April 2024 Influencer Marketing Roundup

April did not disappoint in the world of influencer marketing and the creator economy. We started with what was likely the most creative April Fools Day in social media’s history, and then the news kept flooding in with the fast track passing of the TikTok Ban, Meta giving influencers the ability to create AI bots of themselves, and AirChat becoming the buzzy new app. But before we get into any of that, let’s start with last weeks very interesting quarterly earnings from Meta, YouTube and Snap which told a different story than many may have thought.


SOCIAL PLATFORM UPDATES

YouTube and Snapchat cruise past Wall Street’s forecasts—while Meta stumbles

TLDR: Google and Snap both saw their stock prices pop after earnings called that showed YouTube passing $8.1 billion in ad sales during the first quarter of 2024, a 21% increase from last year, and Snapchat daily active users topping expectations with 422 million in Q1, leading Snap shares to jump nearly 25%. Meta on the other hand lost $200 billion in market value after CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company’s metaverse investments continue to lose money, and the heavy investment in AI needed to keep pace.

TIKTOK

President Joe Biden signed the proposed TikTok sell-off bill into law

TLDR: The big news of April was the passing of the “TikTok ban” bill. ByteDance officially has 270 days to sell their stake in TikTok to US ownership, but is already fighting back. This is heading to the courts, which will decide if the bill is unconstitutional. Either way, TikTok isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as the battle has really just begun. If you want the skinny on the situation and what it means for brands then check out Linqia’s breakdown

TikTok photo app closer to reality

TLDR: TikTok is working on a new app that will allow creators to share their creativity with photos and text in a dedicated space for those formats. Several TikTok users have uploaded screenshots of an in-app notification, which informs recipients that “TikTok Notes, a new app for photo posts, is coming soon.”

TikTok may add AI avatars that can make ads

TLDR: These virtual influencers created with AI technology could disrupt the influencer/creator model by offering brands a customizable, controllable, and cost-effective alternative to human influencers. Some see this as a groundbreaking shift and others are highly concerned about the ethical implications of blurring the lines between real and artificial personalities, and the potential impact on human influencers’ livelihoods.

TikTok Raises US Seller Fees

TLDR: After months of significant subsidies, TikTok Shop raised U.S. seller fees from 2% to 6%, which the platform will increase again to 8% in July. Many sellers are not thrilled about the hike, but if TikTok proves to be an incremental sales channel for those brands they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

META

Meta Looks To Help Instagram Influencers Create AI Bot Versions of Themselves

TLDR: Meta is developing a program called “Creator A.I.” that will use artificial intelligence to help popular influencers interact with fans. The program will enable influencers to chat through direct messages and potentially comments. It functions as a chatbot mimicking the influencer’s “voice” to respond to fans, aiming to enhance fan engagement while reducing the workload of personally responding to messages and comments.

Instagram is updating its algorithm to surface more content from smaller, original creators

TLDR: Instagram announced it’s updating its ranking system to provide a more equal playing field for smaller creators and original content, including 1) A ranking change that gives small creators more distribution by replacing reposts with original content in recommendation experiences, 2) Adding labels to reposted content that will link back to the original creator, and 3) The removal of content aggregators from recommendations, which include accounts dedicated to posting other creators’ content.

Instagram Adds Notify Sticker To Help Creators Maximize Fan Connections

TLDR: Instagram added a “Notify” sticker for professional accounts so people can get notifications when their favorite creators post in the app. Given the recent outcry about organic reach and Adam Mosseri’s comments about no one reaching their entire followings, this is a very welcomed feature for creators to hopefully ensure the maximize number of followers see their posts.

Instagram Adds New Options for Creator Subscriptions

TLDR: Instagram’s new features for creators include the option to offer exclusive content to subscribers, similar to Patreon. They’re also testing ‘Subscription Groups,’ allowing creators to categorize subscribers into tiers with varying perks. These updates aim to bolster the platform’s creator economy by providing more monetization options and fostering deeper connections between creators and their audiences.

Meta announces major audience targeting and insights update

TLDR: Meta has added a new audience insight and targeting option within its Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns which will enable you to target people that have shown an interest in your products or services, but have not yet made a purchase. This is something every brand should test as interest is a powerful indicator of future intent.

Threads now has more daily active users in the US than Twitter (X)

TLDR: So far in April, Threads has averaged an estimated 28 M daily active users. As part of its Q1 earnings report, Meta says Threads now has over 150M monthly active users. That tops its rival “X”, and this next six months will be telling about how both will trend long term.

THE OTHERS

YouTube Shopping gets a glow up with 4 big updates, including new product curation tool

TLDR: YouTube launched new shopping features including Collections (a way for creators to set up virtual stores), and an Affiliate Hub that shows a list of e-commerce partners offering commission rates and promo codes. Both will further enable creators to directly sell products featured in their videos and earn commission, enhancing monetization options by integrating e-commerce directly into their content.

Twitch is launching a TikTok-like discovery feed.

TLDR: Twitch’s new discovery feed will let you scroll through live streams and clips. When scrolling through the live feed, you’ll find live content from creators you follow, as well as streams recommended by Twitch.

X Showcases Connected TV App

TLDR: X is launching a dedicated TV app for videos uploaded to the social network soon. The app will feature a trending video algorithm designed to help users stay updated with tailored popular content, plus AI-powered topics that will organize videos by subject.

AirChat is the buzzy new social app

TLDR: The new app is like a combination of Twitter and Clubhouse. Instead of typing a post, you speak it, and the app quickly transcribes what you say. As your followers scroll through their feed, they’ll hear your voice alongside the transcription, and comments follow the same style. It’s invite only, which always seems to create buzz amongst the early adopters. But most hot new apps fizzle quickly, so the odds are stacked against AirChat.


BRAND INFLUENCER HIGHLIGHTS:


REPORTS & DATA WORTH CHECKING OUT

Accenture new report shows how creators are catching up to traditional media companies

TLDR: The report found that 59% of respondents said that user-generated content is as entertaining as traditional media, and 58% trust independent creators as much as established news outlets. The report also showed 26% of respondents decreased time spent watching linear TV, while 52% increased time on social video in 2023.

Collective Voice report reveals that creators audiences don’t mind brand partnerships

TLDR: 78% of the creators it surveyed agreed that partnering with brands has “positively influenced their audience’s perception of them,” as brand deals often “elevate the creator’s credibility” among their followers and can “resonate deeply with their audience” if their followers are fans of the brand the creator is promoting. Collective Voice’s survey also found that two-thirds of creators see roughly the same levels of engagement across their sponsored and unsponsored social content.

More than two-thirds of TikTokers have increased usage despite shopping content changes

TLDR: According to eMarketers April 2024 US Social Commerce survey, only 8.3% of users who noticed shopping-related content changes said their TikTok usage decreased. Data also shows that more than 11% of US households have purchased items from TikTok Shop since its launch in September 2023, and that some 60% of TikTok users said that if the app was banned, they would use Instagram Reels regularly.


That’s it for this month. See you next month, and don’t forget to listen to the Influencer Marketing Roundup podcast to get all of this information delivered straight to your ears. Happy marketing!

April did not disappoint in the world of influencer marketing and the creator economy.
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