May 2, 2019: Instagram tests Creator Studio Dashboard and launches Quiz Stickers for Stories; Snapchat updates community guidelines to account for removal of sponsored content; Reddit launches two new post types; Mark Zuckerberg starts a podcast
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Instagram’s Embracing Creators with New Creator Studio
Facebook is testing out a new Instagram Creator Studio dashboard, which would be added into the existing Facebook Creator Studio app that was launched last year.
Based on the image below, Instagram Creator Studio appears to be a secondary tab within the Facebook Creator Studio, giving users the option to toggle back and forth between platforms. In the Instagram Creator Studio tab, creators will have access to a range of analytics metrics, including engagement stats, listings of when their audiences are active, and demographic info.
Don’t Creators already have access to these metrics?
Yes. While it’s worth noting that all of these features already exist in-app within the standard Instagram business profile tools, the Instagram Creator Studio dashboard would make these features more easily available via desktop, while also giving creators access to a combined asset library to be used across both Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Instagram has lagged behind other social media platforms in its development of creator-first experience design. Following Instagram’s proposed move to hide “Likes” from the news feed, it’s now also making it easier for Instagram creators to manage the business aspects of their Instagram presences (i.e., analytics, community moderation, insights, and content management).
Our take? If Instagram wants to be creators’ platform of choice, it’s going to have to do more than just offer a new view for metrics and some minor community management features – it’s going to have to continue to build out creator-specific tools and experiences. While testing Creator Accounts was a good starting point, we’re eager to see how Instagram lays the foundation for advanced support.
Not Unrelated: Instagram Launches Quiz Stickers for Stories
Instagram has officially launched Quiz Stickers, which allow users to create multiple-choice questions for their followers to answer.
You have my attention.
Designed to drive engagement with Stories and, ultimately, increase users’ time spent in-app, Quiz Stickers function similarly to Poll Stickers, but instead of being restricted to two options, users can select from two-to-four.
More and more, we’re seeing brands begin to embrace influencers not just as content creators, but for research as experts, trendsetters, and sources of insights. With Instagram’s Quiz Stickers, brands can source insights from a select group of influencers for research, product feedback (think: product review ads), culture, and in-moment co-creation.
Influencers, too, have the opportunity to use Quiz Stickers to get direct, real-time feedback from followers, and share the results. Specifically, they can get feedback on trends, content concepts, and preferences (i.e., does my audience prefer this brand or a competitor?) which can be helpful brand lift indicators or signals of intent.
Snapchat’s Sponsored Content Shake Up
A recent change made by Snapchat to its community guidelines has indicated that the company is removing some types of sponsored content on the app.
Back up. I need some deets.
Snapchat’s lack of formal monetization options has left many creators generating their own brand deals and making their own sponsored posts. However, for the past year, creators have been complaining that their sponsored posts on Snapchat had been deleted and they had been issued in-app warnings that directed them to the community guidelines even though there was no rule that they were clearly violating – until now. In Snapchat’s “Impersonation & Spam” section of its community guidelines is a new bullet point that reads: “We prohibit spam and deceptive practices, including content that imitates Snapchat ad formats.”
What’s Snapchat saying about the change?
A spokesperson from the company said that the change was made to “clarify the company’s existing guidelines and help preserve the integrity of its ad product.”
Unlike Facebook/Instagram’s latest efforts to keep creators on their apps, Snapchat seems to be taking a different approach. Without clear playing rules and guidelines for monetization, Snapchat is only further alienating the creator community that’s left on Snapchat. While Snapchat may be making this change to “preserve” its ad products (see revenue growth), the change may have the opposite effect if it loses creator preference.
Reddit Launches Two New Post Types
Reddit has launched two new post types to all subreddits: Events and Collections.
Remind me about events and collections.
Events are posts with time/date metadata associated with them. They help raise awareness about upcoming events in your community that users can also follow to receive reminders when they start.
Collections are mod-curated groups of posts. They make it simple to put together related content in one place so that users can quickly navigate between other posts in the collection. Users can also follow the collection to get notifications when an upcoming event starts or when new posts are added.
In the same announcement post, Reddit also revealed a new beta test involving scheduling. As part of this beta, you can schedule when to submit your post and set up recurring posts, and all of the posts will be editable by anyone on your team until they are submitted.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: every platform is fighting for more influencers and creators time and attention. As platforms continue to understand and recognize the value that influencers bring to an organization, they will need to invest and optimize for those experiences if they want to be influencers’/creators’ platform of choice. This includes early access to new features/products before they go to market to incorporate influencer POV and feedback.
Similar to how Instagram is embracing creators, Reddit is now finally starting to embrace creators in its own way via its moderator community. What’s notable is the level of research and user testing with moderators Reddit invested in to improve the experience. The Events and Collections features were the result of six months of surveys and in-depth interviews conducted with moderators on the platform and were designed to make managing content around events easier – especially around second-screen viewing and watch parties (Think: GoT).
Mark Zuckerberg Has Officially Launched a Podcast
Oh hi Mark. Mark Zuckerberg has launched his own podcast, “Tech & Society with Mark Zuckerberg,” because it’s part of his “annual personal challenge.” Yawn.
Here’s what you’re not missing out on.
There have been two veryyyy long episodes. In the first episode, Zuck speaks on tech and law with Harvard professor Jonathan Zittrain (but never mentions the issues Facebook currently faces). The second episode features a discussion about tech and journalism with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, in which Zuck surfaces his idea for a new tab that would highlight news stories for users. If either of those two topics piqued your interest, you can check out the full podcasts here.
Oh, and did we mention that they aren’t original podcasts, but instead are audio recordings of live events (AKA: written transcripts) that are now available for podcast downloads? SMH, Mark.
While Zuck’s latest podcast series may be an “annual personal challenge” for him, it’s likely that it is also a positive PR tactic to change the conversation and own the messaging from Facebook HQ. As brands think about how to activate vocally on different platforms, they have the opportunity to think about influencer-hosted podcasts to discuss shifts in culture or industry trends as brand media or brand-owned channels.