Xtracts: November 2023

Belated Happy Halloween

Or an early “Merry Christmas”?

November is a weird period in that regard. But when there is neither one nor the other holiday to focus on, it often means that the focus lies elsewhere. And you can certainly feel that in the digital world.

LinkedIn reaches 1 billion users, Elon Musk presents his new chatbot “Grok” – and what is this with paying for Facebook and Instagram?

Sit back with a cup of coffee while you read this month’s issue of Xtracts. Your digital news overview.

1. Paid Facebook and Instagram are here

You’ve probably already seen this one. This week, many have opened their reliable Facebook or Instagram feeds and seen the message that they can now choose a paid membership. Without ads.

The rather significant addition comes after the EU expressed concerns about Meta’s targeting and data collection. Therefore, users can now choose a paid ad-free membership on Facebook and Instagram – or they can simply continue to use the platforms as they have otherwise done.

It therefore has no direct influence on your company’s advertising. The only uncertain thing for now is how many will ultimately choose to pay for their membership. For that answer, we’ll simply have to wait.

Source: Facebook

2. LinkedIn hits 1 billion users

There is in all likelihood a celebration at LinkedIn HQ- because standing with one billion users on its platform is a milestone not many social media have achieved. In fact, only Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have the same trophy standing on the shelf.

So how exactly is LinkedIn celebrating this important achievement? With the hottest topic of the time: AI. Of course. Paying members on LinkedIn get access to new AI tools that, among other things, should help identify whether a job is suitable for the user’s profile. In addition, they have also introduced a button that can condense longer posts into bullet points – with points tailored to the individual user.

With one billion users, there is no doubt that LinkedIn’s potential is great. So if you’ve ever sat and asked yourself “is this a waste of time?”, see this as a big and clear no.

Source: Reuters

3. Elon Musk announces own AI chatbot

After a long line of Xtracts news on both AI and Twitter/X, this almost feels like the stars are aligned. The year’s biggest topics of conversation come together in earnest, as Elon Musk presents a new chatbot: Grok.

Grok was developed by Elon Musk’s AI team, xAI, and differs from similar systems by being – and here we quote directly – “anti-woke”. Concretely, this means that it is programmed with less censorship of sensitive topics that other chatbots are usually programmed to avoid. It’s the same purpose Elon Musk focused on when he bought Twitter last year.

Grok has access to all data from X, which means that it can machine learn via e.g. posts and profiles. It may be the only AI system with that feature, as Musk works to block other generative AI programs from using data from X.

Source: Social Media Today

4. Instagram is testing two new features

It almost feels like a gift when new features come to well-known social platforms. At least it’s exciting. And that surely also counts for Instagram’s two new features.

The first opens up the possibility that when you post a carousel (series of images), you will be able to give your followers the opportunity to contribute their own images or videos. When they suggest an image or video for the carousel, you’ll need to approve it first before it goes public, so it’s not just anything that will appear alongside your well-considered series of images.

The second initiative concerns a “nearby” feed for stories so that users will be able to see content from e.g. local businesses – even if they don’t follow them. This function is especially good news for you if you regularly use Instagram to create visibility for your business.

Sources: The Verge + Social Media Magazine

5. Google’s AI search will also contain ads

It’s probably not too controversial to admit that much of the AI ‚Äč‚Äčtalk centers on how the experience for the regular user is going to change. And that sort of makes sense too. But as a company, you may still be left with a concern about what significance it all has for something as essential as advertising.

According to Google, however, there is no reason to worry, it seems. Their CEO, Sundar Pichai, has announced that they will be working on ad formats made specifically for what they call their Search Generative Experience: AI-powered search (in short). Earlier this year, Google unveiled some ideas for such formats, so it is not unlikely that it concerns some of them – and maybe more.

In other words: AI is not going to remove the possibility of marketing yourself on the world’s largest website. Google announces that it is precisely important for them that companies still gain visibility to potential customers – even when the search experience becomes more personalized.

Source: The Verge