Each week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry news round-up. This week we look at Instagram’s plan to stop trying to become TikTok, Mr Beast hits 100 million subscribers, Pinterest’s Q2 update, and much more!
Instagram Backtracks On TikTok Model Following Kardashian Pressure
21-year-old photographer and influencer, Tati Bruening, took to Instagram to voice her concerns over the platform’s push to be more like TikTok. After discovering her feed had been overloaded with recommended content, she decided to create a meme around the fiasco. What started out as a bit of fun has since turned into a wider initiative, channeling a Change.org petition with nearly 300,000 signatures, support from Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian and the scope of the internet.
The campaign named ‘Make Instagram Instagram Again’ has gathered so much traction that Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, has issued numerous responses. The head of Instagram has now stated the platform will take a step back from recommended content and its full-screen viewing experience.
However, at this point in time, a step back means Instagram will need to regroup and asses if they want to move forward following the user criticisms. This response is different to the one Mosseri released earlier last week, which confirmed Instagram would not pause the changes that were all based on usage trends.
Even Mark Zuckerberg stated that the amount of content served by AI recommendations to users will double over the next year. Meta released the insight that after launching its AI model for recommendations, there was a 15% increase in watch time in the Reels video player on Facebook.
So what does this mean for Instagram? At the moment, the AI recommendations on Instagram will be re-assessed but it seems the full-screen IG feed format may be phased out. Could the platform fully revert back to its former self?
Mr Beast Hits 100 Million Subscribers On YouTube
MrBeast has become the second individual YouTuber to hit 100 million subscribers. MrBeast reached this count on July 28th, while the creator was on a livestream. He joins an exclusive club of only two members to reach the landmark. Jimmy Donaldson (Mr Beast) and Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) are the only individuals to break the 100 million barrier.
MrBeast has been active on the platform since 2012, when he was just 13 years old. However, it wasn’t until 2018 when he tailored his content towards giving money to streamers that his audience began to grow exponentially.
The creator received a huge boost to his subscriber count when he supported PewDiePie’s surge to 100 million subscribers (the first individual to reach the 100 million milestone) through various stunts to promote PewDiePie’s channel in beating T-Series, an Indian record label, to surpass 100 million first.
To celebrate his own success, MrBeast is planning to release new merchandise during a shoppable livestream and release his most expensive video to date on August 4th.
Mr Beast is no stranger to surreal exposure through content. In fact, nearly every video he puts out manages to dominate YouTube’s trending tab. Ideas such as the recreation of Squid Game, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and events featuring some of the platforms top talent are examples of why Mr Beast possesses such a status.
Donaldson said in a recent interview that he hopes to continue to build his YouTube legacy over the next 20 to 30 years. If there is an individual that will continue to shatter YouTube’s subscriber records, you should put your money on it being Mr Beast.
Pinterest’s 2022 Q2 Update
Pinterest has published its Q2 2022 performance report, highlighting no growth in active users and its actual revenue figures that fall lower than the projected revenue intake – much the case of most social platforms Q2 reports.
Pinterest sits at 433 million monthly active users currently. During the pandemic, active users surged across the platform then appeared to decline as the world entered a post-pandemic landscape .
It appears the monthly actives figure is now stabilising, which is a positive sign for the platform. Pinterest has seen its biggest declines in Europe, particularly in areas where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had a range of impacts. Pinterest’s biggest growth was in the rest of the world category, including markets such as Latin America, India and Indonesia.
In terms of overall revenue, Pinterest is still improving, being 9% up year on year, earning $665 million in Q2 2022. Pinterest is growing its ad platform and improving functionality, which requires more investment – driving costs and expenses up. However, as the platform is constantly updating the UX and making the platform more shoppable, it stands to be one of the more powerful social commerce tools for brands, especially considering how many users utilise the platform for product discovery.
Stream Hatchet’s Streaming Creator Insights
According to a recent report from Stream Hatchet, 99 of the top 100 global streamers across Twitch are males. Only one female streamer featured on the list, that was the US glamour and beauty personality Amouranth.
In June, the State of Stream report by StreamElements showed further data that showed male creators breaking into VTubing, which was previously dominated by females. VTubing is a new form of live streaming. It enables creators to connect with their audiences via a new, interactive medium. Rather than being on camera, VTubers embody an avatar – a 2D or 3D character that viewers can interact with in a form of live action role play.
Data from Rainmaker.gg revealed that two male VTubers – Kuzuha and Kanae – ranked among the top ten most-watched personalities on YouTube Gaming. The most known female VTubers in the western market are Ironmouse and CodeMiko, who now rank lower than their male counterparts, highlighting this shift from female to male interest.
More data from the StreamElements reports revealed that Twitch is the preferred platform for Esports titles such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike. This is in terms of most-watched games, while the data shows that mobile games are more popular on YouTube Gaming.
Twitter’s Product Hikes
Following Twitter’s dismal Q2 earnings report, the platform has begun alerting users to a price increase of the Twitter Blue subscription product. Subscribers of creators via Twitter Blue will see a 67% price jump, without any new developments or updates to the feature.
Current Twitter Blue subscribers will not have to pay additional charges for a couple of months, but come October, subscriptions are expected to rise from $2.99 to $4.99.
This change may have been implemented when figures in the recent report showed that revenue from ‘subscriptions and other’ sources totalled $100 million in Q2 – a decrease of 36% year-on-year. However, subscriptions clearly haven’t taken off across the platform, so a price increase might not be the most beneficial alteration to help Twitter overturn its losses.
Hulu’s “The D’Amelio Show” Returns
Following the success of the first series of The D’Amelio Show, which saw Hulu follow the lives of the biggest TikTok creators Charli, Dixie D’Amelio and their parents. The show is returning in September, promising to dive beyond the surface of the D’Amelio family and their success, offering viewers a never before seen look at their lives.
Season one became Hulu’s most-watched unscripted show, despite IMDB revealing a number of negative reviews. TikTok illustrated the success with the official hashtag of the show achieving over 600 million impressions.
The show did a great job in season one of revealing the stress behind a creator’s lifestyle, Charli in particular, as she was put under the spotlight when overloaded with brand deals and battling negative comments across social.
The show provides a rare insight into influencer marketing, the genuine lifestyle of a creator and revelations of how social media can be extremely toxic and overbearing when someone has a huge following.
YouTube Develop Commercial Music Program
Only last week, Meta announced its Music Revenue Sharing program, and now YouTube is launching a similar program with a small number of creators.
YouTube is starting to experiment with ways to increase music options for creators, including the opportunity to access YouTube’s partners’ music, while still being able to monetise their content.
Similar to Meta’s program, music rights holders will receive a cut of revenue generated from creator content where licensed music was used. This step is a sign of a larger trend of the music industry shifting its stance on the use of music on platforms.
This new model would allow labels to monetise popular content that features licensed music, as opposed to pulling that content from the platform or forcing creators to remove any music that features in content.
YouTube Shorts Clipping Developments
In a bid to encourage more Shorts creation, YouTube have made it easier for creators to turn their long-form content into Shorts content. The long-form content previously shared from a creator can now be easily converted into one-minute long Shorts videos.
This process is the same as the normal Shorts editing process. After a clip from a creators previous video is chosen, that creator will then be able to edit the content as normal in the Shorts editing page. Any Shorts content created this way will link back to the creators original long-form video.
This is set to help drive traffic to a creators long form content and grow awareness of their content/channel. YouTube Shorts have proved difficult for creators to generate revenue from, in comparison to long-form content. This is due to the lack of monetisation features on the format. However, YouTube is now making it easier for viewers to watch the original long-form video and driving traffic to creators previous content means an increase in monetisation.
Snapchat’s Sounds Creator Fund
Snapchat has launched the Sounds Creator Fund, which seeks to help independent artists gain distribution and recognition on the platform through audio uploads.
Snapchat launched Sounds in 2020, allowing users to add music to their Snaps. This feature has quickly developed to make a number of audio tracks available through licensing agreements with numerous music labels.
To note, independent artists can upload their music to Snapchat through DistroKid, providing an avenue for exposure which will be enhanced with the new Sounds Fund.
Snapchat’s Sounds Fund will provide monthly grants of up to $100,000 for top Sounds creators who are distributing their tracks across Snapchat. Popular Sounds will also be available, and are expected to appear in Snapchat Lenses or in Spotlight – Snapchat’s TikTok competitor product.
Instagram, Facebook and other major platforms are upping their offerings for artists. Meta launched a partnership with DistroKid last year, allowing unsigned artists to make content available on Facebook and Instagram. TikTok has its ‘SoundOn’ feature which has a similar premise, as well as a distribution arrangement with UnitedMasters to promote aspiring performers.
TikTok Announces New Data Restrictions
TikTok has partnered with marketing analytics platform ‘Adjust’ to release a 31-page guide on how marketers can approach ads on the platform. This comes after Apple’s data privacy update has upended the ad industry on social due to less efficient ad targeting and restricted data usage.
Because of these changes, platforms have lost ad spend. Meta have predicted the update to result in around £10 billion revenue loss. Platforms are strategizing new ways to encourage ad spend through efficient targeting and reporting.
The guide breaks down the two performance tracking approaches in the wake of Apple’s update – either you get an opt in, and you can continue tracking insights as normal, or users opt out and brands will need to utilize Apple’s SKAdNetwork process.
SKAdNetwork enables advertisers to measure some campaign data, within certain privacy parameters.
The report runs through how to set up ad placements in light of new tracking process, optimal account set up for campaigns in light of new Apple restrictions and shares data on current opt-in rates by region and vertical to assist in ad planning.
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