ICYMI: World's Most Popular Boy Band Joins Instagram
Here's what happened on social media this week, December 10
📱 It’s happening. Instagram announced they would bring back a version of the chronological feed (they won’t switch everyone back, you’ll have to select it). Adam Mosseri shared the news during a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday where he was grilled by senators about child safety issues on the app.
The company also announced several safety measures this week, including Take a Break reminders, preventing teens from being tagged or mentioned by accounts they don’t follow, stricter content recommendations and nudging teens toward different topics if they seem to be obsessing over something.
Instagram is also developing a new educational hub for parents and guardians that will include additional resources, like product tutorials and tips from experts, to help them discuss social media use with their teens.
People have been demanding a return to the chronological feed since 2017. But back then, Reels didn’t exist and Stories had just launched, which made the Feed a much more interesting space to be. We may be longing for something that no longer exists.
🔵 Twitter is testing a feature that would turn its “Explore” page into a TikTok-like video feed, complete with a “For You” tab.
👾 Discord is testing a new Premium Memberships feature which will give creators a new way to make money by offering community members access to paid, subscriber-only content.
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📲 All seven members of the K-pop boy band BTS simultaneously joined Instagram while announcing that the boys would take a break to spend the holidays with their loved ones after several years of non-stop empire building. It’s a massive win for Instagram which is suddenly ultra relevant for millions of BTS fans.
✨ Continuing with end-of-the-year reviews as the perfect storm of data, nostalgia and self reflection. This week’s highlights:
TikTok released its Year on TikTok: 2021-of-a-kind featuring the trends, sounds, videos and creators that saw success on their platform this year.
Google shared its data on the Year in Search 2021 breaking down what we were all searching in food, sports, news, entertainment and more this year.
Reddit put out their Recap 2021 of the most notable moments and communities of the year.
Even Instacart has it’s own 2021 Year in Groceries list featuring the top food trends, such as baked feta pasta and salmon rice bowl, which drove a spike in grocery orders.
📌 Pinterest shared it’s trend predictions for 2022 (this might be the subject of an entire upcoming newsletter to recap what media and marketing experts are anticipating next year). Indulgent comfort, self expression, and over-the-top aesthetics are on their way.
🎮 Brands seem to be embracing virtual influencers in the metaverse — they cost much less than regular influencers, are 100 per cent controllable, can appear in many places at once, and can be ideal spokespeople when a brand wants to communicate its views on topics such as diversity and inclusion or sustainability.
This doesn’t mean it’s the end of influencer marketing as we know it. The lo-fi relatable aesthetic championed by the likes of Emma Chamberlain wouldn’t work in this context, for example. What we’re likely to see is a split between virtual influencers who can be deployed across any digital experience like a customer support rep on aesthetic steroids and real-life influencers who become even more valuable for their limited availability and accessibility.
🏈 Student athletes ranked in perception as better performers over social media influencers in a variety of ways, according to a recent study. They were viewed as 61% better at driving awareness for business, 53% better at driving traffic to a website and 54% better at driving sales and leads. They’re good stats to have if you’re building a case for activating student athletes as brand influencers.
🎁 Chanel has apologized for its disappointing advent calendar after a TikToker’s Chanel advent calendar unboxing went viral for all the wrong reasons. Expectations were high for the $825 calendar but some of the contents, such as stickers and sample size cosmetics, proved unpopular with TikTok’s Elise Harmon and the thousands of people who commented on her video.
In their statement, Chanel explained that the calendar, which is the first they’ve ever issued, is a collector’s item “whose value cannot be summed up by the products it contains alone.” But an executive said in the future they would explore other options to avoid triggering controversy, creating frustration or sending the wrong signal.
🌪 Couch Guy wrote about what it was like to be at the center of a TikTok storm. He doesn’t go very deep but the experience reminds me of the adage, “Each day on Twitter [or TikTok or Instagram] there is one main character. The goal is to never be it.”
🕹 A night in the life of Twitch streamer Tyler Steinkamp and his impending burnout thanks to his 50-hour per week live schedule is fascinating (and unfortunately behind a Washington Post paywall). It’s a full time job, minus the benefits: “These companies have tremendous power and are reaping tremendous rewards from the creator economy, but they don’t provide the mechanisms of support that a traditional workplace would.”
🔐 Adele’s team has taken away her Instagram password, which is something I’ve heard about other musical artists but never actors, athletes or other influencers. Talent manager, spill the beans. Do you take your client’s social passwords away?!
🥧 “Don’t yeet the pie into the sun” seems like sage advice for the woman who burnt her Marie Callender pumpkin pie, complained about it on the brand’s Facebook page and is now getting roasted by thousands of Facebook users including an entire Group dedicated to the drama.
🎥 People are calling Lil Nas X’s video “the Oscar selfie of TikTok” for rounding up some famous friends at a Hollywood brunch, including Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Harlow, Normani, Snoh Aalegra, Tinashe, Avil Lavigne and Chloe Bailey. Full disclosure: I only recognized three people in this video but now am better informed for reading the comments.
💰 FYI: Debt collectors are now allowed to DM people on social media according to new rules enacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week.
🥦 Texas-based grocer H-E-B started doing online cooking demos during the pandemic and now offers shoppable livestream classes — this summer it generated 400,000 viewers for a 12-hour grilling special. Shoppertainment is coming in ways we can’t even anticipate yet.
🍲 Do perfectly presented and utterly delicious-looking meals on social media alter your food choices? I didn’t even have to read this BBC article to tell you: they do! Research has found that the closer and stronger two people's connection, the more sway they have over each other's food choices.
There is evidence that if friends in your social network post regularly about particular types of food, it could lead you to copy them, for better or for worse.
▶️ The 2021 YouTube Streamy Awards are this Saturday at 6pm PT / 9pm ET.