Here’s your Last Week in Digital Media and all of the news you may have missed:
TikTok’s December 4th ban passed without incident. There are multiple reports, including a statement from CFIUS that “negotiations are continuing” and won’t seek to enforce the order. That said, also of note is a December 14th court date where the US Government is seeking to appeal a block on the ban.
- just in time for the holidays, Hulu’s co-viewing offering, Watchparty, is now available to everyone just in time for a social-distancing holiday season.
- Snapchat has launched Snapchat Spotlight, their TikTok-like experience. The experience is ad-free (for now), but Snapchat is making US$1MM a day that is shared with creators in Spotlight.
- TikTok is testing the ability to upload longer TikTok videos up to 3min in length. The current max length is 60seconds. If TikTok’s video length increases, it will slowly put it on a collision course with YouTube.
- Google announced the expansion of Google News Showcase. The updates include making selected paywalled news content available.
- Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has been renamed Diem and claims to be on track for a launch. It’s not clear if this means next year, but 2021 does look set to be an interesting year for cryptocurrency with PayPal (since October of this year) letting users buy Bitcoin (and more).
- Google Maps are getting more social, adding a community feed with content from both local users and businesses you follow. =
- Facebook has acquired Kustomer (not a typo), a CRM platform with integrated AI customer service capability. The product already integrates into WhatsApp and Messenger, but can be seen as a sign that Facebook is keen to be a player in the eCommerce space.
- there are multiple rumors that Amazon will buy podcast maker Wondery (paywall). It comes off the back of reports that Amazon will be adding Podcasts to Amazon Music and Audible.
- Verizon announced their solution to a cookieless world with the named ConnectID. While not explicitly stated, the press release reads in a way that suggests Verizon is leveraging both its owned and operated websites and mobile and broadband infrastructure to develop its social graph.
- Discovery+ will debut in January, with two tiers. A US$4.99 ad-lite version and a US$6.99 ad-free. There are no specifics on the ad-load on both tiers, but you can sign up for updates as the Discovery+ service gets closer to launch here.
- YouTube has added more features to YouTube Premieres. YouTube Premiers is a tool for creators to make it so people will watch new videos together (aka appointment viewing)
- reddit’s user numbers continue to grow, claiming 52MMM Daily Active Users (DAUs). It’s the first time reddit has publicly shared user numbers and can be view in the context of its desire to grow its advertising business.
- Warner has announced it will debut content on HBO Max on the same day and date as it is released in cinema. The commitment is at least for 2021, and it’s expected this will put pressure on other studios to follow.
- the debate about political advertising is getting regulatory attention in Europe, with a “European Democracy Action Plan” on the topic expected to be unveiled next week.
- US regulators are reportedly close to filing antitrust cases against Facebook. The lawsuits are expected to be filed next week. 2021 promises to be a big year in big tech antitrust, with as many as 4 antitrust cases brewing against Google and Facebook.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- twitter has updated its policy on hateful content. The blog post that shares policy details is possibly the most transparent when it comes to giving examples of what can result in an account being paused or banned.
- Facebook has shared steps it will be taking to support factual COVID-19 vaccine information. Expect more announcements from platforms on what they plan to do to stop misinformation as COVID-10 vaccines get approved.
- YouTube will warn users if comments they are about to post are potentially offensive. It’s part of an overall attempt by YouTube to make the platform more inclusive.
- Facebook’s Oversight Board announced its first 6 cases (read about them here). The cases are open to public comment by December 8th, 2020. Of the 6 cases, all but 1 was submitted by users, with the outlier being a case submitted by Facebook.
YEAR IN REVIEW
No, not from me but various media companies.
- Spotify’s Wrapped, my personal favorite, is out and a good way to reflect that there has been good music no matter what happened this year.
- TikTok shared their Year in Review, featuring top content, creators, music, and more. Worth a look if you want to understand the platform and breakout TikTok content better.
Finally, a personal note – this will be the last newsletter for 2020. Have a safe and happy holiday season.