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 Twitter losing top execs due to the Elon Musk takeover, YouTube investing big with live e-commerce and the co-founder of Twitch receiving a big investment on a new metaverse product!
Elon Musk Shuts Down Twitter CEO
Elon Musk has stated that his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter has been put on hold. Why? Well, it appears the billionaire is awaiting details that support Twitter’s claim that spam or fake accounts make up for less than 5% of Twitter’s total user base.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, headed to the social platform to offer up some information on Twitter’s current fake profile detection and removal process. Unfortunately, the information provided did not satisfy Musk who replied to the CEO’s Twitter thread with a poop emoji!
💩— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2022
In Parag Agrawal’s explanation surrounding bot accounts, the CEO highlighted it’s not easy to distinguish a bot from an authentic user. However, he continued to explain that Twitter is constantly updating systems and rules to remove spam, whilst avoiding suspending real users from Twitter.
According to Agrawal, Twitter suspends over half a million spam accounts every day. This is even before such accounts even appear on Twitter, as they fail to pass human verification challenges such as captchas. The Twitter CEO then went on to stand firm in the fact that under 5% of mDAUs are spam accounts. This is, of course, an estimation with a margin for error. At this point, Elon chimed in to question how advertisers know what they are getting for their money if the above remark is true!
A key issue up for debate was the fact Parag Agrawal stated in the same Tweet thread that no external researchers could estimate bots on the platform, which resulted in Elon’s now-infamous poop emoji and other bot researchers disagreeing with the statement!
Twitter Continues To Lose Staff
Three senior executives are leaving Twitter following Musk’s acquisition of the platform. It was only last week that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Twitter’s consumer product leader and head of revenue product were no longer required.
However, now more senior figures are leaving of their own accord, including the VP of product management, VP of Twitter Service and head of data science. It is suspected that more key leaders at Twitter will leave as Elon Musk plans a big shape up at Twitter.
YouTube Is Betting Big On Live Ecommerce
YouTube has just hosted its first Brandcast – an event where YouTube appeals to advertisers with fresh insights and announcements at the TV Upfronts. YouTube is looking to take advertiser spending from traditional TV to social by highlighting YouTube’s reach and viewership against TV!
At the event, YouTube stated the platform is looking for creators, viewers and brands to utilise live shopping – following the success of live commerce in markets such as China.
YouTube announced that this year will kick off live stream e-commerce objectives with the Beauty Festival, hosted by the head of fashion and beauty Derek Blasberg. The festival will also be supported by celebrity hosts including Hailey Bieber and Tracee Ellis Ross, as well as YouTube creator SSSniperWolf. This will mark the second Beauty Festival, an event that kicked off last year with the likes of Emma Chamberlain, Paris Hilton and Pharrell Williams.
The previous Beauty Festival was a live-stream event, however, this year the event will be a live and shoppable experience. There will be participating brand partners such as Glossier, who will leverage exclusive product drops and integrations.
The Beauty Festival is just the start, however. YouTube also announced new features such as allowing two channels to cohost a live shopping stream and a sponsored content-oriented tool called live redirects. Live redirects will allow creators to start a ‘shoppable’ live stream on their channel and redirect audiences to a brand’s channel.
Why Is ByteDance Hiring A&R Managers?
It appears TikTok is looking to hire Artist & Repertoire Managers (A&R) to handle talent scouting and development within the music sector, in order to develop its music distribution service SoundOn.
Interestingly, the markets SoundOn was initially launched in are in fact the same areas that ByteDance (parent company of TikTok) is looking to hire A&R Managers. These markets include the U.S, UK, Brazil and Indonesia.
According to the job posting for the U.S role, which would be more specially located in L.A, the new hire will ensure artists see ByteDance as the #1 partner for artist development, promotion and monetisation. It appears the job role will operate very similar to a traditional record label role, supervising the production of records and overseeing aspects of the recording process.
This latest development within the TikTok ecosystem comes at a time of rising tensions between record companies and the platform. Therefore, the investment in A&R teams with the SoundOn program will certainly help with expansion and independence from other labels, simultaneously continuing to revolutionise the music industry!
To find out more about how TikTok has impacted the music industry read our blog on the topic!
Co-Founder Of Twitch Moves In On The Metaverse
The co-founder of Twitch, Kevin Lin, decided to leave the company in 2020 and has since set his eyes on a Web3 venture.
Lin is the founder and CEO of Metatheory, an interactive technology and entertainment company building Web3 games, interactive content, social experience and other community-driven adventures. Metatheory aims to build a new virtual world through audience-driven story development whilst integrating gameplay and digital ownership.
Metatheory launched last year with its first game Duskbreakers, which utilised a “play to mint” model that rewarded gamers with NFTs. Now Metatheory has raised a $24 million Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The VC firm previous made a huge investment in the blue-chip NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, so it no doubt sees the value in investing in Web3 projects early!
Bryce Hall Announces Return to Boxing
Bryce Hall made his boxing debut fighting Austin McBroom, the YouTuber of the ACE Family channel. The match between Hall and McBroom occurred in 2021 as part of Social Gloves’ Battle of the Platforms event – which ended in catastrophe when fighters and staff did not receive any promised payment!
Now TikTok star Bryce Hall will be returning to boxing with a fight this summer. It has yet to be revealed who he will be fighting but fans have been speculating on various prospects. Fans have also been assuming that Bryce’s next fight will be part of the same event headlined by either KSI or Jake Paul!
Should You Use A Link Sticker On Instagram?
A senior social media marketing manager at Hootsuite conducted an experiment with her team to analyse the impact of using link stickers within an Instagram Story. Link stickers allow accounts of any size to share clickable URLs to external sites. However, in the past, creators and brands have suggested that the process of adding actions to take users off Instagram has negatively impacted Story performance, specifically reach.
Link stickers prompt users to leave the platform rather than directly engage with content. As a result, many have seen differing results when comparing metrics such as reach, reactions and replies on content without and those with external links
Throughout the investigation that occurred over a three-month period, the most shared replies and highest reach achieved for Instagram Stories generally came from those that did not utilise external link stickers.
If website traffic is your overall goal then using the link sticker makes sense. However, using interactive features that encourage engagement and spark conversation between influencers and brands can achieve greater results/performance metrics.
YouTube’s New Original Projects From Black Voices Fund
YouTube has announced new original projects from its Black Voices Fund. Interestingly, YouTube ended a number of original content in January 2021, apart from projects funded by the Black Voices Fund and YouTube Kids Fund – both of which were established in 2020. Each fund has $100 million to invest in relevant creators to support projects.
The first project as part of the Black Voices Fund is a roundtable discussion called Recipe for Change which will feature episodes such as “Amplifying Black Women,” “Stop Asian Hate” and “Standing Up to Antisemitism.”
A number of famous hosts will be included in the episodic content including Mary J Blige and Saweetie, along with chefs and famous dinner guests.
Additional projects include Marques Brownlee’s Retro Tech and a Nelson Mandela documentary. All content appears to be released in 2022 and stands as the platform’s ongoing commitment to diverse perspectives on YouTube.
TikTok Adds Tool To Credit Original Trend Creators
TikTok has been criticised for failing to credit trend originators. But TikTok is now rolling out tools to fix the issue, which is important considering Instagram has recently developed its collaborator tools.
TikTok’s new tool will see a process that allows creators to directly tag, mention and credit a video in the content description. The aim here is to avoid creators feeling like their ideas are being ripped off and credited to others who have simply replicated and participated in a rising trend across the platform.
Once a creator has finished filming or creating their video they can tap on the new “Video” icon to add video tags. At this point, creators will be presented with the option of content they have liked, favourited, posted or one that has the same sound you’ve used on your clip. The tag will then be seen as a mention in the caption.
To strengthen the crediting process, the platform has also added user prompts to remind users about crediting during the posting process, highlighting the benefits and importance of attributing content to the original creator.
Twitter’s Super Follower-Only Spaces
Content monetisation has been a huge focus for social platforms this year. Twitter is no exception to this, with the platform rolling out a number of features that allowed creators to monetise content including “Super Followers” and “Tips”.
Twitter’s “Super Follower” feature is a subscriber-only monetisation option that is now getting an update that links to Twitter Spaces – the platform’s Clubhouse competitor product. Twitter is rolling out Super Follower-only Spaces for select creators that offer subscriptions.
This new tool has the potential to help creators build communities more effectively through live discussions with paying subscribers. Interestingly, followers who aren’t paying subscribers will still see broadcasts when shared, but will be prompted to become a Super Follower to unlock access.
Twitter hasn’t released stats on Super Follower usage, but an earnings report by the platform did reveal that $94 million was brought in from subscriptions and other revenue, including data licensing in Q4 – which in context to revenue growth, marked a 31% decline year on year. Clearly, this option is yet to impact Twitter’s revenue positively due to the difficulty of getting users to pay for a service they have previously experienced for free.
Twitter Tests New Author Interaction Tags
Twitter is testing new tweet labels, including a new in-stream label that shows when an author of a tweet has liked a reply. In addition, Twitter is also highlighting author replies through alternative text colours and a microphone icon.
Labelling author engagement is standard across Linkedin and now Twitter is testing similar functionalities to provide further context on who is engaging with content.
The end goal is to increase engagement across the app, which could serve as a useful tool for community building and incentivise others to interact with more high profile accounts.
However, all these changes come in the wake of Elon Musk’s criticism about the platform including a high number of bots, and inactive celebrity… accounts, among other things.
Read more about Elon Musk’s bid to take ownership of Twitter!
Is Instagram Updating Its Stories UI?
Instagram appears to be testing a new Stories UI that hides content after a certain number of frames. The appearance of Stories in this test essentially allows the viewer to see the first three frames with a prompt in the top left to “Show all”.
This update if chosen for a full rollout will significantly impact the performance of Stories, especially those creating longer frame sequences! However, this test could feed into Instagram’s aim of consolidating formats into a singular content stream. At present Stories don’t appear to work if combined with Reels and posts due to the fact Stories could contain a huge sequence of frames. This new test would help edit down Story content to create a more snappy and engaging user experience.
Instagram has confirmed the test and stated that this test is only present for a small percentage of users. However, this will no doubt disrupt content marketing strategies for brands and creators should it move beyond testing!