Socialyte Insight

Inside the World of Influence


Are YouTubers About to Be Taxed for Their Videos?



[By: Liam Dryden] [We the Unicorns] [Read More]

France just introduced a “YouTube tax” that will take a cut of online video’s ad revenue – what does this mean for creators?

Earning money on YouTube is a tricky game. You have to pull in enough views from people who have advertising enabled; and after that, it’s highly likely that Google (and maybe your management) will take a cut of what you earn. But what would happen if governments enforced an extra “YouTube tax” on top of that?

This is something that French lawmakers have actually voted into play this week, Fortune reports. While it still has to pass the National Assembly before it becomes law, it would impose a levy of 2% on all revenue generated from online video; meaning sites like Netflix and Vimeo would be affected too. Not only that, but it would be raised to 10% for videos of a pornographic or violence-inciting nature.

The belief is that this proposal was brought into play after European countries began to take issue with US tech giants like Google and Apple; who are globally-used organisations but do not pay a reflective amount in taxes.

What does this mean for YouTubers, though?

Truly the million-dollar question to anybody who cares, is how this potential dip in revenue will affect creators. With YouTube’s “new” terms of service that sparked #YouTubeIsOverParty just a couple of months ago, creators are already trying to find different sources of income off the platform. And if other countries attempt to follow France’s lead and introduce additional taxes, that’s a lot of percentages that will be slowly shaved off the top of their income.

But your favourites creators probably don’t have to start tightening their belts just yet; because there are a lot more hoops to jump through before this becomes official. Apparently a similar law to this “YouTube tax” was attempted in 2010 without success, and it would also have to be approved by the European commission.





Controversy Brews on YouTube Over Endorsements of Hillary Clinton

Should YouTubers pressure their peers to endorse candidates?



[By: Amy Odell] [Cosmopolitan] [Read More]

Some of the internet’s most influential YouTubers are starting to endorse Hillary Clinton, a controversial move that has riled both their peers and their followers. Casey Neistat, who has nearly 5.5 million subscribers and whose channel tends to feature videos about travel and adventure, started the recent wave of endorsements in a video where he sits down in front of his camera and says simply, "Hillary Clinton. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton." Instead of running on and off planes or jumping off of cliffs, Neistat does nothing but sit in a darkened room and talk directly to the camera about how he usually doesn’t bring politics into his channel — but this election is different.

I avoid talking politics on this channel, on this forum, because politics are divisive — there’s always two sides Republicans and Democrats; there’s left and there’s right. I can have my own opinion and there will always be an opposing one. That is the nature of a healthy democracy. But this is not that. This is about a megalomaniac who is driven by nothing but ego. A man who cares exactly zero about the people of this country. A person who brags about sexually assaulting women and shames others for the way they look. I’m speaking up now because this election has very little to do with politics, policy, or legislation. This election has to do with morals and principles.

Neistat then lays out his argument for Clinton, which is that she’s the only one who can defeat Donald Trump (who he does not name once in the entire two and a half minute video):

I’m voting for Hillary because, make no mistake, there is one person who can defeat him. One person who can keep him away from power, and it is her. I’m not a huge fan of her stale politics, I’m entirely aware of all the criticism against her, I’m aware of all of her failures and shortcomings. But she’s intelligent, and she knows what she’s doing. More importantly, she’s mentally sound, she’s responsible, and she’s sane.

The controversy over his video isn’t about the fact that he endorses her as a means of votingagainst Trump rather than for her, but what came next: a call to action to his fellow influential YouTubers to do the same:

I want to end this by calling out all the big YouTubers. Some I know and some you viewers might know. See, making videos like this — they’re not popular, they’re not going to get you subscribers, they’re not going to boost your view counts. But there is something much more valuable than subscribers or dollars, and that’s backbone. That is not being scared to stand up to what is right, regardless of the costs.
The top twenty YouTubers reach over a billion views every week, every seven days. We have the power to activate a demographic, an electorate that isn’t typically very active. That is young people. This generation, if we’re all banded together, we have the power to ensure that this tax-avoiding, lying, racist, misogynist stays away from power and out of the White House. But it requires all of us coming together.
So, if your favorite YouTuber says things like, ’I don’t like to talk politics on my channel,’ or ’I’m not going to reveal who I’m voting for,’ call them out. Sitting on the sidelines this time around is not ok. This election is different. And if this guy gets elected and you stood back with your arms folded and didn’t speak out against him, it makes you complicit. It makes youpartially responsible for handing him the reins of power. Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow for a fun happy video.

The video ends with a message that his endorsement was not paid for or planted by the Clinton camp.



Fellow YouTuber Philip De Franco, who has 4.8 million subscribers, responded the day Neistat’s endorsement went up on Twitter:

The next day he posted a video of his own in which he said he would not be revealing his own political views.

He accused Neistat of being on a "high horse," questioned the value of celebrity endorsements generally, and raised the possibility that Neistat is violating YouTube’s terms of service, which prohibit the "incitement to harass other users or creators." It’s the call for those in the community to ask other YouTubers to take a stand on the election that DeFranco says bothers him the most:

It was at this moment, in my opinion, Casey Neistat released a hate mob. I saw this as a general annoyance, some going as far to say that Casey Neistat’s actually breaking terms of service with this, specifically the terms of service of the harassment and cyberbullying section. The note that says harassment may include ’incitement to harass other users or creators,’ because that’s what’s happening to a ton of creators now. People are just spamming this video and saying, ’Where’s your backbone, insert YouTuber?’ ’Why are you not coming out against Donald Trump, are you racist, random YouTuber?’ ’Oh you didn’t come out in support of Hillary Clinton, you must hate women.’
And some people defended Casey saying he wasn’t saying come out and support Hillary Clinton, he was saying come out and support who you care about, let’s have a conversation. But no, we didn’t — literally the video ends on this still [paraphrasing still]: ’You need to vote for her and make sure everyone you know votes for her or the consequences of electing the unstable irrational alternative will be far reaching and severe.’ And I say this as someone who’s being hit by this harassment a lot less than many other YouTubers. And that’s in large part thanks to my audience being smart enough to realize that Phil is going to give us information, he’s going to talk about the bad things for everyone, he’s going to talk about how those people that they’re being accused, they’re defending themselves and he’s not going to push his biased agenda on us, he will let us come up with our own opinion. A lot of other YouTubers don’t have that benefit.

He concludes this segment by encouraging his readers to register to vote and get informed about the candidates.

Comedian and author Grace Helbig, who has 3 million subscribers, took Neistat up on his challenge and posted her own video endorsement of Clinton.


"Oh it makes my heart ache!" Helbig says of this election. "I wish I knew the right way to talk about this — and there is no right way. There’s the left way." (Zing-a-ling!) Helbig acknowledges the controversy surrounding Neistat’s video, but goes on to say, "I will be voting for Hillary Clinton this election. Donald Trump is so many things that I don’t want as a representative of the country that I live in to the rest of the world."

Though theories that Neistat are being pad by the Clinton campaign are circulating, DeFranco shot them down in a follow-up video. He says that a third party had offered him money to endorse Clinton, but he turned it down because he doesn’t believe it’s his place to endorse anyone. He also assures fans that he and Neistat do not have a feud and even had a productive phone call about the place of YouTubers in the political fabric of our world.

Whether or not you agree with Neistat’s decision to share his views on who to vote for or his choice of candidate, he’s right about one thing: This is not an ordinary election. It’s not simply a choice between policy platforms. It’s about something much more fundamental than that.





We’re Psyched About Chiara Ferragni’s Collab With This Huge Denim Brand

[By: Ashley Tibbits] [The Zoe Report] [Read More]




Super stylish ladies like Bella and Gigi Hadid, Diane Kruger, and Jennifer Aniston — all of whom are known for their effortless off-duty looks — have all pledged devotion to Levi’s classic 501 style on their derrieres, so of course the relaxed fit, button fly jeans are also a favorite of mega-popular fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni. And now the Italian influencer’s devotion to the denim brand has led to her co-creating her very own limited run of 501s.

The Blonde Salad founder — who, by the way, has graced covers of international fashion mags and was comfortably seated in the front row of several major fashion week shows this season —  put her own spin on the tried-and-true style by including a touch of stretch, distressed details, and either bandana patchwork or a hand stitched heart on the back pocket.

The collaboration started back in the spring when Ferragni headed to the Eureka Innovation Lab in San Fransisco, and now you can finally shop the two styles, each for $168, via Levi’s online shop — but you’d better act fast since the limited supply is expected to sell out fast.



Trust Influencers To Power Your Video Content

[By: Chuck Moran] [Adotas] [Read More]



Many marketers consider a branded video that has “gone viral” to be a major accomplishment, and rightly so. Who could possibly resist the prospect of a brand’s content shared by millions? By the traditional measure of digital advertising – impressions – a viral video is about as close to a grand slam as you can get.

The problem with swinging for the fences is that you are, most times, going to strike out.

So much so that brands hoping to see a video take off and “go viral” might just be better off spending the money on paid media placements. Having a video “go viral” is indeed an accomplishment, but a content marketing strategy can’t rely on the blockbuster for sustained success. Nor is creating a video to go viral a strategy. A better approach is to aim for base hits. Or rather, “narrowcast” your branded videos to be seen by a more targeted and engaged audience that’s likely to buy your product or service. In other words – impressions may help lift brand awareness, but there are other metrics that determine a campaign’s success.

Video content that goes viral has a life onto its own – its popularity fueled by organic sharing. The challenge for marketers pursuing a narrowcasting strategy is to find targeted placements that draw audiences that are more likely to engage with and share seeded content – placements that will fuel the same buzz a viral blockbuster garners. The seeding of content does not have to be be ruled by the obvious celebrity, but can rather by a new class of celebrities known as influencers. Celebrities might have a huge following, but that doesn’t mean those followers are engaged. Influencers command as many eyeballs as traditional celebrities, and they can elevate a branded video campaign from a hope and a prayer into a surefire success.

Has Going Viral Changed?

If you take a step back, the way videos go viral hasn’t changed much since 2011. When YouTube Trends Manager Kevin Allocca gave a TED talk about viral videos that year, he emphasized that there were three contributing factors: tastemakers, online communities and unexpectedness.

Five years later these three factors still hold true, but have evolved.

* Consumers have become even more unpredictable.

* Viral videos are still surprises

* Content continues to shock everyone with its utter randomness and obscurity.

Could anyone have pinpointed the captivating power of Damn Daniel? Chewbacca Mom? Double Rainbow? Bed intruder? This video of a dude opening 30 plastic eggs (650 Million + views)? None of these scream, “blockbuster!”.

Further – none of the aforementioned viral videos were created by brands.

In the last several years, online communities have proliferated. Niche audiences today gather in a variety of platforms – such as Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook that were either still in their adolescence in 2011 or not even born yet. These diverse communities are bound by common interest – that range from a shared sense of humor or point of view, to a passion for an artist or hobby. Consumers belong to several at once, and new ones pop up every day.

Perhaps the biggest evolution, though, has come with the tastemakers themselves. As previously mentioned, the last five years have witnessed the emergence of influencers – an entirely new big-league of social media all-stars that eschew traditional celebrity and in many ways outperform it. In the days before social media, brands faced few options beyond movie stars and famous athletes, perhaps the occasional business magnate or retired politician (Mr. Dole, I’m talking about you) or a pitchman of your own creation (shudder!). Today, the people who can take a brand’s message to the right audience are people you’ve probably never heard of.

Want to sell detergent to moms?

Try Zina Harrington and her 1.3 million Pinterest followers. Millennials? How about Sara Hopkins or Cyrene Quiamco on Snapchat. Exercise buffs? Amanda Russell has some 80,000 people following her fitness videos. Want to hear about woodworking? Try Steve Ramsey. Tutorials on his YouTube channel have more than 30 million views.

Take a look again at those numbers. 30 million?! Those are figures large enough to get network television executives salivating. And these audiences are not commanded by CBS or NBC. They are commanded by influencers.

Welcome to The New Influencer Model

So there’s no longer a need to sit around and pray for your content to go viral (after all, praying is about all you could do). There’s now an infrastructure for influence on the social web, and influencers are its main architects.

Media has changed from a vehicle for releasing a message en-masse to a long-tail environment where everyone can geek out on what interests them. This is a tremendous opportunity because, as marketers know, real connections are made when you tap into a genuine passion.