January 2023

January 2023 Roundup

You’d think the digital world would let us fully escape our food coma, but here we are the first week of January with a roundup of the latest news.

A new Instagram feature reminds some of us of our MSN Messenger days, Twitter might force you to share your data for advertising, TikTok is testing horizontal videos, those crypto ads may have been trying to scam you after all, and you probably should hold off on making a jump into the Metaverse just yet.

Hopkins Communications - Sparks Post January 2023 - New features for Instagram include a throwback to MSN Messenger

New features for Instagram include a throwback to MSN messenger:

2023 will see Instagram introduce several new features for users, including Candid Stories (their BeReal clone!), which allows users to share images taken with both their front and back cameras, Group Profiles, which are private profiles for groups of users, and Notes, which are short text messages that can be shared with a limited group of people It’s this last feature that’s caught our eye.

Instagram Notes are short notes, up to 60 characters long, that can be posted to followers or to a user’s “Close Friends” list.

Instagram Notes disappear after 24 hours, and users can reply to them through direct messages. They are a subtle way for users to communicate news, updates, or other information to their followers, and are useful for businesses to promote products, offer customer service, or connect with their customers.

They can be found in the inbox, located in the top right corner of the app, and are accessed by clicking on the + Leave a Note button in the top left corner. Instagram Notes were initially tested in July 2022 and were launched globally in December.

If this seems as familiar to you as it did to us, then congratulations! You’re old too! If it isn’t then this is very reminiscent of MSN Messenger’s status feature. In the olden days (!), MSN Messenger was the only way to contact your friends. Being the relatively early days of the internet, it led to quite a high dose of cringe.

Hopkins Communications - Sparks Post January 2023 - New features for Instagram include a throwback to MSN Messenger

BRB after we change our Instagram Note to some wistful song lyrics…

Twitter might force you to share data

Twitter might force you to share data:

Twitter owner Elon Musk’s plans to require users to accept personalised advertising or pay for an opt-out subscription service and share their location and phone numbers for ad targeting purposes, and this has raised concerns among regulators.

The Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK and the Irish Data Protection Commission are both reviewing the plans, and other regulators may follow. Twitter’s plans may violate the principle of data economy in the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Privacy Rights Act, which state that businesses should only collect personal information that is necessary to perform a service or provide goods and that consumers have the right to limit the use of their personal information.

The potential for backlash from users and regulatory action could harm Twitter’s advertising business. Especially when you consider that EU privacy regulators have ruled that Facebook and Instagram shouldn’t use their terms of service to require users to accept ads based on their digital activity.

Hopkins Communications - Sparks Post January 2023 - TikTok is Testing Horizontal videos

TikTok is testing horizontal videos:

TikTok is testing a feature that allows users to view videos in full screen horizontally. The feature is intended to enhance the viewing experience for users of the app, particularly those who watch longer-form content, and to make the creative experience better for creators.

The move is seen as a way for TikTok to attract content creators who normally post on YouTube, as the company has previously rolled out the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length. It is not yet known whether TikTok will release the feature widely or in its current form.

Everyone thought TikTok was trying to compete with Instagram (even Meta), but maybe all along their white whale has been Google.

Crypto ads under investigation for being misleading:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating several cryptocurrency firms over allegations that their advertisements were deceptive or misleading, according to Bloomberg. FTC spokesperson Juliana Gruenwald Henderson did not reveal whether the investigation is centered on the firms’ advertising strategies.

Crypto-related brands spent $223m on ads in the US through October 2022, an increase of 150% from the previous year. Some celebrities, including Larry David and Tom Brady, who have starred in ads for FTX, have been named in a class-action lawsuit against FTX and its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, for giving “credibility” to the company.

In fairness though, that Larry David ad was quite good:

Don’t Believe Metaverse Hype

Don’t Believe Metaverse Hype:

The adoption of Web3 technology and the metaverse by advertisers and brands has slowed, with almost 50% of more than 700 Marketing Brew readers believing opportunities for marketers in these areas are overhyped, according to a recent poll.

Advertisers are attempting to make Web3 concepts more approachable and in some cases avoiding the terminology altogether. The downturn in the economy, which has impacted companies like Meta and Snap, may also lead to less experimentation and investment in the metaverse.

While some brands are still experimenting with Web3, the focus has shifted to building strategies beyond buzz, with metrics and conversions taking precedence over generating headlines.

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#HC hun