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 the latest from creators including a new Twitch record-breaker and Bretman Rock’s return to MTV. We also explore if TikTok will get banned in the U.S and Instagram’s new AR features.
Creator Breaks Twitch’s Concurrent Viewership Record
The Barcelona- based creator named Ibai has broken Twitch’s concurrent viewership record during the Livestream of his boxing event. The previous record was held by TheGregf who streamed the launch of his own in-game Fortnite skin.
Ibai’s record-breaking moment on Twitch illustrates the continual rise of boxing across social. Ibai reached 2.4 million concurrent viewers on his boxing event stream, showing how creator boxing is bringing a new lease of life to the sport.
Interestingly, this was the second boxing event held by Ibai, the first being in May of 2021. However, the latest event certainly cemented the creator as a key player, accounting for more than 50% of traffic on Twitch during his Livestream.
Ibai currently sits at 11.1 million followers across Twitch, making him one of the most followed creators.
Khaby Lame Becomes Most-Followed TikTok Creator
Khaby Lame now sits at 144.9M followers, officially passing Charli D’Amelio, who reigned as the top followed creator for two years.
Bretman Rock Returns To MTV
Bretman Rock, a hugely successful beauty creator has continued to venture beyond social media, showing the potential of an individual in building a strong online community to leverage new business ventures.
Bretman has amassed over 18.3 million followers on Instagram, 8.7 million subscribers on YouTube and 14.2 million across TikTok. The creator’s likeability and strong fandom have led to huge brand deals with the likes of Crocs, Morphe and most recently becoming the creator director for Logitech.
In recent news, Bretman Rock is returning to MTV for season 2 of his digital show. The show will be hosted across MTV’s YouTube channel and promoted across the network’s other social channels.
This isn’t the first time MTV has tapped content creators to head up digital shows, with Tana Mongeau having a two-season show named No Filter! Bretman’s show is a continuation of Tana’s show under the MTV Following series. Bretman’s show will drop every Monday for six weeks on YouTube, standing as another example of the influence of the creator!
Jake Paul Vs Tommy Fury Deal Is Done
Jake Paul, YouTuber turned boxer and Tommy Fury, a boxer turned Love Island star are both set to fight each other on August 6th at Madison Square Gardens in New York.
The two have developed a bitter rivalry on social media and were originally scheduled to fight in December of last year. However, Tommy ultimately had to pull out due to injury.
The fight now looks to be locked in place and fans can start looking forward to a fiery promotion that is set to blow up across social in the coming weeks.
MrBeast’s YouTube Algorithm Conversation At VidCon
The most anticipated event at this year’s VidCon was a conversation between MrBeast and YouTube’s director of product management Todd Beaupré.
The talk was centered around explaining the YouTube algorithm. Creators and brands are notoriously obsessed with understanding and hacking platform algorithms. However, throughout the talk, both MrBeast and Todd Beaupré urged listeners to stop thinking about the algorithm and focus on their target audience.
MrBeast shared his own experience of content creation on the platform, explaining that most of his views actually come from non-subscribers and that creators shouldn’t freak out if their real-time analytics show subscribers aren’t engaging in a new video.
Despite, the caution of obsessing over the algorithm, the two did discuss the YouTube algorithm at length. Topics covered include the machine learning system behind the recommendation engine, how the user benefits from recommendations and key indicators that shape the algorithmic consideration process.
MrBeast stressed the importance of a test and learn process, achieved through a large output of content. Only through content testing can creators discover what works. MrBeast also stressed the importance of content adaptation, encouraging creators to be brave in experimenting with new formats to keep subscribers interested and attracting new viewers.
FCC Commissioner Calling For TikTok’s Removal
U.S FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr recently published an open letter to call for the removal of TikTok from Apple and Google app stores. The reason being a response to TikTok’s “pattern of surreptitious data practices”, relating to how the platform shares data with its Chinese parent company.
In the open letter, Carr states the following:
“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It’s not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”
Carr also points out that TikTok tracks search and browsing history, keystroke patterns and other metadata whilst accessing text, images and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard. TikTok however, did state that it removed the ability for the platform to track clipboard content.
The key concern here is that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok has the ability to utilise data as a surveillance tool in every market it operates in. Donald Trump has already tried to remove the app during his Presidency, but this failed due to a change in power. Could this latest voice in the matter, bring back the threat of TikTok’s removal in the US.
Only last week it was revealed all TikTok U.S user data was migrated to US servers, clearly, this move wasn’t satisfactory in ensuring the Chinese government has no access to data!
Pinterest Is Getting A New CEO
Pinterest has announced a change in leadership, with CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann stepping down and moving to a new position within the company. His replacement is reportedly a former Google Commerce Chief named Bill Ready, effective June 29th.
Ben Silbermann wrote the following:
“As you can imagine, this was a hard decision. So much of my heart belongs to Pinterest. I guess you could call it a founder’s love. And, when you care about something so much, the natural instinct is to hold it as tight as you can. But often, the most loving thing to do is let it go and watch it flourish in new ways.”
Silbermann will move to an Executive Chairman role, newly established for the co-founder, which will allow him to oversee the growth and development of the platform.
This is an important move by Pinterest, as it makes clear the intention for the platform’s future. Bill Ready will certainly utilise his expertise in e-commerce to ensure Pinterest becomes a leader in social commerce, strengthening search and purchase on the platform much as Google has done in recent years.
Instagram Opens Reels API Access
Meta has announced that it’s launching its Reels API, allowing third-party platforms access such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social.
This will be extremely useful for social media managers who will be able to use third-party tools to do things such as a report on analytics in a single dashboard and schedule and post Reels content.
As explained by Meta:
“Beginning tomorrow, June 28th, 2022, we will begin introducing Reels to several endpoints on the Instagram Platform. We are always looking to improve our content publishing and consumption experiences, whether people use Instagram natively, or via a third-party. After consistently hearing from our developer community that Reels is a top priority, we are excited to introduce Reels to a number of the endpoints that you may already be familiar with.”
This is another important step for Instagram in maximising the use of Reels, ensuring not only creators but brands can utilise third-party tools to ease the creation and posting of short-form videos across the platform.
Instagram Is Testing New AR Features
Instagram is testing new AR Stickers and text within the Stories format, getting users accustomed to placing digital objects into real-world content.
AR is something that Snapchat has long been the leader in when it comes to social, and the use of AR elements in real-world scenes actually launched across Snapchat in 2017 via World Lenses.
Instagram is adding AR elements to no doubt tap into the popularity of the technology across social, illustrated through the popularity of AR filters. However, AR elements within Stories will also ensure users can get more creative with their content.
Furthermore, Instagram is also looking to add NFT display options to the platform. As explained by Meta:
“For the first time, you’ll be able to display 2D NFTs you own anywhere you want using mobile AR. And when you do, you’ll experience an entirely new pride of ownership in those digital items because you’ll be able to see them and share them in the physical places you’re in every day.”
Instagram is starting with basic AR display and sharing, with the intention of leading to fully AR and 3D-native immersive NFTs, opening the doors to virtual items and more. This is all in preparation for the metaverse, where Meta is betting virtual objects will play an integral role in how users interact.
Why Meta Is Focusing On Spatial Audio Tools
Meta is not only looking at visual AR and VR tools to build the foundations of the metaverse but is now looking at spatial audio tools.
In order to establish more immersive experiences, Meta has concluded that the visual element is only one part of the puzzle. This is why Meta is looking at developing sound tools to accompany users through different experiences.
Meta has actually already experimented with the inclusion of sound in AR experiences through the Ray-Ban Stories glasses, which included open-air speakers to fully immerse wearers into digital environments. The same approach is going to be transferred to the metaverse.
This point was recently expressed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
“Getting spatial audio right will be one of the things that delivers that ‘wow’ factor in what we’re building for the metaverse. Excited to see how this develops.”
TikTok Launches Attribution Manager Tool
TikTok has launched a new Attribution Manager tool, allowing advertisers to set custom attribution windows within TikTok campaigns.
The new tool is available within TikTok’s Ads Manager and allows advertisers to customise attribution windows at the campaign level, ranging from “1 day to 28 days” when dealing with the click-through attribution window, and “off to 7 days” for the view-through attribution window.
This update improves the flexibility of measuring results depending on the brand. By default, TikTok attribution will show your 7-day click and 1-day view data based on TikTok Pixel or Events API responses. However, there will be limitations based on in-app tracking due to Apple’s privacy update, which gave users more control over app tracking tools.
But TikTok has already launched the ability to add first-party cookies to its site conversion pixel, allowing the tracking of site activity and attribution of ads across browsers, whilst removing the option for users to opt out of targeted ads last year.
Therefore, TikTok is active in navigating the issues of reduced data that are currently impacting Meta. This new addition of customisable attribution windows on TikTok will only encourage advertisers to continue to see the value of the platform.
How Reddit Is Looking To Push Reddit Talks
Despite every other platform moving away from live social audio, Reddit is looking to improve the discovery of Reddit Talks. The platform will now showcase live sessions on the top of the main screen.
Users will be able to see in-progress audio content from subreddits they follow and those of interest. The Reddit home feed will serve users live audio sessions via Reddit Talks that they may be interested in, based on topics chosen by the creator of the session.
Reddit is also making it easier to start a Reddit Talk session, allowing some users to host talks directly from their profiles, by simply going to the post creator and clicking the “Start Talk” option.
It doesn’t stop there, Reddit is also adding a new soundboard feature, launching with eight sounds, helping to elevate conversations and entertainment with social audio on the platform.
Finally, Reddit is launching a Reddit Talk Host Program, incentivising more creators to use the audio feature through rewards such as hoodies, branded mics and promotion in-stream. Showing Reddit to continue investing in live audio, similar to Twitter with Spaces.
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