Every week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry round-up. This week we cover Meta and NFTs, the latest creator monetisation options within Horizon Worlds and how YouTube is driving hype around Shorts at Coachella!
Shopify Acquires Dovetale
Shopify is looking towards the creator economy with the latest acquisition of Dovetale – a platform that helps brands manage influencer marketing campaigns and facilitate community building and collaboration. The platform states that its core priority is to help e-commerce merchants grow affiliate programs.
Dovetale will now operate as “Dovetale by Shopify” but promises minimal changes for existing clients. Shopify has been looking in recent years at serving consumers beyond just Facebook with recent integrations with TikTok and Spotify – showing a focus on connecting e-commerce with social platforms.
Already, we’ve seen an acceleration in the number of startups and investment in platforms that leverage the creator economy. If we look towards the likes of Jellysmack, the platform raised Series C funding from SoftBank and recently spent $500 million to license old YouTube videos – showing a value in offering services that tap into the creator economy.
Shopify’s director of product stated:
“It is a top priority for us (Shopify) to really help these creators enter commerce and start monetizing.”
We should expect Shopify over the next few years to continue to invest in platforms and solutions that offer unique benefits to creators and the relationship between brands and creators.
The Elon Musk & The Twitter Saga Continues
Elon Musk becoming Twitter’s largest shareholder certainly caused a stir last week, but it appears that Elon will not be taking a seat on the board, which would have prevented Musk from buying up a larger stake in Twitter. This is because appointments to the board restrict board members from buying more than 14.9% of the company.
One of the last significant shareholders was investment firm Elliott Management which purchased a 4% stake in Twitter with the aim to remove Jack Dorsey as CEO. The idea of this change in leadership was to find a more business-focused leader with Dorsey being split with CEO duties between Square and Twitter.
Now Musk holds the majority share, he has already been looking at making changes at Twitter. Musk re-opened the conversation for an edit button and tweeted the question “Is Twitter dying?”, commenting that many top accounts on the platform rarely create content. Musk also wants to switch things up with Twitter Blue – the subscription offering. Firstly, Elon wants subscribers of Twitter Blue to get an authentication checkmark and have an ad-free experience.
Therefore, the question still remains, could Musk be a good thing for Twitter. He certainly is addressing some top concerns with the platform and putting forward some interesting feature updates. However, with Musk being met with resistance from Twitter employees last week following news he would join the board – it’s clear not everyone feels his influence will be positive.
But there is more…..in most recent updates Elon Musk offers to buy 100% of Twitter, offering $54.20 per share in cash! According to Musk, Twitter needs to go private to go through the changes that need to be made! Twitter has since released a press release confirming the offer and noted the Twitter Board of Directors are carefully reviewing the proposal.
Snap’s Yellow Accelerator Class
Snap launched Yellow back in 2018, promising to invest $150,000 into startups with each program. Twice a year Snap selects digital-focused companies who receive mentorship from executives at Snap, networking opportunities, liquid capital and continued guidance after the program.
Snap then takes an undisclosed equity stake in each company in return for the accelerator class. The most recent round marks Yellow’s fifth and smallest to date. A range of startups have been selected including Bump, which is designing software to help creators track and collect their revenue from various sources and Ettos, which is developing an eCommerce platform for beauty products whilst supporting inclusive beauty.
The class is already underway at Snap’s headquarters, with participants spending the next 13 weeks learning from investors, tech founders and more!
YouTube Brings Shorts To Coachella
YouTube for the tenth year will serve as Coachella’s live streaming partner. YouTube’s festival steam will air from the YouTube Shorts Compound on both weekends at the festival. A range of creators will host both weekends with guest features from popular YouTube creators including Lauren Giraldo and Larray.
A number of other YouTube creators will also document their festival experience through Shorts – thus promoting YouTube’s short-form video competitor product.
In the lead up to the festival, Coachella is running sweepstakes for Shorts creators, offering two-lifetime passes to Coachella in form of an NFT. To be involved creators have to upload a video to Shorts answering “who would your dream +1 be if you won Coachella passes for life?”
YouTube is also launching live shopping experiences, allowing viewers to buy exclusive merch without leaving the steam, partnering with the likes of Billie Eilish, Brockhampton and Flume.
YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty Derek Blasberg will also be at the event to film Shorts content and conduct one-on-one interviews with artists and creators.
Meta Is Set To Jump Into The NFT Space
According to a recent report by The Financial Times Meta is planning to launch a pilot for posting and sharing NFTs on Facebook in May. Meta will also be releasing a test feature allowing membership of Facebook groups based on NFT ownership and minting – taking these communities away from the likes of Discord in order to own the NFT conversation across social.
Meta could also be looking into monetising NFTs through fees or ads which link to the product group Meta Financial Technologies, which has been looking into the creation of virtual currency for the metaverse. Internally this project has been dubbed “Zuck Bucks”. Furthermore, according to internal reports, Meta is looking at the creation of “social tokens” which could be issued as rewards for contributions in Facebook groups among other things.
Meta is yet to comment on this report, but this update suggests the company is looking at establishing an NFT ecosystem, which could benefit Meta-owned platforms but also the NFT market as a whole. Only recently, Twitter released the ability for users to use NFTs as profile pictures which linked to proof of ownership – creating a new use of NFTs as status symbol on social with many accounts now flexing the latest Ape from the blue chip NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club.
BeReal The Social App Gaining Momentum
BeReal is quickly climbing the download charts, offering a real and authentic connection where users share photos once a day. The app prompts users to everyday share a photo at a different time, with the photo having to be captured within 2 minutes.
According to Apptopia, downloads of the app are increasing 315% since the beginning of the year. The BeReal app has been installed 7.41 million times and has resonated with audiences who crave more authentic content across social. Data.ai also revealed the app ranked 4th by downloads in the US, UK and France in Q1 2022, behind the likes of Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
The app is headquartered in France and has been extremely popular among Gen Z French users – which makes sense considering this age demographic is seeking more realistic and authentic experiences both online and offline.
BeReal gaining so much traction will no doubt catch the attention of Instagram which will likely look to integrate a similar user experience across its platform. This would no doubt help Instagram re-gain favor with younger audiences who were previously revealed to be the demographic suffering the most from pressures cultivated in-app.
MrBeast, Charli & Dixie D’Amelio Win At The Kids’ Choice Awards 2022
The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards celebrate some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry which in recent years has included popular social media creators.
This year the awards show had some of the biggest names in the social media space up for an award including MrBeast, Addison Rae and the D’Amelio sisters. Many of the creators in attendance have transitioned into the mainstream with careers going beyond social media to music, film and entrepreneurship. Addison Rae for example has launched a beauty brand, launched a music career and starred in a Netflix film named “He’s All That”.
Charli D’Amelio ended up winning the Favorite Female Creator award while her older sister Dixie took home the award for Favorite Social Music Star. MrBeast was also present at the awards show and picked up the award for Favorite Male Creator.
TikTok Expands Access To Effect House
TikTok’s Effects House is a similar offering to that of Snap’s Lens Studio and Meta’s Spark AR platform. All platforms enable creators to build AR effects, supported with templates making it accessible to all.
TikTok’s Effect house tool was first released to select developers last August, but in the latest news, the platform is expanding access to all creators – helping to expand creative effects and kickstart more trends in the app.
TikTok has noted that the Effect House offers tools and learning resources, helping creators to execute dynamic effects through intuitive design and development technologies.
TikTok also has Effect Guidelines which include not creating effects that promote colorism or negative stereotypes against protected groups, as well as effects that encourage the scrutiny of someone’s appearance or depict cosmetic enhancements.
According to TikTok, more than 450 effect creators have published effects on TikTok, inspiring the creation of more than 1.5 billion videos, gathering over 600 billion views globally – so this will no doubt lead to more engagement in-app and becoming a bigger player in the AR space – which has been dominated by Snapchat and Meta.
Horizon Worlds Recent Creator Bonus Program
Back in 2021, Meta announced a $10 million creator fund for individuals and teams of developers to make content within Horizon Worlds. In recent updates, Meta is testing a creator bonus program that appears to run along the same lines as the Reels program.
Meta is pushing forward with creator incentives within Horizon Worlds, with Meta describing the new bonus program as an expansion of the initial Horizon Worlds creator fund. According to VP or Horizon Worlds Vivek Sharma, the program will be goal-oriented that allow creators to earn payments based on the engagement their worlds generate.
Horizon Worlds will also be looking towards virtual goods, with creators being able to sell wearable items for their virtual avatars in the virtual world, as well as access to VIP sections of created worlds and in-game objects/items. Worth noting that the ability to sell items will only be available for some creators at present.
Read more about this update and what it means for the future of Meta’s metaverse plans!
Instagram Removes In-Stream Video Ad Placements
Meta is alerting advertisers to the fact that in-stream video ad placements across Instagram are no longer in use. However, advertisers can continue to use Reels placements as a substitute video ad placement on Instagram.
This follows other video formats and placements being retired on the platform such as the decision to shelve IGTV. This end to in-stream video placements marks the sign of Instagram moving away from different video placements and consolidating all content and advertising placements in a singular stream.
It was only last week that we were hearing of a fully-immersive video stream test, which saw Instagram in-feed video, Reels and Stories being combined into a singular vertical scroll feed. Could this latest update to ad placements be a move in this direction?
YouTube & TikTok Improve Platform Accessibility
YouTube has announced that creators can now delegate the creation and editing of subtitles to third parties within the YouTube Studio app. The aim is to make the process of subtitles easier for creators and allows more content to be available to all users.
To note, YouTube already offers automated subtitles, but this solution is often flawed as they aren’t always accurate, especially for certain languages.
TikTok is also updating caption access by switching English language auto-captions on by default for all uploads. Users can still include their own captions, which would override auto-captions and users can also change the language display options. In addition, users can also edit auto-captions to ensure everything is correct, and taking into account the duration of content on this platform it won’t take long to do so.
Accessibility should be a very serious factor that all platforms consider, and this new update from YouTube and TikTok is no doubt a positive move for all deaf social media users across the globe.
Snapchat Launches Dynamic Stories
Snapchat has launched a Dynamic Stories feature, enabling partner publishers through an RSS Feed to automatically create Stories from existing content on the web.
This update will help streamline content production on the platform from publishers ensuring the most up-to-date news from credible and trusted sources is constantly being fed into Snapchat.
Snapchat has found huge success with its Discover content, delivering TV-like video content to its 319 million daily active users. The new Dynamic Stories feature is already in testing in the US, UK, France and India with partners including Bloomberg, ESPN and GQ.