Meta Responds to Its Next Threat: Apps That Link Instagram Influencers and Superfans – The Information

Meta Platforms is already waging a high-profile battle to keep TikTok from draining audiences from its best-known apps, Instagram and Facebook. Now Meta is having to respond to another set of competitors who are more quietly beginning to nip at its heels.
Increasingly, Instagram influencers are encouraging their most avid followers to meet up with each other on other platforms, such as Discord, Patreon, Telegram and an up-and-coming app, Geneva, where they can have deeper online discussions or pay to get access to bonus content. Deb Smikle, a creator known for posting photos of her outfits and videos reacting to online trends, is one of them.
Around this time last year, Smikle, who has about 90,000 followers on Instagram and almost a million subscribers on YouTube, began encouraging her fans to join a chat group on the popular online discussion app Discord because of the stilted nature of conversations in the public comments sections on her social media posts. Now Smikle’s community on Discord, which is free to join, has grown to more than 13,800 people, who gather in private chat rooms to do everything from share photos of their pets to recommend topics for Smikle to make videos about in the future.
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