Inside Facebook's New (and Actually Useful) AI Tool

Facebook has created an AI tool that's actually not terrible. Also: Google Analytics adds a new feature to its platform: Guessing. And finally some clarity on the Google Partner program.

Facebook's Actually-Useful AI

If you've listened to the podcast or read this newsletter for any amount of time, you'll know that I like to shit on Facebook every so often.

This is for three reasons:

  1. It's fun.

  2. I have the maturity of a 12-year-old

  3. Sometimes, they have it coming with their over-reliance on machine learning and AI.

But today, the impossible happened — they announced some new AI tech they're working on that may actually be quite helpful to digital marketers.

It's called TextStyleBrush, an AI research project that can copy the style of text in a photo using just a single word. This means you'll be able to edit and replace text in images.

The example they show is a shot of produce in buckets at a grocery store, with little signs written on a chalkboard above each bucket with the name of the produce written in French — and then, a version where they're written in English, but in exactly the same style as the French version. You can't really tell on the second photo that it's simulated. It looks like someone wrote those words with chalk too.

Facebook said today:

Although this is a research project, it could one day unlock new potential for creative self-expression like personalized messaging and captions, and lays the groundwork for future innovations like photo-realistic translation of languages in augmented reality.

The company says they're publishing what they've learned so far, and submitting it to peer review. That transparency, they say, because they want to make sure people don't misuse this type of technology, like deepfake text attacks.

As noted, that's not a stretch:

[People] could change elements of actual photos to alter their meaning. What if, for example, someone were to use this to change an old college photo of a political candidate holding a sign, so that he/she was now seemingly promoting an offensive slogan, rather than the actual message?

Either way, something interesting to watch.

Here are a couple of videos from Facebook on the tech:

Google Analytics Update

Google today announced an update to Google Analytics aimed at trying to claw back some data that is now being lost to the cookiepocalypse. After all, when people opt out of all tracking pixels, they're also blocking Google Analytics from tracking that behaviour.

Google's solution: Modelling. Though you might know it by its actual name "Making things up." 

Okay, that's not fair. Can we settle on "educated guesses"?

Here's their announcement:

Later this year, we’ll extend our modeling capabilities to certain reports in Google Analytics 4 properties to enhance your understanding of the customer journey when observed behavioral data is not available. If users don’t consent to analytics cookies, you’ll still be able to generate important customer insights while respecting your users’ privacy preferences.

So, yes, if the data in your 'User Acquisition' report isn't fully fleshed out, this new version will try to fill the gaps with a jolly-good estimation.

Nobody in our business wants estimations, but this is the world we're in now — so I guess it's: Take the guesses, or end up with no data at all. Honestly, the jury's still out on which is worse.

They also added some new UI tweaks — you should be able to find relevant reports in the left-hand sidebar easier now:

And the Advertising Workspace has been updated with an overview of KPIs, which you can drill down into:

Also, quoting Google again:

For the first time, within the Reports Workspace, users with admin access will be able to curate the Analytics interface and reports to suit the specific needs of their teams. Admins can make simple edits to existing reports or even create entirely new custom reports. They can also customize the left navigation to group reports into collections, and create custom overviews to highlight information. That will make it easier for team collaboration, and to ensure that all staff remain focused on key tasks.

And finally two new and important attribution reports:

  • 'Conversion Paths' — let you see the customer journey by channel, alongside something they call 'conversion credit visualization' 

  • And a 'Model Comparison' report should let you assess campaign performance using various attribution models, and compare how each affects the value of your marketing channels.

Google Partners Can Keep Their Status For Now

If you work with an agency that is a Google Partner, you may know Google has been moving the goalposts on Partner Status for about a year now. Last year, they said everyone can keep the status they have until next February. 

Now, Google has confirmed the requirements to be a Premier partner.

Starting in February 2022, companies need to meet the Partner requirements and be in the top 3% of participating companies in each country to become a Premier Partner. The top 3% is evaluated based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: annual ads spend across managed accounts, client growth, client retention, and product diversification. Evaluation is done on an annual basis and status may not be available in all countries.

For the rest of you, February will bring a new program which doesn't look terribly different.

Remember, Google Partners need to maintain a 90-day ad spend of $10,000 USD across your managed accounts, and no less than half of the account strategists on your team must be certified in Google Ads, with at least one certification in each product area with campaign spend (like Search, Display, Video, Shopping, or Apps).


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Tonight’s planned Twitter Space is postponed — apologies for that. We had a couple of unexpected client things crop up at the agency, so it was all hands on deck to get those done. We'll probably do the Space in a couple of weeks though.

Also, a special weekend episode coming your way on the podcast feed tomorrow — a deep dive into one of the most popular social media tools: Agorapuse. That'll be in your feed tomorrow.

Have a great weekend — see you Monday.