The big 99 before 100 is here and we are so excited to celebrate! That is three years of us, at faethe marketing, sharing news from the digital marketing world with you. Here is what Sunday Rundown #99 brings 🙂

Google Adds New Option to ‘Follow’ Search Topics for Regular Updates

Google has added a new way to stay updated on related topics, with the capacity to ‘follow’ a search topic, to then access regular updates of the latest related info. You will now see a new ‘Follow’ option within selected topical search listings, which you can tap on to get future updates.

“Let’s say you’re training for your first half marathon, and you’ve come to Search looking for tips on getting in better running shape. Tap the “Follow” button in search results and you’ll automatically see articles and videos about marathon training on Discover, the homepage of the Google app. From Discover, you can jump right to the search results page to see more new-to-you content and perspectives related to what you follow, like a video demonstrating a training exercise.”

– As explained by Google

And if you have notifications turned on, Google will even send you critical updates to the topic, “like how to prepare for an upcoming race nearby”. Which could be good, I guess.

Elon Musk says X is changing its algorithm to highlight smaller accounts

The company formerly known as Twitter is preparing to roll out a “major update” to its algorithm, according to a recent post by X owner Elon Musk. While today the app’s For You feed surfaces popular and trending posts from its broader network alongside highlights from those you follow, the new algorithm will surface posts from smaller accounts, Musk said.

The posts and accounts will include those outside users’ “friends and follows” network, he noted, meaning the change will attempt to expose users to new accounts they may find interesting but have not yet discovered. It would also allow smaller creators the opportunity to interact a wider audience, which fits into Musk’s plan to turn X into a creator platform.

Over the past several months, X has targeted creators with features like support for long-form posts, that extend the character limit to 25,000 for paying subscribers, the ability to upload two-hour videos and, importantly, the opening of an ad revenue-sharing program that has now paid out nearly $20 million to creators, according to statements last month made by X CEO Linda Yaccarino.

Tumblr is betting big on going small

Tumblr’s palpable influence on culture has waned since its soft-grunge, Superwholock heyday, but millions of users are using it every single day. Caroline Ellison’s rationalist Tumblr (archived here) documented her crypto-trading, effective altruist lifestyle, and provided food for analysis for dozens of think pieces. Memes like “gaslight gatekeep girlboss” and Goncharov got their start on Tumblr and spread quickly across the social web, and nostalgia for Tumblr has never been more prevalent on TikTok

Some of Tumblr’s new user base might be thanks to the new ownership. In 2019, its owner Verizon sold it to operator Automattic, which attempted to revitalize it with features like a livestreaming service and collectible badges. But the largest gains can be blamed on the poor decisions of other platforms. Tumblr saw an influx of Twitter users fleeing Elon Musk’s takeover, and then another wave during protests against Reddit’s changes to its API

These increases, though, have not been enough. In an internal memo circulated last month and leaked on-platform as well as off last week, Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and Tumblr since 2021, said that the efforts to increase Tumblr’s revenue and usage have not been effective. As a consequence, those efforts would cease and a majority of the staff would be reassigned to different departments within WordPress and Automattic. This news was immediately picked up by aggregators and commentators who declared that Tumblr had “failed” and would henceforth be run by a “skeleton crew.” 

“We are shifting from the mode of “surging” on Tumblr with tons of people to get it to exciting growth, to working on how we can run Tumblr in the most smooth and efficient manner. Pretty amazing things in the social and messaging space have been accomplished with small teams, so I’m actually quite curious to see a smaller and more focused Tumblr’s performance in 2024.”

– Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and Tumblr

Bonus links

Thank you for taking the time to read our Sunday Rundown #99. If you have a story that you want to see in this series, reply to us below or contact us.