New month – new updates with our Sunday Rundown #94. Join us in seeing what has happened in the digital marketing world since we last spoke.

VPNs, Verizon, and Instagram Reels: how students are getting around the TikTok ban

Texas is one of over thirty US states that have enacted restrictions on the use of TikTok. The complaints, broadly, have to do with the app’s alleged ties to China. “Owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members, TikTok harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s internet activity,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said when announcing the ban.

Thomas Pablo, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, describes the day his school announced a TikTok ban as an utter non-event. “It was just another Monday,” he recalls. It happened suddenly — one day, TikToks loaded in the app and in mobile browsers, and the next day, they didn’t. But Pablo and all of his friends knew instinctively what to do: turn off the Wi-Fi and use data. For the past several months since the ban, he’s been switching his phone’s internet on and off around four times per day. Others he knows do it much more often.

Other students have turned to VPNs. The cellular networks on UT Dallas’s campus are too slow for Aaberg’s purposes. He’s been using Cloudflare’s to access TikTok, and he loves it. He’s trying to convince his friends, many of whom have made jumped to Instagram Reels, to do the same. It’s been a tough sell. “I’m like, girl, just download a VPN, it’s not that hard,” he says. But, he concedes, “most of my friends don’t even know what VPN stands for.”

YouTube Adds Shorts Links, Limits Links Elsewhere

YouTube announced a new feature allowing creators to link their Shorts videos to other videos on their channel. With this update, Shorts creators can drive viewers to long-form content, additional Shorts, livestreams, and more. Previously, links could be added in Shorts descriptions and comments. However, YouTube is removing this capability, citing a desire to reduce spam and scams.

YouTube confirmed that analytics measuring clicks on related videos in Shorts will be added in a future update. This will allow creators to track the effectiveness of links.

X launches Community Notes for videos

Social network X, formerly known as Twitter, has introduced Community Notes for videos. Community Notes is an existing program for crowdsourced moderation. The Elon Musk-owned platform announced that notes by contributors attached to a video will show up in all posts with that video.

Eligible contributors can select the option “About the video in this post, and should appear on all posts including this video” to add notes about a clip.

Bonus links

Thank you for taking the time to read our Sunday Rundown #94. If you have a story that you want to see in this series, reply to us below or contact us.