Social Updates: April 2022 - The Metaverse Moves Forward and Elon Musk Puts Twitter in His Portfolio

Social Updates: April 2022 - The Metaverse Moves Forward and Elon Musk Puts Twitter in His Portfolio
Photo by Carl Beech / Unsplash

Meta/Facebook

Meta is looking to level up their metaverse development and has rolled out two new creator funding options that are designed to incentivize user contributions to its digital worlds. The first is an expansion of its $10 million Horizon Worlds Creator Funding program, which it first launched in October last year. The second element is a pilot program that will enable some creators to sell virtual items (NFTs or other media) and effects within their VR worlds. Some of the initial reactions from the creator community have been less than stellar as it’s been confirmed that Meta will take a cut of 47.5% on each transaction. That includes a “hardware platform fee” of 30% for sales made through the Meta Quest Store, where it sells apps and games for its virtual reality headsets. On top of that, Horizon Worlds will charge a 17.5% fee. One of the users within the NFT community was noted as saying “If Meta wants 47.5% of NFT sales they gotta talk to the IRS because I don’t even have that after taxes.”

The metaverse is the future of Meta, but to make the fully immersive, fully interactive metaverse a reality, Meta will need a new age of tech adoption of its VR headsets,     as well as their AR glasses product. The VR hardware adoption rate is estimated to be 25% by 2023 in the US, with the gaming and entertainment sectors leading the way. A new report was published on "The Verge", which, based on information from Meta insiders, has outlined the key details of Meta’s AR glasses roll-out plan. Meta’s road map will likely see the first version of its AR glasses launched in 2024, with a lighter, more advanced design slated for 2026, followed by a third variation in 2028. We (Swarm Society) are tracking all Metaverse-related updates with an eye for potential placement or partnerships as they become available, to keep our client roster at the forefront of social advertising opportunities.

Additionally, Meta is taking the next steps in wider adoption of the Metaverse with the announcement of a new Meta Store in Burlingame, California. Their first physical retail space is located within their campus.

While these major plans are in the works, Facebook found it necessary to roll out a new feature that allows you to add music clips within comments. This feature creates more engagement opportunities for the sharing of your favorite songs and artists to promote themselves. The nostalgic vibes are heavy here, as some of us can recall Myspace and one of its major pain points: relentless self-promotion from entertainment acts that bombarded nearly every interaction. This may not be the way things develop as there could be some creative applications in which this would be a handy engagement prompt within the app. Let us see how things play out (pun intended).

Meta ad partners are now being informed that in-stream (AKA mid-roll) video ad placement is no longer available as an option in the app and are advising that partners use Reels placement as an alternative. This brings additional creative implications to consider, as Reels ads are most effective when they’re done in a full-screen, vertical layout vs anything else. We do not expect any significant implications for our clients with active campaigns on social, as we optimize between 16 other placements (including Reels) to be used within Facebook’s algorithm to leverage the top performers within our target segments.


Twitter

As most of us are aware by now, Twitter accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to purchase the company. Twitter confirmed it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Musk, Musk’s plan, as he has communicated various times, is to take Twitter private, to reduce the platform’s reliance on ads, thereby enabling it to be more open to ‘free speech.’ It has yet to be announced what changes will occur within Twitter ads, but we are keeping an eye for any implications that may need to be discussed within future client campaigns.

For this year’s Earth Day, Twitter announced that it will now ban all ads that include claims that contradict the scientific consensus on climate change and its impacts. Twitter says that anti-climate change ads will be banned under its inappropriate content policy, while its approach to determining what is and is not correct will be informed by authoritative sources, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports.

Pinterest

In a similar move as Twitter, Pinterest is taking a big step towards tackling climate change misinformation, with a new announcement that it will now ban misleading climate claims entirely from its platform. The new rules will be implemented across all Pin content, including ads, while the platform’s advertising guidelines will also now explicitly prohibit any ads containing conspiracy theories, misinformation, and disinformation related to climate change.

IAB Newfronts 2022

All major social media platforms presented this week at the IAB NewFronts, using the occasion to announce new products and highlight ways that they can help brands connect with influencers and promote video content. Here is what each platform had to share:

Snapchat

  • Snap’s NewFronts presentation provided a look at its new and returning Snap Originals, including a new season of ‘Charli vs Dixie,’ starring TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, as well as a new series with Olympic legend Simone Biles.
  • They also introduced a Cameo Advertiser Program, created by Cameo for Business, which allows video advertisers to team up with the more than 45,000 personalities on Cameo—including celebs and influencers to create short-form video ads.
  • The company also unveiled a new Snap Promote initiative for content partners to boost their visibility and viewership within the “For You” feed on the Stories page.


Meta

  • Meta’s presentation touted its progress in challenging TikTok. The company repeated metrics on video traction, noting that 50% of the time spent on Meta’s platforms now involves video. More than 700 million people are using AR effects each month.
  • Meta went on to announce that it will now offer additional bonuses to Reels creators publishing original content on Facebook. The company warned that this change could see some creators losing money, while others gain when compared with their prior performance. They also introduced a new incentive called “Challenges” that enables Facebook Reels creators to earn up to $4,000 per month to meet certain goals.
  • Meta also introduced its virtual tipping system, “Stars,” where Instagram creators will soon be able to cross-post their Reels to Facebook. As part of this expansion, Meta will test the ability of creators to earn ad revenue share on their cross-posted Reels via Overlay ads.


TikTok

  • TikTok used its presentation to unveil a new ad product called “Pulse.” The new option gives brands a way to ensure their ads appear in the top 4% of videos within the platform.
    • It is also the first ad product that will include a revenue share with creators.

Twitter

  • Twitter’s appearance at NewFronts was undoubtedly eclipsed by a curiosity about what Elon Musk’s ownership of the platform will mean for advertisers and users alike. The presentation made no direct mention of Elon Musk or what changes may be in store about the change in ownership. The company focused on its planned premium video offering and Twitter Amplify.

    • Twitter assured advertisers that their content would be available in a brand-safe zone within their platform, thanks to its upcoming premium video partnerships. Twitter’s VP and new head of U.S. Client Services said in a statement ahead of the event, “When advertisers tap into Twitter’s premium video content, they are aligned with the topics that our uniquely engaged audience is already obsessing over. Premium, brand-safe content that serves diverse communities is more important than ever today.”

    • “Amplify” is a program Twitter launched in 2013 that allows advertisers to place pre-roll ads in partner content on the timeline. It is an extension of its deal with Conde Nast, which will provide opportunities for brands to sponsor Twitter streams of events like Vogue’s Red Carpet at the Met Gala, the Vanity Fair Oscar Party Red Carpet, and the Pitchfork Music Festival.