LinkedIn Boosts Newsletter Discovery

Edition #50

Today’s edition marks a small milestone – it’s the 50th edition of the newsletter! Head over to my website if you’re interested in reading previous editions.

Today’s Edition:

  • LinkedIn announces new features to boost discovery for Newsletters on and off the platform

  • TikTok tests limiting music access for creators

  • Twitch tests Meta ads to help streamers with off-platform discovery

LinkedIn Announces New Features to Boost Discovery for Newsletters On and Off the Platform

In the latest edition Building LinkedIn, Tomer Cohen, Chief Product Officer at LinkedIn, unveiled several new features for LinkedIn Newsletters.

What’s New for Newsletters

  • Featured Newsletters & One-Click Subscribe: Creators can now feature their Newsletter prominently on their LinkedIn profile for easy visibility to visitors. They also have the option to share their Newsletter outside of LinkedIn using a shareable subscribe URL and embeddable button that can be posted on social media, sent via email, or added to websites. Those who are already logged into LinkedIn will be instantly prompted to subscribe when they click the link.

  • Newsletters in Search Results: When searching for creators on LinkedIn, their Newsletters will now be prominently displayed under their name, making it easier for users to find and subscribe to the Newsletters of creators they value.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Creators can now customize their SEO titles and descriptions. By doing so, they can improve their Newsletter's visibility off-platform and on search engines such as Google.

  • Pre-Scheduling: LinkedIn's new pre-scheduling feature, which was recently launched, will soon be available for Newsletters. This means that creators will be able to schedule their long-form content in advance, which is quite useful since Newsletters are typically published on a regular schedule.

  • Centralized Analytics & Tools: Creators can now access analytics and creator tools in a centralized location, which can be accessed at the top of their profile through the app or on a desktop. This provides a streamlined and convenient way for creators to see the content performance, audience insights, and tools that are available for them.

These updates maintain LinkedIn's trend of robust product improvements, particularly for Newsletters, which have become one of the most valuable creator features. In just the last few weeks, there have been a number of creators launching Newsletters.

That trend will continue as updates address discovery challenges with LinkedIn Newsletters. With features that allow creators to get in front of new and existing audiences on and off the platform, creators can grow their Newsletter communities faster. The full potential of Newsletters won’t be reached until the platform supports a directory for users to search and discover its 36,000 plus Newsletters and for creators to own their subscriber list. However, LinkedIn shows that newsletters can be a successful tool on social media platforms, in contrast to Meta and Twitter, which recently discontinued their newsletter products.

What Else is New With LinkedIn

Newsletters aren’t the only product updates. A recent email to creators, who are part of its Creator Management Program, revealed that it might tweak its algorithms to align with feedback that users provided in a recent survey. Based on the survey, users value seeing content from their immediate network that covers a wide range of personal and professional stories and topics. When it comes to content outside of their immediate network, they typically prefer content that shares knowledge and provides advice.

As a result, LinkedIn says that creators can expect better reach with their connections and followers and a greater emphasis on professional insights, ideas, and inspirations for surfacing creators’ content beyond their network.

What It Means for Creators

When creating and sharing content, creators should keep these top of mind to optimize content performance while leveraging their unique voice. Creators that want to reach existing connections and followers have the flexibility to generate content across a wide range of topics. While creators that want to reach new audiences should focus on providing content that helps others professionally, such as industry knowledge and expertise, tutorials and tips for building skills, and advice for landing economic opportunities.

Changes to algorithms can cause worries for creators, but these appear to be positive and will likely result in a better display of content that its users find valuable and want to see. With LinkedIn continuing to see an all-time high in user engagement, it knows what it’s doing.

TikTok Tests Limiting Music Access for Creators

TikTok is conducting a test in Australia to limit music access for some creators. Participants in the test will have restricted access to certain music they can use for their videos.

Why TikTok is Testing This

The test aims to evaluate "how sounds are accessed and added to videos.” For months, TikTok and major labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Musc Entertainment, and Warner Music Group have been in disagreement over the value of music on the platform. TikTok sees it as one platform component, while labels argue that music is a big driver of its success. Because of this, labels are seeking higher compensation for their music catalogs. They want to receive a cut of TikTok's advertising revenue based on the number of plays their artists receive across the platform.

According to one label executive, TikTok's current agreements with labels are below industry standards. The executive says that the label should receive "between two and ten times more," which would make the agreement more in line with existing platforms like Meta and YouTube.

What the Outcome of the Test Could Mean

The outcome of the test could help negotiations between TikTok and labels. If the tests show that commercial music doesn't impact the app much, it can help TikTok keep its current agreements the same or even pay less to labels. On the other hand, if the test shows that restricting commercial music impacts how creators use the app, it can help the label get a portion of the platform's advertising revenue.

The test is with a small subset of creators, so the outcome might not be that valuable. However, without testing and looking at content that typically goes viral, it would be hard to argue that commercial music isn't a significant part of the TikTok experience. Some of the biggest trends have been built around songs by both new and established artists. This isn't just the case for TikTok, either. Music is a key part of short-form video content, which is why Meta and YouTube recently launched initiatives that give creators more options for using music while still being eligible for monetization.

The Potential Impact on Creators

Is there a world where neither TikTok nor labels budge, and creators aren't able to use commercial music in their content? Let's hope not. As robust as TikTok's Commerical Music Library is, not being able to leverage popular and trending music would limit creators' creativity and eliminate some of the cultural moments that songs have created on the platform. In addition, many brands struggle with being limited to using commercial-free music in their videos – this could be the same fate for creators if they were limited to the TikTok Commerical Music Library.

Twitch Tests Meta Ads to Help Streamers With Off-Platform Discovery

Twitch has initiated a new Live Ads Growth Program to help streamers expand their online communities. The program promotes streamers' content on Facebook and Instagram when they go live on Twitch. Streamers can sign up for the program by submitting three of their latest Twitch videos, which will then be reviewed by Twitch to ensure they comply with specific guidelines. If selected, the streamer's content will be promoted as paid ads on Facebook and Instagram while they are live. Anyone who clicks on the ad will be directed to their channel. The ads will automatically stop once the streamer goes offline.

Assisting streamers in being discovered, particularly outside of Twitch, is one of the platform's main priorities. As seen from Twitch's recent open letter to creators, the company is developing new features to help with discovery, such as the Live Ads Growth Program. This is something that some streamers have attempted on their own and is a strategy that was tested for a Mavrck customer in the past.

Twitch's utilization of the targeting and scale of Facebook and Instagram ads should result in positive outcomes for participating streamers. The biggest challenge, however, is aligning the ads to run only when the streamers are live and turning them off when they go offline. Twitch may be working with Meta on some integration to achieve a more scalable solution.

While Twitch is actively working on new discovery tools, the company has been transparent about encouraging streamers to use other platforms for discovery and promotion, which is not what most streamers want to hear.

More News

Instagram Co-Founders Create a TikTok for Articles

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the co-founders of Instagram, have created a new app called Artifact, which combines articles, facts, and AI technology. The app presents users with a carefully curated collection of articles from a variety of publishers, including news organizations, tech websites, and blogs, powered by AI. Users can access similar articles by tapping on those that interest them and can also engage in discussions through comments, direct messages, and following others. When it comes to moderation, Systrom says that they plan to make their own judgment calls and will remove any misinformation.

Artifact can be seen as a TikTok for articles, but there are already similar apps like Google Reader and Flipboard. Similar to the early days of Clubhouse, access to Artifact is available on a waitlist basis, which can be found here. Nevertheless, Systrom and Krieger's track record in creating one of the biggest social apps, Instagram, makes Artifact noteworthy and worth paying attention to.

OpenAI Launches a Subscription Version of ChatGPT

OpenAI launched ChatGPTPlus, a subscription-based version of its popular AI-powered text generator. For $20/month, subscribers get exclusive benefits such as priority access during peak times, faster response times, and early access to new features and updates. The subscription will initially be offered to individuals on the waitlist in the United States.

Additionally, OpenAI has introduced an AI classifier to differentiate between human-written and AI-generated text. The company aims to combat the spread of false information through automated misinformation campaigns and academic dishonesty by allowing users to identify AI text posing as human-written. However, the classifier currently has limitations, with accuracy rates of only 26% in identifying AI text and unreliable results for texts shorter than 1,000 characters. Additionally, human-written texts may also be mislabeled as AI-generated.

As the demand and scrutiny surrounding AI content increases, a growing number of AI tools will emerge for both creators and those looking to detect AI-generated content. In addition to net-new AI tools, there will be many platforms that leverage generative AI APIs to build new tools.

Twitter Discontinues CoTweets In Advance of Essay Attachment Feature

Twitter announced that it would no longer support CoTweets, a feature it was experimenting with that allowed users to co-author tweets that appear on both profiles. The move goes against a trend in platforms providing creators and brands with new ways to collaborate. Instagram’s Collabs offers similar functionality and has been quite popular for collaborative posts between creators and brands.

According to the announcement, there’s a chance a revamped version of CoTweets that incorporates user feedback could appear in the future. Though CoTweets are being discontinued, users have updates to look forward to next week. Twitter says it will launch a beta version of a feature that will let creators add essays as attachments to their tweets and monetize them through a revamped version of Super Follows.

The Elon Musk-led Twitter is unpredictable. Before he took over, the platform made strong progress on new features and experiments that helped creators, including CoTweets. However, that progress has been stalled in recent months as Musk has launched several features that often are out of touch or don’t provide value. Despite this, new features around creator monetization will always be well-received as they enable creators to get rewarded for the content they put out. Based on everything we’ve seen, the essays as attachments feature and new creator subscriptions will launch with a few issues.

TikTok Updates its System For Account Enforcement

TikTok announced an updated system for account enforcement. Under the system, creators that violate Community Guidelines will accrue a strike along with their content being removed. Once creators meet a threshold of strikes, they will be permanently banned. The thresholds of the strikes vary based on the potential harm that they can cause to other users. In some cases where violations are severe (e.. threatening violence, sexual abuse, etc.), creators may receive a permanent ban on a first strike.

TikTok is also rolling out an Account Status page in the Safety Center. Similar to Instagram’s Account Status feature, creators will be able to easily see their account standing, such as strikes they have accrued and the opportunity to appeal them. TikTok also says it will start testing a feature that lets creators know which of their videos have been ineligible for a recommendation for the For You Page, which is similar to Instagram.

Overall, this adds to TikTok’s recent efforts around safety and transparency. Previous efforts have focused on general everyday users' such as providing them with insight into why they’re seeing certain content and protecting younger users from inappropriate content. Its newest efforts have it putting its attention back on creators by helping them understand when they do violate policies, whether intentionally or not, the potential ramifications, and how they can appeal violations they disagree with.

Tiny Giants Podcast: Don’t Wait To Create

I was a guest on this week’s Tiny Giants podcast with T. Adeola Osinubu, where we discussed my background, why you don’t need to be in a specific role to gain professional experience, the importance of keeping both the marketer and creator perspective, the rise in more kids wanting to be creators, and more. If you’re interested, give the episode a listen here.

What I’m Reading

  • YouTube Shorts takes on TikTok in battle for younger users (Financial Times)

    De-influencing is TikTok’s response to overconsumption and inauthenticity (Glossy)

    Why is everyone on TikTok obsessed with slideshows? (Mashable)