Compete or Coexist? Social Media and the Creator Economy

  • Focus on the creator, not the content — The social media giants are focused on pieces of content — serving the latest viral tweet or an algorithm for an infinite stream of videos to keep you glued to your screen (TikTok, YouTube). Whereas these new creator-centric platforms are focused on the relationship between a specific creator and their audience (Patreon, OnlyFans).
  • Cater to a subset of the creator’s audience — Creators amass followings for a variety of reasons. Platforms that are able to double down on serving the interests of a specific subset of the creator’s followers will succeed in migrating them over so the creator can best engage with this subset without alienating their broader fanbase. Depop, for example, has thrived in capturing the creator’s audience specifically interested in their fashion.
  • Create new ways for fans to engage — These new platforms also provide creators’ fans with materially new ways to engage. One of the best examples of this is Cameo, which brought the “digital autograph”, a deeply personalized experience previously unattainable, on a public feed.

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