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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.

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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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LinkedIn tests New ‘Discover’ Feed, New Groups Elements in Order to Enhance Engagement

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LinkedIn tests New ‘Discover’ Feed, New Groups Elements in Order to Enhance Engagement

LinkedIn has announced some new updates to help facilitate more discovery and engagement in the app, including a new ‘Discover’ feed, more contextual info on job listings and updates for groups.

Each of these updates has some level of functional value, and it’ll be interesting to see how LinkedIn members take to the options, or not, over the coming months.

First off, LinkedIn’s currently testing a new ‘Discover’ feed, which, as is the trend of the moment in social media, aims to highlight algorithmically recommended content that you may be interested in, based on your in-app activity.

As you can see in these example screens, LinkedIn’s Discover feed will highlight newsletters, videos, events and more, matched to you, based on your interests. So it’s kind of like TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed, but for professional updates on LinkedIn.

Sounds weird? Yeah, it kind of seems it.

I mean, it could be good, but whether people really want to see an expanded set of updates from people and businesses that they don’t already follow, and aren’t already connected to, seems questionable, given established behaviors in the app.

Still, it’s worth an experiment, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it helps the platform build on its current ‘record levels’ of engagement. It could also provide more capacity for discovery among LinkedIn users that are interested in your sector – which could be another reason to keep your LinkedIn content flowing.

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LinkedIn’s been testing the new feed over the past month, with some users now seeing the new Discover tab in the app.

Here’s a video of how it works in practice:

On another front, LinkedIn’s also adding a new ‘Meet the team’ section on the details page in job listings, in order to help applicants get a better feel for who the team is, what they’re working towards, as well as links to their LinkedIn profiles, so candidates can get a better understanding of what they’re interested in, and passionate about.

LinkedIn Meet the Hiring team

As you can see in this example, the new display will feature both the job poster as well as members of the hiring team that shared the job.

“In addition, it will show the mutual connections (including 2nd-degree connections) between the applicant and the hiring team, to help facilitate a productive conversation.”

LinkedIn’s also testing a new ‘Celebrations’ display in your ‘Notifications’ stream, in order to better enable members to keep up with the latest job milestones, changes, work anniversaries, etc.

LinkedIn Celebrations

As you can see here, the new prompts will give you more ways to stay in touch with your connections, based on key changes and events. It could be a good way to stay front of mind with important connections – though it could also lead to more spam (like templated birthday messages from people who never engage with you otherwise).

Finally, LinkedIn’s also adding some new elements for LinkedIn Groups, the once thriving engagement element that, for a long time now, has been largely ignored, and has become so filled with spam in many groups that it’s just not worth joining.

Still, LinkedIn says that many people get significant value from Groups:

We often hear from members how much they cherish their LinkedIn Groups experience. For millions of professionals around the world, groups are the go-to for advice, support, and industry tips on LinkedIn.”

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‘Cherish’ seems like an exuberant descriptor here, but nonetheless, LinkedIn’s looking to foster more group engagement, with new features like additional acceptance criteria for joining a group, and personalized welcome notes for new members.

LinkedIn groups updates

Not sure they add much to the overall groups experience, but they do provide more ways for group admins to manage their communities, which could ensure more people do indeed ‘cherish’ their time in groups.

These new options don’t offer a heap of functional value, but they are enhancements to the current LinkedIn experience, which could have value in varying use cases and contexts.

The options also move LinkedIn more into line with other social apps, with algorithmic recommendations, improved group tools and more.

Which makes a lot of sense, and at the least, it’s worth LinkedIn trying these things out, in order to see what types of response it can get.



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