Top TikTok Trends, Twitter Ads Suspended Due To Child Exploitation and New Changes To Mobile Search.

September 30, 2022 Posted by Sean Walsh News, Round-Up 0 thoughts on “Top TikTok Trends, Twitter Ads Suspended Due To Child Exploitation and New Changes To Mobile Search.”

Good Afternoon, and as always, welcome to this week’s Digital Roundup.

Summer is over, and as we welcome Autumn into our lives, it’s good to keep track of what’s trending! So our first story covers all the Autumn trends you need to know. We also have a story covering why advertisers are pulling out of Twitter, and how mobile search from Google is changing.

Tok 4 TikTok Trends For Autumn

A child holding a brown autumn leaf.

As of now, there are currently 1 billion active users on TikTok, and over 8.9 million of those are in the UK, if TikTok doesn’t have a part in your social media strategy, it’s seriously worth planning to engage with these users.

However, engaging with users is easier said than done, due to the nature of trends coming as quickly as they go.

So how do you keep track of a trend on TikTok?

The platform sees thousands of users upload videos daily, so it’s hard to stand out with videos that capture and connect with your brand’s target audiences.

However, you can use TikTok’s Creative Centre for businesses, which is a tool that’s designed to give you inspiration, but it’s easy to lose a few hours in the app trying to find something which fits into your brand guidelines.

As well as this, TikTok is constantly changing how its platform works, such as removing the Discover tab and changing it to a Friends and Search tab.

If you’re stuck for time or inspiration, I’ve got you covered with the top 4 TikTok Trends For Autumn.

Trend 1: It’s Corn!

The first trend combines the “It’s Corn” comedic audio which involves an interview with a young child describing why he loves corn, with something that you love, such as a product, and listing the reasons why you love it in text.

You can use the audio to show off your brand too, by showing off things like an icon, product you sell, or activity.

Trend 2: Sped Up Cool Kids

This trend utilises a sped version of the song Cool Kids by Echosmith, where creators will show off nostalgic photos or finds, as well as DIY Hacks.

The tone of the videos is usually targeting nostalgia, or they’re a before and after photo/video set, or even tutorials or recipes. They just have to be quirky or hipster-y.

One popular way to do these videos is to show a before of someone not using beauty or cosmetic products with the text “younger me would lose their mind if they saw what I looked like today”, and then an after photo or video.

Trend 3: I Put A Spell On You

Just in time for Halloween, the sound clip “I Put A Spell On You” by Working With Lemons is being paired with Halloween DIYs or festive tricks.

This sound clip can help you spotlight your brand by showing off creative, spooky decorations in your office or costume ideas.

You can use this clip with either text-to-speech or plain text.

Trend 4: J’s Lullaby

Our 4th trend involves storytelling in the content by utilising the whispery lullaby in conjunction with a gentle acoustic guitar in order to warm your viewers’ hearts. Content typically features weddings, romantic events, or love stories, so this is a good opportunity to show your brand’s emotional side.

Arguably, the content doesn’t need to be romantic, just emotional. Anything from customer testimonials to your brand’s community work would fit the trend.

It can take a lot of trial and error to research what sorts of trends fit into your brand guidelines and image, and how you want the brand to be presented on TikTok.

So it’s always worth using TikTok’s search to see what’s trending daily which can help you grow your viewer base.

TikTok insights also help you gain insight into who’s interacting with your content so that you can plan your next video better.

By staying consistent and on top of trends, you’ll definitely grow your user base.

Child Exploitation Forces Top Brands To Drop Twitter Ads

30 major advertisers have stopped advertising on Twitter this week after it came to light that their adverts were being run concurrently with content that promoted child pornography and abuse.

One example of this includes an advert for a children’s hospital being shown alongside harmful tweets which promoted child sexual abuse.

The Revolt Against Twitter

The fact that 30 advertisers had dropped out was revealed by Reuters (a cyber security firm), which reported that promoted tweets were showing in conjunction with toxic content.

One Twitter spokesman was quoted as stating that Reuter’s research and conclusions weren’t representative of the platform’s efforts to fight illicit tweets and harmful activity.

However, Reuters’ article stated that these big brand advertisers were notified that the tweets they were promoting appeared alongside toxic ones.

One of the quotes from Cole Haan, an executive, read:

“”We’re horrified,” David Maddocks, brand president at Cole Haan, told Reuters after being notified that the company’s ads appeared alongside such tweets.

“Either Twitter is going to fix this, or we’ll fix it by any means we can, which includes not buying Twitter ads.

A phone with the Twitter logo loading screen.

Twitter’s Ineptitude For Detecting Toxic Content

This all started when Twitter’s toxic content was brought to everyone’s attention with an article which was published by The Verge.

The article in question informs readers of a Twitter project to develop a platform which could compete with OnlyFans wherein users could pay a fee to share sexually explicit content.

However, before the new service launched, Twitter asked a team of employees, called the Red Team to test whether or not Twitter could successfully weed out toxic content so that the platform didn’t degenerate into the sharing of illegal content.

The service’s development ground to a halt when the Red Team concluded that the company was unable to detect abusive and toxic content.

The Verge’s article states:

“What the Red Team discovered derailed the project: Twitter could not safely allow adult creators to sell subscriptions because the company was not — and still is not — effectively policing harmful sexual content on the platform.

“Twitter cannot accurately detect child sexual exploitation and non-consensual nudity at scale,” the Red Team concluded in April 2022. The company also lacked tools to verify that creators and consumers of adult content were of legal age, the team found.”

This all happened in the Spring of 2022, since the team found that Twitter couldn’t detect toxic content, the project was shelved until further notice.

But the story doesn’t end here, the cyber security firm Ghost Data found that Twitter was still having trouble detecting rogue users and accounts that were sharing illicit and harmful content.

Ghost Data carried out an investigation in September this year to really see how widespread the illicit child content issue is on the platform.

Ghost Firm began with known child exploitation accounts, and mapped out toxic accounts which followed them, as well as the social connections between each account.

Ghost Firm eventually identified more than 500 accounts that were responsible for 5,000 tweets related to illicit child abuse or exploitation.

Ghost Firm noted that the accounts they investigated were only the English ones and that accounts in other languages were yet to be investigated.

The Researchers’ Conclusion

The researchers concluded that if they carried out an investigation into accounts that weren’t in English, they’d find even more sexually explicit content which involved children.

However, one of the biggest conclusions was that Twitter only took action against just over a meagre 25% of the accounts that they’d identified as toxic during the first 20 days of September 2022.

The researchers wrote:

“We noted that Twiter (sic) suspended less than 30% (27.5%) of the users that publicly shared child pornography links, material, and references in the first 20 days of September.

To date, still, more than 400 users are active after « the purge».

Many of these users have been active for months.”

The researchers also identified that Twitter could be doing a better job at cracking down on toxic accounts:

“These results validate the alarming problem already discovered by internal employees and exposed by online media: Twiter (sic) cannot accurately detect child sexual exploitation and its executives are doing almost nothing to address this disaster.

We also uncovered evidence that such permissive policies on pornographic content are also inducing users to post non-consensual and rape videos, not to mention minors trying to sell their own nudity or sexual content.

…Probably a modest investment and a dedicated team, even applying our own basic techniques, would be suficient (sic) to easily locate and drastically reduce the illicit activities…”

So the conclusion that Ghost Firm reached is different to the one that Twitter reached, as twitter state that the company has a “zero-tolerance” policy for these types of issues.

Google To Roll Out 5 New Changes To Mobile Search

Google has announced new changes that will be rolling out the mobile search in the next few months at their Search On Conference, which was hosted earlier this week.

On the Google app for iOS, you can now utilise shortcuts which will carry out various actions rather than typing in a traditional search query.

As well as this, in the upcoming months, the mobile search bar will be enhanced with new features to help users get more relevant results.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new changes which were announced for now and the near future.

Google Search Shortcuts

You don’t just have to type with a text query to find something on google anymore.

You can find products by uploading a screenshot, or translate a piece of text with Google Lens, or just hum into your phone’s microphone to find a song.

Now, on Google’s app for iOS, you can see shortcuts which will let you carry out these advanced searches without any additional effort on your part.

Here’s an example of how it will look:

A gif showing Google's shortcuts underneath the search bar.
Source: Google

Results In The Search Bar

Google is also making things even easier for mobile users to find a result by displaying links and results in the search bar itself.

Google will now start populating the results as you type in your query.

Google showed us what this would look like:

A search for Fort Funston, and the location being shown in the search results.
Source: Google

Enhanced Query Refinements

As well as results in the search bar, Google will show an assortment of query refinements when typing in a query.

As you begin typing your query, Google will offer up ideas to make your query more specific.

Again, see the example below, where it suggests options after a user has typed in “best Mexico cities”:

Mobile search for “Best Mexico Cities”
Source: Google

Google Web Stories

As well as easier and refined searches, Google are wanting to implement Google Web Stories to make searching more visual.

The idea is to show users relevant and helpful information from multiple sources, such as images, Wikipedia articles, videos, or map locations:

The results for Oaxaca being searched.
Source Google

You can tap on each story (which happens to look like iOS widgets) to learn more.

Combining Text, Images, and Video

You will no longer have to switch between individual text, video, or image tabs as they’ll all be combined into one big content feed:

The new combined tab.
Source: Google
Author Profile
Sean Walsh
Director at Intelligency

Sean is a Director at Intelligency heading up our digital marketing and client services operations. Sean has 15+ years experiencing working both in-house and agency with brands including Lloyds, Alstom, Hitachi, Lufthansa, Viaplay, DFDS Seaways and Mercedes-Benz.

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