Nick Carolan

GG WP EZ: End game for Microsoft’s Mixer
Microsoft have announced that they will be retiring their video game streaming platform, Mixer, as of July 22 (after 0.2% YoY growth). Microsoft will be teaming up with Facebook, transferring Mixer’s streamers to Facebook Gaming. Mixer made a splash in 2019 when they poached some of Twitch’s biggest stars, including Ninja, for a reported $20-30 million. Ninja, Shroud and more, will now be released from their contracts, free to move back to Twitch, or potentially, YouTube Gaming.


Alt-TikTok and K-pop stans rally against Trump
President Donald Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa was reportedly foiled by a bunch of Zoomers (alright, AOC). Alt/Elite TikTokers (definitions here) and K-pop communities discovered that it was pretty simple to reserve seats at the rally, so they encouraged their followers to do so. Before the rally, Trump’s team boasted that they had received around one million ticket requests, but on the day only 6,000 showed up to a stadium with a 19,000 seat capacity. While no one is certain that the TikTokers/K-pop stans are the sole reason for low-turnout (cc: COVID-19), they’re claiming it nonetheless.



Snapchat apologize for Juneteenth filter
On June 19th – or Juneteenth, a day marking the emancipation of slaves in the United States – Snapchat released a filter featuring a pan-African flag background captioned with the words “Juneteenth” and “Freedom Day” that prompted users to “smile.” When the user smiled, chains materialized and then broke. The filter was met with immediate criticism and Snap soon issued an apology. Oona King (VP of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion) said Black employees were “fully involved” in creating and approving the filter, but their review process failed to pick up how it might offend people.



Facebook Gaming gives streamers monetization capabilities 
Facebook Gaming has unveiled two new updates aimed at helping video creators monetize their content. Those who have reached at least 250 ‘returning weekly viewers’ (part of the Level Up programme) will now be able to access Fan Subscriptions, enabling fans to pledge a monthly donation. Partnered gaming creators now have access to Live Ads, including formats such as pre-roll and mid-roll ads, and image ads below the livestream video. With their Mixer merger on their horizon, and 238% YoY growth, the Twitch challenger is one to watch. 


Facebook reveals how it aims to support the Black community
Facebook has outlined several steps it is taking to support the Black community going forward. These include investing $100 million to support Black-owned businesses, non-profits serving the Black community and Black content creators. They will also aim to reach one million members of the Black and Latinx communities (over the next three years) with free digital skills training, and more.


Facebook allows US users to turn off political ads
Facebook will now give US-based users the option to “turn off” all political advertising on the platform. Zuckerberg says that, “By giving people a voice, registering and turning out voters, and preventing interference, I believe Facebook is supporting and strengthening our democracy in 2020 and beyond”.


Instagram teams up With The Trevor Project
Instagram has announced a new partnership with The Trevor Project – nonprofit focused on suicide prevention efforts for LGBTQ+ youth – and a host of features to mark LGBTQ+ Global Pride Month. The new updates include a Sticker pack created in partnership with LGBTQ+ artists, Pride-themed augmented reality effects, and The Trevor Project’s 10 self-care tips for LGBTQ+ youth (shared on the @Instagram page).



Instagram adds new content and features for Juneteenth
Instagram detailed several content initiatives and other features to mark Juneteenth, including an animated short created by the Love Watts artist collective which will detail the significance of the holiday, and a new collection of augmented reality effects designed by Black AR creators. Instagram has also teamed up with three Black artists on a series of Juneteenth Stickers that will be available throughout the month of June.


Twitter starts rolling out audio tweets on iOS
Twitter has started rolling out the ability to record audio snippets (up to 140 seconds) and attach them to your tweets, in a new feature available on iOS to a limited group of people. However, users were quick to point out the lack of support for people who are visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. Twitter has since said that it has fixed several of the issues related to vision accessibility and is also now looking into how it can build a dedicated group to focus on accessibility.



Global Pride comes to Animal Crossing
In support of Global Pride 2020, taking place on 27 June 2020, our team in Singapore partnered with Global Pride to present #GlobalPrideCrossing, the first international virtual Pride festival to be hosted on Animal Crossing. The specially-built Pride island will showcase activities such as a rainbow march, a message board, a hall of fame, a club and a catwalk, as well as a range of Pride-friendly clothing options that can be worn in the game.



Ones to watch
Facebook tests the ability to share collections of curated content more publicly, and Twitch has launched its proprietary streaming software, Twitch Studio, on Mac in open beta.


This edition of the Wednesday Wrap-Up comes courtesy of Jarryd Patel.