Weekly Buzz: Canadians Brace for Meta’s News Ban

Another Friday, another installment of the Weekly Buzz! It’s time for us to share the digital marketing news that’s been on our radar this week – and put it on yours, too.

On today’s agenda:

Canadians will no longer have access to news content on Meta platforms, more drama at Reddit amid ongoing protests, Instagram makes it easier to share Reels, AI-powered testing at YouTube, and more.

Ready? Set? Read on!

Canadians will no longer have access to news content on Meta platforms

This story is arguably the biggest piece of news to hit our screens this week – Meta has confirmed that it will end access to news on Facebook and Instagram for all Canadian users before Bill C-18, the Online News Act, comes into force.

The announcement was made on Thursday, the same day the bill received royal assent. The law will require tech giants like Meta and Google to pay news outlets for posting their journalism on their platforms.

According to the Canadian government, the bill was developed to support the news industry, and is modelled after a similar law in Australia – the first country to force digital companies to pay for the use of news content on its platforms.

What does it mean for Canadian users? Meta says the resulting change will not be immediate. Instead, news will begin to be blocked for Canadian users over the next few months.

It’s not the first time Meta has made a similar move. When the company blocked Australians from sharing news stories on its platforms as a result of similar legislation, it wasn’t long before the government and the tech company ended up striking a deal and the news ban was lifted. 

So maybe this isn’t the end of this story. 

We’ll be keeping a close eye – and keeping you all in the loop, too.

More drama at Reddit: hacker demands and moderator removal amid ongoing API protests

As we reported last week, there’s a lot happening at Reddit recently, mainly due to ongoing protests in response to the platform’s API price hike. And there’s no shortage of news to share this week, either.

In a new post shared by cybersecurity analyst Dominic Alvieri, the hacker group BlackCat has claimed responsibility for a data breach Reddit suffered in February. And they want a $4.5 million payout and for Reddit to reverse the planned API pricing changes – or else the data will be publicly released.

While Mashable claims there is “no definitive proof” at the moment that BlackCat actually conducted the hack or has any data to reveal, it’s certainly not good news for Reddit.

And it doesn’t end there.

According to The Verge, this week Reddit also quietly began removing moderator teams managing subreddits that switched the labelling on their communities to Not Safe For Work (NSFW) in the latest protests against the site.

Why is switching labelling to NSFW a big deal? 

For subreddits tagged NSFW, Reddit doesn’t show ads, thereby cutting into the platform’s to monetize them – a major part of Reddit’s highly-debated push to charge for API access. 

Moderator removal is Reddit’s biggest action yet against its mods. These users – who are unpaid volunteers – sometimes dedicate years of their lives to managing these communities. It appears that the mod removal was swiftly reversed, but not before the internet could take notice.

You can now download Instagram Reels

About time, Instagram!

On Tuesday, Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed that users can finally download public Reels so they can share them more easily outside the app.

If you’re an avid TikTok user, you’ll know that you’ve been able to do this for years, making it easy to send video content to people who don’t have the app. 

As noted by Mashable, the feature is also really helpful when crossposting content, like if you want to post a TikTok video to your Twitter or Instagram Story to boost reach and engagement.

Not already crossposting your content across social media? Make sure it’s part of your strategy – we can help you make it happen.

YouTube is testing a new AI-powered dubbing tool

YouTube is currently testing a new tool that will help creators automatically dub their videos into other languages using – you guessed it! – AI. 

Through partnership with AI-powered dubbing product Aloud, the tool transcribes a video, then translates and produces a dubbed version seamlessly, allowing creators to reach a wider international audience. Creators can review and edit the transcription before Aloud generates the dub.

According to YouTube’s VP of Creator Products, Amjad Hanif, the company is testing the tool with hundreds of creators, and soon it will open to all creators. Aloud is currently available in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with more languages to come in the future.

Hanif added that YouTube is “working to make translated audio tracks sound like the creator’s voice, with more expression and lip sync.”

Friday Fun

What a welcome!

@hi_its_andiii Tater says hi! #pug #dog #fyp #pugtok ♬ original sound – Andrew
Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site