Every week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly Industry Round-Up. This week we cover Instagram adding product tags in-feed, the return of the chronological feed and what company is now stepping into the metaverse race!
The Bored Ape Yacht Club Creator Is Building A Metaverse
It was only last week that Yuga Labs announced plans to acquire NFT projects CryptoPunks and Meebits. Now, in the latest news, the Bored Ape Yacht Club creator is looking for investment to the tune of $450 million led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
This funding will be used to create a decentralized metaverse world called Otherside. To put in perspective the importance of Yuga Labs, the company now controls three of the most lucrative NFT collections in the crypto market, owning the overall IP rights to all projects, allowing Yuga to create branded entities within Otherside.
The new metaverse plan will also utilise Yuga’s ApeCoin, which will serve as the primary currency within Otherside. Yuga will also work with game studios to fill the digital space with engaging projects and will have a different approach to the metaverse than what we are seeing from Meta’s plans with Horizon Worlds.
Meta Faces Lawsuit From The ACCC
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed a lawsuit against Meta, alleging that Facebook failed to remove celebrity crypto scam ads and even aided or knew about the misleading ad content on the platform.
The scam ads that were circulating across the platform used well known Australian business individuals, TV hosts and politicians to front the advertisements.
The fake ads that have been referenced in the Meta lawsuit reportedly took users to a fake media article that included quotes from public figures – seemingly endorsing a crypto/money-making scheme. There was then a call to action to sign up for crypto investment opportunities, allowing information to be exchanged that was then used to target individuals using high-pressure tactics to hand over money.
A representative from Meta commented to Reuters that ads of this nature violate Facebook policies which the platform can detect through automated systems and block. The representative also noted that Facebook has cooperated with the ACCC in this investigation.
Allied Esports Launch ‘Elevated’
Allied Esports, the global entertainment company has launched a new web series under their content arm AE Studios, named ‘Elevated’.
The three-hour episodic show will be hosted by the Botez sisters, two popular chess streamers. The aim is a show divided into six segments, where smaller creators take over hosting to reach new audiences and launch their streaming careers. While featuring on stream, the creators will receive mentorship from guest creators, interact with the Twitch chat and talk with the Botez sisters.
The new web show is hosted on the HitPointOne Twitch channel, calling viewers to discover new creators and watch them grow. The show even has sponsors that include HyperX and Tyson Foods, who will provide some prizes for the best streamers, with a leaderboard being present ranking creators by their growth.
The creators finishing top of the leaderboard will be invited to the 2022 Esports Awards and be awarded a streamer kit from HyperX, along with $1,000 in cash.
TikTok Sensation Khaby Lame Becomes Spokesperson For Pepsi Product
Khaby Lame, known for his reactions and sketches has become one of the most popular creators on TikTok, with over 135 million followers.
Major brands have quickly tapped up the creator to feature in campaigns and now Pepsi has joined the mix by making Khaby Lame spokesman for the nitrogen-infused cola product. The creator will front print, billboard and TV campaigns, using the tagline “a smoother way to soda” – referencing the fact the product is less fizzy due to the nitrogen-infused nature of the drink.
This is yet another example of huge brands turning to TikTok creators to leverage a younger and more engaged audience. We’ve seen a lot of large and high-end brands in recent months utilise TikTok stars instead of traditional celebrities to feature in major campaigns – showing the influence of TikTok and its creators on the marketing and advertising industry.
Jacksepticeye’s Documentary Achieves Success On iTunes Chart
Jacksepticeye, also known as Sean McLoughlin, recently released a documentary that illustrates his journey from a young Irish guy to a hugely successful content creator, with over 28.1 million subscribers on YouTube and an uploaded archive of around 5,000 videos.
The creator’s documentary named “How Did We Get Here?”, is climbing the iTunes charts in both the UK and US, competing with huge movies such as Nightmare Alley. In the UK, the documentary broke the top 10, proving how powerful a creator’s audience can be to rival huge productions by major film studios.
The documentary previously premiered as a pay-per-view event hosted by Moment House – which was the platform that recently partnered with KSI on a live event. The entertainment company Shout! Factory then coordinated the film’s release on VOD platforms such as iTunes.
Instagram Tests A ‘Scheduled Sticker’
Instagram is currently running a test of a “Scheduled” sticker for Stories, enabling creators and brands to promote upcoming events.
The sticker provides a clickable reminder for events in a Story, providing direct links to event listings. Prior to the new sticker, users could promote upcoming events in Stories and feed when first setting up the event on Instagram. However, there was no way to re-share or re-promote the same event once set. The countdown sticker was often used with the link sticker, but this new test is more integrated to highlight events in the app specifically.
This feature will certainly benefit artists who are driving anticipation for upcoming performances or athletes/sporting organizations with sporting events.
Instagram Adds In-Feed Product Tags To All Users
Instagram will now allow all users to tag products in their IG posts, first rolling out to users in the U.S. The ability to tag products in in-feed posts was first rolled out to approved creators, but now everyone will soon be able to tag products from a business you love.
This is all in aid of a wider ecommerce push by the platform, with the likes of Pinterest also investing in more features to make content on the platform more ‘shoppable’. Product tagging for all across Instagram will make it possible to highlight small businesses but also boost all brands for free in the app.
Business owners will receive a notification when a user tags one of their products in the app, while also being able to view all tagged content on their profile. To note, brands will also be able to control who tags products in post settings and on individual tagged content from other users.
Instagram Launches Algorithm-Free Feed
Instagram has now launched the algorithm-free chronological feed option to all users. This update gives users better control over the content they are seeing in their feeds. Two new feed display options have been added with this rollout which includes “Favorites”, showing the latest posts from accounts added to your Favorites list and “Following” which is the feed option showing posts from all the accounts you follow.
Both of these new feed options show content in chronological order, absent of Instagram’s algorithm input. Instagram has noted that the algorithm-defined feed actually helps boost engagement on the platform, this edition of this new control is aiming to highlight how the algorithm feed option is superior.
To note, Instagram is not making it easy to lock an alternative feed display, with users having to manually choose a chronological display every time they log back onto the app.
The return of a chronological feed has been highly requested for years, so it will be interesting if more users actually choose the new feed display option or remain with the algorithm-centric display.
YouTube Updates Live Stream Features
YouTube is introducing some new features for YouTube Live in line with the platform’s continual aim to eat into Twitch’s dominance within the live-stream market.
Firstly, YouTube is adding live guests with a launch of a pilot program named “Go Live Together”, allowing creators to invite guests to streams through a simple link. Hosts will be able to see streaming analytics, but this data will not be available for guests.
YouTube is also adding “live rings”, which help viewers recognize when a channel is going live on the platform. Alongside this the platform is launching “cross channel live redirects”, giving the ability for creators with at least 1,000 subscribers to direct viewers from a live stream or premiere to another live stream or premiere on their own channel. If an eligible creator has no active community guideline strikes, they will also be able to direct viewers to a live stream or premier hosted on another channel.
Furthermore, YouTube is working on full screen for Live, whilst developing a new Q&A feature, enabling viewers to submit questions during a live stream based on the creator’s question prompt.
YouTube Taking On Traditional TV
YouTube has come a long way from its first video in 2005 named “me at the zoo“. The platform will now offer 4,000 episodes of TV for free, with ads. The shows being made available include Hell’s Kitchen, Andromeda and Heartland. These shows will be available in the US on the web, mobile and most connected TVs via the YouTube app.
This move will see YouTube take on over-the-air television, offering on-demand TV content in a bid to bring audiences to the platform and away from channel surfing on traditional TV.
There are of course other competitor platforms for streaming ad-supported TV for free which include the likes of Roku, Plex and Vizio – so in this respect, YouTube is certainly not early to the game.
Interestingly Roku is a platform YouTube’s parent company has had issues with in the past. This direct move to compete with Roku could see YouTube take people away from the competitor platform. However, Roku has plans in motion to entice and retain users through the development of more than 50 original shows.
Nonetheless, YouTube’s free TV shows will join the existing lineup of free movies with ads available on the platform, and the platform plans to add up to 100 shows and movies each week.
Facebook Developing Reels Reactions
It was not too long ago that Meta launched Facebook Reels along with creator monetisation offerings. Now, the platform is working on Reels reactions, providing another way to engage with short-form video content.
The test was spotted by Alessandro Paluzzi, showing options to assign one of seven emoji responses to Reels clips. The benefits of this new engagement option could help maximize engagement on Reels content by adding quick responses that go beyond the restrictions of a mere like.
In addition, reactions have become commonplace for Facebook users and would be instinctual for those looking to engage with video content on the platform. The increase in potential engagement would also help Facebook to serve content better to individual users as it could shape a more accurate algorithm indicator.
Twitter’s ‘Communities’ Updates
Twitter Communities entered testing in September 2021, allowing users to share tweets with selected groups of users, as opposed to public broadcasts of all tweets to all their followers.
Twitter has since not released any statistics on the usage of this feature, but have commented that some of the larger communities have been established in recent weeks.
Communities, upon launch, come with a few pain points, which a new update is hoping to address. Firstly, to join a community on the platform, only those invited by current members were able to join. Twitter has since provided the ability for users to request to join, whilst improving controls for open and invite-only groups.
Twitter is also adding a member search option, helping admins locate moderators among other use cases, along with a communities search on the web, allowing users to find relevant groups to join.
Twitter is testing a number of other features such as Flocks to enable curated audiences to distribute hyper-relevant content, whilst also providing more control to users on who is seeing tweets. These tests are all aiming to maximize engagement on the platform and help users feel empowered with the audience they are sharing their content to – which as we know can be an issue on Twitter with the somewhat toxic nature of trolls that plague not just Twitter but all public social platforms.