Twitch expands sponsorships on non-esports content
With a primarily Gen Z and Millennial audience and an average of 30 million daily visitors, Twitch has proven itself to be a worthwhile investment for brands wanting to make their way into new territory. Yet until now, sponsorships have been mostly focused on esports content. This is all due to change, with a new Official Marketing Partner program working with brands to create custom activations around non-competitive content on the platform. Among the first few brands to sign up are Chipotle and Ally Financial, hoping to reach a new audience for elusive gaming enthusiasts. This move signals a successful year for Twitch, with growing brand interest looking to secure a winning streak for the months ahead.

Instagram adds affiliate and shop feature for creators
Last week Instagram held its first ever Creator Week, a three-day event that dished out tips and tricks to aspiring and emerging digital creators. During the event, it was unveiled that the platform would introduce new ways for creators to make money through a native affiliate tool. Currently being tested, the tool will allow creators to recommend products available on checkout, share them with followers and earn commissions for sales their posts drive. Available now is the ability for creators to link their shops to their personal profiles, not just business ones. These new features are bound to be popular amongst creators on the 'gram, providing opportunities to add more pennies to their pockets.

Affiliate IG

Messenger unveils new chat themes and features
Messenger has had a little makeover, adding three new chat themes among other handy features. There’s three new themes to choose from; a theme for the upcoming Fast & Furious movie, a theme for the new album from Olivia Rodrigo and one to mark World Oceans Day. For those with limited time, a new quick reply bar has been added, making it easier for users to discuss photos and videos without having to return to the main chat thread. Users in the US have a new way to pay by using QR codes and Facebook Pay links, even if they are not connected on the social network.

Pinterest launches ‘Show Your True Colors’ campaign
It’s Pride month which means social media is awash with rainbows and platforms are pulling out all the stops to celebrate. This year Pinterest has created the ‘Show Your true Colors' campaign, with the aim of driving action, celebration and inspiration among Pinners and creators. Over the month, the Today tab will feature content from LGBTQ+ creators and allies, and the platform will host a global event on June 23rd featuring model Dominique Jackson and American fashion designer Christian Siriano. Kicking off the month, Pinterest added the ability for Pinners and business accounts to self-select pronouns and add them to their profile, encouraging users to show their ‘true colours.’

Facebook plans first smartwatch
Watch out Rolex, there’s a new kid on the block, in the shape of Facebook’s first ever smartwatch. Still very much in the planning stages, the device will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist for taking photos and videos that can be shared across Facebook’s suite of apps. The idea is that the watch would be used in the way that smartphones are used now, with the company working with top wireless carriers to support LTE connective in the watch. Before you get out your wallet though, there’s still a chance the Facebook smartwatch could be scrapped altogether, yet it’s a pretty good vision into the platform’s aims for the future.

TikTok kicks off #CreateKindness
Social media isn’t always full of sweetness and light and TikTok knows this too well, kicking off a global campaign and creative videos series with the aim of raising awareness around online bullying. The platform is debuting an animated video series on its @TikTokTips account that shares the real and personal stories of six creators/ animators, who will offer advice on how to counter bullying. TikTok is encouraging users to participate in the #CreateKindness hashtag challenge by posting videos featuring heartwarming moments to inspire others to spread kindness. With a primarily young audience, TikTok is paving the way for platforms in pushing out the bullies.

YouTube to open up grant applications for #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund
Following the success of 2021’s Black Voices Creator Fund, YouTube is opening up applications for the class of 2022. This year eligibility is being extended to songwriters and producers, with YouTube teaming up with 1500 Sound Academy to fund 10 full ride scholarships to the Live Online 1500 Music & Industry fundamentals program. Successful applicants will take courses in engineering, mixing, music business, production, and more, providing an incredible opportunity for aspiring music moguls. Want to apply? Applications will open on the 21st of June.

Ones to watch
Facebook has bought game studio Big Box VR, adding to its VR portfolio.