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AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of May 24, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TWITTER OUTLINES CHANGES TO IMAGE POSTING PROCESS, AND ADDRESSING ALGORITHMIC BIAS IN VISUAL PREVIEWS This is interesting - earlier this month, Twitter rolled out its updated, full image display format for visuals added to tweets, ensuring that users get the full context in image previews, as opposed to an automatically cropped version. FACEBOOK LOOKS TO EXPAND PAID EVENTS TOOLS TO HOST PAY-PER-VIEW LOCAL SPORTS Facebook is looking to expand its paid events feature into the minor league and local sports, which would give these smaller competitions more opportunities to generate income, while also bringing more viewers to Facebook, helping to boost its video offerings. PINTEREST LAUNCHES 'IDEA PINS,' A REVAMPED VARIATION ON STORIES Pinterest, the social network that decided it doesn’t want to be classified as a social network anymore, given its evolving focus on eCommerce, has now also decided that it’s not going to call its Stories clone ‘Stories’ any longer.   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

YouTube vs. TikTok – Which Is The Better Educational Platform?

YouTube is the world’s favorite teacher We’ve all been there: you need to fix something, cook something, build something, or understand how the heck something works and the last thing you want to do is read a manual or a lengthy blog post. So, you hop onto YouTube for a tutorial or explainer for the problem at hand. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. According to Think with Google, 7 in 10 YouTube viewers use the platform to help with a problem they’re having with their work, hobbies, or studies. 86% of US users say they often use the platform to learn something new. Especially now, consumers are flocking to YouTube for how-to’s and classes while stuck at home.  But there’s a new educational platform in town – TikTok. A growing number of consumers are leveraging TikTok for inspiration and lessons in every area, using #TikTokMadeMeDoIt to track their results. The platform is even looking into baking this behavior into their interface, testing a dedicated “Learn” tab to host snackable educational content.  Putting platforms to the test The benefits of quality explainer content go beyond helping people with day to day tasks. Brands can leverage this content to educate consumers about their products or related topics, engaging and helping their targets to build a deeper connection. But a major question still remains: what platform is the better teacher?  We decided to put them both to the test by trying out tutorial videos on both YouTube and TikTok from two of the most popular categories: cooking and crafts. Each of us took a week to try a tutorial from each platform in our respective categories. Along the way we learned the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, implications for brands who want to dip their toe in the educational waters, and whether or not that viral ramen dish tastes as good as it looks.  Shelby’s Tutorial Head-to-Head: Cooking  TikTok Tutorial One day while scrolling through TikTok, I stumbled upon a video of someone making ramen. The yellow noodles were covered in a miso peanut sauce and made a satisfying squishing sound – a sign of any great noodle dish. Completely entranced, I watched as the cook broke down how to create this comforting meal in ten easy steps, most of which were just combining the sauce’s ingredients in a white ramekin. While watching the cook make the ramen dish reeled me in, it was the simplicity of the recipe that truly sold me on trying to make it myself.  Luckily, I already had most of the ingredients lying around, but I needed to get some ramen. Running to Whole Foods, I was a little disappointed in their slim selection of noodles. Most of them looked a little too healthy to actually taste good, but then I remembered the TikTok cook saying that any ramen noodle would do; so I grabbed a box and checked out. This was my first mistake.  After getting home, I gathered all of my supplies and returned to the TikTok video. Even though the measurements showed up on both the screen and in the voiceover, I was having a hard time getting them right because the video moved so quickly. After missing a crucial step (I didn’t reserve some of the ramen water, which the cook deemed essential) and having to listen to the same audio play over, and over, and over again, my boyfriend recommended that I screenrecord the video so I can pause, rewind, and play with ease. Brillant.  I followed the cook’s suggestion of adding bok choy and sautéed bell peppers (he used mushrooms, but I can’t get past their texture) to the finished product. Did it look as enticing as the bowl featured in the video? No. I have the thin, healthy, organic ramen noodles from Whole Foods to thank for that. But, did it taste good? For the most part, yes. The flavors were amazing, and the texture was fine. However, not having the right noodles really put a damper on the whole dish. The TikTok cook led me in the right direction with the sauce, but the “any noodle will do” bit was my ramen’s downfall. YouTube Tutorial Discovering a recipe on YouTube was not nearly as organic as it was on TikTok. YouTube’s algorithm shows you videos on your homepage that you might be interested in based off of other content you’ve watched. This makes sense. However, all of my suggested videos were either related to yoga, drag queens, or makeup tutorials - not very helpful in this particular instance. I knew that I wanted to bake something, but I really didn’t know where to start. Relying on my previous baking and cooking knowledge, I decided to search for some well-known chefs to get the ball rolling.  After skimming through a couple of Ina Garten videos (the Barefoot Contessa), I was served suggested videos that might interest me along the right side of the screen. That’s when I saw videos from the Bon Appétit YouTube account. BA’s YouTube channel, and the company in general, has recently come under fire for numerous reasons (foodies will know), but these recommended videos reminded me of a recipe that I have always been dying to try: Claire Saffitz’s Blood Orange and Olive Oil Cake. Reinspired, I took to the search bar to find a video that would help make my citrus confectionary dreams come true.  Not being picky, I clicked on the first suggested video and followed an amateur’s baking journey. Interestingly enough, he decided to also bake a version of Saffitz’s cake with more pedestrian ingredients along with the original recipe. This off-the-cuff element was surprising and transformed the once-traditional tutorial format into an exciting experiment.  The video was definitely longer than your typical TikTok video, but I didn’t mind the extra time since it included helpful tips and tricks pulled straight from Saffitz’s book. I’m a visual learner, so the close-ups of how the batter should fall off the whisk when it’s done and other visual cues were extremely helpful. I also was thoroughly appreciative of being able to easily pause, rewind and play the video – something that definitely tripped me up while trying to follow the TikTok recipe.  All in all, my cake wasn’t as beautiful as Claire Saffitz’s,. But guess what? Neither was the YouTuber’s! As someone who has a hard time when my final products don’t match the original inspiration, this greatly comforted me. Following a video from a baker with a similar skill level as me and not stressing about having to play the video over and over again to view the ingredients really allowed me to have fun. Julia’s Tutorial Head to Head: Crafts  TikTok Tutorial  My first experiment started unintentionally. While scrolling through TikTok, I was served a video showing a now-viral trend of a woman turning old glassware into chic faux ceramics using a coating of paint mixed with baking powder. That’s it. Mix, paint, done. No ratios, no specific recommendations for the types of glassware. I was skeptical that the project was that easy, but the results looked so good, I was eager to try it out.  I took one more look at the video and grabbed the paint and baking supplies lying around my apartment, along with an old vase from a flower delivery. I added a heaping tablespoon of baking powder to the paint (let’s be honest, it wasn’t an actual tablespoon. I used a plastic spoon from the takeout I had forgotten to trash), and voila! I had a thick, foamy coating that looked exactly like the mixture in the video.  Thirty minutes and a few decorative details later, I had a cute vase that looked as if I had discovered it in a small, beach town shop and not in the literal recycling bin. As the kids say, I was shook. YouTube Tutorial  My journey into YouTube crafts was not as organic. I stared at my homepage for a few seconds until I lamely typed “crafts” into the search. The first few videos I was served were from the much maligned 5-Minute Crafts series which featured explainers for gold plating your toilet (not really my style) and how to sneak food into a club by taping it to your body (not a craft; also, gross). There were also several supercuts of DIYs using items from stores like Dollar Tree, but clocking in at 30+ minutes, they seemed too long to sift through. I figured I needed to narrow things down and searched “paper mache” to fuel my new upcycled-craft obsession, which gave me thousands of videos with different project ideas. I ended up choosing an intriguing yet approachable short video from DIY Mom titled “How to Make Papier-Mâché - Unicorn Head Paper Mache”. Luckily, the extra time was appreciated as I parsed out how to approximate the shape of a horse head out of newspaper. This is where pausing and rewinding came in handy as well, as I needed to take a second look at the example in the video, and quickly skipped over any filler monologue and the big reveal at the end. Overall, the format worked well with the more involved project.  Platform Pros & Cons    YouTube  Pros Cons Unlimited time to dive into complex topics and details. Creators will often pad videos with excessive and unnecessary information. Users can easily pause, fast forward, and rewind to review specific notes. The sheer amount of content requires some sifting to find the best choice. Videos are easily searchable. Limited discovery – users must have a rough idea of what they’re looking for at the start of a search. Has a very personal feeling due to its blogging format. Overly-polished influencers can be intimidating or off putting. Best practice tips include featuring bloopers or outtakes. AKA, making mistakes is okay. Recommended videos aren’t always as directly related to those you’re currently watching.   TikTok  Pros Cons Content is quick and digestible. Videos are difficult to pause and often have to be rewatched multiple times. The For You Page adds an element of fun and discovery. Searching for content isn’t as clear. Tutorials are easy and straightforward for the most part. The library of videos is more limited, especially if you’re looking for a specific answer. The overall style of the platform is looser, more playful, and more relatable. Format is limiting for more complex explainers. Creators frequently respond to followers’ comments and questions. Users are not able to organize saved TikToks, so it can take time to find a specific saved video. By interacting with tutorial videos you’re interested in, the algorithm will make sure similar videos are featured on your For You Page. Having to listen to the same audio over and over again can be irritating.   There’s a lag between tapping the video and it actually pausing.   Implications for Brands Be where your audience – or potential audience – is Spoiler alert: There’s no winner when it comes to YouTube vs. TikTok tutorials. Instead, marketers should think about where their targets spend their time and how they search for information.  Understand your brand’s social ecosystem Think about how you can leverage your other channels to drive to your video content, or vice versa, to boost engagement and create a holistic social experience.  Deliver unique yet relevant tutorials that fit to your brand Think about how you can make your content stand out from the sea of videos while still being helpful. This could be achieved by showcasing a new recipe or a creative makeup look.  Save more complex tutorials for YouTube, and lighter ones for TikTok If a tutorial can’t be simplified, leverage YouTube’s longer run time. Shorter tutorials should go to TikTok, rather than trying to stretch them out.  Consider who is representing your brand If you choose to leverage influencers or talent for your videos, consider how well they deliver information and if they fit with your overall brand look and feel. Make sure content feels native to the platform Content should fit with the look and feel of each platform. For YouTube, that means well-lit, quality videos that are clear and digestible. For TikTok, content can be looser and shot on a phone camera, using native editing styles. 

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of May 17, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TIKTOK MOVES TO THE NEXT STAGE OF ECOMMERCE TESTING, A KEY SHIFT FOR THE PLATFORM TikTok is working to establish stronger monetization processes for its short-form video content, in order to capitalize on its massive potential and provide more motivation to keep its top users posting to the app, as opposed to moving on to more lucrative pastures. Read More   TIKTOK ADDS ANOTHER WAY TO REMIX VIDEOS WITH GREEN SCREEN DUETS TikTok launched a new feature today that combines the existing duet and green screen formats, letting people use other TikToks as the background for their own. “Green Screen Duet” now appears as an option in the duet layout menu. Like all duets, the creator of the original video is tagged in the caption of the new one. This could be great news or a portent of even more sensory overload in the app, depending on your sensibilities. Read More FACEBOOK LAUNCHES INITIAL TEST OF ITS CLUBHOUSE-LIKE AUDIO ROOMS IN TAIWAN Facebook's new audio social options look set to shake up the trend even further, with the company now launching the first public test of its recently announced audio tools with users in Taiwan. Read More   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of May 10, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TWITTER ROLLS OUT LARGER IMAGE DISPLAY IN TIMELINES TO ALL USERS ON ANDROID AND IOS Twitter is now rolling out its new tweet image display format, which will mean that full-sized previews of attached tweet images are now shown within user timelines, as opposed to the current cropping down to fit your picture into a specific tweet image frame. Read More YOUTUBE REPORTS 49% JUMP IN AD REVENUE AS VIDEO CONSUMPTION BEHAVIORS EVOLVE As digital consumption behaviors evolve, and new habits become embedded, traditional advertising approaches are also being completely transformed - and in many cases, flipped on their head. Read More INSTAGRAM LAUNCHES FIRST EDITION OF 'INSTAGRAM INSIDER' DIGITAL MAGAZINE, HIGHLIGHTING PLATFORM TRENDS Instagram has published the first edition of its new 'Instagram Insider' digital magazine, which aims to highlight key content trends, based on Instagram activity, as well as influential creators on the platform. Read More   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of May 3, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TIKTOK LAUNCHES LEAD GENERATION ADS TO HELP ADVERTISERS COLLECT AUDIENCE INFORMATION TikTok is looking to help advertisers gain more direct insight on potential customers via a new Lead Generation ad option, which will enable brands to capture user data directly from their in-stream ads.   FACEBOOK FLAGS CHANGES TO NEWS FEED RANKING, WITH NEW TESTS TO DETERMINE WHAT USERS WANT TO SEE Facebook has outlined how it's looking to improve its feed ranking processes by undertaking a range of new assessment approaches, including updated user surveys, soliciting different types of feedback, and weighting posts based on 'angry' reactions.   FACEBOOK TESTS NEW VIDEO AD OPTIONS, INCLUDING UPDATED TARGETING CATEGORIES AND INSTAGRAM REELS ADS Facebook has announced new topic-based targeting options for its in-stream ads, as well as the first stage of ads in Instagram Reels, expanding its outreach options.   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 26, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. INSTAGRAM IS ADDING NEW TOOLS TO PROTECT USERS FROM ABUSIVE DMS AND REPEATED, UNWANTED CONTACT Instagram is adding some new options to protect people from abusive DMs, with the capacity to filter DM requests that include offensive words, and a new way to stop users you've already blocked from contacting you via a different account. Read More   TWITTER LAUNCHES INITIAL TEST OF 'PROFESSIONAL PROFILES' FOR BRANDS AND CREATORS After previewing them at its recent Analyst Day overview, Twitter is now officially launching a live test of its new 'Professional Profiles', which will provide a new way for brands to present themselves on the platform, with dedicated tools and features aligned specifically with work use. Read More   GOOGLE ROLLS OUT NEW INSIGHTS INTO RISING CONSUMPTION TRENDS WITHIN GOOGLE ADS With the COVID-19 pandemic causing various significant shifts in online shopping behaviors, it can be difficult for marketers to keep up with the changes in their niche, and optimize their campaigns accordingly. This is why Google is adding new emerging trend insights within Google Ads, based on Google search activity, which will alert marketers to relevant shopping and discovery changes in their sector, enabling them to update their ad strategy in line with demand. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 19, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. INSTAGRAM WILL ENABLE USERS TO CHOOSE WHETHER THEY WANT TO HIDE POST LIKE COUNTS IN NEW TEST Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has now officially confirmed the launch of a new test that will enable IG users to choose whether they display post Like counts or not within the app. Read More INSTAGRAM PROVIDES TIPS ON HOW BRANDS CAN UTILIZE UGC [INFOGRAPHIC] As many experts will attest, user-generated content is one of the best ways to maximize your marketing performance on Instagram, with the more organic, platform-aligned approach often a better fit, both for feed and Stories posts. Read More TIKTOK SHARES NEW AD STRATEGY TIPS, BASED ON RESPONSES FROM 25,000 USERS With TikTok on the rise, and on track to become the next billion-user platform, an increasing number of marketers are also looking to the app and considering if and how they might integrate the platform into their promotional efforts. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 12, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. FACEBOOK LAUNCHES TEST OF NEW, CLUBHOUSE-LIKE APP AS IT LOOKS FOR ANGLES ON THE AUDIO SOCIAL TREND Facebook's experimental NPE team has released yet another new app, this time focused on the rising interest in audio social, though with the addition of alternate elements to hopefully enhance the engagement process. Today, NPE has launched a beta test of 'Hotline', a web-based app that incorporates the engagement features of Clubhouse with more visual and text tools, including optional video streaming for hosts and speakers. Read More TIKTOK ADDS NEW MUSIC-TRIGGERED VISUAL EFFECTS TOOLS TikTok has added a range of new visual effects that are triggered by sound, providing new creative options within your TikTok clips. Read More LINKEDIN ADDS NEW PROFILE FEATURES, INCLUDING VIDEO COVER STORIES AND 'CREATOR MODE' LinkedIn's looking to help users share more of their personal story, and maximize their on-platform presence, with the addition of a range of new features for individual member profiles in the app. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of April 5, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. LINKEDIN IS ALSO DEVELOPING AUDIO ROOMS, TAPPING INTO THE AUDIO SOCIAL TREND Given the rising popularity of Clubhouse and audio-based social interaction, and its capacity for connecting professionals around niche, industry discussions, it will likely come as no surprise to find out that LinkedIn is also developing its own audio rooms product to tap into the trend. Read More INSTAGRAM OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES TIKTOK-LIKE REMIX OPTION FOR REELS After it was recently spotted in testing, Instagram has now officially launched its new Remix option for Reels, which enables Reels creators to add their own take to eligible Reels clips, which can help fuel content trends. Read More   TIKTOK LAUNCHES NEW 'PLAYLISTS' FEATURE TO GROUP CLIPS INTO THEMED COLLECTIONS This could be a great way to boost engagement with your content on TikTok. Late last week, TikTok began rolling out a new 'Playlists' feature with selected creators, which enables users to group their TikTok clips into themed collections. Read More   That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 22, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. TWITTER BEGINS TESTING A WAY TO WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS FROM THE HOME TIMELINE ON IOS Shortly after Twitter announced it would begin testing a better way to display images on its app, it’s now doing the same for YouTube videos. According to a new post on Twitter’s Support account, the company will today start testing a way to watch YouTube videos directly from your home timeline within the Twitter iOS app. That means you’ll be able to click and play a video without having to leave the conversation you’re currently viewing.   TWITTER IS WORKING ON A DEDICATED TAB FOR SPACES As Twitter continues to develop its new audio Spaces tool, in order to tap into the latest social engagement trend, it's now looking at how it improves Spaces discovery, and maximizes awareness of in-progress conversations. FACEBOOK ADDS NEW MONETIZATION OPTIONS FOR CREATORS, INCLUDING ADS IN SHORT VIDEO CLIPS Facebook has announced a range of new monetization options for creators, with a focus on short video clips - which could put more pressure on TikTok, which is still working on its own revenue-share programs. That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.

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