Instagram shares Reels algorithm overview, TikTok tests vanishing video, KFC launches a hotel?

By Jessica L on 9 August 2021

Reel insights

Instagram has shared a new overview of the key factors it considers when ranking Reels. As well as common algorithm elements (previous content the user has engaged with, past interaction with the Reel creator), Instagram’s AI system also determines which Reels to show by interpreting the video content “based on pixels and whole frames”. Reels can now also be up to one minute long (the second time the time cap has been doubled) as the platform aims to replicate TikTok’s short-form video success.

Ephemeral joys

As Instagram chases TikTok, TikTok is piloting its own vanishing Stories feature with publicly visible comment activity and views. Meanwhile, WhatsApp has enabled its users to send photos and videos that can only be viewed once (though, word to the wise: it’s possible to take a screenshot). Both of these launches follow Twitter's abandonment of Fleets, its own disappearing content feature, which failed to click with users on the less visual and creative platform.

Creator economy gold rush

Influencers are experimenting with multiple platforms and being increasingly selective about the brands they work with as the creator economy matures. “It’s really important to look at creators as an extension of the brand and not as a digital ad buy or billboard.” Long read.

Google warned by EU

The European Commission has given Google two months to improve its flight and hotel pricing transparency in search results. To avoid sanctions, the search engine must ensure prices are final and any paid influence on ranking should be clear to consumers. The move comes amid broader scrutiny of Google's anti-competitive search practices.

Bucket-list stay

It’s not unusual for brands to delve into other categories, but here’s an extension we didn’t foresee: KFC has opened a pop-up hotel in London, named 'The House of Harland' after its founder and brand mascot, Colonel Sanders. Settle in and "press for chicken".

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