Is Spotify the new YouTube?

Plus: Google and Axe are putting influencers first

Hello Creators,

Has the week zoomed by for anyone else? This Wednesday, we're unpacking a lot, including some quite unexpected developments.

We're looking at significant news from TikTok HQ, top-notch March Madness campaigns, and the return of a certain amusing Facebook feature. 🙂

Time to dive in! 👀

What’s TikTok's Youth Council?

As the threat of a potential U.S. ban looms, TikTok is pulling out all the stops to secure its place on American screens. 

From rallying users to lobby Congress to parading creators on Capitol Hill. But its latest move cuts straight to the heart of its core demographic: teenagers.

TikTok has announced the launch of its Global Youth Council, in a move to prioritize teen safety and inclusion. This council is comprised of 15 teenagers aged 15-18 from various countries including the US, UK, Brazil, and Kenya.

According to the company, this dream team of Gen Z tastemakers will "focus on teen well-being and inclusion" to ensure TikTok remains a "safe and accessible space for young people."

It's a savvy play that kills two birds with one stone:

  • Not only does it give TikTok a direct line to the pulse of its key audience, 

  • But it also positions the platform as a champion of youth empowerment and online safety – a strategic counter to critics' concerns.

With the council's input, TikTok can stay ahead of the curve on emerging trends, content moderation challenges, and the ever-evolving needs of its massive teenage user base.

And who better to guide that mission than the digital natives who have made TikTok a cultural phenomenon?

It's a bold move that just might be crazy enough to work.

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Google and Axe are partnering up with influencer athletes 👀

Google's AI is making searching fun and functional.

In a recent campaign, Google teamed up with athletes and influencers to show off their cool new "Circle to Search" feature.

The track star Sha'Carri Richardson uses it to ID a mystery plant, and Bronny James finds the perfect hot pink kicks (we all know LeBron approves!).  

In the words of Google:

“Now, with a simple gesture, you can select what you’re curious about in whatever way comes naturally to you — like circling, highlighting, scribbling or tapping — and get more information right where you are.”

Taking a page from Google's playbook, Axe is flexing its marketing muscle with a squad of athletic talents. 

The unlikely lineup includes Shareef O'Neal (son of legend Shaquille), Brandon Beloti, Chiney Ogwumike, and Kris Jenkins. Their mission? Determine whether they prefer the aroma of Axe's new "Black Vanilla" scent or a pricier luxury cologne – all while blindfolded.

Consider this a wake-up call for the senses – and a reminder that the brand isn't just for teenage boys anymore.

Who’s the new face of FORD?

TikTok's reigning queen, Charli D'Amelio, is no stranger to brand deals in the beauty, fashion, and food realms. But her latest partnership is taking her down an entirely new road – the automotive one. 

Yep, you read that right. D'Amelio is partnering up with Ford Motor Company.

Just last month, she shared a sponsored video where she conquered her fear of driving and proudly flaunted her fresh license behind the wheel of one of Ford's electric vehicles. 

And this past weekend, she teased an upcoming ad campaign with the automaker.

Why this matters:

Car commercials have long been the domain of Hollywood A-listers and chart-topping musicians. But with her massive Gen Z following, Charli is poised to become the new face of Ford for the digital age.

Talk about an unexpected crossover! 

What’s happening around the world?

Spotify Courses 

  • Apple made a YouTube channel dedicated to developer content. that currently houses the sessions from WWDC 2023. (link)

  • Epic is adding its hyperrealistic MetaHumans to Unreal Editor for Fortnite (link)

  • Spotify tests video courses to teach everything from music production to Excel (link)

  • You're going to need a Peacock subscription to watch another NFL game this fall (link)

  • How creators are turning to long-form writing, like blogs and newsletters, as a way to escape algorithms and build community off social media (link)

Social media updates:

  • Is this what X will look like on a smart TV? (link)

  • Kamala Harris insists “We do not intend to ban TikTok.” It’s an income generator for many people. (link)

  • Facebook “poking” renaissance: The poke is having a moment, it saw a 13-fold surge over the past month.  (link)

  • Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed Threads’ “trending now” is now available to all U.S. users. (link)

  • LinkedIn has confirmed that Pages Messaging is being rolled out to all businesses from this week. (link)

That's all for now! Catch you next Wednesday for more creator economy updates and the latest in social media. 😎