This week, platforms go crazy with updates and we break through the surface of what’s going on with influencers. We hit the trifecta of platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to see what they’re doing to help creatives. At the end, we leave you with a food for thought on influencers and what the future holds for them.
Instagram’s Latest & Greatest
Some of you may have heard by now that Instagram is planning to roll out some new features. One of them gives users the ability to hide any comments they feel are negative and are bringing them down. Instagram decided this new feature needs some help distinguishing between which comments seem like bullying and which ones are fine.
Here’s where artificial intelligence comes in. AI has been on the uptick in recent years so it’s about time the platform uses it more. This AI is going to scan through comments and flag which one violate Instagram’s anti-bullying policies. Users then have the choice to hide the comment from other users so they are the only account to see them. So far this plan is receiving positive feedback from the community, the same can’t be said for this next feature.
There are mixed feelings across all social platforms about Instagram hiding likes from other profiles. Let’s break it down. With this feature, only the person who uploaded the post is able to see how many likes it gets. No other profile is able to see how good or bad a post did. Here’s why there are mixed feelings. One argument is that influencers and brands shouldn’t be focused on likes, they should be focusing on engagement and the quality of content. The other argument is that likes are the currency of Instagram. Likes are how brands know who’s at the top of their game and who to look at for potential partnerships.
It seems like influencers are split down the middle on this one. Some are all in and others are apprehensive about it. The big question we’re asking is, how would a feature like this affect influencer – brand relationships? Will partnership rates go down because brands can’t see how well influencers’ content is doing? At this point, all anyone can do is watch.
Jumping from Instagram to Twitter, the platform announced the newest addition of “ArtHouse.” It’s a service by Twitter to help content creators make eye-catching video content, live broadcast, and partner with influencers. The service seems all about helping creators make their content dreams come true and everyone was on board with it. That is until Matt Navarra leaked the price list on his account.
Now users are trying to figure out if the new service is even worth it. With ArtHouse, Twitter is changing its focus from traditional ads to artist partnerships. The platform did say that within the last six months, artists partnerships tripled, but is it going to last?
We talked about Twitter and Instagram now it’s time to complete the trifecta and jump to YouTube. A lot of influencers are on YouTube or migrating there now because it’s another way to create content and make money. These three social platforms work hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that they’re all going through renovations.
YouTube is trying to help its creators make more money directly from their subscribers instead of through ad earnings. In 2017, the platform introduced Super Chat, where users paid a small fee and got their comment pinned to a live stream for a certain amount of time.
YouTube is now keeping their promises from last year’s VidCon and is rolling out more ways for creators to make money. Features like new merch partners and YouTube memberships are the main priorities.
We all know about YouTube Red and Music but memberships are a little different. Altogether there are 5 tiers, the most basic costing users $4.99 for added benefits. With each tier comes more benefits and more exclusive content, including specialized live streams. All of this is an effort to help creators grow their following and grow their income.
Influencers Are Facing Loses on Social Media
Influencer engagement has been slowly declining since 2016. A typical engagement rate for both non-sponsored and sponsored posts lies around 4%. This number got a wake-up call in the first quarter when non-sponsored posts hit below 2% and sponsored posts hovered right above 2%. This is the lowest platforms have ever seen. This isn’t affecting just one category of influencer either, it’s across the board.
InfluencerDB thinks the decline in influencer engagement is due to everyday users being under attack with sponsored posts. Sponsored posts tend to do better with engagement and reach but this doesn’t come without consequences. Normal posts from influencers take a big hit because their followers interact more with their sponsored content.
This paired with the potential of no more likes has left the influencer community in limbo about what’s to come next.
Check out our updates on influencers here.