Trend Set: Reddit Cleans Up; Instagram Facial Analysis

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts the past week’s most significant trends.


Reddit is starting to clean up its act, so advertisers will want to come and play. A notorious hotbed for conspiracy theories, racism, sexism, homophobia, and porn (we’re also looking at you, Twitter) without any sort of real moderation for the past several years; Reddit is partnering with Brand Safety behemoth DoubleVerify to start implementing safeguards to help quell the worries of hesitant advertisers who still haven’t taken the plunge or never came back. If Reddit can get itself into a more palatable state, advertisers will have the opportunity to reach a very engaged and passionate group of consumers—which means $$$ for everyone!

Instagram, AI Facial Analysis

Instagram is now introducing new ways to verify age, says parent company, Meta. The new options allow age verification for age-appropriate experiences, asking others to vouch for their age, and confirming age based on video selfies. The brand is partnering with a company specializing in privacy-preserving methodology and aims to navigate complex situations with intricate solutions. Whether a step too far or a step in the right direction, brands must understand the line between protection and privacy.

TV Media Spend

We hinted at this trajectorya few weeks ago, but Streaming Platforms (Connected TV) are taking over TV Media Spend. With the network upfronts taking place in early June (where the networks usually preview all their new shows to advertisers to get them to provide ad dollars “upfront”), completely pivoting and focusing on Streaming Platforms like Disney+ instead of Disney Channel and ABC, the times are a-changing! Upfront Connected TV (CTV) ad spending will rise nearly 35% this year alone in the US which is what was spent on CTV in its entirety just three years ago. This is why Netflix and Disney+ will have ad-supported options this fall (which we also covered a few weeks ago).

The Path to Customer Success with Bynder’s Heidi Lasker

We’ve increasingly heard customer success and customer experience used interchangeably, but Heidi Lasker, SVP of Customer Success for the Americas and APAC at Bynder, believes that while they are interconnected, they hold different spaces within a company.

In this episode, Heidi and I discuss tools for customer success and how to integrate them within the lifecycle of your customer and user relationship.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Bynder excels at customer success
  • Why strong cross-functional collaboration is critical to CX
  • How to deliver the best possible experience through success programs

Key Highlights

  • [02:15] Heidi’s career journey
  • [04:49] The role of Bynder in today’s online world
  • [06:00] How trends in the market have influenced Bynder’s path
  • [07:38] Getting control of your asset management
  • [10:38] What “good” content operation looks like
  • [12:50] How Customer Success is defined today
  • [15:38] The interplay between Customer Experience and Customer Success
  • [18:20] Community’s role with users and customers
  • [21:17] Marketing’s role in Customer Success
  • [24:45] An experience that defines Heidi
  • [26:33] Heidi’s advice for her younger self
  • [27:18] What marketers should be learning more about
  • [28:46] Brands Heidi is fascinated by
  • [30:20] The biggest opportunity and threat for marketers today

Resources Mentioned:

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

VidCon: Instagram, Facebook Won’t Take A Commission From Creators Until 2024

After ViacomCBS canceled VidCon two years in a row due to concerns about the ongoing COVID pandemic, the event has returned to the Anaheim Convention Center in California this week. For the first time ever, organizers are offering fans digital access to the event. Ahead, a round-up of the latest happenings and announcements from major social media attendees including YouTube, Meta and this year’s title sponsor TikTok.

TikTok Announces VidCon Programming

This year, VidCon title sponsor TikTok is offering a slate of creator-focused panels and sessions including the industry keynote, which was hosted by TikTok creator James Henry on Thursday, June 23.  

Why it matters: YouTube was VidCon’s title sponsor since 2013 but TikTok managed to nab that role from the platform as it continues to grow. In a first, TikTok will surpass YouTube in terms of time spent by their respective adult users in the US, according to eMarketer.

The details: TikTok’s VidCon programming includes panels from some of its top creators who will speak about creating authentic content, the platform’s impact on music and entertainment, tips for building a brand with lessons from small businesses, an overview of brands that are winning on the app and advice for parents whose teens have found success on TikTok.

TikTok chief operating officer Vanessa Pappas will also be there to welcome guest creators who will share their TikTok origin stories including Joanne Molinaro (@thekoreanvegan), Leo González (@leogonzall), Zachariah Porter (@zzzachariah), Soy (@foodwithsoy), Keara ‘Queen Keke’ Wilson (@keke.janajah) and Tony Weaver, Jr. (@tonyweaverjr). Kirby (@singkirbysing) will make a special virtual appearance and to close out the event, artist Tai Verdes (@taiverdes) will take to the stage for a special performance.

Instagram, Facebook Won’t Take A Commission From Creators Until 2024

Instagram and Facebook will delay taking a portion of creators’ revenues until 2024—one year after it originally planned to start, Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced ahead of VidCon.

Why it matters: This delay will attract more creators to Instagram and Facebook as Meta faces ongoing competition from rivals like YouTube and TikTok. For every 1,000 ad views, advertisers pay a certain rate to YouTube and the platform takes 45 percent of the creators’ revenue whereas TikTok keeps 50 percent of eligible creators’ revenue. At one point, Zuckerberg said Facebook would take less than 30 percent from creators. 

The details: One day before it heads to VidCon where it was expected to promote its Reels and virtual reality offerings to attendees, Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that Meta’s social platforms will delay taking a commission from creator offerings like paid events, badges, fan subscriptions and Meta’s newsletter platform Bulletin until 2024 with the intention of enticing more creators. 

In another effort to expand their creator base, Instagram and Facebook will expand their Reels bonus program to more creators and offer them the opportunity to monetize short-form videos on both platforms. Instagram is also competing with one of TikTok’s newest features by testing a creator marketplace that allows brands and creators to collaborate on sponsorships and other business opportunities.

YouTube Shorts Launches Creator-Focused Snack Challenge For VidCon Fans

Ahead of VidCon, YouTube Shorts enlisted 18 of its top creators to customize snacks in fun branded packaging that event attendees can win.

Why it matters: YouTube, which lost its standing as VidCon title sponsor to TikTok this year, is capitalizing on its creators’ popularity to generate hype ahead of the event. The customized snacks are only available to guests at VidCon or those who participate in the Shorts challenge onsite at VidCon.

The details: YouTube Shorts’ snack challenge offers VidCon guests and fans the chance to eat their favorite creators’ snacks, including Ben of the Week’s Explosive Beanz, Miki Rai’s Good Morning Besties Bars and MrBeast’s Chocolate Bar. 

Among the treats is Ben of the Week’s Explosive Beanz—perfect for the creator who’s best known for a viral video in which he pretended to burn his house down by microwaving a can of beans, which he then sang a song about. The wasabi-rubbed dried beans are reportedly so hot they’ll “burn your…house down.”

With over 900,000 subscribers to cheer her on, nurse and YouTuber Sofie Dossi begins every video with a delightful, “Good morning, besties!” So naturally, she went with the Good Morning Besties Bars, cheesecake-flavored breakfast bars made with oats, dried cherries and honey.

MrBeast is on a mission to change the way the world snacks, so in January 2022, he launched his own chocolate bar company called Feastables. And as part of his YouTube Shorts’ snack challenge, the platform is offering a limited-edition bar made with just four ingredients. In line with the YouTube star’s popularity, Feastables sold over 1 million chocolate bars within the first 72 hours of launch and apparently sold over $10 million worth of the treats as of May 2022.

Social Media News Roundup: Cannes Lions Festival Edition

This week in social media news from the Cannes Lions Festival, YouTube releases its 2022 Culture & Trends Report, Meta debuts two new Horizon Worlds, Snapchat and British Vogue unveil an AR exhibition and more.

YouTube Finds Gen Z Prefer Personally Relevant Content More Than Viral Content

According to YouTube’s 2022 Culture & Trends Report—which the platform released at the Cannes Lions Festival and includes an analysis of hundreds of trends and Ipsos surveys worldwide—pop culture is becoming more individualized as indicated by 65 percent of Gen Z who agree that content that’s personally relevant to them is more important than content that goes viral. In addition, 78 percent of people agree that they use YouTube because it serves them with content that’s personally relevant to them.

Why it matters: Pop culture is morphing into internet culture and YouTube says three main things are driving its evolution. First, that fan communities that once used to be a side effect of entertainment are now central to the entertainment experience. Second, the production and consumption of remixable content like memes is a key way young generations are participating in pop culture. And third, comforting and nostalgic content has become increasingly valuable for young viewers.

The details: Here’s a list of key findings from YouTube’s report:

  • 85 percent of Gen Z have posted video content online
  • 55 percent of Gen Z agree that they watch content no one they know personally is interested in
  • 61 percent of Gen Z agree that they would describe themselves as a really big or super fan of someone or something
  • 63 percent of Gen Z followed one or more meme accounts in the past 12 months
  • 59 percent of Gen Z agree that they use short-form video apps to discover things that they then watch longer versions of
  • 90 percent of Gen Z have watched a video that helped them feel like they were in a different place
  • 83 percent of Gen Z have used YouTube to watch soothing content that helps them relax
  • 69 percent of Gen Z agree they often find themselves returning to creators or content that feels comforting to them
  • 82 percent of Gen Z have used YouTube to watch content in order to feel nostalgic
  • 53 percent of Gen Z agree that online horror content appeals to them

Meta Debuts Two New Horizon Worlds At Cannes

Meta returned to the Cannes Lions Festival to showcase its shift from mobile to the metaverse and reveal two new Meta Horizon Worlds— MINIVerse in collaboration with BMW’s brand MINI and Fender’s Stratoverse in partnership with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

Why it matters: Meta’s new worlds are prime examples of how brands are taking their first steps into the metaverse.

The details: MINI’s MINIVerse, the brand’s first foray into the metaverse, offers four drivers the opportunity to race customizable MINI go-karts on a gravity-defying track.

The Fender Stratosphere Horizon World is a guitar-shaped island hovering high in the sky and features a first-of-its-kind co-play audio experience that allows visitors to create original music riffs. They can also go on a virtual scavenger hunt for chords that can be used to create special combinations of music.

The new Meta Horizon Worlds by MINI and Fender, which were created in collaboration with Meta’s Creative Shop, are available to all US, Canada and UK Meta Quest 2 Headset users. Visitors of the company’s Cannes headquarters at Meta Beach are also able to experience the brands’ worlds as part of the Meta Horizon Worlds Pavilion demos.

Twitter Creates A Sales Channel App For Shopify

Through Twitter and Shopify’s new partnership, which was announced at the Cannes Lions Festival, all US Shopify merchants will be able to quickly tap into Twitter to drive their customers to purchase.

Why it matters: According to Twitter, there were 6.5 billion Tweets mentioning businesses globally in 2021. For shoppers who are already engaged in conversations about businesses and products, the social platform’s Shopify partnership will bring more of their favorite products directly onto Twitter for them to browse and buy.

The details: Twitter built a sales channel app, available in Shopify’s App Store and the Shopify admin, through which merchants can:

  • Onboard to Twitter shopping manager: With a few clicks, merchants can connect their Twitter account to their Shopify admin and onboard onto Twitter’s Shopping Manager, which is the entry point to Twitter’s suite of Twitter Shopping tools where merchants can access and manage its shopping features.
  • Automatically sync their inventory: Twitter’s sales channel app regularly syncs with Shopify merchants’ product catalogs, so they don’t need to manually update product information on the social platform. As their Shopify catalog changes, so does the catalog in their Twitter Shopping Manager.
  • Highlight their products: Merchants can showcase their products on their Twitter profile with the Shop Spotlight or Twitter Shops to build brand awareness, drive product discovery and reach customers for free. When they’re ready to buy, shoppers can checkout on the merchant’s website. Starting today, Twitter is also expanding beyond the beta testing phase for Shop Spotlight and Twitter Shops and making both features available to all merchants in the US.

Snapchat, British Vogue Debut Interactive AR Fashion Exhibition At Cannes

In partnership with British Vogue, Snapchat created an augmented reality exhibition on display at the Cannes Lions Festival where visitors can immerse themselves in high fashion designs from seven of the world’s leading fashion brands and designers. With the goal of demonstrating how physical fashion can be enhanced through interactive custom Snapchat lenses, “Vogue x Snapchat: Redefining the Body” showcases pieces by Dior, Gucci, Balenciaga, Kenneth Ize, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney and Versace. 

Why it matters: The activation—developed in collaboration with Arcadia, Atomic Digital Design and Snap’s newly established Paris AR studio—will allow millions of Snapchatters worldwide to engage with the exhibition from the comfort of their own homes. Plus, for many, it presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “wear” high-fashion designer pieces. It’s through the exhibition’s display of this new technology that Snap hopes to introduce “new levels of accessibility, creativity and expression to the fashion and design world,” the platform’s chief executive Evan Spiegel said. 

The details: Curated by British Vogue editor in chief and Vogue European editorial director Edward Enninful, the “Vogue x Snapchat: Redefining the Body” exhibition features an AR try-on experience in which visitors can immerse themselves in the designers’ creative visions while strolling through unique virtual rooms.

Using Snap’s landmarker technology, the facade of the exhibition was digitally wrapped in a way that visitors can view via a custom landmarker in the Snap Map. Snapchatters who weren’t able to attend Cannes can engage with the exhibition via global lenses in Lens Carousel or via the “Dress Up” tab in Lens Explorer.

Snap and British Vogue also partnered with DressX on a capsule collection that includes exclusive Vogue x Snapchat merchandise and will be available at the exhibition in Cannes and via the DressX site.

Advertising Leaders Announce Plans To Expand Ad Net Zero Initiative Globally

​​Ad Net Zero—the initiative launched by the Advertising Association, the ISBA and the IPA in the UK aimed at reducing the carbon impact of advertising—will make its way to major markets worldwide, advertising leaders announced at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Global trade bodies including the ANA, 4A’s and the IAB, the WFA, European and global agency associations, EACA and Voxcomm, and the IAA will help the world’s largest agency holding companies—including Dentsu International, Havas, Interpublic Group, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP, Unilever, Google, Meta and Sky—establish plans to roll out Ad Net Zero in major ad markets with an immediate focus on the US and the EU. Serving as a roadmap, the UK program will help these companies develop market-specific solutions to reducing their ads’ carbon footprint.

The top 20 advertising markets—which account for 89 percent of the global advertising industry’s $594.322 billion spend— will be the focus of the program after the US and EU are addressed.

Launched in 2020, Ad Net Zero includes a five-point action plan that pledges to reduce the carbon emissions from UK advertising operations to net zero by 2030 and to leverage advertising to accelerate consumers’ switch to more sustainable products and services. It also includes the AdGreen carbon calculator, which helps measure and reduce emissions from advertising production.

Unilever has committed to reducing emissions to zero within its own operations by 2030 and to net zero across its value chain by 2039, with the first priority being to reduce emissions in line with the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement, according to Aline Santos, Unilever chief brand officer, and chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer.

Ad Net Zero will provide updates on its progress at Cannes Lions each summer and its global summit each November. The next update will be presented at Ad Net Zero’s global summit, which will take place online on November 9 and 10, alongside this year’s 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The Power Of Connection With The Meet Group’s Catherine Connelly

Starting her first company at age 15, Catherine Connelly is all about meeting new people. As the SVP of Marketing for The Meet Group, the top provider of live streaming video and creator economy solutions for a number of the world’s top social apps, Catherine relies heavily on that connection to her users for audience engagement and growth.

In this episode, Catherine and I discuss her extraordinary career path, iOS changes, The Meet Group’s differentiating model for monetization, and the importance of storytelling.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to update your tactics for performance marketing
  • The future of social media monetization
  • The importance of PR and storytelling

Key Highlights

  • [0:42] First business at age 15 with her two brothers
  • [04:25] Catherine’s career path
  • [12:24] Having a place to connect with others
  • [15:48] Knowing where your users are; how to update your tactics
  • [17:04] How iOS changes affect acquisition efforts
  • [19:39] Monetization of The Meet Group
  • [23:57] Catherine’s role at The Meet Group
  • [27:45] Best tactics for performance marketing
  • [31:38] App Store optimization
  • [37:31] PR, storytelling, and making viral or sharable moments
  • [42:49] A moment that defines who Catherine is today
  • [44:59] Catherine’s advice for her younger self
  • [47:22] What marketers need to learn more about: macro trends and thinking scrappy
  • [49:54] The companies and causes Catherine follows: Oasis Consortium
  • [52:40] The biggest opportunity for marketers today: Apple really makes things up

Resources Mentioned:

Follow the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth opportunities. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine companies.

Trend Set: Drake Drops Honestly, Nevermind

Ayzenberg Junior Strategist Ashley Otah recounts the past week’s most significant trends.

Cheekbone – Unsellable Lipgloss

Cheekbone beauty releases a new line of lipgloss inspired by contaminated water that isn’t available for sale anywhere. In their #GlossedOver campaign, lipglosses titled E.coli Kiss, Mercury Shimmer, and Luscious Lead are displayed in recognition of Indigenous History Month. The campaign brings awareness to First Nation Communities in Canada that don’t have access to clean water. With a bold statement, “You wouldn’t put a contaminated gloss on your lips, so why should anyone put contaminated water to theirs?” in tandem with Sephora Canada donations, the campaign showcases how being a conduit for change can be creative too.  

Drake – Honestly, Nevermind

Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Six hours before its release, Drake announced the drop of his seventh studio album The album, “Honestly, Nevermind,” came as a surprise to many and was reminiscent of Beyonce’s latest drop for her new album “Renaissance” and her self-titled album “Beyonce,” which had no promo. The releases feel like a breath of fresh air in a world full of carefully curated moments at every marketing stage. However, brands must be mindful of the ramifications of “surprise” capsules, releases, and drops, as although the shoe fits for some, it does not fit for many. 

YouTube Shorts

Life’s too short. Earlier this week, YouTube announced that its Shorts tops 1.5 billion logged-in users every month. The statistic is actively being compared to TikTok’s announced 1 billion monthly users data point. The TikTok-like short-form videos are said to be a segue into creators’ longer formatted videos. Although previously stated to be off to a rocky start, the feature is gaining traction. Increasingly, platforms are implementing comparable features that other big brands utilize to their detriment or success. Of course, brands can have a mixture of new and old features, but being everything to everyone all the time, may not be the best answer.

Leisure And Business Flights Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

Traveling for business and pleasure is picking back up, according to new data from Deloitte and the Mastercard Economics Institute. The former’s summer travel survey shows financial concerns have some staying home, but those who do plan to travel are prepared to increase their budgets. Meanwhile, Mastercard found travel spending is returning to experiences over souvenirs and that the loosening of restrictions is encouraging tourism. Here are the key findings from each report.

Deloitte: 2022 Summer Travel Survey

Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans are planning a trip involving stays in hotels or other types of paid lodging. Most of these travelers are younger, but those over 55 are also open to travel again via car and plane. About 30 percent of travelers plan to spend more than they did in 2019; high airfares and room rates are the top reason why.

US-based properties, carriers and destinations stand to collect the lion’s share of travel spend, with 67 percent of travelers planning hotel stays and 16 percent planning rental stays.

Just 15 percent of Americans, or 27 percent of travelers, plan to take an international flight.

Mastercard Economics Institute: Travel 2022 Trends and Transitions

Global leisure and business flight bookings have exceeded pre-pandemic levels while spending on cruise lines, buses and trains saw strong improvements this year.

By the end of April, global leisure flight bookings surpassed 2019 levels by 25 percent; short- and medium-haul leisure flight bookings were up 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Global business flight bookings exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time in March, with long-haul growing double-digits in April. Mastercard says the return to the office was a primary driver.

Experiential spending is now 34 percent above 2019 levels, with the largest spending increases seen in bars and nightclubs (72 percent) followed by amusement parks, museums, concerts and other recreational activities (35 percent).

International tourist spending on experiences grew 60 percent in Singapore and roughly 23 percent in the US. In the UK, spending growth each month in 2022 more than doubled compared to 2019 levels, currently 140 percent for April.

Consumers have also grown more comfortable with group travel, as recent spending levels suggest. Though it remains below 2019 levels, global spending on cruises gained 62 percentage points from January to the end of April. Buses are back at pre-pandemic levels while passenger rail spending remains 7 percent below. In addition, spending on tolls and auto rentals are up nearly 19 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

As travel restrictions loosen, booking has become easier. As a result, the US, UK, Switzerland, Spain and The Netherlands are now the top destinations for tourists globally.

Spotify Culture Next Report Shows Insights On Gen Z Culture

Each year, Spotify’s Culture Next report checks in on the pulse of the music platform and how millennials and Gen Z are engaging with it. 

This year, Gen Z’s prevalence has noticeably risen, with 1 in 3 users globally belonging to the age group. On top of their heavy use of the platform, Spotify notes that the music industry is seeing some sea changes when it comes to how Gen Z relates to the artists they enjoy. Platforms like Discord, subreddits and Spotify have ushered in a new way for music lovers to engage with artists, creating more of a fan culture and community. Standoms are on the rise.

Overall, 39% of Gen Zs said they would call themselves a “fan,” with 20% of them taking it a step further and being “more than a fan.” What does this mean? According to Spotify, 55% of Gen Zs are actively seeking out bonus and behind-the-scenes content for their favorite performers and want to know more about the creative process behind the music.

This shift to being creator-centric within the music space is creating an environment where this bonus content, behind-the-scenes stuff and focusing on the fan experience is more than welcome.

While millennial culture has been strongly associated with the proliferation of podcasts, it appears that Gen Z is also furthering the content format’s use —75 percent of Gen Zs are using audio to understand themselves better compared to 60 percent of millennials, using podcasts as the means to do so. Spotify notes they have seen a 62 percent rise in podcast listenership among the ascendant age group, with 41 percent of 18-24 year-olds listening to podcasts on at least a weekly basis. 

Outside of standoms and podcasts, as anyone on TikTok can attest, Gen Z has a particular affinity for nostalgia, which has become a salve for many to deal with the numerous difficulties in present times. Because of this, 70 percent of Gen Zs in the United States are listening to music and watching media from earlier decades. 

“We don’t want to be in 2022, we want to be in a different time where something like the pandemic doesn’t exist,” said Samantha, 19 from Easton, Pennsylvania, who participated in the survey.

Pinterest Debuts New Ad Format For Its Idea Pins

This week in social media news, Pinterest launches a new ad format called Idea ads, Twitter will let businesses display location, hours and contact info on their profiles, YouTube Shorts now reaches 1.5 billion monthly users and more.

Pinterest Introduces New Video And Image-Driven Idea Ads 

Pinterest has launched a new ad format called Idea ads, which will enable advertisers to showcase a brand’s website, get step-by-step breakdowns, view ingredients lists and more. Similarly, Pinterest’s new “Idea ads with paid partnership” enables Pinterest creators to partner with brands for interactive storytelling. In the same blog, Pinterest announced a new paid partnership tool for creators, allowing them to tag brand partners in their content. 

Why it matters: Pinterest’s new Idea ads are an expansion of its TikTok-like Idea Pins, a multi-page video format it launched in May 2021. According to the platform, people who saw Idea ads were 59 percent more likely to recall that brand. And brands that worked with creators saw 38 percent higher brand awareness and 37 percent higher Pin awareness.

Globally, brands and advertisers are witnessing increased traffic to their business from “Idea ads with paid partnership,” including Gatorade and Scotch in the US, and M.A.C. Cosmetics Australia, says Pinterest.

The details: Available in 30 countries worldwide, the new Idea ad format offers multi-page, fullscreen storytelling where advertisers can showcase their ideas in action. 

And through the new paid partnership tool, creators will be able to showcase sponsored deals by tagging brand partners directly in their content. 

Twitter Allows Local Businesses To Display Location, Contact Info

Twitter has launched a new feature called Location Spotlight that will allow brick-and-mortar businesses with professional accounts to display on their profile a contact card detailing their location, hours and additional contact methods.

Why it matters: The new feature makes Twitter more of a one-stop shop for consumers researching brands, products and services by allowing stores to display the sort of information that users normally go to Google for. 

The details: Offered in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia, Twitter’s Location Spotlight is available for Twitter Professional account users and appears on a business’ profile. 

Users that tap on the location can get directions to the business through a third-party mapping app like Google Maps. The new feature is similar to business info cards on Google Maps and was released on the heels of Twitter’s launch of multiple commerce-related functions such as virtual storefronts and product drops.

YouTube Shorts Attracts 1.5 Billion Monthly Users

Over 1.5 billion people are now watching YouTube Shorts monthly, reports The Verge.

Why it matters: YouTube has been making attempts to compete with TikTok in several ways, including offering some creators as much as $10,000 per month when they make popular videos, depending on engagement and viewers’ locations. 

As more YouTube users venture to Shorts rather than long-form videos, monetization and ad revenue have become an issue. In May, the platform began rolling out ads on Shorts worldwide but it wasn’t sharing ad revenue with creators at the time.

The details: After roughly two years of YouTube offering cash bonuses and expanding features to compete with TikTok, 1.5 billion viewers are watching short-form videos on Shorts. In total, about 2 billion logged-in users visit the platform every month while Shorts experienced 30 billion views per day, as of April.

Meta To Roll Out Social Hangout Hub, Horizon Home, To Quest 2 Headsets

Horizon Home, a custom social hub where you can socialize with friends and watch videos before jumping into an experience, is coming to the Quest 2 headset, Meta founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced.

Why it matters: Up until now, the Quest 2 didn’t offer a straightforward, dedicated way to socialize and required users to do things like join a party or play games to hang with their friends. The Horizon Home update provides a new way of socializing online in the world of virtual reality (VR).

The details: Demoed by Mark Zuckerberg and free climber Alex Honnold, the Horizon Home update allows users to choose a home—such as a space station or patio overlooking a mountain range—where they “wake up” after first putting on their headset. 

Users will also be able to upload their own environments to call home. Rather than free locomotion, the new feature utilizes hotspot locomotion to reduce the likelihood of users’ VR avatars colliding with one another.

“Party leaders can unilaterally remove guests from both the Party and Meta Horizon Home,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch. In addition, any user can use the system-level block option or submit a report while guests can exit a social situation in one click to instantly disconnect from voice chat and the general environment.