ICYMI: Instagram's New App Could Be Here By June
Meta's hosting secret meetings with select creators to share details
[a sneak peek at Instagram’s new text-based app]
⏰ 1-SECOND SUMMARY
Instagram’s new Twitter-like, text app may be here as soon as the end of June
Two questions Tarte’s CEO should have asked herself before recording a GRWM video in response to claims of bias
TikTok’s banned in Montana; don’t expect the state's most popular TikToker, Hank Green, to protest
What’s Your Strategy for Instagram’s New Text-App?!
You might have read about a new, decentralized, social network Instagram is building for “creators and public figures.”
Codename: P92, Project 92 or Barcelona, as it’s been alternately called.
Tagline: “Instagram for your thoughts.”
All new details have surfaced based on secret calls Meta has been having with select creators, hinting at a potential release in late June. Here’s what I was told by a creator who met with Meta:
1️⃣ The decentralized app is built on the back of Instagram but will be compatible with some other apps like Mastodon:
There’s a single sign-on with your IG username and password
You can sync up with your existing followers
Your handle, bio and even verification will carry over from IG
Users on other apps will be able search for, follow and interact with your profile and content
2️⃣ The app will have a centralized feed showcasing your followers and recommended content
You can post text updates up to 500 characters (that’s less than an Instagram caption, an extended tweet or a LinkedIn post so be concise!)
You can attach links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long
You can engage with likes, replies and reposts
3️⃣ The app will have creator controls and account safety features
You can control replies, mentions and easily block or report spam
Accounts you’ve blocked on IG will carry over
Hidden words you’ve selected on IG will carry over
2-factor authentication will be enabled
The same IG community guidelines will be enforced
There are currently no set plan for monetization being shared, which could mean no ads to start? In which case, expect the emphasis to be on an organic social strategy.
The micro text updates the app allows might even replace the Twitter screenshots that seem to have overrun the Feed recently?! But, of course, any time a new app launches it’s impossible to predict exactly how audiences will respond. So, as always, prepare to adapt.
📲 More Meta Updates:
Instagram just announced Collaborators, a new feature that allows creators to invite fellow creators, friends and guests to join their Broadcast Channel for a conversation. Once you're added as a Collaborator, you can post text messages, voice notes, photos and links. And you remain in the channel with permissions until you resign as a Collaborator or are removed by the Creator.
Starting this week, you can drop GIFs in an Instagram post or Reels comment section. This is either cringe or cool, depending on your demographic.
If you ever created Product Guides on Instagram, those will disappear in June. You can still create Location Guides but the feature is so under-promoted most people don’t even know Guides exist so it doesn’t really seem like there’s a point to starting now. RIP to this under-appreciated discovery tool.
Facebook rolled out more Creator Education resources to help you understand how to monetize your Reels.
📲 TikTok Updates:
TikTok launched a “Effect Creator Rewards” program that pays creators from a $6M fund for popular augmented reality effects. Creators earn a base of $700 and up to $14,000 for effects that appear in at least 500,000 videos within its first 90 days, according to Insider, with a maximum payout of $50K per month. Time to become an AR creator!
Montana’s most famous TikToker, Hank Green, and his neighbors are out of luck. The app has been banned by that state’s governor. The law takes effect in January, if it hasn’t been deemed unconstitutional by then.
But don’t expect to see Green lobbying on the app’s behalf. “I don’t feel good about it,” he told Kaya Yurieff at The Information’s Creator Economy Summit. “I don’t understand and will not understand the intricacies of the set of problems involved in international relations between the United States and China… because I’m a f**king bio-chemist.”
*this was written before I saw Hank Green's YouTube update about his cancer diagnosis and now regret the flippant tone.
📲 Google Updates:
First Twitter, now Google has announced it will start deleting inactive accounts after two years so you might want to log in and reactivate that old email account. A spokesperson tweeted that the company wouldn’t delete accounts with YouTube videos.
Google has been testing its PaLM 2 technology with things like YouTube titles and descriptions and also providing creators with five video ideas based on topics that appear relevant.
👆🏻 CLICK THRU
🚫 Tarte’s No Good, Very Bad Brand Apology
In between Vanderpump Rules drama and the absolute nonsense at Set, Tarte drama continues to pop up on my FYP. The problem stems from the CEO’s efforts earlier this month to be the trendy “cool mom” rather than address the company’s underlying issues.
I don’t claim to be a PR pro but there is an existing framework that brands can consult when they become TikTok’s character of the day, so let’s get into it so I can exorcise this from my timeline.
What’s Happening: Tarte was accused of bias. Again. This time surrounding their influencer trips to the Turks and Caicos and Miami’s Formula 1 race. Rolling Stone and Time both did excellent explainer pieces, detailing how the brand failed creators of color earlier this month — whether it was assigning them smaller rooms or staggering their visits so that they weren’t included in key activities. The incidents appeared to be part of a broader pattern of inadequate representation within the company which extended from the leadership team to their employees and the creators invited on coveted brand trips.
Remember When: Tarte’s Dubai trip earlier this year also drew criticism for the significant lack of diversity among the influencers included (valid) and for accusations of being economically tone deaf (not as valid, IMO, since every brand has a different marketing mix and no one seems to be criticizing other companies on how they spend their marketing budgets).
In Case of Emergency: When shit hits the fan, there’s a framework brands can use to determine whether a situation constitutes unwarranted criticism or a legitimate crisis they need to address.
Is there a noticeable shift in online sentiment or conversation?
Could this situation have a material or legal impact on the company overall?
Why We’re Still Talking About This: Given Tarte’s prior track record, the minute the claims of “second-tier” treatment surfaced online, CEO Maureen Kelly should not have recorded a light hearted, and now-deleted, GRWM (get ready with me) TikTok video minimizing the complaint and chalking it up to a miscommunication. Responding defensively and dismissively to the immediate complaint and not grasping that it was a symptom of a larger company issue became the story.
It’s now been almost three weeks and the recaps, breakdowns, and explainer content continue on TikTok and in the media.
In the meantime, Tarte has posted a job on LinkedIn for a Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion position — not to make a problem go away, but rather to “start conversations that can lead to a better solution,” Kelly told NBC News.
However, that’s sharply at odds with concurrent actions of the company and its CEO in blocking online critics (like @CultureWork and @SaraJMcCord) on TikTok. Tarte might not appreciate their cultural commentary but it’s valid criticism. Ignore it if you want to, but don’t block them as if they’re trolls, especially if you’re claiming that open conversations are part of your solution. That’s just throwing gas on a raging fire.
Instead, acknowledge your mistake; apologize sincerely; and take genuine action on corrective measures.
Related: Tarte was actually crushing it in April, according to Creator IQ: Tribe Dynamics’ EMV (Earned Media Value) report of Beauty and Fashion Brand Rankings — making it into the top 10 EMV cosmetics brands. And that number hasn’t dropped. Yet.
“Usually, if an event is truly perceived negatively, you’ll see a drop in conversations from the creators as they don’t want to be associated with the brand,” tweeted Creator IQ CSO Conor Begley. It’ll be interesting to see how the brand fares moving forward. And whether Maureen Kelly resumes her It Girl ambitions.
📣 QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“You might have 12 followers and you’re selling swag… the idea that creators should monetize themselves in every avenue they can, is just trickling down to the everyday person.”
-Vickie Segar, founder of Village Marketing, in the New York Times feature: For Gen Z, Playing an Influencer on TikTok Comes Naturally
📖 ON YOUR RADAR…
ChatGPT now has an official iPhone app -Engadget
Instagram and Facebook Are Using Fears of a TikTok Ban to Poach Influencers -Gizmodo
The Internet needs more harmlessly polarizing polls like Young Pacino vs Young De Niro -Twitter
The world doesn’t need “Fyre Fest the musical” or a 2.0 version of the live event -TikTok
Retweets are more common among Democratic Twitter users, while replies are more common among Republicans -Pew Research Center
Influencer who created AI version of herself says it's gone rogue and she's working 'around the clock' to stop it saying sexually explicit things (OR A Masterclass In Generating Weekly Headlines Based on People’s Fears and Desires) -Insider
Colin and Samir are bringing their community to Discord (I hope to find out more about this!) -TubeFilter
5 top influencers share the media kits that got them lucrative brand deals -Passionfruit
Why Black creators say relationships with platforms remain strained -Digiday
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The greatest compliment I got this week was finding out employees at TikTok have been passing my newsletter around.