This June in social media news
Things are moving and shaking in Twitter’s world this month. Our favourite blue birdie has announced a new subscription service that will let users edit their tweets, change app colours, bookmark tweets into folders, and read long threads more easily. Twitter Blue will be rolled out first in Australia and Canada, will cost AUD $2.90 or $3.48 per month and represents the first foray of a leading social media platform into subscription model revenue. Twitter will also reportedly begin testing its Super Follow option, which it announced back in February. The Super Follow is designed to increase monetisation options for creators with over 10,000 followers and offer them an option to charge a monthly fee for members-only content and features.
Social media finance specialists, or ‘finfluencers’, are under fire in the media this month, with RMIT finance specialist Dr Angel Zhong saying platforms should do more to make people accountable for their financial advice. She told the Sydney Morning Herald, influencers often have hidden interests in investments or strategies they promote or give bad advice, and disclaimers should be mandatory to make investors aware. In Australia, it’s illegal to provide financial advice without a licence, but since many of the people posting this content are overseas, they slip through the net.
On the world stage, a new initiative by the G7, who met this week in the UK, could see many social media giants take a financial hit. If passed, the plan would raise the global tax rate on multinational companies to 15%, emphasising tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Google, Amazon, etc. It’s a policy that has been in the works for some time and aims to discourage companies from moving their profits offshore to lower-tax countries. Facebook, Amazon, and some others have already come out in support of the move, though they will likely be stung vary significantly by it.
A US-based cloud storage service problem quickly led to a global outage affecting social media, news, business, and government websites on Tuesday, June 8, around 8 pm. The outage was resolved quickly but caused widespread disruption across the world, ranging from a few minutes to over an hour. Fastly reported the problem came from a software bug triggered when an unidentified customer changed settings in a faulty update. More than 20,000 Reddit users reported issues, along with Amazon, Spotify, and a dozen news sites worldwide. You can see Fastly’s account of what went wrong here.
Mark Zuckerberg has nixed plans to take a percentage of paid events and subscriptions advertised on Facebook until 2023. In his post on Monday, June 7, Zuckerberg said:
“To help more creators make a living on our platforms, we’re going to keep paid online events, fan subscriptions, badges, and our upcoming independent news products free for creators until 2023. And when we do introduce a revenue share, it will be less than the 30% that Apple and others take.”
The revenue tools launched free last year to help businesses and creators through the pandemic downturn, but Facebook said they planned to take a cut of that money in the future.
Pinterest has added a pronouns field and other inclusivity initiatives for Pride month. Their ‘Show Your True Colors’ campaign centres around highlighting content from LGBTQI+ creators, rainbow text for search terms related to pride, and releasing data on increases in pride and LGBTQI+ related search terms in recent years.
TikTok also announced its Pride initiatives, including hashtag #ForYourPride, effects, its second Trailblazers program for LGBTQI+ creators, and various TikTok Live events.