2. Big Tech moves in on the creator wars
Tech giants like Facebook, Spotify and Twitter are racing to build and acquire new tools that will help them compete with smaller upstarts for the attention of participants in the new creator economy, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.
Why it matters: The creator economy, centered on individuals who make content for niche groups of fans on social platforms, grew significantly during the pandemic.
- Tech platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter, focused on making ad revenue from businesses, fell behind in making tools to help individual creators
- Now that brands and consumers are catching on, Big Tech firms want in.
The upstarts that gained traction over the past two years — including Clubhouse for live audio, Discord for group chats, TikTok for short video, Substack for newsletters and Patreon for tipping and payments — now face an onslaught of competition from much bigger companies on many fronts.
Live audio: Spotify on Wednesday unveiled its new live audio app called Greenroom, which lets creators join live audio rooms and turn those conversations into podcasts.
- Facebook hosted its first beta test of a new live audio feature Tuesday called Live Audio Rooms. Reporters joked that the feature looked similar to other live audio apps, including Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.
- Twitter Spaces last month expanded, further encroaching on the turf of Clubhouse — the venture-backed standalone live audio app that saw its popularity spike during the pandemic.
Podcasts: Facebook will roll out new podcast tools for creators next week, The Verge reports.
- Spotify is launching specialized creator tools for smaller podcasters to earn money from subscriptions or tips.
- Apple's new podcast subscription and creator tools rolled out worldwide on Tuesday.
Newsletters: Facebook is looking to soon launch its independent creator newsletter writing tool, called Bulletin, Vox Media reports.
- Twitter earlier this year bought newsletter platform Revue for journalists to write newsletters and embed sign-up links in their Twitter profile. Twitter launched its first news operation via Revue earlier this month.
Payments: Many platforms have started to roll out features that allow users to tip their favorite creators, or pay them directly.
Short-form video: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Reddit have all launched or acquired short-video products to compete with TikTok.
- Yes, but: Unlike some other creator apps, TikTok seems poised to withstand the competition — in large part because it's already owned by a massive Chinese tech company, ByteDance.
By the numbers: About 50 million people who consider themselves to be creators, according to the venture firm SignalFire.