We’ve pulled together the latest news from the social space in our weekly Industry Round Up. Explore the top headlines below and get up to speed with the latest news!
MrBeast Team Seas Donation Drive Breaks $30 Million
MrBeast recently shared that he had hit his goal of removing 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean after raising $30 million in donations from fans and creators.
In October 2021, MrBeast teamed up with Team Seas with the aim of removing rubbish from the world’s oceans. Within three months, Team Seas has hit the goal thanks to over 600,000 donations. Team Seas has shared that there is more to come in 2022, with future plans of expanding and implementing more ocean clean ups around the world.
KSI & Logan Paul Launch ‘Prime’
KSI & Logan Paul, known for their rivalry in the boxing ring, have come together for a business venture, launching a beverage brand named ‘Prime’. To announce the partnership, the two creators went live on Instagram which led many to speculate a third boxing match was on the cards – which was not the case.
During the live announcement, which reached a peak of 540,000 concurrent viewers, the creators revealed the new energy drink brand will be made available at Walmart, Target, Kroger, CVS, GNC, Ralphs, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Tesco.
David Dobrik Hasn’t Made Money From YouTube in Four Years
David Dobrik has recently claimed that he hasn’t made any money from YouTube in four years. The creator stated that due to not locking his content behind a paywall, he hasn’t monetised his content across the platform. Dobrik believes his content should be free which is why, despite the 18 million subscribers on his main channel, he is still not making good money from YouTube.
In a podcast on January 2nd, 2022 Dobrik shared this news with viewers which may be surprising for many to hear. “I was thinking about that the other day. For the people who don’t know, I haven’t made a dollar off YouTube in like three to four years,” said Dobrik. He also shared that he thought of moving to a paid platform and eventually decided against it. So for now, Dobrik will be sticking with YouTube for his Vlogs, allowing everyone to access the content.
H&M Opens Metaverse Store
The fashion retailer H&M has reportedly been developing its first metaverse store, helping customers to purchase digital products and find fashion inspiration through a virtual experience. The new immersive digital store was supposedly developed by Ceek – who specialize in VR and AR and will be located in ‘Ceek City’, which houses other stores and virtual experiences. However, H&M has since denied a launch of a virtual store – with the store only being a concept presented to the retailer by Ceek.
However, this does speak to an overarching trend of other fashion retailers venturing into the metaverse, which include the likes of Nike and Zara. Nike has even gone as far as to purchase a company that develop digital shoes. Clearly, fashion brands are taking the metaverse very seriously, all racing to solidify digital and immersive experiences for existing and new customers – creating a new way to market and sell products to consumers.
HBO Max Tops U.S Streaming App Download Chats
According to Apptopia’s annual list of most downloaded apps, HBO Max ranked tenth of most downloaded apps – the only subscription streaming service to make the top ten in the U.S.
This is significant as Netflix and Disney+ did not rank high on the list – which is surprising as these two services would be expected to dominate the market share. According to Apptopia, HBO Max achieved 45 million downloads in 2021, ahead of Netflix at 38 million and Disney+ at 37 million downloads. However, if we look at global download charts, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video ranked above HBO Max.
Ready Player Me Raises $13 Million
Ready Player Me is a company that produce virtual avatars and cosmetics that users can utilise within various metaverse worlds. The company is named after the novel and film ‘Ready Player One’, which showcases a world where everyone is living through a virtual game – the first iteration of the metaverse which every platform is now desperate to develop!
Ready Player Me is reaping the rewards of all the excitement around the metaverse as the company has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round.
According to Ready Player Me, the avatar system is being used by more than 900 companies including Verizon and VRChat – with the aim to allow users to utilise the same avatar across multiple virtual worlds and support companies developing such worlds. The next step for the company is a focus on virtual fashion, selling digital clothing and NFTs. Ready Player Me to that end has already commenced partnerships with the likes of New Balance and Dior.
Live Shopping Startups Face Competition in 2022
Live shopping startups in the U.S have found early success as live commerce has risen in popularity at the end of 2021 – following the huge success of the format in markets such as China and Southeast Asia. Players such as NTWRK, Whatnot and Firework are Livestream providers that have secured large fundraising rounds in the past year.
However, huge tech giants have also quickly moved in on live shopping with Meta, TikTok and YouTube all testing live shopping experiences on their respective platforms. Of course, these large platforms are able to tap into their huge user base and creator networks to dominate, causing upset for startups. The solution for these startups is developing new and exciting features and expanding offerings – but no doubt the tech giants will copy what is working and will quickly integrate it into their own live shopping user experience!
According to Coresight Research, the U.S Livestream commerce market is estimated to hit $25 billion by 2023 – showing the huge opportunity of this new format to market and sell products to a consumer online.
What To Expect From Instagram in 2022
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, recently went on Instagram to discuss what is ahead for Instagram in 2022. What was evident in 2021 was Instagram looking to replicate the same success TikTok had with short-form video – with Instagram essentially integrating any new feature TikTok developed into Reels.
According to Mosseri, it looks like Reels will continue to be a point of focus, along with the consolidation of video. Instagram is also looking to double down on controls and to enhance messaging on the platform, as well as a focus on creators and transparency on the platform. Creator monetisation also appeared to be a key focus for 2022 – which for a lot of platforms will be a priority as they look to maintain top creators to continue high quality and diverse content delivery.
Twitter Tests New Topic Bar
In an effort to better the user experience and encourage engagement, Twitter has begun testing a new topics bar. The topic bar aims to engage users by highlighting relevant and current conversations taking place on the platform. The new feature will be located on users home page above their feed.
The platform is aiming to aid tweet discovery by suggesting tweets that may interest the user based on their past activity on the platform. The feature is set to help users engage in conversations on the platform, resulting in a more engaging and relevant experience for the user.
Twitter Tests Option To Restrict Spaces Access
Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor feature Spaces, is having a new option tested that allows hosts of live audio rooms to restrict who can join, allowing the opportunity for private conversations on the app.
The new option will provide two options, to limit a Space to those that have been invited by the host or those the host has as followers a.k.a ‘Tweeps’.
This feature could be a great way for brands to engage loyal customers or brand advocates as well as for growth strategies, leveraging FOMO from users on the platform who won’t be able to join specific audio chats. Twitter in the past year has certainly developed the Spaces feature, even finding ways to highlight and push audio content on the platform through a dedicated tab and notifications to ensure users know when key Spaces are happening. However, the recommendation and discovery of live audio formats of interest through an algorithm is still a pain point for live audio platforms and tools due to the real-time nature of this type of content.