ICYMI: How to Apologize in Influencer
Here's what happened on social media this week, April 29
Welcome! This a recap of news and trends for and about creators.
📌 Instagram Tests Pinned Posts: Instagram is testing a TikTok-style feature that lets users pin specific posts to their profile above their photo grid, TechCrunch confirmed. That’s good news for users who want to highlight posts that may be buried in the grid.
⏱ Instagram Tests 90-Second Reels: Instagram is expanding its test of 90-second Reels to more users (even if users don’t want longer video).
👀 TikTok’s Profile View History Test: TikTok’s latest feature, which lets you see who viewed your profile in the past 30 days, just rolled out to my account. To check if you have the option, look for an eye icon in the top right corner of your profile page. It feels super invasive but also intriguing and you can turn this off at any time.
💸 Elon Musk Buys Twitter for $44 Billion: What’s behind this? Musk says he wants to restore free speech to the platform. That’s a statement that doesn’t totally hold up for a private social network used in many different countries, as TechCrunch pointed out. Never mind that removing content moderation and community guidelines will scare off advertisers who currently make up Twitter’s primary revenue source.
The whole thing seems like the ill-conceived whim of a billionaire who wants to operate with impunity and hasn’t really thought through the global laws, customs and logistics involved with running the world’s town square. It’s the business world equivalent of “it’s so easy, the intern can do it.” (Here’s one explanation why people think that way.) And all we can do is watch.
By the way, if you lost Twitter followers this week, that’s also on Musk. Twitter says the unfollows came from “organic” account closures after it was announced that the Tesla CEO would buy the platform. Thanks, Elon.
👻 Snap’s New Drone Review: Snapchat’s new selfie drone launched Thursday but is the Pixy worth $230? Maybe, according to this Wall Street Journal review. Pros: It’s fun; easy to operate; and syncs with your Snapchat account. Cons: It’s too light to operate in windy conditions; has limited features and a short battery life. My prediction is this is going to make a great gift that gets used at least once or twice before being forgotten.
📽 Snapchat’s Director Mode: Snapchat launched Director Mode, a new set of camera and editing tools to make content creation easier. Features include being able to use front-facing and back-facing camera at the same time; improved Green Screen mode and Quick Edit tools.
👆🏻 CLICK THRU
📲 We Need to Talk About Tinx’s Old Tweets
An influencer who’s been dubbed TikTok’s “Big Sister” for her heartfelt relationship advice and inspirational pep talks is in danger of being disinvited to the family Thanksgiving. Let’s unpack this:
Tinx (aka Christina Najjar) got famous during the pandemic for her semi-ironic “Rich Mom Starter Pack” TikTok videos. She did a collab with ultimate rich mom Gwyneth Paltrow, partnered with Kiehl’s, Chipotle, Dior and Armani Beauty and was profiled in pieces that claimed it was the Age of the Authentic Influencer.
Last week, beauty editor Sophie Ross curated a bunch of problematic tweets from a subreddit called /TinxSnark. The tweets ranged from some nasty fat phobic jokes in 2012 to liking and retweeting anti-Asian tweets at the start of the pandemic, mocking Hillary Clinton and taking a dig at the wife of a progressive American political journalist. (If you dig into the subreddit, there’s a consistent pattern of harsh content for the past decade.)
A couple of days later Tinx apologized for the 2012 tweets saying she was a work in progress. Then she apologized for the 2020 tweets saying she wasn’t thinking clearly. Then she turned off commenting on her Instagram and TikTok posts and said she would no longer address the matter on her podcast. Discussion over!
Now, millennial TikTok is divided between ‘everybody makes mistakes’ and ‘the vibes were always off.’
Other than the fact that Tinx comes from a place of privilege and consistently puts wealth on a pedestal — which makes this disappointing but not unexpected — there are some crisis comms basics she could have leaned into to repair her relationship with her followers and online reputation:
Acknowledge the situation
Apologize and take responsibility … this is where Tinx stopped short but we’re not done yet!
Lay out the steps you’re taking to learn and grow to rebuild trust
Message the moment when you resume posting; don’t gloss over what happened
One final note for creators or their managers, monitor Reddit. There’s a subreddit devoted to almost every big influencer. Most of the threads are harmless snark and general grumbling. But when anything toxic (such as allegations of illegal activity, racism, abuse, etc) starts to surface, that’s the time to address the issue. Not after it explodes and gains traction across multiple social platforms.
💰 Mavrck raises $135M, buys Linkin.bio maker Later
Influencer marketing platform Mavrck and social media marketing platform Later have joined forces to become a Creator Economy superpower. It’s a smart move for Mavrck which not only gets Later’s social media management tools but their Linkin.bio feature and one of the best social media blogs out there. The two will continue to operate independently for now but it’ll be really interesting to watch where this goes.
👗 Met Gala 2022: Fashion’s Biggest Night Out
The Met Gala takes place Monday, May 2 in NYC (and streamed across Vogue’s digital platforms!). This year’s theme is Gilded Glamour with Emma Chamberlain and Dixie D’Amelio rumored to attend. And since Instagram head Adam Mosseri is returning as the event's honorary co-chair alongside Vogue’s Anna Wintour, it seems only reasonable to expect some creators in attendance.
📣 QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The reason why we don’t use that word [metaverse] is because it’s pretty ambiguous and hypothetical. Just ask a room of people how to define it, and everyone’s definition is totally different.
But one of the big overarching concepts people have is that a lot of those tools are designed to replace reality. Whereas when we talk about AR, we’re trying to augment the real world around you. So our fundamental bet is that people actually love the real world: they want to be together in person with their friends.”
📖 ALSO ON MY READING LIST…
Scammers are impersonating influencers on platforms like Instagram to lure their followers into shady crypto schemes -Insider
Influencer-led podcasts are proving popular for advertisers -Marketing Brew
The Coastal Grandmother Aesthetic Is a Lifestyle, Not Just a TikTok Trend -Glamour
Shaking is the new photo dump -Embedded
Meta plans to open its first retail store as it highlights metaverse-related products -New York Times
Young influencers are being offered cheap cosmetic procedures in return for promotion -NBC
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s Trial Has Dominated TikTok -BuzzFeed