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‘A symbiotic relationship’: Why social media platforms are getting in front of the growing creator …

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Social media platforms are betting big on creators, rolling out programs to streamline dealmaking between creators and advertisers. It’s a move that could keep creators, advertisers and ad dollars circulating within the platform ecosystem.

Platforms like Clubhouse and Instagram have announced new creator programs complete with funding, programming and matchmaking-style features for creators and advertisers. The latter is similar to what an influencer marketing agency does. 

Marketers say the initiatives could streamline the influencer, advertiser relationship, and expand platform ad offerings. Jordan Fox, who serves as head of the full-service agency Laundry Service, is especially keen on TikTok’s work with creators.

“[TikTok] in a really great position to upsell influencer partnerships because they’re already doing business with advertisers directly, and they have proprietary access to their own pool,” he said. “I feel like they’ve packaged influencer selection services into their overall offering in a very skillful and effective way.”

Just last week, Instagram launched its first Creator Week in a bid to capitalize on the growing creator economy. The three-day streamed event included panels, competitions and sessions with platform executives. Instagram is the latest platform attempting to woo and court creators. 

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And earlier this month, live audio social app Clubhouse welcomed its inaugural Creator First class, offering equipment, a stipend of $5,000 per month, per show and guidance from Clubhouse leadership. TikTok too threw its hat in the ring last year after introducing its $200M TikTok Creator Fund and even a three month creator incubator program for Black creatives. Snapchat and YouTube have similar programs in place. 

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According to marketers, these are just the latest iterations of the platforms’ push to build out creator-friendly ecosystems, keeping pace with brands that are moving influencer marketing into a core strategy. 

“There are more potential monetization opportunities than ever before for creators, and that’s because they’ve proven over the last few years that they are driving business for brands and platforms alike,” said Victoria Bachan, managing director of influencer marketing agency Whalar’s creator management division, Whalar Talent. 

The programs are a natural extension of dealmaking that was already happening on the platforms as many had links to Venmo, Cash App and others in their bios, per Stephanie Simon, head of community, creators and partnerships at Clubhouse. 

“What we’re doing is laying the groundwork for what a relationship and what the marketplace between creators and brands and talent will look like,” she said. “It’s not about just making lump sums of cash. It’s about sustaining or evening out what a career as a creator can mean.”

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Per Simon, what’s interesting about Clubhouse’s offering is that the platform offers a monthly stipend and facilitates dealmaking without taking a portion of creator earnings. It differs from TikTok’s Creator Fund, in which funds are dolled out based on video performance and other factors, per TikTok’s blog. According to tech news outlet The Information, Instagram has yet to explore an official creator fund in addition to Creator Week.

However, not all creators are leaning into these programs.

Recently, full-time influencer Justina Sharp opted out of TikTok’s creator fund. With the push to build creator ecosystems, she’s worried about the platforms positioning themselves to take a cut of creator earnings. For a post with more than 5 million views, Sharpe said she made just $36 via the TikTok creator fund and questions how payment is determined. It’s unclear how TikTok determines rates aside from video views, which has been critiqued in addition to its mysterious algorithm. (TikTok did not respond to Digiday’s request for comment.)

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With more than 10 years of experience in the influencer space, Sharp said she’d rather continue to do dealmaking with brands herself, setting her own rate. 

“That’s just you trying to edge between me and the money I’m making off of this platform,” she said. 

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Cypress Villaflores, associate director of paid social at Mediahub, noted similar worries about TikTok’s program, but said creator funds, like the offerings of Instagram and Clubhouse, generally offer a steady stream of income for creators and user engagement for the platform. Seemingly, it’s a win-win. 

“Technically, it’s like a symbiotic relationship,” Villaflores said. “[Creators] bring people to the platform. It increases my monthly users, increases my daily users and [advertisers] give you money for doing that.” 

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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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