YouTube Is Increasing Its Presence In The Education Space

Edition #35

Good morning!

It was the week of leaks. First, an internal memo by Instagram head Adam Mosseri to his staff surfaced. In the memo, he said that Instagram "lags behind TikTok and YouTube on all dimensions that are important to creator satisfaction," based on a recent creator survey. He also said that the company is "behind where we need to be" on initiatives that help creators monetize.

Then, audio from YouTube's all-hands meeting leaked. The recording revealed the platform would soon announce several creator monetization updates. The updates include:

  • Lowering the minimum requirements for creators to join its Partner Program

  • Launching an advertising revenue share for YouTube Shorts with creators

  • Allowing creators to earn revenue for videos with copyrighted music

What's significant about these leaks? They further reveal the desperation of Instagram and its uphill battle to remain relevant amidst TikTok's continued growth and YouTube's evolution.

What should be Instagram’s next move?

Today’s Edition:

  • YouTube announces new educational products

  • TikTok is named the most innovative advertiser

  • Instagram is developing a native Media Kit feature for creators

YouTube Announces New Products To Strengthen Learning On The Platform

YouTube recently announced new products to strengthen learning opportunities across its platform.

YouTube Player for Education highlights the set of new products. This new embedded player shows educational content on commonly used education apps while eliminating distractions such as ads, external links, and recommendations. The player will initially be available for select partners like Google Classroom, EDpuzzle, Purdue University, and Purdue Global.

Select creators will also be able to offer free or paid Courses to viewers. When purchased, viewers can consume these Courses, consisting of a playlist of educational videos that are ad-free and can play in the background. YouTube will test Courses in the U.S. before expanding to South Korea and other countries.

Lastly, YouTube is introducing Quizzes, which will allow creators to test viewers' knowledge of the content they watch.

With 93% of viewers reporting that they use YouTube to gather information, the platform is a proven destination for learning. This was most evident during the pandemic, when people and institutions leaned on YouTube for things like remote-learning and introductions to new hobbies.

The addition of the new products makes learning on YouTube more accessible and interactive. Viewers can access and consume educational content in a visual-first format from the convenience of their desktop or mobile devices.

YouTube's new education initiatives reflect a growing trend in social media platforms and show that big tech is looking to penetrate the education space.

For example, last year, TikTok launched an integration with education app Quizlet, enabling education creators to make their videos interactive by linking out to study sets. While, earlier this week, Pinterest teamed up with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden on a new initiative to honor and support educators across the country.

The list of examples will increase. Of course, education in the classroom will always be relevant, but social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok will play a more prominent role. Social media platforms can bring an entertainment-aspect to education, gamifying the experience and making it more scalable.


TikTok Is the Most Innovative Advertiser According To A New Study

TikTok is the most innovative advertiser according to Kantar's Media Reactions study. The annual study surveyed over 18,000 consumers and 1,000 senior marketers covering 400 brands across the globe.

The study found that TikTok ads are widely considered to be the most "fun and entertaining." TikTok was also the only brand that saw an improvement in trust by marketers. However, when it came to ad quality, TikTok came in at number two, a step down from last year’s top spot.

Given the progress TikTok has made this year with its ad solutions, grabbing the top spot as the most innovative advertiser is well-deserved. Some notable innovations include Interactive Add-Ons, Branded Missions, Flexible Attribution Windows, and Shopping Ads. Last year, it launched Spark Ads, its version of Meta's Branded Content Ads.

The centerpiece for all of these innovations is creators and communities. Recent developments have enabled marketers to amplify creator-led content to get in front of relevant and engaged communities across TikTok.

TikTok doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon with expanding its ad solutions, so don’t be surprised if it makes a repeat appearance next year.


Instagram Is Developing A Native Media Kit Feature To Help Creators Pitch Brands

Instagram is currently developing a Media Kit feature. Initially discovered by Alessandro Paluzzi and then confirmed by a Meta spokesperson, the feature would enable creators to create a media kit within the app.

Creators would be able to add a bio to describe themselves and the type of content they create, select their favorite posts to display, highlight brands they have worked with before, and share their Instagram Insights.

As of right now, the test is only internal. It hasn’t been rolled out to any creators yet. However, media kits have been essential in helping creators secure branded content deals for years. By making it easy for creators to build a media kit in just a few steps, Instagram provides creators with a useful resource that increases their chances of working with brands. But, it would also plug itself deeper into the influencer marketing landscape, at least when it comes to Instagram.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, the Media Kit feature would likely tie into its Creator Marketplace, which is in testing mode with select brands and advertisers.

When the feature officially rolls out, Instagram will join YouTube as another social media platform that has a native Media Kit feature. Earlier this year, YouTube introduced its feature, which enables creators to make a shareable overview of their channels, including their bios, featured videos, channel stats, audience demographics and interests, past paid partnerships, contact information, and more. In addition, it can be downloaded as a PDF so that creators can directly share it with brands and make it discoverable through BrandConnect, YouTube’s in-house influencer marketing platform.

With many social media platforms having some form of a creator marketplace, look for them to also start to support media kit tools that not only plug into the marketplaces, but that creators can use offline when pitching directly to brands.

Chances are these tools won’t be as robust as some of the companies that focus mainly on building media kits for creators, but they will have the added advantage of verified analytics coming from the social media platforms themselves.

YouTube Tests Additional Insights In Creator Studio To Help Creators With Content Creation & Discoverability

YouTube is starting to test additional insights for Creator Studio. Part of Search Insights, a feature that provides data on what people are searching for across the platform, the insights are as follows:

  • Watch Interest: Creators can now review top, rising, or recent videos within a topic, giving them an idea of what new videos are being created and what types of videos are gaining popularity.

  • Watch Activity: Creators can see what type and how much of a specific type of content their audiences are viewing. In addition, they have access to insights around searches, including searches for terms where their audiences couldn’t find content for what they were looking for via a Content Gaps section.

  • Personalized Insights: Customized to the creator’s channel, creators can see insights into their audience’s interests and saved videos. These can serve as inspiration for videos that creators can make.

Insights like these help creators take a more data-backed approach to content creation and audience building on YouTube. By receiving all this data, creators have a higher chance of creating content that is not only discoverable but valuable to the YouTube community.

YouTube joins Pinterest, which also has search insights tools for creators in Pinterest Trends and Creative Inspiration. The former provides a historical view of the top search terms and topics across the platform. The latter breaks down new trends, the top trending pins across those trends, and creation ideas for those trends.

These tools help creators become more discoverable, gauge what audiences are interested in, and narrow where they should focus their efforts.

Twitch Is Getting Rid Of Its Popular Host Mode Feature To The Disappointment Of Creators

Twitch is getting rid of one of its most popular features in Host Mode. The feature was first introduced in 2014, allowing streamers to host another creator's stream on their channel for their viewers to watch when they are offline.

As of October 3, Twitch will sunset Host Mode as it no longer aligns with the experience that viewers expect when they visit a creator's channel. Twitch says that viewers want to interact with streamers when they are live and as a result, Host Mode limits the ability for streamers to grow their audience.

Despite this belief, many streamers have been vocal about Host Mode's value. Streamers say it keeps viewers entertained when offline, allows them to highlight other creators to help them grow, and boosts their own discovery when their streams are hosted by others.

Rather than use Host Mode, Twitch encourages streamers to shout out other streamers, send viewers to other streams via Raids, and add other streamers to Suggested Channels.

Because of the amount of pushback Twitch is receiving for this, it would be wise to double back like Instagram recently did after rolling out its full-screen experience.

This is the latest chapter in Twitch's push-pull relationship with creators. After making a series of positive moves, like launching highly requested features such as Creator Chat Highlights, the platform seems to undo its own work by making moves that ultimately go against what creators want.


Discord Starts To Roll Out Reddit-Like Forum Channels For Dedicated Topic Discussions

Discord is starting to roll out Forum Channels. These new channels are designed to be dedicated spaces for discussions around specific topics.

Users entering a Forum will see the latest conversations with large, bolded titles and relevant tags. Each one will have its own set of permissions and guidelines.

Forum Channels are reminiscent of Reddit communities as they provide a space for users to have organized, controlled conversations. Depending on how large a Discord server is, it can be difficult for users to keep track of everything that is going on. Users benefit from Forum Channels since they can keep track of conversations and contribute without interrupting them since they are organized according to specific topics.

More creators and brands are utilizing Discord to build communities. With some servers as high as hundreds of thousands of users, new tools like this are critical to helping moderators provide user-friendly experiences for members.

What is interesting about Forums is that real-time chat experiences like Discord killed them and now Discord is bringing a revamped version of them back.

What I’m Reading

  • YouTube opens more pathways for creators to make money on the platform (New York Times)

  • Influencer marketing brand-lift studies are improving (Marketing Brew)

  • YouTube paid over $6 billion to music in past 12 months (Variety)

  • TikTok search results riddled with misinformation: Report (AP)

  • Athletic Greens gives us the scoop on its podcast advertising strategy (Marketing Brew)