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Tech Digest Series: YouTube Prediction Tool and Facebook Using Reels

This week, we digest more of the latest updates from social media and apps, and influencer marketing tools. We cover updates including how Facebook is utilising reels, and how YouTube can now advise users on what to buy based on what they’re watching.

YouTube will recommend products to users 

This week, YouTube announced that it will be trialing product detection in videos. The app has been testing a series of features since January 2020, and this is the latest to be trialed in beta form in the US only. This new feature will work to detect products shown or mentioned in videos, as well as generating a list of related products. Users will be able to select a ‘shop products in this video’ option to learn more about the products mentioned and purchase them for themselves. 

The tool will make it easier for influencers to directly share products they’re promoting with their followers, and although it’s not confirmed, YouTube will likely get a cut of the sales made when a user clicks on a recommended product link. As e-commerce continues to grow and thrive, YouTube is about to make shopping online even more streamlined. 

In the blog post announcing the feature, YouTube said: “The goal is to help people explore more videos and information about those products on YouTube.”

In its mission to make videos on the platform easier to monetise in terms of ad revenue, YouTube can now detect copyright issues before a video is published with its new feature,‘Checks’. Adhering to copyright rules makes a video more likely to be monetised. 

The feature will work quickly and automatically when a creator is putting their video through the upload flow on desktop. Before now, when a video was uploaded, creators would have to meet certain criteria such as ad suitability and listing video elements. Checks is just another simple step in this process, which should only take a few minutes. 

YouTube creators may have previously had to list their videos as private or unlisted while waiting for copyright checks to complete – this will now happen before the video is uploaded. It has been noted, however, that there may still be some instances that slip through the net, meaning a video could receive restrictions after it’s published.

Facebook to add Reels in WhatsApp

Facebook, is working towards merging with the other networks it owns, Instagram and Whatsapp, to make for a more seamless user experience. The three apps differ in many ways but do share certain features, such as Stories. With TokTok’s rival, Instagram Reels, proving popular among users, Facebook intends to integrate Reels into WhatsApp. This would allow users to share and play Instagram reels in WhatsApp, possibly increasing user interaction. Facebook recently began to allow users in India to share Instagram Reels onto their Facebook profiles, which did result in greater reach and visibility of the videos.

WhatsApp is primarily a messaging app, rather than a social media platform, however, the ability to update your status on the app does increase user engagement. The introduction of Reels will help to further increase communication among users. 

The potential for greater reach and viewership by merging Facebook’s apps is positive news for brands and influencers who are looking to target new or wider audiences with their products and content. Consistency throughout the apps will mean that creators can build increasingly recognisable profiles, engaging with and gaining loyal consumers.

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