Xtracts: January 2024

Welcome to 2024

The sound of jingle bells and fireworks is soon a distant memory, and a new year has arrived. What does the new year have in store for the marketing world?

If you haven’t already seen it there is news from Threads. In addition to that, Google is testing Tracking Protection, Instagram is exploring the possibilities with Notes, and Meta is expanding their fact-checking program.

Grab your reading glasses and make yourself comfortable – it’s time for the first Xtracts of the year, your digital news overview. Enjoy.

1. Threads is finally available in the EU

In November of 2023, Meta said that Threads would be available in the EU before the end of the year. And it became a reality – right on time. On Thursday, December 14th, Meta’s newest addition to the collection, Threads, became available to Danes as well as the rest of the EU.

But why has it taken so long? Already back in July 2023, many countries had access to the platform. No EU country, however, was part of this pool. The reason for this was that Threads had to be approved by the European Commission and comply with the rules dealing with the protection of personal information. Among other things, the app had to be accessible without a user.

Before Threads became available in the EU, it wasn’t possible to access the platform without a user – nor to delete your Threads account without also deleting your Instagram. The latter was changed in November 2023, and at the same time as the launch in December, it became possible to browse around the platform without having a user.

Welcome, Threads.

Source: The Guardian

2. Google is testing Tracking Protection

Data security and third-party cookies have been on the agenda for a long time – and made many internet users nervous about their information and their use of the internet.

Now, however, Google has entered the next phase of its program for phasing out web tracking cookies. The phase involves implementing a new ‘Tracking Protection’ which will allow users of Google Chrome to limit the data they share when they click on a website. The first tests have started, and it is expected that third-party cookies will be phased out for everyone by the end of summer 2024.

The goal is to learn how to optimize the user experience without the current tracking, while at the same time giving users more options to limit the sharing and use of their data. It will also be possible for users to switch off the tracking protection from time to time, as some websites will not be able to load correctly for the first long time without the use of third-party cookies.

The tracking protection will affect how data is collected and user behavior is measured, so new ways of creating insight will be needed to accommodate.

Source: Social Media Today

3. Meta is expanding its fact-checking program

Of the big things that will happen in 2024, we can’t avoid Denmark’s Queen Margrethe stepping down and passing the crown on to her son, Crown Prince Frederik. If we zoom out on the world map, there is another big event knocking on the door: the US presidential election.

It is therefore crucial that any social media maintains the authenticity of the platform’s content. Meta has made this its noblest task and has therefore expanded its fact-checking program on Threads.

With an increasing number of users on Threads, the risk of spreading fake news has become higher, and an increased effort in that area is therefore a wise move on Meta’s part.

With the program, third-party fact-checking partners can now access and rate fake content on Threads. In time, it will also be possible for users to set how much sensitive content they want to see in their feed – which is already an option on both Facebook and Instagram.

Source: Social Media Magazine

4. New ways to use Notes on Instagram 

Maybe you’ve noticed little bubbles of text hanging from your friends’ profile pictures at the top of your Messenger app and in your Instagram inbox. It’s Meta’s Notes feature – a new way to communicate and engage through the app.

If you have neither seen your friends using the function nor used it yourself, don’t feel left out. It is primarily the younger target group who have adopted it as part of their lives on social media – and this is sweet music to Meta’s ears, as Instagram has otherwise been losing ground as the preferred app among young people. And despite the narrow target group, Instagram continues to test new ways of using the function.

Among other things, they are testing the possibility that users can add Notes to other profiles, which will subsequently be visible for three days. This means that a user can both leave Notes himself, but also see what other users have left of Notes on the profile in question. In the first test phase, the location of these Notes was called the “Wonder Wall”, which led to a lot of bad puns.

However, Instagram does not stop here. Both reels and posts have become victims to a series of Notes tests. The Meta team can’t seem to stop themself and are testing the implementation of Notes on all parts of the platform.

Source: Social Media Today

5. Threads is introducing its own version of hashtags

You know hashtags – but what about topic tags?

Topic tags are Thread’s new, very own version of the otherwise well-known hashtag, which should allow users to explore and discover brands in a new way. Immediately one might think “Isn’t it the same as hashtags?” – but not quite. Meta points out that topic tags are more community-focused. In addition, there are some technical differences:

  • Users are not required to add ‘#’ in front of the tag.
  • Spaces are allowed.
  • Special characters are allowed.
  • It is only permitted to make one tag in a post.

According to the Meta team, it is a way for users to more easily connect with others who are interested in the same topics as themselves. And as a business, it is obvious to take advantage of this. It is not yet possible to advertise on the platform (it will be soon), but on the other hand, there is no obstacle to creating a profile and creating organic content. Here you can make use of relevant topic tags so that users can discover and interact with your content and brand.

Source: Search Engine Land