Our story earlier today detailing cooling demand and a slowdown in sales at celebrity-video shoutout app Cameo holds some warning signs for other creator economy startups and companies buoyed by the pandemic.
Cameo’s operating expenses soared to nearly $79 million last year, from $30 million in 2020. That contributed to deeper losses: adjusted EBITDA, an earnings metric that typically strips out a lot of expenses—including stock compensation—widened to a nearly $49 million loss in 2021 from just under a $10 million loss the year prior, documents showed. The startup’s sales also fell far short of the company’s own forecasts.
TikTok thrives on viral videos: users replicating dance steps, copying video formats and reusing ideas. But creators have long complained about TikTokers who copy their work but neglect to credit their ideas. TikTok is finally trying to change that.
The app on Wednesday announced new ways to tag and credit creators in video descriptions, a feature that will roll out in upcoming weeks. While posting a TikTok video, a user will see a new option to select another video that she has previously liked, favorited, posted or that uses the same sound. The selected video shows up in the description section as a link and the creator of the tagged video will receive a notification. The app will also add prompts and pop-ups to encourage users to credit work while they post.
TikTok is changing the housing market. The #nycapartments hashtag on the ByteDance-owned app has more than 100 million views; #apartmenttour has 1.3 billion. With that kind of visibility, real estate firms and agents are increasingly setting up TikTok accounts, often as a way to reach Gen Z and millennial buyers, who together make up 39% of home buyers, according to a 2021 report from the National Association of Realtors.
Consider Brown Harris Stevens, which was founded in 1873 and sells properties across the East Coast and in Florida. It posted its first TikTok video in April. Now, it has almost 50 videos, including “the dos and don’ts of co-op board interviews,” and is investing in training agents on short-form video best practices, according to a statement from the company.
A racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store over the weekend, which left at least 10 people dead, has rekindled calls for social media platforms to do more to wipe out hate speech and and act more quickly to handle violent broadcasts.
The man identified by police as the shooter livestreamed the attack on Amazon-owned Twitch. Although the platform said it removed the stream in less than two minutes after the violence started, that was enough time for other users to recirculate the clips on Facebook, Twitter and Streamable, a video site owned by Hopin, according to The New York Times. The 18-year-old suspect also said he found inspiration on the internet forum 4chan and from the gunman behind the 2019 mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which the murderer streamed on Facebook.
Social networks have yet to figure out how to pay creators for their short-form videos. TikTok, for instance, announced last week that it will start testing revenue-sharing with select creators; Instagram said the same in February. Both already have dedicated funds to pay creators, but those have evoked mixed emotions, with many saying they’re disappointed in the low payouts particularly from TikTok’s $1 billion creator fund.
With that in mind, we decided to take a look at how some of the largest social media platforms structure their advertising. All the apps but TikTok and Instagram currently give creators a cut of advertising revenue. (Instagram previously shared ad revenue with creators who posted IGTV videos, a format that was phased out in March.)