Weekly Buzz: The Rollercoaster Week at OpenAI

Weekly Buzz: November 24, 2023

Happy Friday, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends and clients!

We’ve got a brand-new edition of the Weekly Buzz to share with you, including the hiring/firing rollercoaster at OpenAI and what it all unveils, more drama over safety concerns and functionality at X/Twitter, social media and digital marketing trends to watch in 2024, and Friday Fun.

Let’s dive in!

The Rollercoaster Week at OpenAI: CEO Firing, Investor Uproar, and the Unraveling Power Struggle

Over the past week, OpenAI witnessed a tumultuous power struggle resulting in the firing and subsequent rehiring of CEO Sam Altman. The saga unfolded when Altman was abruptly dismissed by the board, citing a lack of consistent communication. Reports suggested a clash between the for-profit and nonprofit aspects of OpenAI, with Altman allegedly prioritizing profit over AI safety.

Following Altman’s dismissal, influential investors, including Microsoft, intervened to reverse the decision. After initial uncertainty, an agreement was reached to reinstate Altman and overhaul the board. However, the deal fell through, leading to Altman’s brief return to OpenAI and subsequent departure.

Microsoft then announced Altman and OpenAI President Greg Brockman’s recruitment for a new AI research team. This move prompted backlash from OpenAI employees, some of whom threatened to quit and join Microsoft. Co-founder Ilya Sutskever expressed regret over the board’s actions, and a petition was circulated demanding the board’s resignation.

Despite Microsoft’s announcement, Altman’s return to OpenAI was confirmed later, with a new board announced. The details of Altman’s initial firing remain unclear, leaving lingering questions about the internal dynamics at OpenAI.

The situation highlights the complex relationships between nonprofit and for-profit interests in AI companies and underscores the challenges of balancing different stakeholders’ priorities. We’ll follow this story closely to see how it all pans out.

Advertisers Flee Elon Musk’s Platform Amid Controversial Stance and Brand Safety Concerns

Elon Musk’s recent controversies, including endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy and reports of major brands’ ads on pro-Nazi content, have led to a significant loss of ad revenue for his platform, formerly known as Twitter and now referred to as X. Celebrity Paris Hilton, who announced a partnership with X just last month, has suspended her company’s ads, citing concerns about the platform’s current issues.

The partnership between Hilton and X, aimed at launching new media initiatives, was a strategic move by X CEO Linda Yaccarino to rejuvenate ad revenue. However, amid a tumultuous period for X, including Yaccarino’s criticized appearance at a tech conference where she revealed a decline in daily active users, the platform has struggled to regain advertiser confidence.

Hilton’s 11:11 Media is now part of a growing list of advertisers, including Apple and Disney, suspending campaigns on X due to brand safety concerns. Despite X suing Media Matters over a report on ads appearing on pro-Nazi content, companies like Sony, Fox Sports, and Ubisoft have joined the exodus. The situation underscores the challenges faced by X in retaining advertisers amidst controversies and raises questions about the sustainability of its partnerships, including Hilton’s reported two-year deal.

Article Headlines to Return on Twitter/X Following User Backlash

And speaking of Twitter/X, the platform has announced the reinstatement of article headlines to link previews. 

Last month, Elon Musk removed automatic article headlines and subheader text, citing dissatisfaction with their appearance. The decision to bring back headlines followed Musk’s own demonstration of reduced functionality when sharing a Reuters article without contextual information. 

Users criticized Musk for removing a feature they deemed essential, prompting him to clarify that the new headlines would overlay the top portion of the article’s image, addressing concerns about aesthetics. 

Musk emphasized that the redesign aims to avoid using additional vertical pixels and eliminate what he called “giant, ugly URL cards.” However, critics argue that a redesign could have been implemented without the initial removal, which negatively impacted accessibility for users of assistive technology. 

Hootsuite’s 2024 Social Trends Report Unveils Insights on AI, Platform Shifts, and ROI

Are you thinking about your marketing strategy for the new year? You’re in luck! 

Hootsuite’s latest report, drawing on insights from over 4,200 marketers and 4,500 consumers, offers a comprehensive overview of key trends in social media marketing for 2024. The report focuses on three main sections: AI, platform usage shifts, and return on investment (ROI).

In the AI segment, the report explores the growing implementation of generative AI and its impact on consumer perceptions. The data indicates a significant rise in AI usage in 2024, presenting opportunities and challenges. Consumers express concerns about distinguishing between real and fake content, emphasizing the importance of transparency for maintaining trust.

The platform trends section delves into social marketing teams’ areas of concern and strategies for maximizing performance. Notably, the report highlights the platforms marketers are most confident in, with BeReal ranking surprisingly high on the list and Twitter/X experiencing a notable decline.

The report also touches on emerging platforms, noting that Threads is still in its early stages at the time of the survey. The final section examines ROI and consumer perceptions of brand content, providing strategic insights for marketers in their 2023 planning.

While the summarized information offers a glimpse into the report’s key findings, the 41-page document provides a more detailed exploration of social media trends, consumer expectations, and effective marketing strategies.

Friday Fun

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Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site