This week in social media news, Twitch considers changing how it pays top streamers, Pinterest adds 2 million users in Q1 2022 and YouTube Shorts reaches 30 billion daily views.

Twitch Weighs Changes To Its Creator Monetization Program

According to people familiar with the planning, Twitch is considering updating how it pays top streamers and offering incentives for streamers to run more ads, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The, Inc.-owned platform’s changes may alienate creators and viewers given that it will cause its most popular streamers to receive a reduction in their share of subscription fees. 

In recent years, Twitch has provided an arena primarily for gamers to showcase their talents to the world, creating a new cohort of internet celebrities. Amazon has repeatedly expressed its desire to monetize the platform further and has released a series of new, profit-driven programs that some employees believe hurt its users and caused it to lose touch with its community’s needs.

The details: Twitch is reportedly considering implementing new changes to its monetization structure that would incentivize streamers to run more ads and reduce the proportion of subscription fees offered to the platform’s biggest creators in its partnerships program from 70 percent to 50 percent. 

Two of the unnamed individuals who claim to have inside information told Bloomberg that another option regarding streamers’ revenue cuts of channel subscriptions is to create multiple tiers and set criteria for how to qualify for each one. Twitch may then offer to release partners from exclusivity restrictions—meaning streamers would be free to stream on Facebook and YouTube.

Some of the changes could go into effect in summer 2022. A representative for Twitch declined to comment.

Pinterest Adds 2 Million Users In Q1 2022

According to Pinterest’s latest performance update, its revenue is increasing year-over-year and declining quarter-over-quarter, and it saw 2 million more monthly actives logging in in Q1 2022.

Why it matters: At the start of the pandemic while people were stuck at home and ecommerce surged, Pinterest reached 478 million users. That number has been dwindling ever since—it now reports having 433 million users.

Pinterest’s aim to be a key hub for shopping will necessitate that it retains these users and pitches them ads in order to keep its brand partners happy. Pinterest’s slowing growth, even as it expands into new markets, is not a good sign, though it remains to be seen how big it’ll become and how it’ll respond to the next Google changes.

The details: Pinterest posted better YOY performance, though it has declined on a quarterly basis, explaining that it’s the result of the decline in active users despite its success at better monetizing the audience it does have. Additionally, the number of Pinners engaging with shopping surfaces has continued to grow YOY.

In its performance update, Pinterest said:

“In Q1 2022, we continued to experience year-over-year engagement declines primarily due to pandemic-influenced growth in the year-ago quarter as well as lower search traffic (largely driven by Google’s algorithm change in November 2021). Time spent on competitive video-centric consumer platforms remains a headwind, particularly in our more mature markets. These declines were most pronounced for our desktop web and mobile web users, with mobile app users showing more resilience. The decline in global MAUs from February 1 to March 31 was primarily due to Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, and was particularly pronounced in Europe.”

YouTube Shorts Up To 30 Billion Daily Views As Shorts Ads Begin Testing

In its latest earnings report, Google confirmed that it has started running ads on its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts, as it averages over 30 billion daily views.

Why it matters: In February 2022, YouTube Shorts reportedly reached 5 trillion all-time views. The news that it’s currently at 30 billion daily showcases the rising popularity of short-form content. Showing ads between Shorts will offer YouTube another means of monetization given that as more people watch more Shorts overall, less will watch other monetizable videos.

YouTube is TikTok’s most formidable competitor in the short-form video space. If YouTube makes the ad offering permanent, its competition with TikTok will intensify as marketers are given more options to advertise on Shorts and creators are able to earn more revenue as a result.

The details: YouTube is in the testing stage of a move that incorporates ads between YouTube Shorts clips, which now garner over 30 billion daily views. YouTube will have to develop ads as a new revenue pathway for Shorts content in order to get more Shorts creators paid and keep them happy and on the platform. 

Google notes that more than 40 percent of creators who received payment from the Shorts Fund last year weren’t in the YouTube Partner Program, which pays creators billions annually.