August 3rd, 2021: Good morning! The world of influencer marketing is abuzz, let’s find out why.

In today’s edition: 

  • Pinterest allows creators to earn a commission
  • TikTok launches Spark Ads
  • Mark Cuban’s new app, Fireside, is in its beta phase

Pinterest Leans into Monetization

The Story

Pinterest has launched new ways for creators to monetize on the platform and earn commissions through affiliate links on their Idea Pins.

Tell me more

What are Idea Pins? They are the Pinterest version of Instagram Stories. By making Idea Pins shoppable, creators can tag numerous Product Pins already existing on Pinterest. Pinterest compares itself to a catalog with hundreds of millions of products thanks to their integration with Shopify. This article states that “pinners are 89% more likely to exhibit shopping intent on products tagged in Idea Pins than on standalone Product Pins.” Seems like a no brainer to harness the shopping intent of these pinners. 

Pinterest has also added a “paid partnerships” label to Idea Pins so that it is easier for creators to disclose their brand partnerships.

What goes up, must come down

It’s not all good news for Pinterest however… After reporting 11 quarters of consecutive user growth, Pinterest lost 24 million users in Q2, with U.S. users dropping 5% year-on-year. It’s important to note that this loss in users hasn’t resulted in a huge loss in revenue (yet). In Pinterest’s letter to their shareholders, they stated that they attribute this loss to easing of pandemic restrictions and less time being spent at home. Pinterest saw a huge uptick in users jumping from 367 million in Q1 2020 to 416 million Q2 2020 – so a 24 million user loss is par for the course. 

What else?

Pinterest’s letter also noted the re-opening of physical stores being a factor in their loss of users. It found that in Q2, MAUs on the Pinterest mobile app grew 20% internationally, while web-based users were less engaged and profitable. If you’re taking a desktop-based approach to targeting customers, you might want to rethink your strategy. 


Pinterest is arguably the most shoppable platform… So, It’s about time they start monetizing. If Pinterest is losing users, maybe this is what is needed to entice shoppers back to the platform. With such a recent loss of users, is it too little too late? Bloggers are one of the primary creators on Pinterest and they have been utilizing affiliate links and monetizing on their own websites for many years now. However, affiliate marketing is a passive income, which is attractive to creators, and Pins have a much longer lifespan than a post on other platforms. A Pin can show up in someone’s feed for weeks, even months after the initial posting. We hope to see creators using this new monetized feature in the coming weeks.

TikTok Ignites Spark Ads

The Story

TikTok has launched Spark Ads, a new way for brands to advertise through existing organic videos.

Go on…

This feature aims to bridge the gap between influencer marketing and traditional paid ads. With permission from the creator, brands can pay to amplify an influencer’s video. For brands looking to build a robust content strategy, promoting creative videos is now seamless using Spark Ads. Basically, TikTok is trying to assert control over the influencer marketing space and be a dream platform for marketers.

Spark Ads offer a solution to TikTok’s recent change in branded content guidelines that restrict certain markets. In a recent Business Insider article, Mavrck’s own Lindsey Gamble was quoted saying, “for brands that can’t do branded content, this is also a way for them to do the proper age gating.” This feature will allow these brands to apply age targeting to influencer posts as a form of advertising so they are marketed to age-appropriate users.

Data shows that Spark Ads cost 40% less than traditional in-feed TikTok ads for driving sales for B2C companies. TikTok reported a 42% uptick in conversions on Spark Ads compared with its traditional ads.

In live-streaming news…

TikTok also added a slew of live-streaming capabilities:

  • LIVE Events: a tool that lets creators schedule, manage, and promote LIVE videos
  • Picture-in-Picture: users can continue watching LIVE videos while checking other apps
  • Go LIVE Together: self explanatory, host a live stream with friends
  • LIVE Q&A: hosts can engage with and respond to viewer’s questions while live-streaming
  • Top LIVEs: Accessibility to LIVEs via the For You page
  • Help for Hosts: hosts can assign a trusted friend to manage their live-stream for them
  • Keyword Filters: hosts can flag keywords to be blocked from comments

Also, YouTube launched shopping capabilities within live-streams. 


Tiktok has always had a creator-centric focus that has paved the way for brands to do the same. Allowing brands to amplify existing content makes it easier for them to play on trends and what’s already resonating with the TikTok community. TikTok creators organically share videos that feature products or services in the form of reviews or recommendations. For example, last September, Nathan Apodaca organically posted a TikTok of himself drinking Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice while vibing to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. The video immediately went viral causing Cranberry Juice to fly off the shelves, but, imagine what would have happened if Ocean Spray could have amplified the TikTok video even more. Spark Ads is a smart move. TikTok is successfully creating an authentic way for brands to connect with the TikTok community.

New App Fireside Seeks Creator Investment

The Story

Fireside, a social app funded and co-founded by Mark Cuban, is seeking investment from creators. 

To be (social audio), or not to be

The few creators on the beta version of Fireside were notified that the team is seeking more funding and that they can invest. When this app was initially announced it was described as a social audio platform where users can distribute podcasts with ease. However, CEO of Fireside, Falon Fatem, explains that they were “miscategorized” and that the app aims to create an entirely new category

Who owns what?

The trailer for the app expresses the importance of ownership over your content. Which seems rather ironic since Podnews noted that the app’s Terms of Service gives the app full permission to not just your recordings, name and likeness for any use, but also gives them ultimate ownership over all recordings that happen in the app. 


It’s unclear what the function of this app will be, but regardless, we’re intrigued! The discrepancy in ownership is not the right foot this app wants to be starting off on. Having autonomy over one’s work is extremely important to these creators who work tirelessly to create content they’re proud of. With the buzz surrounding this app, we hope it lives up to the hype! 


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