62 - Doug Weiss, Instagram (Meta)

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This is a podcast episode titled, 62 - Doug Weiss, Instagram (Meta). The summary for this episode is: <p>In Ep. 62 of Earned, CreatorIQ’s own Tim Sovay sits down with Meta’s Doug Weiss, head of creator commerce at Instagram. We start the episode by learning how Meta has grown and changed over the years, with Doug unpacking the evolution of creators, shoppable content, and content format on Facebook and Instagram. We learn what attracts creators to Instagram, and Doug emphasizes how the platform allows creators to reach an audience and build a community in a way that was previously impossible. We then discuss Instagram’s pivot to short-form video content in the form of Reels, before hearing why the platform expanded its model from connecting people to people, to connecting people to content. Next, we explore how the pandemic expedited the rise of e-commerce, and how Meta supported brands in growing their online businesses through shoppable content and ads. Finally, Doug tells us why Meta prioritizes its partnership program with other companies—including CreatorIQ—before closing the show with his predictions for the future of the creator economy, and the role Meta will play in it.</p>
Meta's Evolution
06:12 MIN
Why Creators Choose Instagram
04:21 MIN
Meta's Pivot to Video Content
04:44 MIN
The Rise of Shoppable Content
06:42 MIN
Meta's Partnership With CreatorIQ
05:31 MIN
The Future of the Creator Economy
05:34 MIN

Intro: Explore the minds and marketing strategies behind today's winning brands and businesses. Tap into the power of the creator economy with Earned by CreatorIQ. Here's Conor Begley.

Tim Sovay: Hello and welcome to the Earned podcast. My name is Tim Sobey. I'm the Chief Business Development and Partnerships Officer at CreatorIQ. It's an honor to be filling in for Conor today as he spends some quality time with his growing family as they welcomed in their new baby boy, Adam. I'll do my best to fill those big shoes in stylish wine shirts today. I'm honored to be here with Doug Weiss, head of creator commerce at Meta. Doug, how you doing today?

Doug Weiss: I'm so good. Glad to be here. I have to say, I think Conor may not have his priorities in order. I feel like this should have been priority number one instead of his new kid. But obviously congratulations to him and you and I have known each other for so many years. Glad that you are the more than suitable replacement that I have today.

Tim Sovay: Thank you. Very excited to add interim podcast host to my LinkedIn next week. So let's jump in. So you've been working at Meta for about eight years now, which is super exciting. I'm sure there's been a ton of big changes over those eight years. I know you've had a variety of roles. But really, what have you seen both in the company as an industry overall change in your time at Meta?

Doug Weiss: And maybe just to give everyone who somehow doesn't know who I am, a little bit of backstory and what has been my journey to where I am today. So as you said, been at the company for eight years. Started my career largely in management strategy consulting, first kind of generalist, and then focusing on digital strategy. And when I left, I joined Meta because even at that time eight years ago, it was a interesting large company and already had IPOd, but it was a company that really had a lot, in my view, a lot of potential ahead of it. I originally joined what was known as our product partnerships team. One of the things that I've really liked about Meta is not only it's philosophy on building things itself, but really working with companies of all kinds to think about how do we build the best product by leveraging the capabilities of others to really collaborate and build things together? That's part of the reason CreatorIQ and us obviously work so well together. But I mean when I first joined even eight years ago, it was an established business, but the reality is it's amazing how much has changed in the eight years. When I first started, our annual revenue was somewhere in the range of$ 20 billion, which obviously is a massive amount of money. That's nothing to sneeze at. But I think as we look at this year, it's$ 130 billion. And I think part of that has just been the evolution of social to being more than just an organic surface, but a way for a lot of brands and individuals to connect and connect in ways where obviously we've built an ads business, but we've built all kinds of businesses off of that connection between people and businesses and people and each other. I think that right when I was joining, we were going through the fairly significant move to mobile, we were more on the tail end of it. But if you think about 2012, 2013 where iPhone had just come out. This idea of having a very powerful mobile device in your hand was very new. That was really the biggest change that I was seeing right when I came in. And then I was in the ads business for four years. I think the biggest thing that I've now been a part of is this movement to thinking about the interactions between brands and individuals, not only as discovery and exploration, but really around commerce. Around now four years ago I made the transition first in a role around product partnerships. So working with commerce platforms like Big Commerce and Shopify to figure out as we're building a way for brands to connect with individuals, how do we make it easy for those brands to actually not only show a piece of content but make that content shopable? And I was really excited because in many ways a lot of the things that could make Meta a very powerful shopping platform were just part and parcel of who we were just by what we had built to become a connectivity and connection platform. And then the other thing, and so I think this movement into commerce and this movement into being something beyond just content, but I like to say probably usable content or entry point content. The other thing that's been super exciting is obviously kind of the transition and the evolution of creators. From day one I think there was this idea of people who are creating content not just for themselves, not just for their close friends and family, but actually for a broader audience. And in many ways I like to think that we really helped create this whole wave that you're now seeing across basically every industry of people. Taking what had been a side hobby, what had been something that they may have done, digital pictures five years ago and maybe shared through a janky website, how do we think about actually evolving that into something where their expertise, their creativity can be used to help them be more well known and potentially even run a business. And so with that kind of evolution of creators, I then made the move to lead up a new team that we had built, which is all around creator commerce. And the idea of, it's not just the brands that are driving shopping on our platform, but it's individuals and personalities. Everyone from Reese Witherspoon and Kim Kardashian on one end of the spectrum to the neighbor that you had no idea knows anything and everything about the latest ceramic cookware. Really being able to empower individuals as in addition to brands, to really I think become that influence and become that voice to help people make decisions. And so for us it's been really exciting because I think our platform really has democratized access for individuals to reach populations that are relevant to them. So to me that is another big revolution that we're very much in the midst of. We're increasingly building new products for these people. We're increasingly building teams like my own to really address the go to market needs of these people. And we're really building out new partnerships, obviously with the one we have with CreatorIQ to help both creators, brands and individuals function in a much more productive way for all parties. And I think the thing that, you didn't really ask this, but I'm going to go there anyway. I think the change in format where I think it was very photo first at first, then you try to intersperse short video, now short form video. And then obviously with all the investments we're making in virtual reality and with our reality labs division, whatever format comes next. I think that's one of the things that's great about working at this company is that you have not only a massive opportunity in connecting with people and connecting with brands today, but we're always looking to the next thing. And with all the investments we're making around that virtual reality and augmented reality space, I think being at the forefront of content no matter where it goes next.

Tim Sovay: So we're going to cover a lot of that about the platforms, about creators around VR, AR, kind of next gen formats. But something I've really honed in on that you said that you joined a company at$ 20 billion and I was very lucky early days as a client to be in some of Facebook's early offices. I remember the old Palo Alto offices and even at$ 20 million, I would imagine that it still felt like the world's largest startup back then. Probably thousands of people and obviously tens of billions of revenue. But what was it like with that energy, that moment in time when everyone was really building together at Facebook?

Doug Weiss: I mean, honestly, and part of it have been choices I've made myself very purposefully is that even today at, I actually I should know this, but roughly 100,000 employees and 130 and billion, I think I am struck by how much nimbleness and speed and honestly some level of decentralization of decision making that is present in the company. I think that was for me, one of the things that really attracted me to the company when I first joined of, you hire smart people. You empower them with the right tools to be able to do the work that they need to do, and then you trust them to make the right decisions. And so on some level, I think there are these situations where I can honestly say, and this is again partially my personality of being focused on the things that I need to focus on, there are things happening in virtual reality labs that I just have no idea about. Because they're going off, they're the experts in that space, they're going off and building that. And that was something that was true eight years ago that I think is still true today. I think this is what's allowed the company to very quickly adapt with what's changing in the industry, what's changing in consumer habits, what's changing in what businesses want to do. Because instead of having all these layers of hierarchy and bureaucracy, you empower the people who are closest to the subject matter expertise to really make the decisions that make most sense. I think it's really allowed, again, the company to make these evolutions that have continued to allow it to be successful and grow. On some level there are times where I think it's interesting because I think some of the infrastructure that people would expect, or the resourcing that people would expect for an almost half a trillion dollar company, just to this day, I think is just not in the ethos of the company, of having endless resources and being able to do whatever you want in a very leisurely way. I think one of the things that's really core to how the company, again, has continued to be successful is there's this hacky hunger that I think is still very much in everything that we do that again, I think both allows us to move fast, but allows us to be creative. In most large companies, I previous I was in strategy consulting, I had my exposure to my fair share of a large number of different companies it's just very unique. And I think it's one of those things, again that has allowed the company to be so successful.

Tim Sovay: I think that speaks to obviously the continued success and growth of the company. Let's dive into the platform or app that probably matters most to us in this conversation today and that's Instagram. So we're fortunate enough to track many platforms in our solution, our systems, it's by far and away the number one platform for brand and content and creators today. When we look at our thousands, if not tens of thousands of campaigns that are running through our platform on an annual basis, I think Instagram's part of north of 75% of campaigns running through our platform. Probably double what the second place is. You touched on it a little bit around the partnerships around content, but what do you think it is that really attracts creators to the platform and really what has been that lightning bolt for the creator community on Instagram?

Doug Weiss: In my view, it's I think three key areas. One is just what is I think the core to why both Facebook and Instagram are successful at its heart, which is the immense personalization that we are able to do to allow an individual to find an audience and to find a community of people that have a similar interest or have a similar affinity or have a similar shared experience in a way that previously was basically impossible. I think our understanding of people and our understanding of the importance of not only showing content to that person, but allowing for a bit of a two- way conversation between the creator and their fans or the creator and other creators or the creator in their community. I think our ability to create those connections in a really personalized manner I think was really before our time unparalleled. I think the second thing is, again, we have invested, I think on all pillars. As I think about the ecosystem on Instagram, I think of it as users, creators, and brands. We have really invested a lot in making sure that we have capabilities that allow each of those different entities to not only have capabilities that matter to them and are accessible to them and drive value for them, but also to connect to the other pillars. One of the things that we've invested a ton in over the last two years is a set of tools that enable it to make it easier for creators to connect with their brands in improved and better ways. And allow for some of that, the sharing of insights and having the connection in a way that previously was impossible. Or between creators and individuals, whether it be through subscriptions, whether it be through close friends, this ability to have a different form of connection and relationship that again, brings value to all parties. So I think it's a constant evolution of capabilities that again, bring value to all parties. And then the third I think also is just the reality of, I do think that the format itself is just very conducive. I think especially if you think about some of our core verticals, whether it be fashion or home or beauty. The visual first format when Instagram was launched now more than 10 years ago was pretty revolutionary. And so I think it became the place where people, when they wanted to show themselves off, when they wanted to showcase a product or a thing or a restaurant or a hotel, it was just a very natural thing. Where the best way to really communicate what a product is is really through visuals. Instagram at its core has always been visual first. And so the rich formats that obviously have evolved over the years to really map the changes in consumer demands, we've always kind of been at that forefront. And so I think between the connection of the personalization, the capabilities that make it easy to bring value to all pillars and that kind of visual first immersive format, I really do think that it really has set the platform up to be the go- to for brands and for creators who really want to have those close relationships with brands.

Tim Sovay: It makes a ton of sense. And speaking of visual first, there is this massive shift right now. You mentioned earlier photo to video and in particular short form video has really taken the world by storm across multiple platforms. But curious how your team and the broader Meta teams are addressing, amplifying working with creators around the distribution of this content format on the platform.

Doug Weiss: The way we think about it is, first we got to get the content right and then we can think about distribution. And the reality is is that creating a short form video is different than creating a longer form video, which is different than obviously creating a photo. And so the first thing that we've invested a ton in is really giving creators the tools to be able to create high quality content that's going to resonate. Whether it be through filters, whether it be through editing, editing tools, whether it be through creative ways we can allow people to co- create things together, a piece of content, that was in our mind, the first thing that we need to really invest in and get right. Just because you can have the best distribution tool, but if it's a piece of content that is just not anything that's engaging or anyone wants to see, it's all for nought. And so the first thing we do is obviously I think invest a ton in really how do we create the right type of content? The next thing that we did is we saw this definite trend in what people's preferences were, where if you look five, eight years ago, most people were mostly following their friends and family with maybe a couple creators sprinkled here and there. And you just saw over time this trend where if you look at percent of content and percent of accounts that people were following that more and more people were increasingly creating relationships with people that they didn't necessarily know in" real life", but that they had created a connection with over a platform here or there. So what we wanted to do is make it really as easy as possible for those individuals not only to have to search and crawl and find this through a very kind of intensive and exhaustive process, but how do we connect the right content to the right person regardless if they're directly connected or they may know each other in real life? And so really leaning into this idea of, again, one of the things that makes the platform so incredibly powerful is the machine learning, is the understanding of people that we have accumulated over the years. So making sure that as we understand a person and then understand content in a much better way, how do we then actually connect those? Again, even if that connection doesn't really exist. And so whether it be through Explore, whether it be through some of the things that we've built, especially around reels that kind of allow people to very easily be pushed into a stream of really high quality content that's relevant to them, I think we're really looking at different ways. Again, because we're seeing this massive shift in consumer demands, really looking at different ways to not only think about person to person, but really think about person to content. And again, what is the content that's going to really resonate? So how do we make sure that that gets surfaced in the variety of different channels that again, we're starting new throughout the app?

Tim Sovay: And I think it's really, the science, as you said, is really the blend of the social graph and content graph and really getting the balance of those two things right.'Cause it's not like I don't want to hear from my friends, but I do want to be exposed to content at the right time, the right channel, the right moment exactly.

Doug Weiss: No, I mean think the reality is one of the things that's also been super interesting has been a interesting growth in terms of not only content but also in a lot of DMing. And so I think just by the existence and the great high usage of DMing, which is again a very personal type of one to one, people still think of Instagram as very much a way to connect with people you know. But on the other hand, by being exposed to content from people you don't know, you almost create these new opportunities to get reconnected with your friends over this common content that you both enjoy. And so it is really kind of thinking about how do you balance all of those things? In a lot of the ways we've been doing that is again, building out these new capabilities that really kind of intertwine some of these trends that we're seeing in a really kind of immersive user- friendly format.

Tim Sovay: It makes a ton of sense. So I want to shift gears a little bit to your core area really around shopping or commerce. I think you jumped in about three years ago into this current role. The world obviously changed overnight and every brand became an e- commerce brand with the pandemic. So I am sure what was maybe months or years of development accelerated really, really quickly as there was this push into social commerce. But curious over the last couple years, what's worked out well, what's different, what's really insightful from your experiences you've essentially been building a solution on the Meta platforms?

Doug Weiss: So I think as you said, the world kind of changed overnight on some level two and a half years ago at this point. And it was interesting. I was involved in commerce even pre Covid and then just the timelines on everything went from a year to two months. And on some level, off the record. Obviously everything's on the record. But maybe on the record, I've never worked harder in my life, but it was just because we felt like we had this opportunity to really help businesses who went from being 100% in store, who then had zero store traffic. And so I think one of the things that I think everyone understood was this idea of, okay, the idea of online shopping is really going to affect anyone and everyone, and so how do we make it really easy? I think that was one of the biggest learnings for me personally, is I have never worked directly in the retail sector, but now in retrospect quite obviously everyone has a million and a half things to do. The last thing that they need is another system or another operations flow or another process that they now need to A, learn and B, maintain. And so what we've done as a company is really try as much as possible to make Facebook and Instagram a additional sales channel that leverages the technology that they're already using for their core online sales. To make it really easy for them to again, do whatever layer on top of whatever content they were already creating and just make it a more explicit entry point into shopping and into driving transactions. And so I think big learning number one for me was we really needed to make it... It wasn't enough that this was a cool thing that brands knew that they needed to do and they should do, but we needed to both have that and make it really easy for them. Again, especially over the last couple years, the retail sector has been going through a million different changes. The last thing they needed was another thing on their plate. I think the second thing is, and this is again in retrospect quite obvious, but even just shows up in how my team came into being. The first year, year and a half we were very focused on traditional brands. A lot of our efforts, if you go back to March 2019, the vast majority of all the brands we were working with were kind of your traditional brands. And of course, they have done so much and they bring so much great quality content to the platform but it is, I think, a little bit narrow minded to think about only that as the opportunity as we think about commerce across our platforms when it is in many ways the people on our platforms that make kind of the platform overall and then the shopping overall, the experience so unique. So I think the kind of establishment of our team and really this focus on how do we help bring together not only just businesses, but also enable creators who are either working with brands or often even launching their own lines, how do we make it easy? And how do we empower them? Because again, they know our platform better than anyone. They know how to use our platform better than anyone. They know how to really resonate with communities better than anyone. I mean, I think just this past week we had this massive kind of really exciting moment on our platform with Joe Fresh Goods and his relationship with New Balance that would've been impossible three years ago. Of him being able to use us as a way to do basically a shock drop of a new line of sneakers that he's done. That community exists because he's been leveraging social channels to build it up. And so not only is he able to build that community, but he's able to deliver a very unique shopping experience to them. And so again, this special sauce, charisma, magic for lack of better words, that really creators could bring to the table with something that I think we've really, we've definitely realized over the years. And then I'd say the third thing, which is something that we're investing in a ton as we think about 2022, is also the intersection of ads in commerce. In the first couple years, a lot of the commerce investments were really about how do we think about building shopping tools? But it would be hard to write Facebook's history without recognizing that one of the most powerful things that we've ever built is our ads platform. And what we heard from brands time and again is these shopping tools are great, but how do I reach new users? How do I reach the person who may not be someone who's my follower? But because you guys know who people are so well, you know who could be a good potential customer. So we've invested a lot in 2022 through a product called Shops Ads that really I think does this intersection of commerce and ads really, really well. And really helps bring the buyer to the experience that makes most sense for them, whether they are an existing customer or they're not. And so I think that realization of, let's use our secret weapon, let's use the thing that has made the company so successful over the years, which is our ads platform, and really combine the two of them to bring incremental value both to shoppers as well as to sellers, I think is the most recent thing that I'm super, super excited about. Hopefully in a world where digital marketing has become increasingly more complicated, it is a way to really bring a additional layer of performance that hopefully can bring all kinds of sellers, all kinds of retailers, all kinds of creators, increased success in a time where everyone could use it.

Tim Sovay: And is that product open to all brands and creators at this time? Is it in a-

Doug Weiss: It is not. That's a good call out. Thank you for calling me out on that. It is something where we are, as this is true with any new products, this is a new product, we're doing lots of testing in the current year. We're really excited by the results, so we're trying again to try to bring it to as many businesses as possible. But it is at this point, it is a good call out that not open to everyone. And so we will obviously hope to grow that as we look to 2023.

Tim Sovay: ...So just Instagram DMs to your personal handle to get to get into inaudible-

Doug Weiss: Look up the handle. It's either Instagram DMs, LinkedIn messages, I'll be ready for you.

Tim Sovay: Great. So let's shift gears a little bit. Meta's had a long history of a partner ecosystem from publishing and listening and ads like you just covered. And CreatorIQ and Meta have had a long standing relationship in the creator world via APIs and data and really making sure as you covered, a very challenging digital marketing ecosystem, a real need to better measure this channel. And honestly, I think one of our challenges as an industry is getting measurement caught up to more mature channels via programmatic or digital video or search. But what are your main goals in investing in a partner ecosystem and flipping the coin? What do you hope to get out of working with companies like CreatorIQ?

Doug Weiss: When I think about, and I've worked in partnerships almost my entire time I've been at the company. And the reason I do that is because I, this is such a cliche, but it's one of those things where it's one plus one equals three. Where there are things that we do really well and there are things that we could potentially do, but why would we do it when we could lean on another company that already has built such great capabilities, built relationships with clients, built solutions overall that really I think will allow us to bring value to businesses or users faster than if we did it ourselves. Again, from really early on there's been a philosophy at the company of collaboration to bring value and doing things that we do well and focusing on those things and building and investing in those things. But then those things that really aren't in our wheelhouse, how do we find the best companies out there that are doing it already? And I think, as you said, the relationship with CreatorIQ I think is a great example of this. Where you have as good of an understanding of what are the right measurement pieces, what are the ways that we need to showcase to brands, what is the value of creators? And really, in many ways, I view our relationship almost in threefold. One is obviously the products that we co- build together that leverage our APIs and that CreatorIQ has built. The second is, this may sound a little crass, but the co- selling that we do of having another voice reiterating the narrative that we're bringing to the table and helping people understand why measurement is so important, why it's critical to really understand what is the performance and the impact of the things that you're doing. And then the third is quite honestly, and hopefully you won't be surprised to hear this is the amount we learn from you. Where we have one set of conversations that I'm sure are somewhat biased by how people show up when they interact with us and who we talk to. You guys have a very potentially somewhat similar, but somewhat different and think about areas that we haven't thought about before. And so instead of us having to again reinvent the wheel, this knowledge sharing is something that to us is just so exciting just because, again, I think it allows us to get to value much faster. This is why partnerships exist because they're mutually beneficial and we really are able to create solutions that bring value in a way that would be potentially impossible if each of us tried to do it on our own. And so on some level, I've always thought of partnerships as a growth hack. Of you're just, instead of having to do something on your own, why not ride the coattails of someone who's already done it? So to me, I think it's a showcase of how Facebook has thought about things from day one and I think is one of the secrets to how it's been able to grow and be so successful so quickly because it's invested so much in the partnership ecosystem that we have today.

Tim Sovay: Absolutely. And I think at the end of the day, we are really solving for the same thing in the ecosystem. You talked about education and growth, but ultimately we're trying to reduce the friction between creators and brands. And if you have a healthy side on creators, you have a healthy side on brands, both sides will benefit from it. Creators being able to build community, monetize, build a career or living out of it. Brands to be able to have a more effective and efficient way to reach the consumers that they care about. And so coming together on that, yes, very different views into it, but bringing those insights together are really solving for the same challenge or I guess opportunity at the end of the day.

Doug Weiss: I mean, again, I do believe that that has been a secret to our growth because we are so aligned and it makes it easy for us to then collaborate and build together because as you said, we're trying to do the same thing, which is to bring value to creators and brands in a really thoughtful and considerate way. I think that is the core to any successful partnership, which I think sometimes people will overlook as they are in haste of just trying to get something done. Of the best partnerships are those where there's really clear value being accrued to both sides, and they're both very aligned to what that end goal is, which for both of us is creating value for brands and creators.

Tim Sovay: Absolutely. All right, so I have one more for you today. Hopefully it hasn't been too painful. You've been fantastic.

Doug Weiss: As you know, I love to talk. I could do this, I can talk a lot. inaudible.

Tim Sovay: So parts two, parts two and three are coming soon. So what will always end on a prognosticator on where things are going. So obviously you've been in this space for a long time, you're seeing changes in real time. I'm curious where you see the creator ecosystem going and as importantly, where does Meta fit into that role? Or what is Meta's role in that ecosystem?

Doug Weiss: I think one of the things, and again, this is why we're so excited about the relationship with CreatorIQ. I think no question, and I will fight anyone who disagrees with this. The emergence of creators and the importance of creators in driving purchasing decisions and in having influence over users is potentially one of the most important trends that have happened in the 21st century. I think unfortunately caught up in that has been a lot of money that has been thrown at not very good ideas. Where, because there's been such a lack of measurement, because there's been a really hard time to connect, oh, I'm spending$ 10,000 on this creator campaign, what am I actually getting out of it? Sure, I get 300 comments, 1, 000 likes, but I actually don't know what value that has to me. I think, and you are already seeing this, I'm sure you guys are seeing this as well. There's much more of a connection between an ability to prove true ROI of okay, I'm spending this, I want to make sure that I'm investing in the thing that makes sense. There's a really famous quote that I'm definitely going to butcher. 50% of marketing spend is great, 50% is garbage. Unfortunately, I don't know which 50% is which. I think that is happening 100% with creators where there's a lot of situations where investing in your creators makes a ton of sense because that is what consumers are looking at. But on the other hand, I think it's been really hard to understand where to place your investments, who to be working with, what types of formats, what platforms. So I think there's going to be a real big push, especially just very bluntly in a world of potentially reduced marketing budgets, people are taking a much closer look at where they're spending and whether it's actually really driving impact. So I do think that that's going to be something that we will definitely see over the next, we've already started to see and we will continue to see. And what I think we hope is that in all of that though, that we are the kind of the best platform to help creators be who they are, create the content that they want, and connect to the communities that they care about most. I think we very much see ourselves as that place where creators can, if I have an hour of time, it makes more sense for me to invest that hour on Instagram than it does on TikTok, than it does on any other platform that may exist because it gives me the value. And that value can mean a million different things. I get close conversations with my community. I'm able to build my community. I'm able to directly monetize. I'm able to indirectly monetize. I think this idea of how can we be the place where if you have an hour, if have a day a month, it makes sense for you to invest that time with us. And so creating as many tools as possible, both in the app itself, but also in close collaboration with partners that really can make sure that A, you understand that value, B, you can access that value, and C, you can maximize that value. And so that is what we envision. This is kind of our north star on creators kind of overall and hopefully creators are feeling that. And the reality is it's a competitive world out there. If we are not valuable to creators, they have other places to go. So we kind of have to do that. And so I see us continuing to really invest in that and really I think continue to again, be the first place that creators think of when they think about where they want to be.

Tim Sovay: I think that comes through. And what I would add to that is really building on what you said is that having been in this space for about 12 years now, I'm part of the old guard who remembers the very early wild west of creators. I feel like we were future selling the opportunity or promise of this category for nine, 10 years, and we're just now realizing it over the last year or two, really it's potential. And so now how do you really harness that potential? And like you said, it comes with being able to properly measure it, better understand things like equity and diversity and really growing the ecosystem. And you sit in such a unique place to really push it forward.

Doug Weiss: In many ways I consider myself very lucky. I'm just one of those people that have made a couple good decisions that have worked out in my favor. And this is one of those things where it's part of the reason people are always like, " God, I can't believe you're in technology. How are you still at the same place seven and a half years later?" And the reality is because this is to me some of the most interesting things happening in technology, in industry, in retail, in marketing, and really being able to be at the intersection of all those things for me is just a pleasure and it's a privilege.

Tim Sovay: Well, thank you. It's been a pleasure and a privilege talking to you today. Really appreciate you joining us-

Doug Weiss: Of course.

Tim Sovay: ...and we will talk to you soon. Thanks so much.

Doug Weiss: All right, thanks so much.

Tim Sovay: Bye.

Outro: Be a friend, tell a friend and subscribe. Earned by CreatorIQ. CreatorIQ is your all in one solution to grow, manage, scale, and measure your influencer marketing program. Ready to unlock the power of the creator economy? Get started with a demo today @creatoriq. com.


In Ep. 62 of Earned, CreatorIQ’s own Tim Sovay sits down with Meta’s Doug Weiss, head of creator commerce at Instagram. We start the episode by learning how Meta has grown and changed over the years, with Doug unpacking the evolution of creators, shoppable content, and content format on Facebook and Instagram. We learn what attracts creators to Instagram, and Doug emphasizes how the platform allows creators to reach an audience and build a community in a way that was previously impossible. We then discuss Instagram’s pivot to short-form video content in the form of Reels, before hearing why the platform expanded its model from connecting people to people, to connecting people to content. Next, we explore how the pandemic expedited the rise of e-commerce, and how Meta supported brands in growing their online businesses through shoppable content and ads. Finally, Doug tells us why Meta prioritizes its partnership program with other companies—including CreatorIQ—before closing the show with his predictions for the future of the creator economy, and the role Meta will play in it.