September 25, 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RoundUp.  This week saw Tiktok make an attempt at putting money in the pockets of its users and Instagram finds another stream of income from donors.

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  • Instagram has announced a fundraising tool like GoFundMe. Users are to submit Stripe account details and must be at least 18yrs of age. The tool has a month’s validity with an option of extension. Contributors can also stay anonymous from the public except to the donor seeker. Link.

 

Why this is Important: This is a tool/feature to grow revenue beyond Ads and data monetization. Although it did not disclose the percentage in commission that comes to it, we expect it to hover around 1-2% .

A data privacy concern also exists on the identity and contact details of contributors. This tool could be abused in the long term without stringent parameters.

  • Tiktok is creating a $200m Fund supporting creators in the US. According to its General Manager, Tiktok US, the fund is to ‘help support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood with their innovative content’. It is worthy to note that Tiktok also has a $50 Creation Learning Funding for emerging teachers. Link

 

Why this is Important:  This is a subtle means to avoid regulators sledge in America and buy some public goodwill especially as the American economy is in a tailspin as a result of the pandemic.  With this,  Tiktok could make a small case especially to parents about the acceptance  of the gig economy.

It is also a veritable tool for spurring growth without Ad spends.  We expect Tiktok’s users grow on two reasons: users growing followership counts to meet the requirements and new users coming to be a part of the Fund.

 

  • Twitter has formally announced its subscription service. Chief Executive Officer and Founder,  Jack Dorsey made this public and gave an idea on what to expect. One thing is clear from the statement: this subscription will affect some aspects of the app.  Link

 

 

Why this is Important:  This proves Ad revenue is no longer a reliable source of revenue for platforms.  If implemented,  we expect a sharp drop in Twitter’s user base and other key metrics in the short term;  but a gradual stability and a choice destination for advertising/marketing for brand engagement in the long term.

This may also be a move to improve quality of discourse on the platform by weeding out bots and trolls.  We may also see accounts with large following and domain expertise get charged or paid a token for this reason.

  • Slack, the office communication software is suing Microsoft Corporation for anti-competition activities before the European Commission.  In a statement,  Slack stated Microsoft’s use of market dominance  using its Office software to extinguish competition.This, it does by a tie-in of its Microsoft Teams solution to the Office Suite thereby gaining automatic users.

To Slack,  ‘this is much bigger than Slack versus Microsoft – this is a proxy for two very different philosophies for the future of digital ecosystems, gateways versus gatekeepers,” And they expressed a level of confidence in the courts and their market because  they are ”confident that we win on the merits of our product, but we can’t ignore illegal behavior that deprives customers of access to the tools and solutions they want,”  Link

 

Why this is Important:  Just about a month ago,  developers questioned Apple’s grip on the charges via its App Store on app downloads. A conversation that has led to considerations which include but not limited to,  a formation of developers’ union or consortium to increase bargaining powers.

We may be entering a new era of smaller,  nimble start-ups influencing platforms and markets.  On the other hand,  Microsoft has some runnings with anti-competition and antitrust experience in its history.  It may defend this as a harmless cross-selling activity using its Office Suite.

In the event the European Commission breaks Microsoft Teams away from Office Suite,  we would see more case filings of this nature against dominant players in the near future.

 

 

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Chinedu Okoro
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