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 KSI and Logan Paul’s energy drink ‘Prime’ sponsoring a NASCAR team, YouTube Shorts Ads incoming and TikTok launching mini-games!
First Influencer Brand Sponsor NASCAR Team
Logan Paul and KSI’s energy drink Prime, has been extremely popular since its debut earlier this year. Upon launch, Prime Hydration flavours sold out immediately across the web and retail stores, showing the power of an influencer brand!
Now, Prime Hydration has become the first influencer-led brand to sponsor a NASCAR team. Xfinity Race car driver Tommy Hill will be driving a blue-raspberry Prime car during the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on May 28th 2022.
At present, the partnership appears to only be taking place during this one event, however, it will be interesting if Prime continue to build a presence among the NASCAR community in future races.
TikTok Sponsoring L.A. Pride Parade 2022
TikTok will be the presenting sponsor of the 2022 LA Pride Parade, which will march through Hollywood on the 12th of June 2022. In the lead up to the parade, TikTok will have a presence at a number of pre-parade festivities including the “Pride in the Park” concert, capturing backstage coverage.
During the parade, TikTok will have a float which will feature creators who were included in TikTok’s “pride trailblazers” list. The list launched in February and spotlighted fifteen LGBTQ+ creators including @brownnskinbarbi and @elliemedhurst.
TikTok’s head of education and philanthropy partnerships said the following in a recent statement:
“We’re honored to be partnering with LA Pride once again to bring the magic and joy of Pride to life with our TikTok community, alongside our allies and trailblazing creators”
FaZe Clan & Disney Announce Collaboration
Gaming organisation FaZe Clan has announced a year-long collaboration with Disney for apparel. FaZe and Disney will introduce a new version of the iconic Mickey Mouse character called “Mickey On The Grid”.
The new Mickey Mouse revamp will appear on new apparel that includes t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. The apparel was designed by FaZe Clan’s lead designer James Casper Vine and Creative Director Jay ‘JVY’ Richardson. The new collaboration is part of an ongoing expansion by FaZe into retail and consumer products. Looking to the future, the Creative Director of FaZe teased that additional Disney characters could be included in future drops.
Jack Dorsey Exits Twitter Board
The news of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover broke several weeks ago now, but there has yet to be much movement, with the deal supposedly on hold pending concerns that fake profile accounts have been inaccurately reported.
While Twitter has stood firm in the fact the deal is proceeding, Musk has stated that he was told 5% of Twitter’s user base is spam/bot accounts but it has since speculated this could be as high as 50%, and as a result, he doesn’t want to pay full price for the platform!
Now it appears another key player is leaving Twitter for good. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and previous CEO of Twitter, stepped down from his duties at Twitter in November 2021, however, up until now, he had remained on the board.
It was previously reported that Dorsey was planning to exit the board around this time to help Parag Agrawal transition into the position as the new CEO. However, following the developments of a Musk takeover, Dorsey has decided to depart, clearing the way for the billionaire to make significant changes at Twitter. In fact, many of Twitter’s senior execs have already moved on, meaning Musk for better or worse has lost a lot of experience from those who helped build the platform.
Big changes are on the horizon, so this story doesn’t end here, but Dorsey stepping down from the board certainly marks an end of an era for Twitter!
TikTok Moves In On Mini-Games
TikTok is launching in-app mini games… like we weren’t spending enough time on the app already! This was first reported by Reuters, who highlighted that TikTok has been testing games on the platform in Vietnam, which will reportedly feed into a larger gaming push.
The games featured within the app are simple HTML5-based apps which are developed by third-party developers and studios.
This is another element originating from the Chinese version of TikTok named Douyin. First, we had live-steam shopping and now gaming is reportedly pending. Games have been available across TikTok’s Chinese counterpart Douyin since 2019, so it makes sense that this has rolled out to TikTok.
This move diversifies the platform, as gaming can stand as a profitable avenue to bolster TikTok’s overall earnings through in-game ads – among other things. Read more about TikTok’s venture into gaming in our latest blog!
TikTok’s LIVE Subscription Program
The LIVE subscription program is launching on TikTok on May 26th 2022. This program will launch with select creators, enabling live-streamers in the app to generate revenue by sharing streams with a paying audience.
TikTok made the following statement:
“LIVE Subscription is an extension of our efforts to build diversified creator monetization opportunities that suit a range of creator needs. LIVE Subscription gives creators the opportunity to increase their earnings while continuing to grow their community and also provides engaged communities an opportunity to thank their favorite creators on a regular basis.”
Subscribers that pay the monthly fee will be awarded access to exclusive badges that are displayed next to their profile, customer emotes designed by the creator will be available to use during LIVE sessions, along with subscriber-only chats. All of the above features aim to enhance the personal connection between creator and follower.
This is an example of TikTok cherry picking what other platforms have found successful when monetising live content. TikTok’s new features in this update reflect what is already present with YouTube’s Super Chat and Facebook’s Stars program.
Instagram Receives A Refresh
You may have missed this but Instagram has refreshed its logo! This might not seem like a huge update but this actually speaks to a border design update for the platform.
As explained by Instagram:
“Today, we’re bringing new energy and purpose to our colors, typeface, logo and other brand elements with a refreshed visual identity. Our new system is designed to embrace continued evolution to help us create more immersive and inclusive experiences for our community.”
Instagram has updated specifically the Instagram logo background, becoming more vibrant, whilst rolling out a new typeface named “Instagram Sans”, reflecting the platform’s heritage and improving accessibility. Instagram partnered with language experts to adapt the typeface to global scripts including Arabic, Thai and Japanese.
The platform also launched a new layout and design system for its promotions. What this refresh really means is Instagram aims to appeal to different markets, expanding its user base and ensuring all global users feel represented!
Instagram’s Reaction Videos For Reels
Instagram is testing a new option that prompts users to “create a reaction video” when engaging with Reels content on the platform. The new feature was first spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi. A reaction option stands as a more accessible entry point for users to create Reels on the platform whilst acting as a valuable engagement tool.
This is yet another element swiped from TikTok as Instagram looks to maximise Reels creation. Instagram has already added a “Remix” option, replicating TikTok’s popular “Duet” feature, which allows Instagram users to reply to a comment with a Reels clip. Furthermore, Instagram is also testing a “Templates” option, making it easier for users to replicate specific sequences within another Reel.
This latest update seeks to enhance active engagements in the app, getting users to participate in trends and create more video content. This makes sense considering Instagram wants to be viewed as an entertainment platform!
When Is YouTube Launching Shorts Ads?
YouTube launched Shorts in 2020 to act as a competitor product of TikTok. In the years that followed, Shorts has become a popular format, bringing in over 30 billion views per day. However, this had pulled many eyes away from the longer video formats that have the monetary benefit of ad rolls. As a result, YouTube’s revenue has been slipping.
The solution is finding a way to monetise shorter formats and YouTube has been working overtime to do just that! CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki, hinted in a conversation with streamer Ludwig, that a new form of monetisation was coming to Shorts and its creators, stretched beyond the Shorts Fund. To note, the earliest form of monetisation for creators of short-form video content has been funds on platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube. However, as more creators become eligible for platform funds, smaller payouts have become the norm!
In recent updates, Google VP and general manager of ads Jerry Dischler, has said that Google’s video action campaigns and app campaigns will automatically extend to Shorts beginning the 24th of May. An ad-based revenue sharing program for creators has yet to be confirmed, but we can assume this will be the next step in the rolling out Shorts Ads. If successful this will mean YouTube won’t rely on a fund to incentivise creators to generate engaging content to bring new and old users to the platform to once again dominate the online video entertainment space!
Snapchat Integrates eBay Listings
Snapchat has a new integration with eBay that will allow users to share listings within Snaps. The integration enables a user who is viewing an item in the eBay app to share that product to Snaps and Snap Stories. The listings will then show up as a sticker that can be overlaid on Snap content.
Snapchat has reported that more than 142 million buyers shop on eBay globally and now Snapchat users can easily share what they’ve taken an interest in or what they are selling directly to where conversations occur with real friends.
This new integration could be a great tool for eBay sellers to promote listings across Snapchat, operating as an advertising tool to your connections on the app.
This latest move by Snap leans into an expansion of eCommerce capabilities to make the platform more shoppable. The platform has been working on a number of features as of late such as launching Bitmoji digital items, AR shopping tools and displaying Amazon product listings via the Snap Camera. Making the user experience across social more shoppable has been a key objective for the likes of Meta, TikTok and YouTube, so it makes sense that Snap is exploring new avenues to keep up with its competitors.
Twitch Is Ditching A Popular Feature
Twitch appears to be removing the popular rerun feature that allowed streamers to rebroadcast old streams, enabling creators to grow an audience even when they’re not online.
While reruns can be useful for streamers, the feature isn’t something creators love across the board as like anything a number of streamers have been taking advantage of the feature. For example, some creators will not properly state the content currently on the channel is a rerun and deceive viewers into thinking the streamer is live.
The removal of reruns essentially allows Twitch to focus its attention on live content like its original purpose, whilst listening to creators who have flagged the misuse of the feature.
Meta Advancing Digital Avatars
Meta is currently developing new technology that enables the creation of more customised digital recreations to reflect human movement more authentically. Meta is also working hard to make it possible for users to create fully realistic versions of themselves through its Codec Avatar tech!
Digital avatars stand to become a very important element of the metaverse, enabling users to truly be transported into a virtual realm to connect with real people. Avatars are also the door to digital clothing, allowing brands to create shoppable items that can be purchased in the metaverse and utilised for digital avatars. In fact, Snapchat has been working on such an idea through its integration of Bitmoji and partnerships with brands such as Ralph Lauren and Nike.
The ability to create customisations has long been popular across gaming platforms such as Fortnite and Roblox. In-game customisations have been key revenue drivers, with users having the ability to purchase digital outfits or ‘skins’ to better represent themselves in gaming environments. However, the metaverse expands on this, providing the opportunity for users to take customisations with them to different virtual experiences e.g. taking your avatar from a game to a work meeting in, let’s say, Horizon Worlds.
Meta Adds More Information To The Ad Library
Meta has a bad track record with data… flashback to the Cambridge Analytics scandal. However, since such scandals, Meta has looked to add transparency measures to show how different groups are using its systems. The Ad Library is a product of such aim, enabling anyone to see any ad running in real time by any Facebook/Instagram page.
Now, Meta is looking to enhance these tools by adding new information on how Pages are using social issues and electoral or political ads in their process. The updated Ad Library will provide an overview with specific information on how each advertiser is using sensitive targeting options, helping to spotlight any misuse.
Meta made the following statement:
“At the end of this month, detailed targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads will be made available to vetted academic researchers through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) environment […] Coming in July, our publicly available Ad Library will also include a summary of targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads run after launch. This update will include data on the total number of social issue, electoral and political ads a Page ran using each type of targeting (such as location, demographics and interests) and the percentage of social issue, electoral and political ad spend used to target those options.”
This is a much-needed transparency update and serves as a valuable tool for brands to analyse the tactics of their competitors!
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