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X May Become a Paid Service, New Helpful Content Update From Google, and AI Content Labels for TikTok.

September 21, 2023 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “X May Become a Paid Service, New Helpful Content Update From Google, and AI Content Labels for TikTok.”

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Intelligency Digital Roundup.

This week, Elon Musk announced that X may become a paid service. Also, Google began rolling out the September 2023 helpful content update, and TikTok rolled out a new label for AI content.

X could become a paid service

In this week’s top story, Elon Musk announced that he plans to make X a paid platform for all users.

This is an attempt to tackle “rampant bot activity”. Musk revealed scarce details about the fee when chatting to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister.

Unfortunately, Musk didn’t share how much the service would cost, or what features would be included to sweeten the deal.

However, Musk did claim that X’s 550 million users post 100 to 200 million times a day. Which is an impressive statistic. However, it wasn’t clarified how many of these are bot posts compared to real posts.

The above stats mark a 140% increase on the “average monetizable daily active usage” of 229 million reported by Twitter in May 2022, which is before Musk took over.

A significant change

This would be a significant change for users because the platform has always been free. It’s a change that’s so significant, that it could drive them away from a once-beloved platform in their eyes.

On the other hand, it could be good for advertisers, because it may mean they can tap into a higher-quality audience and have fewer issues with bots.

So what’s X said?

Musk told the Prime Minister the following:

“The single most important reason that we’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is that it’s the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.” “Because a bot costs a fraction of a penny, or a tenth of a penny, but if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost of bots is very high, and then you also have to get a new payment method every time you have a new bot.” “We’re actually going to come out with lower tier pricing. We want it to be just a small amount of money [and] in my view, this is actually the only defense against vast armies of bots.”

Once we know more about the subscription or one-time fee, we’ll be posting about it for the weekly roundup!

Google roll out September 2023 helpful content update

After releasing a core update not too long ago, Google has now pushed out an update to its helpful content system. It began rolling out last week and should be fully rolled out by the end of next week.

The last helpful content update was the December 2022 helpful content update.

So what’s changing with the update?

With the new update, Google has promised an improved classifier.

The specific details are as follows:

  • New guidance for hosting third-party content, as well as what to do after a helpful content system update.
  • More points about either removing content or changing the dates on current, published content.
  • The words “helpful content written by people” have been changed to reflect the current AI generative content landscape. It now reads “helpful content created for people in search results”.

Google’s dev blog, Search Central, explains more about the update.

What to do if you’re affected by the update

If you’ve been negatively affected by the helpful content update, Google has a list of questions you can run through to analyse the quality of the content on the site. The company stresses that content needs to be helpful or informative, and not just primarily created for ranking well on SERPS.

The list of questions is:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
  • Does your content clearly demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise that comes from having actually used a product or service, or visiting a place)?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
  • Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

And when it comes to avoiding search-engine first content:

  • Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans?
  • Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?
  • Are you using extensive automation to produce content on many topics?
  • Are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?
  • Are you writing about things simply because they seem trending and not because you’d write about them otherwise for your existing audience?
  • Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?
  • Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t).
  • Did you decide to enter some niche topic area without any real expertise, but instead mainly because you thought you’d get search traffic?
  • Does your content promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there’s a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn’t confirmed?

Final comments

It’s important to note that even if you put content fixes or technical fixes in place, it can still take several months of time to recover. Google described the update as an “ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in search.”

TikTok now labelling AI content

Our final story for this week concerns TikTok. If you’re a user on the platform, you may have noticed there’s been an increase in the amount of AI edited content. Whether that’s generated photos using MidJourney, cool stuff you can do with prompts on ChatGPT, or deepfakes of a celebrity.

Well, creators on the platform have been advised to use this new label on any content that’s been fully or heavily edited with AI. The label is similar to the branded content label.

For creators, it’s important that they keep up with the latest community guidelines which TikTok put in place. If you don’t follow them, you can be penalised, especially if you’re making money from the platform.

Clearly labelling AI content helps fight disinformation and deceit from malicious sources, and helps to build audience and creator relationships.

Why the change?

The label is a consequence of the synthetic media policy which comes under the community guidelines. TikTok urge that the labels should be used whenever there’s content that includes likelike images, video, or audio.

The company plans to release a series of educational videos to show creators how to effectively use the label.

“We hope that with time, people will start using these labels just like they do verified account badges and branded content labels, making them another useful tool for creators and viewers to share and make sense of content.”

-A TikTok Spokesperson

As well as the label, TikTok will be renaming all TikTok effects to be TikTok AI effects. Also, it plans to test an automatic “AI-generated” label.

TikTok Newsroom has the full announcement.

Core Update Finishes Roll Out, Influencer Ad Spend Grows, and Gen Z Women Prefer TikTok To Google.

September 15, 2023 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Core Update Finishes Roll Out, Influencer Ad Spend Grows, and Gen Z Women Prefer TikTok To Google.”

Good Afternoon, and welcome to the latest edition of the Intelligency Digital Roundup.

This week, Google’s latest Core Update finished rolling out. Also, we look into how influencer ad spending has grown, and how TikTok is still growing as an alternate search engine.

Let’s learn more about each story.

Google Core Update finishes rolling out

We wrote about Google starting to roll out a couple of weeks ago. This week, Google Search Central announced the rollout has finished.

Google stated on its Search Status Dashboard that the full rollout took 16 days and three hours.

Core updates

The purpose of a core update is to update Google’s search algorithms in order to provide users with helpful and reliable results.

The last update was in March 2023, however, Google updated its product review systems in February and April.

Google has confirmed that as well as the core update, it is beginning to index CSV files.

So what comes next?

Google always stresses that if you’ve been negatively affected by the core update, you need to take time and address the quality of the content of your website, rather than look for quick technical fixes.

Improving technical aspects right away may not lead to improved rankings, so it’s important to focus on the site as a whole rather than just certain aspects.

Influencer ad spend growing faster than traditional ad investment

This week, Insider Intelligency published results from some influencer marketing research, which may surprise you. It was discovered that businesses were investing more into influencer ads than traditional methods.

Brands have been advised to consider changing ad campaign strategies to match the rising popularity of influencers.

Influencer marketing

More and more businesses are embracing influencer marketing daily, and the way audiences consume ads is changing. This isn’t to say that traditional ads don’t work anymore, but it’s important to stay notified of trends and changes so that you can get the most out of ad investments.

Influencer income

The report also included a report on how influencers generate income on their respective platforms. The breakdown can be seen below:

Insider Intelligence had this to say about the report:

“The time to act is now. Influencer marketing spending will rise roughly 3.5 times faster in 2023 than social ad spending will. That’s a testament to the resilience of creators, even amid economic concerns and major competition.”

If you’ve not considered using influencers to market your products or services, now may be the time!

51% of Gen Z women prefer TikTok to Google

According to a survey conducted by Her Campus Media in August, TikTok is the platform of choice for more than half of Gen Z women for searching. Also, it helps influence purchase decisions more than any other platform.

While Google still dominates most of the world (83.5%), the company does acknowledge TikTok as a threat. Recently, TikTok has even launched search ads. Although it’s important to remember that TikTok isn’t a web search engine, you need to be visible whenever users search for relevant topics.

So what does the study show?

Her Campus Media’s survey shows that overall, 74% of Gen Z use TikTok Search. Also, 51% of the survey takers chose TikTok over Google as a search engine. The three biggest reasons for this are as follows:

  • The video format of the results (69%) 
  • More relatable answers (65%) 
  • Personalised answers (47%) 

There’s also currently a trend which reflects some of the findings of this survey. #tiktokmademebuyit reported that videos with this hashtag received 12.4 billion views overall. Nearly 3 out of 4 users from Gen Z have bought something after seeing it on TikTok.

TikTok has influenced purchases for 62% of Gen Z, which is more than any other platform. This figure has increased by 15% compared to a 2022 survey.


  • 70.34% look to influencers.
  • 62.31% look to brands.
  • 61.17% “somone I trust.”

Also, compared to Instagram 76% of users prefer to watch TikToks over Reels.

The survey used a sample size of 1,821 Gen Z’ers. 97% of the takers identified as female.

If your business isn’t on TikTok and you want to target audiences from Gen Z, now’s the time to start looking into a TikTok strategy.

WordPress Offering 100-Year Domain Names, Meta Potentially Scrapping Ads For Subscribers In Europe, and New Experimental Google Features.

September 8, 2023 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “WordPress Offering 100-Year Domain Names, Meta Potentially Scrapping Ads For Subscribers In Europe, and New Experimental Google Features.”

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Intelligency Digital Roundup.

This week, WordPress announced 100-year domain name registrations, Meta could scrap ads for paid subscribers in Europe, and Google is raising page speeds in an experimental trial.

Let’s learn some more about each.

100-year domain name registration with WordPress

WordPress has announced that businesses can pay a one-time registration fee for their domain name to last 100 years. With the fee, there would also be managed hosting and also 24/7 customer service.

The price is surprising, however, coming to a total of $38,000. It’s important to note that you can only usually register a domain name for 10 years.

WordPress is dubbing this fee the “100-year plan”.

So what comes with WordPress’ 100-year plan?

WordPress’ official announcement stated that the plan comes with the following:

  • The domain being secured for 100 years
  • Multiple backup locations across the world
  • “Top tier” hosting
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Dedicated 24/7 support

The plan has been designed for individuals, families, and companies who want to cement their legacy.

“Families who wish to preserve their digital assets—the stories, photos, sounds, and videos that make up their rich family history—for generations to come.

Founders who want to protect and document their company’s past, present, and future.

Individuals seeking a stable, flexible, and customized online home that can adapt to whatever changes the future of technology will bring.”

The CEO of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, had this to say:

“Whether it’s giving a newborn the special gift of a domain and lifetime home on the web, or something you put in your will to make sure your website and story are accessible to future generations, I hope this plan gets people and other companies thinking about building for the long term.”

If you want to sign up for the 100-year plan, WordPress has a link on the announcement.

Meta Might Offer Ad-Free Paid Versions of Facebook & Instagram in Europe

Meta is thinking about offering ad-free, paid versions of Facebook and Instagram in Europe according to the New York Times. They haven’t stated how much this might cost or when it will be available. But don’t worry, they’ll still have the free versions that come with ads, says the New York Times.

How could this affect businesses?

If many users switch to this paid version, brands might not reach as many people with their ads. For now, this ad-free idea is for Europe, but it might go to the US later. This act does apply to the UK, but it’s unclear if the ad-free option would be offered to UK users.

Marketers, keep an eye on this! You might have to think about where you want to spend your ad money. Other avenues such as LinkedIn may have to be explored instead.

Why the change?

The European Union has a new rule called the Digital Services Act. It starts on 1 January 2024. This rule asks big online companies, like Google and Meta, to make the online space safer and fairer for businesses. This might be why Meta is thinking about the paid, ad-free versions.

What has Meta said?

Meta hasn’t officially said anything about this new idea. But in 2018, the head of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, did hint at something like this. He said to the US Senate, “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.” Sheryl Sandberg, who was a top leader at Meta, also mentioned, “If you want no ads, that might be something you’d have to pay for.”

We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this, so stick with the roundup to keep yourself updated too.

Google Introduces a Solution to Speed Up Webpages

Google has unveiled a new method to run JavaScript, making web pages load faster. This is great news for website publishers, as it helps improve a new webpage performance measure.

About current page speeds

Web pages need to respond quickly to users. A new measure, called Interaction to Next Paint (INP), will replace the older First Input Delay (FID). To score well on INP, which starts in March 2024, web pages should be super responsive.

The issue? Some JavaScripts, known as “Long Tasks”, take too long to run, causing web pages to be sluggish. It’s like having a slow car on the fast lane – everything gets delayed.

Currently, when users click a button, they often have to wait because these long scripts block other tasks. Google aims to fix this

There are existing coding solutions to make user interactions faster, but they’re not perfect. They solve different issues and sometimes even worsen the problem. Google points out that current workarounds can delay the main task even further.

Google’s proposed solution

Google suggests a fix named scheduler.yield. Here’s how it works:

  1. It pauses the long task.
  2. Lets the user task run.
  3. Once that’s done, the main task continues from where it paused.

This feature has been available for testing in Chrome 115 since July 13th.

Google is inviting users to test this feature in a real-world setting. This “origin trial” aims to collect feedback and understand its effectiveness. There are certain precautions, though. Websites using this should have a backup plan for browsers not using Chrome 115.

This feature is still being tested. But, with INP becoming a crucial measure in 2024, adopting this early might give publishers an edge over competitors. Just ensure you’re prepared for browsers not yet supporting this new feature.

As always, thanks for reading the Intelligency Digital Roundup!

X Bringing Back Political Ads, Brands Blocking GPTBot, and A New Competitor Analysis Tool From Meta.

September 1, 2023 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “X Bringing Back Political Ads, Brands Blocking GPTBot, and A New Competitor Analysis Tool From Meta.”

Good Afternoon, welcome to the final August edition of the weekly digital roundup.

This week, after taking them off the platform, X has brought back political ads. Additionally, learn which brands are blocking GPTBot, and about Meta’s new competitor analysis tool.

Let’s get into it.

X and political ads

This week, X has taken back its stance on political ads in the US. In 2019, political ads were famously removed in 2019 when former CEO Jack Dorsey was in charge.

At the time, Dorsey explained:

“This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”

However, Elon Musk has reversed the decision in the name of “free speech”.

Why this change is significant

Musk’s reversal of the political ad removal is a significant change for advertisers. If you’re working for a cause-driven company, then this might be good news for you. However, if the brand you’re under has nothing to do with politics, then you may step away from a platform that advertises politics that clash with the brand.

In January, Musk relaxed X’s policy on political ads:

Interestingly, this decision to go ahead with political advertising is just a year ahead of the next US presidential election.

What X has said

A spokesperson for X had this to say:

“Building on our commitment to free expression, we are going to allow political advertising.”

“Starting in the US, we’ll continue to apply specific policies to paid-for promoted political posts. This will include prohibiting the promotion of false or misleading content, including false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election, while seeking to preserve free and open political discourse.”

“We’ll also provide a global advertising transparency center so that everyone can review political posts being promoted on X, in addition to robust screening processes to ensure only eligible groups and campaigns are able to advertise.”

Dozens of brands block GPTBot

A new analysis conducted this week showed that 69 out of 1000 of the most popular websites in the world have blocked GPTBot.

The percentage of websites blocking it is increasing by around 5% per week according to the study, which was carried out by

Many SEOs have questioned whether or not to block GPT Bot, because they don’t like the idea of training an AI bot without receiving citations, sources, or compensation.

Which websites have blocked GPT Bot?

The 15 top websites blocking GPTBot are:


Another interesting observation is that these sites have all blocked GPTBot, but most haven’t blocked CCbot, which is another tool used to train OpenAI.

However, the NY Times and Reuters have blocked both, as neither wants to train AI systems using their content.

The full analysis is available to read on Originality’s website.

Meta’s new branded content campaign tracker

Our final story this week concerns Meta. It launched a new feature this week called “search branded content” which can be found in the ads library. Users are able to filter the database by platform, date range, and username.

Once all of this is filtered, it will allow marketers to perform competitor analysis by seeing details on their approach, relationships with creators, and also campaign frequency.

How does it work?

Lindsey Gamble, a social media expert, posted an X thread with a video of what the tool looks like:

The video shows how to navigate the tool, and how you can use it to gain insights into influencer and competitor behaviour. The influencer filter presents an overview of their ongoing campaigns and brand collaborations. Also, users can also opt to filter results by brand, revealing the influencers associated with their current campaigns.

This tool is being launched at a time when the EU wants more transparency from Branded Content on Meta platforms. The Digital Services Act has launched today, which puts the onus on digital platforms to create safer spaces.

What Meta has said about the tool

A Meta spokesperson had this to say regarding the launch:

“Ads are just one way for businesses to promote a product or service on Facebook and Instagram. They can also work together with a content creator to promote something in a post, story, video or reel. Meta provides transparency about this type of content by showing a paid partnership label on it and by including it in the Ad Library.”

“Use the branded content search to find posts, stories, videos and reels on Facebook and Insatgramt that involved a Paid Partnership. You can filter by app and date.”

“[This tool] is for anyone who wants to see content from a creator who has worked together with a business.”

This tool is available for every business account to use and can be found in the Ad Library.

As always, thanks for reading this week’s digital roundup.

Google Core Update Launched, Threads On Web, and TikTok Search Ads.

August 25, 2023 Posted by News 0 thoughts on “Google Core Update Launched, Threads On Web, and TikTok Search Ads.”

Good Afternoon, thanks for stopping by for the Intelligency Digital Roundup.

This week, Google began rolling out a new core update, Threads launched on desktop, and TikTok now has search ads.

Let’s get into the news.

Google launch August 2023 core update

The google logo next to some cogs with "update" below the text. all on a black background.

The biggest story this week comes from Google. This week, Google announced a new core update via X:

If you’re unfamiliar with core updates, they’re designed to make sure that searchers get the best results while searching.

Core updates don’t target specific pages for websites, but they can result in low-quality sites being punished and high-quality sites being rewarded with new rankings.

Core update impact

When Google launch a core update, it can affect SEO performance positively, negatively, or not at all. While they’re being rolled out, you may see a temporary rise or drop in rankings, returning to how they were after the update is complete.

Also, a drop in rankings after a core update isn’t indicative of a content or technical issue, it can be just an adjustment from the update.

Google always stresses that if you see a drop in rankings, focus on improving your website’s quality, instead of looking for technical fixes.

Recovering from a core update

Following the advice given in the last section, if you see a drop in rankings, you should:

  • Assess pages with low-performance
  • Check what’s leading people to the low-performing pages
  • Compare the content to the questions on Google’s help page

Using the above steps will aid in showing where your content isn’t delivering. Then you can use what you’ve learned in order to improve your content for the future.

However, improvements don’t always translate to higher rankings, as there is no guarantee from Google.

Due to SEO being a lengthy process to get results, if you do improve your site’s content, it can take several months for rankings to recover or improve.

The main takeaway from this is to be patient and commit to long-term quality improvements, rather than quick fixes. As I always say, “Rome wasn’t optimised in a day”.

Threads launches on desktop

An image of the threads logo on a computer screen on a mustard background.

Threads, Meta’s X competitor, has launched on desktop browsers this week.

This is a significant move for Threads, as it being available on desktop makes it even more of an X competitor. It’s also important because previously, Instagram has always had more of a mobile focus.

While Threads was initially just a microblogging site allowing intimate communication between friends, a web version is a strategic expansion. It could be a response to growing/evolving market demands.

How to access Threads on a desktop

Accessing Threads on a web browser is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to search for, click through the cookie notice, and then use your Instagram login details to log in.

An image of a Threads thred announcing how to get into Threads on desktop.

Once you’re logged in, the main feed looks similar to how it is on Mobile. Like the app, you can:

  • reply
  • repost
  • post threads and add videos/photos
  • search for profiles
  • See all your notifications

This rollout represents a trend towards platform convergence, here previously mobile-exclusive apps are recognising there is traction to be had by moving to desktops too.

It also has the added benefit for marketers to reach target audiences on Threads from any device.

TikTok search ads

An image of the tiktok search results with ads on with a red background.

TikTok has brought ads to search results this week. A new toggle in TikTok Ads Manager called “Search Ads Toggle” allows ads to be served alongside organic video results in search results.

TikTok has said this new feature isn’t a standalone ad product, but an extension of TikTok video ad buy.

In the UK, there are around 23.8 million monthly active users on TikTok, so there are a lot of chances for a brand to be found. Google even acknowledged TikTok as a threat to its search business.

How TikTok search ads work

The search ads will have a sponsored label, and they can appear in different positions on search results pages. The factors are:

  • Ad relevancy
  • User intent from the search query
  • Broader learnings from other users

TikTok explained the following:

“The typical search journey starts with a user clicking the search button at the top of the For You feed. From there, they type in a search query, which then yields a series of search results. The ads appear among these search results. Once a user clicks on a search ad, the ad mirrors the in-feed TikTok experience, with users able to continue scrolling through the search results in the order they appear on the page.”

In-feed ads have the Search Ads toggle on by default. If you want to opt out, just use the toggle. You can also add negative keywords, which prevent the ads from running near posts that don’t align with brand guidelines.

TikTok’s internal data states “70% of ad groups with the Search Ads Toggle ‘on’ see more efficient performance when compared to not, as a result of more efficient conversions coming from search ads,”

The full announcement can be read on TikTok’s business blog.

As always, thanks for reading this week’s digital roundup.

UK Home Office’s Ineffective Paid Social Campaign, X Paywalls XPro (Tweetdeck), and OpenAI Acquires A New AI Studio.

August 18, 2023 Posted by News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “UK Home Office’s Ineffective Paid Social Campaign, X Paywalls XPro (Tweetdeck), and OpenAI Acquires A New AI Studio.”

Good Afternoon, and welcome to the Intelligency digital roundup.

Learn about the targeted ads blunder from the UK Home Office, how X has paywalled what used to be Tweetdeck and OpenAI’s new acquisition.

Let’s get into it.

Home Office spends £35k on ineffective ads

This week, it was discovered that the UK Home Office (HO) has spent at least £35,000 on targeted ads. The intent behind the ads was to try and prevent asylum seekers from using small boats to cross the channel. However, the ads ended up targeting tourists and people who travel for business.

The campaigns, which were published on Facebook and Instagram, told users “don’t risk your life” and to “seek asylum in the first safe country you reach”. This message was repeated in several languages, but the UK government don’t know if it had any effect.

The Independent saw research which showed that the Home Office paid Meta for hundreds of posts. Users in Northern France and Belgium received these posts and ads between Jan 2021 and September 2022.

The HO targeted users who spoke languages such as Arabic and Kurdish and who were “interested” in Arabic Football, and cricket among other subjects. Interest in cities in Syria, Iranian cinema, Vietnamese radio, and “Iraqi “cuisine” also got targeted.

The effectiveness of the ads

Data what The Independent saw showed that users away from home, and users located in Brussels, Calais, and Dunkirk saw a lot of the adverts.

Ben Collier, a University of Edinburgh lecturer said that the HO built its audience as “patchwork”, which resulted in the wrong users being targeted.

“There’s people from Jordan, Mexico – clearly holidaymakers who are getting hit with these ads,” “As far as I can tell, the Home Office are just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, except they don’t have anything to tell them.”

-Dr Ben Collier

Some adverts reached less than 1,000 users, and some reached over 1,000.000. One adverted targeted Arabic speakers visiting Brussels. Another advert targeted Vietnamese speakers travelling away from family in Calais. Clearly, this isn’t the audience the HO expected.

Using the lowest spend on Meta paid social campaigns, it’s estimated that at least £35,000 was spent on these ads.

Ad intent

Dr Collier stated that the campaign aimed to influence behaviour, which had become “fear-based” over the years.

The copy of the ads told users “Even if you survive an illegal boat trip, UK laws will not allow you to work or earn money.”. Researchers found that the ads were being shown to users in Mexico, Oman, Jordan, and Bangladesh.

The ads got removed in the back of 2022, because they didn’t contain the political messaging disclaimer (just a box to tick when uploading ads).

The Scottish Institute for Policing Research stated:

“There is clear evidence that [the campaign] has been seen by Arabic, Pashto, Vietnamese, and Albanian speakers in a number of locations who are extremely unlikely to be seeking asylum” “This means that, for example, in Brussels, there are Arabic-speaking residents who will be targeted by this advert, when their French-speaking neighbours will not see it.”

Let this be a lesson to anyone running paid social campaigns! No matter how much money you put into your ads and budget, building the right audience is key! If you have the wrong audience, the best copy and creative in the world won’t deliver the results you want.

X/Twitter paywalls XPro/TweetDeck

In a surprising move, X paywalled XPro for brand and personal accounts. If you want to access the tool, you need to be a Blue subscriber.

In the past, this tool has always been free, so this may drive away advertisers from the platform more than they already have been. Unfortunately for users, this will impact content discoverability.

What the experts say

This is what Jules F. Bacchini, an expert on PPC had to say:

“For Twitter based communities, like PPC Chat, it is a serious blow to community interactivity. PPC Chat has historically been a Twitter based community with lots of activity centered on our community hashtag.”

“Unfortunately, due to changes in the past six months and culminating with making XPro a paid only feature, we have had to move our weekly chats off of Twitter and onto our other channels.”

“It also potentially really hampers discoverability of content and like minded follows as it is a lot more difficult to follow lists without a tool like XPro. I get that X is trying to increase its revenue, but putting a historically free tool that really enhanced the Twitter user experience behind a paid subscription is disappointing.”

Anu Abegbola, also a PPC expert, told Search Engine Land that the change is disappointing. They also argued that this could be the final nail in the coffin for X:

“TweetDeck was a platform X offered for free – and it didn’t make many updates to it whilst it was free. Yet now they are going to make it a paid service? That is not on!”

“It was a nice way to organise follows and see multiple groups of follows at once without actually having to follow people – for example, you could just view by lists. This change is going to mean a lot less time on X and people seeing important tweets a lot less.”

“X has really become a mess lately and this is the final nail in the coffin for me. TweetDeck was essential for me to drown out troll noise and only pay attention to people who I thought were worth paying attention to. This now goes away.”

XPro Updates

Now that XPro is paywalled, it supports new features to incentivise users to subscribe to Blue. These features include:

  • Full composer functionality
  • Spaces
  • Video docking
  • Polls
  • And more

X’s Help Center has more info, but they are yet to comment on the change.

OpenAI publically acquires a new company

Our final story for this week concerns OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. It has just acquired Global Illumination, a New York startup that uses AI to create creative tools and digital experiences.

This is the first company that OpenAI has publicly acquired in the last seven years. However, the terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

OpenAI wrote “We’re very excited for the impact they’ll have here at OpenAI,” “The entire team has joined OpenAI to work on our core products including ChatGPT.”

About Global Illumination

Global Illumination was founded in 2021 by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn. It has been involved in projects with Meta, YouTube, Pixar, and Riot Games.

The most recent creation from them is Biomes, which is an open source game that’s similar to Minecraft. While Biomes’ fate is unclear, it’s safe to assume the team won’t be focusing on entertainment projects as much going forward.

OpenAI has avoided acquisitions up until now, but now it has been backed with billions in Venture Capital by Microsoft. ChatGPT has earned the company global fame, it reportedly cost $450 million to develop. This also included talent acquisition costs.

The company earned $30 million last year, but this year it aims to boost that to $200 million, and then $1 billion next year.

We’ll have to wait and see what work Global Illumination creates under the leadership of ChatGPT.

As always, thanks for reading this week’s digital roundup.

GPTBot Launched, Major Ad Changes From TikTok, and Content Pruning Advice By Google.

August 11, 2023 Posted by News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “GPTBot Launched, Major Ad Changes From TikTok, and Content Pruning Advice By Google.”

Good Afternoon, and welcome to the Intelligency Digital Roundup. Letting you know the latest trends and insights in Digital Marketing.

In this week’s news: Learn about OpenAI’s new web crawler, GPTBot. Also, see what’s changed with TikTok’s ad campaigns, and the best way to prune content on your website.

Let’s get right into it.

All About GPTBot from OpenAI

This week, OpenAI launched GPTBot, which is a new web crawler designed to improve future AI models like GPT-4 and GPT-5.

How it works

GPTBot is designed to enhance future AI technology and accuracy capabilities by scanning the web for the following user agent token and string:

User agent token: GPTBot
Full user-agent string: Mozilla/5.0 AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko; compatible; GPTBot/1.0; +

OpenAI has stated that the bot will automatically filter out paywall-restricted sources, any sources with personal information, and any sources which violate OpenAI policies. However, this technology provides businesses with the opportunity to improve the AI ecosystem and future language models by giving it access to your site.

It’s important to note that you’re able to restrict access to your site if you don’t want to give GPTBot access.

Site owners can restrict access by placing the following in the site’s robots.txt file:

User-agent: GPTBot
Disallow: /

On the other hand, if you want to allow it some access, you can insert this into the robots.txt file:

User-agent: GPTBot
Allow: /directory-1/
Disallow: /directory-2/

You’ll be able to see if GPTBot has crawled your website as OpenAI provided IP address ranges on its site. This is to help provide transparency.

Legality and Ethics

This latest tech launch has sparked discussions on a forum called Hacker News. The discussions involve the legality and ethics of a company scraping web data in order to train AI systems.

Some users argue that because you can disallow it using robots.txt, there aren’t any ethical concerns. Other users argue that there’s no benefit to allowing it access to your site. This is because, unlike Googlebot, it’s not driving traffic to your site.

Another concern is how it will handle copyrighted and licensed products because ChatGPT doesn’t cite sources when giving an answer to a prompt. Additionally, if licensed media such as images or music is used to train AI, it could be copyright infringement.

Other users argue that anything on the public web is fair game, comparing it to a person learning from online content.

Overall, GPTBot has opened up many a discussion on fair use and ownership when it comes to AI. Robots.txt is a good first step.

TikTok Ad Changes

In other news, TikTok has made some major changes to its ads this week in order to meet EU regulations. Targeted advertising capabilities will be reduced, and any ads which violate content guidelines will be removed.

Also, users will see expanded reporting options, and if a creator faces a content moderation decision, they’ll be notified.

Here’s the full list of changes:

TikTok’s ad and platform changes

The full list of changes on TikTok includes:

  • Expanded reporting- When reporting content, EU users can now report them as illegal. You’ll be able to report something as hate speech, a form of harassment, or a financial crime/scam/pyramid scheme.
  • Global bans- If a piece of content is found to be violating TikTok’s content policies, it will be removed globally from the platform.
  • Targeted ads- Brands can no longer create targeted ads for EU users aged 13 to 17. Those users will no longer see personalised ads based on their activities on and off-site.
  • Personalisation– EU users can now turn off personalisation, this will mean that their “for you” and “live” feeds will show popular global content, rather than content popular near their location.
  • More transparency– TikTok has promised to be more transparent when it comes to decisions regarding content moderation.

Here’s what TikTok has said regarding the changes:

“The European Union has set a clear vision for platform regulation with the Digital Services Act (DSA). Following our updates in July about our Research API and Commercial Content Library, we are providing more information about the work that we are doing to meet our obligations under the Act by the August 28 deadline.” “Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. We know that ensuring the safety, privacy, and security of our European community is critical to achieving that goal.”

These changes are somewhat similar to the potential ones which Meta is making for Facebook, will more companies follow suit? Only time will tell.

Google’s advice on content pruning

This week, Google gave some good advice on content pruning, following an exposé from Gizmodo regarding CNET deleting thousands of articles. Allegedly, the site did this in order to “game Google Search”

CNET did confirm the culling of content, and while Gizmodo said it was in the thousands, CNET did not comment don’t the exact number. The company “redirected, repurposed, or removed” content by analysing the following metrics:

  • Pageviews
  • Backlink profiles
  • Time past since the content was updated

Content deprecation, or removal, tells Google that “CNET is fresh, relevant, and worthy of high page rankings” according to a CNET internal memo.

CNET is incorrect about this. Deleting content doesn’t tell Google the above. If you want to show that your site is fresh, relevant, and worthy of high page rankings, then publish helpful and high-quality content. Not delete existing content.

Showing even more of a lack of SEO awareness, Taylor Canada, CNET’s director of marketing stated “Unfortunately, we are penalized by the modern internet for leaving all previously published content live on our site.” This isn’t how SEO works, Google will never punish a site for having old articles live on a site.

Google’s guidance doesn’t state this, if anything, old content can still be helpful to users. Google SearchLiasion’s X account had this to say about deleting old content:

Danny Sullivan, owner of the Search Liasion account, had this to say when asked about old content which has broken links or isn’t relevant anymore:

“The page itself isn’t likely to rank well. Removing it might mean if you have a massive site that we’re better able to crawl other content on the site. But it doesn’t mean we go ‘oh, now the whole site is so much better’ because of what happens with an individual page.”

What Google said about content pruning

Google once said in 2011 that low-quality content removal could help rankings:

“In addition, it’s important for webmasters to know that low quality content on part of a site can impact a site’s ranking as a whole. For this reason, if you believe you’ve been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.”

However, Danny Sullivan argues that Google never outright said to delete content just because it’s old.

Google’s current advice from experts such as John Mulaney is to repurpose content by improving it, rather than removing it, where possible. Intelligency will always argue that this is much better for SEO too. This is because improving and repurposing old content rather than deleting it improves the overall quality of the content of your site.

As always, thanks for reading this week’s digital roundup!

Meta May Make A Big Targeted Advertising Change In EU, YouTube Testing AI Summaries, and X Make Ad Labels Less Noticeable.

August 4, 2023 Posted by News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Meta May Make A Big Targeted Advertising Change In EU, YouTube Testing AI Summaries, and X Make Ad Labels Less Noticeable.”

Good Afternoon and welcome to the first August roundup for 2023.

In this week’s digital marketing news, Meta has tried to quash disputes with the EU over data collection with a proposed new method. Also, YouTube tested generative AI summaries for videos, and X changed its ad labelling method.

Let’s learn more about each story.

Meta potentially changing targeted advertising data collection method for EU users

A map of europe surrounded by a golden border with a padlock in the top left hand corner.

Meta has offered to get consent from European users before the company collects any data for targeted advertising this week.

The proposal is a result of a year-long argument with the EU because of the EU arguing the legality of the company’s data collection methods.

What does this change mean for marketers?

Unfortunately, for digital marketers, this could have a significant impact on the quality and effectiveness of targeted ads. This is because there’s a possibility that a large number of EU users refuse to give permission for data collection. If a large number of users refused, Meta would receive fewer signals for identifying behaviours and interests.

If Meta cannot access this data, it would mean that marketers carrying out paid social campaigns wouldn’t be able to build audiences as effectively as they used to. This in turn would make targeted advertising weaker.

Targeted advertising being weaker could result in the value of Meta’s ad space because of company’s spending less on targeted ad campaigns.

When could this change happen?

Meta stated that the change will take approximately three months to implement, so it could be implemented by late October. Although, Meta has also said that it could wait until early next year to coincide with EU regulation changes.

Once a date is confirmed, Intelligency will be the first to let you know.

Meta’s privacy policy contains substantial information about how user data is collected, the video below is a summary.

YouTube testing AI-generated summaries

An image of the youtube logo with a flow chart coming off of it.

This week, YouTube has been quietly testing new AI implementation on desktop. The feature summarises a video using AI, which appears when searching for videos, and when watching videos.

While this sounds like it aims to replace bespoke video descriptions, YouTube has said this isn’t the case. YouTube designed this feature to compliment videos and to help generate engagement.

AI generation

As of now, AI-generated summaries only apply videos in English, and can appear while searching for videos, or watching one. While YouTube believes that summaries could help generate engagement, this may not be the case.

If the summary is weak, people may not click on the video, even if they’d enjoy the content. No doubt this is a concern from creators on the platform.

At the moment, the test isn’t public, so we are unable to see what it looks like.

Google are getting more and more into AI, from implementing it into Google Docs, to Google Ads and Search.

Once the test is visible, we’ll be writing more about it, so stay tuned!

X making ad labels less visible

An image of the X logo with ad in the top right corner.

Now that Twitter is formally transitioning into X, once big change has made ad labels less noticeable. Instead of the “promoted” label that used to be in the bottom left corner of Twitter Ads, X Ads now have an “ad label” in the top right hand corner.

What does the label change mean?

Interestingly, this new labelling is similar to how Google and Microsoft “hide” PPC ads in SERPS (search engine results pages). While it’s entirely possible this change could lead to more accidental clicks on ads on the platform, that doesn’t necessarily translate to more conversions.

How have X users reacted?

Like many changes that are implemented to social media, users aren’t too pleased. Many have stated that the ads now look like organic posts, defeating the purpose of ads.

Here’s some X quotes about the change:

  • “They made it easier for me to scroll past ads. I used to have to get to the bottom of the tweet to see it was an ad. Now it’s at the top.”
  • “Instant block for all ads.”
  • “Now it’s closer to the block button.”
  • “As a direct response, I’ve stopped just scrolling past ads and now I’m blocking every single ad I see.”

X hasn’t commented on the change as of yet, this could just be a test instead of a permanent feature. It’s likely that the company is trying to get advertisers back on the platform, after they saw a huge drop in ad revenue. We” just have to wait and see for how this works out.

As always, thanks for reading this week’s roundup!

Twitter Becomes X, New Threads Update, and OpenAI Discontinues AI Detector.

July 28, 2023 Posted by News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Twitter Becomes X, New Threads Update, and OpenAI Discontinues AI Detector.”

Good Afternoon and welcome to the Intelligency Digital Roundup. Providing you with the latest digital trends, news, and insights.

This week, Twitter rebranded, Threads received an update based on user feedback, and OpenAI abandoned its AI-written detector.

Let’s get into the stories.

Twitter rebrands under ‘X’

An image of the twitter logo that's crossed out and replaced with the X logo.

The biggest news from this week comes from Twitter. On Monday, the iconic blue bird icon, which is unanimous with Twitter, was removed. Instead, a white X on a black background has taken its place, signifying the change to Brand X.

Not only does it show that Elon Musk is done with the Twitter brand, but it also shows that he wants to change it to be more like an “everything app”. The best example of an everything app is an app such as WeChat.

What Twitter/X has said

Linda Yaccarino had this to say about the change from Twitter to X

“It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression. Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square,” “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

Upon branding the Twitter website to X, Musk also tweeted this (notice the X in the top right corner)

Clearly, the senior staff are excited about the change.

What the change means for users and marketers

For users of X, there’s no doubt that the vocabulary of the brand will change. People will go from “tweeting” to “X-ing” as they get used to the change. TweetDeck will become XDeck for instance, and you’ll be able to see recently X’ed users.

The biggest changes will undoubtedly be felt by advertisers and digital marketers though. Primarily the change in content regulation, after all, Twitter/X recently had issues with hate content. Twitter/X has also been going through ad revenue troubles.

SEOs reactions

SEOs speculated that the brand change may break embedded tweets among other issues. Here are some SEO reactions in an embedded tweet format (or image if you’re an email reader)

Threads receives new feeds with an update

An image of a phone with

Meta also updated its latest social media app, Threads, this week. Following user feedback, Meta has added some highly-requested features.

In a nutshell, Threads now has:

  • Separate feeds
  • A translate feature
  • More organised notifications

Let’s learn some more about each

Follower and For You feeds

Users familiar with Twitter/X will welcome this highly requested. Before the update, the only feed users had was a main one with threads from accounts they do and don’t follow.

Now there are two feeds to choose from, a Follower feed, which you can filter to see by chronological order. There’s also the main For You feed, which is similar to Twitter/X’s For You feed.

Organised notifications

Notifications for Threads are also able to be organised now. You can choose to receive exclusive notifications from accounts you follow, or you can choose to receive notifications from accounts you don’t follow.


If you see a thread in a language different to yours, you can translate it into your preferred language in the bottom right corner of the post.

All of these changes have been designed to improve the user experience on the app. It underlines the importance of aligning user needs with app functionalities.

OpenAI shut down written-by-AI detector

An image of a macbook with an error on it,

Our final story this week is from OpenAI. The ChatGPT creators shut down AI Classifier, a tool which claimed that it could detect if an AI had written a piece of text. Unfortunately for anyone relying on the tool, OpenAI shut it down due to a “low rate of accuracy”

You’d think that an AI would be able to tell if a piece of writing was written by another AI or not, but it seems like this isn’t the case. Some pieces of writing have an obvious tell, but it’s an unreliable method of catching AI because language models are getting so advanced.

Techcrunch tested a variety of AI-detection tools and none of them performed well. Seven generated pieces of text were provided, and OpenAI’s classifier only detected one.

OpenAI stated this about the discontinuation of AI Classifier:

“We are working to incorporate feedback and are currently researching more effective provenance techniques for text”

Is this proof that AI models are getting too advanced? Or does it just show that companies should be putting more effort into AI detection Who’s to say?

As always, thanks for reading!

Twitter Ad Revenue Troubles, Facebook Video Improvements, and TikTok Music Launches.

July 21, 2023 Posted by News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Twitter Ad Revenue Troubles, Facebook Video Improvements, and TikTok Music Launches.”

Good afternoon, happy Friday, and welcome to another instalment of the Digital Roundup!

This week, Twitter faced more issues with ad revenue, adding to its growing list of problems. Meta also improved videos on Facebook for users and creators, and learn about TikTok Music.

Let’s get into the stories!

Twitter Loses Almost Half Its Ad Revenue.

A man looking inside an empty wallet

This week, Elon Musk revealed that Twitter has lost almost half of its ad revenue since he bought it in October 2022. In the statement, Musk stated that while the company didn’t see the forecasted revenue it expected in June, July has been “more promising”

When the Tesla CEO took over in 2022, he fired over 7,000 employees in order to cut costs. As well as the ad revenue trouble, Threads, the rival platform to Twitter, now has 150 million users. The potential for Threads users is huge due to the fact it’s connected to Instagram.

If every user who was on Instagram created a Threads account, there would be close to two billion users.

Musk also stated the cash flow for Twitter is currently negative as well, adding to the list of troubles. Here’s the tweet he put out:

What people have said

An investment director called Lucy Coutts told the BBC that she thought Musk could turn Twitter around, but it’s going to take longer.

“But unfortunately he has got $13bn of debt to pay by the end of July so we may see more pressure on the shares in Tesla if he has to sell more of his stake in that company.”

Musk expected Twitter to be on track for £2.29bn in 2023, which is down from Twitter’s $5.1bn in 2021. Despite cutting costs with employees and cloud services, it’s still not enough. A significant amount of advertisers left Twitter after content moderation rules were changed.

Interestingly, Meghana Dhar, who’s the former head of partnerships for Snaps and Meta told the BBC

“Elon and Twitter are in a candidly tough position right now,” “To be fair to Elon though, we’ve seen that decline in Twitter revenue and growth in revenue since pre-Elon – there’s been kind of a steady decline.”

Is Twitter still a sustainable platform, or is it the end of days for the renowned platform? Whatever the outcome, you’ll find it in a roundup!

Enhanced video features for Facebook

A graphic meant to represent the facebook video editor and mobile feed.

Meta enhanced the video features on Facebook this week in order to make it easier to edit, view, and engage with videos.

The update transfers some features of Reels into the main Facebook feed. Dynamic video capabilities have been enabled to simplify video creation and sharing.

Facebook released details of the update in an announcement:

To sum it up, the new features include:

  • Upgraded video editing tools
  • A new, dedicated video tab
  • Trending video discovery
  • Reels integration

But let’s learn more about each feature.

Upgraded video editing tools

The first new feature is an enhanced video editing suite for Reels. Users can use a combo of audio, music, and text to make an engaging video. This is similar to how TikTok allow you to do that in their editor.

Users are also able to slow down or speed up clips, reverse them, or swap them out. Additionally, on the audio front, you can mix songs, record a voiceover, and kill background noise.

If HD isn’t to your liking, you can also swap out the format to HDR if you want to provide a clearer picture.

Video tab

What was previously known as Facebook Watch has been rebranded to the video tab. This tab places Reels, live streams, and long-form videos in one place. The goal is to help users find and interact with content that’s to their liking.

Meta explained the tab:

“The Video tab will look familiar – you can scroll vertically through a personalized feed that recommends all types of video content – but will also feature new horizontal-scroll reels sections that highlight recommended reels, so you can quickly jump into short-form video.”

Trending video discovery

To further help users find interesting content, the Explore feature for videos has been updated too.

The explore section now uses hand-picked recommendations as well as algorithms to recommend relevant and popular videos.

Reel Integration

The main new feature is the integration of Instagram Reels onto Facebook.

This feature allows a user to watch and engage with an Instagram Reel on Facebook, without the need of switching between apps.

Meta’s goal with this feature is to help Instagram creators reach even more users, by putting their Reels on Facebook.

The company is currently undertaking efforts to bring both services close together for Creators:

“We’ll continue developing more tools for creators so they can express themselves, build an audience and earn money, along with the discovery and personalization features that give you more control over your experience.”

TikTok launch TikTok Music in Austalia, Mexico, and Singapore

An image of the world map with the TikTok logo covering mexico, singapore, and spain.

Social media giant TikTok is taking on the music scene this week by launching a subscription-only music service called TikTok Music. It has been launched in Australia, Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, and Indonesia so far.

Users who subscribe are able to link up their existing TikTok accounts (if they have one) and listen to, download, and share music. Big record labels such as Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music have added catalogues to the service so far.

Who can access TikTok Music?

The full service hasn’t launched yet, it’s still in an invite-only closed beta phase, users who are invited will need to download TikTok music from the App or Android store. If you receive an invite, then you’ll also get a free three-month trial.

A subscription will probably cost £6.99 for UK users when it’s eventually rolled out here as prices in the other countries range from $6.86 to $7.48.

TikTok hasn’t released any details of when the service will come to the UK or US just yet, but the company has promised to share more details soon. The emails sent to users from TikTok stated

“TikTok Music is a new kind of music service that combines the power of music discovery on TikTok with a music streaming service offering millions of tracks from thousands of artists,” “We are now beta testing TikTok Music in Australia, Mexico and Singapore, and will have more news to share on the launch of TikTok Music in the coming months.”

TikTok is already used as a search engine by the younger generations, and users also use it to discover new music. It can even help songs rise in popularity if it’s featured as popular audio. By entering the music space, TikTok is competing with Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

TikTok Music features

Subscribers will be able to access full versions of viral TikTok songs, receive music recommendations tailored to them, see lyrics, create playlists, import music libraries, and search for new songs. One of the biggest features is similar to Shazam and will allow users to discover a song they’re hearing in real-time.

Users can connect with other music lovers, and also comment on songs too, similar to Soundcloud.

When TikTok Music launches in the UK, we’ll let you know!

Thanks for reading this week’s digital roundup!