How Charli D’Amelio turned TikTok fame into a family enterprise that’s making millions of dollars

charli dixie d'amelio family
Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, and Marc D’Amelio attend the 9th Annual NFL Honors at Adrienne Arsht Center on February 01, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

One more thing: Insider’s creator economy team is hiring! We are looking for a journalist to join our team to cover the business of social media and the rise of the creator economy. Read more and apply to the fellowship, here.

Send tips to or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

D’Amelio family photo on front of a pink background with logos from their brand and content sponsorships.
The D’Amelio family.

How TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and her family built a multimillion-dollar business

In just two years, the D’Amelio family has gone from run-of-the-mill suburban household to one of the most famous families in the world. And they’ve capitalized on that fame, turning it into a multimillion-dollar business empire.

Their enterprise includes media deals, brand partnerships, and investments, and they’ve got a team of employees making sure it all runs smoothly.

To understand their sprawling operation, we mapped out their various revenue streams, from a line of ring lights to Dixie’s music, and the people making it all possible.

Here’s a preview of our breakdown of D’Amelio Family Enterprises:

  • As influencers, the family’s biggest revenue source is brand deals: They have several endorsement deals, investments, partnerships, and a licensing deal.

  • The D’Amelios can be found in all corners of the media world: The family started on TikTok, but have extended to television, podcasting, animation, and more.

  • The family now runs a multi-person, multimillion-dollar company: They have amassed a lineup to rival that of any top Hollywood talent, including an agent, attorney, assistant, and public relations team.

Check out the interactive story, which details each of the family’s deals and the team behind them.

Hand playing with green slime on a red background.

Forget dance challenges. TikTok music marketers are getting creative.

Music marketers often hire creators to make dances or memes that help a song trend on TikTok – but not all TikTok music campaigns feature influencers.

Dan Whateley dug into why record labels are teaming up with general-interest accounts to put songs in their background of videos – you know, those oddly addicting clips of a rug being cleaned, slime being stretched, or coffee being poured over iced.

Last month, for example, the TikTok account “Hydraulic Press Channel” uploaded a video showing a stack of money being crushed into oblivion. In the background of the video, you can hear the song “Loretta” by Ginger Root. That was all the marketing magic of agency Songfluencer.

Read more about why music marketers are paying these accounts to promote songs, here.

Here’s what else you need to know this week:

What’s trending

Creator earnings

Market moves

Night Media

YouTube star MrBeast breaks down how he creates his eye-catching thumbnails

YouTube star MrBeast, also known as Jimmy Donaldson, is one of the platform’s top creators with over 70 million subscribers and more than a dozen videos with over 100 million views.

One key part of his strategy? Thumbnails, which he believes can make or break a video.

He recently explained his strategy for the images at the creator conference, VidSummit.

Three things determine whether someone will click on a YouTube video, Donaldson said: Topic, title, and thumbnail. And he says thumbnails should be brightly colored, clear, and tested for mobile.

“I don’t care if we spend up to $10,000 making a thumbnail, I just want the best thumbnail possible,” Donaldson said.

Here’s his advice for crafting the that perfect thumbnail.

Instagram Badges monetization Ezee
Young Ezee

Instagram has quietly paused two ‘bonuses’ programs that paid creators

Earlier this year, Instagram started paying creators “bonuses,” or cash rewards for posting content to Instagram (or Facebook).

These don’t last forever, though, and two bonus programs have quietly already been paused.

Sydney Bradley wrote that as of October, bonuses for Badges and IGTV ads have reached their expiration date, and are currently “on pause,” Instagram confirmed to Insider.

“Bonus programs will be seasonal, evolving and expanding over time,” Facebook wrote in a blog announcing the company’s billion-dollar investment.

Read more about the programs that Instagram has paused, here.

Annelise Campbell, CEO of influencer management agency CFG, sits arms crossed at desk.
Annelise Campbell is the CEO and founder of CFG.

Seeking nominations: Top talent managers for micro influencers

We want to hear from you! Who are the top managers representing and building up the businesses of micro influencers?

Sydney Bradley is seeking these nominations for Insider’s second annual list of the top talent managers for micro influencers and emerging creators.

Please submit your ideas through this form by October 15.


TikTok hashtag of the week:

Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week’s hashtag: #ComingOutDay

  • Percentage uptick over the last 7 days: 4,160%

  • The latest viral hashtag is centered around creators talking about their coming out stories and showing support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in honor of National Coming Out Day, which was observed on Monday.


What else we’re reading and watching:

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.


Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

There’s no bond quite like the one between me and this TikTok-famous guillotine bagel slicer

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

A photo of a bagel on a plate, next to the bagel guillotine

  • This $20 bagel guillotine went viral on TikTok for its satisfying bagel slicing powers.
  • I asked for the slicer for Christmas when I was 15 years old, marking nearly 7 years with it.
  • The bond I have with this kitchen gadget is special and it’s my favorite gift to date.

The Original Bagel Guillotine Universal Slicer (small)

A bagel a day keeps the doctor away – or something like that. I’m not saying everyone should eat bagels 24/7, but if there was one food I could eat forever, it would be bagels.

In the past year, TikTok has sparked viral videos of a variety of products, igniting the phrase, “TikTok made me buy it.” While I usually can’t relate to those kinds of purchases, when I saw a TikTok video of a bagel guillotine slicer with millions of views, I finally understood why people go nuts for viral TikTok products.

@boffs_bagels ASMR 🥯 Have you ever seen a bagel cutter before? #fyp ♬ original sound – Boff’s Bagels

Although TikTok did not make me buy a bagel guillotine, I am here to vouch for the durability and use mine has received for the better part of 7 years.

A photo of the author using the Hoan Original Bagel Guillotine to slice a bagel
Using the guillotine is smooth and leaves a satisfying result.

Making a bagel isn’t exactly rocket science which is probably why I loved them in high school, college, and still love a toasted bagel now as a young adult. While you can definitely use a basic knife to cut a bagel, the guillotine leaves you with the most satisfying slice every time.

All you do is stick a whole bagel into the guillotine base and then press down on the top part with the slicer. It’s productive, safe, and pleasing all at once.

Durability and use

Image of a bagel in the bagel guillotine about to be sliced.
Using the guillotine is smooth and leaves a satisfying result.

When I was 15 years old, I asked my parents for a bagel slicer for Christmas. Although slightly puzzled by their teenage daughter asking for a kitchen appliance for a holiday, they happily obliged and I was thrilled.

Three years later, I took the bagel slicer to college with me and it was the perfect dorm and apartment kitchen tool to have. Now I’m out of college and using it more than ever before. After all these years, it still delivers a clean slice to any bagel. The slicer part is likely duller than when I first got it, but I don’t notice.

The plastic base is a little scratched from its many moves, but other than that, you would never know it’s as old as it is. Plus, the bagel guillotine is easy to clean as it’s dishwasher safe on the top shelf.

The bottom line

Image of the bagel guillotine behind a toasted bagel with cream cheese on it.

The bagel guillotine is a lifelong kitchen gadget and a solid investment for anyone who eats bagels. And after many years of using one, I guarantee you’ll feel the same kind of passion towards it as I do (well, maybe not quite as much as me). It’s a fun gift, a reliable tool, and a satisfying slicer.

The Original Bagel Guillotine Universal Slicer (button)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Senator asks TikTok CEO if the company did anything to stop extremists from planning the Capitol riots on the app

Pro-Trump protesters surround and assault D.C. police officer Michael Fanone during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Pro-Trump protesters surround and assault a DC police officer during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

  • Sen. Gary Peters in a letter to TikTok’s CEO on Tuesday asked for information on how it handles extremism on the platform, according to The Washington Post.
  • He asked the company to provide information about how it responded to extremism ahead of and after the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol.
  • At an April 19 briefing, the Department of Homeland Security said US extremists used TikTok to organize, Politico reported.

Sen. Gary Peters, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to the CEO of TikTok on Tuesday, asking the company to provide details about how it responded to extremism ahead of and following the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

In the letter, Peters expressed concern to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew that “domestic extremists reportedly used TikTok to recruit, organize, and communicate” ahead of the Jan 6. riot and “continue to spread their messages through content supporting white supremacists, extremists, and terrorist organizations.”

Peters also sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation, asking both to provide information about how they are tracking domestic terror threats on social media.

In a statement, Peters said he remains concerned “that after failing to identify and prepare for the attack on the Capitol as it was planned in plain sight online, DHS and FBI have still not taken the necessary steps to align their resources to eliminate this deadly threat, while protecting the rights and liberties of Americans.”

As Politico reported in September, officials in the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis in an April briefing to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies warned that political extremists had used TikTok to recruit others and to share “tactical guidance” for terrorist or criminal activities, according to the report.

Peters referenced that briefing in his letter to TikTok on Tuesday.

“DHS’ I&A determined that TikTok’s algorithms and processes ‘can unintentionally aid individuals’ efforts to promote violent extremist content,'” the Democrat from Michigan wrote.

He also referenced an investigation from The Wall Street Journal in July that explored TikTok’s mysterious algorithm that recommends users’ videos. The investigation found the algorithm most valued how long a user spent watching a particular video and could lead a user interested in politics to videos about election conspiracy theories or QAnon.

“These algorithms increase user engagement, which in turn increases the amount of time users spend on these platforms, and by extension, the amount of advertisements that can be shown,” Peters wrote.

“There is a financial incentive for social media platforms like TikTok to keep users engaged on their platforms and viewing content, including extremist content,” he added.

Representatives for TikTok did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Tuesday. In its community guidelines, the company says it takes “a firm stance against enabling violence on or off TikTok.”

“We do not allow people to use our platform to threaten or incite violence, or to promote dangerous individuals or organizations,” the company says. “When there is a threat to public safety or an account is used to promote or glorify off-platform violence, we may suspend or ban the account. When warranted, we will report threats to relevant legal authorities.”

In June this year, TikTok said it removed more than 300,000 videos for spreading “violent extremism” in the first three months of the year. The Institute of Strategic Dialogue in an August report said it found more than a thousand videos that promoted Holocaust denial, white supremacy, and ISIS propaganda on TikTok.

Peters asked the company by Oct. 27 to provide the panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot with information regarding its enforcement of policies that prohibit extremism and violence, whether algorithms amplified extremism, and if the company cooperated with federal authorities.

Peters previously sent similar letters to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I tried a TikTok trend to solve my bad procrastination habit – I can’t believe it worked

Woman sitting in chair in front of empty white wall
Krista Krumina sitting in the “Lone Chair.”

  • Krista Krumina says she procrastinated for more than six hours each week.
  • She found a TikTok that urged people to sit in an empty chair whenever they procrastinated.
  • She tried this advice with her colleagues and said it worked surprisingly well.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I’d win Olympic gold in procrastination.

I procrastinate for about six hours and 24 minutes a week, almost an entire workday, according to my desktop tracking tool that categorizes the sites and apps I use as ”productive” and ”unproductive.”

Then, to compensate for this time wasted, I tend to work in my free time. There have been days when I close my laptop as late as 10 p.m. and times when I’ve canceled my weekend plans just to finish some tasks.

I recently saw a TikTok video with 269,000 likes where a user, Josh Terry, suggests a procrastination hack: You put a chair in the middle of the room, and whenever you catch yourself procrastinating, you have to go and sit on that chair. I call it the “Lone Chair” productivity hack.

You’re not allowed to talk to colleagues or use your phone or any digital devices.

Terry claims you’ll get so bored from staring at a blank wall that you’ll be happy to do anything, even if that anything is the task you’ve been putting off for weeks.

With low expectations, I decided to try it

Throughout the experiment, I continued to track my time to see how it affected my productivity.

On a Monday morning, I arrived at the office that I share with my team of five and put a chair in the middle of the room. I informed my colleagues that everyone could use the chair if they felt uninspired and started to procrastinate.

Just about an hour into my workday, I caught myself pointlessly clicking through browser tabs and replying to emails that didn’t need to be replied to. And so I was the first person to sit on the Lone Chair.

My first ”session” lasted 17 minutes. I just sat there and stared at the wall. This let me draw my first conclusions about this hack, and they were confirmed during the rest of the week.

Every day, I spent at least 10 minutes sitting on the chair – some days more than once. Over five days, I had seven ”Lone Chair sessions” with a total time of 108 minutes.

I never got unbearably bored sitting on the chair, despite not being able to talk to anyone, walk around, or use my phone. I was entertained by my own racing thoughts.

That said, the longer I sat, the calmer and more organized my thoughts became. After some 15 minutes doing nothing, I knew exactly what I needed to do and how. When I returned to my laptop, I felt as focused and productive as ever.

Having tried other productivity hacks, I was surprised that during the week I tried this experiment, my productivity increased by 17.6% while the time spent procrastinating decreased by 36% from the previous week.

As I shared my observations with my colleagues, they also started to have ”me time” on the chair. Their conclusions were quite similar: Some reported feeling calmer, while others said this time helped them clear their mind and find inspiration again.

Most often, I had too much on my plate and my mind was too scattered to hold on to one specific task. Or sometimes tasks felt so big and daunting that I had no idea where to start.

I would spend hours frantically jumping from one task to another, writing emails (there’s a reason I’ve marked emails as ”unproductive” on my time-tracking app), or making my nth cup of coffee – all while feeling anxious and guilty for not doing the right things.

It turns out that letting my mind go out of control for as little as 10 to 15 minutes was exactly the type of meditation I needed to regain my focus. In the end, I experienced improved concentration, a sharper mind, and a higher resistance to distractions.

There’s just one thing I hate about this hack

Whenever I was sitting on the chair, I couldn’t let go of the awkward feeling that all my colleagues knew why I was there. It was like a public statement that I was procrastinating – something I’d rather keep a secret.

As the week went on, it got better. By Friday, all my colleagues had had their time on the chair as well, and that made me think that perhaps procrastination is a normal and integral part of a workday. Everyone does it. I just happen to do it too often.

But this hack helps, so I’ll probably keep practicing it.

Krista Krumina is a writer and cofounder of the content-marketing and PR agency Truesix, whose clients include DeskTime, the tracking app she used to measure her productivity for this piece.

Read the original article on Business Insider

TikTok’s algorithm shows anti-vaccine videos to children as young as 9, researchers say

FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed figures are seen in front of displayed Tik Tok logo in this picture illustration taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
  • Kids are vulnerable to COVID misinformation on TikTok within minutes of signing up, a study shows.

  • Though TikTok prohibits users under 13, younger children can easily lie about their age to sign up.
  • Social media companies continue to face public criticism about their effects on young users.

At this point, it’s no secret that social media algorithms unintentionally help peddle COVID misinformation to millions of users. The more pressing problem is who that content is directed toward.

The popular social media app TikTok is feeding misinformation content to young children – even within minutes of signing up. False information was targeted toward children as young as nine, even if the young users did not follow nor search for that content.

According to a report from media rating firm NewsGuard, researchers found that COVID-related misinformation reached eight of the study’s nine child participants within the first 35 minutes on the platform, with two-thirds of the participants saw incorrect information specific to the COVID vaccines. This included content relating to unsubstantiated claims about COVID and the vaccine and homeopathic remedies for COVID.

“TikTok’s failure to stop the spread of dangerous health misinformation on their app is unsustainable bordering on dangerous,” Alex Cadier, the UK managing editor for NewsGuard who co-authored the report, told the Guardian. “Despite claims of taking action against misinformation, the app still allows anti-vaccine content and health hoaxes to spread relatively unimpeded.”

NewsGuard conducted the study in August and September, asking children ages nine to 17 from different cultural backgrounds to create accounts on TikTok. Though the platform restricts full access to the app for users younger than 13, the three youngest users were able to create accounts with no outside help. As of March 2021, a quarter of TikTok’s 130 million active monthly users in the US are between 10 and 19, according to Statista.

“TikTok is very bad at removing videos with misinformation, and these videos with vaccine misinformation stay for months and months on the platform,” University of Illinois School of Public Health Epidemiologist Katrine Wallace, who battles misinformation on Tik Tok, told Insider. “The more viral these videos get, the more eyes will see them, and unfortunately some will be children, due to the nature of the algorithms.”

TikTok’s community guidelines prohibits “false or misleading” content relating to COVID-19 and its vaccines, and the company employs teams that work to identify and remove misinformation, evaluating all COVID-related content on a case-by-case basis.

The app also said that it pushes for an “age-appropriate experience,” discouraging and removing accounts created by underage users and restricting LIVE and Direct messaging features for younger teens. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, announced in September it was capping the amount of time users under 14 could use the app to 40 minutes per day.

TikTok didn’t respond to a request for comment on the NewsGuard report.

Besides TikTok, other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have come under fire in recent months as increased transparency from the companies revealed more about social media’s effects on society, particularly on younger generations. This week, a Facebook whistleblower helped shed light on the ways its platforms psychologically harm teenage users. Meanwhile, high-profile influencers on social media continue to spread COVID misinformation, ramping up the amount of harmful content directed at younger viewers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Seeking nominations for the top talent managers for micro influencers and emerging creators

Annelise Campbell, CEO of influencer management agency CFG, sits arms crossed at desk.
Annelise Campbell is the CEO and founder of CFG, a talent management firm that managers a diverse roster of creators – including micro influencers.

  • Insider is compiling a list of the top talent managers representing micro influencers in 2021.
  • Micro influencers typically have under 100,000 followers and are on many brands’ radars.
  • Please submit your ideas or nominations through this form (or below) by October 15.

Micro” influencers, who typically have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers on a social media platform, are on many brands’ radars.

These smaller creators have demonstrated to brands that influencers don’t need hundreds of thousands of followers to drive sales or make an impact in a market. Micro influencers are often known to know have highly engaged audiences and post niche or specialized content, which is appealing to potential sponsors.

And some advertisers – from the music industry to lifestyle brands – are flocking to micro influencers for their campaigns.

But the more brand deals, the busier these influencers get – making it increasingly difficult for some to balance creating content and building a business all while running it all, often, on their own.

That’s where talent managers come in.

Talent managers help take over certain business elements for a creator, such as pitching brands, creating media kits, reviewing contacts, and negotiating deals. In exchange for managing an influencer’s business, managers often take a cut of influencer’s earnings from brand deals, typically ranging from 10% to 20%.

While some managers take on micro influencers as clients, not every management firm does. Some have hard cut-offs at 100,000 followers; others only represent creators on the celebrity scale. On the other hand, not every micro influencer is ready for (or even wants) a manager.

For those who are seeking managers, though, the search for the right manager can be daunting.

We want to know: Who are the top managers representing and building up the businesses of micro influencers in 2021?

We are seeking nominations of the leading managers in the industry for Insider’s second annual list of the top talent managers for micro influencers and emerging creators.

Please submit your ideas through this form by October 15, or enter the information below:

Read the original article on Business Insider

The maker of the dalgona candies for ‘Squid Game’ was so swamped with customers that he didn’t go home for a week

squid game
Players had to carve out shapes etched into the dalgona candies in “Squid Game.”

  • The candy seller who made dalgona for “Squid Game” saw a resurgence in customers after the show aired.
  • In “Squid Game,” debt-laden contestants competed in lethal children’s games for a cash prize.
  • In the show, players had to carve out designs etched into the candy and were shot if the candy cracked.

The candy seller who made dalgona, a sugary toffee candy, for Netflix’s “Squid Game” was so swamped with customers after a resurgence in interest that he didn’t go home for a full week to keep up with the demand, Reuters reported.

In the hit dystopian thriller “Squid Game,” debt-strapped contestants must compete in a series of deadly children’s games for the chance at winning a $38 million cash prize. In a game on the third episode of the show, contestants must try to carve out a shape etched into the brittle candy with a needle and are shot by guards if the candy cracks.

In the show, the candies came in the shapes of an umbrella, a star, a circle, and a triangle. An Yong-hui, the dalgona maker for “Squid Game,” said he sold 200 candies a day before the show debuted on Sept. 17. Now, he sells over 500 a day for about $1.68 each, with a buy-one-get-one deal if customers don’t crack the first candy, according to Reuters.

The candy is a classic Korean snack sold by street vendors, and is made by melting sugar and pouring in baking soda. Cutting out the shapes stamped in the candies with needles or toothpicks in the hopes of getting a second candy is a popular children’s game.

As the popularity of “Squid Game” grows, tutorials for how to make the sugary treat have proliferated through the internet and accumulated tens of thousands of views on Youtube.

On TikTok, #dalgonachallenge has millions of views, with users posting videos of themselves making the snack and attempting to carve out a perfect shape.

“I wanted to see if I would survive this round in ‘Squid Game,'” one TikTok user said. “When I was watching the show, I was thinking, ‘How hard can this be?’ Like it’s already pre-cut, right?”

The video ends with the user accidentally snapping off the tip of a star shape they were supposed to cut out and a clip of a red guard from the show shooting a gun.

While the candies are relatively easy to make, you can also get dalgona-making kits and the candies themselves on Amazon.

“Squid Game” is one of the most-watched TV shows on Netflix, and the company predicts it will become one of the streaming service’s most popular shows of all time.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to make money livestreaming on platforms like Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram

Instagram Badges monetization Ezee
Young Ezee goes live on Instagram.

  • Livestreaming is one way influencers can earn money creating content.
  • The format has taken off in the past year, with platforms like Twitch growing substantially.
  • Creators can earn money through tips, sponsored streams, selling products, and more.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over the past year, livestreaming has seen a surge across major social-media platforms due to the pandemic and a growing appetite for video content. That’s meant a boost of revenue for creators, who are making hundreds – and in some cases, more than $1,000 – of dollars per week going live.

Live shopping, which influencers are helping popularize, is estimated to become a $6 billion market in the US this year. Twitch, a platform designed for and around livestreaming, grew from 1.6 million average concurrent viewers in March 2020 to 2.5 million viewers last month, according to TwitchTracker which tracks analytics on the Amazon-owned site.

Whether they’re going live on Twitch, Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, influencers of all types are using the format to connect with fans and earn money.

Influencers can use livestreaming to make money by getting tips from viewers, landing paid partnerships with brands, selling products, or having viewers pay a fee to become a subscriber or channel member.

Read more about how influencers are making money using live shopping features like Amazon Live

Lucy Davis, a 40-year-old ASMR content creator, built an audience of more than 500,000 followers by going live on TikTok. During each TikTok livestream, she can earn up to $300 from “gifts” – TikTok’s virtual tipping feature – viewers send her.

James Curtis started streaming in April 2018 and gained a following by combining ASMR content with “Apex Legends” gameplay. He plays under the username “Darker4Serenity” and has over 27,000 followers. He earns around $2,600 per month from subscriptions, sponsorships, and donations on Twitch.

Insider has spoken with a handful of creators, startups, and industry insiders about the rise of livestreaming and how creators are making money by going live.

How much money content creators are making from livestreaming

On TikTok:

On Instagram:

On Twitch:

On live shopping platforms:

Read the original article on Business Insider

Inside Instagram’s exclusive affiliate marketing beta test

Instagram is testing an affiliate marketing tool for creators.

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week’s edition:

Also, we are hiring! We are looking for a journalist to join our team to cover the business of social media and the rise of the creator economy. Read more and apply to the fellowship, here.

Send tips to or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

Bethany Everett-Ratcliffe poses in the street for her Instagram. The post tags products.

An inside look at Instagram’s affiliate marketing beta test

Since Instagram announced it would begin testing an affiliate marketing tool this summer, the platform has signed on about 100 creators and 30 brands, including Benefit Cosmetics, Kopari Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Pat McGrath, and Sephora.

Sydney Bradley spoke with four creators about how the feature works and how much they’re earning.

  • Tanya Zielke (80,000 followers) said she earned about $58 from one in-feed post tagging a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans.

  • Quigley Goode (335,000 followers) only made $16 from one in-feed post tagging a beauty product.

  • Melissa Frusco (38,000 followers) said she made just a couple of dollars from her first in-feed post.

“This is a small test that we are actively scaling,” a spokesperson for Instagram said. “Our long-term goal is to make this tool available to creators everywhere.”

Read more on what’s next for Instagram’s affiliate tool.


We got leaked commission rates for 32 brands in Instagram’s affiliate program

Speaking of Instagram’s new affiliate-marketing tool, during her reporting, Sydney got the scoop on the commission rates for 32 of the program’s brands.

This includes retail giants like Sephora and Revolve, as well as a few smaller brands. The rates range from 8% to 20%, falling in line with the industry standard.

Here’s a look at what some of those brands are paying creators:

  • Elaluz: 20% commission on sales

  • Kopari Beauty: 20%

  • THE YES: 17%

Instagram declined to comment on any commission rates for the test. The platform did say, however, that these brands set their own commission rates “in line with their own marketing strategies.”

See the full list of 32 leaked rates.

Here’s what else you need to know this week:

What’s trending

Creator earnings

Market moves

Four Misfits players sitting next two each other at their desks for a League of Legends match
One of Misfits’ “League of Legends” teams, which competes in the “League of Legends” European Championship

Esports team Misfits makes a play for traditional TV audiences

A 100-year-old broadcasting company and five-year-old esports organization walk into a bar – or at least into a boardroom.

Legacy media conglomerate Scripps is moving into the esports space by leading the latest round of funding into the Florida-based esports org Misfits Gaming Group.

Michael Espinosa wrote that the media giant hopes to tap into Misfits’ relatively young audience.

Misfits, meanwhile, wants to build out its media presence and test new forms of content, including programming for broadcast television.

“Helping our parents and our parents’ generation understand and appreciate gaming and gaming content, and what it means to their children, is an area that we can be super impactful in,” Misfits CEO Ben Spoont told Insider.

Check out more on the new partnership and what it means for esports, here.

A person sitting at a desk playing League of Legends on a computer
Wanyoo Gaming Cafe in Malden, Massachusetts

As computer equipment costs rise, in-person gaming venues make a comeback

Remember those internet cafes from 20 years ago? They’re making a comeback – but now with a special focus on gaming.

With computer and gaming equipment costs on the rise, players are now flocking to in-person gaming venues.

Michael took a look at the startups leading the charge into the space.

While some of the new spots will focus on events, like tournaments and camps, others will be more casual hangouts for people to gather after work.

“We want to increase the access to those $3,000 computers, ” one founder, John Fazio, told Insider.

Read more on the different startups are rushing to capitalize on this comeback.

Chart of the week:


The Influencer Marketing Factory released a creator economy report, and surveyed influencers across platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. In the chart above, influencers share which platform is their favorite as a creator.

Check out the full report here.


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And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.

TikTok songs 9/29

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Read the original article on Business Insider

3 millennial cofounders created a job platform that looks like TikTok and works with Panda Express, H&M, and Everlane

Three men sit in a grocery store looking at the camera smiling
(L-R) Tristian Petit, Adrien Dewulf and Cyriac Lefort

  • Heroes is a social networking job platform that targets Gen Zers looking for retail and hospitality work.
  • The platform resembles TikTok and allows individuals to submit video job applications.
  • This is part of Insider’s entrepreneur series Star, Rising which highlights early entrepreneurs and businesses.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Name: Cyriac Lefort, Tristan Petit, Adrien Dewulf

Age: 28, 28, 27

Location: New York City, New York, and Los Angeles, California

Business: A social networking job platform that targets Gen Zers looking for retail and hospitality work.

Backstory: Lefort and Petit were childhood friends in France and met Dewulf, who grew up in Belgium, in 2016 while the trio was studying in London.

As Lefort, Petit, and Dewulf perused employment sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, they felt the platforms didn’t target younger jobseekers like themselves. When they launched Heroes in 2019, they kept those customers in mind-the platform resembles TikTok, allows individuals to submit video job applications, and lets employers share day-in-the-life videos of workers.

Additionally, job seekers on Heroes can add context and clarity to their resumes, including situations like employment gaps, Lefort said. “The job application was broken for people our age,” he told Insider.

Gen Z represents about 30% of the global population and is estimated to become about 27% of the workforce by 2025, according to research company McCrindle.

Screegrab of the profile of someone using the Heroes app
Screegrab of the profile of someone using the Heroes app.

Growth: Heroes closed a $6 million seed round in 2020, led by Greg McAdoo of venture capital firm Bolt. McAdoo was the first investor of Airbnb. Additionally, Heroes raised a $1.5 million pre-seed round in 2019. Panda Express, Wendy’s, Everlane, and Abercrombie and Fitch are clients and, this summer, Heroes began working with retail giant H&M.

“These accomplishments in a year are exciting for the future – it shows Gen Zers are really grasping what we build,” Lefort said.

Before Heroes: Petit and Lefort earned their masters’ degrees from the London School of Economics in 2015 and 2016, respectively, before launching a non-profit called W Project which studied global entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, Dewulf, who graduated from the University of Warwick in 2016, ran a lightning company called Victor between 2016 to 2018. They all left their jobs in 2018 to move to the US and launch Heroes.

Challenges: During the pandemic, Heroes saw retail and restaurant close, negating their needs for talent. Meanwhile, the company balanced the growing need for virtual interviews from the employers who remained open.

Business advice: “Focus on hiring to build a better company – you have to hire people who know things you don’t know,” Lefort said. “What they’re doing can bring real value.”

Business mentor: The trio counts McAdoo as a mentor, who has advised them how to enter the US marketplace. Additionally, Nicole Johnson at VC firm Forerunner Venture helped them build a marketing strategy and connect with strategic partners.

A screengrab showing the behind the scenes of what its like to work at Panda Express
Heroes just launched a feed that allows users to scroll through an explore tab and see what its like to work at the companies which interest them

Why now is the best time to start a business: Out of crisis often comes innovation, such as Airbnb’s birth during the 2008 recession, Petit said. Heroes come as The Great Resignation continues to take hold in the US, where both hiring practices and workplace environments are under fire.

“A lot of companies have to challenge their recruitment process and rethink how they interact with younger generations,” Petit said. “There’s a huge opportunity here to figure out how to help these companies.”

On hiring: There are currently 25 people on the team and they are actively looking to expand, especially to help build out more of the social tech elements of the platform, Petit said.

Managing burnout: The trio makes sure to take screen breaks and go outside for sports and jogging. They also make sure to read books and spend time with friends.

Read the original article on Business Insider