Spotify Studios Shuts Down
Studio 4 also known as Spotify Studios will shut down on January 21st. Spotify Studio was the first podcasting studio Spotify created before the company invested in acquisitions to bolster podcasting on the platform.
According to reports, the studio never had clear initiatives but did cover music, celebrity deals and influencer-hosted content. One challenge for Spotify Studios was that any successes were never really highlighted.
Spotify has recently invested in buying new studios, networks, tech and securing huge deals with popular podcasting names to enhance podcasting on the platform. In August 2021, Spotify did state that there were more podcasts on the platform than ever. However, Gimlet a podcasting platform acquired by Spotify is reportedly struggling to grow within the company due to internal issues.
Meta’s Antitrust Challenge With The FTC
Meta has been hit with another antitrust challenge in the US, with the case being approved for the next stage to ultimately show the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp had the intentions of eliminating competition in the market.
The court will have to decide if Meta’s actions appear to breach antitrust law, however, there is a case in defense of Meta that could argue the company has invested in both apps to increase usership and build two very popular platforms used by billions of users worldwide.
The FTC, who is spearheading the challenge has actually presented arguments of Meta’s acquisition to be an anti-competitive move in Federal Court before – which was dismissed due to the FTC failing to present enough facts to support their argument.
Forbes Breaks Down Top-Earning TikTokers of 2021
Forbes recently released a report of the highest-earners across TikTok. Topping the list was the D’Amelio sisters -which is no surprise. According to the report, the sisters earned $27.5 million in 2021. Charli D’Amelio sat at the top of the list at $17.5 million, the second was Dixie D’Amelio at $10 million, followed by Addison Rae at $8.5 million and then Bella Poarch and Josh Richards both earning $5 million.
The top creators as reported by Forbes were expected to have made 30%-50% of their earnings through brand deals. However, many of the top creators also launched their own careers as singers, actors and reality stars, not to mention launching their own businesses.
The list highlights the opportunities social media apps can generate for young creators, helping to catapult their careers. It is no wonder we are seeing more celebrities become creators, as loyal followings on platforms such as TikTok can translate to product sales, large TV/Movie viewership and album sales.
Is A Warning Logo Going To Be Required For Influencers With Edited Photos?
Social media and specifically Instagram has been criticized for cultivating unrealistic body images among young people. Now, MP Dr Luke Evans, a former GP, is introducing a bill for digitally altered body image to combat social media users struggling with self image.
The Digitally Altered Body Image Bill, if passed, will call for the Advertising Standards Authority to develop guidelines on how the disclaimer would work. Interestingly, Norway made it illegal for influencers to share edited pictures without disclosing the content was edited in 2021. But, the issue of enforcing such laws/rules is a huge challenge that faces both Norway and potentially the UK if this new bill passes.
Pokimane Banned On Twitch
Popular streamer Pokimane, with over 8.8 million followers on Twitch, has been temporarily banned on the platform for a copyright violation after reacting to full episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender. This was the first time the streamer posted content of this nature, and six hours into the stream Pokimane was hit with the ban.
Pokimane is one of many creators on the platform streaming reactions to TV Shows as part of the ‘reaction meta’. However, the crackdowns have resulted in many streamers taking to Twitter to voice their opinions on the subject – with many not surprised about the bans, as it makes sense that streamers shouldn’t be able to stream full shows.
Twitter’s Tweet Takes
Twitter is testing a reaction format on iOS devices that allows users to react to an image of a Tweet within another video or photo – which is dubbed ‘Tweet Takes’. This format of reacting to content through video formats is something we’ve seen pop up among short-form video apps and features.
According to The Verge, users are able to see a ‘Quote Tweet with Reaction’ button on retweet menus, allowing users to take a new photo or video or use existing content from their camera rolls.
This feature will aim to increase engagement on Twitter and look to encourage users to post more video formats on the platform – which appears to be the aim of most social platforms as short-form video drives user engagement across most generations.
Is Instagram Allowing Users To Re-Arrange Post Displays?
Instagram is testing the option for users to re-arrange content on their profile grid, allowing previously posted content to be positioned in a different order.
The option will appear in profile settings as ‘Edit Grid’, taking users to a screen to drag and drop posts in a new order. This provides greater creative controls and flexibility for both creators and brands to organize content to have maximum impact for new and existing followers when they visit their profiles.
Currently, many creators and brands use content organization tools to pre-plan content and test how such content will appear in an Instagram grid-like appearance. This new feature will make the organization of content more efficient and allow specific content to be highlighted higher up the feed, if needed.
Instagram Testing ‘Status’ Display
Instagram is testing a ‘profile status’ option, enabling users to set a status notification on profiles that last 24 hours. The status select option will appear in your direct messaging tab, underneath usernames, allowing users to pick their status which is then displayed on the Direct tab and your profile.
This feature has been in testing but appears to be rolling out to more users. This is all part of Instagram’s plan to enhance messaging experiences on the app, with this particular feature allowing users to share with followers what they are up to. This feature has already been tested through an integration of the Instagram main app and IG’s messaging app Threads – which has since been closed down.
Snapchat’s New Interaction Features
Snapchat has added new features to diversify how users can engage with content on the platform. These new features include poll stickers, individual chat replies in group discussion and reply reactions.
Poll stickers will allow users to generate emoji polls to gauge the opinion of users, where friends can see how each other have voted. The next feature is individual messages within ongoing group chats, allowing users to address specific comments in a separate thread.
Bitmoji reactions is the other feature added, allowing users to utilise Bitmoji characters to illustrate reactions. Finally, Snapchat has enhanced video and audio experiences through a streamlined process of adding Lenses in video calls on the platform – whilst also allowing users to preview who is on a group call before they join.
Pinterest Adds Profiles Tab to Search Results to Improve Creator Discovery
To aid with creator discovery on the platform, Pinterest will be adding a ‘profiles tab’ to its search results. This will enable users to find creator accounts relating to their specific pin search whether this is a search for a specific username, topic, or product category.
This feature update was first announced last year as part of its Creators’ Festival event. A couple of months later, the feature is going to be live to more users worldwide – helping to expand the app’s discovery potential. This is an important update as Pinterest look to highlight creators on the platform to retain talent and encourage more content to be posted across the platform.
Linkedin Tests Its Own Audio-Only Feature
Year on year, LinkedIn has seen its Live Events increase by 150%. From data evidence like this, LinkedIn has decided to invest in updating its events tools and adding its own audio events feature.
Given that the platform started working on this in March 2021, LinkedIn has now launched the test of the Clubhouse-like audio events feature after 9 months. Although the hype from Clubhouse has died down, audio events still have the capacity to add value to social platforms, especially on a networking platform for professionals.
Spotify Call to Action Cards
Spotify has introduced a new feature for Podcast ads that showcases a visual of the sponsors within a podcast episode. The visuals have been named ‘Call-To-Action Cards’ and will be visible during the ad read. Sponsors will be able to edit the visuals to fit their branding, identity or to encourage a specific call to action. This includes changing images, text or action points shared as part of the ad. Clickable features will also be available giving the ability to directly link listeners to a landing page.
Spotify knows that many users choose to listen to Spotify whilst going about other tasks or activities. To combat this, the platform will make the ad visuals available on a podcast home page. Therefore, users can revisit the ad content when reopening the app after listening to a podcast. The visuals will be shown for up to seven days after a user listens to a podcast, or until a campaign finishes.
Reporting analytics will be available for sponsors to view impressions and click through rates.