TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

TikTok is said to be partnering with Los Angeles-based TalkShopLive to handle its live shopping initiative in North America after an in-house UK effort produced lackluster results. Due to hit the U.S. in time for the holiday season, TikTok Shop will be built on technology and support from TalkShopLive as it positions live-stream shopping hosted by influencers, brands and retailers selling products on the short-form video platform. Launched last year, TikTok Shop UK was the ByteDance company’s first such effort outside of Asia, where it is available in countries including Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Continue reading TikTok May Team Up with TalkShopLive for a Holiday Launch

Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Photo- and video-sharing social app Instagram is introducing the option for users to upload longer uninterrupted Stories of up to 60 seconds in duration, without automatically converting the video content into 15-second mini-clips as was previously the norm. The Meta Platforms-owned network began testing the update with select users in December 2021 and just announced that the feature is rolling out to all global users. Allowing content creators to share 60-second Stories in one slide is expected to be a welcome change for both users and viewers. Continue reading Instagram Enables Its Users to Upload Longer Video Stories

Internal Meta Study Shows Reels Struggling Against TikToks

Instagram seems to be having a hard time gaining traction against TikTok, whose users collectively spend 197.8 million hours daily on the platform, compared to the 17.6 million hours a day Instagram users spend viewing Reels, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal sourcing Meta Platforms internal research. The August report, “Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,” indicates that Reels engagement was down 13.6 percent “over the previous four weeks — and that ‘most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.’” Of about 11 million U.S. creators on Instagram, only 2.3 million, or 20.7 percent, post Reels monthly. Continue reading Internal Meta Study Shows Reels Struggling Against TikToks

Instagram Paying Media Companies to Create Popular Reels

Instagram is opening its wallet to media companies that can generate viral Reels, even as it cuts back on personalization. The step is the latest development as the Meta Platforms social app continues to experiment with its configuration, including algorithms and UI. On Thursday, the company said it will discontinue the full-screen feed it has been beta testing and will also be scaling down plans to increase force-fed recommendations. This rather abrupt reversal is said to be in response to the public criticisms of potential updates by users and notable influencers. Continue reading Instagram Paying Media Companies to Create Popular Reels

New Facebook and Instagram Updates Mimic TikTok’s Model

Meta Platforms is adjusting Facebook’s algorithms to offer more discovery and personalization features, according to the company. Users will now automatically land on a Home tab instead of the old News Feed. A revamped Feed will emphasize videos, photos and algorithmically curated posts. While observers have been quick to label the change yet another attempt to chase TikTok’s addictive, influencer-driven feed, Meta assures users this doesn’t mean goodbye to friends and family. “You can curate a Favorites list of the friends and Pages you care about most and filter their content in this new tab,” the company says. Continue reading New Facebook and Instagram Updates Mimic TikTok’s Model

Meta Plans Hiring Cuts as It Gears Up for ‘Fierce Headwinds’

Meta Platforms is preparing for a steep economic downturn that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is trying to get in front of by cutting costs and refocusing priorities. Engineering hires will be cut by 30 percent this year, with fewer than 7,000 additions as opposed to the original target of 10,000. The pivot comes at a time when Meta is seeking to expand on several fronts. The company reportedly needs to increase by fivefold the computing power of its data centers in order to accommodate the artificial intelligence technology that will be necessary to support its new “discovery” push.  Continue reading Meta Plans Hiring Cuts as It Gears Up for ‘Fierce Headwinds’

Meta Touts Creator Monetization Tools and NFT Collectibles

Meta Platforms is sweetening the pot for creators on Facebook and Instagram by deferring revenue sharing to 2024 and allowing paying subscribers on other platforms access to subscriber-only Facebook Groups. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says Meta is testing an Instagram destination creators can use to get discovered and paid for content. Meta will also be opening its Reels bonus program to more Facebook users and letting a wider range of creators participate in Facebook’s Stars tipping feature. The company is also expanding last month’s Instagram NFT test as eBay announces purchase of the KnownOrigin NFT marketplace. Continue reading Meta Touts Creator Monetization Tools and NFT Collectibles

YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

YouTube is stepping up to fill what it perceives as a short-form video void in India, with a population of one billion, which is facing a ban on Bytedance’s popular video app TikTok. One New York-based creator says 80 percent of his views from a recent viral video short came from India, and YouTube, a division of Alphabet’s Google, is parlaying such information to take on short-form video phenom TikTok globally as video clips become the new battlefield for social media dominance. “There is a long game here,” said Todd Sherman, YouTube Shorts director of product management. “I think short-form video is here to stay.” Continue reading YouTube Gains on TikTok as Top Choice for Short-Form Vid

Facebook Adjusts Algorithms, Messenger, to Take on TikTok

Facebook is trying to make its feed operate more like TikTok’s, according to recent reports that indicate the company recently directed employees to adjust the platform’s algorithms to prioritize popular posts, regardless of their source, over its traditional approach of serving posts from friends or accounts followed. Parent company Meta Platforms is also said to be reuniting Facebook with the Messenger app in order to align its message functionality with that of TikTok. Combined with an increased emphasis on short-form video with Reels on Facebook and Instagram, the changes reflect TikTok’s threat to Meta’s social media dominance. Continue reading Facebook Adjusts Algorithms, Messenger, to Take on TikTok

Instagram Introduces Video Captions, Shutters the IGTV App

Instagram is making changes to its videos, adding auto-generated captions in 17 languages even as it discontinues support for the standalone IGTV video app to “focus on having all video on the main Instagram app.” It is eliminating the in-stream advertising known as IGTV ads while exploring ways to help creators monetize the short-form Reels format that “continues to be the largest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram,” according to the social platform. Instagram says it will “begin testing a new ad experience” later this year that will “allow creators to earn revenue from ads displayed on their Reels.”  Continue reading Instagram Introduces Video Captions, Shutters the IGTV App

TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

Having ridden the short-form video wave to popularity, TikTok now faces a quandary: advertisers want longer-form content in which to place their messaging, while users say they don’t even have sufficient attention span for minute-long videos. Last year, a TikTok survey indicated 50 percent of its users find clips of more than a minute stressful, and about a third of them zip through 60-second clips at double-speed. “It’s not because I don’t have time, but because I can’t concentrate,” one twentysomething user reportedly explained in a survey response. Despite that feedback, TikTok began experimenting through the second half of 2021 with videos of five minutes and 10 minutes. Continue reading TikTok Fights Attention Deficit, Chases Ads with Longer Vids

Video Emerges as Killer Social App, Everyone Chasing TikTok

Meta and Snap both appear to have re-focused their social media strategies on video, leading to speculation they’re chasing TikTok, famously the U.S.’s “most downloaded app of 2021,” which at 94 million handily topped the 64 million of the second most popular, Meta’s Instagram. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told analysts last week that even though Instagram’s Reels is the company’s most rapidly growing format, “we also have a competitor that is compounding at a pretty quick rate, too.” ByteDance’s TikTok, Zuckerberg said, “continues to grow at quite a fast rate off of a very large base.” Continue reading Video Emerges as Killer Social App, Everyone Chasing TikTok

Wall Street Ponders Instagram as Meta Posts $10.2B VR Loss

As Facebook parent company Meta Platforms continues its planned evolution to the metaverse, observers have begun asking about Instagram. Acquired in 2012, the photo and video-sharing platform may be finding the accommodations that help it with advertisers hurt it with younger users gravitating to TikTok and Snapchat. While Meta doesn’t break out numbers for Instagram, the “family of apps” of which Instagram is a member generated $32.8 billion in Q4 revenue, all but $155 million of it from advertising, according to earnings released Wednesday. That’s an 18 percent improvement over Q4 2020. Continue reading Wall Street Ponders Instagram as Meta Posts $10.2B VR Loss

Facebook Adds a Professional Mode to Expand Creator Base

Select Facebook creators in the U.S. will have access to more data and revenue opportunities through the social platform’s new “Professional” mode. Previously exclusive to Facebook Pages, creators can now access audience analytics and, by invite-only for now, earn up to $35,000 per month with qualifying video content through a Reels Play bonus program. For creators who are already using Pages, Facebook is adding a Professional Dashboard to access more insights and productivity tools. The goal is to help creators track shares, reactions and comments to their posts in order to make more informed decisions and grow their audiences. Continue reading Facebook Adds a Professional Mode to Expand Creator Base

Google Imagines Future Business Model for YouTube Shorts

Introduced in select markets a little more than a year ago and rolled out globally in July, YouTube Shorts generated more than 15 billion daily views worldwide by late September (up from 6.5 billion daily views worldwide in March), according to YouTube parent Google. The format caps videos at 60-seconds and is designed to rival TikTok, which claims 1 billion active monthly users, putting it among the most rapid-growth platforms ever. Even with YouTube Shorts’ healthy growth, the company has just begun testing advertising and monetization approaches for the short-form video experience. Continue reading Google Imagines Future Business Model for YouTube Shorts