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Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA’s Daily Bruin.
Instagram is tired of reposted TikTok videos dominating its feed—and is now doing something about it.
On Wednesday, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced that the Meta-owned social media app is changing its algorithm to boost original, Instagram-hosted content. As Fast Company observed this week, the move appears geared toward combating the spread of TikTok-produced videos that have increasingly proliferated on Instagram.
As well as introducing new product tags and user category features, Mosseri said the new ranking system will boost photos and Reels made on Instagram across users’ feeds and their Explore page recommendations. The new algorithm comes as Instagram is beta-testing “Use Template,” a Reels feature that lets users replicate editing and formatting touches from other videos, Business Insider reported Friday.
Aggregators—accounts that repost viral content—are still popular on Instagram, and Mosseri tweeted that the new ranking system will ensure the app’s recommendations “don’t overvalue aggregators, as that would be bad for creators, and therefor [sic] bad for Instagram long term.” He noted that the algorithm predicts a post’s originality based on indicators like the people in the video and whether the algorithm has previously seen the content—but added the caveat that it “can’t know for sure” who the original creator is.
Despite launching Reels, its own short-form video feature, in 2020, Instagram has been confronted by TikTok’s growing prominence in recent years and made efforts to counter its rival’s popularity. Last year, Instagram’s algorithm began to make videos with visible watermarks from other social media platforms, including TikTok, less discoverable. Instagram’s efforts come amid recent reports that its parent company, Meta, reportedly financed a targeted public relations campaign against TikTok.
Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA’s Daily Bruin.
Christian Hetrick is dot.LA’s Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.
Social media giant Snap is launching a new advertising product for the travel industry as the company navigates an increasingly challenging digital ad market.
On Wednesday, the Santa Monica-based company announced Dynamic Travel Ads, which lets hotels, airlines and travel agencies create ads that Snap can serve to interested Snapchat users. Using location data and other metrics, the new ad product can target users who intend to travel and show them locally-relevant campaigns for destinations or tours. Marketers working with Snap can make a variety of ads based on their product catalogs, which contain information such as flight routes and hotel rates that can auto-update to reflect real-time pricing and availability.
Snap is launching the product just as the summer travel season starts for a tourism industry that was battered by the pandemic and is hoping for a resurgence. Dynamic Travel Ads could also give Snap new business at a time when it faces macroeconomic headwinds and deals with the fallout from Apple’s revised privacy settings—factors which have harmed the digital advertising market. Last week, the company revealed that it will likely miss its quarterly earnings estimates, sinking its share price. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA.)
The company started beta-testing Dynamic Travel Ads last year and said early adopters have seen success. The online travel agency Booking.com, for instance, has used it to pull images directly from its product catalog and serve users ads with locally-relevant listings based on products they’d already viewed, according to Snap. That resulted in a lower cost per purchase compared to other U.S. advertisers, the company said.
“Dynamic Travel Ads are driving impressive results for our partners and we look forward to unlocking them for more businesses as the travel industry enters its busiest season,” Sharon Silverstein, Snap’s head of U.S. verticals, said in a statement.
Christian Hetrick is dot.LA’s Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.
Drew Grant is dot.LA’s Senior Editor. She’s a media veteran with over 15-plus years covering entertainment and local journalism. During her tenure at The New York Observer, she founded one of their most popular verticals, tvDownload, and transitioned from generalist to Senior Editor of Entertainment and Culture, overseeing a freelance contributor network and ushering in the paper’s redesign. More recently, she was Senior Editor of Special Projects at Collider, a writer for RottenTomatoes streaming series on Peacock and a consulting editor at RealClearLife, Ranker and GritDaily. You can find her across all social media platforms as @Videodrew and send tips to drew@dot.la.
When you first move to Los Angeles, one of the strangest sights is the blocks-long queues of people waiting patiently to get into a handful of micro-boutiques on Fairfax Avenue, where four doors down from the Supreme store you could go for a nosh at Cantor’s Deli.

One line on Friday stretched impossibly long—past the intersection of Rosewood, where it swapped to the other side of the street, young men leaning against the chainlink fences of Walt Whitman High School’s football stadium. If you squinted, it almost looked like the line stretched all the way past Melrose, a third of a mile away.
Every single person in line was hoping to get into eBay’s three-day sneaker pop-up, Wear ‘Em Out. Yes, the “We Sell Your Stuff on eBay” store seen in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is now a reality—except for the notable difference that eBay is the one doing the selling, off-platform.
The location’s proximity to Supreme doesn’t seem like a coincidence; the store’s real estate, tiny space and limited selection cultivated an air of exclusivity and scarcity. This can boost hype, but also emboldens entrepreneurial-minded buyers with deep pockets to take advantage of the small supply—snatching up as much stock as possible to resell at a future date.
To combat this phenomena while still trying to stoke the “hype” in hypebeast was the challenge; a “one pair per customer” rule can be enough to thwart some potential buyers from going near the place, while not exactly being the hardest system to game. But Wear ‘Em Out had found a different kind of incentive system—offering steep discounts to anyone willing to actually put the shoes on their feet and walk them out the door. The catch was that they’d first have to navigate a short obstacle course of gravel, fake grass and sooty rocks; say bye-bye to the coveted NIB (New In Box) label that bumps shoes up from their retail price to thousands of dollars or more on secondary selling platforms like Grailed, GOAT, StockX, and eBay itself.
“People are treating sneakers like investments,” according to Garry Thaniel, eBay’s general manager of sneakers. “We love our sellers, but wanted to embrace the idea that everything doesn’t have to be a business decision. Sometimes it’s just about enjoying them.”
Thaniel was wearing a fresh pair of Nike Air Force Ones, a blinding white sneaker notoriously unforgiving to scuff marks. That’s kind of the point; growing up in Baltimore, Thaniel recalled, come April or May everyone would show up wearing the pristine sneakers only to see them worn out by the end of the summer. The next spring would bring new shoes, and the cycle began again.
Here’s a taste of what was in stock on Friday:
Each pair would cost $100 less to wear out the door.
Photo by Joshua Letona
eBay’s Wear ‘Em Out pop-up store opened its doors on Fairfax for Memorial Day weekend.
While he couldn’t give us any more specifics on the following days’ selection, Thaniel told dot.LA that every collection was put together by Offset, he of the popular hip-hop group Migos.
And what did Thaniel think about moving eBay’s sneaker game to a permanent brick-and-mortar location, a la Amazon Style’s new store on the other side of town in Glendale?
“That would be a great idea,” Thaniel mused. “We’d have to talk internally about it.” He mentioned that eBay’s policy of collaborating with sellers had led to this prime real estate, since they were technically operating in a portioned section of SoleStage’s already diminutive interior.
Leaving the store, a scroll through my phone revealed an interesting development: Gucci, the renowned legacy Italian loafer brand, had just opened its first location in the metaverse.
Drew Grant is dot.LA’s Senior Editor. She’s a media veteran with over 15-plus years covering entertainment and local journalism. During her tenure at The New York Observer, she founded one of their most popular verticals, tvDownload, and transitioned from generalist to Senior Editor of Entertainment and Culture, overseeing a freelance contributor network and ushering in the paper’s redesign. More recently, she was Senior Editor of Special Projects at Collider, a writer for RottenTomatoes streaming series on Peacock and a consulting editor at RealClearLife, Ranker and GritDaily. You can find her across all social media platforms as @Videodrew and send tips to drew@dot.la.
Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA’s Daily Bruin.
“Stranger Things” just gave Netflix a sorely-needed win, drawing record viewership over the holiday weekend.
Based on Netflix’s internal metrics, viewers watched a combined 287 million hours of season 4, volume 1 of the coming-of-age sci-fi drama, which premiered on Friday. This marks the largest premiere weekend for an English-language TV show on the platform, surpassing “Bridgerton” season 2’s haul of 193 million hours, according to Variety.
Each episode’s lengthy runtime likely helped “Stranger Things” claim the top spot; the shortest episode of the new season is just over an hour long, while the longest is around one hour and forty minutes. The show’s three previous seasons also snuck back into Netflix’s top 10 last week, while its influence is being felt across other media platforms as well: Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” catapulted to the no. 1 spot on iTunes after its inclusion in season 4, while the fantasy tabletop game “Dungeons & Dragons,” which also features prominently, is having a moment.
That kind of impact comes at a cost: Netflix reportedly spent an average of $30 million on each episode of the new season of “Stranger Things.” Such spending may have to be curbed amid the streamer’s recent struggles, as evidenced by a poor first-quarter earnings report that saw the company lose subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. That subsequently sent Netflix’s stock price tumbling and has triggered layoffs and cultural shifts inside the company.
Still, “Stranger Things” has given Netflix a huge boost at a difficult time, and it’s not over yet: Volume 2 of the fourth season, consisting of two feature film-length episodes, drops on July 1. In the company’s April earnings call, co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the season 4’s two-part release was intended to be “satisfying for the binger or the one-at-a-time viewer, as well.”
But no party lasts forever: When “Stranger Things” comes to a close after its fifth and final season, Netflix’s strategy for filling the upside-down void left by one of its most beloved and marketable properties could involve a dubious mix of gaming, livestreaming, ad-supported programming and multiple transphobic stand-up comedy specials.
Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA’s Daily Bruin.
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