Where exactly will social media venture in the new decade?Surely there's a response that canvasses the entire spectrum and takes an enormous leap to land at an acceptable conclusion. But it'd be wrong.Among the most exciting things about social media has been its unpredictability. Where's its gone, the leaps it's taken, and the paths it's traveled. This week in the Social Sphere is the first of a budding decade. In it, Youtube highlights its top earners of 2019, and Instagram provides a new layout for Stories. Facebook looks to boost instream buying options, and Snapchat introduces a new animated television platform.
Youtube's biggest stars racked in millions in 2019. According to a new report from Forbes, eight-year-old toy reviewer Ryan Kaji pulled in an estimated $26 million from his popular channel, "Ryan's World." Dude Perfect ranks second at a cool $20 million over the course of 2019, with Anastasia Radzinskaya at third with $18 million. Check out the full list of top earners in the link above.
After testing upcoming layout options this past summer, Instagram recently released a new layout mode for its Stories vertical. Offering new grid styles for single images within a still frame, the latest update is found alongside existing Stories camera modes. With six new grid styles for your consideration, Instagram has emphasized Stories in the early moments of 2020.
Leaning into the popularity of its Bitmoji characters, Snapchat will soon launch Bitmoji TV - a full-motion animated cartoon series starring your Bitmoji avatar and those of your Snap friends. A continuation of Bitmoji Stories, which the company launch in late 2018, the development will come from Snapchat's internal team per a report from TechCrunch. Look for Bitmoji TV this February.
In a widescale effort to bring ease to in-video purchasing for product reveals and unboxings, Facebook recently acquired Packagd, an emerging video commerce start-up. Facebook confirmed the purchase to Bloomberg, saying in a statement that the company is "exploring ways to let buyers easily ask questions and place orders within a live video broadcast." As all signs point to e-commerce ranking high for Facebook in 2020, how they use newly acquired Packagd over the next 12 months could prove instrumental in their immediate future.
Facebook's Brand Collabs Managing tool is now in test on Instagram. As influencer marketing expands this year, this tool that helps brands and creators collaborate is arguably more impactful on Instagram than its parent company, Facebook.
After launching Lists and Topics in the latter half of 2019, Twitter, in a recent chat with Fast Company, spoke about updates to the budding features to help ensure a constant flow of content discovery and new ways to connect with other users. Twitter is also looking to amp up the discovery options in 2020 with Location Sorting, pairing users together based on geographical alignment. While some of these features may not have the same impact on existing users as they do with new users, Twitter will make waves this year streamlining your experience on their platform.
In an effort to combat fake news accounts that focus on particular political leaning, Facebook and Twitter have wiped out nearly 6,000 accounts that feature "spammy behavior." Both platforms have found profile pictures generated with artificial intelligence, with many of the Twitter accounts removed having been originated in Saudi Arabia. Further, Facebook removed hundreds of accounts that surfaced in Vietnam and the US. Learn more about this cleanse here.That's it for this edition of the Social Sphere. Check back later this month for all the latest in social media news!