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 cover the Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks across the internet, Twitch vows to ban unsolicited gambling streamers, and the increasing reliance on social platforms for news content.
Grand Theft Auto 6 Leaks
A major data leak has struck gaming developer Rockstar, giving the world an early look at Grand Theft Auto 6.
90 videos, totalling 50 minutes of content from an in-development version of Grand Theft Auto 6 was posted to GTAForums by user teapotuberhacker. The clips have since filtered onto social media and the wider internet.
Shortly after the leak, the hacker responsible claimed they wanted to negotiate a deal with Rockstar for the return of unreleased data, which included the source code for Grand Theft Auto 5, and the alpha version of Grand Theft Auto 6.
The footage give fans of the series an insight into what to expect in the forthcoming game. The world learned that the game will take place in modern-day Vice City, the game’s depiction of Miami. The game will also feature dual protagonists, a male and the series first ever female playable character.
Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two has issued takedown notices to social media, YouTube accounts and external sites posting the stolen footage. Ultimately, the leak spells bad news for Rockstar. Any information leading to a game of this magnitude that is tightly controlled means there will be financial implications, pushbacks and alterations that are likely to slow the progress of the game’s development.
The Increasing Reliance On Social Platforms For News Content
A study from Pew Research Study has unearthed an alarming rate of reliance on social media platforms for news content. There’s been much debate about the increasing reliance on social media platforms as news and information sources, and how platform algorithms, in particular, can skew how such information is distributed. But despite these warnings, more and more people are indeed turning to social media for the latest news and updates.
TikTok appears as the biggest mover in data around individuals seeking news content. A recent report suggests that up to one in five news-related clips on TikTok contain misinformation, while there are also lingering questions around how the Chinese Government may be able to influence TikTok’s algorithms and content, with a view, potentially, to quelling anti-China sentiment.
Given that algorithms look to maximize in-app engagement, and emotional responses, like ‘joy’ and ‘anger’, are the key drivers of such, it seems totally unsurprising that society feels more and more divided, especially in online discourse. With more people relying on social platforms for news, and the platforms looking to feed into that wherever they can, that seems destined to further incentivize more partisan, divisive takes, in order to spark more engagement and reach.
Twitch Announces Bans On Unlicensed Gambling Streams
Twitch has announced a ban on streaming unlicensed gambling content on the platform. This included slots, roulette and dice websites and is effective from the start of October. Sites that will be prohibited include Stake.com, Duelbits.com and Robot.com. More websites may be added to the list at a later date, with Twitch issuing the warning in a Twitter statement.
This comes after some of the biggest Twitch streamers threatened to boycott the streaming platform, Streamers like Pokimane, Mizkif and Devin Nash have all fired warnings to Twitch over unsolicited gambling concerns.
Whilst gambling streams are not new, in recent years it has been perceived that wealthy creators promote potentially harmful content to young, impressionable fans. Most recently, Twitch users were outraged after a streamer known as Sliker said he scammed his followers and other streamers out of money in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Twitch has since changed its stance on gambling content on the platform, vowing to issue bans to anyone going against the new code of conduct.
YouTube To Add Monetization Options For Shorts
YouTube will reportedly soon announce the launch of monetisation options for Shorts. This helps creators create an income from the content they produce and incentivise the creation of the format.
The New York Times reported that YouTube will soon add a new, direct monetization option for Shorts, which would provide a clearer pathway for short-form content creators to make money.
Leaked internal meetings by the NYT show that YouTube are planning to bring pre-roll ads to the format. The platform plan to pay creators 45% of the ad revenue created from this, compared to 55% of the ad revenue created off the back of ads within the longer form content
YouTube is also planning to lower the barrier of entry for the YouTube partner programme, which will allow smaller creators to make money off their content from YT ads. Currently, to qualify for the programme, creators must have over 4,000 watch hours in total across their content within the past 12 months and over 1K subscribers. Because Shorts garner a much lower watch time due to being shorter in length, the platform are lowering this threshold to allow early-stage creators to build a presence through Shorts.
Shorts are viewed by 1.5B YouTube users a month, and with even more incentive to create Shorts content, combined with with the recently expanded analytics, audience insights and dedicated Shorts search and feed – this could see YouTube become a key player in the short-form entertainment battle vs TikTok.
YouTube Tests New Channel Channel Personalization
YouTube have been exploring ways to help engage viewers of a creators YouTube channel by customising how content is displayed on a creators channel.
YouTube are currently developing separate tabs for each content format, including having dedicated tabs for long form videos, Shorts and Live content. This means creators can segment their content into format specific pages on their profile, which will help viewers/followers navigate the creators content.
Users who tap through to a channel from a specific content format will be taken to the content dedicated page on the creators profile. For example, users who find a channel through a Shorts clip will be taken directly to the creators Shorts feed on their channel. This is in the attempt to align with the users watch habits and maximise engagement.
This aligns with recent updates that allow users to filter their search to content formats or within the subscription tab. This provides new ways for users to discover and engage with content, specifically Shorts by allowing users to scroll through short-form content only.
Meta Shares Facebook Reels API To Enable Third Party Access
To help creators, brands and marketers schedule and share Reels onto Facebook, Meta have launched FB Reels API. This will enable the posting of Reels onto Facebook via third party apps e.g social media management apps such as Hootsuite and Wix.
This follows after Meta recently launched Reels API access in June for Instagram. This means easier creation and sharing of Reels content, which helps creators/users optimise content strategies to ensure content is scheduled for optimal times.
Meta are easing the process of Reels sharing to encourage usage of the format, especially after leaked internal documents showed a decrease in usage for Reels engagement by 13.5% in recent months.
Don’t forget to check out the latest episode of the Goat Vlog! In this episode, we talk all things BeReal.