This week in social media news, Instagram tests a digital collectibles feature, YouTube receives MRC brand safety distinction for a second year, TikTok launches a new target market insights tool and more.

Instagram Tests Digital Collectibles With Creators

Starting this week, select Instagram creators and collectors can share digital collectibles they’ve created or bought on the platform thanks to a new feature the platform is testing.

Why it matters: Creators have started leveraging technologies like NFTs to take more control over their work and monetization avenues. That’s one reason Meta says it’s introducing the digital collectibles feature.

It also explained:

“It’s critical that our early efforts in this space empower diverse voices and that underrepresented groups have access to emerging digital assets like NFTs. By building support for NFTs, we aim to improve accessibility, lower barriers to entry, and help make the NFT space more inclusive to all communities. It is also important that we keep Instagram a safe and enjoyable place for everyone.”

The details: Here’s how Instagram’s digital collectibles feature works. Once connected to a digital wallet, creators can choose which NFTs from their wallet they’d like to share on Instagram. When they post the collectible, it’ll have a shimmer effect and can display public information like a description of the NFT. This post will be visible on their profile. The creator and collector can be automatically attributed in the digital collectible post.

Instagram says it collects and organizes public data from open blockchains like Ethereum to provide this new feature. From this public blockchain data, it can only identify which collectibles belong to collectors and creators when they connect their third-party wallets to Instagram.

At launch, the blockchains that will be supported are Ethereum and Polygon, with Flow and Solana coming soon. The third-party wallets compatible for use will include Rainbow, MetaMask and Trust Wallet, with Coinbase Wallet, Dapper and Phantom coming soon. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram.

The digital collectibles feature will open up to more creators soon, but for now only these accounts have access to it: @adambombsquad, @bluethegreat, @bossbeautiesnft, @c.syresmith, @cynthiaerivo, @garyvee, @jenstark, @justmaiko, @maliha_z_art, @misshattan, @nopattern, @oseanworld, @paigebueckers, @phiawilson, @swopes and @yungjake.

YouTube Receives MRC Brand Safety Distinction For Second Year

For the second year, the Media Rating Council (MRC) has given YouTube content-level brand safety accreditation, the platform announced on the Google Ads & Commerce blog.

Why it matters:  Last year, YouTube became the first digital platform to receive content-level brand safety accreditation from the MRC. This second accreditation makes YouTube the only platform to hold this distinction, which builds on its commitment to remaining at least 99 percent effective at ensuring brand safety of ad placements on YouTube, in accordance with industry standards.

Over the past two years, YouTube says it’s worked directly with advertisers and agencies to better understand their needs and develop a set of best practices like anchoring on YouTube’s inventory modes and reassessing whether they should exclude certain kinds of content. When advertisers knew how to better navigate the platform’s suitability controls, they experienced performance benefits ranging from increased reach and view-through rates to decreased cost-per-view, according to YouTube.

The details: As part of this accreditation, the MRC extensively audited YouTube’s content review systems, including the machine learning technology that analyzes content uploaded to the platform and the policies that determine which videos on YouTube are eligible to run ads.

The MRC auditors also met with YouTube’s brand safety personnel on-site to review its processes and dug into how it protects its global community. This included its procedures for evaluating content across different languages.

The accreditation also recognized YouTube’s advertiser safety error rate, a metric authorized by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) which evaluates the total percentage of ad impressions that run across violative content.

YouTube says it’s now using these best practices and customer feedback to evolve its suitability offering, which will include intuitive controls, more consistency across all Google inventory and clarity on how controls may impact ad campaigns.

TikTok Launches Interactive Audience Insights Tool

TikTok has a new target market insights tool that includes several filters to help you get to know the TikTok community’s behavior, interests and how they connect and feel about brands.

Why it matters: The interactive tool provides marketing insights from around the world, which will be useful for brands looking to understand and tap into key trends in certain locations around major events and holidays.

The details: For example, using the tool marketers can learn more about Gen Z trends around Black Friday 2021 for a specific industry as they relate to advertising, creators or people.

On the tool’s landing page, TikTok lists several findings regarding user behavior worldwide. For example, Gen X TikTok users are 3.3 times more likely than other platform users to make a tutorial about a product after buying it. And in the US, millennial TikTok users are 1.8 times more likely to comment on a brand post after buying a product.

YouTube Adds Green Screen Feature To Shorts

YouTube has launched a new TikTok-style Green Screen tool that lets creators use a 60-second video segment from any eligible YouTube or YouTube Shorts video as the background for their own Shorts video.

Why it matters: The video effect is another sign of other social platforms copying TikTok, where users often leverage the Green Screen feature to provide commentary on each other’s videos.

But as TechCrunch points out, in Shorts’ case, the original video creator isn’t necessarily a Shorts creator and they may only create long-form content for YouTube proper.

The details: The platform says that on iOS YouTube creators can also use the Green Screen tool in the Shorts camera to choose any photo or video from their device gallery as the background.

YouTube’s new Green Screen tool is rolling out on iOS today and will come to Android soon.

Meta’s New Cambria Headset Will Enable Next-Level AR Experiences

During Meta’s Cambria headset showcase, Mark Zuckerberg previewed a new augmented reality (AR) experience powered by Meta’s Presence Platform, which enables developers to produce experiences that fuse virtual content with the real world.

Why it matters: Current Quest headsets don’t allow users to interact in full-color experience but Meta’s new Cambria headset—slated to launch later this year—includes improved external cameras that enable them to operate as both a VR and AR device.

The details: In this 60-second spot, Meta highlights Cambria’s AR and VR abilities in creating a new dimension of gameplay.

Currently, the Quest 2, now called Meta Quest 2, can “see through” and show the outside world but in a grainy black and white video feed. The Quest 2 overlays some VR with this feed, like room boundaries, creating a form of mixed reality. But Cambria’s improved external cameras will capture passthrough color video, displaying it on the headset’s internal display.