ICYMI: Meta celebrity chatbots are live 👀
+ Instagram announced updates aimed at teens
⏰ 1-SECOND SUMMARY
Instagram announced feature updates aimed at attracting Gen Z
You can now request early access to meet Meta’s celebrity chatbots
Alix Earle is Gen Z’s favorite influencer
📲 Meta Updates
Instagram hosted a creator meet-up in New York last week, dubbed Instagram University. Details about the event have trickled out thanks to attendees like Jules Pasternak, Luke Himmelsbach and Sydney Bradley who reported on the executive-led sessions. The updates announced were largely directed at Gen Z whose digital habits were credited with shaping the company’s product strategy, said VP and cohead of product Ashley Yuki.
Birthday shout-outs and reminders. Birthday reminders worked on Facebook for years so it makes sense to duplicate this popular feature on Instagram, along with a new tool that will make it easier to share content to celebrate someone’s birthday.
Audio Notes. Music snippets are already an option. This would allow people to add voice recordings.
Selfie Video Notes. Again, it’s all about giving people the ability to post snippets of self expression. And according to Instagram, US teens create Notes at 10 times the rate of non-teens.
Multiple Close Friends Lists. As mentioned last week, there’s so much potential here for regular users, creators and brands to create dedicated lists for the different VIPs in their lives.
Mark Messages "Unread." A game changer for creators and SMMs (social media managers) who juggle multiple ongoing conversations and need a way to prioritize unread messages. Or anyone who doesn’t want you to know they’ve read your message and aren’t responding.
Reels Bonus Comeback. (Sort of.) Instagram is testing performance based incentives in Korea and Japan that could expand to more countries next year.
Adam Mosseri announced two new features for Threads. People will be able to edit a Thread for up to five minutes after posting it, and they can share their thoughts using a Voice Thread, which gives followers the option to listen or read a transcript.
Despite the need for a credible, real-time news platform, Adam Mosseri has reiterated that Threads won’t amplify news. However, he has said the platform is looking at rolling out lists (a feed collections of accounts you want to curate). And screenshots of upcoming Threads’ features, such as trending topics, GIFs, and polls, have all leaked online.
📲 TikTok Updates
TikTok announced Direct Post, a new feature that allows creators to post to the app from third-party editing platforms such as Adobe, Twitch and CapCut.
TikTok announced updates to the Effect Creator Rewards program — creators who create viral filters and effects — expanding to the program to 14 more countries, lowering the creator eligibility criteria and updating the payment structure.
📲 YouTube Updates
YouTube is experimenting with a Community “posts-only” feed on the Home tab of mobile devices. This is super interesting because it spotlights a text-only or text-and-image experience for creators and publishers on YouTube. If you’re posting regularly to Instagram or X, there’s now more visibility for repurposing this style of post on YouTube. Or potentially making YouTube your first destination to post, whether it’s text, an image or video.
YouTube is giving creators the ability to add audio descriptive tracks in YouTube Studio, adding narration during natural pauses in the audio.
YouTube expanded its eligibility threshold for the YouTube Partner Program to 24 new countries. To see if your channel qualifies, check here.
📲 X (Twitter) Updates
As mentioned last week, X is removing article headlines on links shared to the platform. This strips X updates of their context and requires SMMs to create graphic overlay title cards or to overshare in the captions. “Don’t be afraid to over-explain and direct followers to read more by clicking the link,” read a Washington Post memo to reporters, which was shared with Digiday.
Next, Elon Musk plans to remove all action buttons and engagement counts (likes, reposts) from the timeline. Only view counts will be visible, unless you tap into a post. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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🤖 META’S CELEBRITY CHATBOTS ARE HERE
Meta’s celebrity-inspired AI chatbots are now active on Instagram, at least for some users. You can request early access by messaging one of the bots such as @YourSisBillie (aka Kendall Jenner), @ComedyZach (aka MrBeast) or @CocosGotMoves (aka Charli D’Amelio).
It’s worth checking out the capabilities of these personality-driven chatbots since Meta announced that brands and creators would be able to build their own versions early next year.
Celebrity involvement is, of course, sold separately. And it doesn’t come cheap. News emerged last week that at least one of the creators involved would earn $5 million over 2 years, in exchange for about 6 hours of work in a studio. That seems incredibly lucrative for the creators involved.
For example, when I asked Billie what sneakers to buy this season, the not-Kendall bot told me to buy Converse and Vans. Meanwhile, MrBeast’s alter ego Zach recommended I buy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, not Feastables.
“Does the $5MM cover a backdoor Kendall Jenner endorsement for Converse and Vans?” asked Glazer. “When George Clooney is on camera ‘in character,’ there are still (negotiated) restrictions on product placement. The visual of him sipping/wearing/driving a brand still has enormous $$ value.”
It’s possible the shoe plug may fall under an "in character" exception, explains Glazer. For example, despite Clooney's documented Nespresso commercials, his character could visit a Starbucks in a scene. But if it becomes a major plot point, then it could be an endorsement issue.
Considering these implications, maybe $5M is a bargain?
*UPDATE: Sorry for the confusion, the poll should have read “No, this is gonna get out of hand” and “Yes, people know the difference.”
❤️🔥 HIT FOLLOW
This is a new section about creators who have popped off, made the news or are just excelling on social.
AlixEarle. With 6M TikTok followers, she’s not exactly a rising newbie but Earle did recently launch her first podcast, Hot Mess, produced by Alex Cooper's new Unwell Network. And she ranked as Gen Z’s favorite influencer in Piper Sandler’s semi-annual Taking Stock With Teens report. If you haven’t followed her yet, now’s a good time to get on board.
HayleyyBaylee; DailyXSav; MDMotivator; WishboneKitchen and Octopusslover8. What do these creators all have in common? They all got tapped to help Ed Sheeran promote his new music when the singer released his latest album 'Autumn Variations’ on September 29.
The boost may have helped him debut at No. 1 in the UK. The WishboneKitchen cameo even served double duty by also incorporating Sheeran’s hot sauce brand, Tingly Ted, into a taco collab.
While we don’t know the compensation details for the creators involved, clearly having a Sheeran cameo makes for good content and elevates this group as perceived tastemakers among the audience demo.
📖 WORTH READING
Can TikTok take over Black Friday with plans to subsidize discounts as high as 50% -Retail Wire
Utah sues TikTok, alleging it lures children into addictive and destructive social media habits -AP
Teens Love LinkedIn: To some high-schoolers burned out on FOMO and thirst traps, the networking platform is “the way social media should be.” -The Cut
10 totally valid questions to ask before working with influencers -Later
How a social network fails: People have to like it, which is something Elon Musk seems to have a hard time understanding -The Atlantic (paywall)
Creator group Dude Perfect just launched a streaming service, debuting at No. 2 in the sports category on Apple’s App Store charts, just behind ESPN — making them less reliant on their YouTube channel -The Publish Press
The outbreak of war has proven community moderation on social media is a failed project and our public spaces can’t or won’t be fixed -Garbage Day
How influencers can ask brands for deadline extensions during difficult social climates -Fohr
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