The Surprising Reason Why 1.5B Shorts Views Are Good for Everyone, TikTok’s Chinese Backdoor, and How to Convert Your Followers into Paid Subscribers

6-20-2022 – Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye this week:

1.5B Shorts Views Are Good for Everyone: YouTube announced last week that 1.5B people watch Shorts every month. Predictably the internet yapped about how this is bad for TikTok and other platforms. I’ve got a different take – and you can read it here. In a nutshell competition spurs innovation and we all win. It’s not all roses and unicorns though – as we still haven’t figured out how to reliably share short-form vertical video revenue with creators.

Facebook Really, Really Wants To Be TikTok: In related news, Facebook plans on making its newsfeed more like TikTok. This is a dramatic departure for Big Blue. Combine that with some of the more tactical changes – including Instagram’s new photo remix feature cribbed from Double-T and new video remixing features – and Meta is evolving yet again. All of this (and more) will be a huge part of this week’s VidCon, as top execs from Meta, TikTok, YouTube and beyond lay out their visions for the future. Buy your ticket NOW!

Convert Your Followers into Paying Customers: Your fans, followers, likes and shares are great – but paying subscribers are the best. But how to convert? These tips from DCN are focused on web publishers, but they’re relevant to your creator-first channels too. Why are subscribers so powerful? Mighty Networks has an interesting calculator that shows you the value of a subscriber across Patreon, Only Fans, Substack, Twitch and Mighty Networks. The calculator also compares sub revenue with ad revenue from YouTube, Instagram and TikTok – and merch and affiliate returns too. The numbers are a bit wonky but directionally very cool. Not only does it reinforce a 12x value difference between a YouTube and TikTok view, but it also helps you expand your revenue mix. The underlying message – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Did I Miss Web 4? Twitter founder Jack Dorsey just announced a crypto-based platform called “Web5”. It’s a fascinating new way to solve the identity problem on the web by imagining a decentralized and trusted identity storage platform. It’s worth perusing the presentation slides, although it is chock-full of TLAs and crypto-speak. Dorsey also hopes to bring down the Web3 world (good luck!). Of course, I have questions. First, what happened to Web4? Perhaps the web can only phased be prime numbers – in that case I can’t wait for Web 7-11 (the Big Gulp Years). Also, does anyone else remember Web0? Punch cards and sneakernet FTW!

Uh-Oh – US TikTok Data Still Available to Chinese Teams: Remember when TikTok was being forced to divest to Oracle and Walmart to protect US data from the Chinese government? Double-T convinced the US feds that all was good – but apparently it wasn’t. Buzzfeed reported Friday that a backdoor still exists for Chinese staff to view PII. The company quickly announced Friday that it had, in fact, moved its US data to Oracle servers. This developing story could tarnish TikTok in the US – and other western countries. Stay tuned.



This Week at VidCon: You know you want to come to VidCon this week. So, buy a ticket already! Here are some resources and things going on.

Tip of the Week: Double dose! First up, five great Shorts tips from two of my favorite creator advocates and newsletter masters Colin and Samir! And then a welcome back to OG YouTuber Matt Koval and his new channel focused on helping creators build their careers. His first video focuses on the lifecycle of a YouTube creator (spoiler alert, 5-7 years) and promises to help you extend yours. Well worth a watch and a sub.


What We’re Watching:

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