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Week in Review: Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Twitter, and ByteDance make waves

Here's everything the Marketing & Advertising Briefing covered the week of March 27, 2023:

AI and search collide: AI was prominent this week with the news that Microsoft's Bing has gained share in the search market since integrating OpenAI into its chatbot technology in February.

  • Bing’s inroads could weigh on Google, which announced new features including a "Perspectives" fact-checking tool in a bid to strengthen its reputation as the leading search brand. A disclosure that Bing is testing ads in chats—a significant step—surfaced concerns that the user search experience could be disrupted.
  • We also learned this week that major brands like Coca-Cola and L'Oréal are experimenting with generative image AI for marketing, addressing legal concerns around copyrighted material by using their owned assets.

Metaverse fades: A couple of developments showed that the metaverse has a cloudy future, at least in the near term.

Tuning in to CTV: At long last, Netflix is reportedly testing ways to bring its mobile game catalog to TVs, which would unify its game library under one hub since it launched gaming efforts in 2021.

  • Roku is letting go of 200 more employees after laying off 200 last year due amid the weaker ad environment. Given its rising viewership, it could be an acquisition target.
  • US households without TVs are growing, and the Advertising Research Foundation thinks this group—4% of households stream video to mobile devices—should be measured.

Twitter tweaks: If you’re a Twitter user, you may be missing your check mark.

  • Starting today, those legacy blue marks are disappearing as the battered platform looks for new revenue streams and offers them through Twitter Blue subscriptions.
  • This week, CEO Elon Musk again raised concerns about misinformation and fairness when he announced that only verified profiles will appear on the "For You" feed.

ByteDance’s backup: TikTok’s parent company is investing in user acquisition for its lifestyle and video app, Lemon8, which could serve as a backup plan if TikTok is banned in the US.

  • TikTok is set to be the fastest-growing social platform in the Asia-Pacific region this year, with its user base expected to grow nearly double that of Instagram, particularly in Southeast Asia.

Everything else you missed this week:

  • Minority representation in video ads declined in 2022, which could risk alienating diverse populations whose buying power is rising.
  • Meta will allow European Facebook and Instagram users to opt out of personalized ads, but it’s making it a difficult process..
  • Substack is inviting its creators to become investors in the newsletter service, raising money via community investment platform Wefunder amid a challenging funding environment.
  • LinkedIn now allows marketers to schedule Page posts up to three months in advance, improving time management while introducing features for engagement and community building.
  • Insurance companies are dramatically reducing their TV ad spending due to economic challenges, increased claims, and market competition.