Patreon CEO Jack Conte tired of Instagram and Facebook

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Before he became the founder and CEO PatreonJack Conte was a musician, mostly posting video clips of his songs on YouTube (which he still doing).

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Now running a company that helps creators earn a predictable monthly income from fan memberships, Conte is angry at the Meta. Like both facebook and Instagram do changes to emphasize algorithmic curation, even the Kardashians rallied behind the platform to “stop trying to be tiktok“.

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“I understand that I am a bit biased as a Patreon CEO. I understand that, but for creators it makes a big difference,” Conte said of the move to AI-heavy channels in an Instagram video. last week. “We’ve spent years investing in these platforms, building followers, building communities, and these changes remind us once again that it’s not our followers, it’s Facebook users.”

Meta’s relentless imitation of TikTok has been worrying creators for some time now, especially after Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the platform no longer just a photo sharing app.

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“Instagram gives the impression that photo-to-video conversion is something separate from algorithmic curation, but that’s not entirely true,” Conte said.

He’s right – promoting videos over photos is inherently an algorithmic decision. Although Zuckerberg said that our time spent watching videos increased by 30% compared to the previous quarter, this may simply be because we are getting more and more video content in our channels.

I actually think the issues are pretty intertwined because when you focus on a platform softening the relationship between creator and subscriber, you are essentially giving the platform the power and responsibility to decide what to send to whom, when,” Conte explained. “And that’s what angers me as a creator. Because I’ve spent years, decades building communities on these platforms.”

Following such widespread backlash, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said the social network go back some of its changes, including a TikTok-like test fullscreen channel and his increase in algorithmically recommended posts.

“I doubt the pullback will be long-term,” Conte told TechCrunch. “I think they’re trying to figure out what to do [over] like the next few weeks, the next few months.”

Wishful thinking among Meta executives seems a little closer to the theater than actually getting constructive feedback from users. After all, while Mosseri was making these announcements, CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced on hard challenge meta profit that algorithmically recommended content will be double on Facebook and Instagram by the end of next year.

“I believe Instagram is as committed to algorithmic discovery as Meta is,” Conte said. “I believe they are determined to move from a follower-priority model to an algorithm-driven model because I believe this is what they consider to be one of their major weaknesses compared to TikTok.”

It would seem that every social platform has attempted to emulate TikTok to some extent, which makes sense – it’s clear that the app is doing something right in getting the audience’s attention as it has achieved 1 billion monthly active users faster than any other platform. TikTok has launched the careers of countless creators by algorithmically promoting lesser-known personalities on their For You page, but even after you build an audience, it’s hard to make money from TikTok alone. One TikToker with 36,000 followers told TechCrunch that they only make “$1 to $6” a month from the TikTok Creator Fund, so instead they rely on brand deals, partnerships and payouts from other social platforms to generate income.

So when Meta imitates TikTok, they are imitating a platform that is still trying to figure out how to properly compensate creators. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that in algorithm-based channels such as TikTok and now Instagram and Facebook, there is no guarantee that your followers will actually see what you post, making it difficult to connect with them. YouTube also faced backlash when stopped automatically notifying subscribers new channel uploads.

To navigate the constant changes in algorithms and authors’ funds, Conte encourages authors to diversify their income streams.

“Don’t put all your eggs in the basket of any one company,” Conte wrote on his Instagram. video. Of course, Patreon itself is a bin, and a wrong move can seriously hurt creators who rely on the platform for monthly payouts. Some creators irritated that patreon is open curiosity for web3 can alienate subscribers who (for obvious reasons) consider blockchain technology as a vessel for develop scams. (For the record, Conte told TechCrunch that crypto features are not “on the roadmap” right now.) But that’s another reason why Conte’s advice to creators makes sense.

“I’m not going to stand in front of the creators and say that you should bet everything in your career on Patreon,” Conte said. “Of course you shouldn’t. You have to act like a smart business person, promote Patreon, sell merchandise, generate ad revenue and build an email list.”

While Instagram launches its own in-app subscription productthis might seem like the right moment for the CEO of Patreon to criticize a competitor.

“Strategically, we’re certainly paranoid about it and we’re looking into it, but we’re not losing sleep over it,” Conte said of Instagram creators’ following.

According to SimilarWeb, Patreon is getting very little traffic from Facebook and Instagram – Most of the site’s social media traffic comes from YouTube. On your own Patreon interview Of its creators, the platform found that 38% of respondents primarily work with video, followed by 17% with writing and 14% with audio. Conte also believes Patreon’s subscription business has an advantage over Instagram as it claims to be a creator first and foremost.

“Instagram has a fundamental choice,” Conte said. “Are we building a place where people can build deep, intimate, and lasting relationships with each other? Or are we building this top of the funnel, media, algorithmic curatorial platform?”

For now, it seems like the Meta has opted for the latter. This dichotomy also invites platforms to choose between what is best for creators and what is best for their bottom line. It doesn’t have to be a mutually exclusive choice, but Meta’s ad-driven business model makes it so.

“I believe that platforms and companies that respect the transition and shift towards creative people will ultimately benefit,” Conte said. “To me, in the long run, it’s like the creators of the meta fights, instead of respecting that the creators now run the show. And that, I don’t think, is a winning strategy.”

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