February Marketing Insights – Russian war on Ukraine reaches social media


Facebook loses users, Meta stock plunges 20%

Somehow we’re already two whole months into 2022 and while the Covid-19 pandemic is lessening, other unexpected events have reared their heads.  

Russia’s war on Ukraine has hit social media. YouTube announced late February that it would halt monetization options for Russian-based media outlets on the platform. Obviously, this is a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions that the international community has imposed.   

Facebook and its parent company Meta continue to be faced with challenges as online activities shift towards a metaverse-based future. Meta will miss its Q1 2022 targets and its stock plunged as a result, it has lost daily active users for the first time in its history, and it may have to shut down operations in Europe.  


Artificial intelligence continues to grow in popularity, and arguments can be made that it is rapidly becoming an integral part of any highly-productive marketing team. Reports say that its applications range from creatives, to conversational bots and visual AI analysis.   

You can’t really go anywhere these days without hearing about cryptocurrencies. It definitely seems like they’re here to stay and now we’re seeing social media companies and even brick-and-mortar businesses jumping on the bandwagon too.

Twitter used the month of February to release a bunch of new featuresand give users things that they’ve been requesting for a while. Included in the new features is one that helps users take more control over their privacy settings on the platform.   

Here are the top marketing stories for February. Straight from our experts to CMOs that want to stay in the know.   

#1 YouTube and Meta block monetization after Russian sanctions

YouTube and Meta do not want to support Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in any way. It was announced late February that the platform would be suspending the ability of several channels to collect ad revenue, including the Russian state-funded media outlet, RT. The announcement comes as a result of Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine.

#2 Meta continues to struggle

Facebook parent Meta said it would miss analysts’ expectations in Q1 2022, and the metaverse is at least partially to blame. On its 2021 Q4 year earnings call, Meta indicated revenue of $27 billion to $29 billion when analysts expected $30.25 billion. 

Meta’s earnings report also revealed a shocking detail –for the first time ever the company’s growth appears to be stagnating around the world. User growth on Facebook fell by about half a million users in the first three months of 2021 to 1.93 billion daily users. The loss was greatest in Africa and Latin America.

The news that Facebook had lost users sent the stock price tumbling roughly 20%. The massive drop instantly wiped out roughly $200 billion in market value and it shows that Facebook’s corporate rebrand to Meta might not be enough to distract investors from the problems in its core business of social media.

Facebook has also said that it is considering closing down operations in Europe if Meta cannot process Europeans’ data on U.S. servers. Meta’s issue is with transatlantic data transfers regulated via the Privacy Shield that Meta uses to store data from European users on American servers. The current agreements are under scrutiny in the EU.

#3 AI is rapidly becoming a key part of a marketing team

Persado and Coresight Research conducted a study that reveals
78.3% of U.S.-based executives use AI for creative development and execution. By using AI, these marketers can leverage AI-generated content and even track the impact of certain words and phrases that resonate most with their target audience. The study highlights the expanding role that advanced technologies are now playing in creating positive and memorable brand experiences, and how these advanced technologies are delivering significant returns on investments. 

Iconik’s annual media stats report reinforces this dramatic shift to AI services. The report reveals a staggering 886% increase in the use of AI for media management like visual AI analysis and voice-to-text transcriptions. The report also indicated a continued transition to cloud-based tools that allow remote workforces to excel.

#4 Crypto, crypto, crypto!

Twitter announced new digital payment options for its tipping jar this month. The new tipping options include Ethereum (ETH) and will be added to existing options, including Bitcoin (BTC). Users who want to receive ETH tips need to enable the platform’s tipping features and add an Ethereum wallet address to the dedicated section of their Twitter profile. 

Dogecoin founder, Billy Markus, is also pushing for Twitter to add DOGE as a tipping jar payment option in the wake of the news that Ethereum has been adopted.

Apple has introduced a new contactless payment function to iPhones that could be paving the way to direct BTC or crypto payments. The new feature allows businesses to accept tap payments from iPhone users via Apply Pay, credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has said that the company is interested in adopting blockchain features for creators. YouTube is looking at ways to integrate web3 technologies like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) to give creators more ways to make money and engage their audiences.

#5 Twitter introduces a wave of new features

Twitter has announced quite a few new features in February.
Users will find a new search car in the ‘Setting and Privacy’ section. The search bar will make it easier for users to find what they’re looking to update in the app. The feature is available in all versions of Twitter and it is rolling out now.

Twitter has launched a new test on Android and the web that will look at letting users control the playback speed of both video and voice tweets. The variable speed option has been a long-awaited feature by users.

Twitter continues to evolve TweetDeck and has added a new feature that allows users to play videos from a TweetDeck column, pin them to any corner of the screen, and continue to scroll through tweets. Videos will initially be pinned to the bottom of the window but users can also undock the clip to pin it elsewhere on the screen.

You have more important things to do than filter through thousands of news sources to find the information that really matters. Let our experts, Pietro, Silvia, and Adele, do the leg work for you! 

Why should you trust them? Simple – their diverse backgrounds, interests, and international locations leave them perfectly placed to monitor the industry from all possible angles and pick out the nuggets that make a difference for YOU. 

Subscribe to our Viraloctopus CMO Daily News Feed and we’ll deliver their fresh, hand-picked news, summarized in bite-sized chunks, every day of the workweek, completely for free. Start your workday off right. 

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Happy marketing!

Your Viral Octopus Team.

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