This week, Reddit is testing a live broadcasting feature that mimics the feel of public access television and updates its bullying policy plus a leaked TikTok deck reveals details about its audience

Reddit Is Testing A Live Broadcasting Feature

According to OneZero, the livestreaming network has the same feel as public television.

Why it matters: RPAN will build feelings of intimacy and allow users to experience the same things being depicted in streamed content. The noncommercial feature allowed creators a space for creative play.

The details: The new live broadcasting feature, called Public Access Network (RPAN), has been tested a few times with the public. On August 29, over 13,7000 watched an RPAN livestream featuring someone in a horse mask listening to jazz music and drinking a hot beverage. The RPAN broadcasts are shot vertically to fit smartphone conventions and quality of video streams are intentionally reduced to recapture the feeling of public access aesthetics. The arrows on RPAN’s up vote/down vote system are in 8-bit Nintendo graphics. During RPAN’s trial phase, there was no way for creators to monetize their work, giving them freedom to experiment. 

Leaked TikTok Deck Uncovers Platform’s Demographic

Obtained by AdAge, the leaked pitch deck shows that TikTok’s priority is to explain how the app works.

Why it matters: TikTok has been guarded about disclosing details about its audience, making some question its credibility beyond the number of times the app’s been downloaded—over a billon times.

The details:  The deck notes there are over 30 million monthly active users in the US with 69 percent of users between 16-24 years old. 

Reddit Updates Its Anti-Bullying Policy

The update is primarily driven by feedback from Reddit users, according to an announcement on Reddit.

Why it matters: The changes will take the burden off of moderators, but could also encourage users to exploit the policy by reporting users they want to silence.

The details: Reddit’s old policy required a behavior to be “continued” and/or “systematic” for it to take action against it as harassment. It also wasn’t clear whether abuse toward both individuals and groups qualified under the policy. Reddit doesn’t go into much detail about how the new policy will differ other than it’s leveraging machine-learning tools to sort human user reports better. “Behavior whose core effect is to shut people out of that conversation through intimidation or abuse,” will not be tolerated.

YouTube Lets Politicians Secure Ad Placements Months In Advance

Google will allow politicians to purchase placement on YouTube for all of the 2020 election cycle months in advance, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Giving politicians access to reserving inventory now is a strategic move for YouTube to pull ad spending away from Facebook.

The details: YouTube’s new reservation tool in Google Ads is called “Instant Reserve” which it hopes will let marketers book campaigns with a fixed budget and forecasted reach in advance.

Instagram Rolls Out New “Create” Mode For Stories Camera

The tool will make Stories tools like GIFs, countdown stickers and polls easier to use. 

Why it matters: Grouping the creative tools in Stories could encourage more use while also enabling Instagram to highlight its popular creative features.

The details: The “Create” tab in Stories replaces the existing “Type” option with various creative tools that give users quick access to GIFs, polls and music. Instagram announced the addition on Twitter

Snapchat Releases Monthly Trending Topics For September

The platform released its monthly “Snap Chatter” report on what trended in September in the US and Canada.

Why it matters: Marketers can use Snapchat’s monthly report to gauge the evolving interests of Gen Z which combined with millennials make up 90 percent of the platform’s user base.

The details: Trending Snapchat topics in the US included the Area 51 raid day, National Coffee Day, National Daughters Day and the movie IT: Chapter Two. GRWM, short for “getting ready with me,” spooky season and HoCo, an acronym for homecoming, were among trending slang in the US. In Canada, trending topics included the Mario Kart tour, back to school, iPhone 11 and Halloween.

Twitter Admits To New Email And Phone Privacy Breach

The platform made a statement saying it may have inadvertently used phone numbers and emails for advertising purposes in its Tailored Audiences and Partner Audience ad system.

Why it matters: The breach will prompt users to provide different forms of authentication other than private email addresses and phone numbers.

The details: Twitter says it may have matched people’s email addresses and phone numbers—provided by users for safety or security purposes such as two-factor authentication– to advertisers’ list when an advertiser uploaded their marketing list. Twitter can’t say how many were impacted by the error but notes that no personal data was shared externally with partners or other third parties. 

Facebook Could Pay $40 Million To Settle Advertiser Lawsuit

The proposed court settlement shows Facebook admits misjudging viewership metrics, Mobile Marketer reports.

Why it matters: The proposed settlement could bring closure to a dispute that ensued after Facebook disclosed three years ago that it artificially inflated measurement of average ad viewing time because it only considered video views of over three seconds. Facebook currently faces four antitrust investigations.

The details: The class action from small advertisers alleges Facebook engaged in unfair business conduct by inflating the amount of time users spent watching video ads by 60 to 80 percent. In 2016, Facebook apologized through there has been debate on how Facebook’s mistake impacted businesses.

TikTok Features Creators In Company’s Marketing Without Their Approval

According to AdAge, some users have complained that TikTok featured them in ads without being asked or paid.

Why it matters: Creators are integral to TikTok’s success and not working with them directly on ads that feature their content is bad form.

The details: TikTok creator Elijah Jay discovered that TikTok used one of his videos in an ad the platform ran on Snapchat. The video is of Jay pushing a three-foot-long balloon down his throat. After friends told him about seeing the ad, Jay tweeted TikTok on Twitter, “Hey TikTok, why are you using my video as a Snapchat ad to promote your app? And where is my money.”

TikTok Bans Paid Political Ads

The platform has explicitly taken a stand against political ads in its early days of experimenting with different ad formats. 

Why it matters: By banning political ads, TikTok may face some of the challenges Facebook did when it chose not to run political ads. Facebook’s solution was to create a system that verified candidates based on required information such as tax ID number, street address or US federal election commission ID number. TikTok may not have similar resources to maintain that level of transparency. 

The details: TikTok said in a press release that political ads do not fit the platform experience, namely the “light-hearted and irreverent feeling that makes it such a fun place to spend time.” The platform will not allow paid ads that promote or oppose a candidate, political party or group, current leader or issue at the federal, state or local level. TikTok’s policy includes no election-related ads, advocacy ads and issue ads.

Google To Acquire Firework, Short Form Video App Similar To TikTok

Firework is a short form video app similar to TikTok created by startup “Loop Now Technologies.”

Why it matters: Google reportedly decided to buy Firework to make sure TikTok doesn’t further detract from YouTube user growth and engagement given many YouTubers have started using TikTok.

The details: Firework was valued at $100 million last year and is available for download on iOS and Play store. Google didn’t disclose how much it’s paying to acquire Firework.

Instagram Launches Camera-First App Called Threads

Instagram says the standalone app allows users to message with close friends in a private space.

Why it matters: Instagram mimicking another core feature of Snapchat could result in the same decreased user growth Snapchat experienced when Instagram rolled out Stories.

The details: Last year, Instagram introduced “Close Friends,” which lets users share personal moments with a select group of followers that they choose. Now, Threads opens directly to your phone’s camera and lets you share pictures, videos, messages and Stories through a dedicated inbox and notifications just for close friends. Threads begin rolling out globally today on Android and iOS. 

Facebook Introduces Group Stories To Instagram

Facebook is bringing the group stories feature to Instagram after pulling it from Facebook.

Why it matters: Facebook introduced group stories in 2018, but removed it nine months later, on September 26. The platform may predict better performance on Instagram given that its story stickers directly link to group chats. 

The details: The group stories feature will work similarly to Facebook, allowing users to share stories to a specific group, which is helpful for those attending the same event or discussing a particular topic.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, October 11. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at