MrBeast Breaks the Internet

How a birthday post from the challenge creator overtook social feeds

Good morning. What’s your stance on lurking—the sometimes criticized act of consuming social media content without commenting? New York Times contributor Elise Craig wrote this: “When strangers share real stories about their lives, maybe one of the least intrusive things to do is not offer advice or platitudes, but to quietly lurk and listen.”

We’re curious: Do you lurk? If so, what’s your lurking platform (or online community) of choice?

Inside MrBeast’s Birthday Giveaway

MrBeast / Instagram

In celebration of his 25th birthday on Sunday, MrBeast announced a $50,000 Instagram giveaway split among five people (he’s since upped that to $100,000 among 10 people).

And it took off. The terms were simple: Follow MrBeast, share the post in a Story, and tag a friend in the comments for a chance to win. In 24 hours, the post gained upwards of…

  • 19 million likes

  • 13 million comments (for reference, the most-liked Instagram post of all time has 2 million comments)

MrBeast’s post is now the third most-commented Instagram post in history, and his Instagram followers have almost doubled to 40 million since he first posted the giveaway.

Context: MrBeast spends around $48 million a year on videos, and he often gives away large sums of money to his followers—from $10k for someone in the grocery store to $50k and an island for one of his subscribers. These videos often include a difficult challenge—staying in a circle for as long as possible, sitting in isolation, laying with snakes, etc. In comparison, this week’s growth-minded giveaway was relatively simple.

FYI: The post has since been taken down by Instagram for an alleged violation to the platform’s Terms of Service. MrBeast said his team kept track of participants before the post was removed and plans to announce the winners today.

Instagram Introduces Revenue Sharing for Reels

Instagram Reels / Chris Delmas

On Tuesday, Instagram parent company Meta announced that it’s replacing its “Reels Play” bonus payouts with a revamped ad revenue sharing program. The new Instagram program looks more like the updated payout structures of TikTok and YouTube.

The old “Reels Play” bonus, which paid creators based on views, was part of Meta’s $1 billion creator fund before the company paused the bonus program in March.

What’s new: With this “Ads on Reels” program, for the first time Instagram will give creators a share of the ad revenue it makes.

How it works: The performance-based program, which will begin testing with select U.S. creators and advertisers in the coming weeks, will pay creators a share of ad revenue based on a Reel’s total plays—not other “variables outside of creators’ control,” Meta said.

The platform POV: Splitting ad revenue (which grew to $43.2 billion in 2022, a $1 billion increase from the previous year for Meta) better incentivizes creators and advertisers. “Creators can focus on the content that’s resonating with their audiences and helping them grow; advertisers get access to more ad inventory to reach more people,” Meta said.

Big picture: As TikTok faces increased scrutiny from the U.S. government, YouTube, Meta, and Snapchat are all jockeying for the lead spot in the short-form video space. And part of that competition? Wooing short-form creators with monetization methods that go beyond the traditional creator fund.

Keith Lee Reviews Kevin Hart’s New Vegan Restaurant…

Keith Lee / TikTok

…and it seems to have passed the test for TikTok’s favorite food reviewer, whose stamp of approval often drives surging sales for restaurants (see: Lee’s impact for Chipotle).

How it went down: In March, Hart asked Lee to come to the restaurant’s grand opening. Lee agreed, but only if he could give the plant-based sandwiches an honest review, the creator shared in a video Monday.

Hart took the gamble, and the bet seems to have paid off: Lee said the “chicken” sandwich was so good that he never would’ve guessed it was vegan.

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