Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media and all of the news you may have missed:
- Snapchat is experimenting with letting users share Snap content-off platform, e.g., Snap Originals, Shows, and Publisher stories. It’s also testing changes to the main feed under the name Spotlight, and it would feature content from creators.
- reverse engineer Jane Wong has discovered that Linked In is working on a TikTok like vertical discover feed experience.
- Oracle’s name was added to the list of companies considering acquiring TikTok’s US assets. For completeness, the full list of suitors is now Microsoft, twitter, and Oracle. FYI, the Trump administration updated executive order gives until November for a deal to conclude, although, of all potential suitors, Microsoft is committing to a September timeline.
- Facebook-owned VR hardware platform, Oculus, will require users to have a Facebook account to use the product from October of this year, and by 2023 you won’t be able to use Oculus without a Facebook account (even if you have a legacy account). The news has not been well received.
- TikTok published a very brief blog post detailing how TikTok’s analytics work. You might find it interesting if you have ever wondered what creators or businesses see if they have a pro account.
- Spotify may be looking to get into the audiobook space based on a recent (now closed) job posting by the company.
- Google may have big plans in store for Google Images (paywall) with the company poaching the former content chief of Snap. All of which could position Google images as a challenger to Pinterest.
- something to be aware of, Chrome is testing labeling pages that are fast loading – which will have broad implications across publishers and client sites. Keep in mind that Google also plans to downrank sites in organic search that are slow to load.
- a few key Instagram updates. Instagram will soon have an infinite scroll, with suggested posts when you get to the end of the feed for those you follow. Instagram is also bringing QR codes to the app that will work with any QR code reader, i.e., you don’t have to have Instagram to be able to read the codes.
- a random aside tip, if you do use TikTok, they have now enabled users to turn on two-factor authentication (2FA). Regardless of how the ban plays out, recommend you turn it and more broadly across all services.
ONLINE VIDEO and STREAMING
- something interesting that I saw, Apple is promoting half price Showtime and CBS All Access for those with an AppleTV+ subscription
- Google appears to be working on a new streaming aggregation offering called Kaleidoscope that will be integrated into Chrome. It looks to be a meta streaming service, offering to give you all your streamed programs in one place.
- Nielsen’s Q1 2020 US Share of Daily Time by Platform data is now available. The date is interesting (check out the chart here) as it breaks out and compares media consumption with comparisons of Q1 19 to Q1 20 and by demographic. Across all demos, Live and time-shifted TV consumption are on the decline, and smartphone and app use continues to increase. The full report is available here (registration required).
- Pinterest insights data is always interesting to trawl through. They’re showing that searches for “fall hair color” +2408% (a sign that COVID home hair styling continues to be a trend). Plans for upgraded home entertainment experience are also increasing with “wall tv unit design” up 166%. Contact your Pinterest lead for more details.
- Pew Research has come out with a new study that suggests that most Americans think social media censors political viewpoints. The study is worth a read as it gives you a perspective on US positions on social media and how they have become highly partisan.
- Google published an open letter to Australians, suggesting that some free services might be lost because of Australian government plans to make Google pay for news content. The Australian competition regulator responded, saying that Google was sending misinformation. Digiday has a good breakdown of the issue.
- with the TikTok ban still looming, the company has started on a comms strategy to counter the regulatory narrative. There’s now a dedicated site where TikTok looks to “set the record straight,” as well as an official TikTok PR handle on twitter. TikTok has also signaled it plans to mount a court challenge to the ban as early as this coming week.
- Mark Zuckerberg testified before the FTC as part of the FTC’s ongoing antitrust investigations. There’s little other information other than Facebook did confirm that it occurred.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- Integral Ad Science (IAS) now offers fraud and viewability measurement across Pinterest. Reach out to Pinterest or IAS for details.
- TikTok has updated its community guidelines, specifically around hate speech, including steps to limit the way hateful content surfaces in search results. TikTok also noted that since the start of 2020, it has removed more than 380,000 videos for violating its hate speech policy.
- reddit published details of the impact of changing its policy on hate speech, which included banning several subreddits. It’s interesting to view as it shows the effect of prohibiting hateful groups on a platform and how it can reduce the number of toxic comments.
- twitter has overhauled its transparency center. The changes are detailed in a twitter transparency center blog post. The new transparency center is easier to understand key metrics, offers multiple visualizations, and reports can be downloaded a PDF or CSV file. In terms of the latest data, twitter has taken more action on accounts and content for this reporting period (Jul-Dec 2019).
Say safe and have a great week.