Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.
In this week’s edition:
- Influencers and marketers react to a test by Instagram that removed public “like” counts – for a day
- How influencers are using a new tool to text message their fans and drive sales
- Instagram takes on Clubhouse with new livestreaming features
- And more including how much money 17 YouTube stars earn a month for their videos
An Instagram test gave a glimpse of a world without public ‘like’ counts and some influencers say it would be better
Many users found out what Instagram looks like without “like” counts on Tuesday after the app accidentally widely expanded a test to remove the public displays of the number of likes.
The wide rollout was because of a bug, but signals Instagram is still testing removing like counts.
Sydney Bradley broke down how a change like this could impact the influencer industry:
- Seeing the number of likes is a constant source of competition for many creators, influencer Andrea Pion Pierre said.
- Influencer Khadijah Lacey-Taylor said removing like counts could be an opportunity for creators to look more holistically at how engaging and enjoyable their content is.
- A downside: for emerging creators who’ve quickly gained a following but aren’t on brands’ radars yet, their number of likes is one of the few ways to show influence (before sending screenshots of metrics).
Instagram takes on Clubhouse by letting up to 4 speakers livestream together and make money from tips and brand deals
Instagram has expanded its livestreaming feature, which now allows up to four speakers.
The update comes as the live-discussion app Clubhouse surges in popularity.
Sydney reported on what the new update entails and how it could impact creators’ businesses:
- Instagram is expanding livestreaming by doubling Instagram Live’s capacity to four speakers at once with the introduction of “Live Rooms.”
- The host can add or remove any of three speakers throughout a livestream, similar to how moderators maintain the “stage” on Clubhouse.
- Creators will also be able to use “Badges,” Instagram’s tipping feature, in these rooms. And there’s brand deal potential.
Social-media influencers are using text messages to connect with fans and drive affiliate-marketing sales.
Affiliate marketing platform MagicLinks is testing a tool, called Text2Shop, that lets influencers mass send shoppable links to fans.
Sydney and I reported on how influencers are using this new tool:
- Text2Shop was created by MagicLinks and is powered by the text-marketing startup Community.
- College student Nazjaa Hughson has driven over $US15,000 ($19,257) in sales since she started using Text2Shop with an average conversion rate of 6%.
- Hughson wants her fans to feel like they are getting “exclusive content,” different from what’s on her social channels. She dedicates time every now and then to directly chat back and forth with her followers.
Creators who are a part of YouTube’s Partner Program can monetize their YouTube videos with ads.
Factors like whether a video went viral, or whether the audience that watches their content is valuable to advertisers, will determine what a creator earns per paycheck.
Sydney and I spoke with 17 influencers on how much they’d earned in a month on YouTube, ranging from $US82 ($105) to $US141,356 ($181,470).
- New hires at Patreon and Snapchat and a partnership between a TikTok star and Mark Wahlberg (Dan Whateley)
This week from Insider’s digital culture team:
David Dobrik talked about a prank that a former Vlog Squad member now calls sexual assault in an old podcast episode
In resurfaced podcast audio, David Dobrik talked about a prank on Seth Francois.
Insider reporter Lindsay Dodgson reported that Francois now says he considers the incident, where Jason Nash kissed him, sexual assault.
In the clip, Dobrik confirms that Francois had no prior knowledge that he would be kissing Nash.
More on digital culture:
- Beauty influencer James Charles has faced a string of scandals throughout his internet career. Here’s a look back at his controversial past.
- A drama YouTuber left social media after saying that he was involved in impersonating YouTuber Dream.
- YouTuber Trisha Paytas was once a prominent feature in David Dobrik’s YouTube videos. Here’s how their friendship fell apart.
Here’s what else we’re reading:
- An influencer-marketing company launched a new platform to help brands and creators connect (Taylor Lorenz, from The New York Times)
- It’s time to credit Black people for their social-media contributions (Nicole Phillip, from NBC)
- Top drama moments on YouTube, tea and commentary channels explained (Zoe Haylock, from Vulture)
- Influencer Jackie Aina on her beauty brand and upbringing (Ama Kwarteng, from Cosmopolitan)