TikTok internal docs leaked: How the moderation team suppressed content from ugly & poor users. Is Google taking advantage of the Coronavirus panic to scrape users’ data? From $0 to $38.5k in 1 month with a $15 gadget.

TIKTOK

Ugly, fat or poor? You can’t sit with us

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We’ve talked a lot about TikTok lately, and it’s always been on a positive note. However, TikTok has gone through many controversial stories in its life, and the latest one might leave you disappointed.

+ Harsh censorship: The Intercept has found that the platform instructed moderators to ditch content shared by users marked as ugly, poor, or disabled.

The publication obtained some documents that came straight from the moderation team. The document outlines what content should not be shown on the “For You” section:

Body features such as “beer belly”, “ageing signs”, “ugly facial looks” and other “low quality traits” is what moderators had to look for when suppressing content.

+ It gets worse: The document advised moderators to check videos shot in some houses and look out for: slummy characters, cracks on the wall or disreputable decorations.

+ Political censorship: A second doc obtained by The Intercept lays out rules to suppress content that goes against govt authorities.

+ Stealing content from the Gram: Some TikTok employees were instructed to search for the most popular content on Instagram, download it and push it on the TikTok feed using “regular accounts”.

TikTok response

The Intercept discovered some big scary skeletons in TikTok’s closet. However, as a TikTok spokesperson told The Verge, these guidelines were only “regional”, thus they have not been applied to the USA and other countries.

In addition, they communicated that they will start to apply all international moderation rules to China too.

Well, TikTok now has some serious PR problems to resolve.


ADVERTISING

COVID-19 and its impact on global media spend

Life and the things ahead have become uncertain as COVID-19 continues to rapidly spread across the globe. Today, we’re taking a look at its effects on global ad spending, as reported by eMarketer.

  • Global ad spending was forecasted to rise by 7.4% to $712B.With the outbreak adjustments, total media ad spending
  • With the outbreak adjustments, total media ad  spending worldwide is now expected to reach $691.7B, up by 7.0% from 2019. We lost “only” 0.4 points.

The global decline can primarily be attributed to just one country: China. the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

And if you look at the numbers you’ll understand why:

  • Before COVID-19, the total ad spending in China was expected to reach $121B
  • After adjustments, the forecast is $113.7B.

After all, China is the world’s second-largest ad market after the US, so a reduction in the estimates for China alone manages to lower the overall global forecast.

Even with the increased media consumption due to more consumers staying at home, businesses are reluctant to throw money at ads when supply chain disruptions could prevent them getting their products to market.

Owing to this fact, businesses in other parts of the world that are dependent on supply chains in China have also started reducing their spend to mitigate economic losses.

It doesn’t end there: There is an expected slowdown in Amazon ad spending, particularly among smaller third-party sellers that already have tighter budgets.

Even outdoor advertising has had a negative impact as the social distancing and isolation measures in some cities expand to larger territories.

Oh and, as you might have noticed, The Crew has also started to gather data from our community of marketers and business owners. This means that we’ll soon be able to provide a more detailed look at the impact of COVID-19 on the overall digital ecosystem.


SURVEY

Let’s figure out what works, what doesn’t and turn data into actionable advice

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It’s clear that our day to day business has been heavily impacted by this global pandemic but very few, if anyone at all, can say to what extent.

We could change that though – there are over 9k marketers reading this right now, and if everybody gives us their input on the state of online advertising we could shed some insightful, business-saving light on the situation. We could even identify some trends to take advantage of and pivot.

That’s why we’re asking you to answer this anonymous survey.

Our goal is that, in less than two weeks, we can analyze the data and identify the most important trends:

  • What’s at risk (based on traffic source, vertical and product type).
  • What’s booming (based on the same elements).
  • What’s unaffected.
  • What you can do in each scenario to improve.

This will be posted for free. Whether you are a subscriber or not, you will be able to read the full report and share it with anyone who needs it. We will not lock the report behind any opt-in form.

So, fill in the survey here, share it with others who could answer, and in two weeks time we’ll publish the most comprehensive state of the industry report we can.


FACEBOOK

From zero to hero with a 15 bucks gadget

Here’s a case study shared by Andrei Lunev discussing how he took a store from absolutely nothing to $38k in just one month.

Some background info:

Product: Outdoor gadgets.
Price: $15.
Target market: USA, Canada, Australia.
Target ROAS: 2x.
Breakeven ROAS: 1.3-1.4x.

Well, hitting those figures with a $15 product seems as hard as fighting Conor McGregor in his prime, but let’s see what he did.

+ Testing (Cold traffic): Three Conversions campaigns targeting each county with a $70 per day budget.
Ad sets: Purchase optimization.1-day click view. Facebook and Instagram Feed placement
Ads: Five different videos.

He let these campaigns run for three days. On the fourth day, he started to pause under-performing ad sets and increased the budget by 30% on the working ad sets.

+ Scaling (Cold traffic): Here they created three LLAs based on Purchase and hit the USA market.

+ Warm Traffic: A reach campaign retargeting all website visitors from the last seven days. Frequency cap was set at three times per week.

+ Hot traffic: This campaign targeted all cart abandonments from the last three days.

Some notes:

  • Andrei suggested only targeting the IG and FB Feed placements because the margin on the product is relatively low, so he prefers to only target quality placements.
  • For the testing and scaling campaign, he ran CBO camps with this set up: One campaign, one ad set, one ad (Each campaign using a different audience)
  • He used a Reach campaign for the hot and warm traffic because he wanted to reach anyone that has potential interest. Additionally, the audiences weren’t big enough to run a conversions campaign. He suggests doing this if your retargeting audience is at least 100k.

That all folks. Hopefully, you found some inspirational information for your camps.


ROUNING UP THE STACK

  • GOOGLE: According to Eugene Gu, “Google’s Project Baseline coronavirus screening website is just a huge data mining operation to collect health info for commercial purposes.”
  • AFFILIATE MARKETING: What niches would you target if you were to start a new business  during the current global crisis? Join the discussion here.
  • WHATSAPP: This new WhatsApp feature will soon allow users to set a self-destruct timer on all private messages.
  • WORDPRESS: WordPress 5.5 is releasing soon which will include the content management system’s auto-updating capabilities for themes and plugins.
  • MARKETING: As per BrightLocal’s recent survey, Google My Business optimization, and not website optimization, is considered the most valuable local marketing service in 2020.
  • GOOGLE: Heads up! Support for Google Ads and Google My Business might either be delayed or just totally unavailable.

BRAIN TEASER

My life can be measured in hours, I serve by being devoured. Thin, I am quick. Fat, I am slow. Wind is my foe. What am I?

You can find the solution by clicking here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Everybody is pitching in… in crazy ways

Times have changed and times are strange, here comes this flight but it ain’t the same.

It’s just a pilot who decided to do his bit by reminding people what they can do to help at times like these:

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Yeah, to “Stay Home”.

He flew the plane and left a message for the world, telling people to stay indoors and contribute towards containing the virus.

Though, one could argue that this guy should take his own advice after leaving home to fly a plane, just to send a message telling people to stay at home. Ironic, huh?

It’s a special reminder that everyone can contribute to the world in their own unique ways.

Stay indoors, stay safe!


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