There is no Blue Monday here as the BDB UK team kicked off the weekly team meeting by discussing this week’s BDB Reads, including Sea Shanty TikToks, Snapchat’s Spotlight creator initiative and why the Dolan Twins have resigned from YouTube. 

TikTok is Being Used as an Educational Tool

Short-form videos are being harnessed for education – #learnonTikTok. With the change in privacy for under 16’s, is TikTok working towards becoming more child-friendly, and potentially targeting more of a parental user base?

Some Creators Are Making Millions Uploading Videos To Snapchat’s Spotlight

When Snapchat’s new short video platform, Spotlight, launched Nov. 23, it made an intriguing promise: each day, it would divvy up at least $1 million amongst the makers of its most popular content.

Since then, it’s paid out more than $50 million total to over 1,000 creators–and it plans to continue the million-a-day initiative for the foreseeable future.

Sustainability: What Brands Are Prioritising in 2021

While the pandemic is an ongoing and immediate crisis, brands are doubling down on commitments to reduce emissions, keep clothing in a virtuous loop of recycling and tackle human rights abuses in the supply chain in a bid to mitigate the risk that the next disaster to hit the industry is environmental. Scaling circularity, biodiversity, and social justice are coming into focus this year as brands react to the social, economic and technological shifts of the last 12 months.

The Dolan Twins, With 11 Million Subscribers, Resign From YouTube To Pursue Other Ventures

Ethan and Grayson Dolan announced they are moving on from their flagship YouTube channel to podcast series and shorter-form content on other social platforms, stating that the platform has started to feel somewhat stale and limiting and that they are no longer interested in appeasing the YouTube algorithm. Check out the twins’ video on why they’ve opted to step away from YouTube here. Will other influencers follow suit?

Indonesia Criticised for Prioritising Social Media Stars in Vaccine Drive

The country is prioritising healthcare and public service workers as it embarks on the biggest mass inoculation drive of CoronaVac, but it is also giving preference to social media influencers in the hope that it will help persuade a sceptical public. Deciding who should be first in line for limited vaccine doses has been a challenge around the world, with many countries prioritising vulnerable medics and the elderly.

Senior health ministry official, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, said the decision to include influencers alongside almost 1.5 million healthcare workers in the first round of inoculations was a deliberate government communications strategy. 

The Scottish Postman Behind ‘Sea Shanty TikTok’

Finally, something to cheer you up on Blue Monday! Scottish postman Nathan Evans has emerged as the source of a worldwide trend on video-sharing app TikTok. But instead of dance videos, life hacks and make-up tutorials, the 26-year-old from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire has become “TikTok famous” for singing ancient sea shanties. It has also been duetted countless time and been turned into a collaboration with other TikTokers. On TikTok, videos tagged #seashanty have had more than 70 million views.

Google Trends even tweeted on Tuesday that “sea shanties” was being searched for more than it ever had in search engine’s history. 

What have you been reading this week? See you next week for another BDB Reads.

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