ICYMI: YouTube Just Gave Creator Podcasts a Big Boost
Here's what happened on social media this week, April 7
I’ll be away next week but I’ve got an update of Beyond Social for you with the queen of TikTok Business School — Dulma! Please keep an eye out for it. She shared so much valuable info about how she approaches her new podcast and newsletter.
Also, this is a final reminder to get over 60% off my course, Working With Influencers, with the code: Newsletter99. I’m so grateful to the marketers who have signed up and supported me, I’ve started hosting mini group sessions to discuss any challenges people are facing. So… finish the sign up process by this Sunday night for the opportunity to pick my brain.
⏰ 1-SECOND SUMMARY
YouTube adds a podcast tab on creator accounts
TikTok is testing a native affiliate program
Twitter’s removing blue checkmarks, one at a time
No, you don’t need a Lemon8 strategy just yet
📲 TikTok Updates:
TikTok is in the early stages of testing an affiliate program for select US creators, according to Insider. Eligible creators — who have a shopping button on their TikTok pages — include Jess Val, Maddy Jewell and Eunice Opulence. The button leads to a TikTok Shop storefront, while videos that are part of the program are labeled "eligible for commission," similar to TikTok's "paid partnership" tag that appears at the bottom of promotional videos.
📲 YouTube Updates:
YouTube is going live from Coachella with six feeds across both weekends of the iconic desert fest. In particular, they’re pushing the experience through Shorts, whether it’s in-person activations like merch drops and pre-parties or allowings fans watching along at home to help build set lists for Calvin Harris and Becky G.
📲 Instagram Updates:
Instagram wants to help brands to slide into people’s DMs. They just launched a new information hub with tips, case studies and a course to help brands improve their DM strategies.
📲 Twitter Updates:
Where to start? We learned which celebrities, news outlets and government bodies (ahem, the White House!!) refused to pay for their blue checkmarks on Twitter by the April 1st deadline imposed by Elon Musk.
But the verifi-pocalypse didn’t happen thanks to this hilarious tidbit revealed by The Washington Post: “Removal of verification badges is a largely manual process powered by a system prone to breaking, which draws on a large internal database — similar to an Excel spreadsheet.”
Then on Monday, Musk changed Twitter’s bluebird logo to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency meme. The value of Dogecoin rose more than 20% after the switcheroo. We may be able to look forward to seeing this market manipulation to play out in court.
+ Friday morning: Twitter disabled any engagement for tweets with Substack links in them — this newsletter is hosted on Substack’s platform. Earlier in the week, Substack had announced a new community engagement feature called Notes which was being called a possible Twitter replacement. Mosseri on his worst day would never.
📲 Pinterest Updates:
Pinterest is expanding its Creator Inclusion Fund to creators in five new countries: Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. North Americans apply here. Applications for Europe will arrive later this year.
👆🏻 CLICK THRU
🎙️Podcasts Are [Insert: Dead… Or Thriving?]
Depending on the day, the podcast industry is either struggling or thriving. All you have to do is look at the headlines: “The Dumb Money Is Gone”: Is the Podcast Boom Going Bust? vs ‘Mini gold rush’: How ad buyers are handling video podcast inventory.
The platform updates are equally confusing: YouTube just gave podcasts a prime spot on creators’ channels, adding a “podcast” button alongside the channels main tabs. This follows on the heels of the company announcing its new creator podcast tools.
On the flip side, Spotify confirmed that it's shutting down its live audio app Spotify Live, following Reddit and Facebook who have both nixed their live audio products in the past year. But… the company also revealed it revamped its Spotify for Podcasters tools recently and signed video podcast deals YouTuber Markiplier and TikToker Drew Afuolo.
So, what gives?
“What’s interesting about the video podcast is how Spotify is positioning it as an interchangeable, if not more intimate, alternative to a pure audio podcast… Content boundaries are blurring. It’s same, same but different.”
It seems like all signs point to podcasts not as an endangered species, but as a medium in transition mode from high-production, audio-only media to an immersive, creator-led experience.
🍋Lemon8 is a Chinese-owned app. Can it survive the hype cycle?
I shared my thoughts about Lemon8 with Taylor Lorenz at the Washington Post.
Here’s the tl;dr, it’s a pretty mashup of Instagram and Pinterest but I don’t think you need to develop a new social strategy just yet (as an individual, creator or brand) and I want to explain why.
There’s a mental checklist I run through when deciding whether to jump on a new social network and it’s based on available data, anecdotal evidence and behavioral habits.
Is the app climbing the App Stores top free downloaded list?
If yes, are you able to find signs the company is paying for promotion or downloads? That’s going to skew the results. For example, right now Lemon8’s parent company, ByteDance, is paying creators to post on the platform. What happens when the money stops flowing?!
Either way, does the app have a clear business model that will sustain the platform once the marketing budget or VC funds have been depleted?
Is there a wide enough swath of people talking about the app? Not just your friends, coworkers or a small group of influencers you follow but also tech and culture journalists, Silicon Valley types, trendsetters in other industries, etc.
Are the teens you know talking about the app? Thanksgiving is the best time for an official focus group with your nephews and nieces
Is it a new concept? TikTok wasn’t the first to have vertical video but it was one of the first apps where that was the main focus.
Or if it’s improving on an existing app, is there a significant difference to what’s already out there? We are creatures of habit. Millions (or billions) of people aren’t shifting to the new [Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc] and starting from scratch just because it exists.
Is it easy to understand and use. Can you log on, get started and connect with others without watching a demo?
Fact: The average person uses about 9 mobile apps per day and 30 apps per month. That’s not a lot — so a new app has got to be something pretty special for people to download and add to their daily rotation.
If something seems to be trending, even temporarily, I do think it's best practice to download the app and secure your brand's username. My checklist is about the deliberation that should happen before committing any significant resources to developing an actual strategy for this platform.
🧮 DATA OF THE WEEK
50% of Americans support a US government ban on TikTok, while 22% oppose it and 28% are unsure
📣 QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“One-on-one [TikTok] audits were a great way for me to dip my toes into one-on-one coaching. It gave me confidence and the opportunity to speak to many business owners. From those conversations, I learned what my target audience was struggling with. I saw patterns and then created strategies that could help them. Doing over 400 TikTok audits of these formed the basis of my first course, which was launched four months into my business.”
-Wave Wyld, speaking to The Tilt as part of their feature: 29 Creator Entrepreneurs Share Their First Revenue and Advice for 2023
📖 ON YOUR RADAR…
Meet MrBeast's Secret YouTube Consultant -YouTube
Photos might be making a comeback on Instagram -Later
France moves forward with influencer bill cracking down on risky products and more -TechCrunch
LTK bets on boosting TikTok and Instagram posts with new paid spend feature -Glossy
Influencers say Instagram's creator marketplace is full of low pay rates and lacks traction with brands -Insider
The 27th annual Webby Awards nominations were released, including Best Creator category -Webby Awards
Baby’s First Social Media Handle -NYTimes
Why Every App Now Feels Like TikTok, But Worse -New York Magazine
The influencers getting rich by teaching you how to get rich -Vox
The Influencer Industry Is Having an Existential Crisis -The Atlantic