Are Short-Form Creators Getting Short-Changed?

TikTok and YouTube limit links in videos

Good morning. Are you ready for the Streamy Awards Sunday evening? Ahead of the show, our very own Colin and Samir hosted a roundtable discussion with award nominees including Michelle Khare and Zach King. The crew covered it all, from predicting a video’s success to taking creative risks. Watch the conversation here.

TikTok Could Be Next to Target External Links

Illustration by Moy Zhong

TikTok is reportedly planning to ban video links to e-commerce sites like Amazon, according to a new report on TikTok Shop in The Information. TikTok denied the claim, TechCrunch later reported.

The move, should it come to fruition, would be in line with a recent push from TikTok to create an enclosed shopping experience for users, which also includes ending Shopify storefronts in favor of TikTok’s first-party TikTok Shop hub.

Context: TikTok wouldn’t be the first to target off-platform links—last week YouTube announced it will no longer allow clickable links in Shorts descriptions, comments sections, or vertical live feeds starting August 31.

While each platforms’ public-facing reasoning is different—YouTube wants to address scammers while TikTok wants to grow its shopping experience—some creators have suggested the effect could be the same.

  • What creators are saying: The link cutting could make it difficult to monetize via commission-based affiliate links like those on Amazon or LTK or via product sales of courses, merch, and more.

Zoom out: AI tech exec Alex Leo says the news is a reminder for creators to work towards owning their relationships with their audiences. “Whether you are a journalist or an influencer, do not depend on third-party platforms,” she tweeted. “Create a direct relationship with your audience that cannot be demonetized or destroyed by social media giants.”

India’s Lunar Landing Breaks YouTube Viewership Record

the Chandrayaan-3 livestream(left) and The Indian Space Research Organisation mission control room (right) / YouTube

On Wednesday, Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 became the first human-made vehicle to land on the moon’s south pole—and the mission’s YouTube livestream broke viewership records as over 8 million tuned in to watch the landing.

The creator POV: Popular Indian creators like Abhi and Niyu have been educating their audiences about the historic lunar mission for weeks. And in the last 48 hours, fellow Indian creators such as RJ Raunac and Gaurav Thakur have also recapped the mission on their channels, providing viewers an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment together in the comments sections.

The hype seems to have paid off. By the numbers…

  • 6.5 million viewers → The previous YouTube livestream record, set by CazéTV’s World Cup stream last year.

  • 375k → The number of videos uploaded to YouTube featuring the hashtag #chandrayaan3.

  • 47.8 million → The number of views on the hashtag #chandrayaan3 on TikTok.

FYI: India has the largest YouTube user base in the world, with roughly 467 million users (nearly double the second-biggest country, the U.S.) as of July 2023, according to Statista.

Dope Creator Partnerships: Zahra Hussain 🤝 Adobe After Effects 

Zahra Hussain / TikTok

VFX creator Zahra Hussain recently debuted a brand partnership with Adobe to highlight its After Effects software’s visual tracking features.

How it rolled out:

  • Hussain shared a 16-second video on TikTok and IG labeled “Serenity at Sunrise.”

  • The creator is pictured at a lake—a close-up shot of her eye reflects the purplish sky.

  • Hussain then narrated a video on Adobe’s accounts to show how she animated her eye.

Why it makes sense: Viewers learn a valuable, aesthetic After Effects skill through an easy-to-follow tutorial, while Hussain gets to share her unique visual style with a bigger platform.

“Having Adobe feature it on their own channels is pretty epic—I’m getting exposure to tons of artists who are similar to me and that I’d want to connect with,” she told us.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Podcaster Bobbi Althoff announces a live show in October with Funny Marco.

  • Illustration creator Struthless launches a program to help participants push their creativity.

  • Danny Duncan became a co-owner of fro-yo company 16 Handles a year ago—and sales have doubled since.

  • Uppbeat welcomes popular beatmaker Jeff Kaale as the latest headline artist to join the music platform for creators.*

  • TikTok launches a program with the BBC for UK creators looking to work in television.

  • Khaby Lame becomes a character in Fortnite.

*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: “Hustlepreneurs” selling dreams of how to become an internet millionaire are nothing new. But as Rest of World writes, the legacy of Sunny Ali (one of Pakistan’s most recognizable ecommerce creators) is anything but black and white.

  • Watch: “For better or worse, he is influencing a lot of people.” Johnny Harris and his team listened to “countless episodes” of Joe Rogan’s podcast as they chronicle the podcaster’s rise—and arrive at a conclusion you probably wouldn’t expect.

  • Listen: For years, R&B singer Victoria Monét paid the bills writing songs for pop stars like Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande. With her debut studio album now streaming to critical (and commercial) acclaim, Rolling Stone writes “Monét’s heart, discipline, and visceral grooves…[are] the crowning crystallization of an R&B resurgence.”

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