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 Elon Musk attempting to terminate his $44 billion Twitter takeover deal, YouTube Shorts partnering with another festival and Reddit’s latest NFT experiment.
Elon Musk Officially Attempts To Terminate Twitter Deal
Elon Musk has filed a motion with the SEC to terminate his $44 billion deal with Twitter. The reason being Twitter’s failure to provide information to accurately count the number of fake accounts on the platform.
According to the filing:
“[Twitter] appears to have made false and misleading representations upon which Mr. Musk relied when entering into the Merger Agreement, and is likely to suffer a Company Material Adverse Effect (as that term is defined in the Merger Agreement).”
The billionaire has reportedly been seeking more information from Twitter for months, with the platform only providing limited access which is a violation of Section 6.4 of the Merger Agreement.
Twitter has allegedly ignored or rejected requests from Musk, failing to provide information on fake accounts, the process for identifying and suspending spam accounts, a daily measure of mDAU, board materials relating to Twitter’s mDAU and information on Twitter’s financial condition.
According to Musk and his team, because Twitter has failed to provide the above information, the company is in violation of the deal. However, Twitter is still looking to finalise the deal, which will likely result in a lengthy court battle.
You can find more information about the Twitter takeover here!
TikTok’s Latest Data Usage Troubles In Europe
TikTok began alerting users to the upcoming change last month, showing that on July 13th, the platform will use legitimate interests as a basis for ad personalisation, as opposed to users’ providing consent for using personal data within its ad targeting process.
However, under EU law the “legitimate interest’ provision falls under a different category to personalised data tracking. Meaning TikTok is looking to serve personalised ads without asking user permission as the new policy sought to bypass the regulation.
Now, TikTok is pausing the update with an EU investigation in the works. TikTok has said the following:
“We believe that personalized advertising provides the best in-app experience for our community and brings us in line with industry practices, and we look forward to engaging with stakeholders and addressing their concerns.”
This isn’t the only issue TikTok is facing over data usage concerns. Only last month, an FCC Commissioner in the US called for app stores to remove TikTok, after fears the Chinese government can use data for surveillance.
YouTube Shorts Partners With Wireless
YouTube recently launched a campaign at the Wireless festival to promote the usage of YouTube Shorts among digital natives. The campaign offered users the chance to win a variation of prizes including VIP tickets, celebrity meet & greets and tickets to the 2023 festival. The competition incentivised festival goers to share Shorts content that showcased their festival outfit, experience, squad or anything else linked to the festival, using #Wireless.
The competition ran across all three venues, with YouTube being the first digital platform to partner with the festival. The platform set up dedicated content creation ‘Shorts Stops’ at each location to encourage the creation of Shorts.
Sheniece Charway, YouTube Music Artist Relations Manager stated the following:
“YouTube Shorts is the perfect medium for expression at a festival, giving fans the chance to show themselves living their best lives at Wireless, and we can’t wait to see a new fan-driven side to the festival.”
YouTube recently partnered with Coachella on a similar activation, showing the platform to rely on event marketing, user-generated content and influencer activations to ensure the success of the format.
MrBeast & Ninja Help Raise $200,000 For Charity
As part of a larger Amazon Prime Day campaign, the tech giant utilised huge creator names such as MrBeast and Ninja through a competition named the Ultimate Crown. The charity event was a three-match League of Legends battle, bringing together creator communities to raise money for some great causes.
Amazon’s Ultimate Crown battle streamed on Twitch with a version also being made available on YouTube. Ninja and MrBeast had a team of other creators that included Emiru, Ludwig, Voyboy and more, helping to raise money for each team’s respective charity.
A total of $150,000 was raised for the Sarcoma Foundation of America and $50,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Reddit’s Latest NFT Experiment
Reddit is launching Collectible Avatars which are limited-edition avatars made by independent artists that provide unique benefits for owners across Reddit.
For example, if a user sets their Collectible Avatar as their Reddit avatar, they can change the avatar gear and accessories whilst having a glow effect around their profile image in comment sections.
The NFTs can be purchased by those who do not have a crypto wallet, whilst the artist involved can receive royalties from secondary sales on platforms like OpenSea.
The Collectible Avatars will launch at a fixed price, purchasable from a special subreddit rather than an auction. This latest Reddit NFT project is being positioned as an opportunity for creators, who can receive money from the project. However, Reddit has also established a fund which supports projects led by members of its community, through a million-dollar development fund.
Although the momentum of NFTs appears to be slowing down, platforms are looking at how NFTs can elevate user experiences and provide more avenues for monetisation. We can only expect more platforms to experiment with NFTs as they become an integral element in the metaverse future.
LilyPichu Leaves Twitch For YouTube
LilyPichu is a member of the Los Angeles entertainment group OfflineTV with Pokimane, Disguised Toast and Scarra. The creator is known for being a singer, voice actor, artist, lifestyle and gaming streaming who recently celebrated ten years on Twitch.
Interestingly, LilyPichu joins a whole host of ex-Twitch streamers who’ve moved to YouTube including Ludwig, Valkyrae and DrLupo. This latest exclusivity deal by YouTube Gaming marks an ongoing effort to eat away at Twitch’s market share through talent acquisition.
Spotify Brings Video Podcasts To More Markets
Spotify has certainly made significant investments in developing a podcast offering across the platform, ensuring a market-leading status. Video podcasts have been the next hurdle for product development, with Spotify expanding the ability for users to add a visual component to audio shows to more markets.
Video podcasts were first rolled out to podcasters in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand last year. However, now creators in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico have access to the feature.
Spotify has identified these latest markets to be strong in terms of podcast creator communities. Therefore, Spotify is looking to maximise usage of the new video podcast element, elevating its podcast offering around the world.
Creator-Led Sports Podcast Producer Raises $2.5 Million
Blue Wire, the producer of sports podcasts has raised a $2.5 million injection of funding. Blue Wire has a number of podcasts hosted by professional athletes, but recently the producer has worked with more influencers – particularly TikTokers.
Blue Wire’s podcast network spans about 250 shows, helping to engage sports fans in various verticals through familiar faces. The funding, which is a short-term loan that will convert to equity, will seek to support the podcast network’s growth.
However, already the creator-led podcast has proved a profitable channel with Blue Wire bringing in Mountain Dew to sponsor The Drew Zone, among other financial successes with creator podcasts.
As of late, we’ve seen many digital-first creators move in on podcasts, it’s no surprise we are seeing companies dedicate a business offering to producing creator-led shows. Blue Wire is another company on the list benefiting from the explosion of the creator economy.
Instagram Is Elevating Live Streams
Instagram is launching a new live producer tool, helping creators to enhance live stream productions through the ability to steam from a desktop and through third-party streaming platforms.
The tools will allow creators to use a stream key (program code) to connect to the Instagram Live back-end, allowing them to capture content through a streaming provider of their choice. These initial providers include Streamlabs, Streamyard and OBS.
This new process will enhance streams making them appear more professional. This tool won’t be available to everyone upon launch, being tested with a pool of creators as part of a beta test.
This move comes as no surprise as all platforms are looking to improve live experiences with the excitement around live commerce, which is dominating the Chinese social media landscape.
Instagram Tests New Notes Feature
Instagram is testing the ability to add a notes shelf to the direct IG inbox, allowing users to post status updates which can be shared with connections. The feature allows up to 60 characters that are visible for connections to see at the top of the IG inbox.
This test is looking to spark more direct engagement between friends and followers, helping to spark conversations. However, this feature could be another avenue for spam accounts to annoy users.
Instagram is also testing an option to allow users to show ads on their profiles. This test was spotted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi and stands as another example of Instagram trying to maximise every area of the app for ad placement.
No word yet on if any of these tests will see a global rollout, but Instagram appears to be looking at more ways to increase engagement in-app and increase revenue and creator monetisation.
Pinterest Advances Shopping Tools
Pinterest is advancing in-stream shopping tools with new features. These updates come in form of product tagging for Pins, a shop tab on business profiles and a new API for shopping.
The new product tagging for Pins will add more specific details to each item within a frame. Merchants can add products from their catalogue to images, making it easy for Pinners to shop exact items from inspiring imagery. Furthermore, Pinterest is also adding video as an option for product catalogue listings, which is important considering the dominance of video.
Pinterest is adding a new shop tab to business profiles, allowing merchants to display shoppable products. From initial tests, Pinterest has found that 30% of Shopify merchants on Pinterest get their first attributed checkout from their shop tab.
Finally, Pinterest is adding a new Pinterest API for shopping, enabling improved data quality for merchant products, codifying connections between Pinterest and retailers making it easy for correct product information to appear in product Pins.
Twitter’s Unmention Tool
Twitter has launched the ability for users to unmention themselves from a Twitter chat, deactivating profile links within conversations that users no longer want to be part of.
When a user chooses to unmention themselves, their username will still appear in text form in the initial tweets, but users won’t be part of the discussion and once activating the unmention function. Furthermore, users won’t be able to mention you again in the same reply chain and notifications on the exchange will no longer be active.
This move aims to give users more control and to avoid toxic experiences on the platform – which have been commonplace when discussions go sideways. This update is one of many safety tools being implemented to improve well-being and control for users across Twitter.
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