Xtracts: October 2023

Have you noticed Facebook’s new logo?

It has a new shade of blue. And a slightly larger F.

It’s a bit too short to be included among this month’s top five news. I can’t think of much more to write about it, at least – short of writing a whole novel. But it should be mentioned, so there you go.

And now the rest. Snapchat may be about to overtake TikTok, Spotify is thinking about cloning podcast hosts’ voices, and a flood of AI/VR initiatives is on its way to Meta’s platforms.

There’s a lot to digest. So let’s dive into this month’s edition of Xtracts. Your digital news overview.

1. A flood of AI and VR initiatives on Meta’s platforms is on its way

We might as well say it right away: 3 of this month’s news are about AI. And this piece alone could in practice be all of them. Because Meta is not just ready with one tool – but a whole series of them.

At this year’s Connect Conference, Meta revealed a whole series of AI and VR initiatives that are on their way to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. It includes an AI chatbot with celebrity voices, AI-guided photo editing on Instagram and the next version of Meta Quest, their line of VR headsets.

It’s quite an AI wave that Meta has started here, so it will be exciting to say the least to see what difference it can make – and what their next move could possibly be.

Source: Social Media Today

2. Twitter receives a failing grade in the fight against misinformation

Two of the most talked about topics of the time must undoubtedly be climate change and misinformation – and for good reason. If you have both on your Xtracts bingo card, then we have good (or rather bad) news.

Climate Against Disinformation has looked at the largest social platforms to investigate how they moderate content and try to limit the spread of misinformation about, among other things, the climatic conditions. And here, Twitter, now X, only scored a single point out of a possible 21. In comparison, the top scorer Pinterest gets a whopping 12 points. So it is not an exam where it is impossible to pass.

The platforms were, among other things, assessed on whether they had available information about climate science and whether their policy around combating misinformation was made clear. However, Twitter’s/X’s only point was for having an easily accessible and readable privacy policy.

Source: The Guardian

3. Snapchat may overtake TikTok in 2023

A year ago, there was no force of nature that could stop TikTok’s enormous growth. But this year’s SoMe crown could very well go to good old Snapchat.

Before you ask: no, Snapchat does not have more users than TikTok. The popular video platform still leads with its +1 billion users. But Snapchat, on the other hand, stands to see the biggest growth of all social platforms in 2023 , with an increase of a whopping 13.4%. That was otherwise a record that TikTok proudly stood with in 2022.

Despite the influx of new social media, Snapchat still manages to stand strong – especially among the younger segment. Keep this in mind if Snapchat is not already on the list of your business’ marketing channels.

Source: Marketing Tech News

4. ChatGPT is upgraded once again

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought “it’s easier if I show you”? Or “it’s going to be too long for a text, I’ll call instead”? If you have ever been in the those situations with ChatGPT, then I have good news for you.

OpenAI has started to open up the possibility of communicating with ChatGPT via images and voice communication – and not just text. It opens up significantly more advanced communication options, where ChatGPT will be able to solve more complicated queries – and respond with a computer-generated voice for easier communication.

OpenAI announces that the security of the image recognition feature has been thoroughly tested and that the voice output will be limited to conversations for now.

Source: Search Engine Journal

5. Spotify will clone podcast voices and translate them

We end October’s Xtracts with more AI news. This one, however, is perhaps the most notable. Because if you are not a big fan of English-language podcasts, then we might be in for an exciting time: Spotify are using AI to outright copy the hosts’ voices and translate them into other languages.

For now, it is a partnership with selected podcasts and they are only able to translate English podcasts into Spanish (soon also French and German). But as mentioned, it is not a typical AI voice, but rather the original hosts’ own voices. The aim is therefore that users should be able to listen to their favorite podcasts in the language that suits them best – in a way that does not take too much away from the original experience.

It’s always interesting to see how AI is being used to further accessibility and promote increased connectivity across the globe. We’ll be waiting for the tool to open up for translation into Finnish, Swedish, and Danish too.

Source: The Verge