Everyone's talking about Clubhouse
You might have heard about the ambitious newcomer in the social space, Clubhouse, and thought “do we really need another social network?” Well, as Australians now spend a third of their time online using social media and are early movers with newer platforms like TikTok and Twitch, it looks like there definitely is an appetite for what’s next.

Whether you’re desperately looking for an invite or you haven’t heard about it at all, you should be paying attention to the most hyped platform of the moment, Clubhouse. The new social network is completely focused on audio and is the subject of a new op-ed in Mumbrella penned by our Managing Director, Suzie Shaw, which makes clear what makes this platform so unique and what brands and marketers need to know about it. From the basics on how it works to new influencer marketing opportunities, don't miss this opportunity to discover why this audio-based platform is the one to watch right now.

Shopify expands Shop Pay to Facebook and Instagram
Shopify’s payment option, Shop Pay, has landed on Facebook and Instagram. This represents a significant expansion for the e-commerce platform’s payments technology, with this partnership the first time Shop Pay will be made available outside of Shopify’s own platform. Shop Pay will first become available to all Shopify merchants using checkout on Instagram in the US, and will then be rolled out to Facebook in the weeks after. Prior to this launch, Facebook’s platform has been one of Shopify’s most popular sales and marketing channels for merchants.

shop-pay-checkout

Twitter ad revenue exceeds $1bn as Trump is banned forever
Despite the ban of one of its most prolific users, Twitter had a pretty great last three months of 2020, with its ad revenue growing 31% year over year to $1.15bn. Total ad engagement grew by 35% over the same period, with overall revenues growing by 28% to $1.29bn, up from $1bn over the previous three months. This comes as Twitter CFO Ned Segal announced that Donald Trump would not be able to return to Twitter in the event that he would run for the presidency again. Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial over the weekend, meaning that he could take office once more if elected.

TikTok's forced sale to Oracle is put on hold
Will it? Won’t it? The potential forced sale of TikTok’s US operations is reportedly ending. This next stage in the saga has come as President Biden reinstates rational policymaking, differing from Donald Trump who took a stab at ‘gangster capitalism’ by trying to force the sale of the platform to a group of buyers including Oracle and Walmart. It was unlikely that Trump’s efforts would succeed in the first place, with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance winning most of the legal challenges to the government effort. However, discussions between the platform and US national security officials are continuing as there are valid concerns around TikTok’s data collection and the potential for manipulation and censorship of content on the app.

Instagram won't promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark
Instagram is continuing to ensure that Reels rule on the platform by making changes to its algorithm to stop videos with TikTok watermarks from being promoted. You’re also in luck if you want your Reels to be recognised, as the channel is issuing new best practices on its @creators account to give users tips on how to make content that’s likely to be seen and promoted. How? By posting vertical videos using music found in Instagram’s library or by starting a trend that others can participate in. Videos that are mostly covered by text, have a watermark or logo are less likely to be recommended. With many users repurposing their TikTok content on Instagram, it’s no surprise the platform is working to eradicate these watermarks filling up the feed.

Instagram Reels

Justin Bieber teams up with TikTok for Valentine's performance
Beliebers were in for a treat this Valentine’s Day, with Justin Bieber participating in the first-ever single-artist, full-length concert performance to air LIVE on TikTok. Initially airing in the US on Sunday, February 14th Justin treated fans to his first-ever performance of songs from his fan-favourite 2013 album, Journals. With over 19.6 million followers, Justin Bieber is pretty active on TikTok, often using his account to reveal behind-the-scenes footage and to partake in a dance challenge or two.

Parler is back online, sort of
Parler, the recently exiled social network adopted by a far right userbase prone to advocating for violence, is back online. Users who log in to Parler on the web will find that all their old posts and content have been removed. With a new web host in Skysilk, who "does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment" and a new interim CEO (who was a founder of the Tea Party Patriots), Skysilk's "efforts to [make Parler] a nonpartisan Public Square" seem doomed to fail. Parler is still barred from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

Instagram launches 'We Create' initiative
Instagram is stepping up to support creatives and business in the Black Community with its ‘We Create’ initiative. A creative collaboration between 15 Black creative professionals and 15 Black-owned small businesses, We Create tasks each creative with crafting custom Instagram content to address the needs of their small business partner. Support and resources have been provided by Facebook Elevate and The Creative Collective NY, with the businesses receiving ad credits from the platform to run the resulting creative.

Instagram announces tougher consequences for hate speech in DMs
Instagram is cracking down on hate speech in direct messages, following recent racist abuse directed towards footballers. Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, Manchester United Women’s Lauren James and Chelsea's Antonio Rüdiger and Reece James are part of a growing list of football stars who have been racially abused on social media in recent weeks. Instagram has reacted by announcing that it’ll start disabling the accounts of people who repeatedly send hateful messages. First-time offenders won’t be able to send messages for an undefined period of time, but if they send hateful DM’s again, their account will be disabled. Instagram has emphasised that it cooperates with law enforcement when necessary to assist in hate speech cases.

Snapchat to remind users to clean out their friends list
Time for a friend refresh? Snapchat is here to remind you to clean out your friends list with a new feature called Friend Check Up. However, the aim isn’t to cause conflict within your friendship group but instead protect you from anyone on your friends list that is less of a mate and more of a meddler. On the platform, having someone friended could give them access to your story and even possibly your location, depending on your Snap Map settings. So if you don’t want your ex tracking you down to beg you to reconsider, this feature will be a welcome addition to the app. Snap says the feature will be rolling out globally on Android in the coming weeks, and on iOS devices in the coming months.

A Komodo Dragon is the new face of Twitch
The people have spoken. The Twitch community voted to crown a new face for PogChamp, deciding on a Komodo Dragon known as KomodoHype. After the original PogChamp emote was removed due to comments about the Capitol Riots made by the person it depicted, Twitch has been rotating a new PogChamp every 24 hours. However, KomodoHype has now taken over the hype role permanently following a vote. It was selected over another PogChamp created by streamer UmiNoKaiju. 

Ones to watch
Facebook is said to be work on its own Clubhouse rival. Mark Zuckerberg made a brief appearance on Clubhouse earlier this month, which is being viewed as a reconnaissance mission; the social network is also testing cutting back on political posts in the News Feed and is secretly building a smartwatch. And TikTok has partnered with recipe app Whisk to add a way for users to save recipes featured in food videos.

The Tuesday Tune-Up features additional reporting by Hannah Currey.