Instagram to aid content discovery and improve its search capabilities

Meta is expanding its use of generative AI-powered products, testing the Meta AI chatbot on WhatsApp in countries like India and experimenting with integrating Meta AI into the Instagram search bar. Users can engage in conversations with Meta AI in DMs or discover new content by tapping prompts like "Beautiful Maui sunset Reels." While Meta confirmed the experiment, it didn't specify if generative AI tech is used in search. The move reflects Meta's efforts to harness AI for content discovery and improve Instagram's search capabilities, possibly in response to features introduced by competitors like TikTok.

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Notes vs Instagram

TikTok confirms it is developing a photo app, rumoured to be called TikTok Notes, to rival Instagram

TikTok is reportedly developing an Instagram competitor app for photo sharing, rumoured to be named TikTok Notes, as indicated by user-posted screenshots. Users have received pop-up notifications about the upcoming app, which will allow sharing of photo posts. TikTok confirmed the development of the app, emphasising its commitment to innovation. The notification assures users that existing photo posts can be shared on TikTok Notes, with an option to opt-out. A TikTok-owned URL hints at the app's existence.

Google Carousel Structured Data

Google has clarified its Carousels Structured Data documentation to emphasise the geographical limitations of rich results feature

Google has updated its Carousels (Beta) Structured Data Documentation, clarifying requirements and geographical limitations. The documentation specifies that the beta feature, which showcases rich results for travel, local, and shopping topics, is restricted to a single geographic area, currently only available in European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The update emphasises implementing structured data on a summary page that links to detailed pages, with examples provided for clarity. Despite the changelog's omission, the new documentation provides crucial information about feature availability. Google aims to streamline usage guidelines for web publishers, ensuring clarity and accuracy in implementing Carousel's structured data for enhanced search results.

 

Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
Bonded Bitesize – Your Midweek Roundup
TikTok Virtual Influencers

TikTok is testing the use of AI-powered virtual influencers for video ads, creating competition for human creators for ad deals 

TikTok is testing AI-powered virtual influencers to compete with human creators for advertising contracts. These avatars can read scripts for video ads created from prompts by brands and TikTok Shop sellers. However, during testing, they haven't generated as many e-commerce sales as human influencers. TikTok suggests these AI influencers should complement, not replace, human creators. Concerns arise about manipulative marketing tactics and potential loss of business for real influencers. Despite being cheaper and quicker, the lower sales and ethical concerns may deter brands from using AI influencers. 



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