YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and other online platforms are changing the way people create and consume media. The Verge's Creators section covers the people using these platforms, what they're making, and how those platforms are changing (for better and worse) in response to the vloggers, influencers, podcasters, photographers, musicians, educators, designers, and more who are using them. The Verge’s Creators section also looks at the way creators are able to turn their projects into careers — from Patreons and merch sales, to ads and Kickstarters — and the ways they’re forced to adapt to changing circumstances as platforms crack down on bad actors and respond to pressure from users and advertisers. New platforms are constantly emerging, and existing ones are ever-changing — what creators have to do to succeed is always going to look different from one year to the next.
Unity executive Marc Whitten participated in a fireside chat that addressed the company’s new pricing program, the backlash it caused, and what it’s doing to win back developer trust.
This report by 404 Media discusses an unnamed Taylor Swift fan TikTok account with 90,000 followers that finds people in viral videos and releases their information, like name, occupation, and social media profiles. It does this using PimEyes, one of several facial recognition search engines. And at least so far, TikTok has declined to remove it.
One target told me he felt violated after the TikTok account using facial recognition tech targeted him. Another said they initially felt flattered before “that promptly gave way to worry.” All of the victims I spoke to echoed one general point—this behavior showed them just how exposed we all potentially are simply by existing in public.
The quick jaunt through the watches’ guts will look familiar if you’ve ever seen one of iFixit’s Apple Watch teardowns, but there are some small differences to be found inside, like a higher-capacity, hard-shell battery in both.
Consumers, states, and the FTC are taking marketing claims from wellness companies more seriously — and, increasingly, there are legal consequences.
The lawsuits come as online promoters move from endorsing other companies’ products to creating and pushing their own. Meanwhile regulators are looking more closely at influencer marketing, which is expected to exceed $21 billion this year, according to an industry report.
The phenomenal cast of Baldur’s Gate 3 is now live on Twitch playing a Dungeons and Dragons one shot as their characters. I don’t typically watch D&D actual plays, (sorry Critical Role fans) but I will be present and seated for this because I love all my murder hobo companions and I can’t get enough of them.
We’ve literally just now gotten word that Unity has changed its disastrous new pricing model after developers' protests, which you can read about from Ash Parrish here.
“We were never meant to see our faces this much,” argues a Dazed essay. The increase in video conferencing may also mean an increase in body dysmorphic disorder, one survey of more than 7,000 people suggests. (The survey also found an increased use of fillers in people aged 18 to 24.) Personally, I find it helpful to turn off self-view in video calls and insist on phone calls as often as possible.
The latest app taking on Twitter is getting a boost from Instagram’s billions of users.
Ruby Franke, a parenting YouTuber, has been charged with child abuse. And now some fans are questioning the genre:
Franke is part of a sprawling family social media apparatus in which her parents and all four of her siblings have their own dedicated YouTube channels, with combined followers around 5.5 million and views in the billions. Halterman found their content fascinating. It even made her feel closer to her faith, as both she and the Frankes are Mormon. “They looked perfect,” she says. But since Franke’s arrest, Halterman wonders if her interest in family vloggers is part of the problem. “I now see it for what it is — exploitation of these minor [children] and voyeurism on my part.”
[The Washington Post]
And when they complained to TikTok about their treatment, they were retailiated against, according to a complaint filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nnete Matima and Joël Carter say their work was sabotaged.
“I did everything in terms of filing complaints, reporting things going up the chain of command — I did everything I possibly could do, but found that the more I spoke up for myself, the worse I was treated,” Matima said in an interview with Bloomberg.
[The Washington Post]
Its seven tracks remind you to wear a helmet, not to look at your phone while walking, and uh, not to shoot fireworks at other people.
Honestly, they’re kind of bops? Is that what you say? Sorry, I’m 40.
Hands-on: Bambu’s first mini might show the future of consumer 3D printing.
The AI copyright wars are coming
Because he buys US lawmakers.
Jeff Yass owns roughly 7 percent of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, a stake worth about $21b or most of the bs in his personal $28b fortune. He’s also a top contributor to the Club for Growth (donating $61m or about 24 percent of its total), a conservative group that rallied Republican opposition to a TikTok ban, with Yass spending millions more to support his most influential allies in the cause.
It’s all very gross and par for the course and nobody likes it and LOOK THERE’S A NEW MARVEL THING HAHA IT’S SO GOOD!
Perhaps you’ve seen them: two girls, one wordlessly mixing a drink while the other one snacks. Why don’t they talk?
Honestly, the internet is too loud. The feed is too loud. TikTok is too loud. I’m scrolling and I just want everyone to shut the fuck up.
Turns out it’s still possible to have mystique on social media.
The company promises that “servers in the US” will be able to use the feature “soon.”
Starting October 2nd, Kellogg is splitting into two independent companies. Its North American cereal business — which includes iconic brands like Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes — will now be handled by WK Kellogg, while snacks like Pringles and Cheez-it will fall under... Kellanova.
Can’t wait to learn more from Go90, Oath, and Tronc.
Craig Fay’s TikTok about Die Hard is a good two-minute watch if you want to one-up someone the next time they want to drop the Die Hard Christmas trivia on you.
It’s more nuanced than Fay presents, so here’s some supplemental reading from Den of Geek with more detail about Die Hard’s sequel history.
The Wall Street Journal writes about the ubiquity of those unauthorized, user-uploaded movie clips on TikTok that may sometimes show up in your recommendations on the service.
WSJ reports that uploaders “appear to” game the algorithm with bot followers that boost a video’s popularity to get it into users’ FYP. Then, once users linger on a few, the algorithm surfaces more.
[The Wall Street Journal]
It stung a little when Thursday’s Nintendo Direct showed the opening of a race from the SNES F-Zero and it wasn’t a surprise F-Zero GX sequel announcement, but to its credit, F-Zero 99 is a blast.
Tinder Select is a $499 per month plan for Tinder’s 1 percent
Leaked Pixel 8 Pro deal shows Google will throw in a Pixel Watch 2 for free
Microsoft is going nuclear to power its AI ambitions
Apple defends Google Search deal in court: ‘There wasn’t a valid alternative’
The Action Button is the most significant new iPhone feature in years