TikTok ventures into restaurant business – Arab News

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DUBAI: Short-form video app TikTok is home to some of the internet’s hottest trends, including food recipes that often go viral and are shared across other platforms.
In Ramadan this year, the company said more women used the app to look for short-form content related to cooking, especially around noon. Cooking is also one of the top categories during the holy month, giving rise to hashtags such as #RamadanFood, #SahoorTime and #CookFromHome.
It will soon be possible for consumers to order their favorite TikTok dishes from restaurants in the US as the app partners with Virtual Dining Concepts and Grubhub to launch TikTok Kitchen.
Launching next year, TikTok Kitchen will feature branded delivery-only restaurants across the US. The menu will be based on the app’s most-popular dishes including baked feta pasta, which was ranked the most-searched dish of 2021 by Google, reported Bloomberg. Other initial menu items will include pasta chips, smash burgers and corn ribs.
The menu is expected to change on a quarterly basis, according to initial plans, with the potential of adding dishes that go viral on the platform, Robert Earl, co-founder of Virtual Dining Concepts, told Bloomberg.
TikTok said in a statement that it would dedicate some profits from the restaurants to the creators of the dishes, but it is unclear at this time how revenue sharing will work.
TikTok Kitchen plans to launch around 300 locations that will start delivering dishes in March, with plans to open more than 1,000 restaurants by the end of 2022.
DUBAI: Kantar, which bills itself as “a data-driven analytics and brand-consulting company,” has released a report on the trends and predictions it believes will shape the media industry in 2022.
“The media landscape has always been dynamic, with the pandemic further fueling all the change,” said Keerat Dhillon, the regional associate director and media effectiveness measurement lead for Kantar’s Insights division, in a press release.
“Digital consumption increased massively, and while some newer players grew exponentially during this time, advertisers still need to think very strategically about how to steer and operate in this changing landscape,” she added.
The report focuses on five key areas: video streaming, remodeling of the commercial internet, performance media and marketing, a new approach to data, and adapting to COVID-era behaviors.
As more video-on-demand viewing figures are published, content owners and producers will command higher licensing and carriage fee negotiation rights than before, and streaming platforms for sports and e-sports will gain more traction with fans, Kantar predicts.
Single-subscription offerings will become less common as platforms continue to consolidate due to the need to offer better and more content bundles to attract viewers in an increasingly crowded space.
A serious recalibration of the commercial internet is now underway, the company says. “Brands and agencies are experimenting with hybrid data strategies that fully encompass privacy, purposefully blending their owned consumer data with panel-based sources and other high quality — and fully consented — third-party data,” the report states. Targeting is expected to become more contextual and brands are expected to invest heavily in direct-integration-based management systems to measure campaign effectiveness.
During the pandemic, many brands shifted to performance-based strategies to survive. Now, as the market rebounds, Kantar’s experts expect to see increased competition for performance marketing spend, with local retail giants becoming more sophisticated at e-commerce. They also anticipate a rebalancing of spend across performance media and brand-building campaigns.
Data is at the center of a lot of these changes, and advertisers’ attitudes toward data are also expected to change, with high-quality data becoming the fastest-growing issue in the next year, the company predicts. Kantar’s experts anticipate that brands will lean into their direct consumer relationships to make the most of their own data. They will also experiment more and develop new ways of using this data to tackle the lack of competitive data intelligence in the hope of developing greater understanding of their consumers.
Finally, there is no doubt that consumer behavior has changed during the pandemic and some of these changes are here to stay, the company says. “Brand offerings will need to reflect and shape the changed realities of consumer behavior,” the report says. Businesses will need to focus on consumer needs including convenience, value, sustainability, and innovation. Although this can be a challenge, it is also an opportunity for brands to explore different and deeper audience segments and grow their brand beyond existing audiences.
“There’s a real dilemma of effectively reaching consumers, especially with the increase in penetration for online yet stability of offline,” said Rana Mokhtar, director brand and analytic at Kantar’s Insights division.
“While we’re living in the time of digital diversity, offline still has its strength in reaching wider segments and causing different impacts. Multimedia use, with the correct balance in spend and content, is, therefore, the secret to media-planning success in 2022,” she added.
LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the violent attack on an Afghan reporter who was beaten and stabbed in Kabul while on his way home.
Jawed Yusufi, who works for the independent online Ufuq News Agency, was followed by a group of four unidentified men. 
They punched him, kicked him repeatedly, and stabbed him in the back several times while he was trying to escape. They then fled the scene.
“The Taliban must take swift action to apprehend the men behind the brutal attack on journalist Jawed Yusufi and bring them to justice,” said CPJ’s Asia coordinator, Steven Butler. “Prosecuting those who attack journalists is an essential measure to assure any semblance of press freedom in Afghanistan.”
Yusufi told the rights group that, while the men did not take anything from him, one of them called him “the foolish journalist” during the attack.
Following the assault, Yusufi reportedly called a Taliban spokesperson and reported the attack.
A Taliban agent met the journalist at the hospital he had been taken to and asked if he was okay.
On Monday, Taliban authorities blamed “armed thieves” for the attack.
Assaults against Afghan journalists are not infrequent.
Last month, a similar attack took place on Ahmad Baseer Ahmadi. He, too, was beaten by a group of unidentified men while on his way home.
In October, unidentified gunmen injured journalists Abdul Khaliq Hussaini and Alireza Sharifi in separate attacks in Kabul, while Taliban members beat and detained Zahidullah Husainkhil.
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has begun preparations for the launch of a new system for collecting TV and video audience data for use by broadcasters, digital publishers, agencies and advertisers.
The TV and Video Audience Measurement service is being rolled out by the Media Rating Co. in partnership with data and analytics consultancy Nielsen. It has been licensed by the General Commission for Audio Visual and Advertising Industry Board.
The TAM system will employ cutting-edge technology to deliver a precise picture of the size and demographics of TV audiences and reveal how people engage with content.
The data will be collected from an audience of 2,000 households, carefully selected to accurately represent the population.
At an event in Dubai earlier this month, MRC CEO Bandar Al-Mashhadi said: “Audience behaviors are evolving rapidly as the Kingdom continues its remarkable transformation, making it more important than ever to introduce robust TV measurement technology.
“We are proud to partner with Nielsen to gain a deeper understanding of Saudi viewers’ preferences and deliver accurate data that will help to drive effective, highly targeted campaigns.”
Nielsen measures TV audiences in more than 40 markets around the world, more than any other TAM provider.
It has set up a project office in Saudi Arabia and is working closely with the General Authority for Statistics in the Kingdom.
The service will be audited by 3M3A, which handles similar projects in more than 10 countries and is supervised by a technical committee representing key industry stakeholders.
For the first time in the Kingdom, the TAM will include a digital measurement component that captures data from so-called over-the-top streaming services that deliver content via home Wi-Fi networks. This will provide an insight into viewing habits across both linear and digital services.
The operational set-up for the service is underway, with meter installations taking place in households across the Kingdom.
As part of the MRC’s five-year plan, the first set of data — from an initial batch of 1,000 households — will be available by April.
The project is expected to be fully operational by July, with an initial focus on data for streaming services and other digital devices.
Gaming measurement is set to be ready by November, with media data for consumption on various devices by July 2023, radio measurement by January 2024 and print measurement by January 2025.
LONDON: A new investigative report on Monday revealed that Facebook failed to thwart extremist content on the platform, instead tagging photos of beheadings and violent hate speech from Daesh and the Taliban as “insightful” and “engaging.”
According to the report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism, extremists have turned to the social media platform as a weapon “to promote their hate-filled agenda and rally supporters” on hundreds of groups, varying in size.
These groups were discovered by Moustafa Ayad, an executive director in the institute.
“It’s just too easy for me to find this stuff online,” he said. “What happens in real life happens in the Facebook world.
“It’s essentially trolling — it annoys the group members and similarly gets someone in moderation to take note, but the groups often don’t get taken down. That’s what happens when there’s a lack of content moderation,” Ayad added.
These groups have popped up across Facebook over the past 18 months. Some of the posts were tagged as “insightful” and “engaging” by a new Facebook tool released in November.
The findings of the report were shared with Politico, who notified Meta about the presence of these groups. Meta subsequently removed Facebook groups promoting Islamic extremist content.
“We have removed the Groups brought to our attention,” a Meta spokesperson said. “We don’t allow terrorists on our platform and remove content that praises, represents or supports them whenever we find it.
“We know that our enforcement isn’t always perfect, which is why we are continuing to invest in people and technology to remove this type of activity faster, and to work with experts in terrorism, violent extremism and cyber intelligence to disrupt misuse of our platform,” the statement concluded.
In October, documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that Facebook’s automated systems, designed to identify hate speech and extremist content, struggles when it comes to non-English languages.
Arabic poses particular challenges to these automated systems and human moderators, both of which can struggle to understand spoken dialects.
The documents reveals that in some of the world’s most volatile regions, terrorist content and hate speech proliferate because the company remains short on moderators who speak local languages and understand cultural contexts.
LONDON: A Lebanese judge rejected on Monday a request by the Order of Press Editors to ban all activities of the Lebanese Alternative Press Syndicate, citing an insufficient “sound legal basis.”
The Alternative Press Syndicate is a group of independent journalists unaffiliated with the official Lebanese press and its associated syndicates.
Last Friday, head of the Lebanese Order of Press Editors Joseph Al-Kassifi submitted an urgent legal request to ban the Alternative Press Syndicate from “practicing any activity through visual, audio and electronic media,” and to prevent the syndicate from “publishing any news, statements or articles of any kind.”
But the judge responsible for the decision, Elias Salah Mkhaiber, rejected the request.
Al-Kassifi, who was recently appointed, claimed that Alternative Press Syndicate practices violate Lebanese law. “They constitute a clear and direct violation of the rights, role and tasks of the Order of the Press Editors, and threaten the proper work of the union,” he said.
In response, the syndicate said that it would not back down from its fight for an independent media and will continue — through hundreds of journalists — to fight the destructive methods of the Order aimed at silencing independent journalism.
Al-Kassifi’s decision was also met with heavy criticism and backlash from the public, journalists and rights groups, who warned that it represented the continued repression of independent journalists and media in Lebanon.
Lebanese press freedom groups Samir Kassir Eyes and Journalists for Freedom, among others, condemned Al-Kassifi’s request, describing the move as “dangerous and strange.”

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https://arab.news/bk32x DUBAI: Short-form video app TikTok is home to some of the internet’s hottest trends, including food recipes that often go viral and are shared across other platforms. In Ramadan this year, the company said more women used the app to look for short-form content related to cooking, especially around noon. Cooking is also one…

https://arab.news/bk32x DUBAI: Short-form video app TikTok is home to some of the internet’s hottest trends, including food recipes that often go viral and are shared across other platforms. In Ramadan this year, the company said more women used the app to look for short-form content related to cooking, especially around noon. Cooking is also one…

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