BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #24: FACEBOOK’S NAME CHANGE, SIDE+ APP STORE SUCCESS AND THE LATEST INSTAGRAM UPDATES

In this week’s edition of the Industry Round Up, we break down what we know about the Facebook name change, whilst also covering topics such as Steam banning NFTs and The Sidemen’s new app success. We also highlight the key platform updates, with a focus on Instagram – who appear to be making a number of developments this week for both creators and marketers!

The Facebook Name Game

Facebook is reportedly set to re-brand through a name change in the near future. The change will supposedly reflect Facebook’s shift towards the metaverse.

As Per The Verge: 

“The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more.”

Interestingly, it has been reported that Zuckerberg’s philanthropic group now has the rights to domains such as met.com and meta.org, implying that this new name change could be ‘Meta’.

Steam Bans NFTs 

Steam, the video game distributor, has banned NFTs and all games selling cryptocurrencies on the platform. Developers were alerted to the move, which stated that Steam is kicking off all blockchain games due to the fact NFTs have value and Steam does not allow items that can have real-world value on the platform. 

Games impacted include Age of Rust, which allows players to buy out-of-game NFTs to unlock missions to collect in-game NFTs. This is an interesting move since most social platforms are looking at ways to integrate the blockchain and NFTs into their ecosystem. 

Side+ App Store Domination

YouTube supergroup The Sidemen, officially launched their subscription-based platform Side+, which houses exclusive content for fans as part of a £6.99 monthly subscription. However, in more recent news, the app has climbed the App Store charts, reaching #1 in Entertainment and #5 in the entire store as of the 19th of October. 

This move from the group showcases how creators are utilising subscription models to more effectively monetise their content away from the likes of YouTube – which has been known to be an unreliable source of income due to the complexities of monetisation on the platform. As a result, more creators are branching out to platforms such as Patreon, OnlyFans, or in the case of the Sidemen, building their own subscription-based platform.

TikTok’s Most Influential Creators 

TikTok has released the first annual Discover List, highlighting the top 50 influential creators on the platform. The list splits into multiple categories including Icons, Innovators, Foodies, Changemakers and Originators. Some creators featured on the list include Bella Poarch, Brittany Broski, Billy Yue and Alexis Nelson. 

The list was compiled by the platform’s community team, who nominated creators and ranked according to engagement, views, content output, account growth – among other metrics. The list also highlighted original creators of viral trends and ensured the celebration of diverse voices on the platform.

Bella Poarch x HyperX

TikTok star turned musician, Bella Poarch, has been named as the new ambassador for HyperX – the gaming gear division of HP. This is a huge partnership for HyperX, as the creator is the 4th most followed creator on TikTok and one of the most successful artists to launch a music career off the back of TikTok success. 

As part of the collaboration, Bella will be featured in ads for upcoming products, whilst also receiving free gaming products such as headsets, mice and keyboards. 

Additional creators who are ambassadors for the brand include, a few FaZe clan members (gaming organisation) and footballer Juju Smith-Schuster, skateboarder Minna Stess and various other sporting individuals – showing the brand branching away from just the gaming vertical to sport and creative verticals.

Instagram Stories Updates 

Instagram is testing longer videos in Stories, allowing videos that are up to a minute longer be cut down into smaller segments. This will allow users and creators to upload full Reels clips to Stories – which was extended in duration to 1 minute back in July. 

Instagram is also testing an option that redirects users to full Reels clips from Stories when sharing Reels to Stories. This is seen through a CTA in the top left-hand of the story frame, directing users to the video playing within the Reels tab, which when vertically swiped leads you on to recommended Reels in an immersive screen experience.

This is part of Instagram’s broader objectives of shifting the app to a video-based platform, shifting the user experience more in line with that of TikTok.

Instagram’s New Data Analytics 

Instagram is updating its Insights element for business and creator profiles to include more information on who is engaging with content through accounts engaged and engaged audience metrics, covering demographic information and if they follow the account in question. Instagram is also adding a reached audience metric, which will be similar to engaged audiences, showing demographic insight on who you’ve reached in a specific time period. 

This comes off the back of further additions to Instagram insights, which include more data on top-performing content formats and information on accounts reached, split into followers vs non-followers. Furthermore, Instagram is looking to add a new data-sharing ability, enabling creators to see insights data available to a business on brand/creator partnerships – which has in the past been limited on the creator’s side.

Instagram’s Desktop Developments 

Instagram has announced that it is adding image and video posting from desktop, this will come into play this month. The new functionality will not include Stories or Reels, but photos and videos of less than one minute in length. The update will provide a centralised way for social media managers to post across various platforms, avoiding saving images to phones to then upload.

This functionality was tested some months back, but will now be accessible for all users globally. This update joins the ability to view live streams and improved Instagram Stories viewing on desktop.

Instagram’s Collabs Developments 

Instagram has been testing Collab posts for some time, but the platform is now allowing more users to use the feature on feed posts as well as Reels. Users can choose to collaborate with another account on the tagging screen in the post composer. The other users are then alerted to the request to collaborate, which will then simultaneously post the content on both Instagram accounts. 

Instagram has noted that this feature is not like a Brand Partnership post, but an option in app to tag friends and maximise post exposure – much like TikTok’s Duet option.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency