Hospitality Highlights - 2nd October 2023
Serving Fresh Marketing Updates, Trends, Buyer Behaviour & Strategic Intel
In this week’s Hospitality Highlights Marketing Newsletter
- Threads Still Poses a Threat to X Despite Slowed Growth, Analysis Finds
- Meta Is Blocking ‘Potentially Sensitive’ Topics from Threads Search
- Meta Rolls Out AI Experiences Across Its Apps and Devices
- Facebook Can Be Sued Over Biased Ad Algorithm, Says Court
- Spotify Is Adding Auto-Generated Transcripts to Millions of Podcasts
- Microsoft Advertising Unveils Video and CTV Ads
☕ Grab Your Favourite Drink, and Let’s Check In!
Threads Still Poses a Threat to X Despite Slowed Growth, Analysis Finds
Meta’s social networking app Threads is losing its shine. It is expected to rank second-to-last among social networks, surpassing only Tumblr.
By the end of 2023, Threads is forecasted to have 23.7 million users in the U.S., less than half of the user base of X (formerly Twitter) with 56.1 million users.
However, Threads is predicted to grow its user base by 26.4% in 2024 and 13.1% in 2025, totalling 34 million users. Despite a potential catch-up with X in the future, TikTok remains the stiffest competition for Meta, with TikTok projected to remain the third most popular social app behind Facebook and Instagram.
With a decreasing user base and being surpassed by other platforms like X, hotels and restaurants may need to reassess their social media marketing strategies.
However, there is a slight silver lining, as Threads is predicted to experience growth in its user base in the coming years. This could allow hotels and restaurants to continue leveraging the platform if it manages to catch up with competitors like X.
Nevertheless, TikTok remains a formidable competitor, ranking third among social apps, and should be included in hospitality marketing efforts.
Meta Is Blocking 'Potentially Sensitive' Topics from Threads Search
Threads is blocking searches for “potentially sensitive” topics such as “vaccines” and “COVID.” The idea is to keep controversial or misinformation-related content off the platform.
Meta’s head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, stated that the company is being cautious and learning from past mistakes about search functionality. The blocking of keywords is more aggressive and wide-ranging compared to previous search limitations on Facebook and Instagram.
Meta’s decision to block searches containing “potentially sensitive” keywords goes beyond targeting rule-breaking content, even if posts do not violate any rules.
The total block on COVID-related search terms may hinder users from accessing helpful information and resources on the platform.
Meta Rolls Out AI Experiences Across Its Apps and Devices
Meta has unveiled new AI experiences, including Emu, an image generation model which allows users to create AI-generated stickers in platforms like WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Stories simply by typing in English prompts.
Meta also introduced AI assistants that can interact with users like real people, with their own profiles on Facebook and Instagram. The first AI assistant, Meta AI, is a chatbot powered by Meta’s Llama 2 language model and can access real-time information. Users can summon Meta AI by typing “@Meta AI” in any chat interface.
The platform also plans to introduce personalised AI characters, like celebrity chefs and fitness instructors, with their own unique personalities. In addition to these new features, Meta announced the launch of AI Studio, a platform to create new AIs and the integration of AI personalities into its Ray-Ban smart glasses.
The new developments will allow users to interact with AI in more diverse and immersive ways across Meta’s apps and devices.
By integrating AI technologies into their marketing strategies, hotels and restaurants can create unique and immersive customer experiences, leading to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Facebook Can Be Sued Over Biased Ad Algorithm, Says Court
Facebook can now be sued over its allegedly discriminatory ad algorithm, according to a recent ruling by a California state court of appeals. A class action lawsuit filed in 2020 accused the platform of not showing insurance ads to women and older people in violation of civil rights laws.
The court concluded that Facebook’s ad platform, like Roommates.com, enables discrimination by allowing targeted ads based on age and gender. It stated that Facebook “creates, shapes, or develops content” with its ad tools and therefore cannot be shielded by Section 230.
Facebook’s ad algorithm has faced ongoing scrutiny, including a previous federal lawsuit accusing the company of enabling housing discrimination. After settling with the US government in 2022, Facebook implemented a new ad distribution system to address housing discrimination.
The recent California state court of appeals ruling has significant implications for Facebook’s advertising practices in the hotel and restaurant industry.
Businesses need to ensure that their Facebook ads do not violate civil rights laws and are inclusive to all demographics. Companies must pay attention to their ad targeting strategies and avoid discriminatory practices to avoid legal repercussions. I’ll keep you informed on this developing situation.
👀 X Previews Its 'Shadowban' Alerts
X is gearing up to introduce “shadowban” alerts, notifying users if their accounts have been restricted. A designer at X shared a preview of the feature, which includes an alert in the notifications tab and an informational page explaining why an account’s visibility may be limited.
The alert states that the account may contain sensitive content such as graphic or violent material, and as a result, posts may be covered with warnings and restricted from search, recommendations, trends, and other features. Users will have the option to appeal the decision. The feature aims to enhance transparency but has no confirmed release date.
This update builds on Twitter’s previous label feature, expanding the restrictions to the account level rather than individual tweets. The move addresses long-standing concerns about “shadowbanning” on social media platforms.
Spotify Is Adding Auto-Generated Transcripts to Millions of Podcasts
Spotify is expanding its auto-generated transcript feature to more podcast creators, allowing listeners to follow along with the episode visually.
The transcripts can be accessed by scrolling below the podcast player and entering the “read along” section. This feature makes podcasts more accessible and lets users skip and skim episodes. Spotify also offers time-stamped chapters to jump to specific parts of an episode. The company plans to add media to transcripts in the future. According to Spotify, “millions” of podcast episodes will be eligible for the transcript tool.
Spotify has announced the roll-out of an AI-generated voice cloning tool that uses Whisper technology developed by OpenAI. This tool allows a limited number of creators to translate English-language podcasts into Spanish, with French and German translations to follow in the coming weeks.
By incorporating relevant keywords and phrases in podcast transcripts, you can improve the searchability of your podcast episodes, attracting a wider audience and increasing brand visibility.
The availability of transcripts enhances accessibility, allowing listeners with hearing impairments or language barriers to engage with the content. Podcast marketers can use this feature to make their podcasts more inclusive and accessible.
With the ability to scroll through transcripts and skip to specific parts of an episode, listeners can easily find the information they’re most interested in, increasing engagement. Marketers can optimise their podcast episodes by structuring them with clear sections and highlighting key points to keep listeners engaged.
Transcripts can serve as valuable written content that can be repurposed for blog posts, social media snippets, or website articles. You can extract key insights and quotes from podcast episodes to create additional content that can be shared across different channels, expanding their reach and building brand authority.
Microsoft Advertising Unveils Video and CTV Ads
Microsoft Advertising has announced the addition of Video and Connected TV (CTV) ads to their platform. This new feature capitalises on the growing digital video landscape. It allows advertisers to create video and CTV campaigns directly through Microsoft’s Advertising platform.
The platform uses machine learning algorithms to develop hyper-targeted audiences based on product preferences and browsing history. The user-friendly system can be integrated seamlessly for existing Microsoft Advertising users.
Hotel and restaurant marketers can benefit greatly from Microsoft Advertising’s new Video and CTV ads feature. With CTV advertising, hotels and restaurants can stand out in a saturated ad market. By delivering their ads directly to viewers’ connected TVs, they can capture the attention of a broader audience, including younger demographics who are more likely to engage with CTV content.
The user-friendly system can be easily integrated into existing Microsoft Advertising accounts, making it easy for marketers to get started. This presents an opportunity for hotel and restaurant marketers to showcase their products and services through engaging video content, increasing brand awareness and driving conversions. By creating hyper-targeted ads based on customer preferences and browsing history, marketers can engage with potential customers on a personal level.