Here’s your Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed:
- despite launching Reels within Instagram, Facebook is still looking for ways to take on TikTok. This includes testing a TikTok like short video offering within the main Facebook app in India. You can see screenshots of the experience here.
- ViacomCBS is rumored to be considering renaming CBS All Access to Paramount+
- Spotify is still looking at developing in-car hardware according to a recent job ad spotted on the site for a Head of Hardware Development. Reigniting rumors that the Spotify in-car music player, first talked about in 2019, is back on the product roadmap.
- TikTok has announced the first creators to receive funds as part of TikTok’s creator fund. You can see the full list of creators and details of the content they produce here.
- Facebook and Snap both held talks to acquire the TikTok-like lip-syncing app Dubsmash. The app (at the time of writing) ranks at #44 in the US App store, but it’s worth noting TikTok is buying App Store ads when people search on Dubsmash.
- Foursquare has achieved MRC accreditation for its location visits data and is the first location provider to be MRC accredited.
- Amazon has rebranded Twitch Prime as Prime Gaming with an increased focus on all the other Amazon services included in Prime membership. As part of the change, Amazon has made it so Prime members can use the service without creating a separate twitch account.
- the Chrome browser is doing a test for Chrome 86, where the browser hides the full URL in the address bar. It’s interesting because the theory is it would help protect a user from a phishing attack, but it’s hard not to think it would also hide some of the tracking code that users readily see in a website address.
- there’s a study by comparison site WhistleOut that compares that ad load across various social platforms. While not scientific, it’s interesting and notes Facebook has the highest ad load, followed by Instagram, Linked In, twitter, and then (with a very low load) is TikTok.
FACEBOOK AD BOYCOTT
During the Facebook Ad Boycott, the company committed to delivering on a number of items. Facebook’s progress against each of these will be reported separately to the general news.
- Facebook published its August 2020 Community Standards Enforcement Report (CSER), which included updates on hate speech. The company identified 22.5MM pieces of content (up from 9.6MM), of which 94.5% was found by AI. Facebook also shared details on how Facebook approaches content moderation.
- Facebook also launched its US-based Voting Information Center across Facebook and Instagram. This launched within the timeline promised by Facebook and should now be visible to all US users.
On both of the items above, Facebook is still working towards reporting on Hate Speech prevalence as well as formalizing the overall policy on labeling voting content (outside of what is now in place for elected representatives and candidates).
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- the final California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations were approved on Friday (8/14) and go into effect immediately. You can read the final CCPA regulations here (PDF).
- IPG Mediabrands and Reprise announced the results of its Media Responsibility Audit, a first of its kind analysis aimed to enhance brand safety and responsibility in advertising.
- they NY Times reports that about 1/3rd of TikTok’s US users are under 13 according to internal TikTok documents. Outside the US, there are reportedly even a higher number of under 13-year-olds on the platform.
- in other challenging news for TikTok, the WSJ (paywall) reports TikTok was collecting Android device data in an apparent violation of Google’s policies and with no way for a user to opt-out. The practice ended in November of 2019.
- Linked In has started removing COVID-19 misinformation from the platform. As the AdAge article notes, it demonstrates that even Linked In is not immune to the problems facing other social platforms.
- a coalition of media companies (Facebook, Verizon, Wikimedia, Google, reddit, etc.) released a joint statement on how they’re working to protect the integrity of the upcoming US election. YouTube also published a detailed post on how YouTube supports elections.
This last story doesn’t fit any category but I urge you to read it. There’s a deep learning AI tool called Generative Pre-trained Transformer or GPT. GPT-2 was deemed by the creators as too dangerous to release (a limited version was). The concerns about the dangers didn’t slow down development and GPT-3 is being tested. A college student got access to GPT-3 for research purposes and put it to work producing a motivational self-help blog. You can read the outcome of his GPT-3 tests here or read the content it produced on his blog. To editorialize, it’s eye-opening, concerning, and I doubt major platforms and the advertising ecosystem are prepared for the harm unethical could cause – let alone society.
PS. A distraction and more fun side of AI, if you have an iPhone running iOS 12 (or later) there’s a free app called doodlar that guesses the animal you draw and creates an AR equivalent. It’s someone hit or miss (or my drawing is awful, which could also be true) but it’s interesting to try out. Just FYI the selection of animals is somewhat limited unless you pay for the premium packs e.g. dogs are free but elephants require an in-app purchase.