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Who Really Benefits from the Creator Economy?

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Who Really Benefits from the Creator Economy?

The Creator Economy has become a much bigger focus over the last few years, with the rise of TikTok sparking a new battle amongst the social platforms to maximize their creator appeal, in order to keep popular users posting to their apps.

Which makes sense. Vine, which many view as the precursor to TikTok, eventually died out because parent company Twitter couldn’t establish an effective revenue share model for short clips, a key challenge of the format. If TikTok can’t get creators paid, they won’t stick around, which both YouTube and Instagram see as an opportunity to mitigate TikTok’s growth.

Combine that with the increasing work from home push, which has seen more people reassessing how they make money, and indeed, whether they could possibly get paid for the content that they post online, and you can see how the platforms view this as a key opportunity to win over more creators, and keep them posting to their apps – while ideally, fending off rising competition.

It all connects up, and for social platforms battling for audience attention, it’s a perfect scenario for them to also lure the most entertaining users to post more often, in order to prop-up their engagement stats.

But there’s one core, essential truth of the creator economy that undercuts the emphasis and enthusiasm in the space: Most people are simply not good enough at being entertaining, on a consistent basis, to make any real money out of being an online creator.

The stats tell the tale – according to a recent survey conducted by influencer marketing platform Aspire, which incorporates feedback from over 1,700 creators, only 4.3% of them are earning six figures or more per year from their online posts.

Which, really, makes sense. Sure, there are the Mr. Beasts of the world – who recently turned down a billion dollar offer for his YouTube channel. But off the top of your head, how many top online creators can you actually name?

PewDiePie, Dream, the DÁmelio sisters. You likely have your own, more niche favorites as well, but I’m guessing that list starts to thin out pretty quick.

One consideration here is that there’s a limit to how much content we can take in. That means that while some of the top stars are seeing millions of views, and occupying hours and hours of people’s time, that also then further reduces the amount of time left for other creators – which means that, realistically, there’s not enough capacity to support an infinite number of creators in an infinite number of niches.  

But the real truth is that being a successful creator is hard.

Not only do you have to be entertaining – which very, very few people are good at every single time they post – but you also need to keep churning out new content every other day. The pressure on creators, in this sense, is very real, and it can lead to significant mental and even physical health impacts for those working to keep up with demand, and keep themselves top of mind for their respective audiences.

But you have to keep posting. Stop uploading your content and people will lose interest, and all that work that you’ve put into building your presence will evaporate very fast.

You have to keep coming up with ideas, and you’ve no doubt seen for yourself how that pressure leads to some of your once favorite creators eventually losing their touch, as they scrape the bottom of the barrel again and again, desperately seeking new inspiration for their content.

The truth is that most people suck at making content, the vast majority of us can’t create great, resonant entertainment every time, over and over again. Some of the more established creators, with bigger audiences, can get away with this, but for most, a run of bad or boring content will see a big chunk of their audience unfollow, losing them all of that attention.

There’s a reason why you see the same movie stars in the top movies over and over again, there’s a reason why you see the same hosts on every other live event on TV. Because being an entertainer is not easy – it takes skill, it takes natural ability combined with a honed focus on what works, and an innate sense of your audience and what they want to see.

Most people just don’t have that, and won’t ever get it, no matter how hard they try.

Creating a trending clip is one thing, but repeating that success is near impossible, and for most, being a one-hit wonder online is the best they’ll ever achieve.

For all the hopes of social platforms that they can get people posting more and more stuff to their apps, helping to boost their all-important engagement levels, so that they can sell more ads, for all the tales that they may want to sell about how creators can make real money online, via their platforms, the truth is, they probably can’t, in general terms.

Most people are not going to see success as online content creators, but the platforms know that the next generation, who’ve grown up with these web-originated stars as their aspirational heroes, are also increasingly hoping that they’ll be the one to make it, and break through the popularity barrier. And they’re cashing in on this, in order to juice their performance stats.

That’s not to say that people should give up. If you’re passionate about a topic, and you create good content, then you should pursue that passion, within reason, and see if you can succeed. ‘Reason’ in this context is relative to your personal situation – but absolutely, exploring what makes you happy, and connecting with like-minded people, can indeed produce results, and career satisfaction.

There’s also the expanded concept of monetization in Web3, and how potential new paradigms for online connection will facilitate more ways for users to take a share of any money generated from their online activity, as opposed to big businesses gleaning the vast majority of benefit from such.

There are potential opportunities within this, but the concept of the Creator Economy being a pathway to monetary success is simply not realistic for the vast majority of people.

As such, it’s less a creator ‘economy’ as it is a ‘creator fantasy’, and it’s the big players that are benefiting from promoting that, and projecting the idea that you too can become a billionaire just by posting online.

You can’t, and it’s safe to say that nobody reading this is ever going to make even $100k from posting videos online.   

The fundamental flaw within the Creator Economy push is that it’s not an equal playing field, it’s not a democratically distributed opportunity, and in the majority, nobody’s really making any money. Except the big tech platforms, which are benefitting from the flood of hopefuls posting to their apps.

And eventually, what’s going to happen is that the field will thin, the brand deals will go to fewer and fewer people, and the focus will switch from broad-reaching approaches in influencer marketing, to curated, managed talent pools of the top stars.

Like it always has, via talent agencies, casting directors, publishers, etc. While the internet opens up new opportunities, time and time again, such potential has also, eventually, highlighted why the system had become the way it was before we sought to reform it.

Because it’s more efficient, it’s more effective, and while you want every single person to be able to go and start posting about that thing they really love, and get paid for doing so, it’s highly unlikely they’ll make it on their own.

But talent agencies could recognize their potential and mentor them, or guide them through to the next stage. Other advisors could see a means to connect these users with brand opportunities.

Which is where the real money will be, in the formation of intermediaries that can spot and manage talent to help maximize their potential, while also acting as a conduit to brand deals.

Maybe, that could be you. But a heap has to go right, even in that scenario.

Essentially, the Creator Economy, as it’s currently being presented, is a farce, and slowly, creators, brands and platforms are starting to realize this. YouTube, Meta, TikTok – all the platforms, of course, want to keep adding tools that will get you paid, as a means to keep you posting. But for the most part, these small payments are just carrots designed to lure you along, as you keep delivering more engagement.

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into How Public Group Posts are Distributed

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into How Public Group Posts are Distributed

Could LinkedIn groups be making a comeback?

I mean, probably not. Long gone are the Halcyon days of robust LinkedIn groups, most of which have since been overrun by spammers and scammers looking to get attention at all costs, which has rendered most groups, and group notifications, as spam themselves.

But maybe, there is a way for LinkedIn to get at least some groups back on track.

Maybe.

Today, LinkedIn has published a new overview of the work that it’s put into building public groups, which is an option that LinkedIn’s still in the process of rolling out to all users.

Public groups, as the name suggests, are wholly viewable by members and non-members, as opposed to having to join a group to see what’s happening within it. Up till a year ago, LinkedIn users could only create “listed” or “unlisted” groups, with listed communities showing up in relevant searches, and unlisted ones hidden from non-member view. So you could find a listed group, but you’d still have to join it to get a view of the discussions happening within. But with public groups, they’re both listed and the content is viewable.

Which, according to LinkedIn, has been a positive:

Over the last few years, the Groups product has evolved significantly across feed, notifications, creators, group discovery, content moderation, and other domains of organizer tooling. In continuation of these improvements, we launched public groups to help non-group members see valuable conversations happening in groups, and to help group organizers and creators foster more engagement and a stronger community. This has led to a 35% increase in daily group contributors and a more than 10% incremental increase in joins in these groups.

Which makes sense. Enabling users to view what’s happening within groups, especially highly active, well-moderated ones, is going to attract more members. But it is also interesting to consider whether there might be value in switching your group to public, and making it more of a focus.

Within the new technical overview, LinkedIn explains that public group posts are eligible to be distributed in member timelines, as well as their expanded networks.

“For posts created inside public group, we set the distribution to MAIN_FEED to allow for distribution on the home feed to group members, first degree connections of the author, and first degree connections of any members who react/comment/repost on the post. This helps increase distribution of public group posts.”

That could facilitate good distribution for public feed posts, and could help to increase engagement within your LinkedIn group.

As you can see in this example, another strong lure is that only group members can comment on a public group post. Anyone can react to a public group update, but you have to actually join the community, which you can do via the CTA, to participate in the discussion.

In combination, this could be a powerful way to maximize group engagement, and depending on where that fits into your strategy, it could put more emphasis on LinkedIn groups as a means to broaden connection and community.

Though, as noted, many soured on LinkedIn groups long ago, once the spammers settled in. Back in 2018, LinkedIn actually tried to initiate a groups refresh, with new regulations around spam, and limits on notifications about groups activity, to discourage misuse.

That, seemingly, didn’t have a huge impact, but as LinkedIn notes, it has continued to update its group rules and processes, in order to make it a more compelling product.

Could it be worthy of consideration once again?

There are definitely things to like here, and for those who already have active LinkedIn groups, making the switch to “Public” could have some benefit.

I do think that LinkedIn groups require strong moderation to maximize their value, and establishing a core focus statement for your group, and what it’s for, is also essential to help to guide your direction.

But maybe, they’re worth a look once again.

Maybe.

You can read more about LinkedIn’s latest public groups updates here.

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X Raises Questions on Content Moderation After Navalny’s Wife Allegedly Banned

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Screenshot from Yulia Navalnaya on X

Amidst speculation surrounding the banning of Navalny’s wife from X, questions arise over the platform’s content moderation policies in Europe. 

(Photo : Yulia Navalnaya )
Screenshot from Yulia Navalnaya on X

Continuing Alexei Navalny’s Fight

Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian anti-corruption activist, died under mysterious circumstances in a Siberian penal colony on Feb. 16. While the exact cause of Navalny’s death remains unclear, Western officials have pointed fingers at Russian President Vladimir Putin

Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, fueled speculation further with claims in a video statement. She alleged that Russian authorities may be withholding her husband’s corpse to eliminate evidence of a deadly nerve agent, Novichok.

The video accused Putin of orchestrating her husband’s demise and pledged to continue his work. This development raises concerns about X’s content moderation practices and its implications for freedom of speech in Europe.

In a video shared in Russian language, she conveyed her aspiration for a liberated Russia, emphasizing her desire to live and contribute to its freedom. Following this, Navalnaya rapidly amassed a significant online following, receiving an outpouring of support from thousands of sympathetic messages. 

According to a report from The Guardian, Navalnaya currently resides in a location undisclosed to the public outside of Russia. She established her X account in February and made her inaugural post on the 19th while in Brussels, engaging with EU officials regarding her husband’s passing. 

Facing X Suspension

However, her presence on X encountered a brief suspension on Tuesday, triggering widespread user concern. During the suspension period, allegations circulated, suggesting a connection between owner Elon Musk and sympathies toward Putin.

X’s Safety team later clarified that the account suspension resulted from an error in the platform’s spam detection system, which erroneously flagged @yulia_navalnaya’s account. 

As per Daily Dot, the suspension was promptly lifted upon the team’s realization of the mistake, with assurances of enhancements to the platform’s defense mechanism. X’s announcement does not explicitly indicate whether Navalnaya’s account suspension resulted from an automated system. 

Also read: China, Russia Agree to Coordinate AI Use in Military Technology

However, attributing the suspension to a “defense mechanism” and the pledge to “update the defense” led some information analysts to infer that human intervention was not involved in the initial account shutdown.

This interpretation prompted swift scrutiny from researchers, who questioned the accuracy of attributing the suspension, even implicitly, to an automated decision.

Responding to the statement, Michael Veale, an associate professor of Digital Rights & Regulation at University College London’s Faculty of Laws, expressed skepticism. He noted the irony, given X’s previous claims under the Digital Services Act, that they refrain from automated content moderation.

Implemented by the EU in October 2022, the Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to combat illegal content, ensure advertising transparency, and counter disinformation. 

Among its mandates, the act necessitates platforms to disclose moderation determinations in the DSA Transparency Database, detailing factors like the rationale behind the decision, the content type in question, and whether automation was involved in the decision-making process.

2023 study by the University of Bremen researchers scrutinizing moderation verdicts uploaded to the database for a single day revealed that X exclusively relied on human moderation for its decisions.

Consequently, X reported significantly fewer moderation determinations than other platforms during the observed period.

Related Article: Vladimir Putin’s Unusual New Year’s Message Sparks Death Rumors: Is ‘AI Putin’ Behind the Speech?

Written by Inno Flores

ⓒ 2024 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.



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EU Officials Launch Investigation into TikTok Over Potential DSA Violations

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EU Officials Launch Investigation into TikTok Over Potential DSA Violations

EU officials are wasting no time enacting their new powers under the Digital Services Act (DSA), with the European Commission announcing a new investigation into whether TikTok is currently in violation of DSA rules in relation to the protection of minors in the app.

Concerns have actually been raised around TikTok’s compliance on several fronts, including systemic risks related to app addiction, its age verification processes, its security measures for minors, data transparency, and more.

As per the European Commission:

On the basis of the preliminary investigation conducted so far, including on the basis of an analysis of the risk assessment report sent by TikTok in September 2023, as well as TikTok’s replies to the Commission’s formal Requests for Information (on illegal contentprotection of minors, and data access), the Commission has decided to open formal proceedings against TikTok under the Digital Services Act.

It’s the second major probe under the new DSA laws, with X also currently under EU investigation over its efforts in restricting illegal content, and stopping the spread of misinformation in the app.

TikTok will now need to provide further information to EU investigators to assess its efforts, with a maximum penalty of up to 6% of its global earnings on the cards if it is found to be in violation.

Though that’s probably unlikely, given that the DSA also includes clauses that enable investigators to “accept any commitment made by TikTok to remedy on the matters subject to the proceeding”.

Given that the DSA has only recently been initiated, this will probably be the outcome of these early investigations, though EU officials may also want to send a strong message early, in order to underline the seriousness of the new rules.

Though there’s also this:

The duration of an in-depth investigation depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the extent to which the company concerned cooperates with the Commission and the exercise of the rights of defence.

So any investigation could carry on for some time, meaning we won’t know the outcome for a while yet. But again, potentially, TikTok could face big fines if it is found to be in breach, and it fails to take action to address any highlighted concerns.

It’ll be interesting to see how EU officials look to enact the regulations, and keep each platform in line with these more restrictive processes. That could get especially complex with the DSA, given the variable interpretations around what constitutes adequate action on certain fronts.

As such, these early cases could play a key role in establishing precedent, which could indeed see big fines coming, and could even force apps to reassess their operations in the region as a result.  

I mean, Meta has threatened that before, and depending on how EU officials approach these new laws, there could be further concerns on this front.

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