Did you know that Facebook has permitted users to boost content since 2007? For younger platforms, that date is much newer with TikTok most recently introducing its Promote feature to all users in 2021. Boosting content consists of users paying to turn existing posts into revenue-generating advertisements. Simple as!
Most recently, more complex structures have been introduced. Such as by the likes of Musk who rid blue verification ticks on Twitter and replaced them with an $8 a month subscription for premium Blue subscription to have “prioritised rankings” in conversations on the app and in search results. Twitter has also teased a boosting feature outside of its subscription product. CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday tweeted that the more screen time users spend looking at a tweet, the more it is boosted, but he did not detail how much more visibility those posts would receive.
Similarly, Tumblr last year introduced a boosting feature called Blaze, which allows users to pay to promote and increase the reach of their own and others’ posts. Blazed posts show up as sponsored to other users, similar to the rest of the social networks, and are displayed for 24 hours. But unlike the competition, Tumblr’s Blaze comes in four tiers: $10 for 2,500 impressions, $25 for 7,000, $65 for 20,000 and $150 for 50,000. It’s the only social network in our table that provides users with upfront estimates of the number of extra eyeballs that will see their posts if they pay up.
While boosting posts may help with a specific piece of content, Jonathan Chanti, president of talent and chief growth officer of influencer marketing firm Viral Nation says that it’s not a sustainable way to grow a plugged-in following. “Part of being a good creator is understanding what makes your audience tick, investing in your craft and continuing to engage with them through organic content. Boosting to gamify your awareness is a very short-sighted approach”.
For creator, to boost or not too boost tends to lean more towards the latter. Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism, an independent creative agency, comments that these boosting features are, overall, likely a minimal percentage of a creator’s overall budget. “Probably a lot of it is when they’re trying to make up for a video that’s underperforming,” he said. “I can’t imagine that it’s more than single-digit percentages of their overall expenditure, maybe 5%.”
In regards to the strongest boosting platform, the percentage of YouTube viewing on TV has jumped since the below-30% reported in 2020, making the Google-owned video-streaming service the most watched outlet on TV. YouTube now accounts for more television viewing hours than any other single network or streaming service.