Each week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry news round-up. This week we take a look at MrBeast surpassing Pewdiepie on YouTube, Meta’s venture into live sports and has Elon Musk really killed Twitter?
#RIPTwitter Trends As Hundreds Of Staff Resign And Headquarters Close
The Twitter crisis has reached new heights. Hundreds of employees were reported to have rejected Elon Musk’s ultimatum to keep working at the company, posing a threat to its ability to operate.
As Twitter temporarily closed its offices to staff, users on Twitter began saying their goodbyes and diverting their followers to accounts on other platforms.
#RIPTwitter and #TwitterDown were the two trending hashtags after the deadline passed on Musk’s ultimatum for the remaining workforce to sign up for “long hours at high intensity”, either that or leave. It is believed that hundreds have chosen the latter.
The people of the internet believe that this could be the end of Twitter. After all, if something does go wrong, or the site goes down, who will be there to fix it?
Musk himself was tweeting through the drama. On Friday, he posted memes mocking the downfall of Twitter, and said usage was at an “all-time high”.
While it is unclear how many employees have decided to stay, the numbers showcase the emotion of staff. In a private chat on Signal, 40 out of 50 said they had decided to leave, A private Slack group with around 360 members had been titled “voluntary layoff” according to someone with knowledge of the group.
Blue hearts and salute emojis are frequent across the site as employees and users say their goodbyes.
Meta Looks to Improve Metaverse Offering With Live Sport Events
Meta is looking to improve the allure of its metaverse. The tech giant has declared the launch of XTADIUM on Meta Quest, enabling VR users to experience sports in an immersive fashion.
“XTADIUM gets you closer to the action than ever before by delivering 180-degree virtual reality (VR) footage in up to 8K video quality. Real-time statistical overlays that you can toggle on or off let you stay on top of the game, and you can choose from up to eight different camera angles to get the best view. You can enjoy an event by yourself or create a private watch party for your friends to join.” Explains Meta.
The development of XTADIUM could offer a new way of sparking interest in Meta’s virtual reality options, which is needed after months of heavy scrutiny and criticism.
So far, the metaverse has been anti-climactic to say the least. Meta has flagged that we are still in the early days of the VR/metaverse journey. We’re yet to see a glimpse of what the metaverse could be.
The venture into live sports could add another string the VR bow, offering a new experience for sports consumption. Sports experiences have been available in VR for years, this new offering could help speed things along, offering a new way for sports fans to engage with sporting events, which could trigger even more interest in VR engagement.
This could bridge the gap between global inaccessibility. As we know, football, or soccer, is a globally recognised sport. However, fans of the sport that reside in Asia are unlikely to have the capacity to attend the Champions League final. By bringing this event into the metaverse, fans all over the world could tune in from their headset.
XSTADIUM certainly hints at potential, whether or not Meta can fulfil that potential is yet to be seen.
TikTok Shop Arrives in the United States as Testing Begins
As we expected, TikTok Shop has arrived in the US. The live shopping feature has entered the testing phase of its stateside rollout, which will let consumers purchase items directly through the app.
According to Semaphor, a few US businesses have been selected to sell directly through TikTok. TikTok’s seller landing page will tell you that they’re a subsection for American retailers, who can join businesses from seven Asian countries where the live shopping option is already available.
TikTok is yet to reveal an official statement regarding its live shopping expansion into America. However, a TikTok spokesperson had this to say:
“We’ve seen the positive impact of TikTok Shop, and we’re excited to continue experimenting with this new commerce opportunity to support businesses of all sizes.”
Live shopping could be the answer to the adversity faced by TikTok’s ad business. Ad revenue has declined since the height of the pandemic, leading the likes of Google, Meta and Snap toward financial consequences. TikTok’s response is one of widespread downturn, by slashing $2 billion from its yearly ad revenue target.
TikTok is looking beyond merely selling goods, the app wants to ship them too. This is evident in recent job openings that have suggested the app is looking to open Amozon-style fulfilment centers across the United States.
MrBeast Surpasses Pewdiepie on YouTube
MrBeast is the first YouTube creator to surpass Pewdiepie’s subscriber count in almost 10 years.
Jimmy Donaldson, the man behind the Mrbeast franchise, sailed past Felix Kjellberg’s 111,846,079 subscribers just after 4pm on November 14th.
This marks the end of Pewdiepie’s incredible dominance on the platform. Kjellberg has been the most-subscribed content creator on YouTube since August 2013, when he surpassed then-leaders, Smosh. He was the most subscribed channel on YouTube until 2018, when Bollywood production titan T-Series surpassed him.
MrBeast and Pewdiepie have been closely resembled for years, especially after Donaldon poured thousands of dollars into a marketing haul in support of the “subscribe to Pewdiepie” campaign, a movement to push Pewdiepie towards the 100 million subscriber mark before T-Series.
MrBeast’s channel has been subject to explosive growth, thanks to his genius-like optimization of content and gamified video concepts. His ventures into fast food and confectionary have helped him earn millions that he claims to reinvest in his channel.
In a video from August, Kjellberg announced that he couldn’t wait for MrBeast to surpass him on YouTube:
“He definitely deserves it, I hope he does it.”
Is Paying For Twitter Verification Worth It?
Elon Musk’s $8 blue tick for all has caused a range of issues. Rampant impersonation, internal confusion over how to enforce platform rules, legal concerns and even stock market impacts for some impersonated businesses are just a few of those problems.
This was largely believed to be the likely scenario – even Twitter staff warned Musk of potential concerns prior to the rollout. Musk opted to push ahead regardless, before agreeing to pause the rollout just a few days after its launch.
Musk has teased the element of new features, which will be revealed to sweeten the deal of a blue tick verification. He has also threatened to reduce the reach of non-paying Twitter users as a means to force people into buying their status.
As a measure to combat impersonation, Twitter will introduce a process to review altered usernames before completing the change. This should address at least some of the recent impersonation concerns, though who is it that will be conducting proposed checks, since the majority of Twitter staff have been shown the door.
At this stage, it seems as though the $8 checkmark program is not the right way to go, but the problem being Elon Musk’s persistence to follow through with the idea despite its drawbacks. Recent announcements and proclamations suggest that there’s no backing down now.
This means we’ll probably be here again shortly, reviewing the latest disruption caused by Twitter’s verification system, if the platform continues to exist, that is.
YouTube is Launching Product Tags, a New Monetization Option for Shorts Creators
YouTube is launching another monetization option for Shorts content. A new experiment that will see some creators tagging products for purchase within their content.
YouTube’s pilot scheme with selected US creators will see product tags displayed within Shorts, with viewers in the US, India, Brazil, Canads and Australia able to see the tags and shop within the app.
New capacity for monetizing Shorts content could provide a key lifeline for Shorts creators as the battle for creative talent in the Shorts space ramps up.
The challenge that faces Shorts is that pre and mid-roll ads can’t be inserted into the format, making monetization difficult. YouTube has already announced a new ad program that will see ads displayed in between Shorts. This program aims to split all generated revenue with creators based on Shorts performance.
Direct monetization through product listings is the lucrative opportunity that creators were hoping for. This enables Shorts to assume a more appealing position for those looking to earn money for their content.
Don’t forget to check out the latest episode of the Goat Vlog!