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Little Bits Digital Trends: The hottest app right now? One where teens have to say nice things about each other

This month we are happy to share some interesting Media, Content and Design announcements, articles, features and reports along with our take on each, to help keep you up to date with the latest marketing news.

The Hottest App Right Now? One Where Teens Have to Say Nice Things About Each Other

Gas is topping Apple’s App Store charts despite being limited to a handful of states. Gas asks teens multiple-choice questions about classmates in their school, letting them choose yearbook-style superlatives such as “the most beautiful person you have ever met” or the classmate who is “never afraid of getting in trouble.” Users have downloaded Gas more than 500,000 times since its launch in late August, according to Data.AI. The goal is to promote positivity online among teens.

Our Take: Fantastic. Much like BeReal, we’re (finally) seeing more and more innovation in the social space that leans into positive outcomes. Do we think this app will take off? No. Do we think other platforms may notice and steal the concept. We hope so.

YouTube Adds Support for @Username Handles

In an effort to improve the way creators identify their channels and direct viewers to their pages, YouTube has announced “handles”. The “handles” are an @username format that are available to everyone on YouTube. The handles will be available on both channel pages and shorts to make them “instantly and consistently recognizable” across the platform. Users will be able to @mention other in comments, community posts, video descriptions, and more.

Our Take: It’s about time that YouTube caught up to these handles which are widely available on most other social media platforms.

TikTok Introduces Photo Mode for Still Images and Longer Video Captions

TikTok has added a new Photo Mode feature which closely resembles the Instagram platform. Users are now able to post images and carousels for other users to scroll through and view. Music can also be added to these still photos which can automatically play or be swiped through by viewers. Additionally, TikTok has announced that video captions will now be 2,200 characters instead of the previous 300. This big jump is a reflection of how users, particularly younger users, engage with the app and use it as a discovery platform.

Our Take: Bring on the challenge to Instagram! Other platforms have been content to borrow ideas from TikTok and now the app has begun to borrow from them.

Instagram Tests Out New Ad Options Ahead of the Holiday Season

Instagram has announced some new ad options in the hopes of maximizing its revenue intake ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. New ads will be added into Explore, some of which can take up to four tiles of space inventory. Instagram has also begun to test ads in profile feeds. This would mean that if you visited someone’s profile page and tap on a post you will be eligible to be served ads on that stream of content. The platform is currently in talks as to whether or not ads on a profile feed would be a monetization opportunity for creators. Additionally, Instagram is testing “Multi-Advertiser Ads”, which will display more promotions from similar businesses to users after they have engaged with a relevant ad. Last but not least, Instagram has launched an pen beta f its AR Ads which will be available in both feed and stories in the app.

Our Take: This is a bounty of new ad spaces! Think of relevant products showing up on a profile page that specializes in related content. Mowers against a landscaping page would be a wonderful fit. The new real-estate on the Explore page could also help brands get more visibility against the clutter of images.

Instagram is Working on ‘Achievement” Badges for Reels

Instagram may soon implement an “Achievement” feature to their Reels in order to boost the creation and engagement of them. These badges will be based on your Reel’s performance and you could earn a “Trendsetter” or “Creative Streak” achievement.

Our Take: Whether or not this will engage creators to produce more Reels remains to be seen, but Reels are here to stay and Instagram continues to push video content over images.

Pinterest Enters New Partnership with Warner Music Group and Merlin

Pinterest has now announced new partnerships with Warner Music Group, Warner Chappell Music, Merlin, and BMG to bring top artists and music to the platform. Users will now be able to add tracks from popular artists to their Idea Pins. This partnership not only expands Pinterest’s royalty-free music library to include licensed tracks, but will help in the discovery of new music by Pinterest users.

Our Take: This will allow users more freedom to expand their Idea Pins and engage with Pinterest. Pinterest keeps on quietly truckin’.

LinkedIn Adds New Accessibility Features, Including Auto-Captions on Videos

Auto captions can be a big help, not just for those with hearing difficulties, but also for people watching video in ‘sound off’ situations. As such, the practical value here is significant, and it’s good to see LinkedIn taking the next steps in activating the option with its video clips.

Our Take: This is great, but again, welcome to 8 years ago, LinkedIn.

Snapchat Posts Mixed Results in Latest Earnings Update

Snapchat has shared its latest performance update, reporting an increase in users, but slower ad growth as a result of ongoing challenges in the digital ads market. This is despite Snapchat adding 16 million more daily active users 

Our Take: Another competition victim of the newer, shinier TikTok it sounds like.

YouTube Announces a Range of Design Changes and UI Updates, Including Pinch-to-Zoom

YouTube has announced a range of visual tweaks and UI updates, which it says are intended to make the app feel ‘cleaner, more lively’, and easier to use for different purpose. The biggest update is pinch to zoom, which enables users to expand the playback screen to examine certain details or elements.

Our Take: Gotta stay fresh, and we have to say, YouTube is.

TikTok Replaces Netflix as Second Most-Popular App for Those Under 35

TikTok has jumped over Netflix to become the second most popular app in the United States among people under 35, according to new research Omdia shared with Marketing Dive.

Our Take: Netflix has had a rough year. Maybe their new ad served platform will turn things around. More inventory for media departments!

Gillette kicks off first NFL live broadcast mixed-reality commercial

Procter & Gamble’s Gillette hosted the NFL’s first live broadcast mixed-reality commercial on October 24 in an effort to promote its new GilletteLabs with Exfoliating Bar product, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. The game was between the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots (Bears won. 33-14), and transformed Gillette Stadium into “GilletteLabs Stadium” in front of viewers. See the video above.

Our Take: This was insane. A virtual takeover of the TV screen basically, it made us wonder exactly how many razors they had to sell to pay for this stunt. Cool stuff nonetheless, and a possible glimpse at new ad opportunities for live TV in the future.


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