BLOG POST BY: Rowan Byers
August 1, 2022

Social Media News Round Up #62: Twitter Is Losing Money – Is Elon Musk To Blame?

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 cover Twitter’s huge financial losses, Instagram fires back at its creators, how to make $1,500 on YouTube Shorts, and much more!

Don’t forget you can follow us on LinkedinInstagramTikTok and Twitter for real-time announcements of all our new blog content!

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Contents

Twitter is Losing Money, Is Elon Musk To Blame?

Instagram Responds To Backlash From Creators

Meta’s New Music Revenue Sharing Program

YouTube’s Drive-Thru Experience

Meta Suffers Decline In Ad Revenue

Pinterest’s Seasonal Strategy Suggestions

FaZe Partner With DoorDash

Meta Adds Mature Classifications To Horizon Worlds

The Latest Updates To Instagram Reels

How To Make $1,500 On YouTube Shorts

Twitter Is Losing Money, Is Elon Musk To Blame?

Twitter has been in a state of shock since the beginning of Elon Musk’s attempt to takeover the platform. With staff redundancies at an all-time high, and other internal staff continuing to abandon ship the future of the platform is unclear.

With financial implications looming overhead, Twitter’s uncertainty was made clear for all to see in their Q2 earnings call. Twitter fell short of revenue expectations, resulting in a 1% year-on-year decline from $1.19 billion in 2022.

Twitter is pinning the decline on the challenging environment in the digital advertisement space, and more significantly the cast of blame is being pointed towards Elon Musk.

According to Twitter, the acquisition turmoil has cost the platform $33 million to date, which has contributed to its overall 31% rise in costs in Q2. Twitter’s exit from Q2, with a net loss of $270 million is a culmination of disappointing earnings and increased expenditure.

This is a far cry from the previous Q2, in which Twitter achieved a net revenue of $66 million. Twitter will now look ahead to Q3, and wonder whether the ongoing Elon Musk saga will continue to disrupt the platform.

Instagram Responds To Backlash From Creators

In recent weeks, creators and celebrities have taken to Instagram to voice their support for a campaign that demanded Instagram to stop replicating TikTok. Following these events, Instagram’s CEO has issued a response.

Adam Mosseri covered three major changes to the platform including the full-screen feed, shift to video, and in-stream recommendations. 

Firstly, on the topic of a full screen feed Mosseri noted that the update was only tested on the platform and not fully rolled out. On the platform’s shift to video, Mosseri added that it was inevitable, whilst saying that images will remain a key element in Instagram’s future. 

On recommendations in-stream, users on Instagram are seeing more recommended posts in their home feeds. This means more people are receiving content from accounts they do not follow. Instagram’s response was that the platform is committed to showing users content they might like, helping creators reach new audiences.

The final note on this update is that Instagram won’t be altering its course. The platform believes in its future of maximising engagement and discovery by taking inspiration from TikTok.

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Meta’s Music Revenue Sharing Program

Meta is launching a new Music Revenue Sharing program, which will enable creators to use large quantities of music. The feature is also expected to provide as a new revenue opportunity for musicians.

Creators on Meta-owned platforms will have access to licensed music to add to content. The owner of said licenses will take a percentage of any ad revenue generated. The option of adding licensed music will apply to videos that are eligible for in-stream ads of 60 seconds or over.

“With video making up half of the time spent on Facebook, music Revenue Sharing helps creators access more popular music, deepening relationships with their fans – and the music industry. Made possible through our partnerships across the music industry, this feature is the first of its kind as scale” stated Meta.

To avoid attaching music to problematic or controversial content, all uploads must meet Facebook’s monetisation policies. Those interested should be aware that not every song will be available, only those approved and available within the Licensed Music library.

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YouTube Shorts’ Drive Thru Experience

YouTube has launched a number of new initiatives to drive the creation of YouTube Shorts content. These have previously involved partnerships with BTS and Ed Sheeran, as well as event pop ups at Coachella and Wireless.

Now, YouTube set up shop at VidCon with its YouTube Shorts Drive-Thru. The marketing team responsible for this stunt helped drive a successful experience that promoted the platform’s new product with a star creator, Mr Beast.

The Drive-Thru was equipped with snacks, branded with various platform creators. People were able to jump on a golf car to pick up snacks they ordered through a video menu. The event also had a giant gumboil machine sponsored by Mr Beast’s Feastables confectionary brand.

Visitors were able to win a variety of prizes, which is something viewers are familiar to when watching Mr Beast’s content. 

The end result was a highly talked about experience at VidCon, something that is important because TikTok was the title sponsor of the event, and yet YouTube stole the show.

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Meta Suffers Decline In Ad Revenue

Meta has reported its first ever decline in quarterly ad revenue since going public. The company has seen a net income drop of 36% in Q2, with ad offerings feeling the full affect of the turbulent economic climate.

The decline in ad revenue can be attributed to the overall economic climate, the reduced ability to target and measure ads after Apple’s tracking and privacy updates, and new monetization challenges that Meta face stemming from the expansion of newer formats such as, Reels.

Despite ad revenue declining, ad impressions have increased across Meta owned platforms by 15% year-on-year, with the average ad price decreasing by 14%. 

Meta has predicted a total loss of ad revenue of around 10 billion during 2022, meaning there’s more pressure than ever to adjust their ad products reliant on less data.

As Instagram has begun focusing more and more on expanding its short-form video format, executives have admitted that the format is ‘cannibalising’ the rest of the business.

Reels don’t monetise at the same rate as static image and stories, which is displacing the revenue from higher monetising formats. Reels are generally more expensive and harder to produce compared to other formats. Because of this, Meta has started focusing on developing tools to help advertisers with the creation of Reels ads.

Pinterest’s Seasonal Strategy Suggestions

Pinterest is suggesting advertisers begin to tap into smaller, ongoing ‘micro moments’ rather than solely focusing on big celebrations during the holiday season. 

The platform found in a recent survey that after pandemic and recent economic changes within the past two years, Pinners are beginning to shift to focus on more frequent, smaller celebrations. Big celebrations e.g Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving will still remain popular, however, users are looking for inspiration surrounding the more intimate celebrations they’ve adapted to over the past few years. These include explorations of movie nights, intimate dinner parties and so on.

A survey Pinterest commissioned from TalkShoppe found that 80% of holiday shoppers plan to have more of those mini-moments throughout the holiday season. This presents an opportunity for brands to reach Pinners who are ready to shop across several holiday categories and moments. 

An internal analysis of 148 advertisers that ran holiday advertising in 2020 and 2021 found that brands that activated against multiple holiday moments in 2021 saw conversion rates rise by four times more than those that only activated for Christmas.

Pinterest wrote:


“In other words: Don’t save all of your spend for December. Those big holiday moments still do matter, but you’re better off allocating your holiday campaigns and budget throughout a longer, more varied season. Take advantage of the smaller micro-moments throughout the season and the bigger, more traditional moments for maximum payoff.”

“Consistent, timely marketing throughout the season leads to better results. Brands on Pinterest see five times more conversions when people are exposed to their ads earlier in the season, compared to brands who wait to advertise later on,”

FaZe Partner With DoorDash

Following the announcement that FaZe Clan had gone public, the gaming organisation has now revealed FaZe Subs via their partnership with DoorDash. The sub sandwich is part of FaZe’s first ghost kitchen franchise. The FaZe Subs menu includes a number of items, inspired by popular streaming terminology and the personalities within FaZe.

FaZe Rug – one of the organisation’s top creators – introduced the launch with a short video, highlighting his sub named, The Rugfather. This is the first step into delivery-only ventures, something popularised with MrBeast and his burger venture.


There has been a trend of food brands partnering with creators and celebrities, branding specific meals so fans can head to locations to pick up merchandise, in the form of food. We’ve seen this work successfully with Charli D’Amelio and Dunkin’.

Meta Adds Mature Classifications To Horizon Worlds

Meta has already added personal boundary zones in VR in addition to mute options that limit unwanted interactions. Now, Meta is working on a ‘mature audiences’ classification  process in Horizon Worlds.

Horizon Worlds currently stands as Meta’s VR space with an integrated game creation system, but it is expected to become Meta’s launchpad for future metaverse developments.

As part of Meta’s ‘mature audience’ classifications new policies are being outlined, detailing the rules of the VR space. These include worlds dedicated to the promotion of illegal drugs, excessively violent fictional content and sexually suggestive content.

This is an important move, considering the issues and concerns generated by games such as Grand Theft Auto. A key debate is emerging over the VR element to such games translating into the real world, due to the immersive nature of virtual reality worlds.

The Latest Updates To Instagram Reels

Meta has announced that all video uploads will now be formatted as Reels in a bid to compete with TikTok. Meta has also announced new creative tools for Reels to encourage greater usage, and enhance creative capabilities.

As explained: 

“Since reels offer a more immersive and entertaining way to watch and create video on Instagram, we’re bringing the full-screen experience to your video posts, too. In the coming weeks, new video posts shorter than 15 minutes will be shared as reels. Videos posted prior to this change will remain as videos and won’t become reels”

The new creative tools include ‘Remix for photos’ (remix public photos, giving limitless inspiration), expanded ‘Remix layouts’ (choosing between a green screen, or picture-in-picture reaction view to add your own video commentary to existing reels), and ‘Add your clip’ (adding your clip after the original for your hot take).

Instagram is also expanding access to its Reels templates option, enabling the usage of existing Reels formats as templates. Additionally, Instagram is adding a new Dual camera mode, allowing you to capture content using front and back cameras simultaneously.

How To Make $1,500 On YouTube Shorts

Woodworking YouTuber, Matthias Wandel planned a minute-long video for YouTube Shorts, which turned into a piece of content earning him $1,500 in revenue.

How? Well, the video was meant to be uploaded as a Short, but it ended up  extending the minute long requirement. As a result it was accidentally uploaded as a longer-form video.

The accidental longer-form video upload earned the creator $1,500 in ad revenue, which is more that any of his Shorts revenue combined – via the Shorts Fund. 

However, YouTube Shorts current organic reach potential could soon turn the tide on this, with YouTube developing a Shorts advertising product. This mistake does however highlight the importance of creator monetisation beyond funds.

Interestingly, Wandel’s top performing Short has far exceeded his video performance on any recent longer content! 

Every short-form video platform is rushing to develop an advertising product that works to the same degree as YouTube’s longer format monetisation offering.

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And that’s all for this week, but don’t forget to follow us on LinkedInInstagramTikTok and Twitter for real-time announcements of all our new blog content!

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Written by: Rowan Byers

Insights Executive at The Goat Agency