TikTok’s Insta alternative, Reddit’s going pro, Google’s war on spammy content, and more...

March 14, 2024

Hello there, Digital Darlings,

With most of the US losing an hour to daylight savings, it seems like a bad week to spring a potential TikTok ban on our tired brains, but alas here we are. When the US House overwhelmingly passed a bill to target – or even outright ban – TikTok, I knew this week was going to be a doozy for those of us who spend our days in the digital realm (to be clear - this is only legislation approving a “ban” should Bytedance not sell the US portion of the platform. Terrible branding calling this bill a ban, tbh). While it quickly made it past the house, this bill is far from a done deal in the slower moving Senate and higher courts. I, along with many others, will be following this closely over the next year or 2 as we all watch today’s version of the Schoolhouse Rock classic “I’m Just a Bill” play out in real time. In other TikTok news…

TikTok might be building an Instagram alternative

It doesn’t seem like an uncertain future in the US is stopping TikTok from taking on their competition. Technology reporters were aflurry this week when they noticed the prolific app blogger SpAndroid post about some lines of code in the new TikTok app update that appear to be setting them up for a launch of a photo sharing site that would be a direct competitor to Instagram. It may be a coincidence, but this comes at the same time as…

Instagram overtakes TikTok as world’s most downloaded app

Interesting timing, if you ask me. Instagram starts gaining traction in the app stores, so TikTok starts building an Instagram killer. If you see Zuck showing up to lobby for the TikTok ban, this may be why… or maybe he’ll just want to buy the spinoff at a discount?

Reddit Pro's officially a thing

As we were publishing last week, Reddit was announcing their new Pro platform, which they say is a “a free suite of tools for businesses to establish and grow a meaningful organic presence on Reddit.” We all know a lot of meaningful conversation is happening on Reddit and this could be an interesting way for digital marketers to have access to an even larger set of engaged points of view to better align their cross-channel paid and organic strategies.

Ray-Ban putting AI on our faces appears to be taking off

We all knew that going through life wearing an Oculus or Apple Vision Pro wasn’t going to take off, but the hype around some of the functionality that’s being demoed on the new Ray-Ban glasses seems like it may be the happy medium the market was asking for. We get one step closer to becoming androids everyday, my friends. …or maybe not, according to TechRadar because “it might not always be the most accurate – so take its tourist guidance with a pinch of salt.” AI being THIS CLOSE again. Speaking of AI… 

Microsoft integrates Copilot AI into more of their Ads functionality

Thomas Eccel spotted the Copilot tab on his Microsoft Ads account and posted it on Twitter this week. It seems like AI-powered content creation is definitely here to stay. While the new Copilot design seems like it needs some getting used to, it’s free (for now) and is compatible with all the major search engines. But you know what’s not free?...

Brands are unknowingly wasting ad dollars on Made for Advertising sites, claims report

According to Adalytics, hundreds of major brands are having their ads displayed on Made for Advertising sites. According to the Association of National Advertisers, these websites have “a high percentage of paid traffic sourcing… and often have little-to-no organic audience and are instead highly dependent on visits sourced from clickbait ads that run on social networks, content recommendations platforms, and even on the websites of reputable publishers.” Sounds like a scammy waste of money to me! In other bad-internet news…

Google’s trying to tackle spammy, low-quality content on Search 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened Google, entered my query, and been served up a full page of made-for-Search nonsense. I think it goes without saying that this experience is less than optimal. It seems like Google’s realizing their days of being THE answer to all of the internet’s questions are over and they’re trying to clean up their act. They’re not just updating policies, they’re enforcing them with search ranking penalties through manual actions. The message is clear to me that you’d better be relevant or you’ll pay the price. 

Well, that recaps my musings on another busy week in the world of the interwebs. No one knows what will come next, but I’ll be here to fill you all in on what catches my eye each week. Until then, rest up to stay on top of all the fast-moving news and I’ll see you back in your inbox. 

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
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