Tuesday Tune-Up #498

Nick Carolan

Twitter launches Super Follows on iOS in the US
The Super Follows roll out has begun! The new feature, currently only available on iOS in the US, lets users charge for subscriber-only content. Creators can set their tweets to go out to Super Followers only, and the tweets will appear on the timelines of just those subscribers. Super Follows users can charge anywhere from $2.99 to $9.99 a month and can earn up to 97 percent of subscription revenue after third-party fees. To be eligible for Super Follows, you’ll need to have at least 10,000 followers, be at least 18 years old, and at the moment, be in the US. Twitter users worldwide will have to wait for now, but something tells us a roll out elsewhere won’t be far off.

Roblox is getting voice chat
Roblox is dipping its toes into the world of voice chat, by opening up a feature it’s calling ‘Spatial Voice.’ Currently only available to select developers in an invitation-only beta, Spatial Voice allows for conversations to happen in a realistic way, mirroring how we listen and respond to the world around us each day. What’s more, rumours are spreading that Roblox is planning a voice chat experience that will allow you to chat with your friends wherever they are on the platform, a similar experience to Discord, where you can be playing different games but still hang out in the same voice channel. However, rollout of voice chat will be slow, with the platform confirming that it wishes to ‘learn as we go through it,’ rather than allow chat for all immediately.

YouTube celebrates a subscriber milestone
YouTube Music and YouTube Premium have hit 50 million subscribers (including users trialing the services). It’s a spike from the 30 million subscribers reported in December 2020, making YouTube the fastest-growing music subscription service (Spotify has around 165 million subscribers and Apple 78 million comparatively). YouTube’s Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, cited Lil Nax X’s “Industry Baby” music video premiere, the ad-free nature of Premium and other exclusive artist-driven initiatives as reasons for the growth.

Facebook enters the fantasy gaming market
Facebook is getting into fantasy gaming, launching Facebook Fantasy Games in the US and Canada. Many of the games available are described as ‘simpler’ versions of traditional fantasy sports games that are already on the market.

In other Facebook Gaming news, the platform has expanded access to music across the feature. Now all Partner and Level Up Creators can play background music during their live streams on Facebook Gaming. To celebrate this addition, Facebook has launched #PlayLoud, a series of live events that pair renowned DJs with Facebook Gaming Creators. Sounds like a party we want to be at.

GIF of Facebook Gaming expanding background music to creators

Facebook tests new experiment to reduce reach of divisive content
Facebook has announced a new experiment which will see it de-emphasise political posts and updates about current events in user feeds, in response to ongoing user feedback. The move is an extension of the experiment Facebook launched in February in the US, which has seen it reduce the amount of political content in some user News Feeds. The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly those that post political content.

Reddit debuts ad placement in conversation threads
Advertisers can now connect with consumers whilst they are engaged in conversation with a new ad placement on Reddit. Ads can now sit within a conversation thread, allowing for a new way to reach consumers on the platform. Reddit users spend about 42% of their time on the app in a conversation thread so this new feature presents a big opportunity for advertisers to expand their campaign reach. This is the latest step in Reddit’s aim to make its platform more advertiser-friendly, following the launch of its own in-house creative agency earlier this year.

Twitter launches Safety Mode
Twitter is putting safety first with the launch of its new feature that will temporarily auto-block accounts sending you harmful or abusive tweets. Safety Mode assesses the ‘likelihood of negative engagement by considering both the Tweet’s content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier.’ Currently launching in beta with a ‘small feedback group,’ there are plans to expand this group of testers in the coming months. This is the platform’s latest attempt to reduce abuse on the site, having released features like hidden and limited replies over the past year.

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