May 24, 2022
Evening, friends —
It’s been a while since we talked about design and aesthetics, but today feels right.
Maybe it’s the pseudo-summer weather bringing out the creatives from the crypts, or maybe it’s my endless social feeds of creative jet fuel stirring up feelings, but either way let’s make the most of it.
I’ve got a lengthy design segment, so settle in and get comfortable.
Here’s the brief:
- Twitter is launching Super Followers-only Spaces
- Subscriptions are rolling out on TikTok this week
- Why your Instagram Stories engagement could soon drop
- IG got a fun new squircle-inspired visual refresh
- Design spotlight: Retro-futurism meets modern 8-bit
- Kendrick Lamar’s new video is a use case in deepfake technology
Have a tip? Want to talk SAUCE? Hit me up.
Editor | The SAUCE
The latest social media news, stories, and updates we’re keeping a pulse on.
Twitter launches “Super Followers-only” Spaces chats
If you need to build up your Twitter subscriber base (while monetizing your content!), this one’s for you. Twitter is launching a new feature on Spaces that lets creators restrict access to “Super Followers” only, giving creators another way to monetize content.
As explained by Twitter: “With Super Follows-only Spaces, creators can offer an extra layer of conversation to their biggest supporters beyond Tweets by engaging them through live audio.
Members of your audience who aren’t super followers will still be able to see when broadcasts are shared but will need to subscribe to get access to the chat.
A creator subscription model is coming to TikTok
TikTok is continuing to make good on its promise of giving creators more ways to earn money through content.
This week, it’s rolling out the initial phase of Live Subscription, a new monthly membership program for creators who go live. Right now, it’s only available to a select group of creators, but TikTok plans to take it globally over the coming months.
At launch, subscriber perks will include:
- Subscriber Badges: Subscribers receive badges that are displayed next to their name on their profile and upgraded over time.
- Custom Emotes: Subscribers get access to exclusive emotes custom-designed by the creators to use during LIVE sessions to bring the community together and make your sessions more spirited.
- Subscriber-Only Chat: When the subscriber-only chat is turned on, creators and their subscribers have exclusive access to one another, enhancing an even more personal connection between creator and viewer.
Your Instagram Stories engagement could soon drop
Remember when Instagram Stories were the holy grail for content visibility? Now, it seems IG is de-prioritizing Stories (likely due to its focus on Reels).
The platform was recently spotted testing a new interface that hides Story posts after a certain frame count. Per Matt Navarra on Twitter:
You’ll want to read this one.
Instagram’s new squircle-inspired visual refresh
The platform debuted a refreshed look this week, which Instagram said is “designed to embrace continued evolution” and “create more immersive and inclusive experiences.”
The new IG look includes an illuminating take on its iconic pink-purple-yellow gradient, fresh “content-forward” UI layouts, and even a playful bespoke typeface, Instagram Sans. It’s full of curvaceous glyphs, quirky ligatures, and alluring letterforms.
A solid, captivating visual refresh 10/10.
Design spotlight: Retro-futurism meets modern 8-bit
IMO — pixel art will never get old. I’ve seen the retro-futuristic aesthetic resurfacing in a new generation of design (like here and here). It’s often a stunning take on composition that’s as modern as it is nostalgic.
Unlike digital vector artwork, this style attracts the viewer with its intentional pixelated aesthetic. It’s already on my bingo card that we’ll see a resurgence of retro-futurism crossed with 8-bit design as the style sees a fresh injection of modern typography, pastel gradients, and geometric treatments.
History lesson: Susan Kare (pictured below) was the OG of this style. A legend in her own right (seriously — how does one look so effortlessly cool?) Kare designed the first interface elements, icons, and typefaces for the Apple MacIntosh computer.
She also created the world’s first proportionally spaced digital font family — Chicago and Monaco. Basically, she brought art and personality to tech and we love her for that.
Kendrick’s new video uses AI deepfakes
Kendrick Lamar’s new “The Heart Part 5” single got a visual treatment of deepfake celebrity faces superimposed on his body.
For anyone interested in AI video technology, it’s worth a watch (and a listen, at that).
The clips seamlessly transition between AI faces of famous figures in recent Black culture — a reminder that deepfake technology isn’t always just creepy encounters or cloaks and daggers. It has massive value for creative expression: