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What Happened Online in June?

July 24, 2023

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Another big Content Creator quit due to burnout. YouTube has slashed its monetization requirements. Elon Must & Mark Zuckerberg are going to settle their disputes in the ring.

And so. much. more happened in June.

Welcome to your monthly social media news recap, where you can stay in the loop on current social media trends, news and memes. 

So, what exactly happened?

Zuck vs. Musk

Have you ever wanted to watch 2 billionaires fight each other? Well, you’re in luck!

Late in June, Mark Zuckerberg agreed to fight Elon Musk in a cage match, telling him to “Send me the location”.

While replying to a user discussing Meta’s plans to build a Twitter rival, Musk challenged the company’s founder on Wednesday to a “cage match” if he’s up for it. Zuckerberg responded to a screenshot of the tweet and said, “Send me location” in a story on Instagram.

Zuckerberg recently won gold and silver medals in his first jiu-jitsu tournament. A series of six photos that went viral last month showed the Meta founder grappling with different opponents at the Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition.

On the other side of the ring, Musk is a few inches taller than Zuckerberg, but his fighting skills are unknown and said he almost never works out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s down to get his butt kicked because it seems like Musk is truly a believer in “any publicity is good publicity”

So while Youtube Boxing seems to be on the decline, Billionaire boxing is on the rise! Who are you putting your money on?

Apple’s New ‘Vision Pro’ VR/AR Headset

This month at WWDC, or Worldwide Developers Conference (essentially VidCon for Tech Bros), Apple released its long-awaited VR headset called ‘Vision Pro’

The headset sports a large array of features including a hefty price tag of $3,499 and Apple is likely to release it early next year.

As always, when it comes to new technology being released, I try to not have any first impressions or opinions. I always start with curiosity and excitement!

How does it work? What is this going to accomplish? Where will this lead us? We’ll have to wait for its release to see.

Many are saying this could finally be the start of a new era of connecting online.

Do you think VR-based social media and the metaverse are going to happen? Or is it all just hype for nothing?

Burnout Strikes Again

Y’all, we’ve lost one of the good ones to burnout. The popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber, Tfue has announced he’s retiring.

Turner Tenney, otherwise known as Tfue online, posted a video to his 11 million subscribers on June 20th with the news.

Over the years, content creators, YouTubers and Twitch streamers have talked about burnout and the grind that’s needed to sustain the success online. Twitch streaming, in particular, pushes more creators away from their platform with the demand of the LIVE aspect. The latest example comes from TFue.

As someone who has experienced burnout, without the constant grind of live-streaming, I can’t imagine the journey Tfue has been on.

I’m all for creators setting boundaries and reconnecting with the areas of life that bring them joy.

Tfues fans are sad to see him go, but we’re all in support of him jumping into the next chapter of his life.

Smosh is Back, Baby!

This is as heartwarming as it gets: Smosh is back!

Anthony Padilla has returned to Smosh! He and Smosh co-founder, Ian Hecox, teamed up to buy back the YouTube comedy brand they launched 18 years ago.

The duo has reunited as onscreen comedy partners and offscreen business associates to acquire a majority ownership stake in Smosh from Mythical Entertainment, the production company of YouTube talk show stars Rhett & Link.

Padilla and Hecox haven’t appeared together in videos or in public since Padilla left Smosh in 2017 to start his own channel. Hecox remained with Smosh and shepherded the business through the collapse of then-parent company Defy Media and Smosh’s subsequent acquisition in 2019 and revitalization under Rhett & Link’s Mythical.

The Smosh co-founders first became friends in the 6th grade and began posting videos as Smosh in 2005. They were one of the first creators to hit it big in the early Youtube days.

And if I’m not mistaken, Smosh was one of the first channels to be part of the first-ever monetization program YouTube launched… so they’re OG’s for sure!

I’m stoked to see the team back together. As some of you may know, I’ve been posting to YouTube since 2009. My brothers and I were definitely Smosh fans back in the day. I can’t wait to see them go back to their roots of making comedy videos together again!

Top Trends of June

With great power, comes great memes…

Canon Events

Spiderman: Across The Spiderverse has taken over the internet and is a contender for “Movie of the Year”, getting praise from fans and critics alike.

Without giving away any spoilers, the movie touches on something called a ‘Canon Event’. These are certain life events that need to happen to all the different “spider-people.”

This has sparked users on TikTok to share their own ‘Canon Events’ with their communities, saying it’s something that has to happen and can’t be interfered with.

One of the most popular examples is this TikTok by @emma_r043 which gained over 12 million views of her not interfering with her sister buying a Lifeguard hoodie because it’s a “Canon Event”.

There are so many other uses for this meme, so be creative with your versions!

The Pinegrove Shuffle

Pinegrove is an American indie rock band from New Jersey. Their music is known for its introspective lyrics, heartfelt storytelling and a blend of various genres including indie rock, folk, and country.

Pinegrove’s 2014 song “Need 2” has been rapidly growing on TikTok thanks to the “Pinegrove Shuffle”, a dance (that’s hardly a dance at all), where you flop your arms around while doing a rock step.

Can’t envision it? Well, here you go.

“Makeba” by Jain

Now “Makeba” by Jain is on the complete other end of the music genre spectrum. It’s a lively and upbeat song that beautifully fuses pop and Afrobeat elements.

“Makeba”, although 7 years old, has recently been blowing up on Tiktok, even reaching the number one sound spot. It did this with some help from SNL’s Bill Hader. A clip of Hader dancing is often paired with the song and a caption on… just about anything.

Staying Even More Up-to-Date

With trends always changing, sometimes monthly updates may not be enough to stay on top of each new trend.

Luckily, if you need weekly trend reports emailed to you with the latest memes, songs and trends, my video creation team, Storyy, releases their weekly Trend Report. Once you sign up for their free Trend Report, you’ll get updates every week to stay on top of each trend.

Storyy is my video creation team and they helped me tremendously with research for this post. They clearly know their stuff, so what are you waiting for!?

Meta & Instagram Updates

This first update from Meta isn’t a new feature, but it is absolutely worth talking about!

How to Rank on Instagram

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, published an updated overview this month of how Instagram’s ranking algorithms work, which could help you better understand how to maximize your content reach and optimize performance in Instagram’s main feed, Stories and Reels.

Mosseri provided a similar explainer of Instagram’s systems back in 2021, to offer full transparency about how its algorithm functions.

One of the key bits of information in Mosseri’s new article is: Stories

Stories have their own algorithm now! Before, their ranking algorithm was paired with how in-feed posts were ranked. But now, the signals Instagram looks for are:

  • Viewing history – This looks at how often you view an account’s stories so they can prioritize the stories from accounts they think you don’t want to miss.
  • Engagement history – This looks at how often you engage with that account’s stories, such as replying or reacting to stories.
  • Closeness – This looks at your relationship with the creator overall and how likely you are to be connected as friends or family.

Download Publicly Posted Reels Content

After testing it out over the past few months, Instagram’s now releasing the option to download publicly posted Reels to your camera roll, providing another way for users to share Reels content.

Not all videos will be downloadable. Creators can opt out of enabling downloads of their content in their Account Settings.

And, as of now, it’s only available to select users in the US, until they continue to test and roll out the feature.

Outside of that, it’ll add another pathway for creators to maximize the reach of their content across platforms, following the lead of TikTok, which has enabled video downloads since… well, forever, basically.

New Features for Broadcast Channels

Channels provides another way for creators to share relevant updates with their fans, via text, images and polls, all within Instagram Direct Messaging. And while it’s great for creators to share their knowledge, it’s not the best way to engage your audience.

It looks like Instagram recognizes this, and is testing out some additional Broadcast Chat tools to enhance the experience.

The first new feature, Instagram is adding question prompts. Question prompts will allow chat members to contribute to the channel.

Instagram is also testing out new control tools, like channel expiration dates and adding moderators to assist in message management.

Plus, Instagram is experimenting with a dedicated channels tab in your inbox, to highlight channels you’ve joined and recommend related ones.

Lots of new features from Instagram in June, and they’re actually pretty exciting. They might be tempting enough for me to start a Broadcast channel myself…

TikTok Updates

June was a slow month for TikTok.

New Mini-Site for Agency Partners and Small Businesses

TikTok has launched a new education hub for agencies and small businesses, providing a centralized source of case studies, tools and guides to help businesses make the most of their in-app efforts.

The new Agency Hub is primarily aimed at agency partners, but it also includes a range of overviews into key TikTok marketing elements, including how its ad targeting works, as well as its ad policy documents, explainers on shopping ads, brand safety and more.

There are also links to all of TikTok’s various brand tools, like its Creative Center, which includes insights into real-time trends and its sounds resources, with royalty-free audio that you can use in your campaigns.

It’s a really handy resource, which could be worth bookmarking, especially if you’re an agency or small business that might find these tips helpful.

And if you’re like, “Woah! That’s cool, I wish they’d do that for creators!” 

They already have! They do have a Creator Hub site as well for content creators to make the most of their experiences.

Twitter Updates

For all you Twitter blue subscribers (if you exist…), the platform’s new ‘Highlights’ tab is now available to you!

New ‘Highlights’ Tab

After testing it out over the past month, Twitter has now rolled out a new tweet highlights tab for Twitter Blue subscribers. This new feature gives paying users the ability to showcase their best tweets via a new, dedicated feed on their profile.

Blue users can now add any of their tweets to their Highlights tab, by selecting the ‘Add/Remove from Highlights’ option from the menu at the top right of the tweet.

Once a tweet is added, it will be listed with any other Highlight tweets in the feed. Also, note that the ‘Highlights’ tab will only appear on your profile after adding your first Highlight.

The ‘Highlights’ feature could be a great way to sum up your best content to gain subscribers or to show off your knowledge, sense of humor or whatever your best feature is.

This is simply another one of Twitter’s recent efforts to add appealing features to their Twitter Blue option in the hope to get creators to join.

Now I don’t want to yuck your yum, but this doesn’t make me want to not add the app to my content strategy. The whole “pay to play” thing is not a turn-on as a Creator when we have a plethora of other social media platforms that are free.

The only thing I use Twitter for at this point is when I’m watching Love Island or Love is Blind, and I want to see what everyone else thinks. I use Twitter for hot goss, and that’s it!

YouTube Updates

It’s time for YouTube updates, and I have some exciting news for you!

Shorts Video Responses

YouTube announced that it’s testing a new feature that will enable Shorts creators to create response videos to comments on other people’s channels as a means to provide more interaction within the entire YouTube community.

This is almost an extension of a previous feature added back in February in which YouTube added the ability for Shorts creators to create Shorts videos as comment replies on their own Shorts. It appears they’re doubling down on providing more ways for Creators to engage with viewers.

The added visuals for a video response as opposed to solely text could help improve engagement. Shorts responses could also deepen the connection as viewers would recognize the extra effort put into creating a video over typing a quick response.

YouTube stated about this feature:

“While creators are already able to reply to comments posted on their own content with a Short, we want to explore offering viewers the opportunity to create content from comments as well. The Short will appear in the Shorts feed and on the viewer’s channel page, but unlike the creator version, it won’t appear as a reply in the comments feed.”

When I first heard about this update I was almost offended. I was like, “Cool! Great! People ‘bout to be stealing audiences and content ideas.” But I think without the video appearing in the original creator’s comment thread, that definitely has me intrigued.

Plus, as I said earlier, with any new feature, I’m curious to see where this goes.

Lower Barrier for Monetization

The day is here, everyone. YouTube is lowering the barrier to join their monetization program!

As some of you may know, the classic qualifications you must meet in order to join YouTube monetization were: 

  • Having at least 1,000 subscribers
  • Either 4,000 watch hours in the past year – or – 10 million Shorts views in the last 90 days

But now, YouTube created a new barrier for small creators to be subscriber funded. The new qualifications are:

  • Having 500 subscribers
  • 3 public uploads in the last 90 days
  • Either 3,000 watch hours in the past year – or – 3 million Shorts views in the last 90 days

If you meet the new standards, you can apply to become a part of YPP and get access to monetization tools like Super Thanks, Super Chat, Super Stickers, channel memberships, and the ability to promote your own merch with YouTube Shopping.

The original monetization qualifications still stand if you want to start earning Ad revenue for your channel.

I am super excited about this update because it’s encouraging small creators to just get started and focus on community building from the very beginning. This, in turn, will build long-lasting, loyal subscribers.

Now, I’m curious. What news stood out to you? What are YOUR thoughts? Let me know in the comments below, and as always let’s keep it a respectful place because everyone is entitled to their opinions.

Follow your joy!

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