With new revenue streams and funding opportunities opening up for digital creators this month, the time is right for an increase in content and creativity. As growth and activity online continue, the digital landscape is adapting and changing – but what does this mean?
It’s been another busy month and there are changes, news, and announcements across the board. We’ve picked the most newsworthy and interesting for you to catch up on here.
Find out all the latest from social, Google, and brands below.
The Latest Social News
Revealed: the first recipients of TikTok’s $1 billion creator fund
TikTok announced last month they would be starting to pay their top content creators with the new Creator Fund. Originally set at $200 million, the fund has now skyrocketed to £1 billion with “more than double that globally”, TikTok states, in a bid to compete with the financial incentives other social platforms (such as Facebook) are offering.
The first funding recipients have just been revealed, but who are they?
- Matt Broussard (@acooknamedmatt), a chef.
- Alex Stemplewski (@alex.stemp), a Los Angeles photographer.
- Avani Gregg (@avani), known for her makeup tutorials.
- Brittany Tomlinson (@brittany_broski), who went viral as “Kombucha Girl”.
- Cheyenne Jaz Wise (@cheyennejazwise), a cosplay creator.
- David Dobrik (@daviddobrik), is a digital entertainment personality.
- Jess Andrade (@doctor.jesss), a pediatric doctor.
- Darryl Jones (@dreadknotwoodshop), a woodturner from Deltona, Florida.
- Yumna Jawad (@feelgoodfoodie), a food vlogger.
- Chance Moore and Kate Hudson (@heyeliza), the parents of a 10-month old girl with cancer.
- Michael Le (@justmaiko), a dancer.
- Justice Alexander (@lgndfrvr), a comedian known best from Instagram.
- Fayez (@lifeofadoctor), a healthcare professional.
- Marissa Ren (@marstruck), an educator on Asian fashion influences.
- Matt Gresia (@mattgresia), entrepreneur and business guru.
- Isabella Avila (@onlyjayus), a computer science and maths graduate.
- Ross Smith (@rosssmith), known for his hilarious videos filmed with his Granny.
- Spencer Polanco Knight (@spencerx), a Beatbox artist.
- Anthony Youn (@tonyyounmd), “America’s Holistic Plastic Surgeon™”.
Taking in doctors, chefs, artists, comedians, and educators, it’s perhaps a more varied list than some may have been expecting. And, with applications opening up to general TikTok users (those who meet the baseline criteria, anyway), it’s about to get bigger.
Facebook adds sponsored posts for groups
Group admins have gained an extra revenue source with Facebook’s new options for sponsored posts in groups. While you can already run ads in the groups feed, the new functionality is designed to foster brand partnership posts that are built directly into the group’s experience. Facebook states:
“We’re excited to launch a set of tools that will enable communities, specifically, for the first time, to meaningfully monetize their engaged group audience by partnering with brands to create ‘branded’ posts.”
To qualify for the sponsored posts option, groups must be public and have over 1,000 members. Groups must also adhere to Facebook’s Monetization Eligibility Standards.
Provided these conditions are met, the new feature could be a win-win for groups and the brands they align with: while it gives group admins a clear process for how to partner with brands that fit well with the community’s values, for brands it means gaining a direct line to engaged and focused audiences. With over a billion users regularly engaging with groups, there is great potential not only for ads and revenue but for brand awareness within these spaces too.
Tweet reply controls rolled out to all users
Twitter has been testing its new tweet reply options for a few months now, having started with selected users in May. Having been used to conduct interviews, panel discussions, and more, the options are expanding the potential usage options for tweets.
So, the announcement that the options are now being made available to all users across iOS, Android, and twitter.com is a welcome one. There are three reply options to choose from before you tweet:
- Everyone can reply (the Twitter standard).
- Only people you follow can reply.
- Only people you mention can reply.
As well as facilitating new types of conversations on Twitter, the options could help protect users from unwanted spam and abuse. Twitter has noted that users in the test pool have said they feel more comfortable tweeting with the options in place, and more likely to tweet longer and more in-depth thoughts on the platform. Twitter states:
“People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.”
Though the new reply options look to encourage more intimate conversations (and fewer rude and unwanted replies), they could also open the door for certain brands and individuals to silence opposing viewpoints, which could warp people’s perception of how accepted certain statements are. We will have to wait and see how Twitter handles this issue.
The Latest Google News
Terrain on Google gets a colourful update
Google has announced that new visual improvements are being rolled out on Google Maps, powered by a new colour-mapping algorithmic technique. As Google explains, the changes are designed to:
“bring even more detail and granularity to the map, making it easier to understand what an area looks like whether you’re exploring virtually or planning a visit.”
In real terms, this means tan beaches, shaded mountainous regions, and forest areas in a darker green than shrubs and grass. The increase in detail extends to urban areas too, with the shape and width of roads shown at scale. Sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian islands will all be visible – and accurate – on street maps. These will be rolled out for London, New York, and San Francisco first, and Google plans to expand to further cities in the coming months.
For Google Maps Platform developers, the styling will soon be available to apply to maps. You can find out more on the Google blog.
Google rolls out new multi-room audio controls for Nest devices
New multi-room functionality is coming for Nest devices, Google has announced. Although you can already manually group Nest devices to play music on several speakers at once, the update will now allow you to dynamically group them.
So, if you have more than one Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display, you will be able to add and remove other devices throughout your home while audio is playing. Google anticipates several uses for this new function:
- Moving music from one room to another (using your voice, the Google Home app or the touchscreen on your Nest smart display).
- Experiencing stereo sound (Stereo pair two Nest Mini or Google Home Max devices in the Google Home app for room-filling sound and even more immersive left and right channel separation).
- New music recommendations (YouTube Music and Spotify Premium subscribers can ask, “Hey Google, recommend some music” and Google Assistant will offer multiple choices).
The new multi-room control interface has already begun rolling out to the Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, and other compatible Assistant-enabled Smart displays. For those without a Smart Display device, the same functionality will arrive on the Google Home app this autumn.
The Latest Brand News
Crisis and Tesco Mobile partner to help the homeless get online
Tesco Mobile has announced a two-year partnership with homelessness charity Crisis, which aims at tackling digital exclusion issues among people suffering from homelessness.
A recent study by Crisis showed that over three-quarters (76 per cent) of homeless charities and organisations had seen an increase in the number of people experiencing digital exclusion and requiring additional support. The majority (75 per cent) also said the lack of digital technology or internet was a challenge affecting their ability to support people experiencing homelessness.
Tesco Mobile has pledged to donate £700,000 worth of phones, devices, and connectivity in the first year of this new partnership. Members of the public (and existing Tesco Mobile customers) can support the initiative by donating via text, or they can donate their old smartphone. The money raised will go towards providing more phones, devices, and connectivity for Crisis.
Tom Denyard, CEO of Tesco Mobile, said:
“For many people living without a permanent home, digital connection is a necessary lifeline. An important part of our partnership with Crisis will be in helping to deliver connectivity to those who need it most.”
The partnership with Crisis sits within Tesco Mobile’s Reconnects strategy, which by 2023 will see the donation of over £2.4 million worth of phones, devices, and connectivity to 13,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
Amazon launches next day delivery on all Morrisons products
The Amazon/Morrisons partnership dates back to 2016, with Morrisons initially providing wholesale fresh, chilled, and frozen groceries to Amazon. Now, in a move to step up its focus on the UK grocery market, the online giant has added the full Morrisons range to the main Amazon site – with next day delivery available.
Amazon Prime customers will have access to free next day delivery on the entire Morrisons offering, provided their orders are above £40. With the demand for supermarket deliveries skyrocketing in recent months, this move could prove popular for those who would prefer not to venture to the shops. Morrisons CEO, David Potts, said:
“It will give more and more customers the option of receiving Morrisons groceries straight to their doorstep, including freshly prepared products from our brilliant Market Street colleagues.”
Campaign of the Month
Camden Town Brewery launches the first “drinkable” ad
Calling it “the world’s first TV ad you can (kind of) drink”, Camden Town Brewery are giving viewers free beer – when they scan the QR code in the ad.
The “Give ‘em Hells beer giveaway” campaign by Wieden & Kennedy London will see a total of 45,000 beers given away for free in a bid to brighten up the UK public. Camden Town Brewery Founder, Jasper Cuppaidge, said:
“We wanted to give the great British public the chance to finally share a fresh (socially distanced) beer with friends. We know it’s a small gesture, but we hope to bring some much-needed cheers in the very best way we know how – with fresh beer!”
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