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Social Media, This Week in Social, TWIS

We've reached 41 This Week in Social's in 2023. That can only mean one thing. Spotify Wrapped is here. Brands hopped aboard the music platform's annual user summary report. Meta finally plans to release Threads in the EU. And Toby shares how AI may change the internet. Read all these stories here.

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Spotify Wrapped - this week in social

Spotify Wrapped 2023 is here and brands are loving it

It’s that time of year – Spotify Wrapped is officially live! Towards the end of each year, the music streaming platform wraps up users’ top artists, songs, albums, and genres. What has become an annual tradition for Spotify users has now been updated with new insights, including “Sound Town”. It matches you to a city based on your listening. “Me in 2023”, assigns you to one of 12 character cards reflecting your listening traits. If you’ve reached the top percentile of listeners for specific artists, you may even receive a personal message from artists like Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, NewJeans, and Jung Kook. Spotify’s AI DJ can even lead you through your statistics and comment on your top categories. 

Brands were quick to jump on this trend, including Jack in the Box, Time Out London and Hubspot. It’s a perfect trend for brands to hop on and showcase their creativity. Have you checked yours out yet?

Written by: Amber Sim

Oblivia Coalmine drills deep into the dark secrets of the oil industry 

It’s that time of year again when world leaders congregate at COP to discuss the climate crisis and how we can mitigate the irreversible damage being done to the planet. Olivia Coleman, the British national treasure and Oscar-winning actress, recently starred in a chilling advert. It highlighted the uncomfortable relationship between UK pension schemes and the fossil fuel industry. 

In this minute-long advert, Olivia portrayed an alter-ego – Oblivia Coalmine – who thanks pension holders for their inadvertent contributions to fossil fuel organisations. Oblivia mentions how fossil fuel industry companies are seeing their profits skyrocket. This is despite scientists’ warnings that we’re going far beyond the goal of keeping the planet within the 1.5C temperature limit agreed upon at the Paris Agreement in 2015. 

The ad ends with a call to action urging people to visit the Make My Money Matter website alongside the message: “Pension funds invest billions in oil and gas companies. That means your money is fuelling the climate crisis.” After living through the hottest year on record, we are experiencing the consequences of our actions. Natural disasters, droughts, and temperature rises are more frequent and damaging than ever before and will only get worse. Let’s heed Olivia’s warning and do what we can to save our planet.

Written by: Will Lowden 

TUI launches Christmas advert: with a Wes Anderson-inspired twist 

It wasn’t long ago that TikTok users jumped on the Wes Anderson trend in droves. Now travel brand TUI has followed suit with its festive advert this holiday season. The short film follows the lives of elves after the Christmas frenzy, who enjoy some fun in the sun as they swap out igloos for sandcastles. 

The film was created in collaboration with award-winning model maker Andy Gent, who is best known for his work on Wes Anderson’s much-heralded films The Isle of Dogs and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Gent has also received accolades for his work on Tim Burton’s ‘The Corpse Bride’ and Henry Selick’s ‘Coraline’. He has specialised in making puppets for over 25 years.  

The advert will be screened during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and may also have been spotted by those tuning in to The Great British Bake Off this year. The ad is being rolled out in conjunction with TUI’s social media competition, where 12 winners will be selected to win a free holiday. Are you already sick of feeling like Frosty the Snowman and looking forward to warmer days? You can take part in the competition here.  

Written by: Amy Blakelock 

A little birdy turned into a big X and called out advertisers 

Onstage at the DealBook conference, Musk decided to double down on the current tensions between X and advertisers. He launched into a tirade when asked by Andrew Ross Sorkin about current pauses in advertising following Elon’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X. His sentiments that advertisers boycotting would be responsible for the death of X seemed more of a threat than a plea. It will likely add further weight to the scale of those considering pulling their spending from the platform. 

It’s been far from a smooth transition, with increasing worries over the approach to moderation on X. Brands are less comfortable with having their messaging alongside content that may go against their target audiences’ values. Regardless of where one stands, being told to go f**k yourself is usually seen as a conclusive summary of Musk’s approach to running X.  

Written by: Struan Walker


Toby’s Tiny Tales

Internet - this week in social

Welcome back to Toby’s Tiny Tales. Toby Fairhead, a RISE Academy graduate, now Senior Campaign Executive in our London team, has three top recommendations of what you should stream, watch, and read this weekend:


Wales joins the Space Race to Mars

Check out the new Welsh technology used to aid the next mission to Mars.


How AI is changing the internet – 13 mins

Veteran technologist Jared Ficklin discusses if AI will bring the age of ‘The New Internet’.


Can computers have emotions? – 30 mins

With advancements in tech, scientists think computers will soon be able to feel and have complex emotions.


Platform Updates

Threads - this week in social

Meta’s Threads to come to the EU 

Meta’s text-based social network, Threads, might finally make its debut in the EU next month, filling a crucial gap since its July launch. To comply with EU regulations, Meta may introduce a view-only mode, allowing users to consume content without creating profiles. This move aligns with the company’s recent feature, allowing users to delete their Threads profile without affecting their Instagram profile.

Despite having no ads yet, Threads collects substantial data, raising questions about compliance with EU privacy laws. The potential EU launch could significantly boost Threads’ user base, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressing optimism about reaching a billion users in the coming years.

Written by: Matthew Bleaney

TikTok is here to stay in Montana, for now…

Remember the TikTok ban teased at the start of the year? Well, TikTok has managed to dodge the ban in Montana as a District Judge halted the state’s attempt to prohibit the app. Governor Greg Gianforte had signed legislation alleging Chinese intelligence gathering. However, the court ruled the ban violated the Constitution, emphasising it exceeded state power and carried an “anti-Chinese sentiment.”

TikTok users argued for their First Amendment rights. While this is a win for TikTok, the Biden Administration is contemplating a nationwide ban amid legal challenges. The conversation isn’t over yet, so watch this space.

Written by: Matthew Bleaney

iOS 17 causes security panic with a new feature 

NameDrop has gained a whole new meaning thanks to the new iPhone update. The new features allow Apple users to exchange contact information between iPhones or Apple Watches using AirDrop. By bringing the two devices close to each other, they’ll recognise their closeness, and a message will appear. Then, “your contact info appears on the screen, and you can choose to share your phone number or email with the other party.”  

Say goodbye to the awkward “Call me, and then I’ll have your number?” or get the wrong number. This new update makes sending details the easiest it’s ever been. However, police departments have issued notices warning users about how easy it could be for a stranger to capture your details. The notice issued stated, “IMPORTANT PRIVACY UPDATE: If you have an iPhone and have done the recent iOS 17 update, they have set a new feature called NameDrop defaulted to ON. This feature allows the sharing of your contact info just by bringing your phones close together. To shut this off, go to Settings, General, AirDrop, and Bringing Devices Together. Change to OFF.”  

Apple have reassured users that they should not be anxious about the feature being on, as their phone will have to be unlocked or the feature will not work. Any worried users can switch it off, and others can enjoy the ease of its sharing capabilities.  

Written by: Ellie-Mae Turner-Wood 


That’s This Week in Social all wrapped up! If you can’t wait for Fridays to hear the latest news in marketing and social, you can sign up to our fortnightly newsletter, REFUEL, here 🚀

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