Social shorts: Dark mode comes to TikTok, Facebook rolls out new tool to give users more privacy

This collection of social media marketing and new hire announcements is a compilation of the past week’s briefs from our daily Marketing Land newsletter. Click here to subscribe and get more news like this delivered to your inbox every morning.

Dark mode comes to TikTok, Twitter’s Flight School gets a new look, Facebook promotes misinformation about Australia fires 

TikTok gets dark mode. Dark mode is becoming something of a staple for most social apps these days. Now, TikTok is testing the new setting for low light situations. The option, which is available to select test users, can either attempt to match your device settings when you have dark mode activated or can be manually turned on at any time. Welcome to the dark side, TikTok.

Twitter revamps its training platform. This week, Twitter rolled out a new look for its ‘Flight School‘ education platform. The offering provides free courses in various aspects of Twitter literacy with a larger focus on Twitter ads’ best practices and tips. Among the new elements, Twitter has updated its courses on how to find relevant audiences, measure campaign performance and build out video campaigns on Twitter. 

Facebook slammed for misinformation on Australia fires. In the latest battle against fake news, BuzzFeed called out Facebook for an ad from conservative organization PragerU containing false information about the wildfires in Australia. The ad has since been removed, but only after a formal fact-checking review was completed. BuzzFeed reported that the Facebook ad linked to videos from PragerU’s YouTube channel, which claim that the record-setting wildfires in Australia were caused entirely by arson – not by climate change as experts have said. It also features debunked claims from an article published in The Australian newspaper that used misleading figures to overstate the role of arson in the bushfires. When asked by BuzzFeed, a Facebook company spokesperson would not answer questions about why the ad was allowed to run after the video it promoted was flagged for false information but confirmed that the ad would be rejected in the future if an attempt was made to reactivate it.

Facebook rolls out web tracking tool to help users, LinkedIn folds Elevate capabilities into LinkedIn Pages

Zuckerberg pulls back the curtain on privacy. In a new blog post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined the platform’s new (and upcoming) privacy-focused initiatives designed to give users more visibility into how they are tracked across the web. Chief among the new features is Facebook’s long-awaited “Off-Facebook Activity” tool, which has now rolled out globally to all users. The tool, first introduced in beta in 2018, gives users the ability to manage and delete data collected from third-party sites and apps. Additionally, Zuckerberg said that over the next few weeks, Facebook will “show nearly 2 billion people around the world a prompt encouraging them to review their privacy settings.”

LinkedIn Elevate and Pages become one. LinkedIn’s employee advocacy platform Elevate is officially merging its capabilities with the Page tools in an effort to provide more ways for businesses to engage employees to help amplify content, the company announced last week. LinkedIn said that in the last four years since Elevate’s launch, “hundreds of our customers have used Elevate to help their employees be brand advocates. At the same time, these customers – and over 50 million more organizations – have worked to build their LinkedIn Page so they can engage their most important audiences.” By bringing the capabilities together under Page tools, LinkedIn says the “combination will help companies better engage their employees, and build stronger communities in a safe and trusted environment.” For current Elevate customers, the new functionality will be free of cost.

Snapchat couples up with NBC for the Olympics, TikTok lands a major music deal – and is sniffing around for a new CEO

Snapchat inks an exclusive deal. Snapchat is partnering up with NBC to host a range of exclusive programming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from July 24 – August 9. It’s the third Olympics the two companies have collaborated on, following the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The partnership includes four daily original Snapchat Shows produced by NBC exclusively for the platform, using its vertical video format. Overall, NBC said it plans to produce more than 70 episodes for Snapchat – more than three times that of the 2018 Winter Games. 

Licensed music coming to TikTok. The youth-centric, video-sharing app has been building a new music streaming platform to compete against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. As part of those efforts, TikTok last week announced a deal with Merlin, a global independent music licensing agency, for music to be used on TikTok’s platform anywhere the app is available. The deal marks the first major licensing agreement announced by TikTok as part of its wider efforts to bring legal music to the app and stake a claim in the streaming industry. 

TikTok’s quest for a U.S. CEO. Rumor has it that TikTok is on the hunt for a CEO in the U.S., Bloomberg reported last week. It’s a move that could help distance the company from its Chinese parent, ByteDance, and allay mounting concerns over its ties to the Chinese government (which has played a role in censoring content and accessing user data). According to the report, TikTok has been reviewing candidates “in recent months” to fill the CEO position, which would work alongside TikTok’s China-based chief, Alex Zhu, and Vanessa Pappas, who currently oversees TikTok’s U.S. operations out of its Los Angeles office. It’s still unclear how the new leadership structure for TikTok would work, but Bloomberg says a U.S.-based CEO could potentially be in charge of the app’s “non-technical functions” such as advertising and operations.

Creative shorts

Super Bowl ad previews, Unsplash archives photos from public institutions, and a photo of Louis Vuitton sneakers divides Twitter 

A glimpse of Super Bowl ad creative. The ad frenzy will commence this Sunday – and advertisers are standing by to see what the national TV event will bring. The best Super Bowl ads will combine stellar creative with a strategic approach to the brand’s story – sort of like Mountain Dew’s TikTok partnership. Check out the ads that have already been teased here

Unsplash makes photos available from public institutions. Crowdsourced stock image platform Unsplash has integrated an archive of free stock content with a number of institutions and organizations, including the New York Public Library, CDC, NOAA, and the Library of Congress. The news comes on the heels of the company’s December launch of ‘Unsplash for Brands,’ its advertising product, which has since been adopted by brands like Harley Davidson, Boxed Water, Curology, Square, Google, and others.

Optical illusions make for viral prowess. Every once in awhile a photo goes viral that divides the internet with opinions and brings into question the reality of optics. Most recently, a photo of Louis Vuitton sneakers surfaced on the internet – and people can’t decide if they’re black or white. It’s the gold-black-white dress debacle all over again. Intentional or not, the internet phenomenon of optical illusions is proof that retail brands have an opportunity to lean into the hype and start a unique conversation – just as long as they don’t overdo it.

On the move

Former Johnson & Johnson CMO moves to Neustar, CSM entertainment agency gets a new president, FabFitFun hires its first CMO

About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.

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