Home Ad Exchange News Moderating The Moderators; Will TikTok Become A Product Manufacturer?

Moderating The Moderators; Will TikTok Become A Product Manufacturer?

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Seeing Reddit

The mass desertion of Twitter users and advertisers should be a bonanza for Reddit. 

Unlike Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube, Reddit is text-based, like LinkedIn or Twitter. But LinkedIn’s over earnest, your-bosses-are-watching vibe is a poor fit for Twitter types.

Reddit is in a period of rapid maturation. It’s unprofitable and raised $1.3 billion. At some point, the VC supports fold, so it needs an ad biz.

The problem for Reddit is Redditors. Every social net needs users to create compelling content. Reddit has a group of super-user moderators who make the machine work. They manage subreddits, build communities, enforce guidelines all for free, akin to unpaid Wikipedia editors. 

And Reddit moderators, who vociferously oppose Reddit’s new API pricing and ad policies, have immense power to demonetize – by making public subreddits private or posting illicit content so ads are filtered. 

“For better or for worse, this is a very uniquely Reddit moment,” CEO Steve Huffman tells The New York Times. “This could only happen on Reddit.”

Tok About Shopping

TikTok wants to be an ecommerce destination.

It’s testing an in-app feature called Trendy Beat, internally referred to as Project S, that allows users to buy items directly from its parent company ByteDance. Unlike TikTok Shop, the tool already used to buy from sellers on the platform, Trendy Beat identifies popular products that the platform could either acquire or manufacture itself.

TikTok isn’t testing the new feature in the US (yet), but the company did file a trademark application for it, Insider reports, suggesting a plan to compete against ecommerce giants like Amazon or other social media apps.

Social shopping has low adoption in the US, though, and home delivery, returns and customer service are costly (not to mention Apple’s 30% cut). Even Meta recently abandoned Facebook and Instagram shopping features due to low traction and no clear road to profitability. 

TikTok says it’s encouraged by the success of the “TikTok Made Me Buy It” hashtag, which totals 59 billion views so far.

Nobody disputes TikTok can drive sales elsewhere, but can TikTok sell stuff itself? 

Ravenous Retail

Commerce might just devour the entire ad industry, writes Mike Shields at Next in Media.

Retail media spend is forecasted to reach $45 billion this year (though $40 billion of that is Amazon), and Reuters estimates it will outpace TV spend by 2028.

Amazon built an advertising juggernaut on the back of its ecommerce network, and Walmart, Instacart, Target and others followed suit. 

Amazon’s next move? Making TV-based shopping as ingrained as ordering from Prime. And it’s not alone: Walmart and Roku partnered for shoppable TV spots, and NBCU and Kerv are doing the same.

The Trade Desk touts its retail media partnerships as the open web’s best hope for monetization.

At Cannes, when conversations didn’t center on generative AI, the focus was online shopping intent, Shields says. It makes sense since ad platforms with reliable, scaled transaction data are a feast for attribution-starved marketers.

Retail media is poised for even faster growth once third-party cookies are kaput. Brands already rely on retailer data for their ad targeting. Without cookies or device IDs, retail data will be one of the sharpest tools in marketers’ toolkits. 

But Wait, There’s More!

Cannes unveils clues to next steps in Apple’s ad ambitions. [Digiday]

Canada passed a law requiring Google and Meta to pay media outlets for news content they share or otherwise repurpose. [Bloomberg

Warner Bros. Discovery isn’t just offloading HBO shows – it’s considering selling half its music catalog to a record label. [The Verge]

Media layoffs hit a record high. [Insider]

AI isn’t coming for marketers’ jobs – at least not yet. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

Disney vet Zenia Mucha joins TikTok as chief brand and communications officer. [Variety]

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