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Social Media, This Week in Social, TWIS

OpenAI, a leading artificial intelligence provider, reinstated their chief executive with a new board. TikTok updates its UI to help grow the 'For You' page. And Toby shares autumnal joy as the season closes. Sit back and catch up on This Week in Social.

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Corporate AI Merry-Go-Round 

Nothing ever stays still in the world of AI. Just when you think you are starting to make sense of it all, the carpet gets pulled from underneath you. You’re back to square one. The past week at OpenAI has been farcical. A revolving door saw senior executives depart the company. Only to return after some members of the board of directors were sacked! 

Sam Altman – OpenAI CEO and co-founder and creator of ChatGPT – was removed by the board last Friday after they lost faith in his leadership. The move saw members of staff threaten mass resignations unless he was reinstated.  Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, capitalised on the confusion and swooped in to offer Mr Altman a job leading “a new advanced AI research team”. Microsoft also assured all OpenAI employees that they would have jobs available at Microsoft should they wish to leave OpenAI. 

With one final twist in the tale, OpenAI agreed with Sam Altman to return to the tech company. As long as the board of directors that had dismissed him was reformed. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough drama for one week! Let’s hope now that Sam Altman has returned to the helm of OpenAI that we continue to see fascinating developments in the world of artificial intelligence and perhaps a smidge less drama. 

Written by: Will Lowden 

Stanley Cups survive all 

TikToker @danimarielettering’s video went viral after she salvaged her Stanley drinking cup from her burnt-out car. The cup was all in one piece and even still had ice in it! The video showcased the resilience of her Stanley drinking cup. The TikTok community rallied, suggesting Stanley replace her car.

Stanley’s president, Terence Reilly, responded to the overwhelming support and expressed gratitude in a TikTok video stitch. He praised the video as a testament to their product’s quality. The brand listened to the voice of the TikTok community. Stanley announced they would replace Danielle’s car. Overwhelmed by the unexpected gesture, Danielle shared her disbelief in a follow-up video, expressing gratitude to the TikTok community for the idea. The power of social listening pulls through once more.

Written by: Matthew Bleaney

Live streamer makes over $14 million showing items for 3 seconds 

Shopping channels were once a very popular way for brands to sell their products. However, most of the world’s population is now on social media. Chinese live-streamer Zheng Xiang Xiang is one of the recently viral examples of how she brings in major dough on her platform. Zheng Xiang Xiang goes live every week on platform Douyin. On her live streams, she promotes a variety of products. But what makes her stand out in comparison to the thousands of other content creators who do this is how long she promotes products – she does it in just 3 seconds! 

From watching her streams, a lot of people would consider them chaotic. Behind the camera, someone passes her the product which she shows the camera and says the price before pushing it away and grabbing the next. She earns around $14 million a week. It’s quite shocking when the price for a lot of the products she is selling comes to no more than $1.50. Zheng has recently hit the 1 million follower mark. Yet trouble is looming as Douyin has now introduced a new rule which restricts sellers from showcasing products without giving basic information about them. Zheng’s channel is still up and running. Could we see her viral trademark get shut down, or is this just the start of a new way of selling products? 

Written by: Tilly Rowsell


Toby’s Tiny Tales

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:


Autumn at National Arboretum at Westonbirt 

As autumn comes to a close, see the beauty of seasonal change.


Queen Thyra – 6 mins

After a new 3D scan of an artefact, it seems a Viking Queen has more power than we realised.


Is AI a threat to humans? – 36mins

Explore the intelligence of AI and how they could possibly pose a threat to humanity.


Platform Updates

TikTok adds new UI to guide algorithm preferences 

TikTok is the latest platform to integrate conversation UI elements into their system. The use of UI will help grow the ‘For You’ page settings, with a new ‘Customise Feed’ option that enables users to add preferences of what they would like to see more or less of on their feed. A screenshot shared by a Threads user shows the new customisation tool – a simple text field where users can add a preference, like “I’d like to see more posts from creators I follow”. Other features include choosing how long you’d like to see certain content for,. This makes it easier for users to see the exact content they want to without relying simply on in-app triggers and algorithms.  

The additional feature is sure to improve user experience within the app. It will drive more engagement with users being able to explore content they’re interested in. It may also be a necessary update that all similar platforms should make. Especially for meta-owned platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. They receive regular complaints about not having chronological timelines or seeing too many reels from accounts they don’t follow. With several growing platforms acknowledging UI as ‘the future’, it is a waiting game to see who implements this feature next.  

Written by: Ellie-Mae Turner-Wood 

 X brings back Post headlines for link previews  

Many social media managers will remember Elon’s decision in October to have post headlines and preview text removed from link posts. The reason being that these were not aesthetically pleasing. This leads to users having no insight into what the link leads to. It has a knock-on negative effect on click-through rates. Thankfully, it has been announced that X will be reinstating the overlay title.   

Some have speculated this turnaround was due to one of Elon’s own tweets suffering from the confusion created by a lack of preview. It is undoubtedly one of the first times we have seen Elon U-turn on a decision. It could be the sign of a new and more reasonable dawn- who knows. One thing’s for sure – for social media managers, comms around Christmas on X will be slightly merrier.  

Written by: Struan Walker

Snapchat trials ad-free subscription service  

Snapchat has started to roll out a subscription plan for users, providing an ad-free experience for those using the app. Titled ‘Snapchat Plus’, it’s currently being trialled in Australia. Users can opt into the service by paying 15.99 monthly (AUD). The service is still in the testing stage, so it is yet to be adopted globally.  

Nevertheless, it highlights a trend. Earlier this month, Meta made a similar move, launching an ad-free model across Europe. It doesn’t just provide financial benefits. This move by Meta also allows users to scroll away without their use of the app being tracked – complying with evolving European data regulations. Snapchat might be following suit as it seeks to meet these requirements – and capitalise on the financial benefits of a subscription offering simultaneously. 

Written by: Amy Blakelock


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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