Taylor Swift Wore This Creator’s Merch 💃

Guess what happened next

Good morning. The latest in the competition for text-based social platforms: Meta’s Threads passed X in daily active users in the U.S., and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone joined the board of competing platform Mastodon over the weekend. Do you think any newcomers can outplay X?

News Roundup: Platform Earnings and the Future of TikTok

Platform news this week covers YouTube, Snapchat, Meta, TikTok, and Patreon / Illustration by Moy Zhong

Here are the platform headlines you can’t miss heading into this week →

YouTube and Snapchat cruise past Wall Street’s forecasts—while Meta stumbles. YouTube passed $8.1 billion in ad sales during the first quarter of 2024, a 21% increase from last year.

  • Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said that advertisers are increasingly shifting their budgets to YouTube as more users watch the platform on their televisions.

Snapchat daily active users topped expectations with 422 million in Q1, leading Snap shares to jump nearly 25% on Friday.

Meta lost $200 billion in market value after CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the company’s metaverse investments continue to lose money.

TikTok is not a priority in U.S.-China talks. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week and announced that the two countries will be holding a wide-ranging dialogue—focused on AI and other emerging technology regulation—within the “coming weeks.”

The current stalemate with TikTok (whose China-based parent company, ByteDance, has nine months to sell the app or face a ban in the U.S.) “did not come up” in the talks, according to Blinken. ByteDance previously said that it won’t sell TikTok.

Patreon labels potential TikTok ban “devastating” for creators. Patreon, which has been critical of TikTok in the past, argued that creators “deserve to own [their] relationship with [their] audience in a way that isn’t beholden to any one platform.”

“More competition is good for creators—it gives them more leverage and ultimately more control over their businesses,” Patreon wrote in a blog post.

Cassey Ho’s Popflex Experiences the Taylor Swift Effect

Taylor Swift (left) wore the Popflex Pirouette Skort in “Digital Lavendar,” designed by Cassey Ho (right), who is also the creator and founder of Popflex and blogilates / Taylor SwiftCassey Ho

Fitness creator Cassey Ho’s activewear brand, Popflex, got a big sales boost from a Taylor Swift YouTube Short.

The alchemy: Two weeks ago, Swift posted a Short that included her wearing a lavender Popflex skort. A Swift fan account shared the shopping details on Instagram, and the skort sold out 15 minutes later. 

Then Ho leaned into it:

  • Ho told Inc. that she changed her Shopify site settings to allow for pre-orders and has since sold 6,000 more skorts through the feature. 

  • She added “(Cassey’s Version)” to the product title and Swift lyrics that referenced a lavender skirt in the description.

FYI: Over the last year, Ho’s battled with Shein and Amazon dupe retailers who have ripped her skort design, for which she now has a design patent.

What’s next: Ho is working to get the skort ready to ship in the next couple of months—Popflex will have to weave new fabric, color match, and cut design patterns.

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One of its features? An image editing tool that generates, matches, or removes the background of your existing product photos.

“The fact that you can take a photo on your phone and make it look like it was shot in a studio is incredible,” said our very own Colin Rosenblum (it’s his favorite feature BTW.)

Built a loyal fanbase and have something to sell? Visit Shopify to get started today.

FaZe Clan Restructures

FaZe Clan teases a new era / FaZe Clan

As part of a “reboot,” gaming organization FaZe Clan announced 16 layoffs, including longtime creators FaZe Blaze, Dirty, and Linkzy. There are now 14 creators left on the FaZe roster.

Backstory: Since FaZe Clan’s founding members resumed ownership of the brand last October, CEO Richard “Banks” Bengston has been on a mission to wipe the slate clean. 

FaZe has laid off more than 20% of employees and pulled out of select esports leagues like VALORANT and Rocket League. Meanwhile, FaZe’s product licensing business has thrived.

Former members have taken to YouTube to speak out about getting cut from FaZe, but Bengston stands by his decision.

“I’m ok with being the bad guy,” he said on X. “It’s a blessing [FaZe] value crashed to basically zero because now we have it back. We have the second chance literally no one ever gets.”

👀 Creator Moves

  • Intelexual Media is looking for a video editor with a knowledge of history and Black pop culture.

  • MrBeast is hiring a concept artist to illustrate video ideas as thumbnail designs.

  • Gymnasium is looking for a NYC-based video editor proficient in Davinci and Premiere Pro.

Calling all creators: an exclusive opportunity to tell the story of freelancers and get paid for sharing your experience. Join the Fiverr creator network today.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

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