The US president is a TikToker

Chatbots risk your privacy, mind-blowing AI video generation model, creator gets plagiarized for Super Bowl campaign, and more...

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Happy Monday!

Last week was a big one across AI, content creation, and social media.

Let’s dive into it!

For anyone with us for the first time, welcome to Inbound News! Just 10-15 minutes every Monday to catch up on the previous week. I cover the stories that matter with smart analysis and resources to help make sense of all the noise. But always with a healthy dose of skepticism and self-awareness. 😉 

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🤖 AI

Chatbots may not have your best interests at heart

What’s happening: Mozilla Foundation's consumer guide, *Privacy Not Included, recently assessed 11 chatbots designed to be romantic companions. The evaluation revealed that all of the chatbots deserve warning labels, making them some of the worst ever products the guide has reviewed for privacy. Perhaps the worst revelation is only one chatbot did not mention selling or sharing user data, or failed to confirm how it handles user data.

Why it’s happening: As companies and indie developers scramble to cash in on the AI craze, their haste is causing them to miss out on some fundamental privacy protections. This appears to have been accelerated by OpenAI’s release of their GPT Store, which allowed the store to be flooded by romantic companion chatbots despite a supposed ban being in place for such chatbots.

Why it’s important: Anyone considering using any kind of chatbot needs to carefully consider how the information being shared with it will be used by the company or person who created the chatbot. This becomes even more critical if the chatbot is being used to help facilitate communication with your customers, as it’s not only your information and reputation under risk.

“Although they are marketed as something that will enhance your mental health and well-being, they specialize in delivering dependency, loneliness, and toxicity, all while prying as much data as possible from you.”

Misha Rykov, Researcher @ *Privacy Not Included

OpenAI and Google release advanced AI models

What’s happening: OpenAI released information and samples of their new AI video generation model, named Sora (which means ‘sky’ in Japanese). Although it can’t generate audio as part of the clips yet, it can produce video up to 60 seconds based on text prompts or initial footage. Sora is first being released to ‘red teamers’ to “assess critical areas for harms or risks”. OpenAI will also be gaining feedback on the model in the context of creatives, making it available to some visual artists, designers and filmmakers. Initial reactions are mixed to say the least.

Google released version 1.5 of their advanced AI model Gemini. It delivers a breakthrough in long-context understanding, with Google claiming it’s the longest context window of any large-scale foundation model yet at 1 million tokens consistently. This is equivalent to a one-hour video or up to 700,000 words. For comparison, OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo model only has 128,000 tokens. The first version being released is Gemini 1.5 Pro for a limited group of developers and enterprise customers.

📖 Read about Sora and see examples: Creating video from text

📖 Read the Gemini 1.5 blog post: Our next generation model: Gemini 1.5

💫 AI quick bites


  • Google used a new machine learning tool last year to catch fake reviews faster, taking down 45% more fake reviews than the year before.

  • Google announced the use of generative AI for automatically created assets (ACA) is now fully live for the English language in the US and UK.

  • Google’s Search Liaison indicated Google will provide further guidance on using AI to generate content for SEO purposes.


  • OpenAI rolled out a new memory feature on ChatGPT to a small number of free and Plus users before wider release and inclusion in GPTs.

  • OpenAI is reportedly developing a search engine product in direct competition to Google Search.


🤳 Creator economy

Brand denies ripping off creator’s ideas for Super Bowl

What’s happening: Cetaphil was accused of using a TikTok creator’s series of videos with her stepdad as the basis of their regional Super Bowl campaign. The brand and ad agency denied they used Sharon Mbabzi’s ideas which went viral last year after Taylor Swift’s first NFL appearance.

Why it’s happening: Per a spokeswoman’s statement to The Independent, the campaign was developed without seeing Mbabzi’s content and was “inspired by a unique trend this year in which numerous young women and girls have been bonding with their fathers over football and posting about it on their social channels.” Despite this, they reached out to Mbabzi and have apparently made things right with her. It’s believed she will be promoting their products.

Why it’s important: Brands, agencies, and journalists look to social media to keep a pulse on what’s trending and discover inspiration for their storytelling. It’s impossible to know exactly what happened here. It could have been entirely coincidental that when they copied the trend, they happened to mimic some of the key details from Mbabzi’s videos. But at the very least, if they didn’t view Mbabzi’s content as claimed, they didn’t conduct very thorough research into the main proponents of the trend. It’s a warning to brands that jumping on a trend requires full awareness of the main influencers and preferably getting them on board to help with the campaign.

🤔 Another example: Hannah Jackson’s story in Vogue not referencing their source material from Elliot Duprey’s TikTok content.

Season 3 GIF by The Sinner

Well… Source: Giphy

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👍️ Social media

Joe Biden becomes a TikToker and owns MAGA memes

What’s happening: The Biden-Harris campaign joined TikTok during the Super Bowl. Their first video now has 9.5 million views. While mostly a Q&A about the Super Bowl, it also leaned into the Dark Brandon memes with a joke about a conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden rigged the game for the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for an endorsement from Taylor Swift. It included a brief image of a laser-eyed Joe Biden, borrowing from the aesthetic of the Dark MAGA memes. This image is also the account’s profile photo. The ‘Brandon’ part of the memes comes from a NASCAR broadcaster saying audience chants of “F— Joe Biden” were actually “Let’s Go Brandon,” which Trump supporters use as shorthand to denigrate Biden.

Why it’s happening: It was around this time last year that the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from their devices after Congress had banned the platform from all federal government devices based on national security concerns. It came after similar bans in the EU, Canada and Taiwan. With the US going to the polls in November, the Biden-Harris campaign has evidently put aside these concerns as they focus on reaching the platform’s core demographics of Gen Z and Millennials. The account has been posting several times a day since launching, racking up over a million likes and nearly 168K followers in six days.

Why it’s important: Reaching and communicating effectively with young Americans is critical to Democrat chances every election. This year sees particular concerns around the age of both candidates, the handling of climate change, and the response to Israel’s war in Gaza. The use of the Dark Brandon memes (including on X) at the same time that Israel was invading Rafah, where they had directed a million Palestinian refugees to flee, was seen as particularly poor timing and insensitive. There are also those who question whether an official government account should be using memes like this at all.

The account has been mostly posting media clips of Trump’s incoherence when speaking in public and his support for the overturning of Roe vs Wade, along with further references to Dark Brandon. These are entertaining and OK to keep the feed going. They will no doubt make existing supporters cheer along in agreement.

But the other video attracting the most views and engagement was Joe Biden having dinner at the home of a recipient of his administration’s student loan forgiveness program. Similar to the first video that was filmed in a more casual setting, these kinds of videos provide the opportunity for Biden to appear more human and less like a politician, while also promoting how he has provided tangible help to Americans. Combining more of this while also directly answering how his administration will handle the key issues as opposed to Trump should be more effective to win over those feeling unsure of who to vote for. Or whether they should bother voting at all.

🤔 Another perspective: TikTokers have some advice for Joe Biden 

⚡️ Social media quick bites


  • LinkedIn launched Media Planning API to enable informed decisions on effective media mix, timing and frequency of advertising campaigns.

  • LinkedIn will be removing the People Also Viewed feature on 29 Feb and replacing it with the Other Similar Profiles feature.

Meta (Facebook / Instagram / Threads / WhatsApp)



X (formerly Twitter)

  • X may be violating US sanctions accepting payments from Hezbollah leaders, Houthi groups, and state-run outlets from Iran and Russia.

  • X announced Creator Targeting, which will allow brands and marketers to run ads against “a curated list of premium content creators”.


  • YouTube released four updates: upload video in Studio Mobile; posts-only feed on mobile; affiliate tagging on live streams; membership gifting.

  • YouTube announced a new Remix option for music videos on Shorts with four options: Sound, Green Screen, Cut, and Collab.

  • YouTube celebrated the FIFTY DEEP Music Class of 2024, a grants program supporting Black artists, songwriters, and producers in hip hop.


✍️ The best reporting last week

The most-watched person in the world

In the belly of MrBeast: Belinda Luscombe from Time interviewed 25-year-old Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, to discover how he reached this status.

Take the money and run?

X’s paid-promotion model was tested, and it was woeful: Gene Marks in the Guardian reveals how he tested it out for his business with very poor results.

Mastodon’s founder discusses the future

How Mastodon made friends with Meta: Zoe Schiffer from Platformer talks to Eugen Rochko about helping Threads, dodging venture capital, and Bluesky.

Discredited health claims find a second life on TikTok

Accounts are using audio from a banned wellness coach: A.W. Ohlheiser describes how the audio is used to flog products in TikTok Shop.

🧠 Resources to level up

How to monetize your TikTok account

6 ways you can make money on TikTok: Tamilore Oladipo from Buffer gives us the lowdown for creators and businesses to bring in the cash.

Creating and growing a Facebook Business Page in 2024

Optimize your page: Stacey McLachlan on the HootSuite blog explains how to make it easier for people to discover and engage with your brand.

The case for investing in custom GPTs

Why Canva is investing, and you should to: Caroline Forsey on the HubSpot blog speak to Canva’s Head of Ecosystem, Anwar Haneef, to discover why.

Write addictive copy like a pro

The anatomy of addictive content: Sarah Sal on the Moz blog breaks down the principles she’s used to achieve success in her writing.

😲 Really?

How does this make make things any easier to get a job?

Job seekers really don’t need this: Applying for many customer and food service jobs now involves taking a strange personality quiz with blue aliens. This quiz supposedly helps employers assess how agreeable and emotionally stable potential hires are. (Despite such quizzes being based on pop psychology rather than any actual proven science.) These companies are clients of, which operates the test and other recruiting tasks for them. An AI chatbot named ‘Olivia’ pops up to guide users throughout the application process and is then used by the hiring company to sift through the results. People have understandably taken to Reddit to profess their confusion in what exactly this whole process is hoping to achieve.

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