Welcome to Last Week in Digital Media and all the news you may have missed:
- Amazon has entered an agreement to buy MGM Studios. The deal, valued at ~US$9B, is subject to regulatory approval. One US Representative has already flagged the acquisition as a concern and urged Congress to stop it.
- twitter’s subscription service looks like it will be called “twitter blue” and start at US$2.99 per month. Subscriptions unlock colored twitter themes, a reader mode for twitter threads, and twitter collections (for saving and organizing tweets).
- in other twitter news, twitter is working on reactions to tweets that include “like, cheer, hmm, sad, haha,” and twitter Spaces is now available to access via the twitter website.
- Instagram is, after a year of testing, giving users the option to hide Instagram likes. Users can hide public like counts everywhere or on a per-post basis and turn likes on/off after posting. The changes are also coming to Facebook. FYI, the Instagram changes have not yet rolled out on the desktop web version of Instagram.
- TikTok has struck a partnership deal with SiriusXM-Pandora. This includes plans to launch TikTok radio on Sirius-XM, exclusive TikTok curated playlists on Pandora, and re-airing Pandora Live events on TikTok.
- Amazon’s advertising business is now twice the size of the combined ad revenue of Snap, twitter, Roku, and Pinterest.
- with eCommerce increasingly important for all platforms as they compete against Amazon, Instagram has added a “Drops” label to the top of the shopping tab. US-only, the list will be curated, and users will be able to checkout within Instagram.
- creator monetization seems to be all the rage at the moment. YouTube is experimenting with a digital merchandising tool for creators. Facebook Gaming has added new monetization tools, including “live breaks,” which is effectively a cut-to-a-commercial offering that streamers can manually trigger.
- purely an FYI, app analytics firm Sensor Tower has acquired Pathmatics. This brings together both a key app insights platform with a broader marketing intelligence tool.
- there’s research out of Ohio State University that suggests that a user seeing “view counts” doesn’t increase the persuasiveness of a message. I’m still reviewing the full study, but the initial highlights are it was a US study, adults aged 18-35, and tested the impact of different view counts but it does not consider the algorithmic amplification of content based on like counts
- if you’re after a neat infographic on the Creator Economy, check this out. It has a good summary of everything from audience creation, monetization, creator tools, and more.
- the DC Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Amazon on antitrust grounds, alleging “anticompetitive practices that have raised prices.” It’s worth reading the press release as it gets into specific terms of Amazon’s marketplace contracts. There are 20 specific words that have caused the concern. As a sidebar, there are US House proposals that would see Amazon (and eBay) liable for counterfeit products sold on their marketplace platforms.
- there are reports that Facebook could soon be facing an antitrust investigation in Germany, specifically around its marketplace/classifieds business. In addition, Germany’s competition regulator also announced a review of Google’s data processing rules.
- also in Europe, a proposed EU code focused on misinformation would require platforms to show why a particular material is disseminated and prove that false information is being blocked. The code would be voluntary but could work alongside other EU regulations that would include fines of up to 6% of their annual revenue for failing to remove illegal content where harm can be proven.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
Pinterest published its latest transparency report. Pinterest publishes transparency reports twice a year.
the Facebook Oversight Board overturned a decision by Facebook to remove content supporting the Russian Opposition Leader. The Oversight Board noted that “Facebook’s rules (Community Standard on Bullying and Harassment) run contrary to international human rights standards.”
- Facebook is increasing the amount of friction applied to accounts that consistently share misinformation. This includes reducing the distribution of content from accounts that repeatedly share misinformation and improved notifications when people attempt to share fact-checked content that has been deemed false.
Have a great week.