BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #33: BYTEDANCE LAUNCH APP TO RIVAL ALIBABA, POPULAR CREATOR BECOMES VTUBER AND TIKTOK’S LATEST UPDATES

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!

Contents

Shopify Launch NFT Beta Program

ByteDance Launches Shopping App

Reddit Is Going Public

YouTuber Kwebbelkop Pivots To VTuber Channel

Jake Paul Knockouts Tyron Woodley

Julian Bass Secures Facebook Show 

Lenovo Activate a Virtual Influencer

TikTok Testing Repost Option

TikTok Tests Desktop Streaming App 

TikTok’s Live-Stream Intros 

YouTube Expands its $100 Million Shorts Fund

Shopify Launch NFT Beta Program

Shopify has announced a new NFT Beta Program to facilitate the dropping and selling of NFTs. The program will allow sellers to mint and list NFTs through Shopify partner apps and popular blockchains, whilst also allowing merchants to sell through Shopify payments, Shop Pay, crypto payment getaways, debit and credit cards and more. 

The ultimate selling point for Shopify’s new project is removing the complexities out of crypto. Customers don’t need crypto to purchase with multiple payment options being made available – making it accessible to all. Finally, customers can easily claim their NFTs through email and add them directly to their wallets. 

Currently, the Shopify NFT Beta Program is open to US-based merchants on Shopify Plus, which is open to brands, artists and creators!

ByteDance Launches Shopping App

ByteDance, the parent company to Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) has created a shopping app to take on the e-commerce market going head-to-head with huge players such as Alibaba.

The new app is already becoming popular, ranking 6th among all iOS shopping apps in China early into the initial release. The app is named Douyin Box and is being described as a platform for trends and fashion – all operated by Douyin. 

Users of the app can log in with their Douyin account or through a mobile number. Once a user is logged in, they are presented with an interface similar to that of Douyin, with the addition of switching to other tabs to manage shopping carts and orders.

Reddit Is Going Public

Reddit has announced that it will be going public, filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to move the process forward. However, little is known about what this will mean in terms of how many shares will be made available and at what opening price. 

Reddit currently has more than 50 million daily active users and has raised over $1 million dollars in funding as a private company. The platform has also been quickly developing the user experience through new features with new acquisitions such as purchasing Dubsmash – a TikTok competitor.

YouTuber Kwebbelkop Pivots To VTuber Channel

Industry Round Up - Kwebbelkop VTuber

Dutch YouTuber Jordi Maxim Van Den Bussche, also known online as Kwebbelkop is investing in a new channel that will feature Bloo – a VTuber identity. 

VTuber’s are essentially a subcategory of a virtual influencer that originated in Japan, for a full breakdown of this type of creator read our article on CGI influencers! 

Kwebbelkop will step away from his original channel that has amassed nearly 15 million subscribers as soon as revenue surpasses on his new VTuber channel. The creator already launched his VTuber identity earlier this year, with his channel growing in popularity and bringing in around 70% of the revenue of his original channel.

Jake Paul Knockouts Tyron Woodley 

Jake Paul has solidified his transition from YouTuber to professional fighter, with yet another victory in his rematch against Tyron Woodley. Originally, Jake Paul was set to face Tommy Fury but with the UK boxer having to pull out, Woodley stepped in. 

Currently, Jake Paul has knocked out all of his pro fighting opponents and now aims to only face current UFC athletes, calling out the likes of Nate Diaz and Kamaru Usman.

Jake is yet to face a pro boxing opponent but has certainly made an impact in paving the way for other creators to be taken seriously in a professional fighting arena. Jake’s most recent knockout achieved over 8.6 million views for Showtime’s YouTube channel – speaking to the attention the creator can bring to fighting entertainment.

Julian Bass Secures Facebook Show 

The creator Julian Bass, known for visual effects and building a strong TikTok presence has a new show on Facebook that will air across Meta’s network of apps. The creator will educate viewers around visual effects and filmmaking in a series named “Behind The Screens”.

Behind The Screens is actually part of a larger initiative that sees top TikTok stars being utilised by Meta to populate content across Facebook Watch. The show with Julian Bass will be directed by Sean Saley and produced by Brat TV.

Lenovo Activate a Virtual Influencer 

Industry Round Up - Lenovo CGI Influencer Campaign

Lenovo recently activated a virtual influencer as part of a campaign in Japan. The campaign, named ‘Yoga For All Of Us’, has been an ongoing global campaign that encourages people to express themselves and celebrate their imagination.

The virtual influencer is named Imma and is a computer-generated model based in Japan. Imma was utilised alongside other influencers in a recent branded video campaign showcasing how Lenovo technology helps users express their creativity and redefines the new normal. Imma first appeared as a virtual influencer in July 2018 and began posting fashion, decor and tech content – more information on the rise of Imma can be found here!

TikTok Testing Repost Option

In order to boost the distribution of TikTok content, the platform is testing a ‘Repost’ option, enabling users to re-share clips to their audience, which is visible on both the ‘Following’ and ‘For You’ feeds of connections. 

When a user hits the re-share button, a user’s audience will see that a specific creator has shared a clip in the video details, along with any comments added to the video. This option allows for broader amplification of content over sending a clip just to an individual in a private chat. There is always a risk of blind amplification of clips that could have a negative impact, and as other platforms step away from this type of engagement option, it is interesting TikTok is testing it on the platform!

TikTok Tests Desktop Streaming App

Industry Round Up - TikTok Live Stream Updates

TikTok has seen great success with Live content, according to GWI, a third of TikTok users are watching live streams monthly. The popularity of Live content has also been spilling over to other social platforms with GWI also reporting that 22% of consumers in the West have watched a live video stream in the last week. Now TikTok is testing a new desktop streaming app, enabling its users to broadcast directly from PCs to TikTok Live.

The ‘TikTok Live Studio’ app will allow direct streaming from desktop, helping to elevate the Live content on the platform, which is particularly significant considering Twitch and Facebook Gaming saw 45% and 47% year-over-year increases in the number of content users consumed.

The new addition for TikTok has a gaming focus, with elements seemingly aimed at elevating gaming streams but the new app could have a broader appeal for brands and creators having a more streamlined platform to deliver high-quality Live content. The new TikTok app is only available to select users in Western markets, no word yet on any timelines for a full rollout.

TikTok’s Live-Stream Intros 

TikTok has yet another addition in order to maximise engagement and streamline live content. The new feature is ‘LIVE intro’, allowing a creator to add a short text description to welcome viewers as they stumble across a live stream. 

This will help provide context on what a stream is about and add any CTAs to facilitate engagement. Earlier this year the platform started testing more live commerce options due to a rising trend of live stream consumption on the platform and the dominance of live stream shopping in markets such as China. 

This update also speaks to the closer attention TikTok is taking to longer formats, as the platform looks to create more content opportunities for both creators and businesses.

YouTube Expands its $100 Million Shorts Fund

Industry Round Up - YouTube Shorts Creator Fund

70 additional countries have been added to the list which will see creators receive bonuses from $100 – $10,000 for creating Shorts content.

Shorts monetisation is still a work in progress. YouTube announced the $100 million fund in May in the U.S and India. The fund rewards creators whether they are part of the platform’s Partner Program or not – for the Shorts that drive the most engagement, much like TikTok’s Creator Fund or Snapchat’s Spotlight monetisation paradigm.

This new development shows the strive to keep up with short video platforms, giving creators further incentive to use YouTube as a platform to share this format.

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency