January 5, 2022: Smell you later, 2021. It’s been real but we’re on that new ish with 2022 and the influencer economy agrees. Let’s get to it. 

In today’s edition: 

    • TikTok is taking over the world
    • Meta primes Oculus as a metaverse player
    • Google’s new creator monetization platform

 

TikTok Is The Gift That Keeps Giving


The Story

TikTok had the best Christmas ever. App Annie reported that TikTok was the top downloaded app worldwide on capitalism’s favorite holiday (Christmas).

Smiling’s My Favorite

TikTok ranked ahead of Instagram and Facebook, presumably due to a number of tablets, smartphones, and other tech making an appearance under the tree. TikTok’s commitment to a great user experience isn’t stopping anytime soon. TikTok is testing out a new re-post option to not only increase content distribution but create the potential for brands to reshare branded content from their creator partners in a big way. In addition, the development of live-stream intros allows creators to add short text descriptions to their broadcast as a preliminary welcome to new viewers.

These subtle upgrades point to TikTok’s prioritization of creator-generated content. But it doesn’t stop there, especially for creators who specialize in streamed content. TikTok’s new desktop streaming app add-on is only in its testing phase, but the possibilities are endless, especially for creators and brands active in industries like gaming. 

Alexa, Where Can I Buy Kewpie Mayo?

So many viewers found themselves indulging in FoodTok’s most delicious and viral recipe videos that TikTok took it a step further and said “let there be delivery.” That’s right–TikTok-famous food may be coming to you via TikTok Kitchen’s impending launch. This mouth-watering advancement will utilize local restaurants to make the meals you’ve come to know online, delivered by your friendly neighborhood GrubHub delivery person. That means that next time the algorithm shows you a mouth-watering clip, you might be able to order it with just a tap. Talk about OOH advertising!

Speaking of the algorithm, TikTok announced that they’re working through algorithm reformation that will reduce the number of repetitive topics that users see through their “For You” page.  TikTok acknowledged the dangers posed by seeing excessive similar content, especially sensitive material. It’s not just about broadening user experience anymore; it’s about protecting those in a vulnerable state from consuming too much triggering media. 

STC POV

Not to brag, but we totally called it. We already predicted that TikTok would be the biggest app on social media and this spike in downloads points to just that. Marketers shouldn’t ignore TikTok’s popularity as it’s a viable channel ripe for more sponsored content and continues to prioritize creators. This growth also suggests that an influx of dedicated creator-driven content is close behind. 

Plus, we already know that TikTok is wildly popular amongst Gen Z users. As the population continues to grow and Gen Z ages up, we’re anticipating that TikTok’s user base will explode as we approach one billion content creators in five years. TikTok’s new and growing advertising opportunities, coupled with more robust e-commerce features and experiences that merge social media with reality, mean that creator monetization is poised to make a modern middle class out of influencer marketing. After another year of TikTok crushing it with in-app shopping experiences, branded collabs, and an explosion of user-generated content, we pose the question: is there anything they can’t do?

(Psst…want more 2022 predictions? Watch our webinar or download our guide. You’re welcome.)

 

Meta Makes Moves


The Story

TikTok may have reigned supreme worldwide on Christmas Day, but Meta’s Oculus virtual reality app was the fave in the United States.

Merry Crisis

Many Americans scored a new Oculus headset off their wish lists and have been hopping on the virtual reality train. Virtual reality is growing at a fast pace as Web 3.0 approaches, and it’s clear why. With a pandemic that has deprived many of face-to-face interaction for long stints, early adopters are finding community and camaraderie in virtual reality. The option to collaborate during unprecedented times is quickly becoming a social movement in addition to an entertainment platform. But there already seems to be insidious cracks in Oculus’s metaphorical armor as parental controls on the system are easily manipulated. The concern is that users—particularly kids—are left open to harassment, highlighting the dark side of VR and the opportunity for abusers to access young users. 

It’s Like A Reward

Meta is full of surprises, and one that raised eyebrows came at the end of 2021 in the form of a system shift toward an outcome-driven ad experiences model (ODAX). In simpler terms, Meta advertisers will be able to set up their campaigns in a more intuitive way that priorities their business outcomes. Advertisers will see changes rolled out throughout 2022, and a visual change to the ads manager will accompany the functional updates. Two thumbs up for a more streamlined, clearer setup. And as a marketer, we’re sure you’re pumped too. 

STC POV

Meta’s developments are moving toward a better user experience for advertisers and future-friendly products like virtual reality, which will set the tone for other brands to follow suit. Brands can expect more platforms to make advertisers’ experiences more streamlined and intuitive in the future as technology advances, much like how virtual reality has become prominent as of late. But with greater technology comes risk, and brands should proceed with an open mind as well as caution. 

 

Meet Qaya


The Story

Google has launched Qaya, a new opportunity for creators to monetize their content and businesses with the launch of their new platform. 

Money Honey

The intent is for creators to use Qaya as their business activity hub with options to link to or create their own storefronts and promote product offerings. This lets creators sell just about anything and manage it all from one place.

In addition to Qaya’s development and launch, Google is working through the logistics of a new subscription service and more monetization plans that reward creators for their products and services. Qaya will be linked to any property under Google’s umbrella, like YouTube. Plus, creators will have access to a reporting suite and customer management tools to enhance their businesses.

Make It Rain

Qaya knows that content creators are the new generation of entrepreneurs and they are making big money. They’re running businesses and need the same tools that other business owners in brick-and-mortar locations would need. By providing tools and monetization opportunities, Google is making it clear that they support the creator economy and want it to succeed. And Google certainly isn’t the last to do so as more tools and financial services for creators become commonplace (we called that one, too).

STC POV

With Google jumping on the monetization train and other platforms strengthening their offerings, the creator community has made it loud and clear that what they want is compensation and they won’t accept anything less for their work. Creators looking to monetize their content will follow the ever-important cash flow, and brands who provide it will build successful partnerships. As marketers make moves to partner with creators who can help them drive sales and brand awareness, it’s important to be a valued collaborator in all ways possible — not just in brand deals, but in supporting the monetization of their work.

 

ICYMI


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