Every week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly Industry Round-Up. This week we cover International Women’s Day and how a bot called out employers for their gender pay gap, whilst also breaking down Amazon’s new competitor app to Clubhouse, which allows hosts to stream music.
The Gender Pay Gap Bot
The Gender Pay Gap Bot is making employers accountable during International Women’s Day, by tweeting the gender pay gap of those companies deciding to tweet content around IWD2022.
The bot’s data is limited to organizations in the UK, due to UK companies employing 250 or more people having to report data about their gender pay gap by law. All the data is posted on the UK government’s gender pay gap database, which is free to search. The bot on Twitter is continuing to tweet out employers, companies and organizations with their dedicated IWD2022 post and information regarding their gender pay gap.
This bot highlights the air of caution brands should take when involving themselves in conversations of equality and diversity when their own business does not practice what they preach.
TikTok’s Response To Russia’s Fake News Law
Russia has implemented a new “fake news” law which has resulted in TikTok users in the country not being able to upload new video content, along with livestreams.
Messaging in-app will still be available for users but with the new law involving jail time of up to 15 years, TikTok is struggling to navigate the ongoing restrictions of free speech on the platform.
Following this news, other platforms and services have ceased operations in Russia including Netflix. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have also been blocked, while YouTube has been demonetising state-owned channels in Russia and most recently pausing all Google and YouTube ads in Russia.
OnlyFans Moves In On Fashion Fanbases
The subscription-based platform OnlyFans, last year launched a Creator Fund, first focusing on musicians in the UK, which is now expanding to the U.S to support fashion enthusiasts.
The Creator Fund will aim to support rising talent and move away from the image of a platform filled with just explicit content. The fund will support a competition where fashion and beauty professionals will judge contestants, which will see three winners walk away with financial prizes and a mentorship scheme. The judges included in the competition include stylists Law Roach and Maeve Reilly.
The first-place winner will receive $50,000 to invest in their career, while the second and third place contestants will receive $25,000. To enter, individuals can submit 5 designs or looks before March 21st. The six finalists will then be flown to L.A, where the journey will be documented and streamed on OFTV – the platform’s free streaming service.
Meta & Rolling Stone Partner To Celebrate Creators
Meta and Rolling Stones are partnering up this year to create customized Creator Houses. The partnership will commence with a Creator House in Austin towards the end of this year’s SXSW schedule. The house will include Meta technologies including Oculus VR headsets and Instagram Reels. Musicians will also join a panel, discussing content creation strategies.
All three Creator Houses will complete the collaboration between Meta and Rolling Stones, with additional installations at Coachella and the final being in L. A – which will drive excitement around the ‘Creator Issue’, which Rolling Stones will launch around the same time as the event.
Amazon Launches Clubhouse Competitor
Amazon is launching a new app named Amp, which focuses on listening to music over chatting. Users who sign up will be able to host their own live show, complete with the ability to stream millions of licensed songs – thanks to agreements with three of the largest record labels and a whole host of independent labels.
The app essentially targets users who have an interest in a role as a radio DJ, with the ability for hosts to program a playlist, talk to listeners and chat with call-in guests.
The app is free, with Amazon angling the new platform as radio-style services with a five-person cap on callers. What makes this app a threat over other platforms like Twitter and Clubhouse is the fact Amazon secured music licensing agreements, meaning other live audio platforms have to focus on chatting, whereas Amp has the ability to integrate music.
To launch, Amazon is bringing in celebrity hosts such as Nicki Minaj, Pusha T and Tinashe among other big artists to stream on Amp. Amp has also stated that they are looking to add features to incentivise creators in the future – but upon launch won’t offer an option for creators to monetise their content.
Amp currently is in beta testing, available only on iOS in the U.S, with a waiting list in place to gain access.
The D’Amelio’s To Lead VC Firm
The D’Amelio family, including Charli and Dixie – the two highest earners on TikTok will lead a new VC firm named 444 Capital with their parents.
The new VC firm will focus on platforms within the direct-to-consumer space, fintech, edtech, healthcare, insurtech and other B2B2C platforms – according to TechCrunch. The fund consisting of $25 million will aim to empower businesses led by women and minorities. The firm will look to join funding rounds at the Series A stage or later, according to the Head of D’Amelio Family Enterprises.
There also appears to be a trend of creators building their own VC fund, with Jake Paul channelling $20 million annually through his Anti Fund – which launched last year.
Snoop Dogg Joins FaZe Clan
Snoop Dogg has joined FaZe Clan as a content creator and an official member of FaZe’s talent network. Furthermore, with the gaming organization planning to go public in the U.S, Snoop will also serve as a board member.
The rapper’s involvement with FaZe will mean the co-creation of content, participation in business initiatives and the launch of merch. Snoop will also work on a community outreach program, supporting the youth.
There were indications of the pending partnership with FaZe partnering with the NFL on a charity flag football game where a cut of proceeds went towards Snoop’s Youth Football League. In addition, the rapper was also seen performing with a FaZe chain before the partnership was announced.
Instagram’s Creator Tags Update
Instagram is rolling out a new tag type, allowing creators to tag collaborators and influences within their images – based on their contribution. Instagram will allow users to tag collaborators per profile category, ensuring people are not just tagged by their username.
Creators will have the option to tag other creatives, within an image, crediting for the role played in the creation and posting of content – helping to enhance the exposure of people and accounts.
Instagram commented on the new tag, highlighting that all creators collaborate and get inspiration from one other, which is where crediting is crucial, especially among marginalised and underrepresented creators. This is a great example of a platform understanding the creator landscape and how to celebrate everyone involved in creative content.
Tags going beyond just a basic username or product also help others to find collaborators on future projects.
Twitter’s Creator Dashboard
Twitter has announced a new Creator Dashboard, helping users track the money that is generated from various content monetisation features built into Twitter’s user experience.
The dashboard will provide insight into earnings and monthly payouts on Ticketed Spaces, Super Follows and an overall payout tracker. This new update will help creators understand how much money they are generating on the platform and encourage creators to continue to invest time into Twitter.
Content monetisation along with developing Spaces – Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor product have been core focuses for the app as of late. This update comes off the back of developing tipping options for creators and the launch of professional profiles for businesses and creators. The platform is certainly still aiming to compete with the likes of Instagram and YouTube to ensure the platform has longevity in the social media app market.
Twitter Updates Alt Text Descriptions
Twitter is testing new features to enhance the user experience for vision-impaired users. These new features include a new ALT badge on images where alternative text descriptions are available and an expanded description window.
When an image has alt-text data, a mini window will open when tapping ‘ALT’, highlighting the additional detail. Alt-text descriptions have been available on Twitter since 2016, and the platform has since been working to make it easier for users to add text descriptions to improve the experience for all users.
This update feeds into the platform’s wider intentions of making Twitter more accessible, with other recent updates including auto-captions on videos and improvements to in-app layouts and fonts.
Twitter’s Profile Shops
Twitter is developing its eCommerce capabilities through a live test of ‘Twitter Shops’. This new test follows previous eCommerce features including a test of shop modules for Professional profiles and product displays in individual tweets.
‘Twitter Shops’ will provide a ‘View Shop’ call to action button on business profiles, allowing users to tap and view all products that have been listed through the app.
According to Twitter, merchants can pick a collection of up to 50 products to showcase to potential customers. The feature is free to use, allowing users to see products from their favorite brands.
To note, prior to this update through the shop module, businesses were limited to five products on display, making this expansion to 500 significant.
Meta’s Updates For International Women’s Day
Meta has announced some new features to coincide with International Women’s Day, alongside a metaverse-themed discussion within Horizon Workrooms. Meta’s chief diversity officer hosted a conversation on how women can help shape the metaverse, and what the future of connection means for female users. This discussion was part of an ongoing Metaverse Culture Series, occurring on Meta’s VR experience platform.
Alongside this conversation, Meta launched a new test of nonprofit fundraisers within Reels on Facebook and Instagram. Furthermore, the company also launched a new series of VR programming across Horizon Venues and Oculus TV, which focused on the historic contributions women have made. Instagram, also posted a series of posts to highlight diverse female creators.
It didn’t end there, Meta also arranged a range of female-led content including concerts by female artists in Horizon Venues. What is interesting here, is how Meta is integrating metaverse elements into activations around cultural dates – going beyond just tailored posts on Meta’s respective platforms.
How YouTube Is Incentivising Podcast Creators
According to reports by Bloomberg, YouTube is offering to pay podcast creators and podcast networks if they upload video podcasts to the platform. These payments will come in the form of grants, ranging from $50,000 for independent creators to $300,000 for larger networks.
This move is a clear reaction to Spotify’s growing dominance and investment into the podcasting space. Only last year, YouTube revealed an intention to hire a dedicated podcast executive to drive this type of content forward on the platform, however, as of yet a dedicated YouTube landing page for podcasts still remains empty.
However, this new investment could see this landing page filled with platform-supported podcasters and networks in the months to come.
TikTok Launches ‘SoundOn’
TikTok has been a platform making a huge impact within the music space, but now TikTok is looking to support unsigned musicians, helping to boost artist presence with a new initiative named SoundOn.
SoundOn will allow any musician to upload and license their tracks for use on TikTok, as well as allowing musicians to distribute across multiple global platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. Artists will also be able to distribute music across Resso – the music streaming platform that Bytedance launched in 2020
TikTok explained, that the new initiative will allow artists to directly upload music to TikTok and earn royalties when music is used. SoundOn will pay out 100% of royalties to music creators in the first year, then 90% after that. SoundOn will also provide a range of promotional tools and support – including audience insight and development notes, advice from a dedicated artist team and access to TikTok’s song tab and support with creator marketing in the app.