ICYMI: Facebook’s $1B Creator Fund

Here's what happened on social media this week, July 15

Welcome and thanks for reading! If you’re new here, this is a curated list of trending social content and platform updates that looks at how we use technology to communicate.

💻 Roadmap

💵 Facebook and Instagram have finally launched a creator fund, promising to pay out $1 billion to US-based creators. The bonuses are based on posting Reels, going Live and signing up for IGTV ads, among other things. And while it’s invite only right now, presumably the more you use these features as a creator, the greater your chance of being selected to earn bonuses. 

It’s anyone’s guess whether this will keep creators on Facebook and Instagram versus having them flock to TikTok. (Here’s a handy chart that breaks down what each platform pays creators to show up and one good take that says too little, too late.) But if you are a creator, this is a unique opportunity to get yours before the money runs out. 

🥳 Facebook’s Messenger sound emoji update is a vibe and I like it. Each “soundmoji” has different audio attached including snippets from Olivia Rodrigo, Arianna Grande and Rebecca Black, along with more ambient noises. I could definitely see this feature being adopted across other platforms.

🔵 Twitter announced it was getting rid of Fleets this week, their version of Stories. You’ve got to admire that they’re the first to admit that not all features work across all social platforms. 

💬 Clubhouse just launched its own DM feature called Backchannel. Users can chat via text one-on-one, in groups, and send links before, during or after Rooms are live. Until now, you had to communicate using a separate app so this update makes a lot of sense for them. 

👆 Click Thru 

😡 Instagram’s Creator Fund could not come at a better time as the influencers on the platform are getting increasingly frustrated: “Creators [are] being forced to change entirely who we are in order to ‘succeed.’”

In the same vein, this piece explains how photo dumps are trending as users don’t want to engage with Instagram’s new features. Reels, and the push for more video, squeezes creators between what the algorithm demands and an audience that never asked for any of this.

🔍 TikTok’s parent company delayed their IPO indefinitely after Chinese officials asked Byte Dance to focus on data security risks. Thoughts and prayers to all the hard working employees who were hoping to cash in their stock options.  

⚽️ There was a major soccer event in Europe last week which led racists fans to target 3 black players online. A technology glitch enabled the abuse admitted Instagram. But as this TIME piece asks, why — in 2021 — is racist abuse still possible on social media? Sadly, there’s no solution offered but the answer probably lies in a mix of corporate responsibility, government legislation and civic action to ensure change.

📲 Chrissy Teigen (temporarily) quit social media after being accused of bullying. She’s back and she’s not handling the isolation so well. “Being at home along with my mind makes my depressed head race.” Chrissy embraced social media more than most celebrities which is what made her so interesting to follow but her inability to quit and take the time she needs to work on her issues seems like a sad spiral that won’t end well.   

💉 Continuing the tradition of digital talent visiting the White House, Olivia Rodrigo traveled to DC to meet with the President and VP and encourage people to get vaccinated.

🆓 Britney Spears celebrated the latest court ruling in her favor by captioning an Instagram post with the fan-generated #FreeBritney hashtag. And just like everything else Britney posts online, the caption was carefully scrutinized.

🌮 McCormick’s new Director of Taco Relations role is basically everyone’s ideal job description and a really creative way to frame what essentially amounts to an influencer marketing campaign. Pick something everybody loves (tacos!) and add $100K. Who wouldn’t want this job?! 

📷 A woman, who may or may not have been an influencer (she had an Instagram account), died after a freak accident and it unleashed a wave of vitriol and hate that this piece does a good job of unpacking.

🧹 Facebook executives have clashed over CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data tool. This line in a fairly dishy story captures what seems to be a recurring issue for the platform: "Facebook’s obsession with managing its reputation often gets in the way of its attempts to clean up its platform." 

💰 How much do social media managers get paid. This compensation survey tried to answer that question.

🎓 In Session

I had some amazing guest speakers join my UCLA Extension classes for creators and entrepreneurs this Spring. I’m sharing some of the best advice or wisdom they shared.

“…general tips that I always hear from creators on how to get started or what they would tell their younger selves: A lot of people say they wish that they had experimented more with other platforms. Just not being afraid to get on other platforms and experiment with other things.

We find a lot of creators are kind of stuck to one thing. A lot of the time it's YouTube. They started on YouTube. Usually, they'll have an Instagram but they're a little afraid to get on to TikTok or they're afraid to experiment with Pinterest.

A lot of creators have found that that's the best way that they've grown or once they've established their core audience it's really hard to continue to grow that. So you have to branch out to new platform and experiment there as well to help continue that growth.

So that's one thing I've heard a lot. Another thing is just keeping up with the industry as a creator and knowing what's going on, knowing about these new features or potential new features and tools that platforms are looking to release...

I think that's really helpful as a creator, knowing about these new things that are going on and trying them out.”

-Amanda Perelli, Business Insider reporter who covers the influencer industry and the creator economy, on what’s working for creators right now