Instagram Productizes 'Finstas,' TikTok Explores 30-Minute Videos, BeReal Enlists Celebrities & Brands

  • Instagram productizes ‘Finstas’ with Flipside

  • TikTok explores 30-minute uploads to attract YouTubers and studios

  • BeReal turns to celebrities and brands for user growth

  • YouTube holds Shorts community creators to stricter criteria

  • Ally becomes the latest company to view creators as consumers

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Instagram Rolls Out 'Finsta' Feature: Flipside

Matt Navarra

Instagram has begun rolling out Flipside, a feature enabling users to create a private version of their profile exclusively for friends.

With Flipside, users can share content visible only to those added to this profile. When they post content, they can choose 'Flipside' as an option under 'Audience,' similar to sharing posts with Close Friends.

Why It Matters: Flipside introduces a native feature for ‘Finstas,’ fake Instagram accounts typically used by teens to share candid or private posts with a subset of friends. As ‘Finstas’ have become more popular, Instagram has been experimenting with features that enable private sharing, such as Close Friends and Audience options.

Flipside provides the complete 'Finsta' experience, eliminating the need to manage separate accounts for sharing with select people. This can also help Instagram in getting more of its younger users to share to the Feed, rather than solely relying on Stories and direct messages.

Beyond private sharing, Flipside offers opportunities for creators and brands to deepen connections with their top followers and even gamify access. One specific way that creators could use the feature is by sharing posts to Flipside that provide a behind-the-scenes version of content shared on their primary account. For example, a fashion creator might post a 'Get Ready With Me' video on their primary feed and then shortly after share on their Flipside a talking-head-style, candid video showing how they put their outfit together.

TikTok Explores 30-Minute Video Uploads

Matt Navarra

TikTok is currently testing 30-minute videos. Spotted in the TikTok beta app by Matt Navarra, users would have the ability to upload videos as long as 30 minutes, an increase from the current 10-minute limit.

Why It Matters: While TikTok has been encouraging creators to experiment with longer videos (photos, too) —content extending beyond the usual one-minute mark—the prospect of 30-minute uploads marks a significant shift.

Long-form content creators, such as YouTubers and podcasters, could find this feature appealing. It opens the door for them to share complete videos from their YouTube channels or break down their full-length content into more digestible segments instead of short clips.

This update could also catch the attention of movie and TV studios, who have been increasingly using TikTok, including uploading full movies and shows via dozens of clips. It might not be far-fetched to imagine a movie or TV show premiering on TikTok, especially considering TikTok and its creators' presence at this year's Sundance Film Festival. TikTok could become what wanted to be.

Add in TikTok’s recent upgrades to the viewing experience for tablets and foldable devices, coupled with the ability to cast content to TVs, users would have a few different ways to watch these longer videos, especially for communal viewing.

TikTok's overall goal with longer videos remains the same—driving advertising revenue. Having 30-minute uploads could expand its advertising solutions to include pre-roll or mid-roll ads, similar to YouTube, which could also generate stronger revenue for creators via ad revenue sharing.

BeReal Launches Official Accounts for Celebrities and Brands


BeReal has introduced RealPeople and RealBrands, official accounts for notable individuals and brands.

Starting February 6th, users will be able to follow their favorite celebrities, athletes, musicians, companies, and more to see unfiltered, behind-the-scenes content via the app's random, once-a-day 'Time to BeReal' notification. Users can become RealFans of these accounts (TBD what this actually means) and tag them in their own posts, which can then be reshared.

BeReal is also reporting that it has over 23 million daily average users (DAUs), a slight increase from 20 million this past August.

Why It Matters: Since its inception, BeReal has focused on connecting friends through unfiltered moments. These official accounts could potentially alter the user experience.

Instagram Stories and Snapchat already allow A-listers and brands to share this type of content with their fans. Therefore, for BeReal to provide a unique experience, official accounts will need to share exclusive content not seen elsewhere. Otherwise, BeReal risks becoming too similar to existing platforms.

With big names and brands joining, new marketing opportunities emerge. For example, celebrities, athletes, musicians, and digital creators can extend their brand partnerships to BeReal. Brands can offer exclusive, limited-time deals to their followers, as well as showcase the people working at their companies in a casual way.

Upcoming tentpole events such as the Super Bowl, New York Fashion Week, NBA All-Star Weekend, and the Summer Olympics could be beneficial for BeReal’s newest initiatives, giving celebrities and brands the chance to share candid moments during big events.

YouTube Implements Stricter Rules for Its Shorts Creator Community

Business Insider

YouTube has implemented stricter rules for its exclusive invite-only Shorts creator community, where creators receive support, advice, and perks from Community Partner Managers. Focusing on the 'most engaged and interested creators,' creators must now meet specific criteria, including posting consistently on Shorts and attending at least one community session quarterly.

Why It Matters: YouTube's decision to add criteria for creators to join and remain in the community signifies a shift towards providing support for creators that aligns with its initiatives. This move comes on the heels of YouTube laying off 100 employees across its creator partnerships division and an overall restructuring of the organization.

YouTube isn’t alone in evolving its creator support. There seems to be a broader transformation across the industry. Instagram recently underwent a round of layoffs and is putting creators who drive teen engagement first. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is pivoting from creators and focusing on a broader user base.

Creators are a platform’s most valuable asset, but it's important to remember that platforms are also driven by profit. They will continue to evolve, adjusting everything from their algorithms to their tools and features and how they support creators based on what is best for their business objectives.

Creators should keep this in mind and remain flexible — leverage platform support when available, but avoid relying too heavily on it.

All-Digital Bank Ally Turns its Attention to Creators With Creator Cache Program


Ally has launched Creator Cache, a program dedicated to helping creators achieve long-term financial success by providing them with new skills, access to emerging technology, and opportunities to showcase their creativity.

In conjunction with the program, Ally conducted a study that revealed that most creators do not believe that financial institutions know how to support their needs. However, 78% are interested in banks that are committed to supporting creators, understand their ventures, and offer tailored services, and 79% would likely switch to such a bank.

Why It Matters: With Creator Cache, Ally is addressing the specific needs of creators, which differ from those of traditional 9-to-5 employees and even small businesses. In doing so, Ally joins a growing list of established companies, including Visa, TurboTax, and American Express, that recognize creators as a distinct consumer segment.

While creator economy companies are developing specialized tools, established companies such as the above are adapting existing offerings and marketing strategies to appeal to creators. For instance, Ally doesn't offer a dedicated creator account but positions existing tools like Savings Buckets as a means for creators to build funds for necessary equipment or an emergency fund, easing their journey toward financial independence.

Head over to my website for more creator economy news, trends, and insights.


Legislation restricting social media usage by teens has gained momentum in recent years. In the latest development, Florida has passed a Republican-backed bill that would be one of the strictest if it goes into effect.

As creator monetization options like creator funds and revenue shares evolve and become more hit or miss, some creators are starting to see platforms more as marketing tools rather than direct sources of revenue.

Finfluencers are plentiful on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, offering financial advice on everything from tax-saving strategies to obtaining high-limit credit cards. However, a study revealed that much of this advice is inaccurate, yet it hasn't deterred people from listening.


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