TikTok's Towering Presence Over Meta

Meta scrambles to defend itself against TikTok, Amazon makes big changes under government pressure, and Performance Max gets some much-needed features.

📰 The News You Missed

Shopify merchants have doubled ad spend on TikTok, as privacy changes make Facebook a 'complete nightmare' for customer acquisition

Shopify merchants' TikTok advertising spending increased dramatically in the past six months, data from the analytics platform Triple Whale showed.

TikTok ad spend by Shopify merchants using Triple Whale's analytics platform grew 105% from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022. // via

Google exec suggests Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google’s core products, Search and Maps

In a discussion about the evolution of search, [Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan] somewhat offhandedly noted that younger users were now often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes.

“We keep learning, over and over again, that new internet users don’t have the expectations and the mindset that we have become accustomed to.” Raghavan said, adding, “the queries they ask are completely different.”

These users don’t tend to type in keywords but rather look to discover content in new, more immersive ways, he said.

“In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” he continued. “They go to TikTok or Instagram.” // via

Amazon Has Been Slashing Its Private-Labels

Amazon.com has started drastically reducing the number of items it sells under its own brands, and the company has discussed the possibility of exiting the private-label business entirely to alleviate regulatory pressure, according to people familiar with the matter.

Amazon’s private-label business, with 243,000 products across 45 different house brands as of 2020, has been a source of controversy because it competes with other sellers on its platform. The decision to scale back the house brands resulted partly from disappointing sales for many of the items, the people said. It also came as the retail-and-technology giant has faced criticism in recent years from lawmakers and others that it sometimes gives advantages to its own brands at the expense of products sold by other vendors on its site. // via

It turns out that building a brand on Amazon is hard.

The Internet, Now With Twice The Prime Day

Amazon may have just revealed the July dates for its Prime Day shopping bonanza, but the company is already prepping a second shopping event for Amazon Prime subscribers for later this year, Business Insider and CNBC report. Information sent to sellers that has been seen by the publications calls it the “Prime Fall Deal Event,” though exactly when in the fall is unclear — CNBC quotes a notice saying it will happen in Q4, while Business Insider reports that “invited sellers say it appears to be scheduled for October.” // via

Instagram, Now With 100% Reels

Instagram's TikTokization continues. Get that 9x16 creative ready.

Oh, and photos will also be fullscreen soon.

Oh-oh, and they have restructured the home screen navigation.

Introducing a New Home Screen for Instagram

The Reels tab makes it easier for you to discover short, fun videos from creators all over the world and people just like you. The Shop tab gives you a better way to connect with brands and creators and discover products you love. // via

Meta is getting desperate...if you haven't noticed.

Amazon sues admins from 10,000 Facebook groups

Amazon filed a lawsuit Monday against the administrators of more than 10,000 Facebook groups that coordinate cash or goods for buyers willing to post bogus product reviews. The global groups served to recruit would-be fake reviewers and operated in Amazon’s online storefronts in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Japan and Italy.

If 10,000 Facebook groups sounds like a lot, it’s apparently the sum total of groups Amazon has reported to Facebook since 2020. // via

Walgreens partners with "Granfluencers"

Walgreens has partnered with influencers The Old Gays—four openly gay TikTok personalities in their 60s and 70s, known for their dancing and comedic videos.

In the TikTok video, posted as a paid partnership on their TikTok page, Jessay Martin, Robert Reeves and Mick Peterson learn about the MyWalgreens App and the digital tools accessed through it, including the 24/7 Pharmacy Chat, Save-a-Trip refills and 90-day prescriptions, while searching for their friend Bill Lyons. “Is it easy to use for old gays like us?” Robert inquired. // via

Another reminder that TikTok isn't just for youths.

Quick Hits 🥊

  • Meta's Shops continue to evolve, now connecting UGC to your products.
  • Stories mentions have rolled out to IG users.
  • Google's Performance Max campaigns received a much-needed Targeting option - plus other new features too.
  • Netflix is partnering with Microsoft for its upcoming ad-supported streaming tier // via

Tools 🛠

  • Valentin.app - an easy way to get localized SERPs at an exact location without any additional tools.
  • Google has launched its own ad creation and management software, Ads Creative Studio // via

Just For Fun 🤪

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