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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.

Snap Summary

📢 Instagram Tests Multi-User Advertiser Ads

💬✨ Instagram Tests Feature to Highlight Fan Comments in Stories

📖🔝 Instagram Enables Promotion of Stories as Ads

🎄📖 TikTok’s 2023 Holiday Marketing Playbook

📜✅ YouTube Updates Community Guidelines

🎮🔄 Twitch is Testing a TikTok Style Feed

👻💭 Snapchat’s Generative AI “Dreams” Feature

💰🌍 Global Ad Spending to Exceed $1 Trillion in 2024

🔍💬 Google Introduces “Mentioned in” Feature to Search Snippets

Instagram Tests Multi-Advertiser Ads

  • Instagram is testing multi-advertiser ads, which allow for the display of products from various businesses in a single ad unit.
  • This ad format is also available for select placements on Facebook.
  • The objective is to aid users in discovering and comparing products from multiple brands.
  • The ad unit operates by presenting personalised ads from different businesses in a carousel format beneath an ad the user recently engaged with. eg: an ad for a wedding dress could be paired with another brand’s ad for a wedding cake.
  • Advertisers can choose where their action button within the multi-advertiser ad directs users.
  • At the end of the carousel, there’s another action button that leads users to a feed of ads where they can explore more related products or services. This feature is exclusive to Instagram at the moment.

Opportunities: The introduction of multi-advertiser ads presents influencers and content creators with an opportunity to leverage their visibility by partnering with various brands for features in these ad carousels. This means increased exposure and the potential to diversify revenue streams through collaborations with multiple brands. Also, the paired advertisement approach allows creators to create narratives or thematic content, like wedding preparations, which might extend user engagement. This could be a great format for collaborations between influencers and brands or even for influencers themselves to produce themed content.

Challenges: On the flip side, as this format grows in popularity, influencers and brands might face additional competition for slots in the multi-advertiser carousels. The success of these ads could largely depend on how complementary the paired products or services are, which may pose a challenge for creators in making sure there is a harmonious fit. If the market becomes saturated with this ad format, users might experience ad fatigue, undermining the format’s overall impact. And, as influencers strike a balance between organic content and promotional material, balancing content authenticity and genuine connections with followers might become increasingly challenging.

Instagram Tests Feature to Highlight Fan Comments in Stories

  • Instagram is testing a new feature that enables creators to share notable fan comments to their Stories, including comments from their Posts or Reels.
  • Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, expressed the company’s intent to enable creators to spotlight interesting or importance comments from their audience.
  • To use this feature, creators will swipe on their chosen comment and tap on the “Add to story icon”. The comment, along with the original post, will appear in the Stories feed.
  • This update follows another recent feature by Instagram that allows creators to highlight fan-created Reels through the “Add Yours” sticker challenge, where they can spotlight up to 10 fan-made Reels.

Opportunities: This new feature will offer creators on Instagram an enhanced tool for interaction and engagement with their fans. By spotlighting fan comments on their Stories, creators can encourage more engagement on their posts, and possibly drive quality commentary. This increased interaction can lead to better audience retention and potentially attract new followers.

Challenges: There’s a possibility of misuse, where negative or inappropriate comments might be highlighted either inadvertently or intentionally, leading to potential backlash or controversy. This feature might also add to the pressure on creators to consistently monitor and curate comments, which can be time-consuming and mentally exhausting. Finally, there might be concerns about the overall cluttering of the Stories feed if many creators frequently highlight comments.

Instagram Enables Promotion of Stories as Ads

  • As of August 28, 2023, Instagram has updated its Marketing API to allow users to promote images and videos from their Instagram Stories as ads.
  • Before this update, advertisers could not promote content from Instagram Stories as ads through the Marketing API.
  • Instagram’s decision to roll out this update was largely influenced by consistent feedback from developers, highlighting the need to streamline the ad promotion process for Instagram Stories.

Opportunities: This move by Instagram offers a streamlined advertising avenue for brands and creators. Advertisers can now leverage the engagement power of Stories and transform them directly into ads – in other words, optimise their content strategy. This integration may lead to quicker turnaround times for ad campaigns, potentially boosting reach and engagement.

Challenges: As more users tap into this feature, Instagram’s ad landscape may become inundated with stories-turned-ads, leading to potential ad fatigue and saturation. Advertisers will need to be strategic to ensure their content stands out and remains relevant in a potentially crowded ad space.

TikTok’s 2023 Holiday Marketing Playbook

  • TikTok has released its 2023 holiday marketing playbook to in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.
  • The playbook provides valuable insights and tips to ensure users are adequately prepared and making the necessary moves in advance.
  • It contains information about TikTok as a product discovery platform and highlights its influence on shopping behaviours.
  • The 13-page guide shares details on the most effective hashtags to use, current app trends, and tips on maximising holiday promotions.
  • TikTok’s playbook also offers an overview of its ad products and a calendar indicating the best times to launch different types of campaigns.

Opportunities: The release of TikTok’s 2023 holiday marketing playbook presents a golden opportunity for influencers and content creators to tap into a market that’s geared towards the younger audience. The playbook, rich in tips and insights, is an excellent resource to in campaign planning that’s aligned to platform trends. Understanding TikTok as a product discovery platform can open doors for potential partnerships with brands, ultimately increasing revenue during the holiday season.

Challenges: The playbook suggests that planning needs to commence months in advance, which requires foresight and dedication. Influencers will need to balance their regular content with holiday-focused materials, which could lead to potential content saturation. With the competitive landscape of TikTok means that standing out could be tougher than ever. There’s also the challenge of ensuring that promotional content remains genuine, relatable and maintains the trust of their audience.

YouTube Updates Community Guidelines

  • YouTube has introduced an update to their Community Guidelines warnings to better support content creators while maintaining community safety.
  • Historically, YouTube’s Community Guidelines have been effective, with over 80% of creators who receive a warning not violating policies again.
  • As the platform’s Community Guidelines evolve, creators expressed the need for more resources to better understand the rules.
  • Recognising the disruption a strike can cause to a creator’s posting schedule and potential financial repercussions, YouTube is making changes.
  • Now, upon receiving a Community Guidelines warning, creators can opt for an educational training course. Completing this course and refraining from violating the same policy for 90 days will lead to the lifting of the warning.
  • The training aims to offer clarity on content that violates policies. For instance, a video discussing sexual health may be flagged for lacking context under the nudity and sexual content policy. The new course will help creators understand the nuances better.
  • Creators can now receive multiple warnings based on distinct policy violations, allowing for more learning opportunities and multiple concurrent courses.
  • Despite these new educational initiatives, YouTube is not altering its Community Guideline standards. The three-strikes approach remains, with the potential for channel termination after the third strike within 90 days.

Opportunities: YouTube’s updated approach offers creators an excellent opportunity to better understand the platform’s policies and avoid unintentional violations. The educational training courses can be a valuable learning tool, ensuring that content adheres to community standards.

Challenges: While the introduction of courses adds clarity, it also brings an added responsibility for creators to educate themselves. The onus remains on the creator to stay updated with YouTube’s ever-evolving policies. Repeated violations, even post-course completion, can still lead to channel strikes or even termination. With the policy remaining stern on severe content violations, creators must tread carefully and remain vigilant about the content they post.

Twitch Tests TikTok Style Feed

  • Twitch is testing a TikTok-style content browsing experience by introducing the “discovery feed”.
  • This new feature presents content in a vertically-scrolling manner and is being introduced to a select group of users.
  • The discovery feed will showcase horizontal clips, but Twitch plans to integrate vertical clips in its future updates.
  • The discovery feed is designed to highlight “featured” clips, where creators can mark their preferred content.
  • In a trend mirroring other tech giants such as Spotify, Amazon, and Reddit, Twitch has joined the bandwagon to introduce this TikTok-inspired format.
  • Another notable reveal is Twitch’s plan to offer a ‘stories’ feature, diversifying its content delivery methods.

Opportunities: Twitch’s move towards a TikTok-style feed provides creators and influencers an enhanced avenue for content discoverability. The format’s vertical-scrolling nature, which has proven to be engaging on platforms like TikTok, might increase user interaction time and lead to increased viewership for creators. And, the introduction of features like stories allows creators to engage with their audience in new and interactive ways, potentially attracting new followers and diversifying the content mix.

Challenges: Creators now face the task of adapting their content to fit this new format, which can mean additional effort and resources. Existing Twitch users, familiar with the platform’s traditional setup, may initially resist or feel overwhelmed by the change. With other platforms offering similar formats, Twitch needs to ensure it maintains its unique selling points and doesn’t become just another “me-too” platform.

Snapchat’s Generative AI  “Dreams” Feature

  • Snapchat is expanding their use AI with the introduction “Dreams.” This comes after the success of its AI-driven chatbot, My AI.
  • “Dreams” will allow users to integrate themselves and their friends into AI-generated “fantastical places and scenarios”. Users need to provide clear selfies with diverse angles, expressions, and lighting for optimal results.
  • Snapchat is also working on “Dreams with Friends,” where users can grant friends the permission to create combined AI “dream” images.
  • There are references in Snapchat’s app hinting at the option to purchase “Dream Packs,” indicating potential monetisation plans for the feature.
  • Snapchat has not officially commented on the “Dreams” feature.

Opportunities: Snapchat’s venture into generative AI with “Dreams” could redefine user interaction and content creation on the platform. By allowing users to immerse themselves in AI-created worlds, the app can provide more personalised and unique experiences. This also opens avenues for collaborations and interactions with friends, fostering a sense of community. The potential monetisation of “Dream Packs” could provide a new revenue stream for Snapchat and exclusive content for its users.

Challenges: Given the sensitive nature of AI and data, Snapchat might face scrutiny regarding how they store, process, and use creator images. The success of “Dreams” will heavily rely on the technology’s accuracy and reliability, as poor AI-rendered images could quickly lead to user dissatisfaction.

Global Ad Spending to Exceed $1 Trillion in 2024

  • Global advertising spending is forecasted to exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2024.
  • Five tech giants, including Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, ByteDance, and Meta, are expected to account for over half of global spending in 2023 and 2024.
  • The growth in ad spending is driven largely by social media, retail media, and connected TV.
  • The U.S., boosted by events like the presidential election and major sporting events, will account for nearly a third of the total ad spend.
  • Despite other economic concerns, attention-grabbing events and improved trading conditions, promise a positive outlook for ad spending.

Opportunities: The anticipated surge in global advertising spending, especially within major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Amazon, signifies a golden era for influencers and content creators. Platforms are expected to pump more resources into enhancing user experience and creator tools, given the growing significance of social media, retail media, and connected TV in ad spends. This means a potential for richer content, broader audience reach, and improved monetisation avenues. As retail media is poised for growth, influencers could anticipate a surge in brand partnerships, sponsored content, and increased importance in purchase-driven campaigns.

Challenges: While the landscape seems promising, it also brings complexities. With increased ad spending on these platforms, influencers and creators can expect heightened competition for visibility and sponsorship opportunities, demanding higher content quality and differentiation.

Google Introduces “Mentioned in” Feature to Search Snippets

  • Google is testing a new feature for its search snippets named “Mentioned In.”
  • The feature allows users to view other websites where the primary search result has been mentioned. This is presented in an expandable carousel format within the search snippet.
  • Google is also testing a variation where the carousel is visible by default without needing to click an arrow for expansion.

Opportunities: This enhancement could improve user trust in Google’s search results. By providing users with additional context and references about a website’s mentions on other platforms, it bolsters the credibility and relevance of the search result. This move might encourage users to dive deeper into their search results by exploring the additional information.

Challenges: It remains to be seen how many users will take the extra step to click and explore more details, particularly given the vast amount of information already available on the search results page. The success of this feature depends on its accuracy and relevance, ensuring it highlights meaningful mentions rather than just any mention.

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