This week in social media news, TikTok addresses how it calculates Creator Fund payments, YouTube introduces new ad tools, Twitch is testing mid-roll ads that streamers can’t control, Facebook adds an organic post test option in the Creator Studio app, Instagram will launch automated closed captioning for IGTV uploads, ByteDance chooses Oracle to take over its TikTok US user data and more.

TikTok Explains How It Calculates Creator Fund Payments

After launching a $1 billion Creator Fund in August to compensate creators for their videos, TikTok is sharing details about how funds are calculated and the forthcoming Creator Fund wallet in an effort to address theories about how the fund operates.

Why it matters: TikTok’s transparency about payments comes after several inaugural recipients of TikTok’s Creator Fund have criticized the app, saying they’re earning just a few dollars a day for their videos that have hundreds of thousands of views.

The details: TikTok will soon launch the Creator Fund wallet, enabling creators to transfer funds from the Creator Fund to their linked payment method. Though they’ll have to wait until the end of the month to withdraw their funds.

TikTok says several factors affect how it calculates funds, including video views, video engagement, authenticity of a view, region in which the video is viewed, total participants in a program and adherence to the app’s community guidelines and terms of service.

TikTok says that being part of the Creator Fund doesn’t directly impact the ‘For You’ feed recommendation system, which doesn’t know whether or not a creator is part of the fund.

YouTube Introduces New Ad Tools After Watch Time Amid Pandemic Soars

YouTube has introduced new ad tools like advanced data insights and new category targeting to help marketers drive reach during the pandemic.

Why it matters: The platform says watch time on YouTube and YouTube TV on television screens surged 80 percent year-over-year during the pandemic.

The details: First, YouTube is adding dynamic lineups, which use YouTube’s machine learning systems to segment videos based on their content, providing marketers with better access to customers with unique interests and needs.

Next, YouTube is expanding its evaluation of Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings to advertisers in the UK and Italy after discovering how the ratings have helped brands maximize their campaigns. For example, Pepsi’s “Gift it Forward” holiday YouTube campaign drove a 24 percent increase in target reach beyond television.

Lastly, YouTube is enabling reach capabilities in Display & Video 360 campaigns, including YouTube, auction and programmatic deals.

Twitch Tests Mid-Roll Ads 

Twitch is experimenting with mid-roll ads that streamers can’t control. The ads will run across affiliate and partner channels, with creators earning their share of revenues.

Why it matters: Though it provides an opportunity to boost ad revenues, Twitch’s “experiment” will likely be met with backlash as mid-roll ads have historically been controlled by streamers.

The details: As per Twitch, “Creators will be paid for every one of these ads that run, just like they’re paid for pre-rolls and ad breaks that they run. And, we’ve enabled Picture-by-Picture in all channel categories, so viewers can enjoy an uninterrupted ad-viewing experience.” Picture-by-picture is the default ad experience for all Twitch ad breaks. When a streamer runs an ad break, the stream gets muted and shows up above the chat.

Facebook Rolls Out Organic Post Test Option In Creator Studio App

Facebook has added an organic video post testing tool to the Creator Studio app to help some users A/B test aspects of their video content, as spotted by social media expert Matt Navarra.

Why it matters: Primarily focused on video posts, this new functionality will help creators maximize the reach of their top-performing videos.

The details: The ‘Create Post Tests’ option lets you create up to four variations of a video post, which are tested with a portion of your audience. Facebook then distributes the winning post beyond its initial test audience based on the parameters you set.

Instagram Adds Auto Closed Captions For IGTV Videos

Instagram has debuted new automatic closed captions for IGTV uploads, powered by advances in Facebook’s artificial intelligence-enabled automated speech recognition (ASR).

Why it matters: The addition is part of Facebook’s larger efforts to expand its accessibility options as there are 466 million people who have disabling hearing loss, with the number projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.

The details: Facebook, which has given users the option of auto-captions on video uploads since 2017, says auto closed captioning on IGTV videos will be available in 16 languages at launch.

ByteDance Proposal For TikTok US Includes Oracle As “Trusted Technology Provider”

After searching for the right US company to save its TikTok US operations, ByteDance has chosen Oracle as part of a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The deal comes a little over a month after President Trump first ordered ByteDance to sell TikTok US, which led to Microsoft confirming it was in talks with ByteDance about a potential deal. China threw ByteDance for a loop when it updated its export control regulations, which gave it a say over the transfer of TikTok’s algorithm to a foreign buyer.

The details: As per Reuters, ByteDance submitted a proposal to the US Treasury Department over the weekend showing that Oracle would serve as TikTok’s “trusted technology provider” and assume management of TikTok’s US user data. As part of the proposal, ByteDance has also committed to creating a US headquarters with 20,000 new jobs. The news caused Oracle shares to surge 6.3 percent.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that the administration would review ByteDance’s proposal this week.

Facebook Debuts ‘Watch Together’ Experience For Messenger

Facebook has launched a free co-watching feature called ‘Watch Together’ that lets users watch Facebook Watch videos in real-time with up to eight people over Messenger video calls and up to 50 people in Messenger Rooms.

Why it matters: Facebook says there are more than 150 million video calls on Messenger and over 200 million videos sent via Messenger everyday.

The details: To use Watch Together, users must start a Messenger video call or create a Messenger Room then swipe up to choose Watch Together from the menu. Facebook will show suggested videos, or users can choose from a category, including ‘TV & Movies,’ ‘Watched,’ or ‘Uploaded.’

Facebook is rolling out Watch Together globally this week on iOS and Android.

Amazon Starts Selling Programmatic Advertising On Twitch

Amazon has rolled out new capabilities for Twitch and Amazon advertisers globally that lets marketers target Twitch audiences through Twitch video and display ads.

Why it matters: Programmatic advertising on Twitch eliminates the need for marketers to manually buy ads on Twitch, which was the case before Amazon announced the change.

The details: As per Amazon, “Advertising on Twitch will now have the added benefit of Amazon Advertising’s unique audience insights and measurement for their campaigns.”