Depending on who you ask, NFTs are either the first step into the next stage of digital connection in the metaverse, or they’re a total sham, and a waste of money, with little immediate or longer-term value.
Personally, I would lean more towards the latter, especially given the precedent we have for how people actually use digital avatars in current online environments. Part of the broader concept of NFTs, which are mostly focused on profile pictures for social media profiles (PFPs) at present, is that these unique character depictions will eventually be available for use as 3D, full-body skins in the theoretical metaverse, expanding their value beyond static images. But in reality, in existing 3D game worlds like Roblox and Fortnite, where people can already purchase their own character skins, having a unique or individual look isn’t the biggest focus.
The highest selling skins on Fortnite, for example, are not the most unique looking, they’re the ones that look the coolest, or represent something about each players’ real-world affiliations. Fortnite’s NFL team skins, for example, which are a basic NFL jersey on a character wearing a football helmet, have been purchased over 3 million times by players, becoming one of the most popular skins ever, while on Roblox, its Adidas branded virtual clothing has been a major seller.
Based on this, it’s probably safe to assume that, when the metaverse is developed, it’s likely that users will be looking to create virtual depictions of themselves along similar lines and trends, which is why projects like Ready Player Me are set to be more impactful than Bored Apes or pixelated characters. Snapchat’s new ‘Avatar’ Lens also probably provides a more realistic window on what people will gravitate towards on this front.
But NFTs, at least right now, are hugely popular, and with so many people switching their profile images to PFPs, it’s worth, at the least, getting an understanding of the trend, and why people are so excited about the concept of supporting digital artists and building community around these projects.
LinkedIn Announces the Retirement of its LinkedIn Lite App
LinkedIn has announced that it’s shutting down LinkedIn Lite, its pared-back version of the platform, designed for users in regions with more restricted connectivity and data access provisions.
Originally launched back in 2017 as a way to help “level the playing field for all members when it comes to accessibility”, LinkedIn Lite includes the basic functionality of LinkedIn, and is designed to load faster, while also using less data, handy for regions with more restrictive data plans.
But as LinkedIn continues to evolve, the Lite app gets further behind, with the full app’s more advanced functionalities – like video connection, full profile display features, Creator Mode, etc. – all getting more and more distant from the streamlined tool.
And with global connectivity evolving, LinkedIn now feels confident that it can move on without the scaled-back variation, which could also help boost in-app engagement and usage, and make LinkedIn a more significant presence in key markets.
Which, as you can see here, are growing. Now at 810 million total members, LinkedIn continues to gain momentum in developing regions, especially India (85m members, up from 60m in 2019), South Africa (+2m since 2019), the Philippines (+3m) and Nigeria (+1m)
As with most social apps, India is a key focus, and LinkedIn says that Indian adoption of the full version of the app is now rising at 4x the global average, as mobile adoption continues to soar in the nation.
At the same time, retirement of the Lite app could also give LinkedIn’s team more opportunity to develop and maintain its new ‘InJobs’ app in China, with the full version of LinkedIn removed from China last October due to increasing regulatory pressure and scrutiny.
At 56 million users, maintaining connection with China is key, and maybe that’s another factor in LinkedIn’s decision to step away from its scaled-down version.
Either way, the LinkedIn Lite app will be removed from Android app stores on 27th January 27th, before being deactivated completely March 15th.
LinkedIn says that it will transition Lite app users over to the full LinkedIn experience over the next few weeks.
Twitter Shares New Insights into Rising Discussion Around the NFL Playoffs [Infographic]
Super Bowl LVI is just around the corner, which also means that we’ll soon see the biggest showcase of ad content of the year, highlighting new trends, creative activations and opportunities, which can sometimes re-shape advertising approaches from that moment forward.
And this year looks set to be particularly significant. As more people look towards a post-pandemic future, there’s a big opportunities for clever marketers to tap into this enthusiasm, and the various trends that come with it. That’ll likely see more innovative, integrated ad approaches, which will extend beyond the initial big game activations, and showcase new opportunities.
Twitter’s keen to cash in on that excitement. This week, Twitter’s published a new overview of user trends around the NFL playoffs, highlighting the huge boost in tweet activity heading into Super Bowl weekend.
As Twitter notes:
“In the 2022 Divisional Round alone, we saw 27% more impressions on Tweets about the NFL, 58% more Tweets overall, and 42% more unique authors, compared with one year ago.”
It could be a key platform for boosting your tie-in efforts – and if you are considering the potential of Twitter ads for your campaigns, then these new stats might help.
Twitter Shares New Insights into the Rising K-Pop Discussion in the App [Infographic]
Do you like K-pop?
Increasingly, the chances are that you do, given the massive growth of K-pop fandom around the world, with megabands like BTS and Blackpink building huge audiences, and each becoming cultural forces within themselves.
That fandom is most significantly present on Twitter, which has become a key hub for K-pop enthusiasts. K-pop tweeters are now so prominent that they even have the power to quash controversial hashtag movements, by banding together to flood the streams with K-pop-related tweets instead.
It’s amazing to see, and today, Twitter has shared some new insights into the rising K-pop conversation, which got even bigger, once again, in 2021.
As explained by Twitter:
“With a massive 7.8 billion global Tweets in 2021, #KpopTwitter once again showed its power by breaking its previous record of 6.7 billion Tweets in 2020. Registering a notable 16% increase in Tweet volume globally, #KpopTwitter conversations became more diverse and vibrant in 2021.”
So where, exactly, is K-pop discussion trending, and who are the big bands of note? Check out the below insights from Twitter – which also includes a list of rising K-pop stars if you want to get ahead of the curve.
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