Welcome back to another week of In Other News, our fortnightly segment on the latest digital marketing news. This week, we have Twitter, Pinterest and Google updates – we’ve done the reading so you don’t have to!
Elon Musk turns down Twitter’s board
Earlier this year, Tesla boss Elon Musk announced his ambition to revolutionise social media. This was followed in early March by him buying a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making Musk the primary shareholder of the social media giant. Musk then indicated his desire to discuss a potential merger or board collaboration with Twitter. The following weekend, he proceeded to tweet about potential changes, such as removing the letter w from Twitter or turning their headquarters into a homeless shelter.
In a surprising turn of events, Twitter’s Chief Executive announced on the platform the following Sunday that while the board had seriously considered Musk becoming a board member (pending a background check), the Tesla boss declined the position on the morning of the day of his official board appointment. Musk replied to this announcement by a single emoji, which was deleted a little while later.
Despite this board membership saga, Musk maintains that he remains open to future involvement with the social media giant. As the majority stakeholder, he also still holds significant power and, as such, he may yet still influence Twitter in an indirect way.
Pinterest joins the battle against climate change misinformation
On Wednesday the 6th of April 2022, Pinterest unveiled a series of guidelines to actively combat climate change misinformation, including conspiracy theories. This new policy was promoted under the motto ‘positivity starts with policy’ and makes Pinterest the first social media platform to set anti climate change misinformation rules.
From now on, content that falls in the following categories will be removed from the platform:
- Content that denies the existence or impacts of climate change, the human influence on climate change, or that climate change is backed by scientific consensus
- False or misleading content about climate change solutions that contradict well-established scientific consensus
- Content that misrepresents scientific data, including by omission or cherry-picking, in order to erode trust in climate science and experts
- Harmful, false or misleading content about public safety emergencies, including natural disasters and extreme weather events
These rules also apply to advertising content. Advertisers must now also comply with these guidelines and in particular, assets containing climate change conspiracy theories, misinformation or disinformation will be barred on Pinterest.
Sarah Bromma, Pinterest’s Head of Policy, explains that the driving force behind these new guidelines is a desire to safeguard Pinterest users’ wellbeing while on the platform as well as their trust in Pinterest. It’s also interesting to note that this new policy comes into effect after Pinterest recorded a sharp increase in green-living and sustainability-related searches.
Google start testing Topics
After much pressure from legislative bodies on user privacy, Google announced that it would progressively faze out cookies. This, however, would mean that its primary clients, advertisers, would be left without consumer data.
Since then, Google has worked on alternatives to cookies, with their first proposal, FLoC, being abandoned. In January 2022, Google introduced its successor, Topics. Topics are meant to fill the gaps in tracking that cookies will leave behind and provide advertisers with the data that they need. These nifty little trackers are an attempt for Google to balance out governmental concerns for privacy with its clients’ (advertisers) needs for data. Testing is now underway.
Topics will track information on Google Chrome and Google services (Gmail, Google Calendar, etc.) that the user has shown interest in in the last 3 weeks and provide the information to advertisers. The insights will then be stored for a limited time only.
Do you have questions or want to discuss what these changes mean for your business? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!