We’ve pulled together the latest news from the social space in our weekly Industry Round Up. Explore the top headlines below and get up to speed with the latest news!
Twitch Co-Founder To Launch Gaming NFT Marketplace
The co-founder of Twitch, Justin Kan, has now co-founded an NFT Marketplace for selling in-game assets named Fractal. The entrepreneur identified an opportunity for the platform due to the rising trend of players paying real-world money for elements in virtual games such as Fortnite and Roblox.
The platform aims to be a space to exchange digital goods, allowing players to discover, buy and sell gaming NFTs through drops by gaming companies and p2p trading. The platform is still in development but a launch is expected soon.
What Will New Social Media Legislation Mean In 2022?
The UK has proposed an Online Safety Bill, outlining new protections for young users and stricter regulations on fake ads and scams to protect consumers online. The new bill recommends new criminal offences based on proposals from the Law Commission that cover promoting or stirring up violence against different groups and distributing harmful misinformation knowingly.
The bill aims to implement penalties for platforms to ensure they are held accountable to address concerns of the dominance of social media and its impact on users. However, the implementation of penalties has been attempted before by various regulatory groups, with platforms such as Meta arguing it’s problematic to expect platforms to act on content that hasn’t been brought to their attention prior.
It’s difficult to say if new penalties will make a difference, but with rising concerns in general around privacy, younger user protection and misinformation – platforms must continue to work to improve their community standards before governments step in.
Meta Opens ‘Horizon Worlds’ To US & Canadian Users
Meta has opened up the virtual reality platform, Horizon Worlds, to everyone in the U.S & Canada who has a Quest 2 headset and is over the age of 18.
Meta has been heavily investing to ensure the success of the project through initiatives such as a $10 million maker fund to pay creators and development studios to co-op games on the platform, as well as partnering with brands to create virtual events and shops.
Horizon Worlds allows users to build worlds and share with the community on the platform – something similar to games such as Roblox or Minecraft. Previously, Horizon Worlds was invite only but this wider release will see three new games and additional experiences.
Netflix Launches ‘Tudum’
Netflix has recently launched a news platform that is named after the iconic loading sound ‘Tudum’. According to Netflix, the new platform will report on show renewals, release dates and exclusive content behind its original programming.
There will also be additional uses for the platform including tips, lists and hacks that link to its shows such as how to buy a Squid Game tracksuit.
This is yet another expansion for the streaming giant, after only just launching games on the main platform and venturing into merch. This will certainly keep the platform ahead of its competitors as each monthly subscriber will benefit from not only access to the platform but additional offerings – a model that has worked well with Amazon’s Prime subscription package.
Snapchat Spotlight Creator Payouts
According to Snapchat, since launching the Spotlight Creator Fund the platform has paid out over $250 million to more than 12,000 creators for top-viewed videos in 2021. Snapchat at one point was distributing $1 million per day but since decreased that figure and established a new monetisation offering through Spotlight Challenges. Spotlight is essentially Snap’s version of TikTok’s short-form video feed, encouraging creators to participate in trends on the platform and get discovered by new users.
Furthermore, Snapchat has noted that creators are posting three times more frequently through Spotlight than a year ago – showing an increase in platform engagement since rolling out its short-form video feature!
The Return Of MrBeast’s ‘Creator Games’
One of the biggest video creators on YouTube is bringing back ‘The Creator Games’ – a hugely popular YouTube Originals event. The event features some of the most popular creators in a tournament where players participate in games for prize money – if a creator wins they can then choose to gift their prize money to charity or their subscribers.
There have been two events in the past, making this the third instalment, featuring 15 YouTubers with $1 million up for grabs. The event will be held at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and will include creators such as Logan Paul, Bella Poarch, ZHC and Airrack. Interestingly the first Creator Games featured a ‘rock, paper, scissors’ competition, which became YouTube’s most-watched live original ever, reaching 662,000 concurrent viewers, the second event then broke that record with 1 million concurrent viewers.
Larray Moves To Patreon
Yet another popular creator, Larray, has decided to move to Patreon to produce exclusive content behind a paywall. Larray is a creator known for comedic content across YouTube with over 8 million subscribers and being part of the popular TikTok collective The Hype House.
Larray will launch a monthly series named The Hot Seat, which will involve the creator interviewing celebrities along with fellow creators. As a signup incentive for his fans, the first 100 Patrons will receive exclusive merch, with three membership tiers being made available ranging from $4 a month to $20.
This follows a trend of a number of YouTube creators moving to Patreon due to the struggles with YouTube and demonetisation. Some recent creators who have set up a Patreon include Jeff Wittek, Josh Richards and Scotty Sire.
Instagram Adds Reels Replies
Instagram has launched Reels replies to post comments after testing the feature following the ongoing push to transition away from a photo-sharing app to an entertainment one. When a user wants to reply in the comment section of a post, they are met with a blue Reels button allowing them to create a video reply. To note, this is another feature swiped from TikTok in order to maximise in-app engagement.
Reels is a huge focus for Instagram with recent insight showing that the format has been a primary driver of engagement growth – according to a recent earnings announcement, millions of users are now interacting with Reels formats every day! Reels will be a key focus for the platform in 2022 as Meta looks to win back younger users from TikTok.
Twitter’s Auto Captions For All Video Uploads
Twitter has added a feature that adds auto-captions to all video uploads in Tweets, not only enabling new ways for users to consume video content but making video content accessible for all.
Captions will be activated for in-stream videos that are muted on both iOS and Android, while desktop users can switch captions on and off. The auto-captions will eventually be available in 37 languages, but translations are not yet available – the option is in development along with caption editing tools.
Pinterest’s Idea Pin Reply
Pinterest has launched a feature that allows users to reply to Pin comments with an Idea Pin video, a similar functionality that Instagram has just introduced with Reels replies.
Idea Pins is essentially Pinterest’s Story feature, allowing creators to compose short videos that typically experience elevations of reach on the platform.
The initial idea for video replies actually originated with TikTok which added an option on the platform in May. The overall aim of video replies is to increase engagement on content through a format that is dominating social – which is of course short-form video.
Snap Launches Story Studio’ App
Snapchat has launched an app called ‘Story Studio’ which will allow users to create high-quality vertical videos which can then be uploaded to the main app.
The Story Studio app essentially provides access to more complex editing tools to help feed more content with streamlined edits to Snapchat’s Spotlight feature – its TikTok competitor product.
This release follows a trend of other platforms, such as Meta, releasing apps to facilitate the creation of content. Currently, Snap’s Story Studio app is only available for select users on iOS in the US, UK and Canada.
Meta’s Spark AR Go App
Meta is looking to encourage more users to create AR effects through an app that simplifies the creation process. Spark AR is an app available on iOS that allows users to express themselves through AR mediums such as unique backgrounds, makeup looks or custom AR quizzes.
Once a creator publishes their AR creation it will then be added to their Instagram profile. This move feeds into Meta’s broader shift to building a metaverse through the facilitation of virtual creation tools where creators can build personalised effects that are then live on Meta’ owned apps.
How Meta Is Tackling Data Scraping
Meta has implemented its Bug Bounty Program to combat the action of data scraping which is essentially the process of taking data from websites which then can be used to expose or misuse user data that another website or platform has collected.
Meta is now looking to expand detection measures by adding new rewards for data scraping elements as part of the Bug Bounty Program. App researchers will be the point of call for this expansion, asking them to alert Meta should they identify any extraction of user data.
Interestingly, scraping public data is not technically illegal, but there is certainly cause for concern. Linkedin itself has been being in court for years with a platform that scrapes Linkedin profile data. What is interesting about Meta’s program is that even public data accessible by anyone will be included, with the platform looking to up privacy protections.