BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #1: TIKTOK HAS A NEW CEO, SNAPCHAT ROLLS OUT NEW ORIGINAL CONTENT AND MORE…

In the latest edition of the Industry Round Up, we explore the controversy of Instagram for kids, delve into the world of influencers creating their own talent agencies and check-in with the latest platform updates!

Headline News From The Social Space

Shou Zi Chew TikTok CEO

TikTok Gets A New CEO

TikTok has now named Shou Zi Chew as their new CEO. Chew was previously the CFO of ByteDance, and before joining the ByteDance team, was president of international at Xiaomi – an electronics company in Beijing.

Vanessa Pappas has also moved into the position of COO at TikTok. She took on the role as interim CEO when Kevin Mayer resigned last year and was previously at YouTube as Global Head of Audience Development and Global Head of Creative Insights.

Mark Zuckerberg Is Under Pressure To Drop Instagram For Kids

Not too long ago, BuzzFeed News reported that Facebook was working on an Instagram for kids, allowing those under the age of 13 to create an account on a child-friendly version of the popular app. Interestingly, there is already a Messenger for Kids, which has some seven million monthly active users, in 70 different countries.

However, since the news broke, there has been a call to drop the idea by 44 US attorney generals. The fear is that access to a platform like Instagram could open the doors to a place where cyberbullies and predators can easily communicate with young children.

There are also numerous studies that show exposing children to social media negatively impacts their physical and emotional health.

Facebook’s defence is that an Instagram for kids will provide more parental controls, zero advertising and be informed by privacy and child safely experts.

However, the risk is that an adapted social media platform for the younger population still has multiple risk factors and probably should be avoided until the children are older.

News From The World of Influencers

Snapchat Originals

Snapchat Announces Some Exciting New Original Content

Snapchat has announced a line up of new original content which will include:

Charli Vs Dixie, which involves content around the D’Amelio sisters going head-to-head in a series of challenges

Off The Leash, which will be hosted by Megan Thee Stallion, featuring celebrity guests and their pets

Coming out, a show with Manny MUA following six people and their stories of coming out to friends and family

It won’t stop there, Snapchat is planning on releasing even more original content. Why? Well according to Snapchat, the decision in 2018 to focus on original programming was the “biggest achievement” in driving traffic to the Discover Feed. Snapchat released some interesting statistics that revealed at the tail end of 2020, “85% of the U.S. Gen Z population tuned into at least one of its 128 original shows. In addition, across the whole year, more than 400 million people watched Snap’s original programming shows from its publisher partners.”

‘A Little Late With Lilly Singh’ Wraps Up

Lilly Singh, like Liza Koshy, were part of the early wave of YouTubers that successfully ventured into opportunities within mainstream media 

Lilly started her career as a YouTuber and amassed nearly 15 million subscribers. In 2019 she was named the host of NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh.

After two seasons, the show has now wrapped up… but Singh isn’t leaving NBC! She has signed a first-look production deal with its parent conglomerate, NBCUniversal.

The deal will see Lilly Singh, through her production company, develop scripted and unscripted projects for NBCUniversal’s Television Alternative studio. Reportedly, Singh is also working on a Netflix comedy series.  

This move, according to Lilly, will allow her to make longer-form content telling underrepresented stories, which has been her career goal since developing a large following on YouTube and finding mainstream success.

From TikTok To Sports Agency Founders

TikTok creators, Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson have launched a sports agency named CrossCheck Sports. The agency will sign basketball players, which will be led by agent, Zachary Charles.

The agency will be responsible for negotiating employment and endorsement contracts with branding and marketing support. Josh Richards is a creator consistently looking into new opportunities, such as a podcast with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, becoming the co-founder of TalentX Entertainment and launching a VC firm, Animal Capital, with Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck.

YouTuber, Tana Mongeau made a similar move recently, launching her own talent agency called ‘Tana’s Angels Agency’, with her own manager also being cited as a co-founder. In addition to this, we’ve seen the likes of Jake Paul and Austin McBroom launch businesses that sold the success of becoming an influencer through a subscription-based platform. These are just some of the examples where influencers are leveraging their own experiences in building an audience and brand to create new and exciting businesses.

What Is Happening With Platforms?

Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Clubhouse Finally Launches Android App

The Android version of Clubhouse is now available in beta. As explained by Clubhouse: 

“Clubhouse for Android will start rolling out in beta immediately, we will begin gradually, with the United States, then the rest of the world. Our plan is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly”

There will also be some limitations of the Android app at launch. These include, but are not limited to, the inability to create or manage clubs, update names or usernames in-app. And at the time of writing this article, Clubhouse for Android has now launched in the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ through the Google Play Store.

However, the question remains – is this is too late? Twitter Spaces appears to be well ahead in bringing a similar product to the masses, plus Clubhouse still remains invite-only. With all this investment, it will be interesting to see if Clubhouse has longevity in the market against big players such as Facebook and Twitter.

YouTube Shorts Launches $100 Million Fund To Pay Creators 

YouTube, much like TikTok and Snapchat, have announced a creator fund, which will see creators of popular short-form videos get paid throughout the year. 

YouTube Shorts’ Director of Global Partnerships said the following: 

“Each month, we’ll reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions.”

The fund is comparable to TikTok’s $1bn creator fund, incentivising creators to make great content to ensure talent retainment and on-platform engagement. What is great about this fund is the fact it won’t be limited to creators in the YouTube partner program, who already receive Adsense from videos and other monetisation options.

The fund will be available for creators in the US & India – until the feature expands into more markets.

Facebook Launches Neighbourhoods 

Photo from: Facebook

An initial test was first released in Calgary last year. Now the tool will be released in regions across Canada. Facebook states that the platform is often used to connect with neighbours, support local businesses and prompts user recommendations from local groups.

Local communication and connection was a huge priority throughout the pandemic, and Facebook Neighbourhoods facilitates this as a separate element within Facebook, as local communities can connect through a Neighbourhoods profile.

What is interesting is the fact Neighbourhoods has a local business recommendation feature, allowing neighbours to vote on businesses and places in the area.

The idea of Facebook Neighbourhoods can usher in a move of more localised marketing, reaching people who live in local communities to promote hyper-relevant businesses or services, based on nearby locations.

Competitor Nextdoor is another local connection app that has picked up popularity during the pandemic. Nextdoor had an 80% increase in users in the early months of the pandemic, with a need to connect to local communities being greatly needed.

Discord’s New Stage Discovery Portal

Discord is a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), instant messaging and digital distribution platform, where users can form communities and communicate with voice and video calls, as well as text messaging and multimedia sharing in private chats or servers.

The platform now wants to make it easier to find interest-specific communities. The voice event room feature that Discord rolled out was the starting point, now the platform is looking to highlight these voice event rooms through a Stage Discovery portal – a way for users to connect with new communities through live audio events.

Soon servers will be able to list public events, allowing anyone to drop in.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency