An AI avatar for every creator


Issue #132 | Your reading time this week is 5 mins. 45 secs.

Welcome back to the Creator Briefing.


Here’s just some of what I’ve been thinking about this week:

  • Don’t call it a comeback - we look at social commerce in APAC and how TikTok is rolling out new initiatives in the UK and US to capitalise on live commerce.

  • Meta is set to double-down on AI avatars this year - we look at what that might mean for avatar sponsors’ brand safety.

  • As Social Media platform bosses are grilled by the US Senate over child safety concerns IMTB announces it has become a Media Smart supporter.

  • The IMTB is featured in a an influencer regulation article by the Drum.

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Meta’s Year of Efficiency reaps big rewards

Meta Platforms, yesterday reported (01 Feb) financial results for Q4 and full year ended 31 Dec, 2023.

Revenue was $40.11 billion and $134.90 billion, an increase of 25% and 16% year-over-year for the fourth quarter and full year 2023, respectively.

Meta will reward shareholders with its first-ever dividend and an additional $50bn in share buybacks

YouTube ad revenue up 15.5%

YouTube Q4 2023 Ad revenue grew 15.5% to $9.2 Billion, in Line With Expectations. The video platform now accounts for 70bn daily views [FT].

Ad revenue on YouTube, which hit 70bn daily views, grew almost 20 per cent to $9.2bn.


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The Drum reports on influencer legislation

Responsible influencer marketing is an imperative as regulators around the world focus increasingly on our sector. Hannah Bowler, a senior reporter at The Drum, has written an update on guidance, and regulation.

The Influencer Marketing Trade Body (IMTB) gets name-checked throughout the piece noting its aims, elevation to the Committee of Advertising Practice and co-ownership of the influencer marketing Code of Conduct with ISBA.

The article also covers changes to guidance in Italy, Ireland, the US and France. 

DECLARATION: I am the director of of the IMTB. 

Deep dive into APAC’s social commerce ecosystem

E-commerce in 2024 is powered by two subsets:  

  1. Live Commerce

  2. Social Commerce

TikTok has partnered with Accenture to create a deep-dive into social commerce in the Asia Pacific region resulting in a new whitepaper: Shoppertainment 2024 

Core stats:

79% of consumers are inspired to shop by content that reveals products’ value rather than by price discounts.

81% of consumers expect content platforms to offer comprehensive brand and product information for more effortless shopping.

48% of consumers are influenced by Content Communities > 22% of consumers are influenced by brands only

A few key highlights from the whitepaper:

  1. Consumers seek content that reveals the true value of products not just the price. It’s a shift from impulsive, discount-centric purchases. 

  2. Content should elevate shopping experiences and facilitate browse-to-buy across platforms. 

  3. The rise of content communities emphasises the shift from brand-driven to community-driven networks.

What brands working with creators can takeaway from this:

  • Communicate benefits in credible and believable ways - When content comes from creators who share their actual and honest experience of using and benefitting from the product, consumers find it easier to believe in the product’s quality and claims.

  • Showcase products as they really are in real-world contexts. 

  • Show its benefits in real-life scenarios to define your content focus.

TikTok looking for creators to ramp up its TikTok Live offering

TikTok is ramping up its TikTok Live feature in the UK and offering to train up 

Head of TikTok LIVE Creators in the UK, Paula D'Urbano, took to LinkedIn this week to promote a 4-week TikTok LIVE programme designed for dedicated influencers wanting to learn and earn from the platform’s livestream feature. 

Successful candidates on the programme will benefit from: 

  • Content support

  • Exclusive campaigns, leaderboards, and official match session planning

  • Nurting and extending their audience base 

  • Tailored LIVE strategy based on data-driven findings

  • Access to peer support 

  • The chance to become one of our very first TikTok LIVE ambassadors!!

QVC-ification of influencer marketing continues as TikTok looks to build LA live studios

According to The Information, TikTok “is planning to open several locations in cities including Los Angeles where creators can livestream and sell products. 

The move takes a page from the playbooks of both sister company Douyin which has reportedly developed a $200 billion a year shopping business through livestreaming and the analogue-age QVC Shopping channel.

TikTok wants to make all videos shoppable

According to Bloomberg TikTok is testing a feature which makes all its videos shoppable. 

The financial media company says TikTok’s new feature “uses technology to identify objects in a video automatically. Then it encourages viewers to ‘find similar items on TikTok Shop’ by clicking into a page of products.

Media Smart welcomes the IMTB as an official supporter

The IMTB has become an official supporter of Media Smart - the provider of free teaching resources and parent guides including social media, body image, influencer marketing, greenwashing, and digital advertising.

Media Smart teaches media and digital literacy to 7-17-year-olds helping young people understand the working world of advertising and media and become better, safer and more empowered digital citizens.

Commenting on IMTB joining Media Smart as official supporters, Rachel Barber-Mack, Executive Director of Media Smart UK said:

We admire the IMTB’s commitment to building trust in advertising and the great progress they have made in a short space of time.

Rachel Barber-Mack, Executive Director of Media Smart UK

Protecting the young and vulnerable from potentially harmful online advertising has never been more important. Earlier this week Mark Zuckerberg and the bosses of TikTok, Snap, X and Discord were questioned for almost four hours by US senators from both sides of the aisle about their companies' attitudes to the online safety legislation currently going through Congress.

Bud Light new brand ambassador re-connects with core consumers

Bud Light will be hoping that 2024 runs smoother than last year with the appointment of a new brand ambassador - comedian Shane Gillis. 

Gillis, a US stand-up comic and regular on the Joe Rogan's podcast The Joe Rogan Experience was fleetingly a cast member of US TV show Saturday Night Live in 2019 until clips resurfaced online containing some of his old sketches which included both racial and homophobic slurs. 

Sales at the beer company tanked last year after the firm worked with Dylan Mulvaney, a 26-year-old American actress, singer and content creator. The influencer partnership with transgender Mulvaney last April prompted a conservative backlash - see Creator Briefing #102, #104, and #129.  

Beer volumes at Bud Light’s owner, InBev, dropped 3.4% overall. They were dragged down by volumes in North America that fell 17% year on year. 

The Gillis x Bud Light partnership is a credible match. He’s a long-time fan and has talked about his love for the beer on Rogan’s podcast bringing advocacy way before a sponsorship deal was struck. 

The partnership with Gillis is part of a programme of works by Bud Light designed to re-engage with the beer company’s core consumer. In October it became Ultimate Fighting Championship official global beer partner

Bud Light is also a long-term sponsor of the National Football League. Last August it announced a multiyear deal with the Washington Commanders.

62% of creators earning six figure incomes have fewer than 100k followers but multiple revenue streams

A new study titled The State of Creators ‘24 Report suggests that creators wanting to earn revenues of at least $100,000 a year need a minimum of five revenue streams. 

The study from Kajabi finds that creators making more than $150k a year are more likely to have seven revenue streams.

Heartenling 62% of creators earning a six figure income have fewer than 100k followers on social media. 

Top five revenue streams are

  1. Digital products

  2. Platform payouts (inc. AdSense)

  3. Physical products

  4. In-person consulting or coaching

  5. Online consulting or coaching

Methodology: Kajabi conducted a 15-minute survey with online creator businesses across five global markets, fielded Oct 6-14, 2023. A total of 2,026 creators who are currently monetizing their content were surveyed.

NOTE: Kajabi is an online business platform which helps creators build digital products and consulting/coaching businesses. 

Meta: An AI avatar for every creator

(L) Bru, Meta’s AI version of Tom Brady and (R) Tom Brady

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta CEO has set a “major goal” for his company. “Every creator will have an AI that their community can engage with.”

Zuckerberg was talking to analysts yesterday at a Q4 2023 Results Conference Call

The firm aims to go in hard on Meta AI - the feature it started testing in beta last September, as an advanced conversational assistant available on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. 

Last year Meta rolled out 28 celebrity AIs based on influencers and celebs in a bid to make interacting with the AIs “feel like talking to familiar people”. Each has their own Facebook and Instagram profile. 

  • Charli D’Amelio became Coco, a dance enthusiast

  • Kendall Jenner became Billie, a “No-BS, ride-or-die companion” (whatever that means)

  • MrBeast was rebadged as Zach, a big brother-type character  

  • Tom Brady became Bru, a “wisecracking sports debater who pulls no punches”

At beta roll out of these celebrity AIs Meta said it was “committed to building responsibly with safety in mind.” This commitment was quickly put to the test when Tom Brady- call-me-Bru was asked for his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick. The AI’s responses were disparaging of the former NFL player - out of keeping with the words and sentiments of “the real” Tom Brady. This raises major brand safety reputational risks for Meta’s AIs. 

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