The creator economy and social commerce dominated social media in 2021—and companies responded in kind to the rapid expansion. From features aimed at generating and managing creators’ revenue streams to merchants expanding their businesses through social channels, companies found new ways to meet the increasing demands of a growing class of entrepreneurs. And what would 2021 be on social media without diving into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse? Though still in its nascency in the mainstream, Web3 has no intention of fizzling out anytime soon, which has given rise to startups looking to help creators leverage the burgeoning space.
Leading the Most Innovative Companies in social media is Shopify. The e-commerce platform made major expansions in powering businesses on social media by bringing in-app shopping to TikTok, adding 27 markets in Pinterest, and expanding its Shop Pay feature to Facebook and Instagram. Shopify also made a play in music streaming by enabling artists to add online stores to their Spotify pages. Covering a different sector of social commerce is Ooooo, which aims to bring the fervor and massive revenue of live commerce in China to the West. In addition to its own live commerce app, Ooooo white labels its technology with partners including QVC Italia and Brazilian online retailer B2W.
Major platforms such as TikTok and Instagram laid the foundation for the booming creator economy, and now there’s a race to help creators monetize and organize their businesses and brands. Koji earned a spot on this year’s Most Innovative Companies list as a compelling addition to the link-in-bio services that have become an essential part of a creator’s toolkit. Koji’s standout features include selling ad space on a profile, paid video requests à la Cameo, and other monetizing features.
Pearpop, a platform for facilitating TikTok collabs between established and up-and-coming creators, was able to expand its services to include Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch with backing from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, Mark Cuban, and Jimmy Donaldson (aka MrBeast). And what’s not discussed enough in the creator economy is how creators are managing and protecting their businesses—a question Lumanu has answered with its suite of features such as expense automation and guaranteed income. See the List Here.