Trends, news, and analysis: catch up on the week's biggest headlines with the Julius Works Blog's weekly roundup, your cheatsheet for staying in the know with influencer marketing.

News and Analysis:

YouTube & Dior Partner to Treat Influencers to the Backstage of Paris Fashion Week

As a part of a greater initiative to bring high profile brands to the platform, YouTube partnered with Christian Dior to bring seven fashion influencers backstage for content. YouTubers like Tanya Burr were given full and unprecedented access to the show for the purposes of content creation, giving subscribers unique and incomparable looks at the behind-the-scenes action of fashion shows.

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In June, YouTube hired Derek Blasberg to head a new talent procurement division, tasking him with connecting content creators with top brands. The goal was two-fold, to expand the profile of the platform's influencers and to expand its e-commerce capabilities. Last week, YouTube launched a service that allows users to make third-party purchases on-site without any redirections.

YouTube is looking to continue to profit off its influencers by enhancing the symbiotic relationship between platform, creator, and consumer. By expanding opportunities, empowering creators with production spaces, and improving tools for connectivity and e-commerce, YouTube is at the forefront of commercial UX. While Facebook has its marketplace, and Instagram has its own share of tools, YouTube's novel approach is a sign of what's to come. Should they navigate the space better than Twitch does with in light of its frequent accusations of nepotism, such partnerships can be improve YouTube's competitiveness in the video streaming space.

Facebook's Hacking Troubles Worse Than Initially Explained

Last week's Facebook hack, which involved the breaching and collection of so-called 'user tokens,' is evidently worse than initially reported. Last week, Facebook announced that 50 million accounts were 'directly affected; by the hack, and 40 million more were tangentially targeted. Though the response was to merely log-out the affected accounts, the rabbit hole evidently goes much deeper.

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The 'tokens' used for quick logins across various Facebook enabled apps, from mobile games to Tinder, means the extent to which the hack affected users is unknown. The supposed sophistication required to perform the attack is even more worrying. A company of Facebook's size, with the data it collects, will always be a target. Their security apparatus is robust, and they claim they're getting better at being proactive about security risks. However, the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the various aftershocks of the blast, is still settling. Time will tell how users react; some think the breach will be forgotten until the data is 'misused', while others have already fled the platform.

The health of the platform is dependent on user perceptions, and it's not a stretch to suggest a correlation between the effectiveness of influencers and the trust a user puts into the platform. As Facebook struggles to keep users on site and engaged, influencers, and moreover their campaigns, will struggle to maintain efficient returns.

Reddit Is A New Player in Video Streaming; 1 Billion Views Per Month

Reddit's built-in video player has amassed over 1 billion views per month, and its use is steadily climbing. Though a variety of YouTube and Vimeo links are posted, the native Vreddit player is slowly consuming users' frontpages. Bare-boned and no-frills, the native player is useful for everything from gifs and giphys to full-length content. As Reddit's head of ad sales, Zubair Jandali states, “It’s driving greater adoption and interest from brands.” Though in-video ads are yet to make their debut, native views means users stay on-site to consume content, meaning various ads will be seen throughout the viewing process.

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Reddit, one of the most popular sites on the internet, is a link and image aggregate arranged into message boards, a simplified forum of sorts. As its profile and notoriety increases, Reddit is implementing various UX/UI changes, as well as platform specific innovations, to make the site welcoming to new users and advertisers. Though the site is no stranger to controversy, given the nature of internet forums, these QoL changes are making the site even more enticing.

The real power of Reddit comes from its users, specifically its power users. The frontpage of the most popular subreddits is often dominated by a few high profile users that consistently post content. One such poster, u/Gallowboob, is known site-wide as the guy who got a job by reposting links on Reddit. While the site is known for its political astroturfing, it is possible that we might see the rise of the Reddit influencer. As the site improves features for user profiles and native video hosting, it's entirely possible that users can become influencers in their own right. Many viral careers have begun on the boards of Reddit — perhaps its time brands get their start too.

Some Interesting Reads For The Week:

"Unbiased Algorithms Can Still Be Problematic" - Via TechCrunch

"TV networks, studios use chat fiction app Yarn to promote shows, develop new franchises" - Via Digiday

Check out this nauseatingly trendy Manhattan penthouse for Instagram 'influencers' - Via TheWeek

Julius in the News:

Our salespeople are attending various conferences throughout the week, including the epic New York Advertising Week! Stay tuned on our Twitter and Instagram feed for live looks into the speakers and panels at the event.

That's all for this week, thanks for reading. Be sure to to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more influencer marketing news, analysis, and interesting content.