NYC and Florida brand Social Media Toxic as CEOs Head to DC to Testify

A group of people crossing a street with social media icons

Description automatically generatedFlorida House Votes to Ban Social Media: Well, just for kids under 16. The legislative body zeroed in on the addictive nature of the platform. This was one of my top trends for 2024, and this is just the beginning. The bill still needs to pass the senate and then get signed by the governor, which seems likely. It will still be challenged in court by the platforms but focusing on the addictive nature of the platforms – rather than the content – might suffice where others failed.

  • Related: CEOs of Twitter, Discord, Snap, TikTok and Meta testify at the US Senate on Wednesday about child safety – or the lack thereof – on their platforms. I’d love to be a fly in the wall in *that* green room. Follow that link for live video.
  • Related: New York City mayor calls social media a health hazard.
  • Related: Global research on app usage for kids 4-18 reveals the rise of “The AI Generation”. It’s from Qustodio, who makes parental control and monitoring apps for families, so there’s a lot of data on why you should buy their products. But once you get past that there are additional fascinating insights, including how 20% of kids used OpenAI last year, that half of the kids they surveyed use Roblox and that YouTube and YouTube kids continue to dominate the video world in preference – but not time spent. TikTok takes the time spent crown with nearly two hours a day on average usage for video – but Roblox surpasses that by nearly 20 minutes a day. And I’m fascinated by how much Twitter has grown among kids, given how much of a cesspool it’s become (see below).

Mr Beast Goes to Twitter: The numbers are in. Mr Beast just windowed a 4-month-old video onto Twitter as a test. The video had 217M views as of Friday on YouTube. It delivered 156M ”impressions” on Twitter, and most importantly $263K in revenue. Even Mr. Beast called it a bit of a façade, as advertisers piled into the action – raising the revenue. X appeared to be boosting the video as an ad unit too – many users reported seeing it more A person standing in front of a train track Description automatically generatedthan once. And since the impression count increments each time a video is viewed for 2 seconds, multiple individual exposures lead to multiple impressions per unique viewer. YouTube only increments the view counter after 30 seconds. The numbers are funny. But the strategy is legit. Windowing four-month-old content to different platforms is absolutely viable– if your sponsors are viewed as well. We’ll likely never know the effectiveness of those video views, but it’s certainly worth more testing.

  • Related: Check My Ads filed a complaint to the FTC about the misleading ad wrapper around the video – and the lack of disclosure. All ads should be labelled as such – not as big of a deal with a Beast stampede, but for more reprehensible or misleading content it certainly is.
  • Related: Mr. Beast is close to closing a $100M deal with Prime Video. Fascinating that Amazon was the one to bite here – Disco, Paramount, Disney, Peacock, Netflix and Apple all *could* have made hay here. But Beast is coming soon to a TV streamer near you.
  • Related: Mr Beast goes to China too – welcome to Bilibili – this teaser video has over 8 million views and is number one on the site.

Swifties vs. the Sickos: Fandom to the rescue! When Ai-generated explicit deepfake Taylor Swift content flooded X, there was much handwringing that somebody ought to do something. Well someone did – but it wasn’t X. It wasn’t the government. It was the army of Taylor Swift fans. Through SEO spiking, doxing and other techniques, those awful images and videos are now nearly impossible to find. The world is now waking up to the power of fandom, and how when unleashed it’s hard to control – let alone slow down. Perhaps this vigilante justice will spur our legal machinery to act over deepfakes and sextortion. Perhaps it will reign in the pornographic hellhole that was once Twitter. We can only hope.

How Creators Can Survive Without Support: I expanded on last week’s newsletter about the YouTube layoffs with a look at communities for creators – and other resources. My conclusion: Creators need to tithe 10% to communities and tools to help them connect and grow – and they are really, truly on their own.

  • Related: VidIQ buys Creator Now, a learning hub founded by Eric Decker – part of the consolidation of the YouTube support market.

Who Won the GenZ Brand Wars in 2023? This very personalized report from two experts in the field tries to answer that. Inside you’ll find 10 breezy analyses of the big winners and emerging brands to monitor this year as well. There’s a lot of data out there you can parse through – but sometimes you just need experts to give you their gut.

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  • New research creates a random sampled model of YouTube and uncovers fascinating insight about the platform, including:
    • There are 14 billion videos on YouTube, which makes it a foundational infrastructure of the internet.
    • Video uploads have grown dramatically since 2020, with fully more than 2.5 billion uploaded in 2022 and an estimated 4 billion in 2023. The ballooning storage costs must be epic.
    • Slightly more than 3.5% of YouTube’s videos have more than 10k views, yet they make up 94% of all viewership.
    • The 1% of videos with more than 100 comments accounts for 55% of all comments
    • Likes are even more skewed with a most accruing to well under a tenth of a percent of all videos
    • Views and comments are somewhat correlated (making it a good proxy to identify fake views), yet views and subscribers are hardly correlated at all.
    • Just over 40% of videos are music only, 15% were mostly still images, 20% were video gameplay, 4% religious and 3% news.
    • There’s much more including data on video length distribution, those from live streams, category and tag distribution, advertising call-outs and language.






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