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  • Writer's pictureLaura Berni

Keeping up with “The Kids”: Facebook Memes & Paid IGTV

Hello and welcome back! We have finally reached the point in which I have no idea how many blogs I have written so far. So this one will be called Blog X, that can be interpreted as mysterious blog or as blog number 10 in roman numbers. I have done latin for 5 years, I know what I’m talking about. I had promised last week not to talk about politics anymore and… Surprise Surprise, I have managed to keep my word for once! I am just as amazed as you are. The BLOG X (I like the title so much I will keep reminding you of it) goes back to the roots of our weekly digital updates and covers all news about apps and app functions.

Let’s start then!

Facebook has always been concerned about losing it’s place as the main social media channel. Most of all, Facebook has been afraid of losing touch with the kids. Current statistics place the younger generations more on platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok. Facebook is therefore trying desperately to “stay cool” amongst the younger audiences. Its latest attempt is Facebook Whale. Whale is a new app that enables users to create their own memes with simplified templates and tools. It is currently being tested in Canada.

As per Whale's App Store description:

"No distractions, no hidden subscription pricing. Use your own images or choose from our stock photo library and get creative with text, tools, effects, and more right inside the app."

To use Whale, you first pick an image you want to use as your template - either your own or from the stock library. You can then add text, emojis and filters to turn your image into a meme. You can then save and share the image to various social networks direct from the app. Still not sure if Whale could be a good laugh or if it’s just a pathetic attempt by Facebook to generate content for its platform. People who make memes already have the tools to do so, so is this app for us commoners that usually only react to them? Won't that be targeting the wrong type of audience? The older one?

Moving on to another app of the Facebook family: Instagram.

Instagram has launched a new feature which aims to replicate the key functionality of TikTok. But rather than taking on parent-company Facebook's usual tactic of launching a separate app, Instagram is adding its new 'Reels' feature as an element within Instagram Stories. Instagram Reels lets you make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories, with the potential to go viral on a new Top Reels section of Explore. Just like TikTok, users can soundtrack their Reels with a huge catalog of music, or borrow the audio from anyone else’s video to create a remix of their meme or joke. Reels is launching today on iOS and Android but is limited to just Brazil, where it’s called Cenas.

Can you start to see a pattern here? Facebook and Instagram are trying all they can to suppress the new, more modern and fresh apps. They are using different strategies with different degrees of success. In my personal opinion, Instagram is doing much better than its parent company. They successfully incorporated Instagram Stories into their app not much more than a year ago, taking away many users from Snapchat. If Reels proves to be successful too, Tik Tok might have to start worrying about the future of the company.

Instagram is also offering to cover the video production costs of some influencers to expand the content offering on IGTV, the app's section for longer videos. Instagram has one caveat: Video creators can't discuss social issues, elections or politics. The platform has signed dozens of deals, with the biggest ones surpassing $250,000 for more than 20 posts, Bloomberg reported. Instagram's reported offer to help celebrities cover their video production costs is another sign that its IGTV video hub has failed to gain much traction among the main app's 1 billion users.

Last but not least, TikTok is running beta tests that let influencers embed social commerce links in videos on the app. Tik Tok, as you might have noticed, is taking advantage of the over-crowded Instagram market to offer more opportunities for influencers and better engagement rates (and will now try to monetise on it).

That’s it for this week! If you have any questions or would like to propose a topic, just drop me a message! Toodaloo!

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