Why Creators Are Joining This ‘Anti-AI’ Platform 🖌️

Cara grows from 40,000 → 650,000 users in one week

Good morning. Ever wonder what it’s like for your whole life to be documented on YouTube? Look no further than toy review creator EvanTube, who has been making videos since he was six. This week, he graduated from high school and is off to study film at Loyola Marymount University. His plans for the channel and its 7 millions subs? Post even less, and share short films from time to time.

Artists Flock to Cara Amid Instagram AI Fallout

Cara is an AI-free social media (right) and portfolio (left) app made for artists that was created in response to companies using artists’ works to train AI tools / Cara

“Anti-AI” social platform Cara grew from 40,000 to 650,000 users over the last week, according to Cara founder and acclaimed photographer Jingna Zhang.

Why? In large part because of creators’ frustrations over Instagram parent company Meta’s new AI policies.

  • Artists and creators have criticized Instagram’s new “Made with AI” label for incorrectly flagging posts as AI-generated.

  • Meta also confirmed last month that it’s using Instagram and Facebook users’ public photos to train its AI models.

Enter: Cara. The app lets artists showcase their portfolios and post updates to their feed, combining elements of Instagram and X.

The key difference? Zhang has fought several copyright cases for her own work and believes that art should not be used to train AI models without the artist’s consent.

So…Cara partners with the University of Chicago’s Glaze Project, which employs a “cloaking” technique to bar AI from scraping users’ posts, according to TechCrunch.

Zoom out: While Cara’s quick growth is notable, Instagram still has over 2 billion monthly active users. That breadth of user base (and customer discovery potential) is enough to keep some artists and creators on the platform, regardless of their AI concerns.

“I’m not sure hiding our artwork away from the world on small upstart, untested platforms exclusively is a wise choice,” veteran comic book illustrator J. Scott Campbell wrote on Facebook last week. “Making art a livelihood is always a mixed bag of compromises.”

Would you use an upstart platform to protect your work from AI?

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Creator Case Study: Michael Reeves’ Spontaneous Hits

Michael Reeves returns to YouTube by spending weeks building a car out of electric scooters / Michael Reeves

Science comedy creator Michael Reeves posted his first YouTube video in over a year yesterday…and it received 500,000+ views in less than an hour.

  • In the new video, he builds a car out of Lime scooters and chronicles his software engineering process and ensuing hijinks. 

  • It’s only his fourth video in the last three years. 

And like past uploads, it’s turned into an event—which, for Reeves, often means high engagement and millions of views within 48 hours.

Context: Reeves has 7 million subscribers and has been making YouTube videos since 2017. Despite infrequent uploads, he makes regular appearances in videos from streamer group OfflineTV.

Reeves’ relative scarcity on his own YouTube channel has become a joke among fans, with top video comments listing all the things viewers have done since Reeves’ last video: “graduated high school, found a new love of my life, found my passion, went through two jobs and three friend groups,” as one subscriber wrote.

Big picture: Many creators consider upload frequency key to their success (and fear retribution from the algorithm when they don’t publish consistently). But creators like Reeves and Emma Chamberlain show that some communities will stick around no matter when the next upload hits.

Tribeca Opens Up to Creators

The Tribeca Festival unveils “Up Next,” a showcase for creators / Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Festival is launching a vertical dedicated to creators for the first time in its 23-year history, according to Deadline.

The creator vertical is launching in partnership with creator talent company Whalar. Details:

  • It’s kicking off as a year-long talk series starting with filmmaker Archie Gips in conversation with creators Brandon Edelman and Coco Mocoe tomorrow.

  • The Tribeca X Awards also introduced its first-ever Creator/Influencer award for social content.

Big picture: The Tribeca Festival is known as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the U.S., platforming big-studio movies alongside indies. It joins other institutions like Cannes Lions in opening its doors to creators.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Sabrina Brier is releasing an audiobook.

  • Join 500+ creator partners across 60 countries that are part of the Fiverr Creator Network.*

  • TikTok is testing Snap-like streaks.

  • Discord halves developer fees to 15%.

  • MKBHD, Ludwig, Kai Cenat, and more creators are featured in an upcoming MrBeast video.

  • Spotter invests $5 million in gaming creator EYstreem’s production company.

*This is sponsored advertising content.

📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

The content we’re looking forward to reading, watching, and listening to this weekend.

  • Read: How do video games get leaked before they’re even formally announced? Insider Gaming investigates YouTube’s leak culture.

  • Watch: After nearly going out of business four years ago, CollegeHumor changed its name and started turning a profit. Fast Company travels to Dropout’s studios in Los Angeles to document how the media company became a subscription-based powerhouse.

  • Listen: NPR Music discussed new album drops from Tems, Kaytranada, and Charli XCX on the latest episode of All Songs Considered.

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