Every 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 cover Meta’s battle in UK court over the acquisition of GIPHY, Nielsen’s Annual Global Report, and Snapchat’s NFT x AR Experiment.
UK Court Takes On Meta Over GIPHY Acquisition
Meta’s acquire of the GIF generation platform GIPHY has been flagged to the UK’s anti-trust regulator.
The deal, worth approximately $400 million, took place back in 2020 following Meta’s desire to incorporate GIF content via GIPHY into its various products, including their digital ads. However, that deal has since raised alarm bells in the eyes of the antitrust regulations, amid concerns that it would give Meta an unfair advantage in the UK’s digital ads market.
As GIPHY has its own intentions to curate digital ads, many felt that this would further strengthen Meta’s activity, expanding its already booming market presence to new extremes. As a result, Meta and the CMA (Company and Markets Authority) have been in ongoing court battles in the UK, causing the takeover to be put on hold.
In the latest development, the UK court system has rejected the CMA’s case, which will likely see Meta push forward to complete the acquisition and eventually merge GIPHY’s services into Meta products.
Nielsen’s Annual Global Report
Nielsen have released their Annual Global report, which found that advertisers have been underspending on their media plans. The conclusion came from a detailed analysis of 150,000 marketing ROI observations and a database of client-supplied media plans.
According to the report, 50% of planned media channel investments are too low by a median value of 50%. These channels include digital video, social and TV. Interestingly, the largest lack of investment came from digital video.
The report found that brands need to spend between 1-9% of their revenue to stay competitive. However, most brands are investing an average of 3.8% of their revenue.
The vice president of advertising analytics at Nielsen cited a couple of reasons why this might be the case. Firstly, brands are not spending enough to drive awareness and impact – resulting in low ROI. Secondly, brands see this as a a reason to spend less, when in reality increasing the ad spend would increase the ROI.
Nielsen also investigated emerging media channels by conducting studies that delved into podcast advertising, and both branded and influencer content.
In terms of aided brand recall, podcast integrations saw positive results of 71% , influencer content had 80% positive results and branded had the greatest impact with 82%.
Snapchat’s NFT x Augmented Reality Experiment
As social media platforms continue to develop NFT features, Snapchat are the latest to explore new ways for users to share digital artwork within the app.
According to the Financial Times, Snap (parent company of Snapchat) is looking into a new process that will enable users to convert owned NFTs into AR Lenses – which can then be inserted into Snaps.
Twitter was an early adopter of NFTs. The platform developed profile display options for users. Instagram followed by testing a whole new tab on profiles for NFTs, whilst Reddit has scattered its launch of various NFT projects.
Snap’s angle into NFTs makes sense considering AR Lenses are what the platform specialises in, and the platform is arguably a step ahead, leveraging the connection of NFTs in digital and physical worlds.
Snap is already forging ahead with digital items through the Bitmoji offering, which has already been cloned by Meta and its virtual clothing store.
FaZe Goes Public
The Los Angeles based gaming organisation has officially gone public. FaZe has merged with B.Riley Principal 150 Merger Group, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and debuted on the NASDAQ last week at $13 per share.
FaZe has raised $40 million from 28 investors since its inception, counting more than 85 members of pro gamers and content creators. The clan is best known for esport competition achievements and apparel projects with the likes of Champion, and signing celebrities such as Snoop Dogg.
This is a great example of how the esports space is moving forward, and how gaming orgs are bridging esports with lifestyle appeal to further the dominance of the sport.
YouTube’s New Creator Liaison
YouTube has announced that it’s appointing a new creator liaison, with tech YouTuber Rene Ritchie set to fulfil the role. Ritchie will assume the position following the departure of Matt Koval, another creator known for storytelling and filmmaking content.
Rene told his fans and followers in a YouTube video that he would soon be taking on the new role. As the new creator liaison, Rene will advocate for fellow creators and strive to help creators on the platform to better understand YouTube and what the platform can offer.
Ritchie suggested that alleviating things such as scams, burnout, comment spam and changing conversations away from algorithms to audience are all a part of his plans.
Instagram’s Searchable Map
The VP of Google has recently highlighted that social platforms are cutting into YouTube’s views, and Google’s map services. Studies from Google show that almost 40% of young people use TikTok or Instagram when searching for places to visit instead of Google Maps or Search.
Instagram has now launched a new searchable map feature, which enables users to see tagged locations around them, and filter those locations to suit their needs. Snap Map serves a similar purpose of finding nearby locations that the account owner, or friends of that account, have visited. Snap have also added a Ticketmaster integration to the map feature so that users can see local gigs.
The map feature on Instagram previously highlighted the locations where users had tagged posts. Now, Instagram’s map function is searchable, with added filters for types of businesses e.g. cafes, beauty salons etc. Users can also save places they’re interested in, and send locations to friends via direct message.
Meta’s New Subscriber-Only Feature
Meta is adding new subscriber-only features to encourage more users to support their favourite creators through subscriptions.
Subscriber Chats is expected to rollout soon. This feature will allow creators to host exclusive chat sessions of up to 30 people at a time. The chats will be powered by Messenger, bringing together Meta-owned apps.
Creators will be able to produce exclusive posts and Reels for subscribers, which sit on a separate tab on creator profiles and will be identifiable as a purple crown badge.
Meta has already added exclusive Stories and Live broadcasts in January. These latest features looks to retain a community of paying subscribers, whilst generating more subscribers through additional benefits. This can of course be likened to the systems in which OnlyFans and Patreon operate.
YouTube Develop New Creative Options Within Shorts
YouTube has updated creative options within Shorts to maximise usage. The first update is a new “cut” option, enabling creators to sample a small segment (1-5 seconds) from eligible content on the platform.
This sample will then be used as the intro to the Shorts clip, allowing creators to use popular videos as starting points of their content. An attribution link will also be added, connecting the original video sampled.
YouTube is also planning to expand the Shorts Green Screen feature to Android users as well as iOS.
Finally, YouTube is expanding Shorts drafts, allowing users to save as many draft videos within the Shorts creation flow – this was previously restricted to one draft at a time.
YouTube also highlighted its Shorts algorithm, explaining that some clips are served that were posted weeks/months ago as indicators show the user may now be interested in a certain type of video as it’s theme has since become popular e.g. picked up by the news etc.
YouTube Integrated Shopping
Following the lead from other platform such as TikTok & Instagram, YouTube is using partner company Shopify to expand its e-commerce capabilities. This comes after the platform announced the impending rollout of Shorts ads.
Creators will now be able to link their Shopify stores and display products within their content. This will enable creators to promote their products and merchandise by displaying products in the content itself, the video description or within live streams.
In addition to this, creators in the US will also be able to activate on-site checkouts which enables viewers to purchase seamlessly on YouTube, without having to leave the platform.
This is a greater push for YouTube building out their shopping capabilities to match other platforms. It is also to boost Shopify sales, as the platform has seen a decline since post-pandemic e-commerce began slowing down.
Twitter Adds New Spaces Prompts
Live audio rooms have suffered a platform-wide decline, apart from on Twitter it seems. The platform has been rolling out new ways to elevate the Spaces tool. These updates include Spaces buttons within the tweet composer and retweet flow.
Now, Twitter is testing a prompt to start a Space as a note at the bottom of the tweet reply composer, which is currently live for a handful of Android users.
The new options explore ways to get more people carrying on a conversation in a live audio format, with the original tweet added as the Spaces title.
Twitter is looking to make conversations more interactive, with Spaces attempting to maximise engagement in the app in real-time.
Spaces is getting a lot of attention by Twitter, but there is little evidence that accurately reports how impactful live audio has been since its launch.
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