BLOG POST BY: Eliza Borrett

INDUSTRY ROUND UP #5: NEW SNAPCHAT HIRES, YOUTUBE SHORTS UPDATE AND THE NEXT BIG INFLUENCER PRODUCT LAUNCH

HEADLINE NEWS FROM THE SOCIAL SPACE

David Dobrik’s Dispo Confirms Series A Funding 

David Dobrik created the app, but following an internet scandal earlier this year, the creator was forced to step away from Dispo. Dispo is essentially a social networking and photo-sharing disposable camera app, inspired by Dobrik’s popular second Instagram account, @davidsdisposable – showing off snaps from his life and friends through a disposable camera aesthetic. What separates Dispo from other photo-sharing apps is the fact you take a photo and must wait for the image to develop for a day, at which point you can then share it.

Dispo hopes to compete with Instagram and be a disrupter in the market, and like Clubhouse, the app has received a lot of hype this year. Dispo launched in February 2021 and found huge success in the U.S, Germany, Japan and Brazil, with the app charting high on app stores. The camera and social media app has reportedly clocked 5 million downloads, with millions of photos already being shared.

The app has confirmed a Series A funding round with early investors, including two venture capital firms Seven Seven Six and Unshackled Ventures. In Dispo’s recent announcement, a number of new names have been added to the list of investors or advisors, including famous photographers, Annie Leibovitz and Raven B. Varona, as well as NBA stars Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala. In addition to this, celebrities such as Cara Delevingne and Sofia Vergara have also backed the app, with Dispo looking to hire very soon to expand the team that has been described as some of the “most talented, diverse leaders in consumer tech.”

Facebook Extends Trump’s Ban on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook has announced the former president will not be allowed on Facebook and Instagram for two years. This follows Trump’s abuse of his social media accounts, posting what was arguably harmful and dangerous content.

Facebook has made its position clear that politicians should not receive special treatment on social. In the past, certain politicians were allowed to somewhat bend the rules as their opinions were seen as “newsworthy content that should be seen and heard,” according to Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs. However, as this position was stated in 2019, Facebook has since changed their minds following the events of Trump’s reign.

Trump has since tried to create his own platform to reach his followers, who are now unable to follow his content due to platform bans. However, much like other right-winged organisations and individuals banned from popular social media platforms, making a new platform has proved much more difficult than previously expected.

The question that remains is whether it’s the platform directly that has control over who is banned and why content is taken down. In Nigeria, the government suspended Twitter after the platform froze the president’s account for a tweet that violated its policy. In a recent update, Nigeria’s broadcast regulator has ordered all stations to suspend their use of Twitter and their use of Twitter as a source of information or news. So who really has the power, the platform, or ultimately the government where the platform policy violations have been broken?  

Snapchat Hires For Spotlight

Snapchat is finding success with Spotlight – its TikTok-clone, with recent insights showing the feature reaches 125 million users and has paid out $1 million a day to creators posting popular videos. To push forward the success of the feature, Snapchat has added some new hires, including Sam Corrao Clanon, who joins as director of content. Clanon was previously at TikTok, where he led content strategy and insights.

Varshini Satish is another hire, coming from TikTok to Snapchat as senior associate of talent partnerships. In this new role, the aim is to help identify and nurture talent on the platform. Finally, Snapchat has also hired Rajni Jacques as head of fashion and beauty partnerships, who previously worked at Condé Nast. The role will aim to build the presence of fashion partners on the platform via Snapchat products.

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF INFLUENCERS

Skincare Influencer, Hyram Launches Selfless By Hyram

Skincare influencer, Hyram Yarbro has grown a huge audience on social due to his skincare reaction, reviews and educational content. Now the creator and skincare enthusiast has launched his own brand, “Selfless By Hyram.” Hyram has a huge global following across his YouTube, TikTok and Instagram accounts, and has been instrumental in boosting sales of skincare products from brands such as The Inkey List and CeraVe, to name a couple.

Interestingly, Hyram has partnered with the skincare brand, The Inkey List – which is an affordable and much-loved brand of the influencer. Working together they have created ‘Selfless By Hyram’, which will drop in a large number of Sephora stores around the world – and through the retailer’s website this month.

The new skincare brand will embody Hyram’s values of social consciousness, particularly within the environmental space. Already there is an established partnership with nonprofits such as Rainforest Trust and Thirst Project. This is a significant move, with more people wanting to purchase from sustainable brands, especially among a Gen Z consumer base.

As stated by Hyram, “Through Selfless by Hyram, I want to connect the beauty industry with social change”. Hyram will be announcing products on his social channels in the lead up to a release this month.

Philip DeFranco Re-lanches On Snapchat 

Philip DeFranco has signed a deal with Jellysmack – a tech-driven creator company that works with some of the biggest creators to grow their audiences on different platforms. The deal aims to relaunch DeFranco’s popular YouTube news show on Snapchat and distribute content across Facebook.

Philip DeFranco’s show has been running for over 10 years on YouTube, with frequent uploads throughout every week, explaining stories across the internet and serious issues in areas such as politics, cultural events and more. The last time DeFranco had his show on Snapchat, he gained around 66,000 followers. However, Jellysmack aims to further the success through frequent uploads to boost following significantly on the platform. Jellysmack already works with PewDiePie, MrBeast and Brad Mondo to distribute video content across many social channels to expand audiences.

As stated by DeFranco: 

“I’m teaming up with Jellysmack to put more manpower behind my brand so I can scale the frequency of my show on Snapchat and find more viewers on Facebook. It’s all about seizing the moment, and the one thing I always say to any up and coming creator that asks me for advice is to diversify. Whether it be your audience, platform, or sources of revenue, diversifying will keep you in this game longer than anything else will.”

Frenemies Podcast Comes To An End

The Frenemies Podcast has become one of the biggest podcasts on YouTube. In such a short space of time, the podcast has grown a huge loyal following, which was reflected in consistent high views – as well as the high volume of engagement on YouTube and multiple other social platforms. People loved to discuss recent episodes and the podcast had an element of fan involvement, using Reddit, as one example, for people to recommend costumes the two hosts should wear in upcoming episodes.

The podcast brought together two huge personalities on the platform, Ethan Klein and Trisha Paytas. The two have had their differences in the past, but came together to create a podcast around internet commentary, fun activities and having conversations around important topics, such as mental health.

Earlier this week, an episode went live that effectively marked the end of the podcast with Trisha making the decision to leave whilst filming. This was not the first time Trisha’s made statements about leaving, but in the aftermath of the podcast, it appeared to be the end, which was later confirmed by the podcast’s Twitter comms.

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH PLATFORMS?

YouTube Shorts Updates 

YouTube is expanding ‘Shorts’, its short-form video feature to users in the UK, Canada and Latin America. The new rollout will allow users access to the Shorts feed and Shorts camera, whilst YouTube works on music availability to facilitate music-related trends through popular tracks.

YouTube has recently announced that it generated over $4 billion for the music industry last year, and seeing the success music is having on TikTok, particularly in influencing the charts, investing in music accessibility in ‘Shorts’ would make sense. YouTube is also releasing regular ‘Shorts Reports’ to help support and encourage the use of ‘Shorts’ through education and the highlighting of feature-specific trends.

Instagram’s ‘Creator Week’ Event

Instagram is hosting the first-ever ‘Creator Week’, which features Instagram Live sessions from creators, Instagram employees, brands and more through the @Creators account on Instagram. The aim of the event is to provide insights into what is happening, what to expect and how brands and users can find success on the platform.

In correlation with the event, Instagram will be releasing the second edition of ‘Instagram Insider,’ a digital magazine that documents creator interviews and tips for platform use. During the week-long event, Instagram has also announced they are rolling out more ways to help creators monetise their content on the platform. The additional monetisation features will include a new affiliate tool, new shop features and ‘stars donations options’.

The affiliate tool will help creators share more products with their audience, and earn money on the sales they drive. Within the next few months, a select group of creators will be able to test the tool, allowing the option to tag products from brands and earn a commission on any sales they drive from their content. The feature will have an “eligible for commission” text at the top of influencer posts to let audiences know that influencers will be earning a commission.

Furthermore, Instagram is adding the ability to link an existing shop to a personal profile and adding ‘another shop’ option, enabling creators to easily sell merchandise through Instagram’s merch partners. The merchandise partners currently include Bravado/UMG, Fanjoy, Represent and Spring.

Creators are also going to be able to make extra money for hitting specific badges and Stars milestones. For example, creators will be eligible to earn extra payouts when they reach milestones while using badges in Live – i.e. going Live with another account. Stars Challenges is another way creators can earn payouts if they meet certain milestones, like broadcasting a certain number of hours – or earning a set number of Stars within a specific time period.

Pinterest Shows Support For Pride Month Through Recent Updates

Pinterest has released the “Show Your True Colours” campaign, highlighting how the platform can support LGBTQ+ users. The campaign video highlights how different people within the LGBTQ+ community have used Pinterest for expression and exploration. Pinterest also highlighted that the platform has had significant search surges around themes of “coming out” as well as stating that LGBTQ+ content, in general, has been steadily increasing over the years.

Pinterest also announced a new update in the form of an option allowing users to add gender pronouns on personal and business accounts – Instagram and Linkedin are two other social platforms that recently added the same option.

Pinterest will also be highlighting content from LGBTQ+ creators on the Today tab throughout Pride month, whilst search terms related to Pride will appear in a rainbow text format. Lastly, the platform will also be hosting a global virtual event.

As explained by Pinterest:

“All creators on Pinterest can join educational and inspirational sessions to spark creativity and learn more about what it means to be a LGBTQ+ Creator and business. Creators such as the actress, model and activist Dominique Jackson and the American fashion designer Christian Siriano will be participating.” 

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Written by: Eliza Borrett

Insights Manager at The Goat Agency