This Week: It’s the second week of November and here’s what you need to know.
Raging Debate Roils the Creator Economy: Just as UGC evolved from “those kids on YouTube” to creators making videos FOR brands to use, the terms influencer and creator are evolving. Sparked by an Ad Week story titled “Why Does Everyone Hate the Term Influencer”, opinions have bounced around LinkedIn and beyond. Some of the more insightful:
- Ex FB exec Sara Wilson sees misogyny playing a part, sparking an interesting debate.
- Brand and Influencer exec Shayna Macklin sees influencers as someone who moves the needle for a brand across the funnel, whereas creators create content – and believes creators outnumber true influencers by 10 to 1 – or more.
- Max Reisinger explains why he doesn’t see himself as a creator anymore.
- Brett Dashevsky lays out his thoughts, with a spirited conversation resulting as well.
- Slow Ventures explores different types of creators – and the creator as entrepreneur.
AI Goes To Washington: US President Biden releases an executive order cracking down on AI. It’s pretty generic, lacks some basic protections, favors incumbents, will be hard to impose across borders, and will likely stifle innovation. Most of the regulations will be managed by NIST – the National Institute of Standards and Technology – best known for keeping our Atomic Clocks regular and daylight savings time on track. Interestingly one thing not covered is how copyright laws apply to LLMs, but perhaps the courts will sort that out. Hot takes:
- Passionfruit takes a stab at what it all means for creators.
- Early Microsoft Exec Steven Sinofsky uses history to dissect and dismantle the executive order.
- Stratechery piles on, and compares the legislation to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, also concludes that it’s wrongheaded and backwards.
Lipstick On a Pig: Instagram continues to test and roll out a variety of new features. But many users seem non-plussed. Check out the comments when Instagram chief Mosseri teased new ways for friends to collaborate on feeds. Many instead decried the algorithmic changes keeping friends from actually seeing their posts. Perhaps Instagram is teetering on the wrong side of the usage / revenue / happy user nexus.
Lisbon Meetup NEXT WEEK! So excited to announce my second annual Inside the Creator Economy meetup on November 16th in Lisbon, Portugal. Join me and friends from Influencers.Club at Le Chat, Jardim 9 de Abril from 6:30 to 8:30 – and possibly longer! Here’s a review of this stunning bar/restaurant overlooking the water. Want three years of a free drink at each of my global meetups (Seattle, San Diego, Dubai and Las Vegas in the next 6 months alone)? Then buy one of my Virtualness tickets/tokens for $19.99. Can’t wait to see you there.
- New teen safety tools from YouTube. At least they are trying.
- Ad blocking heats up – why I think this is still a good thing for creators.
- May 2024 Brandcast dates announced. Start hustling your YouTube connections for an invite now.
- YouTube and Twitch dialing back the dollars spent wooing game streamers.
- YouTube testing “Search Shortcuts” in comments.
- Rene Ritchie shares when YouTubers will get A/B thumbnail testing (time to catch up to Meta).
- You read about it here weeks ago – now it just happened. Ad-free paid comes to Meta.
- UK company claims they own the rights to “Threads” and that Meta must change the name.
- Meta rolls out A/B testing on Reels – up to 4 thumbnails can be tested simultaneously – along with other tools.
- AI NPCs may be coming to Instagram.
- TikTok responds to critics, rolls out policies to protect the community and reduce spread of hate.
- Don’t hate on Lemon8. But it is getting a bit late.
- Digital gifting to creators ramping up.
- Wired profiles a top talent manager discovering and building TikTok celebs.
- Oh hey, let’s train little kids to use TikTok. I talked to a dad this week who says this is definitely working (sigh).
- A TikToker might be president in 10 years – here are a few politicians using the platform today (my money is on Jeff Jackson).
BRANDING AND MARKETING
- I really like Agentio’s vision of a programmatic marketplace for in-show sponsorships. In success both creators and brands will benefit.
- Consolidation continues, with TBA acquiring Joybyte and Stagwell snapping up Movers and Shakers.
- Case Study: Uber wants to own TikTok. Marriott builds a TikTok tribe.
OTHER CREATOR ECONOMY
- Most US adults favor parental consent and time limits for minors using social media.
- The Verge imagines how a federated social internet might work – sort of like websites and RSS from 20 years ago.
- Pinterest beats earnings forecast, launches new website to help creators.
- Kick is shocked, shocked to find gambling going on.
- Mainstream press continues to “discover” creators, with stories on “granfluencers”, “lobsterfluencers” and next-gen “journalists” (ironically, all three stories are paywalled).
- China wants to expose all of its influencers.
- Fun to see Liza Koshy back – if only for a minute or so. Oh and Joey Graceffa is trying to resurrect “Escape the Night”.
- Great to see creator-led movies dominating theaters recently with Five Nights at Freddys, Conjuring House and Talk To Me seeing good success.
- Testing LinkedIn’s ability to squash AI bots and fake users.
- Should we peg SAAS pricing to earning power globally? Props to Influencers.Club for both raising and addressing the issue (disclosure – I am on their advisory board).
- Guess this is the end of the “Pivot to video” as Conde Nast lays off 240, shutters video division.
- Generative art services win the first round in copyright court case.
- SBF guilty on seven counts of fraud – punishing crooks is good for crypto.
- New startup launches, using the blockchain to protect copyrights for Youtubers.
- Roblox working on automated real-time voice chat translation.
- Bored Apes founder and Magic Eden launching NFT marketplace that enforces royalties for creators.
- Related, OpenSea lays off 50% of staff.
- Can someone please reprogram my Roomba with CatGPT 😸?
- Related, I was today years old when I learned that “Hello Kitty” is not a cat.
- Community building superhero Teri Yu shares her favorite tools to grow your fanbase.
- Jon Youshaei teams up with Smosh to share why reaction shots are often better than graphic depictions.
- Rene Ritchie and Peter McKinnon talk YouTube algorithm.
Hi, I’m Jim. Thanks for reading and see you around the internet! I’ve built and sold multiple creator economy startups to top media companies – including Discovery and Paramount. Subscribe here on LinkedIn to get this newsletter free every Monday.
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