Author: Scott Guthrie | #082 | 15 November 2022

Welcome to the Fourth Floor newsletter, your weekly feed of the biggest news, developments, insights, and analysis from the ever-evolving world of influencer marketing.

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How the recession will affect influencer marketing

The Drum spoke with three senior influencer marketers this week. They offered three reasons why influencer marketing will remain a crucial channel in 2023.

  1. Influencers are key assets during a downturn

  2. Consumers trust creators

  3. Influencers know how to connect with audiences

TikTok’s creator ranking system

TikTok now compiles lists from the creators signed up to work with TikTok Shop. According to documents seen by MarketWatch, the lists rank creators by the gross merchandise volume (GMV) their content shifts per day, week, or month. The rankings are based on the findings of five specific metrics across creator content:

  1. Number of posts published

  2. Posts’ popularity

  3. Number of sales the content produced

  4. How consistent the creator is

  5. How collaborative they are (based on an influencer’s past work with affiliate marketers on TikTok Shop)

David Dobrik opens pizza restaurant

David Dobrik has followed big name creators including MrBeast and KSI by opening a fast-food restaurant.

Dobrik found fame as a Vine creator before switching to YouTube where his channels amassed 27 million subscribers. A $10m law suit and a sexual assault investigation have followed the creator in the last year. He hasn’t posted to YouTube since Spring. Dobrik continues to post regularly to TikTok, however.

The name of the pizza restaurant? Doughbrik's of course!

Pinterest: a full-stack shopping platform?

Pinterest got a new CEO in June. VC turned writer Evan Armstrong looks under the hood of this platform and considers it the first full-stack shopping platform. Though not one without its problems.

QUOTABLE: “Pinterest isn’t a platform exclusively designed for slack-jawed consumption like TikTok or Instagram. It’s meant to be a place where you seek out a specific idea, cultivate those ideas into a board, and then, for now, go elsewhere to purchase the goods related to that idea. It has a concrete and specific utility. It’s sort of like scrapbooking consumerism”.

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Tumblr jokes about Twitter Verified fail

Tumblr has been making fun at Twitter’s expense this week over its verified profile debacle. One post titled: “You can never be too important on the internet” uploaded by Tumblr staff, reads: “Okay, your blog looks great, but what’s the point of being important online if you can’t prove it with an actual, physical unverified verification symbol?” Another Tumblr post uploaded by staff offered users not one but “two blue checkmarks for $7.99!”

The offer comes with a disclaimer, however: “This is not a verification status; it's an Important Blue Internet Checkmark, which in 2022 is just as legit. Also the Important Blue Internet Checkmark may turn into a bunch of crabs at any time 🦀”

Meta headcount back to December 2021 levels

This week Meta made 13% of its workforce redundant. 11,000 employees, from a worldwide headcount of 87,000, were laid off. Mark Zuckerberg blamed the economic downturn, heightened competition from TikTok, and Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy (we covered ATT in newsletter #80). He also blamed himself: "I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that," he said.

Cold comfort for employees directly affected, the headcount reduction only takes Meta staff numbers back to the levels of the end of last year. In December 2021, Meta had almost 72,000 staff. This week’s redundancies took the workforce from more than 85,000 to about 74,000.

“Meta laying off 11k people takes it back to December 2011 levels. Wait, no — December 2021,” Tweeted Benedict Evans, an independent technology analyst, and partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

TikTok to nudge $10 billion ad revenue

TikTok is on course to make nearly $10 billion in ad revenue this year.

Insider Intelligence forecasts TikTok’s global ad revenues to reach $9.89 billion in 2022, up 155.0% over 2021.

Amazon axes 10,000 staff

Amazon is cutting 10,000 staff worldwide this week. The ecommerce juggernaut forecasts slower-than-usual sales over Christmas.

Instagram launches content scheduling tools

Instagram has begun the global release of in-app content scheduling tools. Users can now choose to schedule a picture, carousel, or Reel up to 75 days in advance.

Instagram rolls out Creator Portfolio (media kits)

Instagram has launched its media kits product, Creator Portfolio. The feature (that we trailed in newsletter #79) offers a new way for creators to show brands what makes them unique as a creator, and stand out for brand deals.

With a Creator Portfolio, you can:

  • Add text to tell brands more about you and your work.

  • Showcase content like posts and Reels.

  • Share Instagram profiles of people or brands you’ve worked with.

Here’s how to set up a Creator Portfolio with Instagram creator marketplace.

Instagram adds discoverable projects to marketplace

Instagram’s marketplace now enables creators to browse and express interest in branded content projects. Creators can also post content with automated permissions and keep track of the status of projects directly within the creator marketplace.

Influencer Marketing | Social Platforms | Fourth Floor | Quick Links | Column

→ Global value of music copyright now $39.6bn, with streaming making up 55% of the total [Tarzan Economics]

→ When social and legal are the first to turn up to a video meeting [Work In Social They Said]

Influencer Marketing | Social Platforms | Fourth Floor | Quick Links | Column

The battle for social commerce sales

Hit by slowing advertising revenue, both YouTube and TikTok are doubling-down on their efforts to roll out social commerce features.

This week we learned that TikTok had started testing TikTok Shop in the US, following trials in the UK and parts of Southeast Asia. The commerce features allow brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on the platform through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab.

We also learned this week that TikTok now compiles lists from the creators signed up to work with TikTok Shop (see story above). According to documents seen by MarketWatch, the lists track everything from how much product creators shift to how co-operative they are with brands undertaking affiliate marketing deals.

Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts has introduced shopping features, meaning users will be able to buy products as they scroll through the short-form videos. According to the Financial Times, YouTube is also testing new commission schemes for influencers who sell products through links in videos. YouTube users in the US, India, Brazil, Canada, and Australia are currently able to shop through Shorts. “It is very much an endorsement model, versus a more traditional advertising model or a paid-placements model,” Michael Martin, YouTube Shopping’s general manager told the FT.

The push by TikTok Shop and shopping via YouTube Shorts places both platforms on a collision course with Amazon. That aforementioned ecommerce juggernaut has its own troubles, of course. As detailed above, this week it shed 10,000 of its workforce and announced forecasts of slower-than-usual sales over Christmas.

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