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 Elon Musk and Twitter, brands such as Adidas and Coca-Cola entering the metaverse and much more!
Elon Musk Becomes Twitter’s Biggest Shareholder
One of the biggest stories across social is the news Elon Musk bought a 9.2% stake in Twitter – making him the biggest shareholder. Soon after the initial story broke, it was later reported Elon Musk was now the latest board member (which he later decided not to join) and that Elon’s purchase sent shares soaring by 27%.
“…he’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service, which is exactly what we need on Twitter, and in the boardroom”.
In the first move by Elon Musk, we may be getting an edit button on Twitter. Elon published a poll on the platform asking if Twitter users wanted an edit button. From the responses of over 4 million people, the overwhelming response was a yes! Parag Agrawal even quote tweeted the poll noting this poll was incredibly important.
Interestingly, on April the 1st, Twitter tweeted that they were already working on an edit button – but due to April Fools Day, it was regarded as a joke. However, this latest update from Elon Musk could see the platform actually roll out this feature that so many users have been requesting for years.
The Visa Creator Program
The credit card company Visa has taken an interest in NFTs for some time after observing the rise of the likes of Yuga Labs – who are responsible for the blue chip NFT project, Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Visa even hired a Head of Crypto to push forward web3 ventures, which will include the Visa Creator Program, providing support to digital-first artists, musicians, designers and filmmakers who want to utilise NFTs to generate an income.
The main function of this new program is education, with Visa teaching creators about the technologies behind NFTs, and furthering the understanding of how digital collectables can lead to successful businesses. The new program will expose creators to Visa clients, ensure access to web3 thinkers and provide community-building opportunities and a Visa-led mentorship.
UK To Ban Sports People and Celebrities From Gambling Ads
Since October 2020, the Committee of Advertising has been seeking ways to reduce the appeal of gambling to a younger audience. New rules have been introduced, which will come into effect October 10th 2022, that ban sportsmen, celebrities and influencers, who have a strong under 18 following, promoting gambling sites.
This new ruling in the UK states that any influential figure who may have a strong appeal to young people and a prominent following of under 18-year-olds will not be permitted to promote gambling. This will impact the strategies of companies such as Paddy Power and Ladbrokes, who strongly rely on celebrity and influencer endorsements to promote their services through various media channels.
Footballers, sportsmen, and Reality TV stars with a considerable size of under 18-year-olds following them have been specifically outlined within the ruling.
Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said:
“The days of gambling ads featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered.”
Into The Metaverse With Adidas Originals
In December 2021, Adidas dropped its first NFT collection, selling 30,000 NFTs which totalled more than $22 million. The collection was made in partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comics and GMoney. The NFTs, once purchased, unlocked access to physical goods such as a hoodie, tracksuit worn by the Bored Ape in the purchased NFT and upcoming digital experiences.
The strategy for the launch saw the company offer 20,000 of the NFTs as an early access drop, exclusive to those who own special Adidas Original tokens, GMoney tokens, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs among others – making the initial drop very limited. The first launch wasn’t without its issues, but the second drop saw the remaining NFTs become available for the general public – which sold out in minutes.
In the latest updates, Adidas launched the ‘Into The Metaverse raffle’ allowing Adidas members who missed the first mint to potentially secure an NFT. This was all coordinated during Adidas’ members week – a loyalty strategy that rewards customers with access to exclusive drops and more. The raffle happened on the Adidas confirmed app – which has become extremely popular within the sneaker community where exclusive drops and limited trainers are dropped at retail prices.
Coca-Cola’s New Flavor Leverages The Metaverse Hype
Coca-Cola has been working on various Creations flavors, first releasing Starlight – a space-themed product offering a “cooling taste sensation”. In the latest Creations drop, Coca-Cola has Byte, which is looking to appeal to younger generations and has branding reflective of powering up a game, which is connoted in a pixel design esthetic.
To launch the new Byte drink, Coca-Cola is taking to Fortnite, with players able to visit Pixel Point, which is a custom-created island made using Fortnite’s non-combat Creative Mode. The space in-game was designed by Coca-Cola and PWR – a gaming organization. Pixel Point offers four sensory-inspired, multiplayer mini-games, which are essentially like virtual escape rooms, with various challenges that can be solved by working with other players to progress up to the final game.
Coca-Cola is also releasing an augmented reality game, allowing consumers to scan a code on the physical product to give them access to a metaverse-type game about the Byte drink. The new drink is now available but in extremely limited quantities – leveraging a scarcity tactic to no doubt drive hype. This is yet another brand pushing interactive marketing tactics to tap into younger demographics.
KSI Partners With Adidas Originals
KSI has partnered with Adidas Originals to drop a limited edition trainer named the Forum Hi KSI. The shoe is an iteration of the well known Three Stripes Forum Silhouette – becoming a staple in the streetwear scene.
KSI is one of the biggest creators in the UK, finding success on YouTube and then branching into different industries such as music, even trying his hand at boxing where he’s fought fellow YouTuber, Logan Paul.
To launch the trainer, KSI was featured in a short film that was posted across social. The trainer will be made available through the Adidas Confirmed app via a raffle, along with limited pairs being made available in store through select partners from April 8th.
This marks an interesting development in the shoe collaboration space with this type of partnership previously being limited to sports personalities and, more recently, musicians.
MrBeast Reveals Next Channel Expansion
MrBeast has teased an expansion into more alternate language channels after launching channels in both Spanish and Russian.
MrBeast is one of the largest YouTube creators and has become known for giving away large amounts of money and insane competitions.
In an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, MrBeast shared that he has a plan to continue his expansion into foreign language channels.
In a teaser on Twitter MrBeast references a Hindi channel coming soon for not only his main channel but his gaming and react channels as well.
Snapchat Adds YouTube Link Stickers to Enhance Video Sharing
After allowing users to add tweets to their Snapchats in late 2020, Snapchat is now adding another new sharing option.
Users will now be able to share YouTube videos with friends, directly from Snapchat. Snapchat users will be able to tap the Snapchat icon when sharing from YouTube to then add a YouTube link as a sticker in their Story.
Snapchat’s ASL Alphabet Lens
Snapchat has launched an American Sign Language (ASL) Lens to raise awareness and usage of sign language in the app.
The Lens is in partnership with SignAll and delivers a unique experience that inspires users to learn American Sign Language through various games and exercises. The Lens was built with Snap’s hand-tracking technology, which was also used to build a similar Lens last year for International Week of the Deaf – which encouraged users to fingerspell various words.
This speaks to a broader push by platforms to be more inclusive and represent/celebrate all users. Platforms are getting better at considering different communities and releasing features that don’t overlook users with disabilities – a mistake Twitter made when first rolling out Audio Tweets.
What We Know From YouTube’s Latest Podcast Pitch Deck
PodNews, a podcasting newsletter, was shared in an internal YouTube pitch deck which revealed plans the platform want to take on the likes of Spotify and Apple.
A section titled “looking ahead”, revealed plans to fill a podcast specific landing page, much the same as landing pages built out on the platform for Fashion and Gaming. At present, a dedicated podcast landing page on YouTube remains blank. The platform is also looking into RSS integrations, which would make it easy for entire audio libraries to be moved over to YouTube.
Further plans include “partner-sold audio ads”, which will fit with podcast episodes along with “search and discovery improvements”, including the ability to follow individual shows.
New metrics were also outlined in the deck, which could see YouTube connect with industry-standard podcast measurement platforms. However, Spotify already has the head start in this respect with their acquisition of Chartable earlier this year. It appears YouTube will have to start spending heavily to match the moves made by Spotify in recent years.
Meta’s New ‘Share To Reels’ Option
Meta has added a ‘Share to Reels’ option for third-party developers, making it easier for users on apps that aren’t Instagram or Facebook to repurpose content in a short-form video format to Facebook Reels.
Once the feature is integrated into third-party apps, users will see a Reels button enabling the option to share content and customize with Reels editing tools such as audio, text, effect, captions and more. This new update is a streamlined and simple way of repurposing content as opposed to downloading content and re-uploading manually later to Meta-owned apps.
The launch of this new feature will see integrations with Smule, Vita and VivaVideo, which now all have a ‘Share to Facebook Reels’ option in-app. This update seeks to broaden the appeal of Reels and build awareness of Meta’s short-form video offering to new users.
TikTok’s ‘New Background Player’ For LIVE Content
TikTok has added a ‘Background Player’ option to the user experience, providing the ability to keep the audio of a Live running even if you want to exit the app.
The new option is somewhat similar to what YouTube implemented with its video content, understanding that users like to explore and have content remain playing when browsing different areas of the platform. The ‘Background Player’ on TikTok will keep a video playing in a floating window outside the app or keep the audio rolling so you can listen without having to remain on the video itself.
This update taps into the trend of social audio where users like to listen to content in the background, whether that be podcasts or Live conversations. TikTok is, therefore, exploring ways to integrate this trend and tailor content to suit the behavior of users on social, rather than building out a whole new feature that is just audio content.