Bonded Bitesize – Bringing you your midweek roundup of the latest in digital and media. Stay connected with recent updates from TikTok, Meta, Youtube, Google & many more!
Popular photo-sharing app BeReal is considering paid features and subscription models to monetise app without advertisements
According to a report by the Financial Times, BeReal - the photo-sharing app that has soared in popularity recently - is looking at ways to monetise the app whilst avoiding advertisements. Keen to not follow in the footsteps of Instagram and Facebook, BeReal doesn’t want to spam its users with sponsored posts and recommend unknown accounts. The platform is therefore exploring the use of paid features to generate revenues, as well as subscription models like Snapchat+ and Twitter Blue - though advertising has not been ruled out entirely.
Our takeaway… Nobody can deny BeReals successful growth, but if they want to achieve longevity they must remember what it is that sets that apart and not lose that along the way. That’s out two cents anyways!
A new study has revealed Youtube’s ‘dislike’ and ‘not interested’ options do little to alter recommendations
The YouTube algorithm has always puzzled content creators and viewers alike, but a new study has found that users may not have as much control over the recommendation algorithm as they are led to believe. The study by Modzilla took data from over 22’000 users and found that the ‘Not interested’ and ‘Dislike’ button were least effective in preventing bad recommendations, cutting only 11% and 12% respectively. The ‘Remove from watch history’ button cut 29% of bad recommendations, and the ‘Don’t recommend channel’ prevented the most at 43%. Overall users were understandably dissatisfied with YouTube’s ability to keep bad recommendations out of their feeds.
Our takeaway… With criticisms of stale feeds and boring content, YouTube really needs to start listening to its viewers again, or another platform will.
TikTok has upped its video description character limit to 2’200, telling users longer descriptions will help them appear in ‘For You’ pages
Originally limited to 300 characters, TikTok video descriptions have increased to a 2’200 character limit - and TikTok is urging users that every character counts. The platform explains that longer descriptions “allow you to express more details, get closer to your audiences and generate more engagement while becoming searchable and better recommended to viewers. Many online have dismissed this update, claiming that people don’t read TikTok descriptions but as TikTok is keen to replace Google as Gen Z’s search engine, it’s clear that this is more to benefit its algorithm than users.
Our takeaway… If you’re using TikTok as part of your social strategy (which you definitely should be) make sure to take advantage of this higher limit to help give your content the best chance to reach a wider audience.
Facebook is testing a ‘subscribers only’ post option to restrict access to posts to subscribers only, for time periods of 24 hours, 48 hours or a week
Facebook appears to be testing ways to reward top fans and subscribers with priority or exclusive access to a page's posts. This will help incentivise brand loyalty, encouraging users to subscribe to their favourite pages and brands, and will be a great way of boosting value to subscribers.
Our takeaway… Everyone wants to feel like a VIP, we think this will be a great way of building a brand community and to help your audience feel connected to your brand. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to start using this new feature soon!
A new study has reported that 33% of US TikTok users say they regularly get their news on the app, up from 22% in 2022
Turns out TikTok is replacing more than just the Google search engine, it is also replacing the way we get our news. A new study by the Pew Research Centre reports that 33% of TikTok users now say they regularly get their news via the social video app. Meanwhile, nearly every other social media site saw declines across the same metric - including Twitter, the platform most used for news, slipping from 59% to 53% in the last two years. Careful Twitter, it looks like TikTok is coming for your title.
Our takeaway… Start using your brand's TikTok for more than just funny videos, post your company news, product announcements and any other useful insights that your audience might engage with.
Instagram is testing removing the shopping tab from the home screen, instead hiding it underneath settings
As we reported last week, Instagram has started removing shopping features from their interface - having not been used enough by users despite an incline in online shopping post pandemic. In this test the shop tab has been replaced by the notifications tab, a Meta spokesperson confirmed that they are testing changes to ‘simplify the Instagram experience’.
Our takeaway… If your business makes use of this feature, make sure you make your customers aware of this change, and perhaps consider alternative ways of selling to your customers.
Google’s September 2022 core update rollout is now complete, though had less volatility than previous rollouts
Google has confirmed that the September 2022 core update has now finished rolling out, having taken 15 days to fully update. According to data collected by Search Engine Land, the update hit fast but was less impactful than previous updates. Google has issued advice on what to do if your search ranking was impacted negatively by this update - but suggests you may see some recovery between core updates to come.
Meta adds account switching and cross-app account tools to help maximise engagement
Meta’s latest update makes it easier to switch between your connected profiles on both Facebook and Instagram, and add new alerts to entice you from one to the other. The new profile switching interface will now indicate the number of notifications you have on each platform. Meta is encouraging users to set up multiple accounts, stating that they are still exploring ways to “improve connected experiences across all of our technologies’ - so soon we might even be seeing our WhatsApp notifications whilst we’re at it.
Our takeaway… Social media managers rejoice - this ones for you! We know we’ll certainly be making the most of it.
Twitch has announced it will ban the streaming of unlicensed gaming livestreams on its platform to protect users
In an announcement made on Twitter, Twitch has announced it is banning the streaming of unlicensed gaming livestreams, in an effort to clamp down on gambling content to protect users. This comes as a number of crypto gaming streams have surfaced on the platform, sparking backlash from the sites top creators - many of which threatened to boycott twitch if action was not taken. Sites such as Stake.com, Rollbit.com and Duelbits.com have all been banned and Twitch stated others may join this list in the future.
TikTok rolls out a button for users to dislike irrelevant or inappropriate comments to help them learn which comments users don’t want to see
After initial testing, TikTok is rolling out its comment dislike button globally to all users. The button will not be public, and commenters will not be notified that their comments have been disliked or how many times they have been disliked - the purpose instead is to identify irrelevant or inappropriate comments. TikTok described the new dislike button as “a new way to hear feedback directly from users”, helping foster authentic interactions. Youtube and Reddit already have features to dislike or downvote comments, and Twitter is also testing a similar feature.
Meta has launched custom restaurant and grocery ad formats to unite brands, delivery firms and local food businesses in a convenience-first service
Meta has rolled out collaborative ads for local delivery. The custom ad format will help CPG brands, grocers and restaurants all raise awareness of their local offerings, and make it easier for shoppers to buy products directly. Research suggests 57% of shoppers desire to purchase products directly from the site they discover them on, and they hope to reach the 22% of global online shoppers who pay for grocery delivery services.
Netflix is releasing a new mobile game based on its popular bake-off show ‘Nailed It!”, adding to its gaming roster
Netflix has announced it is adding a new title to its gaming roster based on its popular baking show ‘Nailed It!’. The game ‘Nailed It! Baking Bash’ will launch the day before season 7 of the show debuts on the platform - generating buzz for the new series. The game will see players go through sequences of rapid fire mini-games to bake, paint and garnish themed cakes. This is one of many games that Netflix have based off of their hit shows, with the popular ‘Queen’s Gambit’, ‘Too Hot to Handle’ and ‘Shadow and Bone’ also getting their own games.
Youtube has added a voiceover feature to YouTube Shorts, so creators can narrate over videos like they can on TikTok and Instagram already
This may not feel like a revolutionary change, as it is a feature that has long been standard on TikTok and Instagram, but the new voiceover feature on YouTube Shorts will help creators enhance their short-form content. As the platform explains “Add another layer of creative expression to your Shorts by narrating what happens in your content (think: instructions, explanations, reactions and funny comments)”. This comes amid Youtube's big push of its short form content as it battles to retain viewers against rival video platform TikTok, and has just announced it will pay creators 45% of ad revenue for their Shorts content.
Instagram will no longer break up Stories under 60 seconds into separate 15 second clips
Instagram has announced they are rolling out the ability for all users to post longer, uninterrupted stories - having initially tested this feature in a select group of users. This will likely please users who didn’t like their videos being cut up in this way, blurring the lines between Stories and Reels. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram did claim Instagram would be doubling down on their video content, here we can see that in action.
YouTube has announced a new Creator Music page that will help creators find licensed music to use in their videos, either for free or for a small fee
A long problem for YouTube creators - finding unlicensed music to play in the backgrounds of their videos that wont demonetise their content - is now being solved. YouTube’s new ‘Creator Music’ tool, found within the YouTube Studio will provide a catalogue of tracks that creators can legally use, either for a small licensing fee or for free. The tool offers two ways to pay for licensed tracks - buying the licence with an upfront fee, or sharing video revenue with the tracks artist. This new tool will help both video creators and musicians benefit from the platform.