It's Photos For TikTok, Shopping for YouTube & the Fediverse for Flipboard


  • TikTok has a new app for photo posts on the way.

  • YouTube adds new shopping features to capitalize on the growing interest in shopping-related content.

  • UberEats adds a short-form video feed to help customers discover new dishes.

  • LinkedIn highlights comments as another way for users to increase their visibility.

  • Flipboard expands its fediverse integration to hundreds of creators.


Why TikTok is Launching a New Photo App & The Broader Trend It's Part of


TikTok is set to launch a new app for photo posts, dubbed TikTok Notes, as revealed via in-app notifications that some users are seeing. According to these notifications, all existing and future photo posts will appear on this new app unless users opt-out.

Given the name, the app will likely make the text accompanying photos a prominent part of the experience. Plus, TikTok will likely showcase content from TikTok Notes in its native app, similarly to what Instagram does for Threads.

Photo Content Has Taken a Backseat

Over the past few years, video content has taken precedence, somewhat overshadowing underserved photo creators. Although Instagram has recently shown more attention to photo content, with new carousel features and monetization for photos, it has opened up competition for other photo-sharing experiences.

TikTok’s Embrace of Photos

TikTok has been promoting photos for the past few months and highlighting the benefits of photo posts over videos. For instance, photo posts generate 1.9x more likes and 2.9x more comments than videos on average. As I wrote in a previous newsletter edition, the push for photos is a way to attract more creators, enhance search and discovery, and boost branded content and advertising.

How Should Creators and Brands Respond

With photo posts from the native TikTok app set to be shared on TikTok Notes, creators and brands need not undertake drastic measures, but rather focus on crafting engaging captions for photos. Those who already share photo posts can anticipate broader reach, visibility, and potentially enhanced performance upon the app's launch, as these posts will gain an additional platform for discovery.

And Then, There’s TikTok Lite

TikTok Notes isn't the only new app from TikTok. TikTok is also launching TikTok Lite in select countries. Like Flip, this app will reward users with points for watching videos, inviting others to sign up, and more. These points can be redeemed for gift cards or used as tips for creators. This is reportedly aimed at driving growth among users aged 18 and up in the European Union.

Why Pursue Standalone Apps?

Does launching separate apps versus building dedicated feeds or experiences make sense? Probably not on the surface. Firstly, another app adds extra burden for users whose phones are already packed with numerous apps. Secondly, amidst a potential ban, launching more apps draws more scrutiny towards TikTok.

All the Social Media Platforms are Doing It

But if we look at the broader trend of what's been happening on social media — many social media platforms are launching new, standalone apps or investing heavily in existing ones — it makes sense, as these have become ways of driving growth. Some of the key examples are:

  • Meta launched Threads as an alternative to X, which will eventually be another place to sell ads.

  • Pinterest rolled out Shuffles, a collage maker app, to attract Gen Z users to its main app and aid its goal of making Pinterest more shoppable. Shuffles also inspired a new Collage feature.

  • ByteDance introduced Lemon8 to the US and UK as a competitor to Instagram and Pinterest, providing creators a space for lifestyle content with TikTok-like algorithm benefits.

  • YouTube launched YouTube Create, an editing tool similar to CapCut that lowers the barrier to content creation on YouTube.

YouTube Rolls Out Shopping Collections & Affiliate Hub


YouTube has rolled out new Shopping features for creators.

Shopping Collections enable creators to curate products from their favorite brands and their own merchandise based on themes. These collections are showcased in their product lists, Store tab, and video descriptions.

The Affiliate Hub serves as a place where creators can find potential brand partners, access affiliate links (with commission rates of up to 30%) and exclusive promo codes, and request product samples from brands.

YouTube is also expanding the ability for creators to tag products across their video library in bulk and adding Fourthwall as a store integration partner.

Why It Matters: These features will help creators capitalize on the growing interest in shopping-related videos on YouTube. In 2023 alone, over 30 billion hours of such content were viewed, indicating a 25% increase in watch time for shopping videos.

Creators can establish their own virtual storefronts through Shopping Collections, echoing the offerings of retail giants like Amazon and Walmart with their creator programs. With the Affiliate Hub, creators get a one-stop shop for making their content shoppable. This experience is similar to TikTok Shop and other e-commerce players like Shopify and Klarna, which have launched marketplaces for performance-based collaborations between creators and merchants.

Need Inspiration? If you're a creator seeking inspiration for high-performing affiliate content, YouTube has compiled a video playlist.

UberEats Launches a Short-Form Video Feed

Uber Eats

UberEats has launched a short-form video feed. The delivery service is testing the feed with customers in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto ahead of a global rollout.

The videos appear as carousels throughout the app. When clicked, users are directed to a full-screen, vertical feed where they can swipe through videos showing dishes prepared from restaurants within delivery distance.

Why It Matters: With this new experience, restaurant managers can share short-form videos to highlight dishes and reach new customers, similar to what they can do on TikTok and Instagram, where 40% of young people say they are using to discover new places to eat. There is also the added benefit of users seeing these videos when they are ready for a meal.

Adding video content of this type can also replicate the experience of customers ordering in person, as they can see how dishes are made, their portions, and more.

The "TikTokification" of the world can be taxing, but it does benefit creators who have led the short-form video craze. It creates more opportunities for brands to tap them for partnerships outside of social media platforms. In this instance, restaurants can partner with local creators to produce video assets to upload to this short-form video feed.

LinkedIn Shares Commenting Can Triple Profile Views


In a recent post on its LinkedIn Guide for Creating account, LinkedIn stated that commenting once a week can triple users' profile views.

Why It Matters: Some LinkedIn users have become strategic about leaving comments on posts by thought leaders and creators. This allows them to reach new audiences and increases the chances that their comments will appear in the feeds of others with whom they are already connected, prompting people to check out their profiles.

Because comments can have a significant impact, there’s been more abuse of them, with some users leveraging AI tools to automatically leave comments on posts, which often are generic and sometimes the exact comments as others. As a result, for those using commenting as a growth strategy, it's important to focus on adding to the conversation with thoughtful comments.

From enhanced visibility of comments on LinkedIn to new comment-related features like the ability to share comments left on Instagram posts to Stories, comments have evolved into a content format that creators can utilize to increase their visibility, collaborate, and grow.

Speaking of profile views, LinkedIn updated the ‘Influencer on LinkedIn’ filter for its ‘Who Viewed Your Profile’ feature to provide more context on profile visitors it designates as influencers like ‘Top Voices’ and ‘senior leaders.’

Flipboard Expands Its Fediverse Integration to Over 400 Creators


Flipboard announced the expansion of its fediverse integration to 400 creators (including myself) and over 11,000 curated magazines. With this, creator and their Magazines can be discovered and interacted with on other federated networks like Mastodon and Threads. When people engage with creators and their content across these networks, it will appear in Flipboard’s notification system, which has been updated, including activities by users on Flipboard and on federated networks.

Why It Matters: This marks another step in Flipboard’s push to be fully federated. It follows its initial push of making 1,000 Flipboard magazines federated a few months ago. Now, hundreds more creators and thousands of magazines can be discovered outside Flipboard on Mastodon, Threads, and other federated networks. It also enables two-way communication between Flipboard creators and audiences, whether on Flipboard or other platforms.

Flipboard’s move comes a few weeks after Threads started beta testing a fediverse sharing option, which is helping to draw more attention to decentralized networks. The fediverse will offer a new avenue for creators to be discovered and grow their communities — stay tuned.

For more news, trends, and insights on the creator economy from the week, visit my website.


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