Ads Are Coming To Your Favorite Instagram Creators' Profile Feeds

Edition #37

The biggest news of the week, Kim Kardashian paid a $1.26M fine after being charged by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for unlawfully promoting a cryptocurrency. Kardashian met Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements for disclosing paid partnerships by including #AD, but failed to meet the SEC's policies. The SEC has its own requirements for creators, influencers, and celebrities pushing financial products and services, including cryptocurrencies. Creators have to disclose exactly how much they got paid, which is something Kardashian did not do.

The ruling and fine serve as a wake-up call for creators, especially those in the financial space. They will need to be extremely careful with following all the necessary guidelines and requirements for disclosures and consider going above and beyond to avoid potential penalties.

The same really goes for creators in other verticals. As influencer marketing continues to be in the limelight, governing bodies like FTC, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism are tightening laws and cracking down on creators who don’t play by the rules.

Today’s Edition:

  • Meta unveils new ad products, including ads in Instagram Explore and creators’ Profile Feeds

  • Instagram makes progress on multiple links and media kit features

  • Twitch announces Chat Cues, Elevated Chat and Shoutout features

Meta Unveils New Ad Products, Including Ads In Instagram Explore & In Creators’ Profile Feeds

Meta unveiled several ad-related updates for Facebook and Instagram, including new ad formats for Facebook Reels and ad placements in Explore Home and Profile Feed.

Post-Loop Ads & Carousel Ads

Meta is rolling out Post-Loop Ads and Carousel Ads for Facebook Reels. Post-Loop Ads are skippable, 4 to 10-second standalone video ads that appear after a Reel has been looped twice. After completion of the ad, the Reel will resume and loop again. Carousel Ads are horizontally-scrollable ads featuring 2 to 10 images at the bottom of Reels with the option for viewers to tap through a call-to-action (CTA) button to learn more.

Ads In Explore & Profile Feed

Currently, when users click on a photo or video from Explore, they will begin to see ads in the browsing experience. Instagram will now display ads directly in the Explore grid and the topic channels. Ads are large and feature prominent CTA buttons such as “Learn More.”

Instagram will soon begin to test Ads in Profile Feed for non-teen, public profiles. Users will be served ads in between posts when they go to a creator profile, tap on posts, and go through the scrolling experience. As part of this, select U.S.-based creators with Profile Feed ads enabled will have the opportunity to earn money from the ads that appear in their feeds.

Contextual Advertising

As a result of these updates, brands can reach users across the surfaces and experiences where they spend the most time - short-form video content, Explore, and creator content. Brands can show up on top of, alongside, and in between existing content from relevant creators, enabling them to leverage the power of contextual advertising. In response to the impact of Apple's privacy changes on ad performance, many platforms have launched new ad experiences that enable marketers to serve ads next to relevant content and communities.

The Benefits & Risk For Brands & Creators

Like TikTok Pulse, launched months ago, this approach to advertising creates opportunities for brands to reap the benefits of contextual advertising and for creators to earn an ad revenue share. But, this could also be problematic for brands and creators. There is a safety risk for brands whose ads could appear alongside inappropriate content on Explore or in the feeds of controversial creators. As a result of ad fatigue, creators risk losing their fans. By opting into these monetization options, creators risk alienating long-time fans and newcomers by flooding their Reels and Profile Feeds with ads.

Battling Ad Revenue Decline

Combined with other announcements surrounding ads, such as AI-powered ads and Augmented Reality (AR) Ads, it seems like ads will take up even more space on Instagram. Though users won’t like this, it’s hard to argue that it might be the right move for Meta, which is facing a decline in ad revenue for the first time.

Instagram Makes Progress On Multiple Links & Media Kit Features To Better Appeal To Creators

Instagram is testing a pair of new features that could increase its appeal to creators.

Multiple Links In Bio

First, it expanded testing that allows creators to add more than one link to their bio. In recent weeks, some creators have seen the option to add two to three additional URLs. When creators have multiple links in their bio, profile viewers will see their primary link, followed by "and others." When clicked, a pop-up displays all the links. Meta has confirmed it is testing this experience but provided little information on what the final product might be.

Creator Portfolio

Second, it’s continuing to test a media kit feature, which surfaced last month. According to the latest code discovery by Alessandro Paluzzi, the feature is now called Creator Portfolio. In addition to creators being able to showcase their top content and performance insights, screenshots reveal they have the option to make their portfolio public so that it appears in Instagram’s Creator Marketplace and the ability to share a link to it outside of Instagram.

Potential Trouble For Link-In-Bio Tools

With these tests, Instagram is entering the crowded link-in-bio space. Many creators use link-in-bio tools such as Linktree and Linkin.bio to drive traffic to destinations outside of Instagram (e.g., personal websites, affiliate links, and brand product pages), showcase their work, accept payments, donations, and tips, and much more.

The eventual rollout out of multiple links will likely negatively impact some link-in-bio tools. Those who are leveraging more of the robust capabilities and integrations (e.g., Shopify storefronts) beyond links may stick with their link-in-bio tool of choice. However, creators who use them solely to showcase links, especially on a budget, may ditch their tool and move to Instagram’s native features.

The media kit space isn’t as competitive. There are a few notable names, such as MediaKits, which was recently acquired by influencer marketing and talent agency Viral Nation, but creators tend to leverage whatever is most convenient. Like YouTube's Media Kit, Creator Portfolios would aid creators in making themselves more discoverable in the platform's creator marketplace.

More Support For Creators

These tools aid Instagram in its quest to better support creators with their needs, whether it be building a community, driving revenue through their own products or services, or working with brands on sponsored content. Look for Instagram to bring new features and tools in-app that creators typically go elsewhere for.

Twitch Announces Chat Cues, Elevated Chat & Shoutout Features

Things haven’t been going too well for Twitch lately. A series of moves made by the streaming platform have caused a stir among creators. However, this didn't stop Twitch from announcing several new features at the end of September.

Chat Cues

Twitch is experimenting with Chat Cues, a set of new features to help creators to maximize viewer engagement. The first feature is Follow Cues. When creators are live, and the percentage of their audience who aren’t following them is higher than usual for their channel, they will receive a notification reminding them to tell their viewers to follow them.

Chat Cues empower creators with prompts to take action based on real-time data. Many streamers juggle multiple things when they are live, which can cause them to miss opportunities to engage more deeply with their audience or, in this case, convert viewers into subscribers.

Elevated Chat

Another experiment is Elevated Chat, a feature similar to YouTube’s Super Chat. Through Elevated Chat, viewers can support streamers by making a one-time payment to elevate their message in chat. They can choose from five monetary support tiers, ranging from $5 to $100, to have their message elevated from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. After taxes and fees, streamers will receive a 70/30 split of purchased Elevated Chats.

Viewers and creators can extend their relationship with the feature. Viewers can show their support and appreciation for their favorite streamers while getting their message amplified in front of others watching the stream. Creators gain a new source of revenue with a creator-friendly revenue split.

Shoutout

Lastly, Twitch is rolling out a Shoutout command. Creators and moderators can promote another channel to viewers and share a follow button in their chat.

Through Shoutout, creators can give back to the creator community by encouraging their viewers to follow other creators. A potential replacement for the popular Host Mode that was recently sunsetted, Shoutout arrives as more platforms build native features for creators to collaborate and support each other. Other examples include Instagram’s Collabs and, more recently, Facebook’s Creator Endorsement.

A Rocky 2022 For Twitch

So far, Twitch has had an eventful year. Unfortunately, as soon as it makes valuable moves for creators such as these new experiments, it undoes the progress with decisions that go against creators' wishes shortly after.

Twitch isn't the first and won't be the last platform to receive continued backlash from creators. With competitors like YouTube seemingly placing a high value on feedback and opinions from creators, if Twitch continues down this path, it could negatively impact its long-term relationship with creators and overall success.

On The Blog

  • TikTok is reportedly finalizing details to team up with TalkShopLive to launch live shopping in the U.S.

  • TikTok announces Photo Mode to let creators natively share carousel photos.

  • Instagram introduces longer Stories.

  • BeReal is exploring paid features to monetize.

  • Jack In The Box is hiring a full-time creator to be the face of the brand on Twitch.

What I’m Reading

  • After Kim Kardashian’s SEC settlement, influencers working with brands could face more scrutiny – and fines (Digiday)

  • The brands are coming for BeReal, and there's nothing BeReal can do about it (Gizmo)

  • What Twitch’s revenue share shift means for streamers and marketers (Marketing Dive)