Instagram Creative Tools, Kohl's Influencer Storefronts, YouTube AI Music



Today’s Edition

  • Instagram offers new creative tools across its various formats. Plus, updates to Reels insights could reshape how creators and marketers measure the short-form videos.

  • Kohl's introduces creator storefronts just in time for the holiday shopping season, taking advantage of the growing trend of creator-driven commerce.

  • YouTube delves further into AI with new guidelines for AI-generated content and a tool for creators to leverage the voices of artists.

Instagram Unveils New Creative Tools and Insights Across the App


Instagram has announced several updates across photos, carousels, Reels, Stories, and insights. Let’s dive in!

What’s New

  • Text to Speech: 10 new text-to-speech voices in English are now available in select countries.

  • Filters: New filters for photos and carousels featuring different styles and tones.

  • Text & Font Styles: New text fonts and styles for Stories and Reels.

  • Custom Stickers: Users can create custom stickers from their photos, videos, or eligible content across Instagram.

  • GIF Clip Hub: A library featuring clips with audio from movies, TV shows, and more is now accessible.

  • Improved Insights: Reels insights have a new metric in Replays (the number of times a Reel starts playing again after its initial play). In addition, the definition of Plays has been updated to include Initial Plays (the number of times a Reel starts to play for the first time in a session) and the addition of Replays. An interactive Retention Chart will soon be added, providing insights into how many people watch a Reel moment-by-moment.

The Momentum Continues

Instagram maintains momentum by delivering a new set of valuable updates for creators, following last week's marathon of releases for Reels. This time, Instagram addresses multiple experiences across the platform, but Reels is still the main focus.

New Ways for Creators to Express Themselves

New additions like text-to-speech voices, Custom Stickers, and the GIF Clip Hub empower creators with new options to express their creativity, both visually and audibly, making their content more engaging. The GIF Clip Hub is notable as it may lead to more meme-style Reels, especially for creators who review shows, movies, or comment on pop culture.

More Accurate Tracking for Reels Performance

The updates to Reels insights are noteworthy. This adjustment means that creators will now see higher metrics for Plays, as Replays are now included in the count. For brands collaborating with creators on sponsored Reels content, this translates to more accurate tracking and the potential for higher views for influencer marketing campaigns during reporting.

Both creators and brands gain a more comprehensive understanding of Reels content performance, utilizing metrics like Replays to distinguish content that garners repeat views from one-time engagements.

A Renewed Focus on Photos

In a departure from recent trends, Instagram’s launch of filters for photos and carousels suggests that it is dedicating more time to its core content format - photos, even though short-form videos remain the main priority. Another example of this shift is seen in photos being incorporated as part of Instagram’s new test of invite-only Holiday bonuses. Creators can monetize based on the number of views their photos receive, in addition to Reels.


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Kohl's Launches Creators Storefronts in Time for the Holidays


Kohl's launched The Influencer Shop, a collection of creator storefronts featuring influencers such as Dani Schaffer, Gerald Fluellen, Candace Smith, and Liz Webber, just in time for holiday shopping.

Each creator now has a dedicated storefront showcasing their curated product recommendations. Additionally, each storefront provides information about the creator, including their social media handle, a short bio, repurposed social content featuring Kohl's products, and a button for creators and visitors to share the storefront easily.

Why It Matters: Kohl's is the latest brand to expand its partnerships with creators, offering them individual storefronts on its website—similar to other retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Target, West Elm, J. Crew, and Instacart.

The surge in creator storefronts meet consumers' desire for curated recommendations from trusted individuals when they are in shopping mode. When consumers visit brand websites and product pages, they are often ready to make purchasing decisions, and recommendations from creators can influence their choices by helping them cut through a noisy e-commerce experience.

Participating in storefronts offers numerous benefits for creators. Creators get prominent placement on a brand’s owned channel, which can boost their credibility and reach. Because of this, creators will often promote their storefronts outside of any specific campaign deliverables, driving more value for brands.

Plus, there is often some compensation component for creators, such as receiving a commission for products purchased from their storefront.

TikTok Rolls Out an In-App Effect Editor for AR Effects Creation


TikTok has rolled out an in-app effect editor. Through an Effects tray, creators can access advanced tools and software, similar to the Effect House platform, to create augmented reality effects for TikTok. These tools include templates and assets that can be used for effects, along with the ability for creators to set behavior triggers for interactive effects such as randomization and games.

Why It Matters: By offering creators a mobile-native version of Effect House, TikTok is simplifying the process of creating AR effects, reducing barriers to entry.

Since the introduction of Effect House, TikTok has motivated creators to invest in this type of content by providing incentives, including cash payments, branded content opportunities, and badges. 

These incentives aim to inspire creators to produce more effects, assist others in content creation, and contribute to TikTok's goals of increasing in-app time and creating opportunities for AR-led shopping experiences.

TikTok Launches Integrations With Major Music Streaming Services


TikTok launched Add to Music App, a new feature allowing US and UK users to save songs they discover on TikTok to major streaming services such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify. Using an 'Add Song' button next to a track, users can select their preferred streaming service and add the song to a playlist—whether it's a default one, a new one, or an existing one.

Why It Matters: TikTok has solidified its status as a global hub for music discovery, often propelling songs to viral fame and breaking old records on the charts. Add to Music App capitalizes on TikTok's influence in music discovery, bridging the gap between users discovering music on TikTok and being able to enjoy the full-length song from their favorite artists and creators.

This strengthens the bond between TikTok and the music industry, offering artists and labels increased exposure, discoverability, and revenue. Simultaneously, it provides music streaming services with an additional way to leverage social media for discovery, complementing their existing in-app recommendation experiences.

YouTube Introduces Requirements for AI-Generated Content 


YouTube has announced new requirements for AI-generated content. Creators are now obligated to disclose when they've used AI tools to create altered or synthetic content that appears realistic, utilizing dedicated disclosure labels. When uploading a video, creators can select these labels, making them visible in the video description and on the video player in the case of more sensitive topics.

In addition, YouTube is allowing creators, artists, and viewers to request the removal of AI-generated content that includes an identifiable individual (e.g., face or voice). YouTube’s music partners, including labels, also have the authority to request the removal of AI-generated music imitating an artist.

Why It Matters: YouTube joins TikTok and Meta in updating guidelines and policies for AI-generated content, introducing disclosure labels. This marks a positive step for YouTube as it delves further into AI, aligning with its competitors and the broader tech landscape.

While enforcement of these remains a question, anticipate social media platforms implementing additional measures to ensure viewers are informed when encountering AI-generated content and to combat the misuse of AI.

YouTube Previews AI Music Tool for Shorts Creators and Artists


YouTube previewed one of its early AI Music experiments. In collaboration with Google DeepMind, YouTube is testing Dream Track in YouTube Shorts.

This allows creators to generate a soundtrack for up to 30 seconds for their Shorts by typing a creation prompt and selecting from artists such as Charlie Puth, John Legend, Papoose, Sia, and T-Pain. This will generate original audio, including the backing track, the lyrics, and the voice and style of the selected artists.

Why It Matters: As one of YouTube’s initial forays into AI music tools, Dream Track in YouTube Shorts holds significant potential for creators and artists.

It empowers creators to craft original soundscapes, enhancing their short-form videos with contributions from top artists across genres. For artists, it allows them to embrace the emergence of AI-powered music in a controlled manner and benefit from discovery avenues and revenue streams, such as licensing deals and royalties.

Threads Introduces New Options for Increased Control and Privacy


Threads introduced new control features in response to community feedback. Users can now delete their Threads profile independently of their Instagram account and opt out of displaying Threads posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Why It Matters: The creator community experienced a small uproar when it was discovered that deleting a Threads account also required deleting the associated Instagram account. This requirement prevented some creators from joining Threads.

Now, with the option to delete each profile individually and the ability for creators to opt-out of displaying posts on other Meta apps, Threads has addressed and removed some of the barriers for creators around control of their presence and control.

Threads Tests Topic Tags for Post Categorization


Threads is currently testing topic tags as a way to categorize posts. Users can tap a new "#" button or manually type the symbol to access the feature. As they start typing, a list of available tags will appear for selection or the option to create a new tag. Users can choose only one tag for each post. After selecting a tag and publishing the post, users can click on the tag to explore related posts. This test is currently underway in Australia before rolling out to more countries.

Why It Matters: Tags simplify content discovery by organizing posts around specific topics and themes. By restricting users to a single tag per post, Threads minimizes spam often encountered with the traditional hashtag experience, where users may include excessive and irrelevant hashtags to boost content discovery.

What I’m Reading

  • WTF is Influencer Allowlisting? (Digiday)

  • Influencers Could Be TikTok's Secret Weapon in E-commerce. They Could Also Be Its Downfall (Business Insider)

  • FTC Issues Influencer Marketing Warnings Over Insufficient Sponsorship Disclosures (AdAge)

  • Will TikTok's New Creator Program Change the App? (Rolling Stone)

  • The Lie of "Deinfluencing" (The Vox)

  • French Social Media Influencers Feel the Heat Over New Law on Paid Content (The Guardian)

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