Not Your Average Holiday Trend Piece 🎄

How creators took a fresh approach to 2023 holiday content

Good morning. Welcome to the nearly 20,000 subscribers who joined our community in the last 48 hours. And to our day-ones and regulars, thank you for your continued support as we enter our third year.

This is the last regular edition of The Publish Press for 2023. We’ll be back in your inbox on Wednesday with a special newsletter…oh, and the announcement of our big giveaway winner. See you then.

Creator Roundup: A New Approach to Holiday Content

Creators Airrack (left), Paige Pritchard (center), and MKBHD (right) make the Publish Press’ short-list of stand-out content this holiday season / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Maxing out end-of-year content is a longstanding tradition for creators, but this year, a handful of creatives brought a fresh take. Here’s what stood out to us:

Vlogmas. The decades-long YouTube tradition hit different this year, largely because it grew…off of YouTube. 

  • #Vlogmas2023 has over 130 million views on TikTok (already 10K more than last year) thanks to creators like hauskris and hallesoswag

  • This year, Vlogmas grew beyond the simple day-in-the-life formula to something more experimental, from Airrack’s globe-trotting daily vlog challenge to Samantha Jo’s festive videos.

De-influencing. De-influencing became popular in February and still has our attention 10 months later with over 1 billion views on TikTok. 

  • It’s especially interesting to see de-influencing take off around the holidays—when buying things is at the top of everyone’s to-do list. 

  • Creators have shared everything from items they think are overrated (see: Benton McClintock’s parody gift guides) to commentary on how to spend less (see: financial coach Paige Pritchard).

Best-of lists. A few best-of lists that stood out to us this year? 

  • MKBHD shared the best smartphone of the year (spoiler: it’s not from Apple).

  • Hot Ones host Sean Evans is raising money for charity and giving out awards for best guests of the year.

  • Food reviewer Bill Oakey shared his favorite snacks and fast food items. 

We’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite end-of-year creator special? Hit reply and tell us what caught your attention.

P.S. Speaking of special end-of-year content, check out our 2023 Staff Picks.

TikTok Fights for Looser Restrictions in Utah

A trade group argues against Utah laws that were designed to “hold social media platforms accountable” / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Less than a month after Montana’s governor vetoed a TikTok ban in the state, a trade group representing TikTok, X, and Meta is suing Utah for a state law that requires every social media user to verify their age and enforces a curfew for social media for minors.

Quick catch-up: In March, Utah passed two laws designed to “hold social media platforms accountable.” With them, social platforms would have to 1) require age verification from all Utah social media users and 2) block minors from using social platforms between the hours of 10:30pm and 6:00am without written authorization from a parent or guardian. These laws are set to go into effect in March 2024.

The trade group, called NetChoice, argues in its lawsuit that the regulations are unconstitutional (the same grounds on which the Montana TikTok ban was overruled earlier this year).

Zoom out: Both cases in Utah and Montana are a part of a larger movement pitting politicians against platforms. But as far as the people are concerned, support for a TikTok ban among adults has dropped by almost half in the last year, according to Pew Research.

PRIME Signs NFL Superstar Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes (center) joins KSI (left) and Logan Paul’s (right) sports drink company’s ambassador lineup / PRIME

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the latest superstar athlete to join PRIME as a brand ambassador, the sports drink brand announced on Monday. Mahomes also endorses Adidas, Subway, and Oakley.

This is another major moment for PRIME, which was cofounded by Logan Paul and KSI in 2022. Last month, Bloomberg reported that PRIME is set to pass $1.2 billion in sales by the end of 2023—an increase from $250 million in sales last year.

Looking ahead: Whether signing international soccer stars or facing scrutiny from Congress, PRIME was full of surprises this year.

Will 2024 be the year that the company gets acquired? Time will tell…though Colin and Samir’s prediction that PRIME would turn Paul and KSI into billionaires has aged pretty well so far.  

🔥 Press Worthy

📚️ Thank You For Pressing Publish

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

  • Read: Will we see the great unbundling of social media in 2024? The Verge makes the case for the “fediverse,” an interconnected set of independent apps that each focus on niche use cases.

  • Watch: Commentary creator Ro Ramdin explores how a growing crop of creators turned outrage into profit in 2023.

  • Listen: “Nothing will make you sit down and write 800 words in 20 minutes than just needing to get it done.” Journalist Daisy Alioto sits down with the Longform podcast to talk about the highs and lows of building her newsletter-based media company Dirt.

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