I tried, and failed, to earn a living as an influencer. Here are 5 hard lessons I learned after gaining and losing thousands of social-media followers.

A picture of BTS on the left and the post author, Brian Patrick Byrne, on the right.
Brian Patrick Byrne built a following by posting videos and tweets about BTS.

  • I gained tens of thousands of followers by creating content about K-pop group BTS.
  • My biggest mistake was trying to change my brand in order to earn a living.
  • I ultimately decided that my mental health was more important than being an influencer.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In 2020, I lost my job and decided to spend my free time pursuing a dream I’d had since teenhood: becoming an influencer. I’d spent more than a decade idolizing YouTube stars like Tyler Oakley to the point that when I heard he was coming to Dublin, Ireland in 2012, I traveled to the city center from my home in the suburbs for the off-chance that I’d run into him.

Miraculously, I did, and our brief interaction helped encourage me to build my own internet following. I made over 70 videos. Some blatantly ripped off established influencers. Once, I filmed myself cooking while drunk in the hopes that it would attract an audience as it did for Hannah Hart. The video got fewer than 300 views and I made it private soon after. Later, I made a video where I crafted a giant serving of McDonald’s fries out of jello. And in another, I built a shirt out of sliced bread.

I tried everything to stand out, and yet I couldn’t even crack 1,000 subscribers – until 2020.

Picture shows Brian with YouTube star Tyler Oakley in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.
Brian with YouTube star Tyler Oakley in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.

At that time, I’d spent the best part of three years at NowThis, learning how to attract an audience of millions with short-form videos on Snapchat and TikTok. It felt like the perfect opportunity to try to become an influencer again. While at NowThis, I’d produced content about BTS, the biggest band in the world with a famously loyal and dedicated fanbase. One of my videos got close to 900,000 views on Twitter, and fans wrote thousands of affirmative comments praising me for reporting on the group without prejudice.

“It’s so rare to see some actual research on BTS and ARMY,” one wrote (“ARMY” is the name of the group’s fandom).

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>In just 7 years, <a href=”https://twitter.com/BTS_twt?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BTS_twt</a> has changed the world. These are the 7 lessons the band has left us with since 2013 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/7YearsWithBTS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#7YearsWithBTS</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ARMY?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ARMY</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BTS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BTS</a> <a href=”https://t.co/a2uON7mmoh”>pic.twitter.com/a2uON7mmoh</a></p>&mdash; NowThis (@nowthisnews) <a href=”https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1271806529151184896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>June 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

It helped that I genuinely enjoy BTS’s music, which promotes a message of self love. As a 30-something who has long struggled with low self-esteem, I find lyrics like, “I’m the one I should love in this world / Shining me, precious soul of mine” surprisingly therapeutic.

I started a new YouTube channel where I combined my background in journalism and building audiences with my appreciation for BTS. I interviewed fans like a 62-year-old military intelligence analyst who said the group saved her life, and the father of a late model who met the group long before they rose to prominence – and yet predicted they’d be superstars.

During my most successful month on YouTube, my channel drew 508,729 views. My channel surpassed 13,000 subscribers, and I had even greater success on Twitter, where I posted news updates and explanatory threads explaining how the US music industry was stacked against BTS, a Korean group which, at that point, had never released a fully English-language song. My tweets generated thousands of retweets apiece and within a few months my Twitter following had surpassed 35,000. To be clear, these numbers are tiny compared to bonafide internet superstars. And as I soon discovered, it would be the closest I’d get to their level of success.

Here were the hard lessons I learned.

Lesson 1: YouTube ad revenue can be inconsistent, so don’t expect to make a living from ads alone.

I loved the content I was making, but it was effectively a full-time job. I spent much of my free time producing videos and coming up with ideas for new ones. And there were expenses involved, like $326 per month for a paid subscription to Mediabase, a music industry service that gave me access to specific radio airplay numbers for BTS songs, which I shared with fellow fans. These updates became the primary driver of my follower growth on Twitter.

However, I was earning hardly any money. My tweets made me nothing, but I thought that by building a following on Twitter, I could direct followers to my YouTube channel, which was monetized. I quickly learned that earnings from YouTube ads can be highly inconsistent. The views on my videos swung wildly, from highs of hundreds of thousands to lows of a tiny fraction of that, meaning I wasn’t developing a loyal audience who tuned into every video. As such, my earnings were unpredictable. One video that took me three weeks to produce currently has 43,121 views and made $76.34; another, in which I rapped in Korean with BTS’ SUGA collaborator MAX, has just 5,737 views and earned $18.67.

A screenshot showing Brian’s YouTube ad revenue for October 2020.
Brian’s YouTube ad revenue for October 2020.

Lesson 2: Before you ask your audience to pay you directly, do your research.

These ups and downs drove swings in my mental health. The correlation between YouTube views and ad revenue meant that when my videos did well, I felt elated and dreamt about how big my earnings might become in the future. But when my videos flopped, I felt paralyzed by fears that I was a failure, and struggled to focus on producing the next one.

With no other jobs lined up, and my savings starting to dwindle, I knew I needed to earn a reliable income – fast. Ad revenue alone wouldn’t cut it, so I drew inspiration from other influencers with loyal followings and started an account on Patreon, a paid membership platform. I set up multiple tiers, offering common rewards like exclusive content to subscribers in exchange for a small monthly fee.

I advertised my Patreon on Twitter – and immediately received a backlash.

While it made sense to try to diversify my income and not rely on YouTube ad revenue alone, I made a huge mistake by not speaking with others within the community first about whether starting a Patreon was a good idea. Basically, I didn’t do my research. Instead, I shared a news update about BTS and, in a second tweet, told my followers that they could support my content on Patreon.

The backlash came almost immediately. Hundreds of accounts condemned the fact that I was asking for money from a fandom that’s known for its ethos of volunteerism. Many fans before me had built followings by posting chart positions and other updates without asking for a dime. As a result, some stated I had established influence within the fandom for the sole purpose of reaping financial rewards. Several users with large followings, including those that had supported my work in the past, unfollowed or blocked me.

Lesson 3: Be wary of changing your brand after you’ve built a following. If you do, expect a large chunk of your audience to unfollow you.

While the criticism eventually passed, as it does for many things on the internet, my anxiety about my future did not. While I was still determined to make it as an influencer, I knew now that the following I had grown would not support me financially. Sure, I did have a handful of patrons, but like my YouTube channel, I earned a pittance: $190.97 in three months. This led me to my second mistake.

During a conversation with a more established influencer in the K-pop community, I learned that they had grown a significant subscriber base on Patreon by posting reaction videos to various K-pop groups. While I never found out how much they were making, their expression of disbelief as they talked about the sheer amount was enough to convince me to try the same thing on my YouTube channel. Until this point, I’d mainly posted content about BTS, so producing reaction videos of other groups was a significant pivot. That’s because on the internet, K-pop groups are like sports teams. If you declare yourself a supporter of one, fans may not be pleased if you start stanning their rival. In my case, I’d declared myself a BTS fan, only to later post content about a competitor, BLACKPINK.

The week I published my reaction to BLACKPINK’s “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” I lost 8,000 Twitter followers. After sharing the video on Twitter, my follower count started to freefall. I tried to address the mass unfollowing by tweeting that I didn’t intend to shade other K-pop groups, including BTS. But that only made things worse.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/UNFX4dn45Mk” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

ARMYs expressed their outrage in the comments: “This my friends, is an example of a perfect clout chaser,” one wrote. “He identified as army, hopped off on a profit gaining train from us, and now he’s onto another fandom.”

Another posted: “Why do u think he used first army and now blinks [BLACKPINK’s fandom]? I don’t understand why both fandoms or others support youtubers when they only use kpop groups for views.”

Lesson 4: If you want to be an influencer, be prepared for regular, public criticism from strangers, even if you feel it’s unwarranted.

Through these missteps, I realized what it’s actually like to be an influencer: In exchange for the dopamine boost of watching your posts rack up thousands of likes and retweets, there exists a cohort willing to tear you down the moment you make a mistake. It’s a kind of bad-faith scrutiny that assumes you only have the worst intentions when the truth is often far more complex.

It was my own fault for not explaining that because I spent so much time producing content, I either needed to earn more money from it, or quit, and find something that did earn me a livable wage. I considered posting a long-winded response, but when I asked some friends, their reaction was mixed. Some supported me trying to clear things up, while another, who has a considerable following on YouTube, said I wouldn’t be able to change the assumptions people had already made about me.

“It happens as you grow,” they wrote to me in a DM. “People create narratives & backlash is bigger. You know how the saying goes. The bigger you are, the more hate you get.”

Lesson 5: My experiences taught me that being an influencer isn’t for me. But if you can avoid the mistakes I made, you could have what it takes to succeed.

For all the upsides to becoming an influencer – the dopamine rushes and the supportive comments – my mental health means more to me. I’m happier being a nobody. For you, though, things could be different. If you can avoid letting financial insecurity rush you into poor decision-making and have skin thick enough that bad-faith comments won’t wear you down, becoming an influencer may be for you.

Just recognize that it’s a lot easier to gain new followers than it is to convince them to spend money on whatever it is you’re creating. Understand that making a living on the internet is hard, and to succeed, you’ll need the patience and persistence it takes to find a means of monetizing your content that is palatable to your audience.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump congratulates Nigeria, which he once called a ‘s—hole’ country, for shutting down Twitter

Donald Trump on phone
President Donald Trump.

  • Trump congratulated Nigeria for suspending Twitter and suggested more countries ban the platform.
  • Repressive governments like Iran and China already censor Twitter and other social media sites.
  • Trump once referred to African nations as “s—hole” countries while in the White House, according to WaPo.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Nigeria for blocking Twitter. Trump once referred to African nations, of which Nigeria is one, as “s—hole” countries.

“Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President. More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech – all voices should be heard,” Trump said in a statement.

“In the meantime, competitors will emerge and take hold. Who are they to dictate good and evil if they themselves are evil? Perhaps I should have done it while I was President,” Trump added. “But Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was. 2024?”

Repressive governments around the world already ban social media platforms like Twitter, including Iran, North Korea, and China. Nigeria’s government indefinitely suspended the platform on Friday after Twitter deleted a tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari that violated its policies on “abusive behavior.” Buhari’s tweet threatened secessionists in the southeast of the African country.

Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after the deadly Capitol insurrection in early January, which he egged on both on and off Twitter, saying at one point: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

He repeatedly used the platform to spread lies about the 2020 election, including baseless claims of mass voter fraud and the false notion that the election was “stolen.” Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election and erroneous statements about the result were central causes of the violence at the Capitol on January 6.

The former president was also indefinitely suspended from Facebook after the Capitol attack. Last Friday, the social media giant said his suspension would last for at least another two years.

Trump recently started a blog as a means of communicating directly with his supporters in light of the social media bans, but it struggled to generate engagement and he shut it down less than a month after it was launched.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference. Here are their 12 best quotes from the event.

Saylor,Dorsey
  • Jack Dorsey and Michael Saylor were among the headliners at the star-studded Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference.
  • The pair discussed ESG concerns, how they got into bitcoin, and why they believe it is the digital currency of the future.
  • Insider compiled the best quotes from the Twitter and Microstrategy chief execs.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor headlined the sold-out Bitcoin 2021 Miami conference on Friday along with a star-studded lineup that included everyone from Tony Hawk to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In front of 12,000 attendees, with thousands more watching online, the two discussed why they are so bullish on bitcoin, how they got started in the business, their thoughts on recent ESG concerns, and much more.

Here are Saylor and Dorsey’s 12 best quotes from the interviews, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

Jack Dorsey

  1. “For me, bitcoin changes absolutely everything. What I’m drawn to most about it is the ethos, what it represents. The conditions that created it are so rare and so special and so precious and I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on. I don’t think there’s anything more enabling for people around the world.”
  2. “Whatever I can do, whatever my companies can do to make it more accessible to everyone is how I want to spend the rest of my life. If I were not at Square or Twitter I’d be working on bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square and Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin. But I think both companies have a role to play.”
  3. “They’re missing everything. They’re not getting out of New York, they’re not getting out of the country, they’re not talking to people. Go to Nigeria for one day and see the struggle that people have to put up with, with their government and with their money. Go to Ghana that has a bunch of transplants from all over the continent and you witness the same thing every single day. Go to India and you’ll see the same.”
  4. “Everything about it is why we’re into it. There’s nothing else that compares to it. And we have no interests other than making sure we are building a native currency for the internet and helping in every way that we can. So all the other coins to me, don’t factor in at all.”
  5. “You just look at the economics of it and, you know, ultimately miners have to make a profit and getting cheap renewable energy maximizes their potential for profit, it’s really that simple. I thought I had some agreement with some notable figures out there and then that seemed to change in a matter of a few weeks…but I believe fully that bitcoin over time and today does incentivize more renewable energy…and gives people more freedom to convert unused, wasted power into something that actually creates value for billions of people around the world.”
  6. “That realization that we finally have a currency that can be traded at any single point on the planet is pretty incredible and what that enables going forward is pretty mind-blowing and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that that happens.”

Michael Saylor

  1. “When I discovered bitcoin I thought this is digital gold on a big tech monetary network and it’s going to grow by a factor of a hundred. Then I thought, well, I should buy as much as I can…I was buying it and I was thinking I have to buy as much as I can, as fast as I can or someone will figure this out and I won’t be able to.”
  2. “Bitcoin is the apex property of the human race. It’s the first time we figured out how to create true property that you can take possession of with full custodial rights that’s least likely to be impaired, that’s most mobile….bitcoin is truly a seminal invention of the human race because for the first time in history we can grant property rights to 8 billion people.”
  3. “I think bitcoin is an extraordinary, disruptive, beneficial technology to the whole energy industry. As I studied it, it became clear that it’s the highest value use of intermittent energy. It’s the highest value use of renewable energy. It’s the highest value use of wasted or stranded energy. And it’s just the highest value use of energy, period. It’s the solution to developing power plants in remote locations, to driving up efficiency of plants and driving down costs…I think as the world understands it, they’re going to embrace it.”
  4. “What I was doing with bitcoin was, I was saying I don’t want to decapitalize the company. I want to keep the capital or grow the capital, but I want to put an asset on the balance sheet. The big breakthrough is I can convert my cash from a liability to an asset and then we realized that if that asset is going to go up by more than 10% a year and you can borrow money at 5% or four, or three, or two, then you should pretty much borrow as much money as you can and flip it into the asset.”
  5. “Bitcoin links together 8 billion people, links together a hundred million companies, it synchronizes the world across political jurisdictions, and it returns rationality to the entire financial system, and it returns freedom and property rights to the entire human race.”
  6. “We say bitcoin is hope. Bitcoin fixes everything…that certainly was the case with our stock….it imbued life into the company…morale was dramatically boosted. We just had the best first quarter we’ve had in a decade.”
Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump attacks Big Tech during a meandering speech, in which he accused Silicon Valley firms of ruining the US and demanded their ‘monopoly’ be broken up

Former President Donald J. Trump in North Carolina on Saturday.
Former President Donald J. Trump in North Carolina on Saturday.

  • Donald Trump told an NC crowd on Saturday: “We will break up the Big Tech monopoly.”
  • The former president fiercely criticized Silicon Valley executives for deplatforming him.
  • He also said he wasn’t interested in waiting two years to return to Facebook.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday slammed Big Tech for deplatforming him, accusing Silicon Valley executives of ruining the country.

He also said he wasn’t interested in waiting two years to be allowed back on Facebook.

“They may allow me back in two years. We got to stop that, we can’t let it happen – so unfair,” he said. “They’re shutting down an entire group of people. Not just me. They’re shutting down the voice of a tremendously powerful – in my opinion, a much more powerful and a much larger group.”

The comments came as Trump emerged from his post-presidency hiatus to speak at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention.

He gave a meandering 90-minute speech, speaking to a mostly subdued crowd of about 1,200 seated guests, and touching on well-worn highlights of his political rallies.

Trump said President Joe Biden had been destroying the country “before our very own eyes.” He then criticized the country’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, denouncing him as “not a great doctor.”

Trump also said the ongoing criminal investigation into the Trump Organization was part of a “five-year witch hunt” and that dead people had voted in November.

The speech was carried live on C-Span, which tagged it as a “Campaign 2024” event. Despite losing the 2020 election, Trump has a firm grip on the GOP. He told associates he planned to run again in 2024, if he’s healthy, Politico reported last month.

“We will break up the Big Tech monopoly,” he said on Saturday. “We will reject left-wing cancel culture.”

Trump at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, North Carolina.
The North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, North Carolina.

Trump took aim at Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive at Facebook, calling him “another beauty,” saying his “human nature” was ruining the country.

“This election will go down as the crime of the century,” Trump said. “And our country is being destroyed by people who perhaps have no right to destroy it. Zuckerberg broke the law, spending millions of dollars – don’t you think he broke the law? – millions of dollars to get out the vote in highly Democrat areas.”

Insider has reached out to Facebook for comment.

The speech came a day after Facebook announced Trump’s suspension would last at least two more years. He was removed from the social network the day after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The company’s Oversight Board in early May had extended the ban by six months.

He was permanently banned from Twitter in January.

Without direct access to the billions of social-media users, Trump has struggled to find a way to speak directly to his followers. He launched a blog called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” posting statements that could be shared by users allowed on Facebook or Twitter. But readership and sharing floundered. It was also buggy. The blog was taken offline last week.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said: “Feels pretty unlikely that the zebra is going to change his stripes over the next two years. We’ll see.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey signalled his enthusiasm for bitcoin again, saying it is the most important thing to work on in his lifetime

Jack Dorsey
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently expressed his optimism over the future of bitcoin again.
  • At a conference, he said there is nothing more important to work on in his lifetime, CNBC reported.
  • Bitcoin has the potential to create a whole new financial infrastructure, Dorsey added.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At the Bitcoin 2021 Conference on Friday, Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square, spread further positivity about the cryptocurrency, CNBC reported.

“Bitcoin changes absolutely everything,” Dorsey said. “I don’t think there is anything more important in my lifetime to work on.”

He continued: “If I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on bitcoin. If [bitcoin] needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for bitcoin.”

According to Dorsey, bitcoin is capable of creating a new financial system that is more inclusive and supportive for neglected communities, per CNBC.

He also sees cryptocurrency as a way to protect against currency depreciation and quicken international transactions for people all over the world.

This is why Dorsey and Jay-Z partnered on a new bitcoin endowment in February, which will be focused on developing the cryptocurrency in India and Africa.

Called “₿trust,” the endowment was funded with an initial investment of 500 bitcoin, worth roughly $23.6 million.

“I don’t think there is anything more enabling for people around the world,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey has always been a staunch supporter of bitcoin among a sea of critics, some of whom have described the cryptocurrency as “disgusting” and worthless.

Insider reported in May that the tech mogul believes bitcoin changes everything for the better and that he would work “forever” to improve the cryptocurrency. He followed up by saying that “no single person (or institution) will be able to change [the cryptocurrency], or stop it.”

Back in March, Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT, converted the proceeds of the sale into bitcoin, and then donated it to Give Directly’s Africa Response.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter dips its toes in the pay-to-play waters

Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

Soundtrack: This week’s newsletter has been specially designed to be consumed while listening to The Toasters’ “Weekend in LA”


This week: Twitter dips its toes in the pay-to-play waters

Jack Dorsey

Perhaps you’ve noticed the expanding number of charges for video streaming subscriptions on your credit card statement. What started with a Netflix subscription has become monthly payments for a half dozen or more video services, from Apple+ and Disney+ to HBOMax and Peacock Premium.

Could the same pay-to-play fate await our social media and communications apps?

Twitter will never get rid of the free version of its product – but there’s precedent for a premium Twitter. Back in 2010 there was a thriving market of third-party Twitter “client” apps that connected to Twitter’s API and offered power users extra options. Many of these client apps cost a few bucks to download, and charged additional a la carte fees for extra features.

But: Twitter kneecapped the third-party clients market starting in 2011 by restricting access ot its API – a controversial move that was necessary for Twitter to keep people on its own site so it could build an ad business. Now, ten years later, ads aren’t enough, and Twitter is turning to a business model it once squashed.

In other social media news:

Trump is banned from Twitter forever. But he could be back on Facebook in less than two years, if he behaves and “conditions permit.”


Profile: Angel investor Jason Calacanis

Jason Calacanis

He’s loud, brash, confident, and has a string of prescient startup investments under his belt, including early bets on Uber, Robinhood and Calm. Jason Calacanis is part venture capital investor and part podcasting shock jock – and he’s a polarizing presence in Silicon Valley.

As Matt Drange and Candy Cheng report in this fascinating profile:

For many, Calacanis is someone who “cuts through the bulls—” and is shaking up Silicon Valley’s stuffy venture-capital scene. But others said the swagger can quickly turn hostile, with some founders describing experiences with Calacanis that left them questioning whether he was more committed to their success or to his own image.

Read the full story here:

Jason Calacanis went from dotcom roadkill to early investor in Uber, Calm and Robinhood. Here’s how he’s reshaping venture capital with bluster, ego, and media-savvy.


Quote of the week:

Tim Cook

“Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”

– Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a letter to staff obtained by The Verge, breaking the news to employees that they’ll be expected in the office at least three days a week, come September.


Snapshot: Behold the clouds of Mars

Even Mars has cloudy days. And thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover, we can now see what it’s like to gaze up at a Martian cloud.

mars clouds above cliff photo curiosity rover
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured these clouds just after sunset on March 19, 2021. The image is made up of 21 individual images stitched together and color corrected so that the scene appears as it would to the human eye.

The photo above, captured at sunset on the red planet on March 19, is one of several rare photos of Martian clouds recently released by the space agency. Mars doesn’t get too many clouds because of its dry atmosphere and super thin air. But clouds do form around the Martian equator at a certain time of year, and Curiosity had its cameras ready for otherworldly weather this season.

Many of the clouds caught on camera by Curiosity had an iridescent, pearl-like color. That’s because clouds on mars are made of frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice, rather than water ice. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.


Recommended readings:

Insiders say Oracle’s best hope in the cloud wars with Amazon is a team led with a ‘culture of fear,’ and executives are leaving

Google is making a privacy change on Android that could mean more pain for advertisers

Americans are embracing paying for everything online in installments. That’s propelling one startup, Klarna, to a valuation above $40 billion.

After Amazon’s MGM deal, experts think these 5 Hollywood giants could be Big Tech acquisition targets

People are finding out that buzzy photo-sharing app Poparazzi automatically follows all of their phone contacts, and experts say it’s a data privacy nightmare

The way to stop companies from getting attacked by ransomware is simple: outlaw ransom payments


Not necessarily in tech:

How ‘Tiger Mom’ Amy Chua became the pariah of Yale Law. A complicated story of booze, misbehaving men, and the Supreme Court.


Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

– Alexei

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter’s paid subscription service gives users a 30-second grace period to undo or edit a tweet

Twitter bird
Twitter has released Twitter Blue.

Hello! This story is from today’s edition of Morning Brew, an awesome daily email read by 2.9 million next-generation leaders like you. Sign up here to get it!

At long last, Twitter has released its first subscription product, Twitter Blue. For now, only Australian and Canadian users can pay around $3/month to access Blue features like a 30-second grace period to undo or edit a tweet before it’s posted, prioritized customer support, Reader Mode for easier viewing of threads, and color scheme customization for the app.

Not quite the “edit” button users have been begging for and nothing particularly groundbreaking. So…why are we writing about it?

Investor pressure and advertising competition from the likes of Snapchat and Facebook pushed Twitter to look for new revenue streams. A subscription offering has been on the roadmap for years.

Big picture: Twitter’s product team must have picked up a copy of Deep Work during the pandemic, because they’ve been testing and/or launching tons of new features including…

  • A virtual tip jar
  • “Super Follows” for individual users to charge subscriptions
  • Voice-based DMs and tweets
  • Features that limit the spread of misinformation and prevent harassment
  • Stories (aka “Fleets”)
  • Spaces, a Clubhouse competitor

This story is from today’s edition of Morning Brew, a daily email. Sign up here to get it!

Read the original article on Business Insider

On-Target: What’s New With Twitter For B2B Marketers In 2021

Twitter dartboard image.

Twitter dartboard image.

What’s new with Twitter for B2B marketers in 2021?

With more than 199 million active daily users and available in over 40 languages, Twitter has continued its growth as a platform for both B2B and direct-to-consumer brands looking to creatively showcase products and services.

It’s also increasingly used to tell brand stories and as a customer communication tool.

When it comes to new feature launches, Twitter has ramped up its pace, helping it make significant gains as a social media platform not just for consumers, but also for a greater number of professional business users than ever.

Let’s take a look at seven of Twitter’s most recent feature roll-outs, changes, and announcements of forthcoming offerings, with an eye towards how B2B marketers can use Twitter in new ways .

1 — Super Followers For B2B Brands

Twitter recently began testing more visible integration of its forthcoming “super followers” feature — which will allow brands and creators to offer subscription-only bonus content on the platform — with a new super follower count that is likely to appear alongside the traditional standard account follower numbers.

Brands will likely be able to provide subscriber super followers with exclusive content in the form of:

  • Tweets that only super followers can view
  • Fleets — 24-hour tweets that then disappear — exclusively for subscribers
  • Spaces — Clubhouse-like voice conversations — offered to premium subscribers

Subject matter experts (SMEs) and B2B influencers alike could also look to super followers as a way to provide exclusive perks to their followers.

SMEs could also become super followers of the brands they co-create content with or otherwise support, which would likely bring with it a visual super follower support profile badge, helping to lend an additional degree of authority to brand and influencer collaborations and how they use Twitter to tell stories together.

2 — Brand Profile Verification Process Reopens & Is Paused

For the first time since November, 2017 Twitter recently began allowing users to apply for verified profile status and get a blue check-mark — a status mark that only less than one percent of its user accounts presently possess.

The response, however, proved to be overwhelming, causing Twitter to temporarily pause profile verification requests after just over a week.

As the new option began rolling out recently, a verification application option had appeared within Twitter user’s account settings — an option that is now on hold as Twitter re-groups and considers new plans to re-open the process.

Twitter has noted that the verification pause is temporary, and has stated that it plans to soon re-open requests from brands and the public.

A blue check-mark is only one element to consider when seeking to build brand trust, and Twitter will need to tread lightly as it resumes its verification process, so as to avoid over-approving the mark, or making it too difficult to qualify for.

3 — Will Greater Reaction Choices Help B2B Marketers?

Twitter doesn’t currently have the wide range of single-click reactions to content published on the platform in the way that Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn now offer.

That may be changing, however, as certain Twitter feature researchers and observers have noted recent tests which could see a range of new reaction options arrive for users, such as expressions of cheers, joy, and sadness.

Such reactions could help brands more effectively learn how their audiences are interacting with the content they tweet on the platform, beyond the currently available simple metric of “likes.”

How Twitter rolls new reaction options into its mix remains to be seen, and one option would be to include additional reactions in a subscription version of Twitter, code-named Twitter Blue among some industry observers.

4 — Can Twitter’s Blue Subscription Service Entice B2B Customers

A Twitter Blue subscription offering has been viewed by some Twitter observers as likely to contain an array of potentially enticing new features, possibly including:

  • The ability to undo a tweet for a period of time after it’s been posted
  • An improved TweetDeck Twitter interface for power users seeking to keep tabs on multiple brands or topics in real-time
  • Custom subscriber-only color theme options

Twitter may have its work cut out for itself should it follow through with a premium subscription offering, and B2B brands will be especially keen on finding out which exclusive features a Twitter Blue can offer them.

5 — Twitter’s Brand Strategy: From Chaotic To Stoic

Twitter has traditionally taken a slower-moving route to making large changes to a smooth system that many see as working well due to its simplicity, however as we noted earlier, the number of new features and future change tests have increased, especially over the past several years.

It’s upped its acquisition game lately as well, with additions such as Scroll and its media subscription options, and newsletter-centric Revue, among others.

Diversifying Twitter stems from the firm looking to offer variety when it comes to communication on the platform, and an expanded version of Spaces may be key in those forthcoming efforts.

These and other efforts are aimed at attracting more brands to Twitter, and allowing them to offer more interactive and complete campaigns.

Top reasons brands that haven’t already taken to Twitter should do so, according to David Wilding, head of planning at Twitter UK, include better connection and launch opportunities.

“It’s simple, there are two reasons; one is to launch something new, and the other is to connect with what’s happening,” Wilding recently noted.

Advertising opportunities on Twitter — especially video ads — include several that take over the first promoted ad spot displayed on a user’s timeline, along with others targeting Twitter trends feature.

6 — Twitter Content May Shift Towards More Group-Like Communities

Twitter has tested a communities feature that would allow brands to share content to specific groups of their followers — a shift away from Twitter’s traditional publishing method that is usually sent to all followers.

Twitter Communities would allow brands to target sub-groups of their Twitter followers, a particularly attractive proposition for large B2B brands with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers.

We profiled several top B2B brands using Twitter to its fullest, in “5 Top B2B Brands Delivering Exemplary Twitter Engagement.”

Twitter’s recently-launched tip jar feature — which allows users to monetarily support the Twitter accounts they follow, is another change the firm has implemented in efforts to increase the amount of time users spend on the platform, by providing a service that previously was often conducted outside of the Twitter environment.

7 — Twitter Business Profiles Could Help B2B Brands

Twitter has also made efforts to offer dedicated business profiles on its platform, testing additional B2B-friendly features such as more business details and service information.

When finalized, brands will likely have a slew of new business profile options to take advantage of, such as:

  • Lengthier brand biography and about information
  • Location and map data
  • Location hours
  • Larger, uncropped photos
  • Additional product or service links

In the meantime, successful B2B brands keep their Twitter profiles current and utilize those features already in place, such as Twitter lists, which we’ve explored in, “Why Twitter Lists Are Still a Great Tool for B2B Marketers.”

B2B Brands Find Success Targeting Twitter

via GIPHY

All of these changes and possible future additions represent Twitter’s continuing efforts to increase brand engagement possibilities on the platform, and to keep users coming back for more. These changes also represent Twitter’s push to offer more choices for both brands and users to communicate on the platform.

These are only several of the numerous changes Twitter has been testing, however we hope that looking at these seven has provided you new ideas for your own B2B marketing efforts on Twitter.

Looking for award-winning help with brand Twitter strategy and much more? Contact us today and find out why top brands from LinkedIn and Dell to SAP and Oracle have chosen TopRank Marketing to create award-winning B2B marketing.

The post On-Target: What’s New With Twitter For B2B Marketers In 2021 appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Groups representing Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Google are suing Florida over Gov. DeSantis’ new bill banning online ‘deplatforming’

Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

  • Two tech industry groups filed a lawsuit against a new bill signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
  • The lawsuit calls the bill – which bans “deplatforming” – a “smorgasbord of constitutional violations.”
  • The groups that filed the suit count Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon as members.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Two industry groups that represent tech companies including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon have filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida, claiming a new law that targets online speech violates the First Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Netchoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), and is aimed at a new bill signed last week by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The bill was signed on May 24, and was framed by DeSantis as protecting citizens from online censorship. The bill states it’s designed to prohibit social media platforms from “willfully deplatforming” political candidates, and lets Florida fine a company $250,000 per day if it does “deplatform” someone.

The lawsuit describes DeSantis’ bill as a “smorgasbord of constitutional violations” and argues it would make it impossible for tech companies to exercise their First Amendment rights by moderating their platforms for objectionable and harmful content.

The bill also lets Florida citizens sue tech companies for up to $100,000 if they believe companies are breaking the law.

The bill is set to go into effect on July 1, but the tech groups’ lawsuit was filed on May 27, and seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions that would prevent the bill from coming into force.

“These unprecedented restrictions are a blatant attack on a wide range of content-moderation choices that these private companies have to make on a daily basis to protect their services, users, advertisers, and the public at large from a variety of harmful, offensive, or unlawful material,” the lawsuit argues.

It also pointed to a bizarre loophole Florida included in the new bill, exempting companies that own Florida-based theme parks such as Disney from the law. The suit argued this was evidence that the bill unfairly targets specific companies.

Legal experts have also described the bill as unconstitutional. “This is so obviously unconstitutional, you wouldn’t even put it on an exam,” A. Michael Froomkin, a law professor at the University of Miami, told Wired.

Read the original article on Business Insider