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SAG-AFTRA Membership Extending to Social Media Influencers

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On February 6, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) National Board approved a new “Influencer Agreement” that covers certain “influencer-generated branded content” across all social media platforms and other digital channels, including Facebook, Twitch, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

The new Influencer Agreement is designed to give content creators with a social following who are paid by advertisers to promote products or services on the content creator’s or advertiser’s websites, social media and YouTube channels (that is, “influencers”) an opportunity to qualify for SAG-AFTRA membership and take advantage of SAG-AFTRA’s collective bargaining muscle. Influencers will be bound by the same membership rules as other union members.

The approval marks the first time SAG-AFTRA has offered a contract that specifically allows influencers to cover the branded content they create. Previously, the only similar advertising platform within SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction was YouTube. The expansion beyond YouTube to all social media platforms will enable more influencers across these platforms to earn union income and qualify for pension and health benefits.

According to the Influencer Agreement Fact Sheet, which SAG-AFTRA released following the National Board’s approval, an influencer who elects to sign the Influencer Agreement must do so through the influencer’s company, which must be incorporated as a corporation or a limited liability company. The influencer’s company acts like an advertising agency that produces, edits and distributes content for the advertiser. Compensation is to be freely negotiated with the advertiser (i.e., unlike the SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract, there is no minimum compensation required to be paid to the influencer), and the influencer (and not the advertiser or another SAG-AFTRA signatory agency acting on the advertiser’s behalf) pays Pension & Health contributions on a minimum of 20% of their compensation that represents their “covered services” (i.e., work as a performer and not as a writer, producer, editor or other services).

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Other details described in the Influencer Agreement Fact Sheet and early reports include the following:

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  • The advertiser must have a direct contractual relationship with the influencer.
  • The influencer must own their own intellectual property.
  • The content covered by the Influencer Agreement will be limited to branded video, audio and/or audiovisual content (but not still imagery) (e.g., Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, Twitch streams, TikTok videos).
  • The content may not include hazardous stunts, gratuitous nudity or sexual content.
  • The influencer must produce and perform the content themselves, with no involvement by any third-party production entity.
  • The influencer must perform alone; there are no provisions for ensemble use.
  • The influencer may perform on-camera or off-camera (i.e., voice-over performance).
  • The content may only be distributed on the influencer’s and/or advertiser’s websites, social media feeds and YouTube channels.
  • The content cannot be combined with another covered service or used in other mediums within SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction (e.g., TV, traditional commercial or industrial use).
  • The content may only be used for up to one year, unless otherwise negotiated.

The union has created a dedicated email address to field interest and inquiries at influencer@sagaftra.org.

Why it matters

The approval of the SAG-AFTRA Influencer Agreement is the union’s recognition of the growing significance and size of the influencer marketing industry. Noting that influencer content creation is currently “overwhelmingly non-union,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris stated that “until now [the union] has not offered a contract designed specifically to allow Influencers to cover the sponsored content they create,” which resulted in members having “to turn down opportunities for Influencer brand deals or risk working off the card,” and that the union is “losing the opportunity to achieve new and additional funding for the Pension & Health Plans.”

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It’s not clear at this point what impact the Influencer Agreement, at least in its current state, will have on advertisers’ approaches to influencer marketing. Given its relatively narrow scope, for those advertisers primarily using celebrities as influencers in connection with broader media, marketing and advertising campaigns, this new Influencer Agreement may have little effect on how such advertisers engage influencers for their campaigns. Additionally, since the Influencer Agreement appears to be limited to influencers who directly contract with advertisers, influencers who are contracted by intermediaries like an influencer agency or a media company, which is a common practice in the industry, would not be able to take advantage of the Influencer Agreement.

Nevertheless, since SAG-AFTRA has taken a major step toward expanding its reach into the influencer marketing industry by effectively treating influencer content as a form of advertising, it would be prudent for any advertisers whose marketing plans include leveraging social media influencers to promote products and services across digital channels (or who are otherwise interested in tapping into the multibillion-dollar influencer marketing industry) to pay close attention to this new development, especially the reception (and adoption) of the Influencer Agreement within the influencer community.

Manatt will continue to follow closely developments regarding the Influencer Agreement and expansion of union membership to social media influencers, providing updates as they become available.

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August

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Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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