The TwoSix team is here to share what’s On Our Radar for August so that you can stay ahead of the always-evolving digital marketing landscape. This month our team discusses YouTube Shorts, Photoshop Beta, what’s going on with Twitter, and so much more! Keep reading to find out what we’re keeping On Our Radar for August 2023.
In their recent earnings call, Google announced that more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users are now watching YouTube Shorts, giving it an edge over competitors like TikTok and Instagram. I have even recently seen a Shorts watermark on a TikTok video – which was a first. I am sure we will more of this as the network grows.
They have also recently introduced six new ways to create content on Shorts, including remixes with a tool called Collab, along with some new effects and stickers. They are also testing a mobile-first vertical live experience that will show up right in the Shorts feed.
Click the button below to learn more about the most recent enhancements for Shorts!
Let’s be honest, TikTok content creation isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Making short-form, vertical video content isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Now, thanks to some updates, getting active on TikTok has never been easier! No longer do you have to be a video wizard or savvy on-camera personality. Now you can leverage Photo Mode and a brand new text format on TikTok to make content creation a breeze.
Photo Mode: Lately, we’ve been seeing incredible engagement using carousel posts on Instagram. So much so, that we’ve been encouraging our clients to abandon those single-image posts to lean into those engagement-driving, multi-image posts. It looks like TikTok took notice! Now you can create image carousels (Photo Mode) on TikTok to tell a compelling story. This is perfect for DMOs looking to showcase their destination’s offerings. When you use Photo Mode don’t’ forget to use that 2,200-character limit to tell your story! It’s so great to see that we no longer need to suffer the immense pain of going out to shoot videos just for TikTok and other vertical formats. Now you can lean on your trusty old image archive to help you get more active on this emerging network. That’s a huge win for a lot of creators.
Here’s a helpful guide that will get your going with Photo Mode in no time!
Text: The latest update is about as simple as it can get. Text posts. That’s it, just text. It really doesn’t get any easier. You can enhance your text posts with stickers, tags, colors, and sounds. Now you can take snippets from high-performing content like blogs or other landing pages and adapt them to a TikTok post. There really is no shortage of things you could do. In addition to blog snippets, think about posting reviews from online listings, and comments from social media posts, and use it to source ideas for future content from your audience to encourage engagement. The possibilities are truly endless.
Here’s a helpful guide that you can use to start leveraging the new text post option!
The addition of these post types is really a win for all time-stretched content creators. Now, regardless of your skill level, available time, or will, there’s a way for you to truly activate your TikTok efforts. At the end of the day, no more excuses. You can’t hide from TikTok any longer because you don’t have time to shoot videos. Go play around with the new format and get busy!
When you go to your GA4 account, do you see a red banner at the top? What about an email saying, “Review your updated GA4 property”? Well, they’re all about the same thing: you didn’t complete the GA4 Migration Checklist. If you see these messages, it means that GA4 automatically migrated your settings from your Universal Analytics account to your GA4 account.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll want to make sure you want those changes it automatically did for you. Click on “See change history” in the red banner or “VALIDATE YOUR PROPERTY” in the email. You should then see your “Property Change History” — go through and verify whatever changes “System (migration)” made are correct.
If you’re seeing the message above, “Migrating from Universal Analytics”, or something similar, then go ahead and complete the GA4 Migration Checklist! Our guide walks you through everything you need to know. This will prevent the auto-migration from happening your GA4 property.
AI is all anyone is talking about these days, including us. The rise of ChatGPT has now had an effect on Meta, who plans to launch AI chatbots with over 30 different personalities in the fall. Personas can range from historical figures to a stereotypical surfer dude with a lot of variation in between. You are able to choose the persona you prefer, ask the chatbot questions and receive advice and maybe even inspire your creativity all within the app. We can also expect to see more advanced visual creation tools for Instagram in the near future.
It will be interesting to see if AI eventually makes it’s way into the ad creation space of meta. No plans have been announced yet, but I could see that being the next advanced step. It will be interesting to see if these chatbots will start to understand your personality and way of thinking as I’ve seen ChatGPT do a better job of giving me answers in the style that I prefer. Although, with the addition of the personas, user understanding may get lost as it’s trying to stay within the parameters of a character. Next month we will see how the chatbots change the meta experience, until then may the metaverse be with you.
EXPAND YOUR IMAGE LIBRARY WITH PHOTOSHOP BETA
As AI and machine learning become more and more integrated into our daily lives, knowing how you can apply the tool and make your life easier can be a huge leg up. An issue that comes up frequently for CVBs is a lack of image assets. It is difficult to maintain a full library of images that are new, relevant, and speak to every niche in your destination during every season you want to promote them. Not to mention the cost of models, photographers, etc.
With Photoshop Beta – available to any users with the standard Adobe Photoshop subscription – you can now take your best quality images and change them to match seasons or fit a particular niche you are speaking to. For example, we took the photo below and changed the image from fall to spring:
To do this:
- Open the original image in Photoshop Beta
- From the top navigation menu, go to:
- Filter->Neural Filters…->Landscape Mixer (you may need to download the pack)
- Make sure the Landscape Mixer is toggled on, then chose an image from the presets or upload one from your own image library that resembled the season you would like.
- In this example, we picked another river with green trees.
- Play with the sliders until you are satisfied, then click ok.
Another way you can use PhotoShop Beta to broaden your image asset library, is too use the Generative Fill tool to add niche activities to your photos. For example, if you wanted to write a blog about bike trails, but don’t have photos with models biking on trails, you can create your own.
To do this:
- Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (it should automatically be the tool your cursor is set to when you open the program) to draw a rectangle where you would like the subject to be.
- Click “Generative Fill” and type in what you would like to see. For example “Couple on Bicycles”, then click “Generate”.
- This will open a new window with three options, plus a prompt area where you can adjust the language for better results if needed. You may need to play around a bit to get the desired results.
While these tools are not a complete replacement for real photos, it’s great to have in your back pocket.
Just when you think you’ve started to understand what’s going on in the Twitter-verse, suddenly one of the most well-known social media logos disappears from our phones. That’s right, if you haven’t noticed it yet, the infamous twitter bird logo has been replaced by a minimalist, stylized X symbol. Alongside the logo change, Elon Musk also changed the Twitter name to X, leaving some Twitter fans puzzled. As with all the changes happening recently with Twitter and Meta, opinions are divided, but one thing is for certain – Elon Musk sure knows how to keep us on our toes.
Along with the updates to Twitter, Musk has also released some fiery tweets accusing Meta of intellectual property infringement related to the name “X”, which he now claims to have exclusive rights to. He stated that “the letter X us synonymous with my technological ventures, and we will vigorously defend our trademark.” While neither Zuckerburg nor Musk have issued official statements following this outburst, the potential legal battle between the two would definitely be a high-stakes showdown.
Finally, amidst all the commotion surrounding Elon’s Twitter changes, the app “Threads” continues to grow in popularity, but it’s future remains uncertain. Recently, Threads surpassed a significant milestone, reaching 150 million downloads across various platforms, although it’s usage rates aren’t as impressive. The app has seen a major drop in user engagement since the initial surge of new accounts. As the Twitter-competitor continues trying to gain traction, it also receives its first major update, where it introduced a “Following” feed, upgrading the in-app experience. As we discussed in last month’s On Our Radar, many users were upset about the lack organization on their feeds and not seeing and Threads from people they follow. By listening to these complaints and delivering updates, perhaps Threads will begin to rise again in user engagement, or maybe “X” will draw people back to Twitter… we will just have to wait and see!
Mark Zuckerberg is still determined to bring Threads to the forefront of social media, despite the monumental decline in usage over the last few weeks. Planned updates to Threads announced last Friday may be a significant step in that direction.
Zuckerberg says that within “the next few weeks,” search and web functionality will be added to Threads. Currently, Threads’ search feature only allows you to search for users, and not posts. Threads posts will soon become searchable within the app, likely with the help of functional hashtags, which Adam Mosseri hinted at a few weeks ago. On top of this, posts will become available to access on the web through search engines like Google.
Right now, there’s not a whole lot of customization options for Threads feeds, nor is there a simple way to find posts about a particular niche or topic. Zuckerberg’s plans will change this entirely, and will hopefully make Threads a much more appealing channel for businesses to market themselves. This is a huge step in making Threads an actual contender against X. It’s also going to massively improve exposure for Threads posts.