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X Announces Exclusive Content Deal With the WWE

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X Announces Exclusive Content Deal with the WWE

X has announced a new, exclusive content deal with the WWE, adding more video programming into its growing slate of shows.

As per the announcement, WWE will air a new, weekly show on X which will feature timed matches between popular WWE stars.

That could bring a lot of WWE fans to the app, depending on which stars are included in this program. X has also noted that in 2023, conversation about wrestling increased 11% year-over-year.

I mean, it’s difficult to quantify those results exactly, as X seems to have changed some of its measurements, but WWE is clearly popular in the app, with 13.7 million users following the main WWE account.

As noted, the new program will add to X’s growing slate of original content, as it moves to become a “video first platform”.

Thus far, X has signed exclusive video content deals with:

  • Paris Hilton, on a yet to be announced project
  • Tucker Carlson, whose interviews are regularly generating millions of views in the app
  • Don Lemon, who’ll begin airing his new “Don Lemon Show” soon
  • Tulsi Gabbard, who’s developing a series of documentary-style programs focused on U.S. politics
  • Jim Rome, who’s bringing his popular “The Jungle” show to the app, airing five times a week

In addition to this, X is also working to incentivize top online creators to post to the app through improved ad revenue share deals, which it’s currently testing with YouTube star MrBeast, who’s re-posted some of his clips on X.

Given that MrBeast generates the majority of his income from YouTube, I don’t expect him to make the switch to X exclusively, though having any of his content in the app adds to its programming slate, and X will be hoping that he can make enough ad revenue in the app to then pique the interest of other creators.

Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan is also looking to re-share his content to X, which could include video of his broadcasts, while it may also be noteworthy that Elon Musk will reportedly be a guest of UFC CEO Dana White at this weekend’s “UFC Apex” in Las Vegas.

So while it may not be a killer slate of alternative video content as yet, X is building out its roster over time, while it’s also experimenting with a new, dedicated video tab in the app which could help to further highlight its programming.

Of course, Twitter before Elon also tried this same approach, with mixed results.

Back in 2016, Twitter made a big push on TV-like content, signing exclusive contracts with the MLB, NFL, and NBA to broadcast games directly in the app. That was part of a broader effort to connect the rise in live event tweeting with the source material. Twitter’s research had shown that it was the top destination for online engagement around live sports events and TV programs, and its view had been that if it could combine the two, it would then be able to build an entertainment powerhouse, capitalizing on both the content and the conversation in one stream.

But it didn’t work.

For whatever reason, users were not overly enamored by having tweets and the show running side-by-side, which could come down to the fact that only a relatively small number of people actually use Twitter, so restricting the content to a smaller audience by bringing in app reduced overall engagement.

Things, however, have changed since.

Social platforms are now bigger sources of entertainment in their own right, as opposed to just the related discussion, and maybe, given that more people are consuming more content direct in social apps, the time is now right for X to make this new push, which could provide significantly bigger advertising opportunities.

Signing controversial content also helps to boost Elon’s “free speech” agenda in the app, and it does seem like X will be looking to play a bigger role in political discussion within the upcoming election cycle through its video programming.

I guess, the question then will be what happens after, especially if advertisers continue to stay away from the app.

Elon’s long-held view is that it doesn’t really matter what he says, or what anyone else shares in the app, so long as it brings people in, because while businesses are keen to act principled on certain matters, all they really care about is their own bottom line. And if X can get to, say, a billion users, they’ll have to advertise in the app, whether they like it or not, because the audience reach will simply be too big to ignore, if X can win over that kind of attention.

It still seems unlikely that X can do that, but the X team will be hoping that this new exclusive content push will be the key to making this a reality, drawing in so many viewers across so many topic areas that it’ll simply become too compelling a draw for ad partners.

Again, past experience doesn’t bode well for this strategy, and X’s decision to focus on certain broadcasters and content could limit its potential either way.

But that’s the hope, and adding an exclusive WWE program into the mix is certainly a positive step.



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Florida lawmakers push to ban social media for children under 16

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Vietnam plans to ask all social media users on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to verify their identities

Social media. — © AFP/File Olivier DOULIERY

Florida moved Thursday towards enacting what would be one of the strictest bans on children’s use of social media in the United States after the state Senate passed a bill to keep those under 16 off such platforms.

The controversial bill seeks to protect children’s mental health against the “addictive features” of such platforms, amid fears over online dangers including from sexual predators, cyber bullying and teen suicide.

The legislation, which was approved 23-14, will now go back to the state House. It has already passed there, with the House speaker championing the legislation, but changes made in the Senate need to be approved in the lower chamber.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed concerns over whether banning social media for children under the age of 16 violates parents’ rights – Copyright AFP Philip FONG

It would then have to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who has expressed skepticism about the legislation. Similar efforts by other states have previously been blocked by courts.

“We’re talking about businesses that are using addictive features to engage in mass manipulation of our children to cause them harm,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Erin Grall, told the Florida Senate on Thursday.

But DeSantis, who has previously said he is sympathetic to fears over the impact of social media on children, voiced concerns about parental rights.

“A parent has the right to opt in,” he told a press conference Thursday.

The governor has argued many times that parents should have more control over decisions affecting their children, particularly in education.

Under DeSantis Florida has passed laws to curtail teaching about sex education and gender identity in schools and to eradicate diversity programs in state-funded universities.

Scores of books have been removed from the state’s school library shelves in recent months, deemed inappropriate for children by conservative parents and school boards.

Some critics say such a law targeting social media use would violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Last year a federal judge blocked an Arkansas initiative that sought to require parental consent to open a social media account.

Most social media networks already have a minimum age of 13 to open an account, though they do little to ensure compliance with the provision.

If the regulation is approved, the platforms will have to block children under the age of 16 from creating accounts and close those already opened.

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today’s Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Solar Flares Or Sabotage? Internet Theories On Today's Massive Cell Phone Outage

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Massive cell phone outages across America are being reported today by customers of AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, and Straight Talk Wireless, according to data from Downdetector, an online platform that monitors connectivity. That story and more news you need to read today, inside.

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

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Meta Expands Access to Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Meta has announced that it’s finally expanding access to its Creator Marketplace tool, which will give more businesses the capacity to search for creators to work with on their Instagram campaigns.

Meta first launched its Creator Marketplace back in 2022, enabling U.S.-based brands to search and connect with relevant platform influencers based on a range of qualifiers, including focus topics, follower counts, location, etc.

And now, businesses in the following regions will also be able to access the tool:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • India
  • Brazil

In addition to this, Meta also says that Chinese export brands will also be invited to connect with onboarded creators in countries outside of China.

Which is interesting, considering Meta’s tenuous history with the CCP’s “Great Firewall”, but the deal here relates to Chinese businesses operating in regions outside of their homeland, which is somewhat separate to Meta’s internal dealings.

In addition to expanding access, Meta’s also rolling new machine learning-based recommendations within Creator Marketplace, which will use Instagram data to help brands more easily discover creators who are the best fit for their campaigns.

Instagram Creator Marketplace

As you can see in this example, the new recommendations will highlight accounts that have strong engagement rates in your niche, have mentioned your brand in the past, or have produced good results for similar businesses.

That could make it easier to find the right fit, or at the least, to give you more options to consider in your process.

Branded Content collaborations can be highly effective on IG, by using the established expertise and experience of creators who have already built a following in the app, and know what works, to boost your promotions.

By working with the right creators, with connection to your target audience, you can secure valuable endorsement within key communities, which can help to germinate your branding in the right communities.

Brands can check out Instagram’s creator marketplace in Meta Business Suite, with access coming to these new regions shortly.



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