Inside the influencer economy, a sports betting boom, and SoftBank's struggles
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Hello!You might have noticed this week that Instagram is testing a feature that hides "likes" on posts in the US.Advertisement
As Amanda Perelli reported, some popular influencers and their teams have already begun expressing concern over the change.
"For creators, it's a big change because likes are the number one tool for tracking post engagement," Adam Wescott, a partner at the digital talent-management firm Select Management Group, told Amanda. "They know within minutes how their content will do based on number of likes."And, given how easy it is to buy followers, some are worried the change could lead to more fake influencers.
"Now that people don't have to make sure their likes correlate to their following, one of the easiest ways to spot fraud, this will create more fake influencers in my opinion," Joe Gagliese, the CEO of the influencer-marketing company Viral Nation, told Amanda.The shift is yet another milestone in the evolution of Instagram, and its relationship with a giant community of influencers who make a part- or full-time living from creating on the platform. Brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, according to Business Insider Intelligence research. On Instagram in particular, the average price of a sponsored photo has soared from $134.04 in 2014 to $1,642.77 in 2019, according to IZEA. Of course, it's possible to earn a lot more. Advertisement
For example, Caitlin Patton, who has 24,900 followers on Instagram, told Amanda she typically earns about $2000 for a campaign on the platform. And Katy Bellotte, a YouTube creator and Instagram influencer, told Amanda that on average she earns between $2,400 and $5,000 for a sponsored Instagram post.
Others have used Instagram to launch their own business. Julia Engel, who goes by Gal Meets Glam online and now has 1.1 million Instragram followers, in 2018 launched a dress collection that releases limited products every few months. Since launching, Engel's collection has earned $35 million in revenue, she told Amanda.The rise of the influencer economy is nothing new, of course. But this week's debate over hiding "likes" is another reminder that for platforms like Instagram and YouTube, it's not just those scrolling through their feed when they have a spare moment who notice a design change.Advertisement
There's a whole economy of folks who rely on the platforms for income who are also impacted.
Gaming, media, and tech companies are clamoring to corner pieces of the US sports-betting market, which Morgan Stanley estimates could generate $7 billion in revenue by 2025.Even Wall Street's looking for ways to get in on the action. As Rebecca Ungarino and Dan DeFrancesco reported this week, TD Ameritrade is considering business opportunities it could pursue within the world of sports gambling as it looks to make up lost revenue from moving to zero commissions.Advertisement
Here's your 101 on the booming sports-betting market, courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez:
- Here's why Iowa could be the next hot market for sports betting, according to industry insiders
- Here's how media companies can capitalize on the sports betting boom
- Here's why legal sports betting could be a game-changer for NFL, Nascar, and others in US media-rights negotiations
- Lastly, Ashley asked 3 investors to break down the biggest opportunities to cash in.
It's not just WeWork. As we reported this week, several other SoftBank-backed startups are also in the news for the wrong reasons:
- Short-term car leasing startup Fair burned through nearly $400 million in 10 months. Meghan Morris revealed how Softbank stepped in and cleaned house in the wake of WeWork.
- Insurance startup Lemonade has postponed IPO plans after plotting an offering for this year, Dakin Campbell reported. It shows how the pipeline for high-growth tech is getting clogged after WeWork.
- Plenty, a futuristic farming startup, raised $260 million from Jeff Bezos and SoftBank on the promise of upending agriculture. Insiders are raising questions, Erin Brodwin reported.
Finance and Investing
Goldman Sachs made a splash earlier this year when it announced the hiring of a top executive from Amazon Web Services, the online retailers' cloud service.
Prosper Marketplace, a pioneer of the peer-to-peer lending industry, has been exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the process.
The Tiger family tree continues to grow.
Tech, Media, Telecoms
Magic Leap Chief Financial Officer Scott Henry is stepping down and will help train a successor before transitioning into an advisory role, Business Insider has learned.
The Dell-owned developer software company Pivotal is facing significant job cuts as it prepares for the closing of its $2.7 billion acquisition by VMware, Business Insider has learned.
Microsoft may have defeated Amazon in the battle for the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud computing contract, but there's still billions of dollars worth of government cloud contracts on the table - and both companies have assembled influential teams to fight for their share.
Healthcare, Retail, Transportation
Walmart is restructuring its law department, and a raft of changes have unsettled insiders responsible for handling its massive caseload.
Uber is under massive pressure to turn a profit after an underwhelming initial public offering earlier this year and a $1.1 billion loss last quarter, and the path to getting there remains unclear.
Waymo may have more experience and access to more money than any of its rivals who are working on self-driving cars.
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