September 6, 2022: Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye last week
New Research Shows GenZ Wants to be Influencers: A new study from SEO optimization company HigherVisibility purports to show that more than a third of 16-25 year olds in the US want to be influencers, and more than a quarter trust influencer product reviews over user-reviews on product pages. But there are some caveats. London-based Censuswide – an expert in panel-based research – canvassed 1,000 16-25 year-olds. Panels are great but directional not projectible. In addition, even though the research was done in late July, the data on “influencers” in the report is very out of date. For example, Mr Beast is highlighted as a favorite creator with 60M subs – a milestone he reached in mid-2021 (he’s at nearly 200M across all channels today) – an error that makes me question the accuracy of the whole thing.
Even Little Kids Want to be Creators (but beware outdated data): And in a related story, Rebecca Jennings of Vox wrote an interesting piece about how even little kids want to be creators – something I saw play out at VidCon over the past few years too. It’s a good read, although the two studies Jennings cited were more than three years old. I don’t doubt the jist of the story, but I would like to see a statistically projectible study on how kids today feel about becoming a creator.
Creators are Dead, it’s all about NIMCELs and the Trusted Mid-Tier: But perhaps there’s not really much of a creator business to aspire to. Taylor Lorenz explores a new type of creator, the “Niche Internet Micro CELebrity”, who desires neither fame nor fortune. Venture Beat says the real opportunity for marketers are mid-tier creators with deep communities built on trust, not fame. Vogue Business is more direct, declaring that “The era of celebrity influencers is over”. Li Jin piles on, saying that fans are the new creators. Or maybe it’s all just going to the dogs. And cats. And ferrets.
BeReal – Next Big Platform or Next Big Flameout: The content format is unique, but the network is not. That’s what Nathan Baschez argues in his latest analysis. Instagram is rapidly trying to copy their format and expose it to its much larger network, which may spell doom for the upstart. However, it looks like brands are already starting to embrace BeReal, which could let the company grow into its latest valuation. And the platform just passed 10M DAUs. Brendan Gahan explains why brands are jumping in now and whether it’s a good idea in the long run.
The Era of AI Generative Art is Here: You no longer have to wait until the bouncers at Dall.E-2 let you into the club. Now you can play with open source Stable Diffusion and MidJourney to create fantastic art yourself. This story compares all three and helps you decide which to pursue. Wonder why I’m so excited about these tools? Because they will change how we create visual content in transformative and exciting ways. But it’s not just art, it’s a whole breakthrough in how AI will change our world – not with robots but with helping friendly tools.
- TiKTok testing new “nearby” feature that feels like Foursquare reimagined.
- Even YouTube is now making its own chips.
- Great interview in The Publish Press with Logan Paul’s long-time editor – shows how important behind the scenes experts are for creators.
- More on the Paul brothers – how Jake is applying YouTube creator mechanics to his boxing career.
- Insightful story on how Twitter tried to counter extremism, including adventures in adult-only content and more.
- Derek Yang explains how successful creators scale their output – and how you can too.
- Thoughtful essay on our hunt for newness and how TikTok exposes an inner side of us we might not like.
- The TikTok effect slams into Snap – resulting in 20% layoffs and shuttered products.
- Interesting YouTube trend piece on how its users are adopting new playback speed features.
- TikTok parent launches a search engine in China.
- Article implores publishers to develop a YouTube strategy – isn’t it a bit late for that?
- US bill forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news will likely be voted on this fall – what you need to know.
- Finance is storytelling – essential reading for anyone building a business, creator-first or not.
- Vtubers making big bucks on Twitch – highlighting Code Miko and more.
- New research from HypeAuditor on how different types of content perform on Instagram.
- Antler shares how they are investing in the creator economy and how you can build a scalable platform.
- The first 2023 predictions for the creator economy (bit early, isn’t it Evan Britton).
- Who’s afraid of the big bad deep fake? WaPo, apparently.
- The Platformer explains why Reddit is still betting on the blockchain.
- Why next week’s Ethereum merge is such a big deal.
- Zuckerberg announces new VR headset coming in October will focus on social mechanics.
- Web3 pioneers are starting to trade like Web2 dinosaurs.
- YAY! Sims creator Will Wright is back with a blockchain game.
Tip of the Week: 25 of them, actually, from an early Clubhouse employee focused on building community-first products, go-to-market strategies and more.
What We’re Watching:
- More Snoop Dog cringe – his MTV metaverse performance with Eminem fused stoner culture with bored apes. Watch if you dare.
UPDATE: I’m no longer at VidCon/Paramount, and so this newsletter is now 100% distributed via LinkedIn (and reposted on my blog). I’m also planning on offering sponsorships, so if you’d like to discuss that, please contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to help you achieve your business goals!
Also expect a bit more opinion going forward, given that I’m no longer speaking with anyone’s voice but my own. Irregular rants now and then too.
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