AI Girlfriends, UA 360 Data Deletion, Google’s Post-Search Era, and More…

February 16, 2024

Hello there, my Digital Darlings,

How did Valentine's Day treat you? I hope you indulged in some much-deserved self-love, celebrated friendships, or cherished moments with your real, human sweetheart. Because, believe it or not, the age of digital devotion is upon us—with some venturing into romances straight out of a sci-fi script. Yes, you heard that right. The heart now beats for both flesh and circuitry…

AI Girlfriends are a thing now, and they’re a privacy nightmare.

Loneliness might nudge us towards unconventional solutions, but entrusting our innermost thoughts to AI chatbots? Let's pause for a reality check. Remember the cautionary tale of the movie Her? Seems like it wasn't cautionary enough, as AI romance apps boast over 100 million downloads. These digital companions are more intrusive than romantic, tracking locations and sharing your secrets with a who's who of tech giants and shadowy entities across the globe. Falling for a robot might sound futuristic, but let's stick to human connections, shall we? And in some other not-so-romantic news, Google issued a warning on V-day...

Google’s Valentine’s Day heads-up: migrate to GA4, and do it now.

Most marketing teams have already made this transition, but if you’re one of those lagging, it’s time. Switch within the next two weeks to avoid losing critical advertising capabilities like remarketing and publisher reporting. It’s also critical to export your historical data from UA 360 as all historical data will vanish into the digital ether this July. If you’ve not completed the migration yet, check out Google’s timeline for UA 360 deprecation. In other Google news…

Google is prepping for the post-search era.

Their most recent move? Renaming their AI chatbot ‘Gemini’ instead of ‘Bard’… and I will admit, Gemini is way cuter. Google also announced that they’ll offer a premium version for $20 a month. Sounds like they just copied OpenAI’s business plan and are taking a direct shot at ChatGPT Plus (which, full disclosure, I’m subscribed to). Regardless, Google is a company that makes 57% of its revenue from search, and the CEO is preparing for a future without search. What will happen to the billions of ad dollars spent on the SERP? How will Google monetize Gemini to bring in an equivocal amount of revenue? I can’t wait to see how this pans out. And speaking of search…

TikTok’s the hot new search engine, and they know it.

About a month ago, I mentioned that TikTok is the go-to search engine for 10% of Gen Z, and that number is growing. TikTok got the memo, and they’ve built a search shortcut to get even more people searching on the platform. Users can download the TikTok Search shortcut to their home screen, just like the Google Search app. Search results are AI-powered and pulled from videos, text, and third-party websites. And TikTok Search caters to shoppers. The goal seems to be to turn TikTok into a one-stop shop - literally. They want to be users’ go-to app for all their online shopping. This is a clarion call for marketers: Promote your products on TikTok shop!! Especially if you sell trendy stuff to Gen Z and beyond. And in other social media monetization news…

Ad prices are up on Meta.

According to Meta’s Q4 earnings, the average price per ad is up for the first time in three years. Interestingly, ad impression growth is slowing down, even though app usage continues to climb. This leads me to believe that Meta may be showing fewer ads than before, which for personal reasons, I hope is the case because the ad overload on TikTok and Reels is TOO much. But it also could be due to increased competition, as advertisers are spending more on Meta than ever before. Either way, keep an eye on your Meta ad spend this year so that it doesn’t become too pricey.

And there you have it—this week's roundup of digital delights and dilemmas served with a side of sass. Until next week, may your data be secure and your campaigns compelling.

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
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