We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #652


X’s AI chatbot ‘Grok’ will launch this week 

Last week screenshots popped up all over our feeds of X’s ‘Grok’ AI chatbot appearing on X’s web app. The app’s owner, Elon Musk, later confirmed that Grok would be available this week to Premium+ subscribers. And, although Musk’s timeframes have not always been the most reliable, code developments in the X app reveal that Grok interaction is already underway. 

Released initially to select testers at the beginning of the month, Grok is Musk’s answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, Anthropic’s Claude and others. xAI, the Musk-owned company powering Grok, promises that the chatbot will have a personality with “a bit of a wit”  and a “rebellious streak”. The chatbot also plans to answer “spicy” questions that are rejected by other AI systems. As well as apparently answering all of our NSFW queries, it will also have access to real-time knowledge via the X platform. 

More advertisers are abandoning X 

It’s not all good times for X this week however, as some of its largest advertisers have reportedly halted advertising on the platform. Among the group of advertisers stopping spend are Disney, Comcast and Apple. It has also been reported that the likes of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Microsoft are also considering pausing their ads. 

However, some brands are still sticking with the platform now. For example, Amazon’s spend on X in October has been reported to have increased by more than 84% compared to the same period last year.

Google’s Bard AI chatbot can now answer questions about YouTube videos

In other chatbot news, Google has announced that its Bard AI chatbot can now answer questions about YouTube videos. In an effort to address user’s wishes of wanting “deeper engagement with YouTube videos”, Google is expanding its Bard extension to better understand video content. 

Before this latest update, the YouTube Extension for Bard could only be used to find specific videos – e.g. Bard, find me a funny video. Now, when a user asks Bard to find a specific video, they can also ask for more detailed answers about the content with Bard finding key points, main themes and even providing full summaries of the video – all without even pressing play. 

BRB, I’m just listening to Bard describe a kitten playing piano video.

Snapchat tests ad-free subscription plan 

Snapchat is the latest to test users’ limits on just how much they are willing to pay for an ad-free experience. It is now preparing the launch a new, more expensive Snapchat+ tier. The new tier, advertised as $15.99 AUD per month, will remove all Story and Lens ads. 

However, spending this extra cash does not eliminate all ad exposure on the app. Snapchat notes that subscribers may still see sponsored places, as well as paid promotions within My AI responses, where it’s currently testing ways to monetize its AI chat. 

In other news

Instagram now allows public Reels to be downloaded, X is bringing back headlines on link previews. Google Meet can now detect when you physically raise your hand. And, Facebook is removing its ‘Hobbies’ section from User Profiles.