Have we got the ick from the latest Blue Tick launch from Instagram? Youtube face scrutiny over unhealthy ad habits and Spotify goes vertical

December 11, 2023



Have we got the ick from the latest Blue Tick launch from Instagram? Youtube face scrutiny over unhealthy ad habits and Spotify goes vertical

Is the new proposed IG Blue Tick starting to give us the ick?

In the news this week, Instagram is the latest to jump on the blue tick bandwagon following the recent developments unveiled by Elon Musk on Twitter

Arguably the blue tick was once a sign of authenticity and notability; a credit to gained status, following or success. But with the option for individuals to buy this new feature, specifically excluding business accounts from the running, is the certification of a blue badge becoming redundant or perhaps just elitist? 

In a statement by Meta, a spokesperson explained that the in-app development is set to improve authenticity and overall security for individuals.

In addition to a purchasable blue badge, perks of the proposed £14.99/mo subscription include direct ‘humanised’ customer support, active impersonation monitoring and even exclusive stickers for your Instagram stories (you have to laugh).

But whilst ongoing cyber safety issues and a need for these platforms to better improve how they monitor users online have been hot topics in the media lately, once again the platform has chosen to expand ways to monetise things instead. Unlike Twitter, the subscription entitles you to no fewer ads than a standard account either. 

It’s giving, ‘Here are the perks you should be entitled to, ie. reliable online safety and accessible customer support, but at a cost’. Question is, should we have to pay for it and are you likely to invest?

Youtube Junk Food Ads & Influencers, leave those kids alone.

Influencer Marketing is seriously hot right now. We know this and you probably should too.

But in a recent study by the University of Connecticut, their research showed that despite Youtube’s 2020 ban on food ads on children's content, 66% of videos from the most popular "kid influencers" on YouTube still contained at least one appearance of food.

So what’s so harmful? Kids gotta eat, right?

The study ultimately raised concern towards protecting young minds from potentially forming harmful long-term health habits linked to exposure to endorsed junk food and drink advertisements.

Scientifically speaking, a young mind is the most impressionable.

The initial red flags surrounding this blurred form of marketing are rooted in the relationship between a child and the public figure/influencer. What’s problematic is that whilst the early years of a person’s life are the most formative, the paid-for opinions of a public figure are perhaps not adequately suited to consider or more so, to address the complex impact these adverts can have on the long-term mental and physical health of a child.

It certainly seems like additional policies are required to protect young children on the channel.

Prepare to Scroll Your Life Away; Spotify goes vertical.

In a bid to seemingly engage with a more Gen-Z audience, Spotify is set to launch its new ‘vertical feed’ on the homepage, encouraging limitless listening and discovery across the app.

Co-President and Chief Product and Technology Officer, Gustav Söderström, stated that the launch will be “a way to unite the platform’s various verticals—music, podcasts and audiobooks—in one place”.

The format has already been adopted by Instagram Reels and most recently, Youtube with their Shorts, but Spotify is the latest platform to jump on the layout trend that throws consumers into what we’ve come to call the ‘TikTok hole’.

With this format being adopted by the majority of our most-used apps, could this be the start of a global ‘doom scrolling’ pandemic? We certainly hope not, but the vertical feed feature launches users straight into their trending content and encourages fast-paced, continuous content consumption from the moment you open an app and we know too well how easy it can be to be sucked in for hours (and hours and hours).

According to Ofcom, one third (32%) of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television. The average user opens TikTok 19 times per day and kids spend on average 75 minutes per day on TikTok - an undeniable success story for the brand and no doubt a huge driving factor for other brands like Spotify to follow suit and broaden their demographics.

The feature will go live in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for our thoughts.

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