TikTok has announced a new partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), which will see the NHL share original content and “unique experiences” in the app, helping to bolster TikTok’s broader content push.
As explained by TikTok:
“We know the TikTok community loves sports – whether it’s soccer, rugby, or car racing – we’re redefining entertaining sports content. With 12.3 billion global views, it’s undeniable that #Hockey is gaining momentum. The @NHL on TikTok has steadily grown its account to 1.7 million followers, team accounts on the platform have amassed more than 546 million views around the world. Content like trick shots, behind the scenes and off-the-rink activities, and anything to do with sports and pets are favorites of the community.”
The new partnership will see the NHL post more than just highlights, with additional player fashion interviews and other programming that will be designed to lean into TikTok trends and engage its in-app audience.
For TikTok, it will also glean new promotional benefits, including in-ice branding and the launch of a new ‘TikTok Tailgate Stage’ at upcoming marquee outdoor NHL events. The NHL will also work with TikTok on music tie-ins and partnerships for its events.
The announcement comes as TikTok works to build its content offerings, and provide more incentive for creators to keep posting to its app. The challenge with short-form video content is effective monetization – because you can’t insert pre and mid-roll ads into a 30-second clip. TikTok has sought to counter this with its Creator Fund, while it’s also working on in-app tipping and other monetization tools, but some of its top creators have started to raise questions about the platform’s approach, and the imbalance in revenue share for their efforts.
That could become a bigger sticking point for its top stars, which could eventually see them shuffle off to YouTube and Instagram instead. But if TikTok can provide more direct posting incentive, through initiatives like new partnerships with major brands, that could provide another way for TikTok to connect creators into these deals, and facilitate more pathways to audience growth and monetization.
Which is why TikTok’s also established exclusive content deals with Vogue and GQ, focusing on another key area of interest for TikTok users, and through these new partnerships, TikTok will be looking to maximize immediate engagement, while also providing more opportunities for its top stars.
Will that work? It’s hard to say – currently, popular creators can make a lot more money on YouTube, while the growth of YouTube Shorts also reduces the value of TikTok as a unique offering in some ways as well.
But TikTok still has a firm grip on audience attention, with projections that it will reach 1.5 billion users this year.
If creators want to go where the audience is, they’ll keep heading to TikTok – but if rumblings around revenue share continue to grow, that could eventually see more of them posting elsewhere instead, and likely taking their audiences with them.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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