Amazon May Be Getting In On The TikTok Craze

Edition #32

Hello there! According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, YouTube is the platform of choice for U.S. teens, with 95% saying they use it, followed by 67% and 62% of teens saying they use TikTok and Instagram, respectively. As of no surprise, just 32% of teens say they use Facebook, which is a significant drop from 2014 when 72% of teens were active on the platform. Can Facebook’s metaverse ambitions stop it from tanking with younger audiences?

Today’s Edition:

  • Amazon is testing a TikTok-like feature

  • Meta rolls out Add Yours across Reels

  • TikTok launches Shopping Ads

Amazon Is Testing A TikTok-Like Feature To Showcase Products

Amazon may be getting in on the TikTok craze.

The e-commerce giant is internally testing a TikTok-like mobile feature called Inspire. The feature enables shoppers to scroll through a vertical feed and like, save, and click through to purchase the featured product.

Amazon's test should come as no surprise since more platforms are adopting and experimenting with full-screen, vertical feeds packed with snackable content. While social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Reddit have invested heavily in TikTok-like experiences, platforms like Netflix and Spotify have also experimented with similar features.

Amazon’s increased investment in creators combined with market trends and the success of #AmazonMadeMeBuyIt and #AmazonFinds make a feature like this feel more natural than it might initially seem. Amazon already pays some creators to participate in its Amazon Live program, so it could take a similar approach and pay creators to create exclusive content for Inspire with the ability to also earn a commission. Creator-driven content would help add social proof for brands and their products on Amazon, as well as ratings and reviews.

One thing that could prove to be a barrier for something like this is the current backlash Amazon is experiencing from Gen Z creators. Over 70 TikTok creators with a following of more than 51 million have boycotted Amazon in recent weeks in an effort to push for higher wages and better working conditions for workers.


Meta Rolls Out The Add Yours Sticker To Reels To Make Reels More Interactive

Meta announced the rollout of the Add Yours Sticker for Reels across Facebook and Instagram, which originally launched for Stories last November.

With the sticker, users can create a prompt or a topic for their Reels, and other users can respond to it with a Reel of their own. Reels created from the sticker will be displayed on a dedicated page, where users can see the original creator of the sticker and other videos created from the sticker.

Add Yours gives creators a new way to make their Reels content more interactive. It also can help them expand their reach and discoverability since creators will receive attribution for stickers they create. If they create a sticker that goes viral, it can help them get in front of new audiences and grow their following.

The sticker also provides a unique opportunity for brands to run TikTok-style challenge influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram. For example, brands can partner with a large creator to share a sponsored Reel with a related prompt via Add Yours and then have other creators respond to it and encourage others to participate. This would help make the campaign more interactive and encourage user-generated content, allowing brands to benefit from others organically sharing content related to their brand.

Based on the popularity of hashtag challenges on TikTok and the revenue they generate for the platform, Meta launching a native experience to help brands run these types of campaigns seems likely.

TikTok Launches Shopping Ads To Drive E-Commerce

TikTok launched Shopping Ads, a new set of ad solutions to drive e-commerce for brands.

Shopping Ads come in the following format:

  • Video Shopping Ads: Shoppable videos that appear on the For You Page in front of users who are most likely to buy products.

  • Catalog Listing Ads: Showcase product details from a brand’s catalog across new, shoppable experiences with users with relevant interests and higher purchase intent.

  • LIVE Shopping Ads: Direct users from the For You Page to LIVE Shopping events where users can purchase products.

Along with these new formats come a new Product Sales campaign objective in TikTok Ads Manager that simplifies the media buying experience and new automation features to surface ads to those most likely to convert.

With Shoppable Ads, brands can streamline the process of social commerce. They can better convert TikTok’s engaged communities into customers by utilizing native ad experiences that offer an easy-to-purchase path. According to TikTok research, users see value in shopping-related ads. 56% of TikTok users say that ads on TikTok lead them to discover new products or brands, and 48% of TikTok users are interested in making a purchase on or from TikTok in the next three months.

As the holiday season approaches, expect brands to integrate Shopping Ads into their TikTok strategies, and TikTok to continue developing innovative ad solutions.

Shopify Announces Collabs To Connect Creators & Merchants

Shopify announced Collabs, a new marketplace to connect creators and Shopify merchants.

Through a directory, creators can discover merchants to work with based on personalized recommendations. They then apply to their communities by answering a series of questions. Once they are accepted, they receive a welcome package with gift codes, discounts, and unique affiliate links. Creators can add product links and code their Linkpop, Shopify's link-in-bio-tool, and start earning commissions.

Since creators are sharing products from Shopify as opposed to other commerce channels, merchants can send products and discounts, create affiliate links, and track and pay affiliate commissions, all from Shopify Admin.

Because many of Shopify’s merchants are independent businesses, specifically direct-to-consumer brands, Collabs will help more direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands play in the influencer marketing space. It will not allow them to find the right creators to partner with and tap directly into the Shopify ecosystem with a focus on sales.

Paid media has been one of the priority ways for DTC brands to sell products and acquire new customers. However, due to Apple’s privacy changes, social ads have become more expensive. Working with creators presents these brands with the opportunity to acquire new customers in a more cost-efficient way and align with social media personalities.

Collabs is the latest move in Shopify’s expanding offerings to creators and merchants. In 2022 alone, it has launched a number of notable integrations, including YouTube Shopping and Linkpop.

Twitch Introduces CustomizableTags To Help Creators Express Themselves

In May 2021, Twitch added 350 new tags to give streamers more control over how they describe themselves and their content. Now, the streaming platform is building on the initiative by introducing Customizable Tags.

Creators can now create their own unique tags with Customizable Tags. In addition, Twitch is doubling the number of tags creators can add to their channels from five to 10.

To help prevent the usage of inappropriate language in tags, creators must follow Twitch's Community Guidelines when creating tags. In addition, Twitch will review tags through a proactive and reactive multi-layer moderation process.

Though Twitch's previous update to tags resulted in more tags reflecting the platform's diverse community, creating unique tags allows creators to add tags and express themselves in a way that is personally meaningful.

Customizable Tags allow creators to control how they appear to their communities and help viewers find streams that interest them. Additionally, because creators can be strategic with the tags they use to increase their chances of being discovered, tags will play a more prominent role in discovery opportunities.

YouTube Is Adding Watermarks To Downloaded Shorts To Be Credited

YouTube is adding watermarks to downloaded Shorts.

When creators download their Shorts from their YouTube Studio to see them across other social media platforms, they will have a YouTube watermark on them. It says the watermark is being added so that viewers can know that the content creators share on other platforms can be found on YouTube Shorts.

The platform taking this route makes a lot of sense as the watermark will help give YouTube credit as the source. TikTok has significantly benefited from this as it's quite easy to identify a video that been repurposed from TikTok. Instagram and Pinterest also have watermarks for downloaded Reels and Idea Pins content.

However, this isn't ideal for creators. It will require them to create their content in three-party apps that don't add a watermark to make their content native to each social media platform. There will be creators that won't necessarily care about repurposing content with a watermark, as TikTok proved. But, this could hinder performance as platforms like Instagram have made it known that content with watermarks will be negatively impacted by the algorithm.

The social media platforms say they want to help creators, and many of them do, but simple things like watermarking their content make it more difficult for them — requiring more effort and lift for them to be creators.

What I’m Reading

  • Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022 (Pew Research Center)

  • TikTok, Meta can see user behavior on in-app browsers, according to research (Marketing Brew)

  • Meet the new Global Head of YouTube Creators (Tubefilter)

  • Chamberlain Coffee raises $7M as it plots retail expansion (Modern Retail)

  • Morning Brew building creator program (Axios)