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YouTube Expands its $100 Million Shorts Fund to 30 More Countries

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After first announcing its Shorts Fund‘ back in May, which will see the platform pay out $100 million to top Shorts creators over time, in order to provide additional support, and motivation, for their efforts, YouTube has now announced an expansion of the funding program to Shorts creators in even more regions.

As per YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan, the Shorts Fund is now available in over 30 new regions.

YouTube Shorts Fund regions

Creators in these countries will now be able to get a piece of that big chunk of funding, with YouTube paying out between $100 and $10,000 each month to channels based on the performance of their TikTok-like Shorts clips.

But ‘performance’ in this context is not entirely clear:

“There’s no specific performance threshold to qualify for a bonus. The level of performance needed to qualify for a bonus payment may change from month to month based on various factors, including the location of your viewers and the overall growth of Shorts.”

So YouTube can’t say what you need to do to get that Shorts cash. But the idea is that by holding out the carrot of immediate cash payouts, that will motivate more YouTubers to at least give Shorts a try, which could keep them posting to YouTube, instead of migrating to TikTok instead.

Facebook’s also trying the same, with a new Reels funding program, while Snapchat has seen good success with its Spotlight funding, which initially saw it paying out $1 million per day to incentivize Spotlight content.

But that did also sour fairly quickly. A few months into the program, Snapchat reduced its payout amounts, which impacted creators who had quickly built a reliance on funding. Some Spotlight creators have since reported delays in payment and other issues, which has left them feeling jilted by the app – so while it can be a solid lure (Spotlight rose to 125 million users), such programs can also backfire if creators end up working specifically for those payouts, and the platforms, when they look to reduce associated costs, haven’t established a process that can effectively replace that reduced income.

Which is an inherent challenge with short-form video. You can’t add pre or mid-roll ads to 30-second clips, so in order to generate more creator interest, the platforms are reliant on direct funding like this, in order to boost interest in such options. Ideally, that also buys them some time to establish new monetization routes – like brand partnerships or eCommerce listings – but if those pathways don’t solidify, there will come a time when creators will lose income as a result of any such changes.  

But still, the potential of $10k per month will no doubt generate major interest. And maybe, if YouTube can get more people posting Shorts clips, that will boost the option, and make it a bigger consideration, which, again, will keep its top stars at home, instead of considering TikTok instead.

And with TikTok rising to a billion users, its lure is strong, and you can bet that many creators, from many platforms, are also now at least dipping their toes in the TikTok waters, and eyeing its next developments to monetize their efforts.

Can Shorts offer similar reach potential – and will creators even care about Shorts, when they have TikTok instead?

I mean, YouTube says that Shorts is already generating 6.5 billion daily views, so the potential is there. Maybe, then, through more funding options, it will become a bigger element of the app, and maybe YouTube will be better placed to lead the Shorts Fund into more paid options built into its broader platform offering.

You can read more about YouTube’s Shorts Fund here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock

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Things May Finally Be Looking Up for Meta Stock

Last year was brutal for Meta Platforms (META 3.01%). The Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger parent’s ad revenue suffered as a weak macroeconomic environment and changes to ad tracking and measurement on Apple‘s mobile operating system combined to create a significant headwind.

This headwind wreaked havoc on the stock, with shares of the tech company declining 65% last year. But The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that there may be some signs of improvement in Meta’s business — something that could prove to be a catalyst for the stock.

Here’s a look at why 2023 could be a decent year for Meta’s business and possibly its stock, too.

Meta’s nightmare 2022

It’s not surprising that Meta’s stock took a beating last year. The bad news started early in 2022, when Meta reported its fourth-quarter 2021 results and said first-quarter revenue growth would slow dramatically due to Apple’s iOS changes, a weak macroeconomic environment, and a shift of user engagement within the company’s apps to its TikTok-like Reels format, which was monetizing at a lower rate than its more mature formats. 

These trends largely persisted throughout 2022, as revenue growth decelerated dramatically in Q1 and turned negative by Q2. Revenue growth continued to decline on a year-over-year basis in Q3, and management said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to decline between 3% and 11% year over year. The midpoint of this range would be worse than the company’s 4% revenue decline in Q3.

A turnaround may be underway

While Meta’s performance was dismal last year, management emphasized on several occasions that it was confident it could turn things around eventually. In particular, the social media company believed it would be able to build out solutions to make its ad tracking and measurement less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system’s capabilities. Further, Meta said throughout the year that even though its Reels format may be a headwind today, it would become a tailwind as the company improved its monetization.

Based on a report from WSJ on Friday, Meta has been making progress on these fronts. Investment in artificial intelligence tools to improve ad-targeting and forecasting and a shift to ad products that are less reliant on Apple’s mobile operating system are paying off, WSJ reports. “Executives told employees in October that Meta expected to begin rebounding from Apple’s change as soon as that quarter, which ended Dec. 31,” wrote WSJ‘s Jeff Horwitz and Salvador Rodriguez, citing “internal documents” at Meta.

Of course, it’s still impossible to know what Meta’s fourth-quarter results may look like. We’ll find out when the company reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 1. It’s worth noting that Meta’s third-quarter report was released toward the end of October — the same month WSJ said executives reported these improvements to employees, and almost a month into Q4. Management, therefore, likely attempted to conservatively bake in any improvements it was seeing into its fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

While it’s possible Meta surprises to the upside for its fourth-quarter 2022 results, the internal documents WSJ cites at least provide an encouraging backdrop for a potential turnaround in the company’s top-line trajectory in 2023.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. His clients may own shares of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

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Twitter Publishes 2023 Marketing Calendar to Assist with Campaign Planning

Looking to map out your content calendar for the year ahead?

This will help – Twitter has published its annual events calendar, which highlights all of the key dates and celebrations that you need to keep in mind in your planning.

The interactive calendar provides a solid overview of important dates, which could assist in your strategy. You can also filter the list by region, and by event type.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

You can also download any specific listing, though the download itself is pretty basic – you don’t get, like, a pretty calendar template that you can stick on your wall or anything.

Twitter marketing calendar 2023

Twitter used to publish downloadable calendars, but switched to an online-only display a couple of years back. Which still includes all the same info, but isn’t as cool looking.

Either way, it may help in your process, as you map out your 2023 approach.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also published an overview of some of the major events that it’ll be looking to highlight in the app throughout the year, along with a pitch to advertisers, amid the more recent chaos at the app.

As per Twitter:

We’re moving more quickly than ever, and we’re still the place people turn to see and talk about what’s happening. A great example is the recent FIFA Men’s World Cup. We saw a whopping 147B impressions of event-related content on the platform, up nearly +30% from 2018. We also generated 7.1B views on World Cup video1, with everything from memes to nail-biter outcomes to history being made.”

There’s also this:

Not only is Twitter alive with content and conversation around big moments, but we are also growing. We saw global mDAU acceleration in Q4 to 253.1M, driven by an average sign-up rate of more than 1 million new daily users across Q42.”

That’s the first official usage stat Twitter has shared since Elon Musk took over at the app, and is a significant jump on the 238 million mDAU that Twitter reported in Q2 last year, its last market update before the sale went through.

It’ll be interesting to see if that usage level holds, as Twitter works through its latest changes and updates.

You can check out Twitter’s 2023 marketing calendar here.



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‘Stop the hate’ online, UN chief pleads on Holocaust Day

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A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A person visits the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, Germany on January 27, 2023, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day – Copyright AFP Michal Cizek

The UN secretary-general warned of social media’s role in spreading violent extremism around the globe as he marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, urging policy makers to help stop online hate.

Antonio Guterres said parts of the internet were turning into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies” that were driving “extremism from the margins to the mainstream.”

“Today, I am issuing an urgent appeal to everyone with influence across the information ecosystem,” Guterres said at a commemoration ceremony at the United Nations. “Stop the hate. Set up guardrails. And enforce them.”

He accused social media platforms and advertisers of profiting off the spread of hateful content.

“By using algorithms that amplify hate to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit,” added Guterres. “And so are the advertisers subsidizing this business model.”

Guterres drew parallels with the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, when people didn’t pay attention or protest.

“Today, we can hear echoes of those same siren songs to hate. From an economic crisis that is breeding discontent to populist demagogues using the crisis to seduce voters to runaway misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories and unchecked hate speech.”

He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism, which he said also reflects a rise of all kinds of hate.

“And what is true for anti-Semitism is true for other forms of hate. Racism. Anti-Muslim bigotry. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny”

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