TikTok Ventures 'Out of Phone,' Threads' New Branded Content Tool, Instagram Expands Polls

TikTok is bringing its videos to bigger screens like billboards, kioskis, cinemas, gas stations, and more.


Today’s Edition

  • TikTok announces Out of Phone to integrate TikTok content into real-world settings

  • Threads rolls out a Paid Partnership label for creators to disclose branded content

  • Instagram expands polls to the comment section

  • Snapchat launches an API for influencer marketing platforms and agencies

TikTok Announces Out of Phone

TikTok announced Out of Phone, a new out-of-home (OOH) solution, enabling advertising partners and brands to display TikTok content across screens in real-world settings. These include billboards, kiosks, cinemas, bars, restaurants, automobiles, airports, gas stations, retail stores, and more.

Why It Matters: Out of Phone represents a significant stride for TikTok, aligning with its broader strategy to expand its content to larger screens and diversify its advertising revenue streams. Over the past year, TikTok has engaged in various related initiatives, including launches with partners like ReachTV, Screenvision, GSTV, and Redbox.

Brands will find value in Out of Phone as it allows them to extend their TikTok campaigns into the real world, enabling them to convey their message to audiences when they aren’t on their phones.

The emergence of solutions like this and the growing trend of brands repurposing creator content for out-of-home advertising signals a future where influencer marketing campaigns will encompass digital platforms and the public spaces we encounter daily.

This shift is beneficial for influencer marketers and creators alike. The more creators can be integrated into businesses, especially in traditional marketing, the more likely company executives and budget owners will recognize their value and allocate budgets accordingly.

CapCut Introduces CapCut for Business

ByteDance's all-in-one editing platform, CapCut, introduced CapCut for Business, a new offering tailored explicitly for brands, marketers, and creators. This offering includes a range of tools to create ads and branded content, such as:

  • Ad Script: An AI-powered script generation tool that develops script ideas based on a product and/or business description.

  • Business Templates: Unlimited usage of commercially-licensed business templates for ads or branded content.

  • Product URL to Ads: A tool that converts the URL of a product or landing page into a video ad with a single click.

  • AI Characters: AI-generated presenters capable of performing product demonstrations, explainer videos, and more.

  • Collaboration: A feature that enables team members, agencies, and creators to collaborate on branded content by providing editing access and content review, as well as offering notes and suggestions in one place.

  • Virtual Try-On: A tool for using an AI model to virtually try on products and generate photos to showcase products.

Why it Matters: As the company's second app to achieve $100 million in consumer spending, ByteDance is determined to further capitalize on CapCut by offering a business-focused solution that is both user-friendly and cost-effective.

With a strong emphasis on AI-powered features that assist the entire creative process, from ideation to production to delivery, CapCut for Business is poised to become an essential tool for marketing teams and creators, especially those leveraging TikTok as a key platform.

Instagram Tests Polls in Comments

Instagram has begun testing polls in comments, which allows users to insert polls and participate in polling directly within the comments section of a Feed Post or Reel. These comment-based polls function similarly to those seen in Stories, enabling users to include up to four options as answers and allowing users to see the number of people who have cast their votes.

Why It Matters: Polls in comments provide creators and brands with a fresh way to engage with their audiences, especially within the context of a specific post. Sometimes, creators and brands include questions in the captions of their posts to boost engagement, and this feature streamlines that process.

Additionally, it is a valuable tool to include in influencer marketing campaigns, as it allows creators to gain insights from their audiences regarding the brand or product they are promoting, which can aid in performance and be helpful to their brand partners.

This feature, along with the ability to add GIFs in comments and share comments left on Feed Posts and Reels to Stories, highlights the evolution of comments as a content format.

Threads Rolls Out a Paid Partnership Label

Threads rolled out a Paid Partnership label. During the post-creation process, creators can indicate branded content by selecting the 'Mark as paid partnership' option via the three dots. This automatically adds #paidpartnership to the post in small text with the ability for creators to then mention the username of the relevant brand in front of it.

Why It Matters: The Paid Partnership label provides creators with a formal means to disclose branded content, promoting transparency with their audiences and ensuring compliance with FTC guidelines.

Having official support for these partnerships can encourage creators and brands to explore branded content on Threads, especially given the future possibility of brands being able to amplify these via Partnership Ads.

YouTube Enhances Shopping Capabilities with New Features for Creators

YouTube introduced new features to enhance its shopping capabilities:

  • Timestamps for Product Tags: Creators can include timestamps on their tagged products to showcase specific items at desired moments in their long-form videos.

  • Bulk Product Tagging: Creators can tag affiliate products across their video library for products added to their video descriptions in bulk.

  • Insights: In the near future, creators will have access to insights for affiliate products within YouTube Studio, including sales metrics, orders, offer clicks, and impressions.

Why It Matters: Creators have greater control over the placement of shopping tags in their videos, enabling them to feature them at the most relevant moments. In a September experiment with US creators, videos that featured timestamps for tagged products received twice as many clicks.

Creators can also easily make their existing library shoppable by bulk-adding product tags, potentially increasing revenue, especially as consumers gear up for holiday shopping.

Lastly, insights give creators more information about the performance of affiliate products, helping them forecast future revenue and understand which types of products perform best.

YouTube Announces New Initiatives to Support News and Journalists

YouTube announced a pair of new initiatives to support news and journalists:

  • Watch Page for News: Viewers can access news stories through a dedicated immersive watch page experience, which compiles videos, live streams, podcasts, and Shorts from diverse and authoritative news sources.

    Shorts Innovation Program for News: YouTube will collaborate with over 20 news organizations across 10 countries, investing $1.6 million to assist them with creating Shorts news content.

Why it Matters: YouTube's focus on news initiatives comes at a time when Meta has scaled back its involvement in news, including its stance against amplifying news on Threads.

With a central hub for diverse yet credible news sources spanning various formats, YouTube can provide viewers a versatile way to stay informed about global events. Whether they prefer real-time updates, in-depth exploration through long-form videos and podcasts, or bite-sized content, YouTube offers options.

By extending financial support and content creation assistance for Shorts, YouTube can encourage more news organizations to invest in this format, which TikTok has demonstrated to be popular for news consumption.

Snapchat Launches Creator Collab Campaigns

Snapchat launched the Creator Collab Campaigns, offering a suite of new tools for creators and brands to collaborate (previewed in last week’s newsletter):

  • Creator Discovery API: This API enables third-party platforms to integrate with Snapchat, allowing brands and agencies to discover creators. It provides access to information such as names, usernames, bios, and follower counts. Creators can also opt-in to share additional metrics, such as insights into Public Stories, Saved Stories, and audience demographics.

  • Creator Midroll Placement for Brands: Brands can insert contextually relevant ads within Stories created by creators.

  • Paid Partnership Tag: Public creators can tag their branded content with a Paid Partnership tag. Verified creators with Public Profiles can also tag relevant brands, with the approval of those brands, who then have the ability to amplify the post through paid media.

Why it Matters: The Creator Discovery API is the most notable and potentially impactful. With this move, Snapchat is following TikTok and Instagram, which offer third-party APIs to integrate with their creator marketplaces.

A prime example of the value of such APIs can be seen in TikTok's TikTok Creator Marketplace API. By opening up integrations, including creator discovery and real-time reporting, to platforms and agencies (like Mavrck) that assist brands with influencer marketing, TikTok increased the adoption of its marketplace and facilitated more collaborations between creators and brands.

Snapchat Launches Web Embeds for Lenses, Spotlight Videos, Stories, and Profiles

Snapchat launched web embeds for Lenses, Spotlight videos, Public Stories, and Public Profiles. This feature allows users to copy and paste a code via an embed button on content and embed it on a website or article. Viewers will be directed to the Snapchat website or app when they click on the embedded content.

Why It Matters: Web embeds signify a shift in Snapchat's ecosystem, moving away from a closed-off environment and aligning more with platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, where content can be easily shared beyond their native experiences. This enhances accessibility and distribution, benefiting creators and brands who can expand their reach and visibility by embedding their content on their websites.

Additionally, journalists and writers can make their articles covering Snapchat creators and trends more engaging by incorporating relevant content. 

Twitch Rolls Out Stories

Twitch started rolling out Stories. With Stories, creators can share ephemeral content that expires initially after 48 hours. Creators can share photos, clips, or freeform content using text, custom channel emotes, and backgrounds. Streamers with at least 30 subscribers will have the ability to create Stories that are exclusive to paying subscribers.

Why It Matters: Stories empower streamers with a new way to create and share content with their communities, complementing their ability to go live and create Clips. They can use these to share behind-the-scenes moments, including things they don’t typically share in their streams. Plus, Stories can be used to promote upcoming streams or notify audiences of any changes related to their streaming schedules.

LinkedIn Unveils New Updates Collaborative Articles

LinkedIn unveiled updates to its Collaborative Artlces. Notables are:

  • Web Layout: The new layout now places more focus on user contributions rather than AI prompts. Users also have new options to react to contributions, and a dedicated "Top Contributors" section has been added at the beginning of articles.

    Quality of Articles: The titles and text of articles have been improved for better relevance. LinkedIn now considers a user's own activity, including the articles they post, read, and comment on, to help them discover articles that are most relevant to their interests.

    Additional Rewards: Top contributors will receive more recognition for their contributions, with "Top Community Voice" badges displayed on their profiles and next to their contributions in articles. Users' contributions can be discovered by people outside their networks and in search when people are searching for specific problems or topics.

Why It Matters: These updates come as Collaborative Articles reach the six-month mark. In its short existence, it has achieved significant success, with users contributing a million times and experiencing a 74% increase in contributions in the last month alone. Collaborative Articles have also become the primary traffic driver on LinkedIn.

By enhancing the user experience and offering more rewards for article contributions, LinkedIn hopes to sustain its momentum. As seen in the number of people sharing screenshots of their “Top Community Voice” badges, the badging system is a significant driver of adoption. One aspect to watch out for is whether the adoption of Collaborative Articles diminishes over time due to the potential devaluation of these badges as they become more widespread among users.

What I’m Reading

  • YouTube Working on Tool That Lets Creators Sing Like Drake (Bloomberg)

  • The Vision of a New Social Era (Semrush) (Includes quotes from me)

  • How Major League Baseball’s updated content and influencer strategy is pivotal in garnering interest for the World Series (Digiday)

  • Are Influencers Killing Boxing, or Saving It? (GQ)

  • Why social media personalities are acting like publishers — and how brands can join in (PR Daily)

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