Junior Account Executive

BBC, ITV and Meta are the three largest sources of news, says a new OFCOM study. 

The OFCOM report into changing news habits over the past 10 years reveals 64% of adults in the UK use online intermediaries to access news – with Meta now the third largest source of news behind the BBC and ITV. 

Online intermediaries curate news displays to drive user engagement – and OFCOM evidence suggests that incentives to keep users in ‘automatic scrolling mode’ can have implications for how people access and consume news. 

OFCOM believe that people who get their news via social media may see less diversity of viewpoints, as well as more polarising and false content, which tends to drive high user engagement.

Accessing news through social platforms is a trend that looks set to continue as seven in ten 16-24 year olds were found to get their news from social channels. 

Ofcom will use the research to feed into their assessment of the risks posed by online intermediaries and emerging technologies, including generative AI, which they claim is ‘disrupting how news is created, verified, distributed and consumed’.

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Trend of longer clips on social channels increases

Instagram and TikTok are both driving the trend of creating longer clips – with some users now able to upload three minute long Reels on Instagram and TikTok introducing cash incentives to longer uploads through their Creator Awards Scheme.

Instagram Reels has doubled the possible upload time to three minutes for some users, and appears to also be testing 10 minute uploads.

Brands need to be considering now the trend toward longer content clips and consider how they can jump into the growing trend to build more authentic connections with brands fans and new audiences alike.

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YouTube tests new ‘skip ahead’ feature

YouTube is trialling a skip to the next most engaging part of a clip. 

This would allow viewers to review the highlights of a clip before committing to watch it all – or alternatively only watch the best bits.

The tool takes into account the most watched sections of a YouTube video, and automatically takes the watcher there. This tool is just in the trial stages and has generated mixed reviews.

Many creators are concerned about how this could affect the inclusion of sponsorships in videos, and how it could affect their engagement rates overall. 

However, for the consumer, with the rise in trends like “sludge videos” (which features multiple streams playing at the same time) this could be a feature that makes YouTube more appealing than competitors. 

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Instagram updates hashtag search

Instagram has adapted the way that hashtag searches appear in the app, providing users with more of a “For You” page, as well as the “Accounts”, “Reels” and the other categories displayed on the Explore Page. Previously, searching a hashtag would result in a “Top Posts” display that showed the most popular grid posts and reels that have included the hashtag. 

This seemingly small change could be extremely effective in making results appear more tailored to the individual and enabling users to dig into different elements. 

It could also place more emphasis on ensuring that keywords are included in the profiles of brands, as well as individual posts, to maximise discovery in the “Accounts” display. 

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YouTube Announces #WomenofYouTube Mentorship Program 

Youtube has launched a new mentorship programme to “educate and uplift” female creators. The scheme #WomenofYouTube aims to partner female creators with others for coaching, advice and support. 

YouTube explained: “Through our creator-to-creator coaching framework, seasoned Shorts creators will lend their expertise to emerging talents in our YouTube Shorts Creator Industry”, aiming to create an environment of support. 

Shorts have been a great addition to YouTube, increasing daily views by 20 billion a day. The support given to creators, and specifically female creators demonstrates the growing nature of the platform, and is one to consider for brands expanding their social approach. 
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The European Commission opens investigations into Apple, Alphabet and Meta

The European Commision suspects that Apple, Meta and Alphabet are not complying with the new Digital Markets Act, which will ensure that large online platforms behave fairly online. 

The Commission plans to investigate Google and Apple’s anti-steering rules in their app stores, and Meta’s “pay or consent model” for ad targeting. The DMA provided criteria to identify “gatekeepers” in the digital markets on 7th March, but has not seen the appropriate changes since the legislation to show that Alphabet, Apple and Meta “respect their obligations for a fairer and more open digital space”. 

If they are found guilty after the investigation, the companies involved could face sizable fines that could end up being around 10% of their global turnover. 
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