ICYMI: Live Shopping Hits Pause?
Here's what happened on social media this week, July 8
This a recap of news and trends for and about creators — or anyone interested in social media and marketing. Thanks for reading!
📲 TikTok’s E-Commerce Problems: There are conflicting reports about TikTok’s e-commerce program in Europe and the US.
Earlier, this week the Financial Times reported TikTok had abandoned plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative in Europe and the US after influencers reportedly dropped out and sales were said to be slow.
“The market just isn’t there yet,” a TikTok employee was reported saying. “General consumer awareness and adoption are still low and nascent.”
TikTok almost immediately disputed the report and said they never planned to launch TikTok Shop in Europe in the first half of 2022, and were focused on getting its UK offering just right.
So where are things at now: Delayed but not DOA. There are billions of dollars at stake. Which means TikTok (and every other platform) will continue to work on the live shopping format until they find a way to connect with Western audiences.
🔵 Twitter’s New CoTweet Feature: Twitter’s launched a new CoTweet feature, similar to Instagram’s collab posts which allow two accounts to share the same update. This is great news for organizations, institutions, brands; news outlets and their journalists; studios, networks, labels and their artists, or anyone looking to break news, announce partnerships or collaborate on projects.
👆🏻 CLICK THRU
🎤 Shorts are redefining the artist journey on YouTube
TikTok, get in line. YouTube wants to be the destination for artists to post long-form video and Shorts.
In a blog post this week, YouTube said artist channels uploading both Shorts and long-form video are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long-form.
💰 How Much Does TikTok Pay vs YouTube?
The highest-earning YouTubers made more than the top TikToker earners in 2021, according to this MoneyTransfers research.
There is some speculation that if Charli D'Amelio had been on TikTok as long as MrBeast had been on YouTube (10 years), she could have out-earned him.
That’s a big “if” since it assumes TikTok will be just as relevant in 10 years and Charli will still be posting.
🌎 Some international perspective for American influencers who think the FTC rules are too strict:
Creators Are Still Breaking Out on Instagram
The ranking in this article about creators who are seeing a surge in popularity comes from Famous Birthdays data — largely driven by search queries on Famous Birthdays’ website. But it’s still interesting to see creators making an impact despite all the headlines about stalled growth and plummeting engagement rates.
📣 QUOTES OF THE WEEK
🛍 Amazon’s Prime Day creator program has sparked more headlines than hashtags this week. The e-comm giant seems to be borrowing its influencer marketing playbook from a mix of Revolve’s influencer getaways and Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale and generating lots of press in the process.
Here’s a recap of some experts quoted to give you a sense of how the company is positioning July’s shopping bonanza and some perspective on the challenges they’re facing in getting influencers to go live.
Tl;dr: Amazon is giving creators bonuses, beach trips and hosting creator houses to get influencers on board promoting Prime Day and participating in Amazon Live Prime Day streams, with mixed results.
“We used to think of creators as a ‘nice to have,’ but we’re now in a space where it’s a critical part of how we go to market and how we succeed — that’s been the biggest shift over the last few years”
-Ukonwa Ojo, the outgoing global CMO of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said during a Cannes Lions panel discussion hosted by Adweek
“Ensuring creators are set up for success leading into Prime Day is our No. 1 priority going into July. Content development is a large time commitment for any creator, so we held three events to give creators a visually compelling space and early access to deals to create content ahead of Prime Day”
-Meredith Silver, director of creator growth at Amazon in Adweek’s Amazon Unleashes the Influencers for Prime Day
“I think there has been this conventional wisdom that it is inevitable that it is going to become a major trend here. And I haven’t seen evidence yet to suggest that’s really the case”
-Andrew Lipsman, an analyst with Insider Intelligence told the Financial Times for their piece: Amazon pins hopes on influencers to crack livestream shopping market
“While I can go on TikTok Live and engage with my followers about all different subjects for hours, talking nonstop for an hour about Amazon products feels a lot like QVC”
-Anonymous creator quoted in Business Insider’s piece, Leaked emails reveal what Amazon offers to pay influencers to post shoppable livestreams
"To be successful on Amazon Live, you have to be a host, you have to have a personality for it, and I don't think everyone has that… I think that is part of the challenge. It's certainly not for everyone"
-Anonymous talent manager quoted in Business Insider’s Why Amazon's live-shopping program has struggled to win over influencers
“We still haven’t seen Prime Day become the all-out national holiday celebrated on our social feeds that Nordstrom managed to accomplish with influencers around its Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. BuzzFeed even dubbed it the Super Bowl of swipe-ups. But Prime Day just hasn’t saturated Instagram’s fashion and beauty creator accounts in the same way”
-Lia Haberman (yes, yours truly) speaking to Modern Retail for their take, Amazon is leaning on influencers to help boost Prime Day sales
🧮 DATA OF THE WEEK
“The average engagement rate for feed posts (excluding Reels and IGTV) has decreased by 44% since 2019”
If your engagement rates have dipped over the last few years, it’s not you. It’s them. Based on a Later study of 81M Instagram posts: How Reels Have Impacted Feed Post Performance
📖 ALSO ON MY READING LIST…
Caroline Calloway's Unauthorized Magical Garden -TheWreckList
Meet the girlies who started the “He’s A 10 But” meme -BuzzFeed
MKBHD says yes to Google Glass, AR and short-form video. And no to the metaverse -TechCrunch
As a recession looms, some influencer marketing budgets are increasing -Marketing Brew
The ‘GentleMinions’ trend, explained -Polygon
What’s behind the fall of the family vlogging genre? -Daily Dot
Digital Creators Rethink Hollywood As Some Push to Work On Their Own Terms -The Hollywood Reporter
Fans are saddened over the death of Technoblade, a popular Minecraft YouTuber -NPR
Your digital self will outlive you -Morning Brew