Every week the Insights Team at The Goat Agency pull together the latest news from the social space in a weekly social media industry news round-up. This week we cover Logan Paul’s Liquid Marketplace, the first creator on the cover of Rolling Stones, all the latest Instagram features released or tested this week & more!
Where Is Meta Planning To Be In Ten Years?
Meta is looking toward new-age tech to shape the future of the company and that of its metaverse plans. Based on a report from The Verge, this starts with Meta’s AR glasses. The product has been coined ‘Project Nazare’, which will work independently from a mobile phone, utilising wrist controls to navigate functions. Meta is also developing a low-cost product named ‘Hypernova’, which will be tethered to a mobile device.
Interestingly, the wrist devices created in conjunction with the AR glasses will use electromyography (EMG) technology, measuring electoral pulses in the arms to recreate the effect of a phantom limb, which will be tethered to the glasses.
It makes sense for Meta to step further into tech, with VR headsets proving an early success for the company. Furthermore, technology such as AR glasses has a place in a metaverse future to help bridge the gap between the real and virtual world. However, Meta is also looking at how the glasses can facilitate hologram communications with friends and family, creating more interactive and immersive ways to stay connected.
Meta is looking at a timeline of 2024 to release the first AR glasses, followed by a lighter more advanced model in 2026, then a third version in 2028. The release dates aim to correlate with the metaverse timeline, helping to align Meta tech with a new way of interacting online.
Coinbase Launch NFT Marketplace
Coinbase is a platform known for letting users exchange cryptocurrencies, but now Coinbase is branching out to NFTs. OpenSea is currently seen as the leader in NFT marketplaces, but with Coinbase’s marketplace launch, the platform already has several valuable NFT collections including Doodles, World of Women and Azuki ready to purchase.
Coinbase is looking to stand out with a social angle, with users having the ability to click on an NFT and locate the owner’s profile. Which eventually could help facilitate discussions around NFTs on the platform without having to jump across multiple platforms to browse, purchase and talk about the various NFT collections.
Upon launch, Coinbase is waiving transaction fees for a limited time, then thereafter keeping fees to a minimum – hoping to attract the more experienced web3 traders. The Coinbase NFT marketplace is currently in Beta, but in the coming weeks will be made available to everyone over 18.
Is Meta & Spotify Losing Faith In Live Social Audio?
Clubhouse certainly experienced huge success during the pandemic, but since restrictions have lifted, the app appears to be in decline like so many other pandemic winners e.g. Houseparty.
Clubhouse was so popular at its peak that other platforms such as Twitter, Meta and Spotify quickly started developing cloned features. However, platforms appear to be losing faith with their Clubhouse-like offerings. Spotify, for example, has ended the Creator Fund for its Greenroom platform – but it is up for speculation if it was ever live due to the platform’s habit of announcing new initiatives and then never following through.
Meta is also moving resources away from Live Audio Rooms, which suggests that users on social aren’t engaging with such features anymore, or at least live audio isn’t translating well to all platforms. In fact, Twitter is still pushing ahead with Spaces, but Twitter has a track record of features not panning out… anyone remember Fleets?
What we do know is Meta’s core focus is the metaverse and developing technologies to support a new virtual experience. As for Spotify, Podcasts are the platform’s priority, illustrated through new acquisitions and huge talent deals luring huge podcasters away from the likes of YouTube.
MrBeast Appears On The Cover Of Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone has released its “Creators Issue” which features YouTuber MrBeast, making him the first YouTube star to appear on the cover. The “Creator Issue” has been promoted at festivals and conferences over the past couple of months, to celebrate the impact of creators and recognise a shift away from celebrity culture.
The issue will include a profile on MrBeast a.k.a Jimmy Donaldson as well as Bella Poarch and a feature breaking down the hottest rising stars in the social media world.
The issue will help the magazine reach a younger audience with fans of MrBeast and other creators getting to know them in more detail, whilst sparking interest in print media – which has been on the decline due to the dominance of digital media.
This new issue certainly illustrates another pivot for traditional media in turning to creators to appeal to younger generations. We’ve already seen a similar approach with publications such as Vogue, utilising the likes of Emma Chamberlain to build a YouTube presence.
Logan Paul’s Liquid Marketplace
Logan Paul has a new venture that enables fans to own a share of rare collectables. Liquid Marketplace is being described as a “fractional marketplace”, which allows those who don’t have copious amounts of money to throw into the NFT space, to invest in high-valued collectables at a reduced price in return for a partial ownership stake.
Users essentially buy tokens held on the Ethereum blockchain which represent a buyer’s stake. Items are physical and held by Liquid Marketplace in a vault. Paul’s company also are responsible for authenticating and appraising items. This is an interesting twist on the digital ownership craze, which ensures anyone can partake in owning something rare – with this democratising approach being the core of web3 – which has perhaps been lost within the hyped-up prices of some blue-chip NFT projects of today.
Paul first announced the new venture on Twitter and has since seen Liquid Marketplace raise $8 million in funding.
Instagram’s Algorithm Ranking Update
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has announced that Instagram is updating how content is ranked to focus on original pieces of work. The aim is to celebrate those who make something from scratch rather than those that reshare content.
The update will attempt to reduce the dominance of aggregator sites and credit original creators. This, in turn, will reduce content farms or re-posters from saturating the Explore Feed. This shift to ranking will also see more original content in a user’s main feed as the platform has been implementing changes to bring more recommended content to this feed for a few years now.
To note, this update is very much a work in progress, but posting history will play a factor in determining if the content is from an account that typically re-shares content. This could even impact those re-posting trending memes or UGC! Essentially, accounts re-sharing content will experience a decline in reach. However, content edited outside of Instagram and then uploaded will not be penalized under this change, meaning apps used to edit Reels won’t hinder a creator’s reach.
Instagram Removing “Recent” Tab From Hashtag Searches
Instagram is testing removing the “Recent” tab from hashtag searches. This will leave hashtag searches to show the most relevant content in-feed as well as Reels within the main display.
The aim of Instagram is to make hashtags valuable again and allow people to connect with relevant content instead of users tagging irrelevant hashtags to get exposure. This test could also feed into the recent update of Instagram highlighting social causes through hashtags. The platform clearly wants to dispel the use of hashtags for growth hacking and focus on relevant discovery. Instagram did in fact remove the “Recent” tab during the 2020 US election, reducing the spread of real-time misinformation, so this would support the reasoning behind this new test.
Another interesting insight from Instagram is the fact that Adam Mosseri stated hashtags don’t really help views. Therefore, this new update could change how users engage with hashtags to fine-tune content discovery on the platform and thus engagement.
US Instagram Users Can Now Use Product Tags
Recently Instagram announced plans that all users would soon be able to use product tags across Instagram. Now in the latest news, this feature has been rolled out to all US users.
As explained by Instagram:
“Today, we’re expanding the ability to add product tags in Feed posts to everyone in the US. Creators and brands have been sharing how they use and style their favorite products on Instagram and inspiring their communities. Now we’re giving access to everyone to inspire those closest to them by enabling product tagging in posts. From supporting brands you love to helping your friends and family discover new products they may like, sharing products on Instagram just got easier.”
This move is a step further in upping the e-commerce activity within the app, with this product tag feature first being available to select creators, allowing brand products to be tagged in creator content.
The process of tagging brand products has been made simple, with users simply creating a post on the feed, tapping ‘tag people’ then searching the brand, which will then give an option to tag ‘people’ or ‘products’. Users then tap ‘products’, and then search for specific brand products.
This update will make it even more efficient to discover products across Instagram, which can then be purchased, whilst also tapping into to trend of users already tagging brands to share recommendations and generate UGC.
Meta Launch Fundraisers in Reels
Meta is adding fundraisers in Reels, which is another expansion for important initiatives to receive support and awareness on the platform.
The option will be available in more than 30 countries, allowing users to donate or create fundraisers directly in Reels. Meta has stated they will cover donation processing fees, ensuring all money raised on the platform goes directly to the organization.
Fundraiser links will remain active for 30 days and is yet another feature that looks to highlight important causes, with only recently Instagram launching a feature to highlight important causes through hashtags. This feeds into the shift Instagram is taking to separate from the image of a harmful app and appeal to younger generations that value supporting brands/platforms that highlight social causes.
Interesting to note, personal fundraisers launched in 2020 on the app during the pandemic and soon after Instagram Live fundraisers. The platform also added the option for users to create and share non-profit fundraisers and group fundraisers. Clearly, the platform is seeing a high adoption with fundraisers since the feature is constantly being expanded.
YouTube Shorts Get A Remix Option
YouTube Shorts is receiving huge backing from YouTube as of late, whether that be a full influencer strategy during Coachella, challenges with huge celebrities or new features. In the most recent update, YouTube is providing the opportunity for some creators to sample long-form video content into Shorts – acting as a remix option as we’ve seen on TikTok and Instagram.
Users access the feature with a new option prompt “Cut this video” upon viewing longer-form content. The prompt will appear below the option to “Use this sound”. Once tapped, users will be able to select the part of the video they want to remix into a Short. The clip will then have an attribution prompt to the channel it was sampled from, with a link to the original video.
Interestingly, in 2021, YouTube rolled out the ability to slice audio clips from long-form video, so this is an extension of this feature, providing a new way to discover and engage with YouTube content.
To note, creators can also turn off the ability for content to be remixed and can opt-out once videos have been sampled, with any Shorts using their content being set to Unlisted and scheduled for deletion in 30 days. YouTube also announced plans to rollout more sustainable creator monetisation within Shorts very soon, as well as expansion of Shorts beyond the mobile app.
YouTube’s New Search Insights
YouTube is rolling out a new Search Insights tool for creators, located in the YouTube Studio under the analytics section on desktop.
The video-sharing service announced this element was being added back in November. However, this new announcement will see all creators have access.
The tool allows information to be seen around key topics of interest among a creator’s viewers, along with figures around search volume and the amount of traffic a channel has attracted based on specific search queries.
YouTube is also including a “Content Gap” insight, showing search terms that don’t have a high volume of matches, allowing creators to focus on content that lacks videos available on the platform, as means of reaching new audiences.
YouTube has also added “Searches Across YouTube”, providing insight into the most common search queries based on any keyword.
These new search tools tap into the insights provided by other Googles services such as Search Console and Google Trends. The new insights for YouTube could also assist marketers with information on content ideas based on what searches are popular on the platform. However, this tool will no doubt benefit many creators looking to grow and enhance their content production.
Snapchat’s AR Art Experiences
In partnership with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Snapchat has launched a digital art series. Snapchat explains this series as a tribute to the changing landscapes and histories of Los Angeles. The platform has joined forces with LA-based artists and Snap AR creators to design Lenses that bring an AR perspective to various locations.
The AR artworks that are unlocked through the Snap Camera include installations by Judy Baca, Sandra de la Loza and Kang Seung Lee. The artworks are locked to physical locations but users can recreate similar experiences when scanning Snapcodes here.
Snapchat has been stepping up partnerships with artists in recent times, working with the likes of Damien Hirst. The collaborations bring a new wave of engagement and awareness of art through AR experiences, which foreshadows how art could be utilised within the metaverse.
TikTok’s Downvote Option
Downvoting is something we have become accustomed to across Reddit. However, over the years more social platforms have been looking at ways to integrate a downvote system to enhance user experiences.
TikTok becomes the latest to this list with some users spotting prompts to downvote, allowing users to mark video replies they don’t want to see. TikTok has confirmed the test with the following statement:
“We’ve started testing a way to let individuals identify comments they believe to be irrelevant or inappropriate. This community feedback will add to the range of factors we already use to help keep the comment section consistently relevant and a place for genuine engagement. To avoid creating ill-feeling between community members or demoralize creators, only the person who registered a dislike on a comment will be able to see that they have done so.”
The iteration of downvotes appears to operate differently from that of Reddit’s option, as on TikTok it’s not the community that decides ranking it is the creator of the content. TikTok started testing this feature in 2020 but it now appears the test is being expanded.
This new test could in the future help identify negative/harmful engagement on the platform and serve as an effective tool to protect users. On this point, TikTok has also experimented with new reminders to guide creators through comment filtering, bulk block and delete options – a useful tool that Instagram has improved recently. These new updates all feed into TikTok’s aim of making the platform as safe as possible and a positive experience for all users.