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This week on the latest digital marketing updates: FCC Commissioner calls for a TikTok ban, Instagram opens Reels API access to third-party platforms, Facebook launches the Community Manager and Creator Collaborations features, and YouTube introduces updates that will help prevent spam and impersonation.
Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote an open letter to Apple and Google, asking them to ban TikTok from their app stores over “surreptitious data practices.”
In an open letter published in Twitter, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called for the removal of TikTok from Apple and Google’s app stores due to the app’s “pattern of surreptitious data practices.” According to Carr, TikTok “harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.”
This call comes after BuzzFeed News published a report on leaked audio from 80 internal TikTok meetings, which revealed that US user data has been repeatedly accessed from China. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance, which Carr says is an organization that is “beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by Chinese law to comply with the PRC’s surveillance demands.”
TikTok has previously addressed data privacy concerns by promising that information gathered about their United States users are stored within the country rather than China, where their parent company is based. However, according to the leaked audio, TikTok employees have been able to access nonpublic data about their users.
In his open letter, one of the most pressing concerns pointed out by Carr aside from the breach of privacy is the national security risk. “It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data,” Carr wrote.
Last June, TikTok reported that 100% of their US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “We still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users' private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US,” TikTok said.
While TikTok aims to “remove any doubt” about the security of their US user data and promises to uphold their dedication to “earning and maintaining the trust” of their community, businesses, marketers, and advertisers should still be on the lookout for developments on the FCC Commissioner’s request. Should US users lose access to TikTok, businesses and brands will need to come up with new strategies to promote in social media.
Meta has announced that they’re launching the Reels API for external use, opening more ways for brands to post and manage their Instagram Reels.
With API access, brands can use social media management tools such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite for cross-platform posting and to gather data on social posts. Through these platforms, it’s easier to simultaneously keep track of posts and their individual performance.
Now Instagram Reels will also join the roster of functionalities that social media management tools can offer. In an announcement, Meta shared that from June 28, 2022, they are introducing Reels to several endpoints that users “may already be familiar with.”
Meta will expand the scope of support of Reels to:
Instagram Basic Display API
The rollout of the new Reels API began on June 28 with less than 25% of Instagram user accounts. This rollout occurred gradually at the account level through July 6. On that date, the rollout should have been completed to 100% of users.
Facebook Live managers can now assign a Community Manager to moderate live stream comments.
Meta for Creators has introduced Community Manager, the newest feature that allows Facebook Live managers to assign someone to help moderate live streams. Community Managers use their personal profile to perform live stream moderation. They can moderate comments in the chat, enhance live stream engagement, and ban people who go against the community rules.
The designated Community Manager can turn on a “Community Moderator” badge that’s visible to other viewers and moderate streams without direct permissions or admin access to the Facebook Live manager’s Page.
Note as well that in the New Pages experience, roles with Moderator-level Task access can no longer perform live stream moderation, and will need to be invited as Community Managers. The Community Manager feature is only available on desktop and iOS devices.
Visit this page to learn how to add a Community Manager for your Facebook Live streams.
Facebook launches Creator Collaborations, a new feature that enables creators to work with each other to expand their reach.
With Creator Collaborations, Facebook is adding another way for creators to build their presence and monetize their content in the app. This feature is currently available for video posts only, but creators can expect more content options in the future.
Content creators on Facebook can use Creator Collaborations to invite a second creator to publish a video content together. If the second creator accepts, the post will publish on both collaborator’s pages. Collaborators will share the same distribution for the content, and be able to view shared insights, such as reach and engagement, within Creator Studio.
This feature increases brand awareness for both creators and expands the reach of the post to the combined audience of the involved collaborators. It’s similar to Facebook’s Branded Content Tags, where brands can collaborate with businesses by tagging them on a Facebook post to boost their promotional efforts.
The YouTube team releases new updates on comment moderation, channel name format, and the visibility of the subscriber count to protect creators from spam and impersonation.
In a new video published in their Creator Insider channel, the YouTube Creator technical team announced three updates that address creators’ concerns on comment spam and impersonation.
“Increase Strictness” for Comment Moderation
Through YouTube’s comment moderation feature, creators can choose to hold certain comments before they publicly appear on the channel. The new update will allow creators to optionally increase the strictness of the auto moderation tool for their channel.
Turning on this setting will increase the detection setting for potentially inappropriate comments and spam. With this stronger setting, you should notice more spam and solicitations being automatically filtered under your “Held for Review” tab rather than making it through to your audience.
You can increase the strictness by signing into Creator Studio and selecting “Settings.” From there, select “Community” then “Defaults.” Select “Hold potentially inappropriate comments for review” and tick the “Increase strictness” box, then press “Save.”
Removing Ability to Hide Subscriber Count
Historically, channels on YouTube have been able to hide the number of subscribers they have. However, the YouTube team has also found that this feature is often used to impersonate channels. That is why at the end of July, YouTube channels will no longer be able to hide their subscriber count.
Limited Character Set for Channel Names
Using special characters in channel names is one way that bad actors impersonate established channels. To help prevent this practice, YouTube is reducing the character set that creators can choose from when updating their name moving forward.
According to the YouTube Creator technical team, all these changes are steps toward improving the creator experience when it comes to comment spam and impersonation.
Diversify your social media platform and content portfolio to reach more of your target audience and to prevent your marketing and advertising efforts from becoming crippled if one platform or content format becomes unavailable.
Produce better Facebook Live streams and manage them more effectively by assigning a Community Manager to engage and moderate participants.
Protect your YouTube community from spam comments by trying out the new “Increase Strictness” setting.
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