5 min read

💌: Photo dumps, The Metaverse, & BTS

💌: Photo dumps, The Metaverse, & BTS

What’s up y’all! We’re back for another week of the best stuff from the marketing world. Lots of social media and creator economy stuff this week. What I found especially interesting was the deep dive into TikTok’s algorithm by the Wall Street Journal, so make sure to check that out.

Also! Forgematic was recently featured in Really Good Emails, and I was so damn honored. Double hello👋 to those who subscribed after seeing the feature. Y’all go check out RGE to get ongoing inspiration for great email design.

And with that, let’s get into it!

Social Media & The Creator Economy

  • If you noticed everyone that you follow on Instagram has been doing photo dumps recently, don’t worry — you’re not going crazy. There’s a pretty good explanation for it as detailed in this article by Input. I especially liked this line: “Social media posts are more casual and authentic, as if it were 2013 again — minus the bad filters.” Also pointed out is the fact that this trend turns IG into a photo sharing app again, despite recent statements from their leadership team.
  • In the TikTok Takeover Issue, we mentioned you could now get hired by brands directly on the app. Here’s deep dive on that TikTok résumé feature by Taylor Lorenz.
  • Dance challenges were really what drove TikTok’s 🚀 trajectory early on, and now YouTube is taking a page from the playbook. BTS is launching a dance challenge in partnership with YouTube. If you’re going to go big, you can’t get much better than one of the biggest acts on the planet. If you’re not familiar with BTS, make sure you check out the K-POP feature in the newsletter.
  • YouTube expanded it’s Super Thanks feature to some creators this week. Super Thanks allows YouTube users to give money directly to creators for their uploaded videos. It’s similar to the existing Super Chats, which is specifically for livestreams.
  • This week, Clubhouse released a new logo, and a long-awaited feature: you no longer need an invitation to sign up. The question is: does anybody care?
  • The Wall Street Journal published an investigation into TikTok’s algorithm and it how it knows you so well. The basis for the investigation? WSJ created 100 fake accounts that watched hundreds of thousands of videos. This thirteen-minute video is super insightful. Don’t have that much time to spare? The discovery was the algorithm essentially learns how long you linger on a video, and uses that information to determine what to show you next.
  • And on another note for TikTok: it seems they are pushing their live streaming feature hard, releasing a handful of new features for it this week.
  • Twitter is testing upvote and downvote buttons on Tweets. It’s currently being rolled out to a limited number of iOS users. Will this experiment take off where Fleets failed? Is this too much like other platforms? Will it somehow influence the timeline algorithm? Maybe it’s the bourbon talking, but I hope this goes away quickly :) But hey, they certainly know what they’re doing, their revenue grew 74% YoY in Q2.
  • The big news from Facebook this week is that Mark Zuckerberg has a vision for Facebook to become “a metaverse company.” This is a big deal because it’s perhaps the first time there’s been a public charter from the company to become more than just a social media app. If you’re wondering what a metaverse is, it’s a sci-fi (for now) term for a world where physical, virtual reality, and augmented reality converge into a single experience. Others are close (Roblox and Fortnite, for example), but the difference here is a determined Mark Zuckerberg. This one is worth a Sunday read.
  • Last week, we shared a bunch of Instagram stories hacks that could help you level up. Turns out it was one of the most popular stories we shared. Here’s a new one for the list: If you need to save your story and come back to it later, there’s good news: all users can now save drafts of their stories.
  • The “Alors on Danse” dance trend on TikTok is one of my favorite things this week. The original track was one of my favorites to play as a DJ when it came out, so this brings me back with a hit of nostalgia. Unlike most TikTok dances, it’s relatively easy to replicate — in case you need something to do this weekend.

SEO + Website Stuff


  • The olympics began this weekend in Tokyo. One interesting development: Toyota pulled all of it’s advertising from the event (at least ads that were set to air in Japan), citing disagreement with the fact the games are still happening. I've only watched a handful of olympics stuff so far, but I'm loving the ads that feature olympic superstars.
  • It’s only July, but ads for the Super Bowl are sold out. That’s it. That’s the update.
  • Rounding out advertising this week, have a look at this swimmable billboard Adidas built. I’m confident this cost a crap ton, but it’s really dope — and hey it’s generating some buzz, so mission accomplished. It took 32 people to build, and contains 11,500 gallons of water.

Just for Fun

  • How K-Pop Conquered The Universe is a super well styled deep dive into how the genre became such a force of pop culture. Worth a Sunday read — specifically relevant to this newsletter are the sections explaining how the music videos and dances are made for social media and how quickly they spread because of that.
  • Here’s a deep dive of the Top 40 Viral Videos of All Time. Even if you’re not into making anything “go viral”, this is a good trip down memory lane, as it starts with YouTube videos uploaded back in 2006 or so.

That’s it for another week! If you’re new here, feel free to reply and introduce yourself or ask me a question! I read and respond to every message and always want to meet new people!

-- Forge

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