Why Snapchat Deserves to Be in the Conversation

Edition #60

Hello!

Last month, social magazine Flipboard announced the launch of new creator initiatives aimed at helping the creator middle class. These initiatives include the Flipboard Creator Collective, which is a handpicked group of creators that get access to exclusive editorial opportunities and programs.

I'm excited to share that I've been selected as an inaugural member alongside other creators in the food, tech, travel, news, photography, climate, and personal finance space. I've been investing more time in Flipboard over the past few months to create, share, and curate content and diversify beyond traditional social media platforms. Stay tuned for more from Flipboard.

On another note, if you're in the Boston area, join fellow influencer marketer Meredith Jacobson and me for a happy hour this Tuesday, April 25th. For more details and to RSVP, click here.

Now, onto what is on my radar from this week!

Today’s Edition:

  • Snapchat’s new programs and features for creators

  • Instagram allows creators to add multiple links to their bio

  • Instagram announces creator-focused updates for Reels

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Snapchat’s New Programs and Features for Creators

This week, Snapchat hosted its annual Snap Partner Summit, an event for the platform's partners and the creator community. During the summit, Snapchat unveiled several updates related to artificial intelligence, augmented reality, shopping, and creators.

Among the creator updates are three components that stand out: Monetization Programs, Public Profiles and Stories, and Expanded Creator Content. Below is a breakdown of each and the benefits they bring to creators, communities, and marketers.

Monetization Programs

Snapchat is opening up its Stories Revenue-Share Program to more creators. This program allows creators to earn revenue through ads placed within their Stories. Originally, it was only available to creators who were part of Snap Stars, like Hannah Stocking, David Dobrik, and Charli, and Dixie D’Amelio. Now, creators who meet certain criteria - such as having over 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly Snap Views, and posting at least 10 stories a month - can join.

With this expansion, more creators have the potential to benefit from consistent revenue streams on Snapchat, similar to the YouTube Partner Program. This will attract new and emerging creators to the platform and inspire existing creators to produce more content to drive revenue. Creators who are currently in the program are sharing more often on Snapchat, and viewers watching their Stories have more than doubled in the US year over year, according to Snapchat.

Public Profiles and Stories

Snapchat is introducing Public Profiles and Stories, which allow creators to share their content with a wider audience. Creators who are 18 or older can post Public Stories and save them to a new Public Profile, which unlocks content performance insights and Story Replies.

The flexibility to share content publicly and privately provides creators with greater options to grow their followers while connecting with friends. Creators' increased reach and insight into their content's performance make partnering with them on branded content more appealing for brands too.

With over 90% of Gen Zers on Snapchat, the platform presents a significant opportunity for brands to reach a younger audience. However, the platform's closed-off nature and limited metrics, compared to Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, typically deter many brands from using it in their influencer marketing efforts. The potential for higher content reach and the ability to track the ROI of sponsored content through performance metrics is likely to encourage more marketers to activate Snapchat creators.

Expanded Creator Content

Snapchat is also expanding creator content by bringing it to new surfaces on the platform, such as Snap Map. Creators can now tag locations in their Spotlight Snaps, which will make them discoverable on the Place Profile for that location on Snap Map, where over 300 million users engage each month. Plus, Snapchat will serve Stories from creators on the Stories Page, where users can find new creators to follow and consume their content.

Snapchat is following in the footsteps of Instagram and TikTok by aligning creator content with its location features. By doing so, creators can increase their reach while helping communities discover local places to visit, such as restaurants. This update aligns with the emerging trend of Gen Z using social media platforms for search rather than Google

Snapchat Should Be Included in the Conversation

These updates generate a lot of excitement for Snapchat and its potential for creators and marketers alike. Despite Instagram stealing its Stories format years ago and creating a better version, Snapchat has steadily improved its product over the past few years, differentiating itself from other social media players.

With stronger creator monetization, new ways for creators to share, and increased options for viewers to consume content from both new and familiar creators, Snapchat deserves to be part of conversations about which platforms creators should use and which platforms brands can activate them on.

 

Instagram Allows Creators to Add Multiple Links to Their Bio

Instagram now allows creators to add up to five links to their profile bio, a highly requested feature that has been in testing for the past few months. Users will see the URL of the first link and the number of additional links. Clicking on it will generate a pop-up containing the entire set of links.

This feature provides creators with the ability to link to external digital destinations, including their websites, portfolios, products and services, brand product pages, affiliate links, and more. Allowing creators to direct their audiences to other places, particularly where they can monetize and grow their communities, has been a rising trend and a means of supporting creators across social media platforms.

Some link-in-bio tools may be adversely affected by this feature, as creators now have a native and free alternative to share multiple links on Instagram. However, creators who want more customization, the ability to add more links and access to other capabilities will likely continue to use their preferred link-in-bio tools. Instagram adding more link support features down the road could pose a greater threat to link-in-bio companies, and it could be a way to make Meta Verified more appealing by making the features exclusive to its subscription offering.

 

YouTube Discontinues Third-Party Product Tagging to Focus on Affiliate Program

YouTube is discontinuing its third-party product tagging feature, which was initially introduced as part of a pilot program for a select group of creators.

After receiving feedback from participants, YouTube realized the need to offer creators more opportunities to earn from product tagging, leading to the shutdown of the program. Instead, YouTube will focus more on the YouTube Shopping affiliate program, which has already shown early success. Eligible creators can earn commissions for driving sales for dozens of brands across various categories, including beauty, apparel, footwear, home, and tech.

This move towards an affiliate model is similar to the approach taken by TikTok, which launched its own affiliate program recently. YouTube views affiliate programs as a long-term solution for creator monetization, as well as a way for brands to work with creators in a pay-for-performance capacity. With the new commission-based structure, creators who previously earned just a few hundred dollars in the pilot program can potentially earn much more, given the over 150 billion views have been accumulated through product-tagged videos, Shorts, and live streams.

Instagram Announces Creator-Focused Updates for Reels

Instagram announced a handful of updates for Reels aimed at creators:

  • What’s Trending: Creators can stay updated with the latest Reels trends, including top songs and hashtags, through a new dedicated section in the app.

  • Unified Editing Screen: Creator can access video clips, audio, stickers, and text from a unified editing screen.

  • Updated Reels Insights: New metrics for Reels are now available in Total Watch Time and Average Watch Time.

  • Reels Growth Notifications: Creators receive notifications when they gain new followers from their Reels.

  • Expanded Gifts: The tipping feature is expanding to more creators across more markets (Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, New Zealand, UK, and others). Creators will also be able to see which fans sent them a gift and recognize it by tapping the heart icon next to the Gift.

These offer benefits for creators, such as helping them stay on top of the latest trends and create more engaging content based on what the Instagram community is currently consuming. Creators and their brand partners can better measure the performance of their Reels content based on watch time and understand how Reels are driving follower growth. Additionally, creators can now easily thank their supporters who reward them with tips, which can encourage them to tip in the future.

Overall, they strengthen Instagram’s short-form video experience, which will make it more appealing to creators, especially those that want more TikTok-like features.

Thinkific Launches Branded Mobile, Enabling Creators to Create Customizable Mobile Apps

Thinkific, a course creation platform, has launched Branded Mobile, a custom app development solution for creators. The new offering allows creators to create their own customizable mobile apps for their online courses and communities through a staged process that combines automation with specialist consultation for a monthly fee.

A branded mobile app can help creators build stronger relationships with their learners by offering a more seamless learning experience that can be accessed on-the-go. It comes with features like push notifications and activity feeds, which can enhance engagement for a creator's course.

According to Thinkific, creating an advanced mobile app can be expensive and time-consuming, with costs reaching up to $82,000 and taking up to 19 weeks for development. However, Branded Mobile is a more cost-effective and quicker option for creators to bring their courses to a mobile-friendly environment, which 64% of people say leads to better results in online learning.

What I’m Reading

  • An A.I. Hit of Fake ‘Drake’ and ‘The Weeknd’ Rattles the Music World (New York Times)

  • Why Legacy Brand Lilly Pulitzer is Tripling its Influencer Marketing Budget (Digiday)

  • Montana’s TikTok Ban Won’t Work (The Atlantic)

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