Grab a cup of coffee or tea and tune in to Sunday Rundown #97 where we share with you some news from the world of digital marketing 🙂

Google’s postpandemic ‘reckoning’

This week, Shailesh Prakash, the VP in charge of Google News, gathered his hundreds of employees to talk about a surprise round of layoffs that had just hit the team. 

A year ago, cuts like this at Google — historically the most coddling employer in all of Big Tech — would have been unthinkable. But market forces have a way of catching up with everyone. In January, the search giant conducted its first mass layoff in over a decade, cutting 6 per cent of its staff, or about 12,000 people. Last month, hundreds of recruiters were let go, a concrete sign that hiring targets have been reduced significantly. 

The layoffs this week in Google News were relatively small, with roughly three dozen people impacted. But why they happened has bigger implications, especially for those who are more senior across the sprawling conglomerate that is Google and Alphabet. 

X tests charging new users $1 per year in select markets

X, the Elon Musk–owned platform formerly known as Twitter, announced today that it is starting a new experiment that will charge a $1 per year fee for “new unverified” users to interact with posts. The company said this test is currently live in New Zealand and the Philippines and existing users won’t be affected.

Users will get to post content, like, repost, reply, bookmark, and quote posts for paying that fee. New free users will just get a read-only account to look at posts and follow accounts. The company’s support account clarified that this “Not A bot” program is not a profit driver. Instead, the company explained this program will help it reduce spam.

Tinder enlists ‘Mean Girls’ actor to help users dodge toxicity

Match Group’s Tinder dating app has enlisted ‘Mean Girls’ actor Jonathan Bennett for a new marketing campaign to raise awareness about toxic behaviour and online financial scams, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.  

The effort was timed around Oct. 3, which is World Romance Scam Prevention Day. However, many also associate the day with the iconic “What day is it” line from “Mean Girls.” Bennett features in a 60-second campaign spot calling out the various types of people users should avoid on dating apps.  

The playful move follows a public awareness campaign from Tinder launched in January that similarly sought to help users avoid online scams. Tinder is one of the latest dating apps to tap into popular culture to market its product. 

Bonus links

Thank you for taking the time to read our Sunday Rundown #97. If you have a story that you want to see in this series, reply to us below or contact us.