Each 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 look at Twitter’s fiery response to the Elon Musk lawsuit, Instagram copying BeReal, Twitch investigating gambling streams and much more!
Twitter Hits Back At Elon Musk Lawsuit
Both Twitter and Elon Musk have filled new documents to state their cases prior to heading to court. This all follows a motion filed by Musk to terminate his takeover of Twitter, putting an end to the saga once and for all. This has taken place amidst inaccurate reports of bots on Twitter, as well as a long list of other grievances.
Elon Musk argues that as he has obtained financial support to fund his takeover, he is unable to report revenue projections. He states this on the grounds that the estimates are reliant on Twitter’s supposed inaccurate records of current monetizable users (those that are not bots).
Elon Musk’s countersuit states that Twitter’s monetizable daily active users is 65 million lower than reported. Musk also argues that the majority of ads are shown to fewer than 16 million users, less than 7% of the number of users Twitter claims can earn the company revenue from seeing ads.
How did Elon Musk get here? He is reported to have enlisted an application called Botometer, a tool to help calculate bots. However, the company itself warn those who want to use the application that bot detection is complex, and the assessment process even categorised Elon Musk’s account as a bot according to a legal document.
Twitter is essentially claiming that Elon Musk is presenting factually inaccurate information that is legally insufficient and commercially irrelevant. The case boils down to proving the bot count, with Elon Musk having to prove that his methods are more accurate than Twitter’s internal processes.
At this point, it is evident that both Twitter and Elon Musk are eagerly anticipating the end of this saga that has been dragged out over a series of month, and in the process impacted Twitter’s Q2 earnings. This is something they blame Elon Musk directly for.
Is Instagram Copying BeReal?
BeReal is a relatively new app currently reaching new heights, achieving over 10 million total downloads to date. For those who don’t know of the app, the premise is sending out a random prompt to all users at a different time each day, asking people to share what they’re doing using dual camera mode, a 2 minute time limit, and also sharing locations to in-app connections.
Instagram has appeared to catch on to the elements making BeReal successful, and has since launched its own dual camera mode, enabling users to capture content and a reaction shot at the same time, almost identically to BeReal’s functionality. Adapting new features that are heavily inspired by another platforms success is not new to Instagram, there is an ongoing saga with TikTok and the repurposing of its functions.
It doesn’t end there. Instagram is testing a new feature which was first discovered by app researcher, Alessandro Paluzzi. The new test enables users to add a QR code to posts, which other users can scan to locate the original poster at any given time.
It appears Instagram is testing new features to enhance ways to connect with friends and family through more personalized updates. This reflects the UX of BeReal, but given the nature of Instagram – known for the overly polished lifestyles – we could see that asking users to be more real on the app could be a hard ask. The idea of sharing locations could be an unwanted feature too, considering how there was some pushback when Snapchat introduced a similar feature of sharing locations with friends and connections.
Twitch Investigates Gambling Streams
Twitch is currently taking a deep-dive into gambling streams, following criticism from creators and users about this genre of content on the platform.
Twitch has made previous comments about creators promoting gambling, and that it might not be a great idea to promote the content on the platform. Since its introduction, a rule has been implemented that intended to prevent harm and scams from gambling companies that utilise creators to promote across Twitch.
The rule meant streamers were prevented from sharing links or referral codes to sites that offer slots, roulette or dice games – essentially those that are based on luck not strategy. To note, the rule didn’t prohibit streamers from partnering with gambling services – which has resulted in concerns still being passed across the platform.
However, Twitch is now looking further at gambling behaviour across its platform, and the harm to the community. A Twitch spokesperson highlighted that gambling content made up a very small percentage of content on Twitch. However, the category is the 15th most-watched on the platform.
Interestingly, one of the creators at the forefront of Twitch’s concerns, xQc, believes that despite a current ongoing investigation Twitch will not in fact place a ban on gambling content.
Creators Speak Out Against Triller
Triller is a TikTok competitor platform that picked up traction in the US during and pre-pandemic. Last November, Triller promised to uplift creators of colour through monthly payments in cash and equity, in return creators had to upload eight videos each month.
A number of creators signed on to the program, but have since spoken up against the app, stating that Triller has had a disorganised approach to the program, resulting in erratic and nonexistent payments.
This story was first reported by the Washington Post, and highlights how Triller has failed black talent on the platform. What first was a program positioned as the largest one-time commitment to creators of colour, has left those who signed in discontent.
Furthermore, it appeared the program not only asked creators to post eight videos a month, but post content cross platform, issuing statements of their support for Triller – despite payment issues, whilst limiting their activity on TikTok.
Triller has responded to the claims, saying the platform has met its financial commitments to creators in the program and continue to do so. However, creators are still faced with outstanding payments.
Spotify’s All-Time High Ad Revenue
Spotify has released its Q2 2022 earnings that exceed all previous years – the company has announced their highest total revenue of 2.86 billion, up 23% year on year.
The platforms premium subscription user base increased 14% year on year, bringing the platform’s total monthly users to 433 million and helping to achieve an ad revenue increase of 31%.
By the end of Q2, the platform hosted over 4.4M podcasts and the number of monthly users who engaged with podcasts grew in ‘substantial double digits’ year on year.
The platform attributes the growth to European countries and Latin America – largely through Gen Z engagement. The platform also attributed the growth to an increase in marketing campaigns outside its core regions – steadily growing awareness and users within new territories the platform previously hadn’t explored.
By 2030 the platform expects 1B users worldwide through brand awareness campaigns in new territories. This provides a great opportunity to reach new audiences through the platform’s worldwide expansion, and is a reminder to recognise the power of the podcast when targeting consumers.
TikTok and Gaming Consumers
TikTok has published new insights behind gaming audiences on the platform, including key gaming trends and audience behaviours. The insights aim to help marketers boost the effectiveness of their campaigns through authentic messaging and expanded audience reach/engagement
TikTok can provide a prime opportunity for brands to connect with gaming audiences, the platform shared that over half of their daily users watch gaming-related, short-form content. This includes gameplay clips, walkthroughs, tutorials, memes, cosplay and more.
Within the gaming demographic, users on average follow 12 business/brand accounts. Brands trying to reach this audience should recognise the potential to do so on the platform, as this demographic is active and highly engaged with subcultures on TikTok.
Those interested in reading the full guide on aiding brands to reach gaming audiences on TikTok can do so here.
Meta Paying Creators $3,000 To Test New Platform
Following the news that Facebook was shelving live commerce, Meta is reportedly paying creators up to $3,000 to test a new live streaming platform.
The platform is named Super, which is a live streaming platform that has been in development for some time to act as a competitor to Twitch. According to an insider, creators have been approached and contracted by Meta to try the new platform. It appears Meta is figuring out the best approach for revenue, looking at a subscription tier model and a tip jar functionality – all elements apparent across Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
Meta has reportedly brought in around 100 creators to provide early feedback on Super, being paid to use the platform for 30 minutes for $200 to $3,000.
The platform began as a competitor to Cameo, but since switched gears to compete among the streaming platform giants, focusing on support for interviews and group conversations.
TikTok Launches New ‘Order Centre’ E-Commerce HUB
TikTok has began rolling out a new ‘Order Centre’ e-commerce hub for selected users. The development is in an attempt to shift the platform towards greater e-commerce success.
The hub, which is located on a users profile, allows users to view a unique shopping/e-commerce display based on the products they’ve brought, looked at or shown interest in. The hub will include:
- ‘Recommended for you’ section
- Order updates and payment details
- Purchase history
The platform is attempting to replicate the success that the Chinese version of the app, Douyin, has seen with e-commerce. As the majority of the platforms revenue in China comes from e-commerce.
However, the e-commerce space has seen low adoption and lack of success, with Meta recently announcing the end to live commerce experiments on FaceBook and even TikTok itself scaling back live shopping experiments in Europe.
Instagram Expands NFT Display Options
Instagram is expanding its NFT display option to more than 100 countries, enabling a huge user base to display their own work in the app. Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement by also stating that his own signed baseball card will soon become an NFT.
The NFT display option first launched to select creators in the US, allowing them to display NFTs in their main feed, Stories and direct messages. There is also a digital collectible tag, which displays information about the creator of the NFT and the ownership.
A new tab has also been added to user profiles, showing a hexagon icon, housing a user’s verified NFTs in one space in app.
NFT sales appear to be on the decline, so it is interesting that Instagram is pushing forward with this feature. However, NFTs do act as an opportunity for artists on the platform to monetize their work, plus Meta has bigger plans for NFTs within the metaverse.
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