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What’s popping in the influencer space this week. The highlights, opportunities and challenges for influencers and content creators in the MOOTS platform roundup.

TikTok Mandates Labels for AI-Generated Content

  • TikTok introduces new rules around AI content disclosure, necessitating users to label AI-generated content, failing which it may be removed.
  • The move aims to manage the growing concern of AI deepfakes; the platform now prompts users to tag content showcasing “realistic scenes.”
  • Previously implemented in March, TikTok strengthens the rules by adding a distinct tag for AI content during the upload process.
  • Other platforms, like Instagram and YouTube, are also developing tools to manage and label the anticipated surge in AI-generated content.
  • TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, integrated AI labels in its Chinese counterpart earlier, allowing TikTok to utilize that experience for a smoother global rollout.

Opportunity: Content creators have a clear framework for disclosing AI-generated content, which can foster trust with their audience and lead to responsible AI usage.

Challenges: Influencers using AI for content creation may face additional steps during the upload process, and there’s a risk of content removal if not properly labelled. The overarching challenge remains in striking a balance between authenticity and AI-enhanced content.

TikTok Shop Introduces ‘Fulfilled by TikTok’ in the UK

  • TikTok Shop debuts ‘Fulfilled by TikTok’ (FBT), a comprehensive logistics program to assist UK merchants in simplifying sales on the platform.
  • FBT provides storage, picking, packing, and shipping services, allowing merchants to prioritize areas like marketing and product development.
  • Features of FBT include same-day automated fulfillment for orders before 7PM, next working day premium delivery, and enhanced customer support channels.
  • Participation in FBT entails merchants submitting a portion of their stock to an FBT warehouse, with the flexibility to choose which products to include.
  • Testimonies from UK merchants such as The Beauty Crop and Nature Spell highlight significant improvements in efficiency, shipping times, and order volumes after leveraging FBT.

Opportunity: Influencers and merchants can leverage a more efficient sales system, freeing them to focus on content creation and marketing. This can also lead to quicker deliveries, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Challenges: Committing stock to an FBT warehouse might be a logistical challenge for some, and there could be concerns over how the system handles returns or problematic orders.

Threads Boosts Retention with Instagram DM Integration

  • Threads, Instagram’s answer to Twitter, introduces a “Send on Instagram” feature that allows sharing threads to Instagram DMs, aiming to encourage users to re-engage or sign up.
  • This new feature follows a sharp decline in user retention since Threads’ record-breaking launch, with half of its 100 million users dropping off shortly after.
  • Meta’s broader strategy focuses on enhancing retention for Threads, with plans to introduce more “retention-driving hooks” as emphasized by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
  • Other new features on Threads include easy profile mentions, customizable alt-text for media accessibility, and a reverse chronological Following feed.
  • Despite criticisms and debates about its sustainability, Threads’ retention numbers align with industry averages, with the company still yet to unveil a full web app version.

Opportunity: Influencers can leverage Threads for more direct engagement with their audience and seamlessly share content to Instagram DMs, potentially leading to increased reach and retention.

Challenges: The decreasing retention rate indicates the platform might not be resonating as hoped with its audience, which can be a concern for influencers banking on its growth.

Meta Set to Introduce AI “Personas” in Services Next Month

  • Meta is anticipated to roll out AI-powered “personas” in platforms like Facebook and Instagram in the coming month.
  • The AI personas, as reported by Financial Times, may have unique personalities, such as a surfer-themed travel recommender or a bot speaking in Abraham Lincoln’s style.
  • This move is intended to increase user engagement, countering competition from platforms like TikTok, and showcase Meta’s AI prowess against competitors like Microsoft-backed OpenAI and Google’s Bard.
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously mentioned the integration of “AI personas” and revealed in June a “Chat with an AI” feature for Instagram, boasting 30 AI personalities.
  • While the chatbots aim to enhance user experience, they could also enable Meta to gather data on user interests to refine ad targeting.

Opportunity: Influencers and content creators can potentially use these AI personas for more interactive and engaging content, offering a fresh, unique experience to followers.

Challenges: Overreliance on AI can diminish the human touch, which is crucial for influencer-audience relations. There’s also the inherent challenge of user data possibly being harvested for ad targeting, leading to privacy concerns.

Snapchat’s Q2 2023: More Users and Advertisers, but Mixed Revenue

  • Snapchat’s user count grew to 397 million, with most new users from outside North America and the EU, especially India.
  • Despite the user growth, Snapchat earned less money from these new regions, leading to a slight drop in revenue compared to last year.
  • They had a boost in advertisers by 20% compared to last year, but this hasn’t yet led to a significant increase in earnings.

Opportunity: The growing user base, especially in regions outside North America and the EU, presents influencers with a chance to tap into new audiences and expand their global reach.

Challenges: Despite the growing number of advertisers, the platform’s revenue has not seen a proportional rise. This might indicate that advertisers are not getting the desired ROI, which can lead to reduced ad spends, indirectly affecting influencers who rely on brand collaborations.

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