The economy of creators at the center of the crisis; Musk says Twitter usage is ‘high’

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Tech companies, which have been hit hard by the downturn this year, are increasingly looking to the creator economy to find ways to stabilize ad revenue and user growth. The latest is Snap, which on Tuesday announced the launch of its Sounds Creator Fund in India. YouTube, Meta and… Visa?


Also in this letter:

■ By the numbers: Musk says Twitter usage is at an all-time high
■ Zoho hit $1 billion in annual revenue: CEO Sridhar Vembu
■ Deloitte India fires employee after hack


Tech companies are focusing more on creators

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Social media platforms and other tech companies are increasingly tapping into the creator economy to boost their user numbers and revenue amid a severe downturn and growing fears of a looming U.S. recession and in other developed countries.

Driving the news: The latest to do so is Snapchat owner Snap, which launched its Sounds Creator Fund in India on Tuesday. The fund will provide monthly grants of up to $50,000 to independent emerging artists. The move is in line with Snap’s plan to deepen its presence and strengthen its revenue in India by tapping into regional content creators, especially in non-metro markets.

Read also | Why Snap is Courting Bharat

YouTube, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that users around the world will soon be able to watch short films — bite-sized TikTok-style videos — on TV screens as it seeks to fend off competition from TikTok. , Meta, Snapchat and others. A few months ago, the platform announced that it would start sharing ad revenue with Shorts creators from early 2023 as part of a series of changes to its YouTube Partner Program.

Meta, too, is increasingly focusing on the creator economy. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on an earnings call in late October, “I mentioned last quarter that Instagram Reels exceeded an annual run rate of $1 billion. We continue to grow monetization on Instagram. and Facebook and the combined run rate on those apps is now $3 billion.”

Beyond technology: Interest in the creator economy is not limited to tech companies. On Monday, Visa announced the launch of the Visa Ready Creator Commerce program, which will “help creator-centric platforms, such as social commerce and video game companies, integrate financial tools – like faster payments and more flexible via Visa Direct and tips and donations”.

Studies: Meta recently commissioned a report on the state of the creator economy and the opportunities it presents. According to the report, there are approximately 300 million independent creators worldwide, and the creator economy is expected to generate over $100 billion this year.

In mid-October, Adobe released a report titled “Monetization in the Creator Economy,” which found that nearly half of non-professional creators (48%) are now making money from their creative pursuits, with higher percentages in Brazil (59%). in the United States (53%), Germany (51%), the United Kingdom (51%) and South Korea (51%).

The report also says creators are optimistic about the Metaverse, with 68% expecting it to bring new job opportunities as it continues to expand.

Why now? While tech companies — especially Big Tech — exploiting creators aren’t a new phenomenon, they seem to have heightened their focus in recent months as the economic downturn has led to a slowdown in advertising, which has weighed heavily on their revenue, number of users and share price.

Snap’s stock is down more than 78% year-to-date, Meta’s is down more than 71%, and Google’s is down about 39%.


By the numbers: Musk says Twitter usage is at an all-time high

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Twitter’s new chief executive, Elon Musk, said earlier today that usage of the platform has skyrocketed since its takeover.

“Twitter usage is at an all time high lol,” he tweeted.

The company, in an internal FAQ shared with its sales team, claimed that its monetizable daily user (mDAU) growth has increased by more than 20% since Musk took over, reported The Verge and other media.

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A little history of the blue tick: Since its inception in June 2009, Twitter’s blue tick has undergone a host of changes – some intentional, some less so.

History of Twitter

Starting out as a way to control copycats, the blue checkmark quickly morphed into a badge of honor and status symbol, with the platform awarding the coveted symbol to only a few of its millions of followers. users.

Since taking over the company at the end of October, Musk has pledged to fundamentally change that, announcing that anyone willing to pay $8 a month will receive a blue tick and other perks as part of his premium Twitter plan. Blue.

Click here to learn more about the history of the controversial badge and its possible future.

Read also : Blue tick accounts suspended for impersonating Musk


Zoho Hits $1 Billion in Annual Revenue, Says CEO Sridhar Vembu

Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO of Zoho

Amid the economic downturn, Chennai-based Zoho Corporation announced on Tuesday that it had reached $1 billion in annual revenue from its diversified product portfolio.

“We built a product, a modest product and we made modest profits. We invested steadily in building more capabilities. Even our own employees wouldn’t have believed years ago that we could build all of this. This is the path of constant building,” Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO of Zoho, told IANS.

The company also announced on Tuesday that it plans to open 100 network PoPs (points of presence) around the world over the next five years to provide users with faster networks, and also to double investment in technologies such as than blockchain and AI.

R&D rather than marketing: Zoho, which spends three times its marketing spend on R&D and has been awarded 25 patents in the past three years, attributes its growth to strong R&D capabilities across all categories and markets, its diverse portfolio, and companies that choose unified offers rather than single products.

Read also : Pocket FM Surpasses $25M ARR, Considers US Foray


Deloitte India fires employee after hack

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Deloitte India said it fired an employee who ran a hacking business next door.

“We are aware of recent media reports outlining serious allegations regarding an individual who previously worked for Deloitte India. This person no longer works for Deloitte India,” a Deloitte spokesperson said.

Catch up fast: The Sunday Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism carried out an undercover operation that allegedly exposed India-based hacking groups targeting VIPs around the world. Aditya Jain, associate director of Delottie’s cyber unit, ran hacking firm WhiteInt, according to the report.

Earlier this year, undercover journalists posing as former intelligence officials traveled to India in search of hackers who could get them sensitive information from the emails and computers of key figures. Jain, who was quoted as speaking to undercover journalists, had joined Deloitte in February 2022.

Targets: The hacking firm’s database reportedly included confidential information on former Pakistani President Musharraf, Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, former British Chancellor Philip Hammond and former Pakistani minister Fawad Chaudhry, among others.


US Claims $1 Billion in Bitcoins Stolen on Silk Road

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The United States is seeking the confiscation of more than $1 billion in bitcoins stolen from the Silk Road online marketplace, Reuters reported, citing federal prosecutors.

Big hit: In the second-largest seizure in US Justice Department history, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents obtained 50,000 Bitcoin during a November 2021 search of the home of defendant James Zhong in Gainesville, Georgia.

Zhong, 32, pleaded guilty on Friday to wire fraud for tricking the Silk Road processing system into releasing funds to his accounts in 2012.

At the time it was seized, Bitcoin was worth over $3 billion. It has since lost about two-thirds of its value.

Some of the stolen Bitcoins were found on a computer in a popcorn box stored in a bathroom closet, IRS Special Agent Trevor McAleenan said in an affidavit.

Today’s ETtech Top 5 newsletter was curated by Zaheer Merchant in Mumbai. Graphics and illustrations by Rahul Awasthi.

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