Inside Digital Marketing: July 2023

Aug 8, 2023


At a Glance...

Adobe launches its own AI offering, Meta sheds more light on their Lattice framework and TikTok offers new ways to connect brands and influencers.

Anything Elon can do, Zuckerberg can do better?

July was marked by the unveiling of Threads: a social networking app brought to the world by Zuckerberg’s Meta empire. The app received more than 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours of launching and went on to reach 100 million in 5 days – an unprecedented milestone beating the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.  

The onboarding process is facilitated by the app’s link to Instagram – users can sign in with their Instagram credentials and import contacts. Those who are verified on Instagram will be on Threads. 

In terms of functionality, it’s purposely basic, however with a few upgrades on its rival X (Twitter) with functions such as sharing carousels of up to 10 images, posts up to 500 characters and 5-minute videos.  

But there are many and arguably basic features lacking, which may be contributing to the platform’s trouble to retain users following initial hype. Drawbacks include the algorithmic feed blending posts from those you follow and suggested content with no way to differentiate, there’s no desktop version, and it’s not yet available in the EU. There are also currently no paid advertising opportunities for brands and marketers. 

Since launching, recent reports reveal Threads’ userbase to be down by more than half – a big loss for such a nascent challenger platform. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg assures employees and users that new features and even better links between Instagram & Threads are all in the works. In other words, watch this space.

Meanwhile, Meta looks closer to home, with video-based updates on Facebook

Facebook’s popularity has been hotly debated over the years, but the platform has recently seen an activity surge. Average time spent on platform has increased by a significant margin and the number of daily active users is growing steadily.

The explanation given for this boom in popularity is renewed efforts to improve engagement by focusing on video formats such as Reels. The platform is looking to capitalise on the success of short-form video creation by implementing the Reels editing tools into the main feed. This will allow users to create improved video content, with an additional increase in quality thanks to new added support for HDR videos.  

Meta have also enabled users to view and write comments on Instagram reels directly within Facebook, without having to switch between apps. This means if a user’s accounts are connected, they will be able to get the full viewing and engagement experience for each clip on Facebook, which could enhance usage. 

It is hoped that these new features will help provide Facebook users with more entertaining video content, in line with usage trends which have shown that people are spending more time in the app when they see more recommended video clips in their feed.

Despite Meta’s recent recorded increase in user activity, creation and engagement within both Facebook and Instagram is reportedly on the decline. Users report being less inclined to share personal updates, which was the initial focus of the app.

Going forward, video content is likely to remain the key focus for Meta, as it looks to maximise retention and interest. We look forward to seeing how marketers adapt their social strategies to capitalise on the higher engagement and success within short-form video.

Twitter – oops – is now X

With its recent rebranding as “X”, the Twitter app is undergoing a series of exciting changes that hope to redefine the way users engage and connect online.

While the fundamental look, feel and functionality of the app remains, the transformation to “X” signifies a step towards Elon Musk’s “super-app” ideology.

As a result of the change, users can expect an enhanced range of capabilities. It appears that Musk wants to emulate WeChat, the successful Chinese super-app that offers multiple functions beyond social media, including text and voice messaging, video conferencing, gaming, location sharing, photo and video sharing and mobile payments.

Personalisation is another area where “X” is set to make a significant impact. With AI-driven recommendations, similar to the well-known TikTok “algorithm”, users will be directed to engage on their “for you” page, to discover content aligned with their estimated interests.

Meanwhile, the user @X has been forced to abandon their official twitter handle after holding it for over 16 years, and Twitter affiliates such as the subscription service Twitter Blue have also undergone name changes (in this instance, changing to ‘XBlue’). Musk has also tried to remove the Twitter sign from the outside of the headquarters, but to no avail. 

This raises questions as to what boundaries Musk will try to push next with X, and how much more change we can expect in the future.

Stay tuned for August’s instalment of INside Digital Marketing, as we continue to monitor the digital trends of 2023 and the evolution of Paid Media. Follow us across LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for more.

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