BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #22: THE SQUID GAME EFFECT, TIKTOK AND NFTS AND THE TWITCH DATA LEAK

This week we cover some of the biggest headlines across social including the Twitch data leak, Facebook’s biggest outage to date and how Squid Game is blowing up social. We also break down the latest influencer news, including how TikTok is utilising some of the biggest creators on the platform for an NFT drop.

The Facebook Outage 

Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp experienced global outages earlier this week, causing social media users to flock to Twitter. This was the largest outage for Facebook due to the sheer volume of people impacted. 

Facebook confirmed the outage was caused during a routine update to the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) records.

What followed the outage was users posting memes and social media managers taking the opportunity to take a stab at creating the next viral tweet. Twitter seemingly had one of the winners…

The Squid Game Effect 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the last few weeks, then you would have seen your social timelines filled with the South Korean Netflix release, Squid Game. The show is on track to become the most popular show ever.

The impact of the Squid Game is dominating social conversations and making the actors social stars. Actress Jung Ho-Yeon gained 14.6 million Instagram followers since the show got released! 

The show is even having a huge impact due to the costumes. Green and white tracksuits became an instant bestseller shortly after the release of the show, whilst white slip-on Vans saw a 7,800% spike in sales – according to data provided by Sole Supplier. White slip-ons have also seen a 97% uptick in search volume according to Lyst.

Facebook’s Steep Decline Among Younger Users 

Facebook has been at the centre of news lately due to documents leaked by a former Facebook staff member. In the latest revelation, Frances Haugen (the former Facebook employee) has stated “Facebook has failed to disclose internal data showing a contraction of the user base in important demographics, including American teenagers and young adults. The company has also hidden the extent to which content production per user has been in long term decline.”

How Patreon Is Utilising Its Latest Funding Round 

Patreon, the popular subscription platform, recently raised $155 million in venture funding and is now investing this into original programming. This marks one of the first subscription platforms to invest in original content, with reports that Patreon will work with podcasters, gamers, YouTubers and celebrities to produce exclusive content. 

This shift to original programming will hopefully set the platform above an increasingly crowded market, with the likes of OnlyFans and Substack being significant competitors.

The Creator-Owned Brand Cloak

Cloak is a brand founded by YouTubers Markiplier and Jacksepticeye, with streamer Pokimane later becoming a co-owner. In the latest collaboration, Cloak has teamed up with creators Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, who have been active on YouTube for more than 10 years and are best known for the series “Good Mythical Morning”.

The collection is inspired by late-night gaming and mythical creatures, and has already sold out of most product lines – with little hope for a restock due to the collection being labelled as “ultra-limited edition”. 

TikTok’s NFT Collection With Top Platform Creators 

TikTok is jumping into the world of NFT’s with a collection of “TikTok Top Moments videos” and additional limited edition NFTs – curated by top TikTok creators. The NFT project will live on the Ethereum blockchain and be exchanged via Immutable X. The NFT collection will be available from October 6th through weekly auctions. 

The creators involved in the project include Lil Nas X, Bella Poarch, Curtis Roach, Brittany Broski, FNMeka, Jess Marciante and Gary Vaynerchuk, with the platform also partnering with NFT artists.

How Snapchat Is Looking To Maximise Engagement 

Snap is adding various tools to increase engagement metrics on the platform. Firstly the platform is launching “Spotlight Challenges”, providing cash prizes for users who post the best videos. This feature will help drive specific trends on the platform – similar to the environment on TikTok, whilst offering monetary incentives for creators. 

Snapchat is also expanding virtual gifting options to all creators who have a “Snap Star” profile – which is a level up from a creator account. The aim of virtual gifting is to allow users to gift their favourite creator and get prioritized story replies. Users can see when creators open their gift, while the creator can reply back or share the gifters reply on their public story.

Instagram Testing Likes On Stories 

Instagram is testing an additional engagement option on Stories, in the form of a like button. Currently, users can engage with a Story through a quick emoji, text response and sharing and forwarding.

App researcher, Alessandro Pauluzzi, spotted the live test, which will offer a new engagement option that won’t cause a creator’s inbox to fill up with various reactions.

IGTV And In-Feed Videos Have Been Combined Into One Format

Instagram is ditching IGTV and combining this format with In-feed video, this consolidation will be found in a “video tab” on users’ profiles. The videos will be both short and long-form and will allow users to enter a full-screen option. After watching videos in this tab users can decide to keep scrolling to discover suggested videos, or exit and continue viewing the feed.

The IGTV app will remain the same, however, it will be renamed to “Instagram Video”, allowing users to edit their video and live content- excluding Reels.

YouTube Shoppable Ads Are Coming To TV Screens 

In the latest update from YouTube, one-quarter of logged-in users who watch YouTube videos on TV Screens now spend more time watching YouTube content through this medium over phones, tablets and computers. 

This is why YouTube is bringing shoppable ads to TV screens. The platform first debuted shoppable ads on mobile and desktop devices in June 2020. The TV addition will allow users to view shoppable ads and be directed to a URL at the bottom of the screen to continue shopping on the brand’s website from a desktop or mobile device. 

Twitch Data Leak

Twitch had 125 gigabytes of source code uploaded to the anonymous imageboard website, 4Chan. The leak included Twitch’s internal security tools, code related to proprietary software development kits and internal use of Amazon web services used by Twitch. 

Some further data released was information suggesting that an Amazon-owned Steam competitor may already exist, and the most notable data released was how much top Twitch streamers were paid out by the platform.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency