This week, new math!
7/25/2022: Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye last week
YouTube Stokes the Live Shopping Debate with New Features: If you create, you’ll love these new product features from YouTube. Creators can now embed shopping via an integration with Shopify, along with new ways to make shopping in live streams more convenient. Plus there’s a new “shopping destination” – aka Mall – coming to the Explore tab too. YouTube’s moves didn’t quell the debate about whether western countries will embrace live-stream shopping though. Orca CEO Max Benator poked holes in a BI story denigrating live shopping, while Rockwater’s latest think piece proposed 3 innovations needed to improve live shopping’s chances for success. Even TikTok got into the debate with a passionate plea for live streaming. Will live shopping become the next big thing in the western world? I’m skeptical but applaud YouTube and TikTok’s leadership in this important space.
YouTube Quantifies Its Impact on the US: Big Red just released a new study attempting to show its impact on the US, and the numbers are pretty impressive. 5,500 channels in the US with more than 1 million subscribers, 45k with over 100k subs, and 425,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the US alone. The big number – 25 BILLION dollars in US economy activity. Download the full report – the numbers start on page 24. And let’s hope live streamed shopping adds another few billion to this report when it surfaces again next year.
Toyota Test-Drives TikTok – Winner or Loser? So Toyota wrapped up their Corolla CrossStep challenge last week by giving away a car and claiming success. And with 1.4M videos created with their hashtag, and over 140 million impressions, the numbers are big. Toyota’s new TikTok channel has 130k followers now too. But what’s the point of making a splash on TikTok if you don’t commit? Toyota’s TT channel has only two videos today, one highlighting the winner and the other a pro-shot corporate video. I get awareness plays, but without a long-term on-platform strategy, what exactly was the point?
Dr. Meta and Mr. Facebook: Looks like big blue is going to bifurcate its app to focus on the past – friends and family – and its future. The main feed will be more algorithmically determined and will likely resemble Facebook, while the new Feeds tab will bring you your friends, family and pages you follow. It’s a smart move for Facebook, and promises additional opportunity for short-form creators. Of course there’s no guarantee that the latest changes will last, but it definitely means the death of the NEWS feed.
Death of Google Search? Lots of breathless hype around the revelation from a Google exec that teens are searching more on TikTok and Instagram than Google. Two trends here, one that Google results have become littered with ads, and also that short-form video is a great way to discover restaurants. It doesn’t mean that traditional search is dying, but it does mean that reviews from trusted people – creators, friends, experts – are increasingly more valuable. And it’s often easier to find them on social video platforms than on Google – or Yelp, Amazon or other text-based services too. The social platforms smell the opportunity – check out Instagram’s new map feature, which is aiming directly at Google Maps.
- Ex Instagram Algorithm lead on why open-sourced experimentation is better than full algorithmic transparency (great algo insight here as well).
- New research into stans and fans lays out “the new pyramid of online fandom”. Download here.
- OG creator Cameron Dallas sells his startup Fanfix to SuperOrdinary.
- YouTube adds new options to Shorts, with tipping to come soon.
- TT vs YT: Interesting viewership data shows TikTok in the lead.
- Pressure rises on TikTok’s Chinese ties.
- More on the Twitch exodus we discussed in last week’s newsletter.
- Ezra Cooperstein on the true power of Mr. Beast’s notoriety.
- EQT buys a big chunk of UTA.
- Good story on Patreon from Fast Company, and an interview with Jack Conte at WaPo.
- Oh, and Instagram really wants to compete with Patreon.
- Wow – check out these “neural head avatars”.
- LinkedIn founder and Dall-E investor Reid Hoffman expands on the AI-based image generation tool .
- For Aviation Geeks (and frequent flyers). Best corporate smackdown I’ve seen in years.
- 23 exciting and plausible possibilities for the future of NFTs.
- Long (sponsored) piece on how not all stablecoins are worthless, and how one *might* lead to the future of money.
- How crypto could change books and writing and authors too.
- Mojang bans NFTs from Minecraft.
- Media cartographer Evan Shapiro maps Web3.
- Group of tech experts calls bitcoin “fraud”.
This Week at VidCon Now:
Tip of the Week: Koji head of creators Paul Bakaus with a deceptively easy way to get to know your community:
If you’re a content creator or brand on social media, do this one thing today (and if you work with creators, forward this): Ask 10 regular visitors why they’re following you. Read more about why this works here.
What We’re Watching:
- YouTube Shorts product manager talks new features and answers questions.
- Unpacking these disorienting times we’re living through (in 55 seconds).
- Deep Thoughts from Hank Green.
- John Green delivers coffee (with his Dad!)
- Interesting video explores how the creator economy really works.
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