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The Frenemy Report: Artificial Reality

While Facebook wages a war, tales of Instagram’s battles are bubbling up. WIRED details how influencers can use their powers for evil (smack-talking brands) while The Atlantic investigates the shady schemes of Instagram hackers posing as influencers, brands and agents — when reached for comment, the brains behind one operation eloquently replied by email: “becauze im a savage bitch Guciiiiii 4 lyyyffeee skrt skrt.”

#Follow4Follow: want to think like a teen, talk like a teen, market to a teen? Follow like a teen. Anyone who’s reading this probably knows PewDiePie as the King of YouTube– but are you keeping tabs on India? PewDiePie’s been going head-to-head with T-Series, a record label out of Bollywood who’s on track to surpass PewDiePie’s subscriber count any day now, according to Tubular Labs. As their videos average 6.5 million views each, Tubular Labs co-founder Allison Stern notes how creators can use music as a hook to gain ground with the younger generations, taking a page from Vevo’s playbook.

And what about following bots? AI is so hot right now. Check out these influence-bots, @lilmiquela@blawko22 and @bermudaisbae (three best friends managed by @brud.fyi) who have their pixels on the pulse of Millennial/Gen Z culture. They’re followed by the trendiest of my friends, doing brand deals, and their caption game is always strong AF. I’m only *slightly* jealous. To round out your robot research, dive into Sara Fischer’s take on machine learning and AI for media.

 

More headlines to gobble…

Founder’s Big Idea to Revive BuzzFeed’s Fortunes? A Merger With Rivals
New York Times

BuzzFeed Will Tell You What Millennials Want, for a Fee
Bloomberg

Kaufman’s 65-person team has generated about $50 million in sales this year from deals combining commerce and advertising, according to a person familiar with the matter

The Netflix Effect: Can Rivals Compete By Bulking Up On Content?
The Hollywood Reporter

WarnerMedia’s library of 7,000 films and 5,000 shows may not alone be enough to face off against a streaming giant that is spending up to $13 billion annually, so an NBCUniversal team-up could make sense.

How Will Disney Manage Hulu and Launch a Competing Streaming Service at the Same Time?
The Wrap

YouTube Is Now Showing Ad-Supported Hollywood Movies
Ad Age

Facebook’s Other Battle: Luring Viewers to Original Shows
The Hollywood Reporter

Sources say FB is spending selectively but competitively, writing checks for $2 million an episode or more, standard for a half-hour, for scripted shows like Queen America. Facebook has also set itself apart with a mandate for shows that lean into its core features, like connecting with a community.

‘Less than a McDonald’s happy meal’: Facebook’s video ad breaks aren’t working for creators
Digiday

Social Networks Double As Product Research Tools For Users
MediaPost

Facebook Watch Picks Up YouTube-Born Jimmy Tatro Comedy Series
Tubefilter

Facebook is shutting down its connected-TV ad network
Digiday

Portal Launches Ad-Free Video Service With Donations and Micro-Transactions
Variety

Instagram To Purge Inauthentic Likes, Follows, And Comments To Ratchet Down Fake Engagement
Tubefilter

How Hackers Are Stealing High-Profile Instagram Accounts
The Atlantic

Instagram Adds Ecommerce Capabilities For Select Video Posts
Tubefilter

Instagram Loses Two Senior Leaders After Founders
Bloomberg

1 🤖 thing: Machine learning and AI for media
Axios

Condé Nast Hires Tastemade’s Oren Katzeff to Head Video-Entertainment Group
Variety

Condé Nast Entertainment Names Vox Vet Patrick Bulger Executive Director Of Its Digital Video Division
Tubefilter