US House Passes Bill to Force Sale of TikTok

Adobe Report Emphasizes Use of AI to Improve CX

Read time: 5 minutes

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The U.S. Congress has taken a major step toward banning TikTok as a business operating in the country, unless it’s sold to a non-Chinese owner. TikTok’s competitors and potential buyers no doubt are salivating over getting their hands on TikTok’s huge share of the social media advertising space…


  • Top Story: US House Passes Bill to Force Sale of TikTok

  • Combining Forces: Webflow Acquires Marketing Optimization AI Developer Intellimize

  • Avatar Evolution: AI Video Marketing Solutions Provider Vidyard Raises $15 Million

  • Off the Shelf: AI Book Publishing Platform Spines Raises $6.5 million of VC

  • Tech Trends: Adobe Report Emphasizes Use of AI to Improve Customer Experience

  • Quote of the Day: Emad Mostaque, founder and for CEO of Stability AI


US House Passes Bill to Force Sale of TikTok

The US House of Representatives approved a bill with strong bipartisan support on Saturday that would force the social media platform TikTok’s corporate parent, ByteDance, to sell the company or else be banned from operating in America.

Proponents of the bill argue that TikTok, which has around 170 million users in the U.S.— including an estimated 6 out of 10 teens—serves as a means for the Chinese government to spread propaganda and spy on Americans.

The bill to ban TikTok will move to the Senate for a vote next week and President Joe Biden has said he will sign the legislation.

TikTok’s share of the U.S. advertising market has grown at an impressively rapid rate, from $3.9 billion in 2021 to a forecasted $17 billion in 2024.

If the company were banned in the U.S., YouTube, Facebook and Instagram likely would benefit most, while Snapchat and Pinterest could also draw users and advertising dollars from TikTok, according to industry analysts.

If the ban happens it could also trigger lawsuits, since such a law would probably give the U.S. president authority to designate other businesses as a threat to national security if they are controlled by a country that’s deemed “hostile” to America.

Elon Musk, who owns of X, formerly Twitter, came out publicly in a post on Friday against a ban on TikTok.

"TikTok should not be banned in the USA, even though such a ban may benefit the X platform," Musk said. “Doing so would be contrary to freedom of speech and expression.


Webflow Acquires Marketing Optimization AI Developer Intellimize

Webflow, a web design and hosting platform provider, announced it has acquired Intellimize, a developer of AI-powered website personalization and optimization technology.

Intellimize was co-founded in 2016 by Guy Yalif, former head of vertical marketing at Twitter, along with Brian Webb, who previously served as an architect on Yahoo’s personalized content recommendation team, and Jin Lim, a former VP of engineering at Yahoo.

“Since their founding, Intellimize has made a huge impact on customers like Sumo Logic (1B+ page versions, 53% lift in conversion rates), Snowflake (60% increase in conversions, 49% lift in meetings booked), and Drift (129% improvement in conversions, $2.8M incremental revenue),” Vlad Magdalin, the CEO of Webflow, wrote in an announcement about the acquisition.

Webflow has raised over $330 million of venture capital to date.


AI Video Marketing Solutions Provider Vidyard Raises $15 Million

Vidyard, a provider of AI-powered video messaging, video hosting, sales prospecting, and buyer engagement solutions for sales and marketing, announced it has raised $15 million of venture capital, which was led by Export Development Canada.

HubSpot, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and S&P Global all use Vidyard’s video messaging platform to increase effectiveness and outreach scale when communicating with customers and prospects.

In connection with the funding announcement, Vidyard also disclosed the release of its latest application, which it calls “the industry’s first hyper-realistic personalized avatars” that look and sound “just like the user.”

“AI avatars will be a game-changer for our sales team, who understand how much more effective video is than text when engaging customers and prospects,” said Matt Green, CRO of Sales Assembly, who was quoted in a press release.


AI Book Publishing Platform Spines Raises $6.5 million of VC

Spines, the provider of an AI-powered book publishing platform, has raised $6.5 million of venture capital in a deal led by Alep, with participation from M-Fund, LionTree, and Dan Senor, co-author of the best-selling book “Startup Nation.”

Spines says its platform reduces publishing time from six months to two weeks while reducing total costs by 30%. The company’s AI provides editing and design under the supervision of a human production manager.

Spine’s AI also automates the metadata optimization process and listing of a book across 100+ channels. After the book is live, the platform provides users additional options for AI-driven marketing features, royalty management, and distribution.

“Authors simply need to upload their manuscripts, and within two weeks, they will be able to see their books published, optimized, and available to readers globally,” according to Spines.


Adobe Report Emphasizes Use of AI to Improve Customer Experience

A newly released annual report from Adobe on digital tech trends delves into the importance of AI in enhancing customer experiences through personalization, especially as privacy concerns shift the industry away from traditional tracking cookies.

Here are the Adobe report’s key findings, based on surveys of 8,600 professional marketers, regarding AI's role in marketing:

Consumer Expectations and Personalization: Despite advancements, only 26% of consumers feel their digital experiences with brands are excellent. There is a clear demand for seamless, personalized interactions across different platforms, with 80% of consumers considering consistent experiences across channels crucial, and 70% valuing personalized product recommendations.

Unified Data for Personalization: Effective personalization relies on unified data, yet companies struggle to integrate this data effectively. Once achieved, this integration facilitates the creation of next-generation experiences, heavily supported by AI technologies.

Generative AI in Marketing: Generative AI is the first major use case in AI-driven marketing, with early adopters already experiencing enhanced digital customer experiences. Market leaders who have integrated generative AI are six times more likely to deliver exceptional digital CX compared to those without such solutions.

Other Statistical Insights:

  • Only 26% of consumers rate their digital experience as excellent.

  • 80% value consistent cross-channel experiences, while 91% prioritize the responsible use of their data.

  • Market leaders are significantly ahead in using AI to ensure data privacy and develop content responsibly, with 78% ensuring brand safety and legal compliance through AI, compared to 63% of “market followers.”

Challenges and Opportunities: While the potential for AI to transform business is clear, less than a quarter of companies have a solid roadmap for AI integration, indicating a gap in strategic implementation. There is an urgent need for better alignment of AI capabilities with business objectives to fully realize its transformative potential.

The report from Adobe underscores the critical role of AI in marketing, particularly in a landscape increasingly governed by privacy concerns and the need for sophisticated data handling and personalization techniques.


“We see the wave coming. Now this time next year, every company has to implement it — not even have a strategy. Implement it.”

— Emad Mostaque, founder and CEO, Stability AI


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