Week #10 in digital media, platforms and technology

Here you go! A thorough update on social media, digital trends and tech in the media industry. Ready to help you save time and make better decisions.

Digital Ugerevy (Danish for Digital Weekly Review) is published by me, Lars K Jensen. I work with audience development and journalism in the Berlingske Media group.

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Part 1: Social media and platforms

😬 Is the US considering banning TikTok again?

From Platformer:

Today, let’s talk about a fast-moving new legislative effort in the United States to force ByteDance to divest itself of TikTok, or ban it nationally. The company has faced — and dodged — threats like this before. But while the odds are almost always against Congress getting new tech regulations over the finish line, there are reasons to believe things really might be different this time.


👋 Meta pulls the plug on News tab in the US and Australia

From Bloomberg:

The Facebook News tab, which lets users see headlines and stories, will be “deprecated” in those two countries in early April, Meta said in a blog post on Thursday. That means the company is withdrawing support for the feature, but news won’t disappear from the site.


✨ Instagram launches new DM features

From Social Media Today:

Instagram has announced some new DM features as it works to enhance the usage of messaging as the key connective element in the app.

Because over time, more and more personal engagement is migrating to private chats, as users stop posting to the main feed.

🧪 Threads testing API

From Social Media Today:

Good news for social media managers, and a potentially significant update for Threads engagement overall, with Meta’s Twitter-like platform now live testing its API with selected partners, enabling, among other things, post scheduling in the app.

💡 Social media engagement != Content consumption

From Social Media Today:

This week, the team from earned media insights platform Memo have published a new report which looks at how social media engagement relates to content readership, and whether more social media shares and comments leads to more people actually clicking through to read your posts.

The key finding?

“Across all the articles and topics we analyzed, we found no clear connection between social engagement and actual readers of the news.”

💥 Major platforms, major outage

From MediaPost:

Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Threads went dark Tuesday morning, leaving users unable to load and access the apps.


📃 X goes longform

From Social Media Today:

X is taking the next steps to advance beyond its short-form content roots, with the introduction of X Articles, which is essentially a blogging platform built into the X system.

🧐 Understand the world of AI spam on TikTok

From 404 Media:

We have recently been getting bombarded with Instagram Reels of influencers explaining how they make five figures a month by using AI to create tons of viral TikTok pages using stolen celebrity clips juxtaposed next to Minecraft gameplay footage. This strategy, the influencers say, allows them to passively make $10,000 a month by flooding social media platforms with stolen and low-effort clips while working from private helicopters, the beach, the ski slope, a park, etc. 

Part 2: Digital trends

🔎 New Google search core algorithm update

From Social Media Today:

Get ready for fluctuations in your Google Search traffic, with Google today announcing a new “core update” to its algorithms, aimed at reducing spam and low-quality results.


🎧 Apple Podcasts launches transcripts

From the horse’s mouth:

Transcripts offer full-text display for each episode, making podcasts more accessible and immersive than ever before

😲 How Spotify wiped a podcast

From Podnews:

We contacted a spokesperson at Spotify. They don’t comment on specific incidents with creators, but told us: “We’re working closely with the creator to quickly resolve this issue.” As far as we understand it, following our email to the company, Spotify has been able to restore stats, has emailed her former subscribers encouraging them to resubscribe, and has reimbursed the lost revenue. It’s a good step. However, Spotify won’t be able to magically get all her followers back from the many other podcast apps, like Apple Podcasts.

📲 New iOS sees Apple align with EU rules

From Macstories:

iOS 17.4 is a significant release, bringing major platform changes to iOS in Europe as part of Apple’s response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), as well as a handful of new features, including transcripts in Apple’s Podcasts app, new emoji, multilingual updates to Siri, and more.

…and Google as well:

  • Reuters: Google on Tuesday outlined changes to search results and new tools for apps developers to promote their products on third-party apps and rival app stores as part of efforts to comply with landmark EU tech rules seeking to curb Big Tech’s power.


🤷‍♂️ What does the next generation of media audiences want?

From Journalism.co.uk:

Most news organisations still ignore the fact that there is a gap between the news experience the next generation wants and what they are getting. It is not just about cobbling together a few TikToks – The Next Gen News report, co-produced by FT Strategies and Knight Lab, found that there are some fundamental differences between Gen Z and their older peers when it comes to searching and consuming news.

🎧 The EU fines Apple €1.8bn

From Financial Times:

Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s competition chief, said the tech giant had broken EU antitrust rules for a decade by “restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem”.

Apple’s reply:


  • Platformer: It is the first time the EU has fined Apple, and the third-largest fine handed out by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager

😬 Cookie deprecation makes measurement harder

From Digiday:

As third-party cookies fade into oblivion, marketers are awakening to a harsh reality: The era of a single source of truth for measurement is over. Now, they must navigate the murky waters of determining their own truth.

👋 DR to close Bonanza

From MediaWatch:

On 15 March, the public service station DR will close Bonanza. Parts of the content will instead be available from 15 March on DR Gensyn, which will also become part of DRTV.

(Article in Danish)

💥 The arms race in email authentication

From MarTech:

New Google and Yahoo rules governing sending email will lead to an arms race pitting email providers against spammers. Conscientious emailers, caught in the crossfire, will be collateral damage. 

Part 3: Business

🤔 How NYTimes are using first party data in their ad business

YouTube video from Think with Google:

Hear from leaders at The New York Times about how advertising and subscription-based models help them serve readers by upholding its mission as a trusted news and information source.

Learn how the team laid a foundation for its first-party data platform by training machine learning models with voluntary, opt-in surveys and readership signals. See how its ad partnerships enable results, helping the company serve the right ads to the right audience.

😱 “Digital advertising’s leap in the dark”

From MarTech:

Where exactly are we with Privacy Sandbox? Can we take the looming deadline to find alternatives to third-party cookies seriously? And do we need to care anyway? We spoke with a number of interested parties, including the IAB Tech Lab, some of them on background, to figure out the lay of the land.


💲 JP/Politikens Hus looking at subscription bundles

From MediaWatch:

The idea is that it should lead the work with data “to the next level”, which among others will include the bundling of subscription products from JP/Politikens Hus – i.e. packages where subscribers get access to several titles or services at once. In order for the bundles to be made on a qualified basis, it is necessary to collect data and analyze them.

(Article in Danish)

🎤 NYTimes and Vox explain their podcast strategies

From MediaPost:

The New York Times expected maybe 2,000 downloads when it launched “The Daily Podcast” in 2017. But it quickly garnered “42 million downloads,” said Jimmy Saunders, the paper’s executive director of audio & events, during the keynote session of the recent Publishing Insider Summit in Bonita Springs, Florida.

🚴‍♂️ Feltet.dk buys cycling magazine

Fra MediaWatch:

The online magazine, which aims to reach 10,000 subscribers before the end of the year, is changing its name in connection with the acquisition.

(Article in Danish)

Del 4: Technology

🤖 DR’s in-house transcription software in beta

From MediaWatch:

[The Danish Broadcast Corporation’s] system is built on Open AI’s speech-to-text software Whisper, and makes it possible to automatically transcribe audio files. Good Tape and JP/Politikens Hus’ internal transcription tool Speechtotext are also based on Whisper.

(Article in Danish)

🤖 How the BBC will test generative AI

From the horse’s mouth:

We’ve now chosen the first projects, which will help us explore different areas where we think that Gen AI could bring significant benefits for audiences and for staff. 

At this stage, the vast majority of the pilots are internal-only and won’t be used to create content for audiences until we have had an opportunity to learn more.  

✨ Reach using AI for versioning of stories

From Press Gazette:

Reach is rolling out an AI tool that enables its journalists to quickly rewrite stories which have already appeared on other sites within its network.

🌐 Companies are experimenting with AI powered podcast translation

From Digiday:

Execs at Spotify, which announced in September it was launching a pilot program with a few podcasters to test AI-generated voice translations, didn’t mention that program at all in the company’s Q4 earnings call on Feb. 6. A Spotify spokesperson told Digiday there was nothing new to share on that front yet.

🤔 Microsoft: NYTimes is holding back innovation

From the Financial Times:

In a motion filed to a Manhattan court, Microsoft, which has committed $13bn to OpenAI, likened the New York media organisation to Hollywood studios that sought to stop the introduction of the VCR in the 1980s, and hold back a “groundbreaking new technology”.

⚠️ Microsoft engineer warns against AI tool

The headline really says it all…

From CNBC:

Microsoft engineer warns company’s AI tool creates violent, sexual images, ignores copyrights